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What does a website cost?

Jason | August 20, 2012

There is no other question that we initially get asked more frequently, and while it is straight to the point, unfortunately, the answer is not quite as simple as the question. Let us explain.

While Digital Designs has built a great many sites ranging from the simple “business card” type site - all the way up to global, member-driven, highly-secure content distribution systems….and we can most likely give you an estimate of what your site would cost, there is no easy way to answer the “pricing” question without first comprehensively understanding what you want to achieve with your site.

We like to use the analogy of building a home. Most people would find it very difficult to approach a building contractor and ask “How much to build my house?” —knowing that there are a great many considerations that go into building a home:

  • Location
  • Style
  • Construction Type
  • Size
  • Finish
  • The list goes on and on…

You asked for a house…!

To take the analogy even a bit further, even if you asked for a 1-bedroom, 1-bath house with a big picture window and a fireplace… you can see that there are a HUGE amount of items that are not covered when initially describing the home. While we could give a ballpark pricing estimate, further information and understanding are necessary to ensure the pricing is accurate, and the finished product is what was requested.

The process of properly building a home is quite intense because you have to answer a lot of questions and consider a lot of options. But, in the end, if you work through the process, and your builder knows what they are doing, you end up with a house that is exactly what you want.

Building a website is very similar. If someone asks us how much it costs to build a website with pages for their products, their location, and a contact page, we could give them an estimate of the range, but without working through the process of understanding the client’s objectives for the outcome including:

  • Location (Domain)
  • Style (Design & Infrastructure)
  • Construction Type (Architecture, Navigation, Technology)
  • Size (Content)
  • Finish (Functions & Features)

...it becomes nearly impossible to give an accurate estimate—let alone create a quote—for a completed project.

As you can see, it becomes critical that both parties are crystal clear to the objectives, components, and criteria for the project in order to create a successful web project.

Digital Designs addresses this challenge by walking with our clients through a thorough development process that ensures every nuance of the project is communicated and understood PRIOR to the commencement of the project. We don’t want to build you a mansion when all you wanted was a single family home…nor do we want to erect a single family home when you needed a mansion! 

Understanding, Communication, and Collaboration is key to defining what a web project will look like…not to mention—what it will cost!

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