“How much?” the prospective client asked.
Alarm bells started ringing in my head.
We were only 1 minute into our conversation and were immediately talking price. The prospect had stumbled across our site and decided to pick up the phone for a quick chat. It happens all the time. Usually a solo operator, maybe a landscape gardener or builder.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms about being very upfront about the issue of cost. But when a conversation is first and foremost about pricing then it is a good sign that they are shopping around and not a serious punter.
Usually we dig deep on a clients situation through a 15 minute discovery session or using this brief form. It allows us to understand the goals and objectives for the website. Everyone can get on the same page.
So how much should a good website design cost?
The issue of cost is a tricky one. On the one hand, you have a client who is trying to get a product for the lowest possible cost and the best possible solution. The flip side to this is a digital agency that is paying staff and trying to maximise profitability while still delivering a great product. It should be win, win for both parties. Don’t forget that the agency has considerable overheads to cover, especially if you are employing a company with several staff who have the different skills your project will require.
The reality of the situation is, like most things in life, you really do get what you pay for.
Prices can range from hundreds of dollars for a cookie cutter ‘templated’ solution through to tens of thousands. The problem being that no two solutions are the same in terms of design, process and customer experience.
The simple fact is that a well designed, high performing website should bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars of work over its lifetime (if done correctly). If we accept that fundamental premise then an investment of between $5,000 to $10,000 seems like a small price to pay for a very profitable sales machine.
It comes down to the value proposition presented by the digital agency and how much a client can pay. It will be a trade-off between the expected ROI and the capital investment needed to generate that ROI. Every business has input costs associated with the preparation of its goods for sale and website design is just one of many. A good agency will be forthcoming with ideas and completely transparent. Like all relationships, trust will be a big driver. The prospective agency should go through a detailed scoping and discovery phase with you. A common understanding and agreement needs to be reached between both parties on what will physically be delivered.
What do you think? How much should a website design cost?