How much does a website cost? (Part 2)
In our earlier part of the blog series about how much a website costs, we discussed why websites can have different prices.
In this part we sort out what it is that you pay for when you buy a website.
What am I paying for?
We noted earlier that a larger and more complex web page or web application becomes more expensive because it takes longer to complete. But what is it that takes such a time? As web technology evolved and the Internet has grown, the demands on what is perceived as a good website have increased. A statichtml document with a table layout just does not cut it anymore. Below is a list of some of the things that constitute the foundation of a modern and capable website:
- Research is needed before creating a layout and design that fits with the client’s goals and aim of the page, as well as it is needed to know how the Content Strategy (stategies for presenting the content on the page in order to fulfil the website’s purpose in the best possible way) should be planned.
- User-friendliness or ease of use is a broad term that basically means to make sure that the website is easy to understand and navigate, and that it is simple and easy to perform the tasks on the site. This is related to the concepts of the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience), which also aim to give the user an experience as pleasant as possible. For example, by not using too small buttons or click areas on mobile phones making them difficult to press.
- Design involves selecting colors, fonts and creating icons, images, animations and effects, and to put all these elements together so that they emphasize a layout that conveys or fulfills the website message or purpose. It is of course also important to ensure that the design does not affect the usability in any negative way. This is important to consider because the stuff that looks good visually on a page unfortunately sometimes lead to more cumbersome use of the site for some visitors.
- SEO or Search Engine Optimization, so that your site is found by search engines when future visitors look for the information, services or products you offer. To facilitate the work of search engines, webpages must be correctly programmed, but it is equally important that the content is updated and contains material relevant to the topics you want the site to focus on.
- Performance: Even though web technologies have evolved and network speeds are accelerating, web pages have also become heavier and heavier in terms of how much data the total number of files consist of. This is especially important when using a mobile or smartphone. Users with slow connections will have to wait longer before the page is loaded and can be used. Heavy sites also punishes those who pay for the amount of data they use. There are a variety of ways to decrease the weight of a website by manipulating the code and images, or write additional code to overcome specific problems with e.g. management of images for different types of screens.
- Content Management System (CMS): For it to be easy to modify and publish new content on the web pages, most websites are linked to an administrative system, a so-called CMS. Common examples of CMSs are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
- Responsivity is since a couple of years considered to be industry standard for new websites. A responsive webpage adjusts its layout when the screen size shrinks so that it has a different layout when viewing the page on a mobile or cell phone than when you visit the page from a computer. In addition to desktop computers and mobile phones, there are also tablets and laptops (and you also can turn tablets and mobiles to view web pages in so-called “landscape mode”), meaning there is a great variety of screen sizes and formats to consider.
Other things that might be needed:
- Extra functionality: Perpahs you need to add a webshop, support online payments, add a form or membership area to you website.
Fast, Cheap or Good?
As in other industries, customers have the opportunity to influence the price by choosing two out of three of “fast”, “cheap” or “good”. As for Red Onion, we prefer that all the parts that make up the website should be well thought out and carefully executed — and hope that it is something that the customer also is interested in.
In the next part of the series about how much a website costs, we will look more closely at different pricing categories for different types of projects. Use our price list to find the right level for your project.