What does it cost to put together a good website? That is an important question, especially for companies wanting to expand their web presence. The problem lies with hidden costs. Very few people take into consideration all the factors that add to their project. To better help you set a budget for your new site, we expose the 5 hidden costs to pricing your website that you should consider.
#1 – Time is Money
Your website designer needs your input. He will want to meet with you to sync on design, direction, and development of your site. Who will handle the oversight of your build? How much time will you (or your employee) be putting into the project?
Another thing to consider is content. Do you have someone on staff that writes well? Do you have time to write that monthly blog post or change the text on your landing pages when needed?
It’s important that you consider the time investment when counting the hidden costs to your website design pricing. Either you have to pay someone to do it for you or you must take time away from your own business to work on your website.
#2 – Scope Creep
Will the project have a set contract or is the project fee based on an estimate of time which can and will change? In other words, what happens when your site is half built, and you hit your budget ceiling? There has never been a single project that didn’t run into snags. Perhaps, you change your mind on the layout, or you decide you want to add additional functionality. Every change takes time, which is money, as we already established.
You must plan for unforeseen costs, even when you are working with a set contract fee. Normally, set fees don’t include work outside the scope of the original agreement.
#3 – Ongoing Maintenance
Ongoing maintenance is one of the biggest hidden costs to pricing your project. It’s like having children. Most parents would be delighted if the hospital delivery bill was the only money they ever had to spend on their kids. But no! As time goes on, the kids need clothes, music lessons, braces, cars, and college. As the children grow, they need new things. Guess what? As you business and your website grow, they also require upkeep.
Someone has to install updates, write new content, and fix things that break. Do you have someone on staff that can do that? All companies should budget for yearly web hosting and monthly maintenance. Your website will need repairs, including a website redesign every few years or so.
#4 – Marketing Costs
The price of marketing adds another hidden cost to pricing your website project. Going live with a website is similar to opening a second storefront. You would never open the doors and expect people to find you without any promotion. No! That is why you have ‘Grand Opening’ sales and advertising.
You also need to advertise your website, both offline and online.
How do you plan on getting people to come to your site? Will you be hiring an SEO firm or Social Media Manager? Or will you be using paid traffic such as Google Adwords or Facebook ads to get people to your site? All of those cost money.
#5 – Opportunity Cost
Opportunity cost is one of the more hidden costs to pricing your website. About the only way to measure the impact is through experience or imagination. Consider how much additional revenue you might have received if you had worked with a better website design firm?
For more information on missed opportunity costs, read the 6 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make When Hiring a Website Designer.
The bottom line is that it’s not how much the website project costs, it’s your return on investment that brings you the highest net returns?
Dealing with the Hidden Costs to Pricing Your Website Project
About the only way to compensate for the hidden costs to pricing your website is to face them with your eyes wide open. They are going to occur, and you can’t do much about it except plan for them. Carefully consider each one and determine how much you can afford to invest in your website.