What’s the Average Cost of Website Design for Small Business?
If it’s time to upgrade your business’s user interface, you’ve probably wondered what the average cost of website design for small business is.
Years ago, having a website was a luxury for small businesses.
These days, having one is essential to establishing your authority as a reputable brand that has a relationship with its customers. Are you ready to start a website and take your business to the next level? Congratulations.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the average cost of website design for small business and what you can expect to spend during this important step.
From the Essentials to the Deluxe
Unless you want to plan, design, and build your own website, you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,000 and on up to $10,000. The price of your website depends on which features you want to make available to users, such as merchant services, account creation, chat, etc.
Your first step will be to purchase a domain name where you can send traffic. In most cases, this is the affordable part, usually costing between $5-$15 a month.
Once you decide on a business name, check for availability by plugging it into a search engine.
If you’re lucky, it will be available to purchase outright. In other cases, you may be dealing with a parked domain that costs a lot to transfer. No harm in calling and asking, though.
Which Features Will I Need?
What kind of service does your business provide? Are you a local plumber who wants to make it easy for customers to contact you? Are you trying to sell clothing online? Is your website itself the service, such as a newspaper or magazine?
Each of these examples would require a totally different layout and make use of unique plug-ins.
Some of the features you may be considering include:
- Online merchant services like PayPal or Venmo
- Search and filter functions that make it easy for customers to find an item
- Newsletter signup
- Personalized messaging based on cookies
- Account creation and management
Most of these features cost extra. Those who sell merchandise online, for example, will need a way for customers to make purchases safely.
Sites like Shopify allow you to tailor your site to the items you sell, but the monthly subscription starts at $29 a month, and that’s on top of the commission fees you’ll pay per transaction. Other sites like Etsy are free to set up but offer no customization.
The Most Basic Website Costs
Do you have the ambition and curiosity to build your own website? If so, you’re in for some savings. WordPress and Google Sites are free to start and offer minimal customization options. That doesn’t mean your site has to be boring, either (just take a look at all these free WordPress themes).
If you wish to sell items online, WordPress offers ways to embed merchant service options on your site so that customers can spend money (although there will be a commission fee).
However, free sites are labor-intensive. By working with a freelance web designer, you can hand off much of the heavy lifting and get into building a website without spending too much upfront.
Making Your Business Show Up in Searches
Once your website is live on the internet, people need to be able to find it. This is not as easy as it sounds.
About a third of internet traffic comes from organic searches, meaning that most people find companies through an internet search that leads them there. If you want customers to find your website, it will need to be visible to search engines and responsive to what users search for.
So what is indexing? It is how search engines find what’s on the internet. By looking over the content on your website (crawling), a search engine will be able to detect relevant keywords, backlinks, and other content to check whether or not your site matches a given search.
Does this mean you should pack all your web pages with keywords? No. Does this mean you should copy content from a successful competitor’s website?
Finding Relevant Keywords
While you want to show up in more searches, you don’t want to show up in every search. A plumber in Smalltown, USA doesn’t gain new customers by appearing in search results on the other side of the country.
Tools like Keywords Everywhere and AHRefs can help you find relevant keywords for your specific location. Expect to pay a subscription fee of about $30-$50 a month for a good service, or consider hiring a freelance SEO specialist who can give you a report of the best keywords to use for your website.
This is crucial.
Without relevant keywords, search engines will see your site and stuff it away in the “just another waste of server space” bin that offers nothing to customers.
Register Your Google My Business
Another way customers can find you is through Google My Business. When someone types “plumber Smalltown, USA” into Google, this service directs them to a physical business location where users can find out more. If your business has an office location, this is an important step in establishing your web presence.
Plus, it’s free.
Publish Content on a Regular Schedule
In the old days, blogs were just ways for families to share photos and keep in touch. These days, blogs are an essential way for businesses to stay relevant to search engines. Writing content is a free method that will show search engines that a real human is staying up to date on their website.
But blogging takes time.
Consider hiring a content writer who is well-versed in SEO best practices to write fresh, original blogs for you at least once a week. Also, don’t just hire the cheapest writer you can find. If the content stinks, people will leave your site quickly, and your search rankings will plummet. Expect to spend between $50-$200 per blog.
Working with Experts
Every blog has a “that depends” section, and that’s what this is. If you want your site to work properly, you should get help from people who know what they’re doing. A website can cost as little or as much as you want, depending on how customized and tailored you want it to be.
There are millions of freelance web designers out there who can get you set up on a simple WordPress site for under $1,000. If you just need a good-looking site with no bells or whistles, you can reliably do so without breaking the bank.
Beyond that, though, the price goes up.
Where You Can Spend a Lot
Web traffic is precious, and it starts with a good domain name. Did you know that VacationRentals.com domain cost $35 million to obtain? Custom URLs can be extremely expensive. Thankfully, there are ways around this problem, such as using a .biz or .co domain suffix.
You can even call the original owner of a domain name and haggle the price down, but the better strategy may just be to get creative and come up with a new domain name.
Increased Server Space
Will your website store user data? Plan to spend a few thousand on a server. With a service like Google or Amazon Web Services, the costs can be around $450 per user.
Some people get around this by either purchasing their own server or sharing server space with someone else.
While countless books and blogs have been written about this topic, all you need to know is that there is no ceiling on how much you can spend to get your business in front of eyeballs. Pay-per-click ads (PPC) are priced using a bid system, so the more popular a search term is, the more you will pay for someone to click the advertisement. For example, the search term “Business Services” cost over $58 per click in 2018.
While good SEO practices can help to lower this cost, you should expect to spend at least $5,000 a year on paid ads if you want to drive more web traffic.
Assessing the Average Cost of Website Design for Small Business
While building a good website isn’t free, you don’t always have to spend a lot on traffic. By spending time planning your sitemap, you can increase your chances of ranking high on search results. Take a look at these website planning best practices to avoid making common mistakes that will hurt your search rankings.
Some important things to remember include:
- Write for people, not for search engines: Don’t skimp on quality written content. If people visit your website and stick around, they are more likely to remember you. Search engines like that kind of thing.
- Make your intentions clear: Invite people to act, whether that means requesting more information, scheduling a service, or adding something to their cart. A “call to action” will guide more traffic and increase your search rankings.
- Keep your website as simple as possible: You don’t need music playing in the background when people visit your site. The faster your pages load, the more likely people will be to use your website.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are many helpful blogs out there that can help you find answers and inspire you to try new approaches.
If you’ve still got questions about the average cost of website design for small business
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David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.