… Confusing isn’t it?
As Far As Websites Go, You Really Do Get What You Pay For
What you see in your browser is simply not the whole story. What’s under the hood — the bit you can’t see accounts for around two-thirds of what you are paying for.
Yes, the design, layout, and how you lead users through the site is very important. A visually pleasing site which reflects your company branding will no doubt be an effective brand reinforcer for your business and will make it easier for visitors to use your site. This aspect of the process requires a substantial amount of time, but to create a really good site, there is so much more which needs time and attention — things you may not even have thought about, or even have known to think about. We’re talking about the hidden stuff, like site planning and the site’s overall functionality. We’ve outlined these areas below.
General Admin and Organization
As web designers and developers, we need to understand what you are trying to sell or get across with your website, we need to know who it is mainly aimed at, aka, your target market, and how you want to be perceived as a business, this is also known generally as ‘your branding’. We need to know these things so we can take the information you give us and create a site which leads potential customers and clients through the content in a clear, logical way ultimately culminating in them contacting you or doing something else you want them to do. Often people are too close to their own business and cannot see the best way to present this information to others who know nothing about it. To create a good site structure takes communication, planning and lots of forward-thinking. As the project progresses, regular developer-client communication is vital.
The time required to source or take good quality, relevant images, is often underestimated. Even if you supply your own images they usually require some Photoshop work to make them look their best, at the very least it’s a good idea to have around three size variations on your site, this helps to keep things visually consistent and tidy, but this means proportionally cropping and sizing every image … poor images are a big no-no, they can make your site look slapdash, cheap and unprofessional. Once the finding, brightening, cropping and sizing has been done they need to be optimized for the web to ensure they are as efficient a file size as possible and more conducive to faster site loading times.
Writing or editing text content is another time consuming, but, very necessary task. Clear copy should help your users, understand what you are offering or can do for them, who you are, and why they should trust or use you, whilst leading them to either get in touch or take the next step towards a purchase. As well as creating engaging, informative copy it also needs to be SEO friendly and geared to helping the ‘right’ people to find your site when searching. Crisp, well-written content makes an impression, badly written, sloppy copy does too. Consider what impression you want to make.
Setting up and Securing Your Site
Dependent on how they work, some developers like us set up a ‘development site’ on a staging server so you can watch and feedback on the progress of your site. Once the site is approved, it needs to be migrated to the live hosting server and linked to the domain name you want to use. We use virtual private servers, CDNs, and also implement precautions to help combat site brute force attacks, hacks and other breaches.
Creating contact, subscription or order forms, integrating Email lists, setting up transactional emails, adding social buttons and links or setting Instagram or Twitter feeds, etc. setting up anti-spam so you are not bombarded with junk mail through your website.
Setting up site analytics and tracking so you can see how the site is performing, which pages are the most popular and how any real-world advertising and marketing has impacted on-site visits.
Security and Updates
Sure, we could build a decent five page site for under £750, but there won’t be much going on in the background, it won’t do you any favors, and we never feel good about selling a site we know won’t do a good job.
So back to the original question, how much does a WordPress website cost? … well that’s largely up to you
- How many pages do you think you’ll need?
- Do you need an e-commerce or directory-type site which require special customisation?
- How good do you want it visually?
- Is making things quick and easy for your users and creating a good user experience important to you?
- Do you have quality images and textual content ready-to-go, and a fair idea of what you what or don’t want?
- How concerned are you about site load times?
- How effective do you want the site to be as far as doing what you need it to do?
- How visible do you want it to be on Google and other search results?
- How quickly do you need the site designed and built?
- And most importantly how much value does it add to your business?
There is a base price, a minimum amount of time required to set up a decent site .. if you are quoted anything less than £1200 – £1400, then you will probably be missing some of the vital aspects which make an effective website. So don’t fall for the super-cheap prices, and beware of those who overcharge and underdeliver.
It is also worth noting that WordPress sites, like others, require ongoing maintenance and security updates. It’s worth making sure you are aware of the site maintenance and hosting costs. These vary widely.
Our advice is to reach out and communicate, find about more about the people you are entrusting your website development to, and try to get more than one quote and weigh up all the variants. Ask your web developer what is covered, be sensible, take into account the developers experience, skills, integrity, and past work, all of these things should factor in, you will have to interact and work with this person for a while.
When you get a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.