Why Is Web Design Company Pricing All Over The Place?
When you work in web development, the most common question you get asked is how much does a website cost. The second most common is why is Web Design Company pricing all over the place?
Often people ask the second question because you are not the first person that they asked the other question to.
From our perspective it makes sense. In our 18 years in the business we have seen exactly how the market along with services provided has grown; and with that the cost of a good website. Years and years ago designing a website could be done using the Notepad program that every Windows operating system has along with some basic .GIF and .JPEG images.
Back then a site could be designed for $1,000 or less because often there was one person doing all the work and the level of complexity paled in comparison to what it takes to craft a good site now. So why do you see offers for a fully developed website for $3,000 or $10,000 and then also see agencies charge $50,000? What is the difference in what you are getting?
Web design is like building a house
The simplest analogy is that building a website is a lot like building a house, and the people that build those houses vary.
Some construction companies do only tract housing which generally repeats the same five or ten floor plans with slightly different options and finishes along with picking which side the garage will be on. Obviously these houses don’t have a high price tag because the builder can use medium to low cost employees and supplies bought in bulk since they are churning out the same thing over and over.
A few companies promise a lot up front but then use very cheap labor without a lot of training or true skill. The hope is that after the walls are up the owner won’t notice the difference and that the “guts” of the house are actually subpar. Six months down the road and you are fixing a short in the electrical system and find that they used the wrong gauge wire throughout the entire house.
Then you have a custom home builder who has a full staff including architects, interior designers and experienced general contractors, electricians, plumbers and the like. They offer standard plans but also custom designs with a wide array of fits and finishes to ensure that you get everything you want and need from the exact type of faucets to the voice enabled lights.
You get what you pay for
So where does some of that variance come in? To be honest in some cases it has to do with who ends up actually building your house for you. One thing about the internet is it offers a degree of subterfuge because someone can promise a lot, but it can be hard to determine if they are delivering what you actually expect.
For example, one of the ways a business can offer to create a fully functional website for $3,000 is that they either are not U.S. based or they contract the work out. While you might have a contact point that is local, that person can be subcontracting design and programming duties to workers or even another firm in Pakistan or India.
Because of the monetary conversion factors and cost of living differences, this can end up being lucrative for the company and its subcontractors, but the client is the one who ends up paying the price.
That is not to say that there aren’t talented designers and programmers in Pakistan or India or other countries around the globe, because there are, but those people understand their worth and do not work for peanuts.
Much like when you hire a skilled electrician or contractor, a professional who has years of experience and a skill set that you don’t, you expect to pay them a reasonable wage for what they are doing. Designing a website is no different in that if you want quality work performed then it is reasonable to expect to pay a reasonable wage to those putting in all the hours it takes to create a branded website that resonates with customers while showcasing a unique value proposition unlike any of your competition. After all, they have the education, experience and ability you want which is worth every penny.
Aspects of web design
It is not just a graphic designer and coder working together, using existing templates to quickly make a site anymore. When you hire a web design company or a full service digital agency you get:
- Brand strategy
- UX/UI strategy
- Comparative analysis
- Direct response strategy
- Information architecture
- Content management solutions
- Custom website design
- Mobile web design
- Mobile application creation and integration
- SEO planning and optimization
- Quality assurance and testing
- Launch strategy
Along with all of that, you get experienced people who have spent years in their respected fields, working with U.S. businesses, which can be rather important as each culture has specific nuances you want to adhere to. The less expensive options on the market often only offer a few services and are very limited when it comes to customization.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that for a website, you truly get what you pay for. When you buy a car you don’t expect a Kia Optima to drive and ride the same as a BMY Series 7 do you? The reason pricing for a web design company’s services are all over the place is that much like other industries you always have someone trying to offer a cheaper product using lesser parts and labor while acting like it is the same as the mid to higher end offering that utilizes creativity, experience and knowledge to craft a branded online presence.
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