How Much is Too Much for a Website?

How much should a good website design cost?

Don’t ask the US Government!

What should you expect to pay for web design and development?

How much is too much to pay for a website? Does paying a lot for a website guarantee quality work? According to the results of, no is clearly the answer.

healthcare-gov-websiteHigh prices usually indicate that you can expect a high quality product. But everyone is buzzing about the skyrocketing costs of the new website. Estimates of the cost of the new healthcare website range from $200 million to well over $500 million. Granted, the website technological infrastructure, interfaces and exchanges are complicated by having to connect to other older .Gov websites. This requirement was probably (we suspect) the ball and chain that’s stifling this project. While there is some disagreement on the final bill, it is clear that costs have soared over the initial $93.7 million cap. So the US Government just paid millions for – and it doesn’t work. How much should your company pay for a website and how do you avoid cost overruns like this?

Breaking down the cost of a website

We think every project is unique, but to help small companies plan a budget, here is an easy to use rule of thumb:

  • For a quality, custom, mobile-friendly website, count on about $600 per page for the first 5 pages, and $300 for each additional page.
  • Content management systems (CMS – allows you to edit the website online), add another $2,000
  • Shopping carts and other special applications and functions will add to this cost, from $1,500-$4,000.

Some web design companies live on requirement creep, so watch your budget.
Try to develop a clear plan from the beginning. The better organized you are, the less you will spend later. For example: adding another navigation button after the layout and design has been approved can be a BIG deal if there is no room for it after the fact. If you think you may want something added later after the launch, ask the web designer/developer about it. If the developer knows these are possibilities, he/she can talk to you about your options that may save you a lot of money down the road.

I can just imagine that originally the White House said they wanted a website that describes your health care options. Then they added the requirement for calculators, and later the Government said they want it to interface with the social security website, plus another 15 outdated websites running on different operating platforms and servers. Cha-ching! I know that in the government that this is sometimes intentional, a way to get other systems updated on someone else’s budget, but I don’t think that was the case this time. Or was it?

At KO Websites, we are always thinking ahead. Have a website design and development need coming in 2014? Have a restricted budget, short a couple hundred million? Give us a call today and lets start planning now.

For the best in Bay Area web design, contact the pros at KO Websites: 510-276-9902.

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