By Natalie Henley
For some business owners, a website is bit like owning an older car. It’s given you a pretty good run for your money and it does what you need it to do. Sure, the mileage isn’t great, but is upgrading really a top priority?
As you’re looking at your marketing strategy for the coming quarters and deciding whether it’s time to design a new website, or if you can get another year or two out of your existing one, here’s a design formula to help you make your decision.
For many businesses, it’s strongly recommend to consider having a website built on an open source content management system (CMS), such as Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla!, Dot Net Nuke, etc. These sites work well, are easy to scale and typically cost less. The average cost of this type of design is around $5,000 to $15,000. You can use $10,000 as an “anticipated cost” of a website design project.
A word of caution, though. Many companies “know a guy” who does website design out of his basement, or have a cousin in college taking Web design classes who’s willing to design a website for a steal. Many of these projects go south quickly, so follow this golden rule—you get what you pay for.
Formula No. 1: Got Content Management?
Is it easy to login and make changes and add pages to your website? If the answer is no, analyze the last years’ Web changes. Most companies that want to actively gain search engine ranking should be making updates to their websites at least two to four times a month. Assume three website changes happen in one month, taking one hour per change, and the typical website developer hourly cost is around $125. Here’s a breakdown of the cost:
- Three hours a month = $375
- One year of Web edits = $4,500
- Three years of Web edits = $13,500
Looking at the numbers, it’s possible that not having your website on a CMS can cost you up to $13,500 over a three-year period.