I’m sure if you’re shopping around for a web developer or previously have, you have pondered why developers are expensive. Being a developer I will admit, we can be pricey but for the right developer, it will be worth it! I totally understand that it can often time be difficult to find a developer that fits in your price range. But it all comes down to you get what you pay for.

Unfortunately, in web development, there is not a “one size fits all.” Although, you can find some developers who charge a set price for a specific package it is not common. Every developer charges different and they determine their pricing on several factors. Think of it this way, when you are shopping around for a vehicle every dealership you visit is going to have a different price tag. Some of the factors that contribute to price are the type of vehicle, amenities, the location of purchase, color, etc. Shopping around for a Web Developer is along the same lines.

Typically, the cost of hiring a developer can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. Often times, when you ask a developer how much it will cost to build a website for your business you will get a response similar to, “it varies from project to project” This can be quite frustrating for the customer but the reality is, it truly does depend on numerous factors such as pages, e-commerce, time, information load, features, custom design, etc.

Here is some insight on key factors that developers use when determining a price for each project.

1. Amount of pages

Pages refer to the number of clickable pages on your website such as the home, about, and contact pages. The amount of pages needed varies for each project. Developers may charge by the page or give you a number of pages included in a particular package. If you get a certain amount of pages in a package and your project requires more the developer will usually charge you by the page for each extra one. It simply depends on your developer. As previously stated each individual developer determines their pricing differently. 

*Personally, I do not offer packages. The reason for this is because I do not want my clients to feel limited on their site ability. By keeping the option open to my clients about what they want allows me to assist them in the best way possible while keeping the costs most affordable. 

2. Amount of content

Content is basically all of the informative aspects that make up your website such as text copy, images, videos, etc. Some websites keep it simple and others have heavy content. This sort of falls in the previous category of the number of pages. Some developers may just charge you a set price per page regardless of how much content is on the page and others may charge you more. For example, a webpage that has basic information such as a header, 2-3 body paragraphs, a couple of images, and a standard footer would be standard. But if you were looking for a webpage that had all of the above stated, plus forms, integrations, calendars, lots of backlinks, etc. a developer may charge more as it requires more time and effort. Again, this varies from developer to developer. 

*Typically I charge per page rather than by content. But if it is extensive my pricing is subject to change. 

3. Custom Design

Custom design is basically a website customized to exactly how you want it. But there are different levels of customization that can affect the costs of your website. If you are hiring a developer to design your website on a builder platform such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. they may not charge as much because it is a drag and drop platform which significantly cuts down time spent working on the project.

But if your website is built on a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress and requires custom code or theme to accommodate your project needs a developer will charge more based on their time and skills needed to complete your project. This also leads into the final form of custom design which is a completely custom coded website from the ground up. This is the most expensive type of website as it requires an EXTENSIVE amount of time to custom code a website.

*My method of development is by using WordPress. The reason I use WordPress is that most of my clients have wanted the ability to manage their own websites and make minor changes/updates on their own. By building websites on WordPress it gives my clients the option to manage their own sites or hire developers for maintenance. I use premade themes that I FULLY CUSTOMIZE to my client liking and functionality through custom code that overrides the theme defaults. WordPress allows me to meet my client needs while keeping costs affordable. 

4. Time

For developers TIME IS MONEY. All of the factors involved in building a website require time and effort. Some developers charge hourly and others charge a fixed price with allowing for a fixed amount of time allowed for work on the project.

*I do not charge hourly for the initial development as it would cost my clients an outrageous amount of money. After consultation and a better understanding of their project requirements, I decide on an appropriate budget for the intial development. After the website has been completed, I charge hourly for maintenance/updates. This is to assure that you are not overpaying for services that are not used and rather than paying a monthly retainer for a few minor changes or inconsistent changes.

5. E-commerce

If you sell products you will want an e-commerce website. This allows users to visit your site, view your products, and checkout directly through your website. Price varies depending on how much inventory you have, time, content, and the features you want available for your customers. The cost will also vary if you are looking to simply sell products on your current website through a shop page or if you are wanting an entirely different website and design for your shop. There are tons of different features and integrations that you can add to your e-commerce stores that will often times come at an extra cost as well.

*E-commerce is included in my total cost of development if this feature is desired. Premium features/add-ons/plugins for your store will be at an additional cost. 

6. Features/Plugins/ Integrations

There are countless features that you can have on your website to enhance user experience. An example of a feature on your website would be simple forms such as a contact form. On WordPress or the builder sites there are free options for site enhancements but if you are looking for more complex features such as paid memberships on your website that would be considered a premium app, feature, or plugin. Most of these options are an additional cost not based on the developer but simply the platform that is used to build your website. If a developer is building your website from scratch their price would be based on factors previously mentioned. An example of integration would be allowing users to request an uber directly from your website or business location. All of these factors are considered in development budgets.

*My pricing depends on the time and expertise used for particular features. Although, I try my best to provide you the most features for free or the cheapest if you need premium plugins or features for your website that is an additional cost. 

7. Copywriting/ Content Creation

Some developers offer copywriting which is basically content creation. If you are a new business owner and unsure what content to put on your website your developer (who offers this) would come up with the content by doing research on your competitors and the content that they provide. Keep in mind not all developers offer this service. This is usually delegated to an individual who specializes in these services.

*Personally, I do not offer these services. 

8. Graphic Design

Due to the fact that these services require extra software, expertise, and time to deliver quality results graphic design is calculated in web development costs if it is a service that the developer offers. Often times graphic design is not offered by developers and delegated to designers who specialize in this area.

*Personally, I do not offer these services. 

9. Web Hosting

If you do not host your domain name on your own hosting provider your developer may offer to host it on theirs. Depending on the hosting plan chosen by you or your developer it is a reoccurring monthly/yearly cost. Therefore, if your developer is hosting your domain/s on their server they may charge you an additional cost as it is a reoccurring service they are responsible for paying.

*I highly recommend hosting your domains on your own server. This gives you full control over your website and protects you in the future from losing your entire website. Therefore, I do not offer to host on my server. I want to set my clients up for success from the beginning. My clients are required to host their own domains. I will walk you through the entire process if need be. There are lots of hosting providers to choose from and I know this can be intimidating when you do not know what to look for. I personally recommend Bluehost. I have partnered with them to provide my clients with cheaper rates and a free domain name for a year. If you do not already have a web host I highly recommend signing up with Bluehost by clicking here to get my discounted rate.

As you can see, the cost of a website varies on numerous factors. Every project is unique and every Web Developer charges differently based on their experience, services provided, the method of development, time spent, and features implemented on the website. Hopefully, now, you have a better understanding as to why web developers charge the prices that they do. Web development is not an easy task and requires a lot of skills, software, and time. If you want professional and quality results you have to be willing to pay.