There’s an old adage that goes something like “nothing in life is free,”… but being realistic, it should be “nothing good in life is free” instead. Are there tons of free WordPress themes out there? Yes. Are they usable for most businesses? No.
Free WordPress themes are great for casual bloggers and website hosters, but marketers and site owners should know better than to go with something so duplicated and basic. A website should accomplish two key functions:
- Represent the business and brand as an industry expert.
- Maintain or increase search position and generate more quality leads.
In short, a website design should be unique and speak to one business and one business alone, while free WordPress themes and website designs for other off-platform sites are the antithesis of this reasoning.
Thus, the truth is that websites cost money. The question is this: how much?
First-time small business owners often like to set their website budget really low. They see free-to-host sites like WordPress where the paid-for features are reasonable and free web accessories are overflowing, then assume that that’s a wise investment. In reality? It’s not.
Any credible business has to have some sort of real money invested in their site design and website, from the layout itself to the content put onto it. Do you think the big wig businesses threw their sites together for a few hundred dollars?
At the same time, it’s also important not to be scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars because you think that’s what a website should cost. New online marketers or small business owners can sometimes fall victim to scam web developers who prey on their ignorance. Before you ever set out to look for a web developer, consider these key costs that factor into your site’s budget total (some are covered by sites like WordPress, but others may be extra):
One Time Costs:
- Strategic planning and project management
- Responsive web design
- Content creation and editing
- Website hosting and configuration
- Website development
- On-page SEO
- Analytics and analysis
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Domain and hosting fees
- Website support and maintenance
The most expensive areas tend to be responsive web design, website development, and content creation.
The Real Cost
At Exceedion, an Indianapolis web design company, our website fees usually range from $5,000 for small basic 5-10 page websites, to $30,000+ for higher end designs and special functionality. This is competitive pricing and reasonable for the market and the quality of the product received.
Some may click away at these numbers, but it’s important to put website return on investment into perspective: most of these costs will only be required once. It’s not thousands of dollars a month — it’s a one time investment with a smaller amount that’s paid out less frequently for recurring services, like analytics, social media, and content marketing.
Still, a website shouldn’t be something that breaks the bank. The marketing advantages of improved search position and increased quality leads should provide a high return on investment. Consult with us about website prices, and remember: your website and marketing are worth investing in.