Types of Sites & Pricing
Probably my number one most frequently asked question these days is "how much do you charge to do a site?" The short answer is "it depends". The longer, less flippant, answer follows. I'll try to give you a general idea of the types of sites I create, and the price ranges for them. There are a lot of variables here, and each site is different, so the prices I'll be listing are rather crude approximations. It should also be noted that hosting and domain registration are not included in these estimates.
Business Card Web Pages
These sites typically include:
- One content page
- A few paragraphs of text
- A contact form
- 2-6 photos
- Basic graphic design (header graphic, color scheme, style sheet, etc.)
Price Range: $200-$300
These days, most of my sites are built on my own custom framework. It's database-driven, owner-maintainable, and has a solid set of features easily available. Typically, I'll do the initial set-up and visual design, and the owners or their helpers do the bulk of the data entry and the maintenance.
The Redpark Framework includes:
- A customizable shopping cart
- Scripts to add and edit content pages
- Spam resistant contact form
- Upload scripts to add photos
- Easily activated and de-activated features like photo galleries, events calendar, links page, etc.
- Built-in search engine optimization
- Custom graphic design (header, footer graphics, style sheet, background images, etc.)
- Easily customizable to add automatic slideshows, audio players, embedded videos, etc.
Price range: $300-400 for initial basic set-up and visual design. Special customization may be extra. You can do your own link building and data entry in this framework; extra cost if I do it for you.
I’m generally a hand-coding guy, but I have been using Wordpress some in recent years. Wordpress avoids many of the problems I see with WYSIWYG editors and website-in-a-box development frameworks. It’s generally standards compliant, cross-browser friendly, and pretty well optimized for search engines. It's sometimes the best choice for people who want to update their own site, but know little or no html. It's open source, so it doesn't add extra expense. It has thousands of plugins available for nearly any contingency.
While Wordpress is, at its core, blogging software, it is sorta-kinda adaptable for use on more traditional, static websites, but I don't recommend it for shopping carts. It also is a big spam magnet. But, if you really want a blog, it's great... once we find the right spam reduction plugins for your needs.
Pricing: there's a huge range here, since Wordpress is reasonably easy for non-techies to use. Sometimes I'll just do a quick tutorial to get somebody pointed in the right direction. That might be $50-ish. Other times, I'll help someone with domain registration, Wordpress installation, and getting started. Then, I turn 'em loose. That costs about a hundred bucks. Other times, I'm a bit more involved. I'll find and modify a template with custom graphics, install the plugins, set up the initial pages, and give more in-depth tutorials. That’s in the $200–400 range. Other times, I wind up maintaining a complicated site, which is open-ended.
Custom Database-driven Sites
The possibilities are nearly endless here. Relational databases are powerful tools, capable realizing of a bewildering array of possibilities.
Dynamic sites can be major projects, or they can be medium-sized ones, depending on the particulars of the site, such as whether I'm doing the photography and data entry, if I can modify scripts I've already written rather than starting from scratch, the particular functionality needed for the project, etc.
For larger sites, such as University Press Audiobooks, a custom database is essential. Not only does the site owner have easy maintenance options, but each title in the catalog is cross referenced by narrator, by category, by press, etc. It would be a daunting task to set up such a site without a database; it'd be an endless nightmare to maintain such a site without a custom database which was designed for the particular demands of the job.
There are too many variables for projects in this category to have a simple price range. A fairly simple, custom database-driven site might be $900 or so. A complicated online magazine with advertising and constant updating might be a full-time job for me.
If you have a project which might be a possibility for me, use my contact form and describe your project. After I learn about your project, I can give you an estimate.