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, but recommendations for these services and different types of website hosting options are available.
Business Card Web Pages
These are simple, one-page “sites” with a brief description of a retail store or professional services offered. I don't like single page sites much, and I generally discourage people from taking that route. Single page sites seldom get much search engine traffic; they lack a sufficient quantity of information to be considered a significant resource and there's not much there for other sites to point a link at. I list this option mostly because everbody else does; it also might be a correct fit for certain types of self-employed professionals.
These sites typically include:
Price Range: $200-$300
Redpark SitesThese days, most of my sites are built on my own custom framework. It's database-driven and owner-maintainable. 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:
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 lately. 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 it’s 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
Pricing: there's a huge range here, since Wordpress is reasonably easy for non-techies to use. Sometimes 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 create the framework 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 databses 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 wilhout a custom database.
There are too many variables for projects in this category to have a simple price range. A simple, database-driven gallery site with a shopping cart might be $900 or so; I've already written those scripts. A complicated online magazine with advertising, an event calendar, 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.