This week we are going to cover the price of websites.

What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!

This is the third edition of this video… This week we're going to take on the number 1 question we get here at Blue Fish.

The number 1 question we are asked is “How much does a website cost?” And our answer is: “it depends.” if you are willing to put in a little sweat equity, companies like Squarespace, Wix, or GoDaddy can help you get a website up and running for about $20 a month. These can be a great option if you just want to have a presence on the internet.

We think the question should be flipped. Instead of asking how much a website. Ask how much website you can get for your budget. How do you determine your budget for a website? We’ve discussed the Small Business Administration statistics in a previous video but I’ll recap:

Businesses under $5 million should be spending 7 to 8% of their total revenue on marketing and advertising. To make those numbers real, a business that does $500,000 would budget $35-40k per year. A $1 million company would budget 70-80k. And a $2 Million company would budget $140-160k.

That is not to say you should spend all of that on your website. You have to measure your requirements, your budget, and the part your site plays in your overall marketing plan to decide what percentage of your advertising budget should be spent on a website.

Once you have your budget, partner with a company that understands the problem you are trying to solve and can work within that budget to get you the functionality you need to grow your business.

I have been told by numerous people that they think that is crazy. But the truth is, if you are trying to build a business, you need to be investing money and time in marketing strategies that generate business. Properly marketing your product or service helps create the necessary awareness to increase leads and accelerate sales. Here at Blue Fish, we think a website is the foundation of a successful marketing and advertising campaign.

If a $20 a month option is not going to fit your needs, then you would want to involve someone with a little bit of web development experience. You can get started for as low as $500 down. These are typically theme based sites where once installed you just have to enter in some content. This makes it a viable solution for some small business owners. It may not have the custom flourishes, but it looks good and communicates your product or services.

The next step up would be to build a semi-custom or completely custom website. This involves a lot of time and specific expertise so expect this to be in the thousands of dollars and not in the hundreds. This typically gets you a website that is customized with your colors, images, and content.

The truth is, depending on your requirements, you can spend millions of dollars on a website. At this scale, you are paying for custom interactions, specific needs for gathering information, user workflows where you have ultimate control over what a user sees and experiences on your site. And testing, lots and lots of user testing to make sure that everything performs as it should. All these requirements mean that the agency has to spend more time developing a solution. But those details may be precisely what your organization needs.

One thing to consider is the primary function of your website. Is your site a small business brochure? Or does is it need to be a full-service website with a support section, member logins, areas for account info, e-commerce with payment processing, or more? Each of those has a cost.

You'll also want to consider integrations with outside systems. Are you integrating a form for email newsletter sign-ups? Or do you have methods for checking when someone abandons their shopping cart and additional functionality for targeting people that are visiting your website? Are their custom integrations, like a realtors website would have with the MLS? Or integrations with strategic business applications like Salesforce? All those integrations take additional time to develop, adding to the cost of your site.

We know our answer of “it depends” is not what most people want to hear; we aim to help you see how a website for a small restaurant would be a different price than a site for a company with lots of requirements and integrations for external services.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!