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Why Do Website Prices Vary So Much?

Many joke that the WWW does not stand for World Wide Web, but rather Wild Wild West and that is not a bad analogy. There are no industry standards, no laws governing practices or who can call themselves a webmaster or web designer. It is buyer beware to the nth degree and that includes the price of a website which varies greatly.

Because of that lack of standards, there is also a lack of consistency. Not only is consistency lacking in the quality of the product between different developers/designers, but there is no consistency in the pricing either. The same site some boutique firm will charge eight thousand rand for and the site created you could have done better yourself.

So what is the difference, why do website prices vary so much? There are some things that separate providers in the web design space and contribute to the variation in website pricing:

Overhead

If a designer is spending so much time being creative then they have waaayy too much overhead. Creativity takes time, time costs money, and money is passed along to the consumer. Hip and trendy offices don't help you or your company achieve your online goals.

Customer service However, too little overhead is not a good thing either. One complaints about the web design industry is the lack of communication. You want a company that is big enough to take care of you, but not so big as to be "paying for posh" to coin a phrase. Problem is that even within the "balanced" web design firms who don't sacrifice customer service for overhead or vice versa, there is still a huge variance in prices between them.

Process

The process is what makes the real difference. If the process is sound then the customer service and the overhead will follow accordingly.

That is the world of web design. In this industry we have completely free sites like Wix and Weebly (you have to do it all yourself, but they are totally free) and then you have firms that charge over ten thousand dollars, and you have every price point in between being charged for a website. And they are all more or less the same.

To the end user, the people who surf the website and even to the company/people which it represents, a website is a website is a website. That means that the value of the website is literally what you are willing to pay for it and that contradicts what we said in our opening paragraph.

So that begs the question... what should you pay for a website? You have probably gotten quotes from a couple different design firms and done some research into what other business owners have paid for theirs, you have probably even heard some (or possibly quite a few) horror stories and you are more confused now than when you started, right?

The answer for you is "it's up to you and your needs".

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