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When it comes to creating a website, you can pretty much go one of two ways. One way is to use a template and add whatever information you want to that talks about your business. The other way is to have a website created for you.

As with everything else, there are costs associated with having a website created. When you find someone that will give you a $200 deal for a website, you can pretty much bet that they have their own template already created and are going to fit you into a paper cutter mode. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and if that’s all you want then go for it. But if you’re looking for something a little bit different, even if it’s not overly fancy, it’s going to cost you a little bit more than that.

There are three major costs in creating a website for most people; for me there’s a fourth one. All costs are basically concerning one thing; time. The time it takes to do that three or four things that I’d mention are what drives up the price of having a website created. Part of this depends on how much the person who wants the website done for them actually helps out. I get to that later on. For now, let’s detail where the costs are going to come from.

1. Design. Unless you spend a lot of time talking to the person who’s going to create your website about specific design plans, no web designer should be charging you for thinking time and how they want to create the website. They will charge you for the coding, and that’s where everything starts. The idea is to give you something that somewhat original without straying too far off the beaten path. Every website has a menu, but the menu isn’t in the same place. Websites might be totally HTML or totally CSS or have a mixture of both. There are thoughts about color as it pertains to background and font. And of course if there are images there’s thoughts about where to put those images. Then comes the tweaking, and that involves the client as much of the person doing the website. But this is always the first step.

2. Content. Content is always the most interesting aspect of every website. As I’ve written often on this blog, content is the most important part of your website because that’s what the search engines will be looking for in trying to place you somewhere for search results. Depending on how much the client helps, this can either go relatively fast or take a while to get done. Just because somebody understands web design does not mean they understand your business. And if they have to do the research on what it is you do without any input from you just so they can write your content, that’s going to take time. You can decide you don’t want a lot of content, but that won’t help you with the search engines and basically you’ll end up with a website that doesn’t give you any benefit.

3. Number of pages. This is probably both the easiest and hardest part of web design. Once you have a template for the main page all your other pages look the same. Therefore, the initial creation of all the pages takes almost no time whatsoever. But the content for each page has to be different, otherwise why have multiple pages. Even if you supply the content, it still takes time to add it all. One website I created for someone had 29 pages, so that was 29 pages worth of content that had to be added. It didn’t take overly long, but it still took some time.

4. SEO. This is the part that most Web designers don’t do, but something I do because it’s part of my business. The basic premise here is to help businesses to have the ability to compete online for customers, and that involves proper search engine optimization on every page, not just the first page. If you have three pages, it’s obviously going to take a lot less time than it will if you have 29 pages, but the importance remains the same.

This last piece by the way is why my rate is a little higher than some web designers, because my intention is to give every website I work on the best opportunity to compete with those who do the same thing that they do. Some designers would charge a lot for pretty, but if you can’t get visitors because your site is not optimized then you spend a lot of money for the wrong reasons.

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