If you’re in any kind of business where you offer a service, you’re gonna get asked how much your service costs. Some things are fixed cost for a set amount of time, like an hour’s massage. Some things can vary wildly, like the cost of a website.
Is it better design, company overheads, plain greed?
If I tell someone I will build them a bespoke WordPress theme from scratch, that goes some way to explaining why it costs more than a Wix or a Weebly site. But there’s quite a bit more to it than that. Naturally, the first question most people have is:
“I run a X/Y/Z business and I need a new website. How much will it cost?”
I get asked this question A LOT.
Ok, so say I try and be helpful, because the business owner is pushing for a figure. Understandable, there isn’t a bottomless pit of money and we can’t budget for something if we have no idea how much it costs. So I could try give them a ballpark figure on the spot after they tell me a bit about what they want.
Problem is with that, is that it’s just a numerical figure, which doesn’t convey a whole lot. And instantly the question-asker is comparing it to the plethora of set-it-up-yourself-for-free websites and thinking “How the hell can you charge that much?!!”
Service v Product
Actually, I don’t charge a crazy amount for what I do. I offer a service, as well as offering a product.
- The Peridot Small Business Booster Package is me setting up your website and plopping your content in with the advertised theme for £450. Thats the product I offer, and the price reflects my time in setting it up, the work that went into building the theme, and possibly one year of hosting the site.
- The service I offer is website consultancy, design, development and support. This is where the price can vary wildly, because it depends on what you need. Prices start from £1440. We’ll look more at why below.
The awesome massage example
Because I like my holistic-themed examples, I’m gonna go back to massage as an example.
I’ve been to beauty salons in the past (oh, so long ago in the past……)and had a 30 minute massage along with eyebrows, lashes etc. I cant remember the exact figure I paid (It was a loooong time ago remember) but it was a pretty average amount and not a figure anyone would really balk at. The massage was relaxing.
So why would I pay more? What would make me happy and willing to pay considerably more, or even make the price become a non-issue?
Hopefully, the sort of benefits that massage therapists are listing on their own websites:
- I get a service tailored to me – the therapist finds out if I have any health issues/contraindications, and may alter the ‘standard’ course of the massage to either accommodate these or focus on a problem area.
- Everything is taken into consideration – not just the actual massage itself, but the lighting, the decor of the room, the oils used, the music etc.
- I’m treated like a VIP throughout the process – I might be nervous and unsure the first time I go, so at the beginning I’m briefly talked through the process so I know what to expect; I’m given guidance when I feel the most vulnerable (eg. when removing clothes, turning over or getting up and dressed afterwards); and theres a process in place to gently help me ‘come to’ afterwards and not be quickly rushed out for the next appointment.
- I realise I’m in the hands of a professional – I know my back is sore, and I’ve heard massage will help so I book one. The therapist, taking a deeper look and using their knowledge, will likely uncover the true source of the problem (why my back is sore), and recommend a plan of action, which may well involve regular work. Not because they want all my money, but because they know that’s the course of action needed to solve my problem and give me the results i’m looking for. I just know I don’t want a sore back.
I know what to expect, I know I’m being taken care of, and I know the service is tailored to solve MY problems. And I value that.
Why no-one wins with low-cost websites
Hopefully, the massage example is starting to outline why my prices are not at the Wix end of the market. I have done websites for a few hundred quid years back, and let me tell you, nobody wins.
I ended up using pre-built WordPress themes from an online marketplace to keep costs down, and spent more time trying to iron out problems from poorly-coded themes when I just wanted to tweak something slightly. This meant I wasn’t really saving much time at all over building a theme from scratch, and inevitably made my hourly rate work out at peanuts. Not sustainable as a business.
Meanwhile, the low cost only (sort-of-not-quite) covered the actual production of a website. It wouldn’t have much custom functionality, but the customer reckoned they didn’t need any so that’s ok.
So I had no clue what their aims were with the site, and once it was launched with the 30-day period over, there you go – heres your website! I think the majority of people then, other than maybe update a price list or add a blog post or two, leave it to sit there and gather cyber-dust.
Theres certainly a place in the market for the cheaper sites, but the majority you rent and don’t own, and you don’t get any kind of advice, expertise or solutions to your particular needs and problems. You get a website, and it’s up to you to do something with it.
What you’re paying for with wordpress consultancy (as well as the actual website)
- Getting a service tailored to you – The main reason we pay more for coaching over a book guiding us through the same thing is the coaching is tailored to us and our unique situation. We might have a chat and you find out that right now, all you actually need is a lead page. Or you might realise that you need help with writing the content for your new site. I’ll find out whats going on so I can tailor a proposal to your individual business needs.
- Taking everything into consideration – The application process and the first meeting help me to take everything into consideration; what your goals are, where your business is at, your budget, what type of design you’re looking for, whether you need help with additional stuff like content. That way, when I send you over the proposal for your new website, everything’s been thought of before the costs are discussed.
- Treating you like a VIP throughout the process – There is a process I work to, so we both stay on the same page. This allows you to keep aware of what’s going on (as in, I won’t disappear for weeks on end or vanish off the face of the earth like your last developer). You can take a look at my working process here. Just like the massage, there’s also a process in place for after the site launch, so you won’t get ‘launched and dumped’, whether you go down the maintain-it-yourself route or hop on a Care Plan.
- Helping you achieve results with my knowledge – The vast majority of people that come to me just know they want a website. Because they either don’t have one, or it’s outdated and buggy. Most haven’t considered the deeper reasons beyond that, which is what the consultancy aims to uncover. That way, we can work to achieving the results you want. For example, getting more enquiries will take a lot more than just banging up a new website! And your website goals are going to be different then if you wanted to reduce shopping cart abandonment. We find what results you want, and I can tell you what functionality you will or won’t need from your website. If you’re on one of the higher Care Plans, I’ll make suggestions on how you can improve your website too.
The proposal – finding out how much your website will cost
Okay, so I hope by now I’ve got across why a website will cost more than 500 quid (unless you buy my package, which indeed gives you a new website quicker and to budget, but without the benefits listed above).
So after the Discovery Meeting, I will send you a proposal covering what you’re looking for, my proposed solution, the cost involved, and try to answer any questions you have. Theres even integrated chat on the proposals so you can use that to ask a question as soon as you think of it.
I don’t rattle out websites, and I never intend to. I’m more interested in working with a select number of people who are a good fit, so that I can dedicate my time to making their sites awesome (and hopefully, on an ongoing basis – I wanna be your go-to web gal).
If you’re ready to up-level your business, you can fill in a project application here. There are a few questions, but hell they are useful to you whether you work with me or not.
I’m currently taking applications for projects from February to about April/May time – that way sites will be completed before I go on maternity leave in June/July.
I’ll be honest – that leaves room for about 2, maybe 3 full custom website builds.
The Web Support Club and Care Plans will continue to run on, but the next opportunity for larger projects will be likely about a year away (So early 2019).
If you fill in the project application, I’ll contact you to arrange next steps and book in for a Discovery Meeting.