As a very general rule of thumb, estimate that you will spend 1% to 5% of your annual revenue on your website for every year after your first year in business.
That first year (web launch) is more difficult to determine because, depending on requirements, a small or micro-business may be able to offer a very basic informational site as a “minimum viable product” while the back-end gets built out to handle more complex functions.
Terrific low-cost tools exist to help startup founders reduce the overall cost of development: content management tools such as Drupal or WordPress have extensive built-in features.
For development time, use this very rough estimator to price out a project.
Note that domain names, hosting (we recommend GetPantheon.com), and other add-ons like security certificates will add on to the cost; however, this estimator can help you determine your initial web development spend.
$1000 for spinup and installation of the basic “bones” of the site, with WYSIWYG page editing, menus, image uploads, and five content pages.
$500 – $2000, depending on complexity, for each desired design concept.
A pre-built, non-unique template may be used if bootstrapping or on a very tight budget – these are available for free or very low-cost.
Add $450 – $750 for every new type of feature required after that such as: blog, event calendar, members-only access, digital downloads, discussion forum, flippable PDF, webforms, incorporate a mailing list, etc.
Add $950-$1250 for e-commerce, depending on complexity (e.g. items to choose from include product management, product details, categorization, shopping cart, shipping, tracking/reporting, checkout).
Add on $100 for every week of development, for project management. Most new web projects for solopreneurs and emerging founders take between 4-12 weeks to complete.
Training, documentation and walk-throughs may be priced on an hourly basis.
Example Price Estimates (approximate only)
$4600 to $6300: Members-only site with blog, discussion forum, and event calendar, needs to be launched in 8 weeks, with one basic design concept.
$6550 to $8000: E-commerce site with blog, choosing from two separate highly customized design concepts, to be launched in 10 weeks
$3100 to $4000: Brochure-type informational site with templated non-unique design, offering e-commerce of digital downloads (white papers and audio files) as well as event registration.
$1850 to $2950: Informational site with multi-author blog, using templated non-unique design
Seasonal Availability: We periodically offer an affordable “New Voices” package that offers basic functionality for new authors, artists, changemakers, brand ambassadors, and other leaders.
This package is focused on the needs of emerging leaders and has basic tools and a clean layout to allow for an effective use of extremely limited budget.