Looking for an agency to support the design and build of a new website is a lot like shopping for a new car. When you get a new car, you first consider budget, then safety, style, color, gas mileage, will the kids all fit, and how long you hope it will last.
An agency and a website project’s decision-making process follows a similar path. You’ll consider timeline, agency experience, work examples, price, strategy, and approach. While all the consideration factors are important — the ultimate decision lever is almost always cost.
The car analogy
With cars, anyone can go to Autotrader and buy a used beast for a thousand bucks, and you’ll get what you paid for. Maybe it will last a year. More likely, you’ll end up paying for repairs that will cost more than the car itself. On the flip side, you can stroll into the Lamborghini dealership and drop $350k on your dream car. No repairs, no quirks, no problems. This will be a car that lasts your lifetime.
It’s a pretty similar story for digital agencies that build websites — there’s a massive range of potential costs. Your wife’s cousin can whip something up on Squarespace for a thousand bucks in one week. You won’t like it; it’ll probably break, isn’t responsive, has no valuable SEO, isn’t accessible, and doesn’t show the value of your products or services. Unfortunately, this is the route many people take — and then immediately regret.
Do it right the first time, and you don’t have to pay for it a second time.
Every marketer has bought (or made) a cheap website at least once in their lives. You have to learn the hard way. And, any one of those marketers will tell you, if you have the budget, do it right the first time. Laying a proper foundation means you’ll only have to update your site every 3-4 years, and not rebuild it completely. Buy once, cry once, and save on website development costs.
We have a saying at Major Tom (that we shamelessly lifted from the Navy Seals), “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” This means that the best way to move quickly is to take your time and do the job right. If you do it right the first time, you don’t have to fix it the second time.
At the higher end of website development costs
At the other end of the spectrum, there are the Lamborghini agencies — the ones that will give you a dedicated team of 10 people with a hundred years of collective agency experience. The ones whose website development costs are reflective of this experience ($150k-$500k).
Again, you get what you pay for. These high-end agencies may meet several times with your senior leadership team, your consumers, and your stakeholders. They will (or at least, should) build you a custom, state-of-the-art website — one that is certain to win a plethora of awards and dazzle your customers with a truly memorable lightning-fast pixelated experience. All with the numerous benefits wrapped into the website design cost.
The majority of WordPress website costs
Of course, in reality, the vast majority of people opt for something in the middle of these two costs ($75k-$150k). You shop around a few dealerships, speaking with swanky overdressed car salespeople who shower you with confidence about the fantastic features of the BMW. It’s not a Lambo, but it’s reliable, beautiful, safe, secure, and feels amazing, especially for the first few years.
And, with regular upkeep, your WordPress website maintenance costs are extremely reasonable. Keep optimizing and shining your SEO, fix the odd aspect that becomes broken, and your website can serve you for 3-4 years into your future.