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How Much Should a Website Cost? (A Simple Formula)

So you have decided it’s time for a new website. You sit down at your computer and start to gather a list of potential agencies that you feel might be suitable to work with. You might even go as far as preparing a Project Brief explaining your requirements for the new website. But you’re not really sure how much everything will cost. The sensible thing to do would be to get costs from a few agencies, but the price from one to another varies hugely and you can’t see the major difference in what the more expensive ones provide.

We’d like to show you a more simple way for you to plan an investment figure for a new website that you are happy with. We’ll give you our simple formula that takes your goals and churns out a figure you should commit. But before we get to that, it is important to get in the right frame of mind when considering how much you should spend on a website.

A website is like buying a new car


Think of the following 2 people in a car dealership:

  1. John walks into the dealership and is greeted by the salesperson. The salesperson asks John what his budget for his new car is. He says he wants the best car possible. The salesperson shows John the price list for their Ferraris. John faints.
  2. Michael enters the dealership and meets the salesperson. Michael says he wants something like the Range Rover in the window and his budget is 30k. The salesperson explains the Range Rover in the window is a lot more than Michael’s budget, however he shows him some models that have most of the features the original vehicle had, but at a price range that matches Michael’s budget. Michael drives out of the dealership in his new Jeep very happy with his purchase, feeling the salesperson really helped him.

The salesperson is not there to always sell you the Ferrari, since not everybody has the need or budget for one. Every good business is there to sell you what you can actually afford. By providing an agency with a budget you are comfortable investing you avoid wasting time on unfeasible ideas and allow the agency to get down to business by creating a quotation that will show you what you get for your money. This gives you realistic expectations of what you will get for your money. So the question is not really how much should a website cost but rather how much are you comfortable spending on a website.

Maybe we aren’t meant to work together


Every agency has a different way of working, different processes, skill levels, design style, attitude, profit margins, size of projects, etc. For this reason it makes sense to eliminate as many unstable agencies as fast as possible. Think of it like a game of Guess Who.

At Hidden Depth we follow the CHAMP sales method. CHAMP stands for CHallenges, Authority, Money and Prioritisation. We understand the importance of getting a budget before we can move forward in a sales process. Providing a budget at the outset of the conversation means if the agency you are speaking to cannot provide what you are looking for, within your budget, then there is no point continuing the conversation and wasting both parties time. On the flip side if you have provided a budget and the agency says they can work with that then you are one step closer working together.

The Formula

Follow these simple steps to create an investment figure.

  • Value = What each new client/sale is worth
  • Number = How many new clients/sales in the next 2 years
  • Total = Value multiplied by Number
  • Your Investment = 10% of Total

So take Joe Soap Limited for example. A new sale is worth €1,000 and they are aiming to get 100 new customers in the next 2 years. This means their target is to earn €100,000 in the next 2 years. The recommended investment on this would be €10,000 (10% of 100,000). For more competitive industries we recommend an investment of 15-20%.

Having a real end goal, like sales, is a universal business metric to track. Don’t worry too much about how many hits your website gets or what your bounce rate is. They are important elements but really for nearly every business sales is the primary goal, and should be given the prominence it deserves.

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