Making sense of the website market

Building a website is like buying a house: most people don’t do it very often, and when they do, they quickly find themselves out of depth in a chaotic market where prices are all over the map and with a risk of making a poor decision.

It’s a stressful situation.

The sheer number of competing options makes it difficult to understand which quotes are reasonable and which are rip-offs. And unless you’ve worked with a web agency within the past few years, the cost of a website may have left you with a bad case of sticker shock. How can you set a meaningful baseline when prices range from “free” to 100K+?

Why is there such a huge price range?

In order to make an informed decision, you need to start with a narrower estimate. The first step is to eliminate the options that clearly won’t fit your needs. We’ve broken the market down into four main options to help you understand what’s going on.

  • “Free:” Any “free” website is worth about as much as a “free” car, except without the value of salvageable parts. You’ve already lost enough time looking at them, so just move along.
  • Small monthly fee: Think of Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc. They’re a fine starting place for amateurs or new businesses who have zero money to invest in doing a website right, but they’re insufficient for the needs of an established business.
  • Freelancers: Most website freelancers will offer an optimistic estimate of 2K for web projects that wind up costing closer to 6K in the real world. They work from prefab templates that come with their own set of restraints and security concerns. And this assumes you’ve found a reliable freelancer to begin with. Overall, it’s a risky option with very little chance of actually meeting your needs.
  • Web design agency: You’ve finally come to the professional-grade website you need, and with a professional price tag to match. A starting range for a custom website with relatively few specialty needs runs between 10–30K, while highly complex sites can easily cost 60–100K.

That’s at least an understandable breakdown, but is there a way to get a professional, functional website without paying the custom cost?

How Clubhouse can get you what you need without blowing your budget

Not to sound cheesy, but: yes! We decided that there ought to be a solution that could provide both quality design and high functionality without having to be built from scratch every time. We built the Clubhouse template with membership organizations in mind so that it could address your specific needs.

And because it’s our template, we can get in there and change whatever we need to be sure it is tailored to fit your organization. You get all the benefits of our agency expertise AND a functional, professional, attractive website at an affordable price.

Published 05/16/16 by Laura Lynch