If you’re asking the cost of a business website in Kansas City for 2021, most likely blanket answers like “$10,000 to $150,000” aren’t helpful to you. That’s a pretty frickin’ big difference. But it’s also totally true, because the cost of a website can vary significantly. The types of pages, industry, design elements, photo, video, on and on and on it goes—they all factor in. At Lifted Logic, we do completely customized web design, so there’s a lot to consider.
Let’s talk about what sort of things influence the cost of a business website in Kansas City.
Is a website an expense or an investment?
Not everyone gets as excited as we do about websites, and that’s fine. But if you think about it, investing in a website is actually a pretty exciting thing for your business. It can seem expensive to start talking about spending thousands of dollars on a website, but a good website should earn you a lot more than you spend on it.
A great business website is not an expense, it’s an investment. Think of it like a salesperson that’s working 24/7, 365 days a year. Even better, you can track exactly how much revenue your website generates. If it’s not making you money, it wasn’t done right.
Budgeting for a custom business website
Before we talk about what to consider when budgeting for a website, it’s important to quickly note the way we do business. Lifted Logic is a “reverse bid” agency—meaning we take your budget and fill in the recommended deliverables to fit that budget. It’s fairly common among custom build projects like home builders, architects, or artists to do business this way.
You might hear us compare a website to a house. You can go to the builder and ask them how much it would cost to build a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,000 square foot house. They’ll tell you a house like that could cost anywhere from $80,000 to $1 million. Again, that’s a pretty frickin’ big difference.
With a house it’s easy to understand how those costs could vary so much. Throwing up some framing and drywall and putting a roof on it could be considered a “house build” to some. In fact, that might be about all you get at the low end of the budget. But when you ask for a house to be built, you’re expecting a finished house.
It needs to have finished walls, paint, toilets, windows, a kitchen, et cetera. The materials used in the house make up the largest portion of that cost difference, though. You can have laminate counters or granite counters. You can opt for carpet or custom high-end wood floors. It can come with a standard HVAC system or a boiler with radiant floor heating. It’s still a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,000 square foot house, but as the options pile up, so do the costs.
The options and finishes are why it’s easier for us to start with your budget and needs, and fill in which services will work from there. We quote everything up front and work with you to decide what’s going to deliver the highest ROI. And if you already have a website, we can help determine if it’s more expensive to build new or start from what you have. (You know, sort of like buying a house at auction and fixing it up instead of building from the ground up).
Your revenue should influence your website spending
This one is pretty self explanatory. How big is your company and how much are you actually doing in revenue each year? If you’re a realtor with a $150,000 annual revenue it wouldn’t be possible to budget $50,000 or $100,000 for a website. It wouldn’t make sense for your business.
The amount you should budget for your website should be a decent-sized investment. And no, we’re not saying this only because we’re biased. You want to make sure you’re getting a good return on investment with your website so you want it to perform well and look appealing to potential customers. But you also want to spend enough to truly showcase the work you do, the products you provide, and your capacity to serve your customer (who will likely be a user on your website before they become one).
Consider how you get your leads
If you’re a huge business that mostly does government contracts or mostly win projects through bids, you may not see your website being as important as for someone doing business with individual consumers or other businesses. You may assume you probably don’t need to spend as much, because your website likely won’t need the same level of functionality and salesmanship. The fact of the matter is, the folks who award government contracts are still going to check out the websites of companies who put in bids.
For the majority of businesses out there, however, websites have become increasingly more important. Social media presence is great, but it doesn’t generate leads and revenue the way a strong website performing well on search does. (Plus, if social media disappeared tomorrow, you don’t want your only marketing channel to poof into thin air.)
If it sounds like a lot, don’t worry. When you partner with a legitimate web designer for a new website, they will take the time to dig in and make sure they have a thorough understanding of your business and determine what type of a website will give you the best ROI. If they don’t, that should be your sign to get out of there while you can (here are some more questions to ask your web designer).
What does your website need to accomplish?
While the lead generation aspect of most websites is first priority, you probably want your website to do more. When you’re investing in an agency to build your website, they should sit with you until they understand what success is for your business. Some need to improve their online reputation because of (ahem, poor) decisions made by past employees. Others may want to illustrate a new focus on sustainability.
There are no shortage of reasons to have a website—we as your web agency just need to understand the expectation so we can provide the best options for your business.
Whatever purpose your website is serving, it can serve it best by looking awesome. Think about visiting a museum. You’re looking at the paintings and you’re not really going to notice the frame it’s in unless the frame is shitty. An ugly frame distracts from and devalues the painting. On the other side of the coin, a shitty picture is going to look bad no matter how beautiful the frame is.
In website terms, the frame is the site structure and the painting is what’s on the site. Sometimes a client will come to us with an amazing set of photos and videos on an ugly, nonfunctional website. That’s a gorgeous painting in a nasty frame. And a slick website with cool transitions isn’t going to show up anywhere or impress anyone if it has poorly written content or low quality assets.
Most often at Lifted Logic we’re creating the painting AND the frame, which is something else to factor in when you’re talking about what to spend on a website. We think in terms of the total package: design, development, photography, video, composition, and content.
Put the ‘fun’ in functional
Finally, there’s also the technical component: the three-dimensional interactive pieces of the website. When you hover over an item, does it move, flip, or desaturate? We’re designing a painting, a frame, and now a statue all combined. Phew!
A big challenge that web shops face every day is that it’s hard to build a statue that gives you the same impact when standing on any side of it. Oh, and did we mention it also needs to be built with mobile in mind? What you see when you pull your website up on your phone should have the same impact as what you see when you pull it up on a desktop. How to give that same experience is an important part of the function of your website that we have to consider.
Okay but… how much does a business website created by Lifted Logic cost?
Yeah yeah, we get it. You asked a direct question and you want a direct answer. Hopefully we at least explained why it’s hard to give an answer to how much a business website should cost. We can’t speak to other agencies, but… This is our rough estimate of what sort of things you can expect with your budget ranges:
- $10,000 – $20,000: The “fast track” range, which skips the content and design phases and goes right into developing the website. You get a custom website, but not much in the way of custom assets like photos and videos and there will be some limits to the type of components that can be built into the site.
- $20,000 – $50,000: With this budget, we can incorporate more custom assets. This can include more photos, b-roll video, or components.
- $50,000 – $150,000: Websites with this type of budget get the added benefit of copywriting packages, multiple videos to use throughout your website and social media (and however else you want to use them), intense integration of components into the website. For example, at the upper end of this spectrum you could get an e-commerce setup with membership subscriptions or custom integrations with CRM and multi-touch marketing.
- $150,000+: NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE! Spending this kind of money on a website leads to some really amazing outcomes. It might seem like a lot of money, but like all investments in your business, it’s more about margins and returns than cost. If you spend $150K on a website and the ROI is $500,000, it’s not exactly an ‘expense’ you mind paying.
In addition to the upfront costs of getting a website, there are ongoing costs of owning a website. Like everything else, those ongoing costs will vary depending on factors like who is hosting the website, whether it’s through an agency or a website builder, and more.
Some projects have 4 videos because they don’t have any crazy design/dev needs. Others need stock photos because we are building out multiple integrations into an e-commerce store. It goes back to working backwards from your budget to define which deliverables will work best to create a finished product that gets your business leads.
Can’t I just use Weebly or SquareSpace?
Like… sure? Look, we’re not snobs. If you want a personal website for fun or your business makes less than $50k a year in gross revenue, a website builder like Weebly or Wix is totally fine. It’s a great way to learn about the backend of websites and dip your toes in, so to speak. But it’s not a custom website, and it’s not going to generate leads the way a custom website can.
WordPress.com is another “budget” option for websites, but you may need to have a little technical confidence to use it. It’s more customizable than a website builder option. Either way when you factor in security measures, hosting, plugins, themes, the need for professional help when you hit a roadblock, and most importantly your own valuable time, trying to do it yourself can add up quickly. If you’re spending time on your website, it means less time is spent working on your actual business and making sales.
Trusting your website design to an agency takes all the technical hassle out of your hands. You can trust that your website will be functional and designed to get you ranked without having to put your free time into learning design, SEO, SEM, HTML, photography, video, and everything else that goes into a great website.
Get kickass web design in Kansas City
We’re a small digital agency in Kansas City that focuses on quality rather than quantity. We bring all of the stuff we just talked about in-house, which means you’ll have access to expert copywriters, web designers, photographers & videographers, and web developers at any time.
Meet with us for a free, no pressure consultation where we can discuss your business goals and how we can help you meet them. Not to brag, but we really do the best custom web design and development in Kansas City.
We’ve worked with companies both large and small to develop unique, fully customized websites that tell their unique story. To get started, just reach out or use our free cost calculator tool today.