One of the first questions from potential clients who are inquiring about a Content Management System, (CMS), website when they call or meet us in person is: How much does a CMS website cost? Although this is a very difficult question to answer, considering that each client has different needs and goals, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.
Investing money into a company website is like investing money on any other asset of the company. With so many web-design companies in the market, pricing can vary drastically. Just as a package for an office computer, a desk and a chair can start on average at 1K, it can quickly cost over 2-3K once a shopper adds a few upgrades such as a desk made of mahogany wood, a computer with more hard disk space, and an ergonomic office chair. Anyone who owns a conventional business cares about his investment and will want to get the most out of his money right from the beginning. Because the average business owner spends at least 3-4 hours a day on their desk, they’ll want to get a desk, a chair, and a computer that provides comfort, quality, longevity, and ease of use.
These same principles apply to most CMS website shoppers. Understanding that they will have to work with their website on a daily basis, as well as picking the right CMS website with the right options the first time is critical. To ensure maximum ROI and enjoyment with minimum maintenance, most shoppers elect to get the website that will make them happiest in the long-run.
Now that you hopefully understand the office package analogy, I will list some of the most common add-ons found in the purchase of a CMS website:
-Number of Revisions on the Custom Design
-Social Media Sharing Options
-Mobile Device Compatible/Viewable
-Newsletter Sign Up
-Customized Contact Form
-A Calendar Widget
-A Blog Page
-Guest Book Sign-up
-RSS Feed Burner
-eCommerce WordPress Shopping Cart
As you see there are many options and when you contact us for a quote, we thoroughly examine each option while trying to educate the customer on each option’s benefits and the impact a particular option will have to the project’s long term success.
When an inquiry is made as to how much a CMS website cost, communicating exactly what your needs are is a key factor for receiving the right price. What I mean here is that different clients have different needs and goals. Consecutively each CMS website will be different and almost never the same as the previously built website. So the more detailed you are about your expectations the more accurate the quote you get will be. That also ensures best value for the money spent and the best ROI. To be upfront with clients who are shopping for a CMS website here is what a CMS website cost and what comes with it. The packages are as follows, with their corresponding price ranges:
1. Basic CMS Website. This package includes a website with latest version of chosen CMS installed, 10 pages, social media sharing options throughout the website, 100% mobile device compatible, one custom website design with one revision, one custom-built contact form, a newsletter sign up form, two hours of CMS training, domain-name registration and installation on your web-server. This package would be perfect for somebody who is just starting up and needs to have a simple website as a point of reference. For such a website the average client spends $1,500-$3,000.
2. Standard CMS Website. This package includes a website with the latest version of chosen CMS installed, 18 pages, social media sharing options throughout the website, 100% mobile device compatible, one custom website design with two revisions, a slide show on the homepage, one custom-built contact form, a newsletter sign-up, two hours of CMS training, three support tickets, domain-name registration and installation on your web-server. The standard package would be right for somebody who wants to get more hands on and use the website to promote what they do, rather than just leave it there unchanged for a period of six months to a year. The price for a standard CMS website ranges from$3,000-$5,000.
3. eCommerce CMS Website. This package includes the latest version of chosen CMS installed, social media sharing options throughout the website, one custom website design with two revisions, 100% mobile device compatible, a slide show on the homepage, one custom built contact form, a newsletter sign-up, two hours of CMS training, three support tickets, odomain-name registration and installation on your web-server, a configured shopping cart with SSL hook up to preferred gateway, up to 20 products with individual pages, product photo-shoot and image edit, custom Facebook landing page, branded Twitter page so that it matches your brand, and custom Adwords landing page. This package would be ideal for a beginning or intermediary business that has a niche product. The price for a CMS eCommerce website with all the elements listed above ranges from $6,000-$14,000.
4. Premium CMS Website. This package consists of everything you need to build a brand and establish a strong brand presence on the web and in print. It includes the latest version of chosen CMS installed, social media sharing options throughout the website, one custom website design with two revisions, 100% mobile device compatible, a slide show on the homepage, one custom built contact form, a newsletter sign-up, two hours of CMS training, three support tickets, domain-name registration and installation on your web-server, a custom logo design, two website designs with two revisions, a custom Facebook landing page, branded Twitter page, and a custom Adwords landing page. The big thing is that this package includes a logo design and a website design. The price for a premium CMS website with all the elements listed above ranges from $8,000-$12,000.
As you can probably see, the price ranges vary quite a bit, just as they should considering everyone has different tastes, wants, and budgets when it comes to building a CMS website. As far as comparing what type of WordPress websites there are out there one should be aware of the difference between a custom-built CMS website and a pre-built template such as Elegant Themes or Theme Forest.
A custom-built CMS website means that the website is Custom designed and built so that it matches your branding, is unique, just for you and it is not like any other website on the internet. That is done by us because our team is experienced with various CMS and we can build and customize a website exactly the way it is designed and approved from you during the initial website design process.
With a pre-built template customization is somehow limited and you don’t have as much flexibility, plus that all templates look the same. For example, if in the future you need to customize your website, given that it uses a pre-built template, it takes way more work to go into the code and edit everything, if you know how to, which means that the client will have to pay more in the long run. In the end, it comes down to individual preferences and the image and buzz you want to built around you and your company.
Last, be skeptical when getting a quote from a web design company directly on the first email correspondence or phone conversation. If they do so, they are quoting just to get the job and not on the value that you’ll be getting in return for the money spent. Look for what questions they ask, how detailed those questions are, success of past projects and how that success is measured. If they throw out a price without asking about specifics and the goals you want to achieve with your website, then, they either don’t know what they’re doing or are quoting to merely undercut competition.
One of the best ways to avoid the above mentioned problem, is to note the exact specifications for the project, how many pages you require, how many forms, what functionality, etc. This step ensures that everyone is quoting for the same work, and only then can you really see who is the best value without compromising on quality.
I know there may be other things that I have missed, so feel free to comment or ask if you have any questions. If you need a quote for a CMS website fill out the form on my contact page and you will receive a response, typically within hours! Hope this gives you a general pricing guideline for how much a CMS website cost and what to look for when talking to somebody about it.