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Strategy

When Is It Worth Investing In a Website?

by Sean Treacy | Jun 6, 2016 | [[ readEstimate ]] min read

Through the contact form on our website we are connected with folks that have vastly different budget and technology needs. Given that Grafton Studio specializes in custom web design and development, the products we build are not suited to everyone’s needs.

Regardless, we try to at least suggest a solution for each budget and need. Here are the most common solutions we recommend, from lowest to highest price:

Use a website builder such as Squarespace/Wix

If the purpose of your website is to act as a digital business card, displaying only your contact information, some high level information about your background/business, and has little impact on the business itself from a sales or process perspective, using a resource like Squarespace (or similar) will often do the trick in building a one or two page website.

It might cost a couple hundred dollars a year and take some time to build out the website itself, but it is relatively straightforward and you should be able to build it alone (or with the help of family/friends).

Use a Wordpress theme and manipulate it to your liking

This option is effectively taking a site someone else has built and tweaking it to your liking. This was the most popular economic option prior to the rise of Squarespace and Wix, but is still favored by folks who want their website to stand out a little more from the competition with cool interactions and animations.

The drawback of Wordpress is that you could build a website with the same theme as a competitor unbeknownst to you (until after it is launched). Also, themes can be difficult to scale and some web knowledge is required to edit the theme or tweak the design, etc. However, there are plenty of folks out there who are willing to help with this process, often for less than $5,000.

Use a designer and develop offshore or in-house

For an organization that has a pretty clear vision of the desired layout and design of their new website (which contains little to no complex functionality) and has a smaller budget ($5,000-$10,000), this might be the option for you.

Finding a freelance web designer to work closely with and exporting the development function to a cheaper offshore team is a middle-ground option we see some people choose.

Just be careful who you select! We recommend going with the referral of someone you trust, so there is a record of completed work.

Fully custom design and development

This is the most expensive option, and pricing can vary drastically depending on whether you choose to work with freelancers, a small studio, or an agency. As with anything else, you get what you pay for: prices start at about $15,000 and the sky's the limit. Clients typically select this option if they need to build a product that is an integral part of their business process or sales, or if they feel the need to really stand out from their competition online.

Your website is in the hands of those who build websites every day, and as a result you end up with a highly functional, user-friendly design that you have had a direct influence in shaping to meet your needs. Also, as the codebase has been custom-built, modifying and scaling your website going forward shouldn't be a massive challenge.

Have more questions? Get in touch!