There really isn’t a definite answer or a blueprint for how much a website should cost.

It all depends on what the website and business needs are. There are three main methods to get a website up and running:

  1. You have the ability to use a do-it-yourself builder such as Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, Weebly.
  2. You can hire a freelance developer
  3. You can hire a web development agency.

In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of each option and the associated cost for each option. In the end, you can determine for yourself which route is best suited for your company and website needs.

Option 1: Do it yourself using a website builder tool

Tons of entrepreneurs and business owners around the world are choosing to use DIY site builders. Here are some advantages and disadvantages:

Some of the advantages of a do-it-yourself web building site are the following:

  • Inexpensive, with costs typically ranging from free to $50 per month
  • Fast to launch, often within a few hours
  • Website is hosted for you automatically
  • Safe with security handled by the website provider
  • Attractive, with professional designs included
  • Packed with industry templates, sample verbiage and images
  • Pretty easy to make — one of the wonderful options is the “drag and drop” feature
  • Updating on your own is a breeze and free of charge
  • Enhanced with basic SEO and traffic analytics tools
  • Capable of using your domain name, though perhaps with a bit of extra cost

On the negative side, DIY website builders:

  • Have limited customization options
  • Don’t let you own your website design — so if you switch website providers, you must start over
  • “Free” plans will likely place ads in numerous areas of your site which are only removed if you upgrade your plan to a paid one
  • Possible that some advanced tools for marketing are only available at a certain fee. This includes advanced SEO.
  • Online help, such as emails and messages might be the only support offered as opposed to phone support which would cost extra

Time requirement: High
Skills requirement: Medium
Money requirement: Low

Cost: Ranging from free to $50 per month

Although this is the least costly of all your options, it will cost you TONS of time and frustration!

The average person with little to no experience can spend up to 78 hours perfecting their site due to the steep learning curve and lack of technical know-how. Considering the average business owner makes about $40/hr, that’s over $3100 worth of your own time that you could have spent on growing your business. Let NomNom Sites take care of this for you!

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Option 2: Hire a freelance developer

Another popular option is to hire a freelance developer from online portals such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. You can easily find an experienced freelancer for as low as $15/hour, or even lower if you find somebody working from offshore countries such as India. While the low prices and short turnover time seem attractive, here are some pros and cons of using a freelancer:

Pros of hiring a freelance developer:

  • Low Rates. Most freelancers charge lower rates than agencies, you can generally expect to save 20-30% off the cost of hiring an agency. For starters, by hiring an independent contractor you aren’t paying for the office space and office supply costs of a large company.
  • Highly Skilled in One Specific Area. As freelancers run their own businesses, they usually strive to hone their skills and get solid expertise in one specific area. This is one reason it pays off to hire a freelancer to complete specific tasks, or to finish off projects similar to ones they’ve completed in the past. To display their skills, freelancers usually have a portfolio website as well as feedback from others on sites like Behance or GitHub.

Cons of hiring a freelancer:

  • They Can Disappear. Freelancers usually work on many projects at once, so they can suddenly disappear at any time. You should try your best to make sure they are somewhat available on your schedule in case things need to be discussed. They may be awesome when they are available to message back and forth, but you must be ready with a backup plan in case they simply are not. It’s pretty hard to fully control a freelancer.
  • Confidentiality Issues. While this issue isn’t a typical one, there are still types of businesses and companies where the topic of confidentiality leads to issues when it comes to working with a freelancers. You can always get the freelancer to sign a non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), but the risk will still remain.
  • Organization Skills Can Be Lacking. If for some reason you can’t be at the helm of your project, remember that though freelancers may be great at their job, they aren’t always great at handling their own tasks. This may wind up leading to issues with meeting deadlines.
  • No Further Support and Continuity. Freelance developers have to be quick and agile. They complete one project and it’s on to the next. Unfortunately, this means they typically won’t be around for help with maintenance or future tasks. That means if anything goes haywire with the coding or the site gets buggy, then you’ll have to search for someone else to perform the crucial tasks.
  • Weak Quality Guarantees. You’d assume it makes sense for a freelancer to strive to do excellent work in order to get more work from a client. Regrettably, not all of them go about with this mentality; many are satisfied making it through the interview part, doing the work without the need to communicate at all, hand it over on the exact due date half-done and be done , leaving you to clean up their poor quality. If you find a freelancer through a well-known freelancing site, then you have the opportunity to leave poor feedback and even get a refund. Unfortunately, you’ve already wasted time you will never get back - plus no guarantee you’re going to have better luck the next time around.
  • You may run into issues when it comes to steady communication. A lot of low-cost freelancers live and work in international territories where English is not the native language. You will likely find it difficult to communicate and the possibility of errors in their work increases due to misunderstanding of specifications you’ve provided.
  • Scaling is Difficult. Even when you’ve discovered a great freelance developer that does an amazing job. It happens all the time - people realize they need more work than initially thought. The chances of finding another freelance developer with the same quality level, who also speaks the same language, while located in the same time zone, who’s also available to team up with the other, while also doing what’s best for you? It’s even more difficult when they will need to work as a team to get the job done.

Time requirement: Medium to high
Skills requirement: Low
Money requirement: Low to medium

Cost: For a small to medium size project, hiring a freelancer could cost somewhere between $1000 to $5000

The key takeaway here is that there are many risks to weigh up when hiring a freelancer.

Though the relative price point is attractive, it is very important for you to do your homework on choosing the right candidate for your project. If the freelancer is not up to par, you may end up spending more time to manage the freelancer or to hire a replacement freelancer than to do it yourself or hiring an agency.

If you’d like to mitigate the risk of hiring a sub-par freelancer, consider using NomNom Sites. We are able to provide agency quality service and work, removing all hurdles and worries of using a freelancer, and the good news is, without the hefty agency price tag. Too good to be true? Contact us today and we can explain to you how we do it.

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Option 3: Hire a web development agency

The third option is to hire an agency, essentially a team of experienced developers, designers and project managers to take care of your website needs from A to Z. Here are reasons why you should and shouldn’t take up this option:

Reasons to hire an agency:

  • Transparency. When teaming up with an agency for the development of your website, you have a decent idea about the course of action and the people you’ll be working with. They’ll likely have a physical office you can visit. You can rest assured your emails and phone calls will be answered. Agencies are devoted to keeping the customer satisfied by providing updates on how things are coming along and when specific goals have been accomplished. Freelancers can be transparent as well, but they are more than likely to outsource certain assignments because they don’t have the capability or knowledge to handle it on their own. This means you wind up not knowing who’s putting the work in on your project.
  • Dependability. Considering the fact that a freelancer is a lone individual, you have to take into account that a person can get sick or experience emergency situations or even decide to take time off for, let’s say, a vacation. They can also decide to completely disappear for whatever reason they seem fit. And if any event were to occur to them, your job would easily fall way behind what was originally scheduled. This is where agencies have a clear advantage as they have a team of developers that dedicate themselves to getting the project completed one way or another. If one employee is under the weather or takes vacation time off, there are multiple employees ready to step in and keep things on track.
  • Higher Knowledge and More Abilities. The best web development companies consist of pros who, as a group, have a broad skill set. Agencies go through the process of sorting through a wide range of candidates and bring in those who can offer whatever the group is in need of to make them whole. This means they have versatility and the ability to code in many computer languages, to be certain your website complies with up-to-date SEO standards, populate it with top-notch content, and make it all look appealing to the eye.
  • Readiness. Hiring an agency to complete your tasks means you don’t need to spend precious time going through one application after another and conducting interviews with numerous freelancers that turn out to be far from the proper candidate. When you sign an agreement with an agency, a website developer or squad is likely to get to work within a day or two. This is due to the fact that agencies have accustomed their developers to a process that keeps them ready for any upcoming task.
  • Newest Technology and Industry Trends. A web development agency makes it a priority to stay up-to-date and constantly evolve with the newest industry trends. A freelancer is at risk of having a limited set of skills and regard towards these aspects, which means it’s not as crucial for them to stay updated with the industry’s latest trends. They simply can’t be as efficient with following rising trends that aren’t within their main area of expertise. Meanwhile, an agency will offer top of the line content brought by the newest of technologies.

Time requirement: Low
Skills requirement: Low
Money requirement: Medium

Cost: For a small to medium size project, hiring an agency could cost from $2k and up)

Do you want to get agency quality work at freelancer prices?

NomNom Sites is a subsidiary of the award-winning web development company, dirango>, which has been creating a digital experience for over 18 years.  NomNom Sites was created after witnessing too many unsuspecting clients getting taken advantage of by shelling out thousands of dollars for less than entry level sites. We came up with a process that leverages our years of experience while keeping it affordable for you. Don’t believe it? Contact our representatives today to ask about our packages, starting from just $1,495. You can have your brand online in as little as ONE day.

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The bottom line

If you’re willing to take the time and learn the skills necessary to build a website, then option 1 (DIY) may be something for you. Web developers need to have a solid combo of technical ability which most people will never understand. Just consider that the time you spent trying to learn how to make a website may have been better used on something else. Are you wanting to get into the business of making websites, or do you just want a website for your business?

Option 2 (hiring a freelancer) is going to save you some time and money, but that’s only the case if you find the right person with the right skills and work ethics. It’s important to be certain you find a developer that you can rely on. Make it a priority to look through their resume’ and check out their previous work. You also must make sure to have their up-to-date contact info.

If you want the least amount of hassle and risks, go for Option 3 (hiring an agency). Here at NomNom Sites, we believe hiring an agency doesn’t always translate to thousands and thousands of dollars. NomNom Sites takes advantage of our years of experiences to deliver agency quality work at freelancer prices. So think differently if you thought getting good quality work only means expensive price tags. Contact us today to ask about our affordable packages. Our goal is to help you to save time and money without sacrificing quality.

Remember, the website you are paying for to be built will represent you and your company to the rest of the world – and first impressions are a pretty big deal. You want to be certain you are hiring a top-notch developer in your price range who will go about things in a professional manner, or else you will regret it very fast. Nothing sends people clicking for the Back button faster than a poorly designed and developed website.