Website Pricing B.S.

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Blog

Another in our “Fact Check” series fighting web development disinformation…

This week’s “villain” is Victor Thomas of, for writing “Website Pricing Guide” – a disinformation article apparently intended to fool you into thinking you have to pay thousands of dollars to get a good website for your small business.  I couldn’t find Victor’s name anywhere on his website, I had to check “WhoIs” to get it.  So much for the ‘personal touch’!

Now, to be fair, Victor makes slick WordPress websites utilizing large professional photos and video – he knows web design.  And he adds some extra web security elements too – most web designers don’t.   It’s his article on how much you should expect to pay for a good website that I’m objecting to.

To sum up Victor’s “Website Pricing Guide” article, you have to pay at least $2,500 and preferably much more to get a decent website for your small business.  Let’s see if he’s right, or if he’s full of it…

Calculating Website Cost

Now, I build WordPress websites too, and they generally take me three days to build the average ten page website – that includes having to answer the phone and reply to emails, from time to time.

Say I want to earn $1200 – $1500/week.  I need to charge at least $500 per website.  I also earn money on hosting fees, regular SEO and marketing work and web security, so those fill the gap.

If I charged $2500 per website and if it took an entire three days for each website, I’d earn $5,000 a week, plus my other services.  Not bad!  Problem is, I don’t know of any web developers making anywhere near that kind of money.  (But we wish!)

Websites Cost More Because…???

Why would anyone pay Mr. Thomas $2,500+ for a $500 website?  Experience?  Know-how? Or just BS?

Seriously, how can Mr. Thomas justify charging people 5 times more what most of us charge?

Sure, if you want a nice, big eCommerce website done properly, we’re talking $800 or more.  If you want a special application written, say a custom plugin – you might pay several hundred to a thousand for that.  If you want a custom cloud application that you can totally run your business on, now we’re talking $2,500 to $10,000 or perhaps even more.

But a website?  No way!  If anyone tells you the average small business website should cost more than $1000 or $1500 for a big online store – , talk to me before you part with your hard-earned money!  My prices are about half those and my experience and training is equal to or greater than most.

As for those beautiful websites?  Any good web developer can download an entire website – javascript, css, html, content – everything.  Just change out the images and text and upload to a new domain name and you have a carbon copy of the original website.  Why would a client pay thousands of dollars for a design that can be readily copied?  Besides, if you think about it – the most aesthetic elements are the images.  The photographer should get paid great money, not so much the web designer.

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