Established in 2010
Orange County, CA

How Much Does Website Development Cost in 2016?

Without a doubt, the most common burning question I receive is, “how much does it cost to build a website?”  While the question is innocent enough, let me pose this question in return: how much does it cost to build a house?

Website development has become a sticky subject of confusion among budding business owners. It’s understandable considering the large variation in website cost – prices begin at $3,000, but can climb to over $25,000!

At THE CLAY MEDIA, we have significant expertise in developing successful business websites. With this guide, we hope to demystify the development process so you can create accurate budgets for your next website build.

What Are the Main Factors that Affect Website Costs?

Website development prices are the summary of man-hours to design, build and implement a website. These hourly rates will vary depending on company overheads. For example, here are some typical hourly rates you can expect from different types of developers:

–    Offshore Web Company : $15-$35
–    US freelance developer : $30-$100
–    US-based Website Agency : $65-$200+

Unfortunately, neither of the first two are wise choices for professional businesses.

The main issue with offshore website development is communication. If you manage to find a reputable company, you will still have to deal with time zone differences and email conversations. It’s difficult to ensure they can fully understand and implement your specific goals. With the future of your business hanging in the balance, it’s simply not worth chancing it!

Choosing a US freelance developer seems to be the next best route. This usually means that there is one person who will handle the project. However, you will be hard pushed to find a single person who can effectively encompass all mentioned aspects.

Planning, building and launching successful business websites requires careful execution of four aspects:

–    Project Management
–    Graphic Design
–    User Experience Design
–    Marketing Strategy

Whilst US web agencies often charge higher rates, your money goes much further. With complete teams of dedicated professionals, they can tackle every aspect of website development more effectively. They often have the greatest experience, helping you define business goals and matching website design to target markets.

Effective websites are built to support your business’ specific requirements or goals. Websites are not merely a matter of size but user functionality. Templates can often be personalized to suit, but a need for customized software raises development costs greatly.

So if you’re looking for developers who take your business as seriously as you do, it’s best to go with a reputable US website agency.

How Much Do Websites Cost to Build in 2016?

THE CLAY MEDIA simplifies website development projects for our clients by using three package categories: Standard, Premium and Premium Plus.

The difference mostly lies in the project size and the scale of work. In almost all cases, the bigger your business is, the bigger the web development project.

Our website development estimations are based on the following facts:

–    Costs are calculated using hourly rates
–    Projects coverage is from planning to launch
–    Websites will be responsive (optimized for mobile/tablet)
–    CMS frameworks will be used, allowing clients to easily edit their sites
–    Text content and product images will be provided by the client
–    Custom built plug-ins and databases are not required
–    E-commerce stores will use PayPal, Shopify or WooCommerce, without 3rd party integrations.

If you have an existing website you want to upgrade, we must first access your existing framework to check for suitability. With recent builds, modifications can often be made to support new goals. It may even be possible to migrate existing structures into new databases. In these cases, the cost of website development can be reduced by up to 50%.

With older websites, it’s likely a full rebuild will be required, especially if it is not already mobile responsive.

Standard – First Website for Small Businesses

This category suits smaller businesses, selling few products or services and in need of their first professional website. These websites will typically have up to five main sections and 10 pages in total.


Small Website Development Cost Breakdown:
Planning$0 – $500
UX (wireframes and mapping)$0 – $1300
Visual/Graphic Design$500– $2,500
Software Programming$2,000 – $3,500
Supporting Content$150– $500
Client Training and Documents$180 – $550
Testing and Launch$500 – $1700
TOTAL$ 3,000-5,000

*or higher, depending on requirements

This is based upon a straightforward approval process without excessive revisions. Further requests may require additional hours and increase final pricing. For more complicated websites or slightly larger e-commerce stores, additional programming may also be taken into account.

Premium – Small Business Website Redesigns

This category suits small businesses who wish to upgrade to a more effective business website. We will construct an enhanced platform that achieves your business goals and keeps you ahead of the competition.

The majority of website redesigns still require significant programming time. Since web standards are subject to frequent changes, most require new frameworks to support the following modern functions:

–    Mobile responsive layouts for tablet and mobile devices
–    Wider pages for large resolutions
–    Compatibility with the latest plugins

Make sure you have clearly defined your business objectives along with any additional functionality you require.


Small Business Website Redesign Cost Breakdown:
Planning$500 – $1100
UX (wireframes and mapping)$0 – $500
Visual/Graphic Design$850– $2,500
Software Programming$3000 – $6500
Supporting Content$150– $500
Client Training and Documents$0 – $550
Testing and Launch$750 – $1100
TOTAL$ 6,000-9,000

*or higher, depending on requirements

Premium Plus – Medium to Large Business Enhanced Websites

This category caters to business and marketing managers of medium-large sized companies. If you’ve been tasked with building a more powerful business platform, it’s essential to consult experienced web agencies.

Typically, medium sized businesses websites will have up to seven main sections and 30 pages total (not for e-commerce stores). Large business websites will exceed this in sections and subsections.


Medium to Large Business Website Upgrade Cost Breakdown:
Planning/UX (wireframes)$550 – $2300
Visual/Graphic Design$1000– $2,300
Software Programming (Medium)$3500 – $4600
Software Programming (Large)$4500 – $9200
Written/Pictorial Content$550 – $1100
Client Training and Documents$0 – $600
Testing and Launch$850 – $2250
TOTAL $ 10,000-15,000

*prices are without major additional functionalities and custom software


For larger companies, with more sections or complex functionalities.

On-going Website Development Costs

With your website designed, built and launched, on-going maintenance will be needed to keep it up and running. Here are the basic components you should allow for:

Hosting and Domain Name: $40-$100+ per year. Price will be dependent on traffic volume, backup or security features.

Plug-ins and Licensing: Plugins may be purchased to add functionalities to your website. Expect to pay $0-$250 for one-off purchases or $15-$1000+ for annual licenses.

Maintenance/Updates: Costs depend on the level of support you require.  It would be wise to allow for at least $1000 yearly.

Stock Images: Royalty free graphics and images will range between $10-$100+ depending on usage. You may need to purchase more over time if you are running a blog.

On-going Marketing/SEO: You should allow $300-$750+ for continued marketing efforts. This will ensure the website continues to gain momentum in search engines.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up the modern website development cost conundrum. If you are still unsure of where your business fits in or have questions regarding pricing, schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

THE CLAY MEDIA caters to clients of all shapes and sizes. You are welcome to join our growing list of thriving business clients!

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