In Melbourne, website development and interactive agencies like Straightpath Solutions have to be prepared to answer to any number of business or technical questions. Questions related to website development melbourne costs are definitely the most common. Ironically, those are the most difficult to answer.
So, I thought I’d try to share some perspective on cost determinants, kind of like what we discuss directly with potential clients. The below items are important to address that I will dive into more deeply as we go on.
Functionality – What is the main reason or reasons for building a new website? A new website project should always focus around the business goals it aims to achieve. Having a goal-oriented purpose for the website paves the way for the entire project, especially:
- How the site is to be developed – Does website development melbourne begin with consideration toward a specific Content Management System (CMS)? In that case, which CMS? In other cases it may not start with specific tools but rather, specific functions like site architecture, user experience design or any other number of tasks.
- What will be included in the project – Anyone hiring a website developer should define their scope, at least from a business level, so that a developer can understand what the website owner finds to be biggest functional priorities.
Who will do the development – There are a LOT of website development melbourne resources out there. A website owner has to intelligently choose a “genre” of web developer that they feel the most comfortable with. Web developers typically fall into three categories: freelancers, boutique agencies and full service agencies.
For cost evaluation, it is best to know what platform or specific tools are being considered or are required. For example, a Java website solution using CMS/Document Management solutions like OpenText, Autonomy, or Alfresco may not be plausible with a budget of only $50,000, so it is good to find out expectations as soon as possible. Platforms range from free to $100k’s. As with most things, it just depends on what is needed to accomplish solution goals.
- Another example: If specific needs dictate a plaform, these needs may add or take away from overall costs. The ability to be flexible when making platform decisions may allow for cost cutting…the more rigid the requirements, the less flexibility.
How to Select a Website Developer
The key to selecting a website developer? Well, that is the problem. There are no guarantees, but this would be my suggestion; a website owner should pay close attention to the questions posed by the prospective website developer. They should be digging deep to understand solution goals and not just selling themselves into the developer role. The web developer’s answers to client questions are important, but more important are the probing questions the developer must ask to appropriately analyze the scenario and devise a solid, scalable end solution. Those questions will be very indicative of the developer’s understanding to the client needs.
What you can expect at various price points.
No website developer can price a project without scoping the effort to be completed. The problem is that some clients don’t know what they need and don’t know how to communicate their expectations. For that reason, I thought I’d share a few cost ranges and try to offer some basic ideas of what might be included or part of solutions containable through these budget ranges.
Important: There is nothing industry absolute about the numbers provided. The goal is to offer a loose barometer on costs of web development. Only general assumptions should be considered takeaways, and the way Straightpath Solutions prices its web development services may be very different from the way others price themselves. Further, some projects require significantly more [or less] process and project management, developer talent, and business consulting, and these factors may end up as big pricing determinants in a real proposal.
$500 – $8,000
Platform: A free or open source [likely free] CMS (Content Management System).
User Experience and Design: Turnkey website with pre-determined user experience and a pre-built design template.
Features: Basic website editing.
Bottom Line: If you need a basic website with no bells or whistles and you can live with the built-in user-experience and functionality, this may be a good option.
This is the lowest project cost range and this work is almost always performed by single or offshore developers. Straightpath Solutions rarely takes on project work at these levels.
$10,000 – $20,000
Platform: A free or open source CMS.
User Experience and Design: Basic UX User Experience and a simple custom design.
Features: Basic web editing; granular roles and permissions for users; form building; navigation, SEO and friendly URL capabilities.
Customization: Minor customizations can be expected.
The Bottom Line: This is great for a small budget and you can get a really slick website with a decent amount of functionality to achieve basic business goals, such as generating leads.
In the right circumstances, Straightpath Solutions will take on this kind of project, especially if there is an opportunity to provide SEO and marketing services once the website is completed.
$25,000 – $75,000
Platform: Many options including light or medium level commercial CMS solutions. Open sources may still be the best option but decisions can be made based on needs.
User Experience and Design: Advanced UX User Experience with custom wireframe development, site architecture and creative design.
Features: All of above + mobile capabilities; customized administrative controls; advanced form building; document management capabilities; multilingual capabilities; easy content publishing; even allowing for the relating of dynamic content.
Customization: High level of customization to meet client’s exacting needs.
The Bottom Line: If you have more advanced business goals and need a much higher level of customization, this will most likely be your price range.
This type of project is representative of a great deal of Straightpath Solutions’s custom development work.
$90,000 – $250,000
Platform: Free/Open source tools can often be implemented for these solutions but some clients will want to invest in commercial grade products, most often to be assured of solid support from the corporation behind the CMS. Medium-level CMS solutions are common once the ‘six figure’ budget barrier is passed.
User Experience and Design: Full UX user experience design with custom wireframe development, site architecture and creative design.
Features: All of above + custom system integration (such as ERP or CRM data sharing); mobile website development melbourne or app development; advanced multilingual deployment; user-generated content capabilities, configuration of workflow engines, etc.
Customization: High level of customization including custom integration to other systems.
The Bottom Line: If you need to tie your website into a database or ERP system, or some other 3rd party tools, this is most likely your budget range.
Many of Straightpath Solutions’s most successful client projects were taken on within this range.
$300,000 – $1,250,000
Platform: Enterprise level CMS.
User Experience and Design: Extreme UX User Experience with exacting wireframe development, site architecture and creative design.
Features: All of above + robust CMS; complex data integration; dedicated developers; full custom mobile application; social community creation.
Customization: High level of customization.
The Bottom Line: This price range is for a large organization with several stakeholders in the website, and a website that requires the features listed above.
Straightpath Solutions regularly entertains projects at this budget level, so we welcome such opportunities. In some cases, Straightpath Solutions may work with select technology partners to successfully deliver…this is common with such sizable budgets.
Platform: Enterprise level CMS.
User Experience and Design: Exacting, tested user experience design and top of the line creative.
Features: Completely per client specification.
Customization: Completely per client specification.
The Bottom Line: This price range is for enterprise-level companies that need an online application, and the website may just be part of the overall end product. This kind of project must likely be justified by the clients’ business analysts and may require consultants of different types to fully grasp all components leading to the end goals.
This range is one relegated almost always to the full service agencies (especially the interactive agencies owned by the Big Four Ad agencies. Straightpath Solutions can discuss and consult on these projects and is happy to help as much as possible while partnering with one of these teams.
The above numbers were conceived based on 10 years of production work at Straightpath Solutions, but, we realize much more needs consideration for each budget level. While full scoping exercises must be put in place for any web development project, hopefully this blog’s readers can gain some information from the above web development cost ranges and functional descriptions. We welcome feedback in the comments section below.
For those who need help evaluating cost options for an upcoming website development melbourne project, feel free to contact us.