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Dream Website Designs Can Cause Budget Nightmares

Kevin McNally, CEO and founder of Interactive Palette, contributed this article to BusinessNewsDaily's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

The prospect of a new or upgraded website is exciting — a fresh look or enhancements are certain to draw additional traffic to your business. But that excitement can turn into concern if your dream design is not in harmony with your budget.

The price tier is wide in the realm of website design, with costs as little as $2,500 or as much of $50,000 plus.

To be perfectly honest, $2,500 will buy a very bare bones web site; it's next to impossible to build a professional quality custom site at this price. However, a pre-built template or theme — one where the design is already created — is one satisfactory option. WordPress websites, for example, offer a large selection of pre-built themes that can be customized to give your site its own look.

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The $2,500 to $4,000 tier can produce a fairly limited website as the designer will have to constrain hours spent on customization. The next level — $4,000 to $7,500 — is where most businesses are able to realize a solid, professionally designed small to mid-sized website. At this range, a web designer should have adequate labor hours to create custom professional graphical design that includes a distinctive home page, a Content Management System, drop down menus, online forms, search features and other "bells and whistles" that can distinguish the site from your competition.

Advanced features and complex programming come with the $7,500 to $12,000 price tag. Businesses or organizations with a small internal marketing team and a comprehensive marketing plan might fall into this category.

The $12,000 to $25,000 typically involves multiple languages, requiring hundreds of pages that need to be designed and formatted in addition to a substantial number of advanced features.

At the $25,000 to $50,000 level, your business is likely working with a marketing or public relations firm that in addition to providing web design is also delivering other services.

Ultimately, it comes down to how much you need and the amount you can afford. From there, it's a matter of interviewing web design firms that can deliver on your website requirements within the price range that suits your budget.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.