How Much Does a Website Cost?

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This is a very good question, and a difficult one to answer. Over the years we have struggled to answer this question time and again - but then, one day, we became web development superheroes and the answer was simple.

We recently discovered an interesting article by Andrew Shini on the subject. In the article the author likens the cost of a website to the cost of a car. As with cars there are many different factors that play a role in determining the overall cost of a website. I would like to expand on this idea and provide, if I can, and a little more understanding (while maintaining the simplicity of the original analogy).

In fact, as I write this, I think that we can use the symmetry between buying a car and developing a website as a common thread as we try to explain various other internet-related concepts. So, if websites are like cars and since SideClick design and develop websites — what brand best defines us?

But are they really the same?

At this point you may find yourself pointing out a glaring disconnect between the two; cars wear and breakdown - they need maintenance (more and more as they get older). Well actually the same is true for websites, in a kinda backwards way. Let me explain. We've all heard how rapidly technology is progressing. The internet is evolving on a daily basis! The entire internet industry is only twenty or so years old. So as the internet and related technologies evolve, clever people - like your sidelick superheroes are pushing boundaries and finding innovative ways to do amazing things. As these boundaries expand, websites that do not keep up get left behind. Eventually the common technologies upon which these websites were built become old-hat, out-dated and out of favour. What's worse is that new security flaws become exposed and there is little interest in fixing them.

So perhaps maintenance is a misnomer... we should refer to it as upkeep — that grudge purchase that we are aware of, have budgetted for but resent.

Sports model, off-road or plain workhorse

Just like cars, websites and web applications are very diverse. There are brochure and informational sites, blogs, secure systems and a myriad of other types. All are interwoven to create the wonder that is the internet. Each site is a response to a requirement, someone somewhere had a problem that was solved by the site. It is critical to ensure that the problem is clearly understood before attempting to solve it. The build-as-we-fly method may work but the project will be done when it's done. There are special cases when it's unavoidable — but it's only for those with deep pockets and patience.

You wouldn't walk into a dealer and buy a sportscar for driving offroad and you wouldn't buy a 4X4 for street racing — the same applies for web development. You may have a very generic requirement that can be solved by a baseline model with a few tweaks or you may have the next big idea — and idea that is so unique that it may need a unique solution. This is where the SideClick superheroes really shine.

Standard features, optional extras, custom

At SideClick we know that every person's requirements are unique. If a simple Wordpress installation will meet your needs and pocket then that's what we'll propose. Sometimes though, when your requirements don't fit the mould then the solution shouldn't fit the mould either. Your website or web application may need roofracks, a snorkel or maybe some 18" chrome bling?

Back to my question... how much does a website cost? Well, about as much as a car. Cool you say, what colour options do I have? how much power does it have? does it have mags or plain steel rims? Power steering? Two seats or four? How about a sunroof? Well, that's entirely up to you.

Any indications of pricing or cost?

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