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How much should a website cost?

Happypath is a website development company in Melbourne. We build great websites for small businesses.

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Webdesign and development is highly skilled and expensive.

One project I was involved in employed an external vendor to redesign and redevelop a website, the budget was around 3 million dollars. This was quite a large website and had a lot of complexities, the project took several years and involved large numbers of highly experienced people from multiple companies.

I recently worked on a relatively small corporate website, we only had a small team of around 6 developers - all contractors and the cost for this alone ran into thousands of dollars a day. This was technically quite a simple website.

So how come we often see websites advertised so cheaply?

$199!, $399!, $499!

Seriously - how much effort do you think you will get for $199?

Pretty much any cheap website is going to be an off the shelf template, using free stock photography and clipart. The effort involved in launching a site like this is minimal and can be done in under an hour. If you are asked to provide your own written content and pictures (likely at this price), these are pasted in, the site is loaded up on some cheap shared webhosting, and we’re good to go.

A generic website slapped up with minimal effort is not going to be focused on your business. These types of templates often contain over the top movements with all the elements flying in from different sides. This is not for your benefit. This is the original template developer trying to showcase their expertise to sell their template. Templates have nice features added but often these are not utilised by your website designer. We end up with oddities such as carousels with only one image, or content duplicated as the template has space for 3 products but you only offer 2. All the code that is used by these features is there in the background but often not being used so is an unnecessary overhead making your site load slower. These could be easily fixed up by your developer but at this price they are not likely to bother, they are relying on you not noticing.

Worse still are adverts for custom designed websites that convert then the website designs offered are the same third party templates. Cheap off the shelf work being sold as custom builds, taking advantage that you will not notice the difference. These are probably going to cost you a little more too. Not a great way to start a business relationship.

Profit margins are still tight here so lets offshore to a country where labour is cheaper. So now we have bucketshops overseas that employ 100s of people to whack out websites by numbers, your contact in Australia is just a reseller.

There are also web designers who use systems like Squarespace or Wix to visually layout your website without writing any code. These may be original designs (often not) but the code is generic. These systems are improving but tend to produce over verbose code and to run slower than a hand coded website. They are also often criticised for poor SEO. Even worse, these website building systems are designed to make it easy for you to build your own website. You could literally be paying someone to do what you could easily do yourself.

Does this represent good value?

Lots of small business are probably quite happy with this kind of website, however the costs can kick in later. Wondering why the site isn’t doing very well on Google you pay for some SEO (maybe from the same people who built your website in the first place). The first thing they should do is a technical, or onsite SEO review. This results in recommendations of things that need fixing, and this costs. You will pay a monthly hosting fee, then perhaps some security maintenance ‘extras’ because your site is built on an unsecure platform that by default requires constant updating.

There is an entire tier of website designers advertising to fix up your wordpress website from your previous web designers work.

Maybe you already have one of these websites? Perhaps you are ready to take the next step and actually get a website that will work for you? One that is designed and built specifically for your business needs.

With happypath you will not need a technical SEO review as our sites are optimised from the very start. We don’t use pre-bought templates or designs so we have 100% control of the code in our sites, and we know what we are doing because we are highly experienced with years of industry experience.

We don’t use Wordpress or similar content management systems. These are often insecure and require considerable maintenance to keep them from being hacked. Basically hours of work just to keep the lights on. We are able to invest our time in fresh development and can provide highly secure websites. Our fully managed service means we don’t have to spend time fixing mistakes made by our clients.

We understand how to create website content to attract visitors, then convert them into customers. Your customers. Something you won’t get with a generic template.

As we provide services for small businesses, we know that often money is in short supply. Especially if you’re just starting up. We want to offer a quality product, and at the same time turn a profit ourselves. We price our services fairly, and by using the subscription model allow you to spread the cost without any overwhelming initial outlay. By providing a great customer service we aim to build an honest and trusted relationship with our clients which means everyone is happy, and we get to build high quality websites for your business.

If you’d like to find out more, book in a free discovery call and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you and your business get a high performance website.

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We've already helped these clients with a fabulous website...

I found this experience so easy and straightforward. I have had a lot of issues in the past with other providers which didn't do what I asked and found follow up and future changes cost more on top of what I had paid. Jared came up with some great ideas to help with the SEO which helps more traffic come to my website. I can't recommend Happy Path highly enough and if you're looking for a web designer who's affordable, listens to the needs of your business, and gets your website up and running in a matter of weeks then Happy Path are the people for you.

5 stars

Would love to give Happy Path 6/5 because Jared always goes above and beyond. His attention to detail is unparalleled. I love how easy it has been to work with Jared to get me a website that is professional, beautiful and functional. It's rare to find someone with so much skill and expertise who can deliver on time, and definitely within budget at the same time as having a sense of humour. I do not hesitate to recommend Jared to all my business associates. He's a genuine good hearted person who takes great pride in delivering a premium service.

5 stars

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A low quality website doesn't help your business or your customers. In fact, it can lose you customers and weaken your brand. Even a nice looking website might not be delivering the best results. You might not even know where you are missing out.

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