It’s our opinion that every business needs a website.
Back when the internet first began, many large companies didn’t have a web page, but very quickly, corporations and small businesses alike saw the value in building this customer resource. At first, it was a way of sharing information. Eventually, it became a method of selling products.
Now, your business isn’t really considered legit if you don’t have a fairly substantial online presence.
But more importantly, a well-built website is critical in helping you get discovered and stay ahead of your competition. A well-built website needs to help you meet your business goals, and those goals are different for everyone.
When you’re considering the cost of website design in Toronto or anywhere else, you absolutely need to know what the purpose and goal of your website is. This will help determine how much your website build will cost.
Goals for Your Website
A website is a tool that can be used to help you meet your own business goals. Here are common uses for websites:
- Help people to find your physical location
- Help people to contact you or find contact info
- Share important information with your customers (such as sale info, store hours, etc)
- Help local customers find your store
- Sell products
- Sell services
- Gather information and data about your customers
- Help customers to learn about your company and the work you do
- House downloadable files and form customers need
There are countless uses for websites and many ways they can support your business and ultimately, help you make money.
But you MUST decide your own personal goals in order to figure out how much your website build will cost.
What Goes Into a Well-Built Website?
As stated above, a well-built site is one that works for your business goals. Some considerations might be:
- What pages you have on your site
- Who will write the copy that will be on your site
- If you need to consider an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy for your website
- If you need to build a store (product photography, product descriptions, shipping options, cart functions, emails, etc)
- If you need to house documents your customers can access
- If you want or need to have a blog
This is a small list of the many considerations you might need to think about when building your site. And, depending on the services you need, the price will fluctuate. Here’s how your website goals might affect your website cost.
How Website Services Affect Cost
If you would like to attempt to build your own site, you can use a template. A template site is one where the basic layout is in place for you, and you’re simply dropping your information onto the template.
Pros and Cons of Template Websites:
Pro: A template website may save you time and money.
Pro: A template site may allow you to do much of the design yourself.
Con: You may be limited down the road if you plan to grow your business or if you need to add new functions.
Con: Template sites need frequent updates and maintenance.
Con: You may be limited by the number of views your site can have. It may also slow down easily.
Cost of Template Sites:
You can typically expect to spend at least $100 just purchasing the template, but some more templates may cost as much as $4000 or higher.
The cost of your domain, security, and hosting will generally be $200-$400 each year, and you may need to pay minimally for some plug in features, especially if you have a store on your site.
You’ll also spend many hours building your site. You’ll be learning how your template works and likely watching YouTube videos to help you navigate the building tools. So account for at least 40-80 hours of build time to put together a simple site on your own, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Custom designed sites are a really beautiful way to help your brand stand out. With a custom site, you’ll likely hire a designer to code and design your site.
When you choose a custom-built site, you’ll work with a team of expert website builders who will capture the feel and tone you want to create with your site. You’ll be able to custom build pages that no one else will have. You’ll also be able to build in specific functions that are required for you to meet your website goals, including customer accounts, logins, store fronts, and other fun and useful things.
Pros and Cons of Custom-Built Websites
Pro: You’ll be in complete control of your site build
Pro: You won’t run into unforeseen limitations (which may exist with a template)
Pro: You can custom-design pages that help you meet very specific goals
Pro: You don’t have to spend the time to build it yourself
Pro: Your site will likely react and load faster
Pro: Your site will likely have a great SEO ranking
Pro: You’ll have the help and advice of experts who can assist in your decision-making
Con: The cost is higher than a DIY website
Con: It can take some time to work with developers and finish your project
Con: There can be ongoing costs of having your developer make changes or keep things up-to-date
Cost of Custom-Built Websites in Toronto
It is incredibly difficult to estimate custom website costs, since each company needs very different components to meet their goals. However, it’s fair to say that most small business websites in Toronto will cost in the range of $5,000 – $30,000.
Larger, more complex website builds may cost in the range of $30,000 to much as $75,000 or more.
While this may seem like a lot of money (and you’re right, it is!), keep in mind that your website is the absolute most important business tool you have to drive business to your site. In fact, most people will never contact your business if they can’t access a good amount of information about you online.
Why Does Website Design in Toronto Cost So Much?
Website design used to be fairly simple. Some words on a page, maybe some images, and you were good to go. But now, websites are much more intricate. And with a lot more competition, standing out online is more difficult than ever.
Websites are smart pieces of technology. If they are configured correctly, they can dramatically improve your chances of being found online by new customers. Google Chrome, the world’s foremost web browser, has very specific metrics for deciding which sites to prioritize. Some of those those include:
- Site speed
- Quality of content
- The quality of links leading onto and off of your site
- Whether your content is helpful and easy to read
- Mobile friendliness
- Quality of images
How each of these components will factor into a score that ranks you and helps Google determine where in the SERP (search engine results pages) you’ll rank. The better your score, the higher you’ll rank. To get a better score, you’ll need to consider your SEO – search engine optimization.
Serious website development includes SEO and that factors into every part of the website build, including everything listed above. Plus, an SEO-focused web development company (like 2Marketing) will conduct proper research specifically based on your industry to make sure your content, design, and copy align with Google’s criteria.
Your website copy will also play a factor and in many cases, your developer may work with copy writers to craft copy specifically designed to help you get more website traffic. The titles, phrases, and layout of your copy can be extremely helpful to push you higher up the search engine results.
How Do You Decide What’s Best For You?
If you have some experience in web design, you may feel confident building your own site. If so, do at least some minimal research in SEO so you can take this into consideration when making decisions. Here are some steps to follow:
- Write down a list of your website goals
- Purchase your domain (www.mywebsitenamegoeshere.com)
- Purchase security and hosting for your site
- Choose a theme or template that has the functionality to help you reach those goals
- Install your theme or template
- Do some SEO research regarding your industry (or hire someone to)
- Design your website
If you feel that building your site will be too complex or time consuming for you, look into hiring a design agency to take on the project instead. Here’s what you want to look for in a great website design company in Toronto:
- Experience. Choose a company who’s been doing this for a while.
- Look for reviews. Call their references.
- Look for case studies on their website.
- Consider their own website. Does it function well? Is it fast? Do you like the information you found on it?
- You feel confident when you speak to them.
- They listen to your ideas, but also have their own ideas that excite you.
At 2Marketing, SEO web design is our bread and butter. It’s what we do all day long. We would be happy to explain our services and pricing with you, and give you very specific options that meet your business goals and budget. Please reach out to us and we’ll set up a convenient time for a no-pressure, no-obligation meeting so you can learn more about how we help people like you finally reach their goals every single day.