Arriving at a place in your business lifecycle at which you’re beginning to think about creating a website is an exciting moment. For young Essex businesses looking to expand their reach across the UKs citizens, setting up a website means you’re ready to do business. The problem is, you’re not sure how much to set aside to pay for its creation.
In truth, asking how much it’ll cost to build a website is a little like enquiring about the length of a piece of string: it’s a question with no immediate answer.
Instead, any web design company in Essex worth their salt will tell you that you’re operating on a sliding scale, with the cheapest, simplest websites unlikely to exceed even the smallest of budgets – and bespoke, custom-made sites costing your more.
The best web developers in Essex will be upfront with you about all of this. We’re keen to impress upon you that what you save financially, you’ll be sacrificing in quality. Let’s have a closer look at the different tiers of expense you’re likely to encounter setting up a website in Essex. We’ve separated these tiers into three groups:
- Basic. These are your run-of-the-mill websites, composed mostly of templates and built with little to no optimisation for SEO, security, or functionality (more on all that later). It’s your spartan home on the web.
- Intermediate. This is where you start adding plug-ins, tidying up the front end, and considering things like User Experience (UX) and responsiveness. You’ll have a decent website, but it’s not blowing anyone away.
- Advanced. Now we’re getting somewhere – competing with the best business websites in the UK. It’ll cost you, but advanced websites will be designed beautifully, with prompts and cues to convert consumers into customers.
We’re going to walk you through all three of these levels, starting with basic websites, to give you a nice holistic understanding of what kind of site will suit you – and how much it’ll cost. It’s then up to you to determine which level of investment fits with your specific brief, and whether a web design company Essex will be able to help with your project.
This site’s only going to fulfil your most basic functionality – which, we’ve got to say, is fine for about 20% of Essex companies. If you’re not trading directly on your website, and you’re just interested in staking out your little corner of the World Wide Web, then a basic website will probably do the job. It won’t take a web design company Essex longer than a day or two to fix you up with a bare-bones website such as this.
If you’re feeling up to the job, there are DIY website builders to consider for your most regimental-looking sites. You know, the ones that have just a front page, and About, and a Contact Us. You know the drill here: check out Wix, or SquareSpace, or WordPress – or the dozens of other options. If you want anything but the most basic designs for your site, you’ll still have to pay these DIY platforms.
Your other option is to approach web designers in Essex with a simple request: “I want a cheap and cheerful website”. What’ll you be able to expect from such a site?
The Components of a Basic Website
All websites come equipped with a handful of features that you’ll have to pay for either upfront or on an ongoing basis. It’s worth listing through those now to give you an idea of the very lowest cost you might be able to wrangle for the construction of your website.
- Web Hosting. Web pages don’t just exist somewhere in the ether: they’re based on servers that are distributed all over the world. You’re effectively renting space on one of these servers when you make a website – and that rent costs. £20 per month tops.
- Domain Name. Sometimes this comes as part of your hosting fee, sometimes not. You’re going to set up on the ‘.co.uk’ domain (or that’s at least recommended for Essex SEO & throughout the UK) so you’ll be paying for a unique URL on that domain. Again, it’s going to be around £2 to £50 depending on where you look.
- If your website is going to handle any consumer data at all – and especially their payment card details, you’ll need some basic level of security. Different DIY platforms offer different packages here. We’d always recommend robust web security for Essex websites. It’ll save you huge headaches in the future – honest.
- Whether you go it alone with a DIY website maker, or you use a web designer’s services, you’ll probably end up paying for templates. They make your site look a lot nicer. If you don’t know what templates are, Wix are happy to fill you in. As one-off purchases, templates might cost £100 max.
On top of these minor payments (which you’re going to have to commit to whatever the size of your website, remember) you’ll also pay your Essex-based web developer an hourly wage. Simple websites really shouldn’t take longer than a day or two to make. Here, it really depends on your specifications.
So: how much for a basic website? All told, you could be looking at around £1,500 at the baseline. As we mentioned, though, every job’s different. Ping an email to our web design company Essex and we’ll be able to give you a far more accurate quote.
Dos and Don’ts of Basic Websites
Before we move on to intermediate websites, we want to leave you with some super-quick tips – if this is the route you’re considering going down.
- Don’t sell expensive goods on cheap-looking websites. You’ll look untrustworthy.
- Do try and nail your domain name. The easier it is for consumers to find, the better.
- Don’t use a basic website for e-commerce in Essex. You’ll get outcompeted and ignored.
- Do choose a basic website for a new Essex hospitality business to let consumers know who you are.
Right, that should do it. Now we’re going to take a look at intermediate websites – the kind of website you probably visit most days to read, shop, communicate and learn.
The jump from a basic website to an intermediate one is comparable to the difference between a pushbike and a motorbike. Both are functional – but deep down, you know which one’s going to take you places.
Web design companies in Essex & the UK tend, we’ve noticed, to overlook some of the features which the best websites in the US will support as standard. We’re a little more cutting edge – which is important if you’re to outcompete your rivals in Essex and internationally. In this section, we’ll cover:
- Visual Design & User Experience
- Advanced Functionality & Site-Mapping
- Accessibility & Responsiveness
- SEO & Digital Marketing in essex & the UK
These are the bells and whistles you should expect when you’re paying for an intermediate website.
In doing so, you should be willing to budget around a factor of ten up from a basic website – so from £1.5k minimum up to perhaps around the £10,000 mark. That’s a ballpark figure: bear in mind the sliding scale we mentioned earlier, depending on your specific brief. Our web design company Essex can give you a more detailed break-down when you get in touch with us.
When you invest in an intermediate website, you’re doing it because you know the return on investment it’ll generate will make this one-off expense worth it. Here’s why.
Visual Design & User Experience
Let’s kick things off with how things look and feel on your website.
[QUOTE] “Intuitive design is how we give the user new superpowers” – Design guru Jared Spool
Great design will make your end-user feel positive about your brand (Unconvinced? Just ask Steve Jobs). We understand that when you’re making a website, you’re thinking bottom line, KPIs, and conversion rates – not making things look pretty. But visual design just might be the most important element of your website.
There’s been an avalanche of UX (User Experience) research in the last half-decade to back up this assertion. The evidence is stark:
- It can take as little as 50 milliseconds, or 0.05 seconds, for a user to judge your website. Before a second has elapsed, they’ll have decided whether to stay or relocate to a new website.
- Tiny errors on your website, like a poorly-rendered logo, are enough to turn web users away forever.
- The industry wisdom with design and user experience is to always respond to consumer expectation. That means being willing to change your website if it’s drifting out of fashion.
The benefit of using a web design agency in Essex – instead of a lone web developer – is that you’ll draw on the skills of a graphic designer and a UX expert as well as a web designer. That’s also why you’ll be paying a little extra for top-drawer visual design.
Advanced Functionality & Site Mapping
This one really is simple: you need your site to work.
A working site will load fast. Buttons will send users to the appropriate page. Meta-tags, telling browsers how to categorise your pages, will be labelled correctly. Your site will be mapped, so users and Google’s crawling algorithms know how to read each page. And any flashy animations, gifs, and embedded functionalities will work like clockwork on any browser.
If that sounds pretty manageable, you’ll be surprised to hear just how many UK websites are currently hamstrung by serious functionality issues that a web design company Essex should be able to resolve. Running a test on a website to see how many ‘errors’ it hosts takes seconds. We’re big fans of Neil Patel and his free ‘Analyzer’ tool- exposing how poorly-built many websites are for today’s digital ecosystem.
[QUOTE] “Great web design without functionality is like a sports car with no engine.” – Paul Cookson
When you engage with professional web designers in Essex, you’re signing up for a service that irons out these errors, issues, and faults. And enhancing functionality isn’t just a way to make your website neat and tidy – research tells us that around 80% of all internet users will leave a website if it hasn’t fully, functionally loaded within two seconds.
Accessibility & Responsiveness
More people now access the internet from mobile phones than from desktop computers. Given that the UK is ranked first in the world for mobile broadband speed, your website really can’t do without mobile optimisation. If you don’t, you may as well wave goodbye to over 50% of your traffic.
[QUOTE] “Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” – Design Thought-Leader Neville Brody
Unfortunately, as Brody reminds us, this means that older websites perfected in that bygone era before mobile internet will need a complete revamp. From-scratch websites, meanwhile, ought to be built with a flexible back-end. The more you’re able to chop, change, and tinker with your site’s mechanics over time, the better you’re able to perfect that painting with new layers of paint.
Mobile optimisation takes a little trial and error testing, but it shouldn’t take a web design company Essex more than a couple of days to get spot-on.
When you pay for an intermediate-quality website, you’ll have the option of paying extra for the following coding wizardry, too:
- Integration with APIs. From digital checkouts through to AI-enabled document scanners, expert web designers can integrate the world’s technological bells and whistles onto your site.
- Front-End Wisdom. If you’re capable of basic web mechanics, your web developer can leave you with editing windows through which you’ll be able to change content on your website without calling them up – and covering their hourly wage.
SEO & Digital Marketing in Essex & The UK
The Essex ad market is still relatively undeveloped – and SEO in Essex is still very much up for grabs. For those scratching their heads, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is all about getting to the top of Google’s search results. Websites optimised for search engines tend to purr with far more traffic than those that aren’t.
And the benefits, in terms of conversion and profits, are kind of incredible. No wonder firms in the UK and the US – where SEO and digital marketing have reached their competitive zenith – are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for web designers to develop their SEO.
[QUOTE] “Being first in the search result organically in Google is the dream of all website owners.” – Dr. Chris Dayagdag
Like we said, Essex SEO & throughout the UK is pretty young and undeveloped. Prime your site for SEO and you’re likely to gobble up a huge number of consumers searching for products and services in the UK.
You can choose to boost your SEO with a Essex digital marketing agency, or you can lean on your web design team to boost SEO in your code. Optimising your website for traffic costs – and if you want to be top of Google’s search results in your niche, you’ll be paying advanced fees for the honour.
When you ask how much a website in Essex should cost, an advanced website represents the highest cost-bracket.
Everything about an advanced website will communicate trustworthiness, professionalism, and prestige. For the majority of Essex’s high-end business websites, looking the part means a lot. That means optimising your design, your functionality, and your SEO – all while trusting top-level web developers to build you a bespoke site from the bottom up.
We’ll not beat about the bush here: an advanced website represents a large investment for your business. It’s up to you to decide whether you listen to industry leaders when they say it’s worth it – that the ROI is higher than the one-off expense.
[QUOTE] “Building a beautifully designed, fully capable website is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity.” – Greg Shugar, Co-Founder of Thread Experiment
Did you know that the UK has one of the highest internet penetration figures in the world? That almost 99% of the adult population are active on social media? That the vast majority of business in UK is forecast to be conducted online post-COVID?
The world’s only moving in one direction – and owning an advanced website has got to be the best way to position yourself at the vanguard of the ongoing digital revolution.
When your web design company in Essex is building your website from the grassroots, they’ll be more flexible. Unconstrained by web hosting platforms and template-based web development systems, they’ll be your ‘Yes-Men’ -inputting any and all features you want to be installed on your website.
If you can budget for an advanced website, delivered by our web design company Essex, you’ll enjoy the use of:
- Smart CMS
- Expert UX
- Omnichannel SEO
Let’s take a little tour through each of these three benefits to give you a sense of why an advanced website costs that bit extra.
For the uninitiated, CMS stands for ‘Content Management System’. The concept of CMS takes a little explaining so that you’re abreast of how powerful smart CMS installations can be.
You should see your web developer like a technician on the bridge of the SS Enterprise. They’re typing in a frenzy, connecting wires under the hood, and doing a hundred and one highly technical, highly specialised job. CMS represents the control panel of the Enterprise. It works as a kind of translator between the technical world and the managerial one. And it means that you’re able to punch in commands (and add new content to your website) without the specialised skills, or the constant assistance, of your web developer.
If you’re expecting to have long, unending string-up updates for your website, it’s a given that integration with a reliable CMS system will save you a hundred headaches. Our web design company Essex put this very high on our priority list for new clients.
There’s UX design, and then there’s expert UX design. And there’s a giant gulf between the two.
Basic UX design will understand that you need to funnel your site visitors gently towards the parts of your website where you’ll be able to convert them from consumers to customers. They’ll add a nudge or two, and maybe a flashy ‘Call to Action’ button for good measure.
[QUOTE] “Rule of thumb for UX: More options, more problems.” – Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer
Expert UX, in contrast, starts with basic principles – and then A/B tests the living daylights out of them. Top UX Designers in Essex know how important rigorous, data-driven testing is on your site.
For example, an expert UX designer will keep an eye on the data analysis in your back end and will make tiny trial-and-error tweaks to your website to make it utterly frictionless. The more seamless the UX, the less confused, frustrated, or bored the end user.
We’ve already given you a little introduction to the wonderful world of SEO. Omnichannel SEO is the holistic approach to the problem of whether your website is ever found by your target consumers in Essex.
As such, omnichannel SEO will focus upon:
- Making your site’s content perfect for Google’s crawlers to inspect and rank.
- Building backlinks and through-links to other pages on your website and other reputable sites.
- Using keywords and key phrases to boost your likelihood of being found on search engines.
- Dozens of small technical tweaks to your back end code, to make your site perfectly-rendered.
The aim of all these approaches is to give Google’s algorithmic website inspectors a gleaming impression of your website. The better that impression, the higher you’ll get ranked on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). And, believe us, finishing even one rank up is worth thousands of social media followers – and thousands of dirhams, too.
So – What’s The Damage?
You’ve come this far, and you’ve not been given a straight answer about what kind of budget you ought to set aside to pay for your new website. Believe us, we’d love to – but as you’ve read, it’s a little bit complicated without seeing your brief.
As a leading web design company in Essex, we’re used to working with customers with a range of budgets – and we’re committed to delivering beautiful and fully-functional websites, whatever your budget. We know that every company’s different, with different profit margins, different liquidity, and different objectives for how they’ll invest their funds. We’re ready to work to your budget.
But we’re also going to be totally honest with you: you always get what you pay for with web design. The more you invest, the more your site will return you loyal customers, positive impressions, and higher sales.
We’d love to give you a more accurate quote on your website – so do drop us a line, and we’ll be in touch with more information about our services.