If you decide to use a web agency to create your website and lay the foundations for your online presence, the first question that comes to mind is undoubtedly the budget. And this is normal, the price of a website depends on many elements.

But although financial concerns are naturally the main source of concern for anyone who wants to get involved in a web project, the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to websites is above all the result: the result in terms of look & feel, ergonomics, SEO ranking, tree structure, type(s) and quality of content, overall site performance, traffic generated… All this requires expertise and therefore a price in order to have results for your company (new customers, etc.).

So we looked at the theme of free or low-cost website creation. Is that a good idea? what do you need to pay attention to?

If, on the other hand, you plan to allocate the necessary budget to the creation of your site, you are not alone! In Belgium, you can benefit from a premium that will partially subsidize the costs incurred for your site. This will depend in particular on the region in which you operate, the nature and budget injected into your web project. We also dealt with this subject in a general article presenting financial incentives in Belgium.

Elements that will influence the price of a website

The elements that will be integrated on your website

Technical elements and functionalities to be implemented

It is no more and no less the base, the starting point. Before creating your website, ask yourself the essential questions and in particular your objectives. Who are your targets? What is the attendance rate you expect? Will the site be dedicated to online sales or is it just a showcase site? The number of pages and the field tree will also influence the calculation. You might like to integrate a blog, a chat, etc. Know that each feature that will be added to the site will have its cost.

Graphic Elements

Buttons and small icons, menu, banners, tabs, etc., creating a visual with custom graphic elements is always a plus. Thanks to these distinctive and evocative signs of a company, you literally mark your territory. As a general rule, this is part of what web agencies or communication agencies call: graphic design, in the same way as logos, etc.

The quality of the relationship with the provider

Depending on the type of provider and possibly their number, if there are several, you will not have the same guarantees or the same relationship. A freelance or a beginner will need more supervision, while a web agency will be more autonomous. You will only have one contact, in this case, a project manager who will be in charge of the behind-the-scenes organization. However, there can be surprises, good or bad in both cases. To avoid any fiasco or tension, it is better to take the time to tie up the specifications: the document that traces the mutual obligations of the client and the agency or service provider.

A good provider is one who, before creating the site, will ask you carefully all the details as well as the objectives you expect from the site. It is also the one that will guide you towards the best launch strategies. Then, once the site is created, a professional service provider will take the time to discuss it with you by delivering important comments or notes for example.

Moreover, you must admit that the life of a website only begins when it is created. We will have to feed it in content, make it live, manage it, etc.. If you have no idea or simply no time, ask yourself the question: “Can this provider accompany me in the medium or long term? To do this, you should add a training or counselling session to the invoice, alone or in a group. The rates will not be the same and can vary from 400 to 600 € the day.

Your time invested in the web project

For a person with a modest budget, but who has the basic notions to create a site, he can do it independently of an agency or a freelance. However, don’t underestimate what it takes in hours of work, in time. Something we don’t always have!

In any case, tell yourself that the time you spend on it is less and less time in managing your business or your production.

If you think that it would be best to entrust your project to a service provider and in particular, when it is a site with a lot of features like an online store, you could download all of them or possibly keep some of them for yourself: content writing, for example. But make sure you can handle this.

Anyway, with a freelance or a web agency, you will need to devote time, to prepare the project and to carry out development meetings. With an agency, their process makes it possible to make a global and fast brief. You will only have to validate their proposal or suggest modifications. With an independent, it will be a little more laborious. That said, the exorbitant prices announced by some web agencies are not always justified.

Website maintenance

When using a provider or a web agency, the reflex is always to want a turnkey site. It is however necessary to remember that the creation is necessarily followed by a regular maintenance. Therefore, you should add to your calculations, the cost of maintenance, annual, for example. This will give you a more realistic view of the site price.

Be vigilant! If you entrust the creation of a site to a freelance beginner, who would not be available later, you would then have to find another person for the maintenance and to make evolve your site. However, this could generate an overcharge, and the new provider may not find himself in his schmilblick.

Remember, maintenance certainly has a cost, but it is a service that ensures the durability of your site through the insertion of new features, updating modules, outsourcing servers. Moreover, a good maintenance secures your site.

Average cost per type of website

First, you should know that there is no fixed scale that governs the cost of creating a website. Secondly, it will depend closely on the type of site desired, as the workload and skills required will not be the same.

To better understand the table, websites are generally classified as follows:

  • Showcase site: 5 to 10 pages for an activity presentation
  • Online shop: 5 to 10 classic pages + 50 to 100 product sheets
  • Web portal: over 200 pages, user space, several features and modules.

The budget will also vary depending on who will build the site. The choice:

  • Online platform such as Wix, Jimdo, etc. In other words, you do everything yourself and pay a monthly subscription.
  • Freelance, it will generally require 2 providers: a web developer and a designer
  • Web agency, supposed to take care of everything.

Now, let’s see how much on average the different providers charge for this.

Showcase SiteOnline ShopWeb Portal
Plateforme en ligne0 to 30 €/month10 to 100 €/month
Freelance500 to 3000 €1100 to 2000 €5 000 to 50 000 €
 Agence web.                 1000 to 5000 €         3000 to 50 000 €10 000 to 100 000 €

Cheap website creation: what to pay attention to

For almost nothing or just a few hundred euros, “professionals” will offer to create your website. Don’t be impressed by the posted rates, even if you are tempted to keep your web budget to a minimum. Try to evaluate the cost/benefit ratio as much as possible.

  • Actually, the real question is, “What is the expected outcome?”  If it is only to have an online presence with 2 or 3 pages and a contact form, without much effort on the visual, we can consider that a few hundred euros would be correct. For a more sophisticated, high-performance site that is obvious, naturally you will need a much larger budget. An e-commerce site that will be directly the source of your turnover requires to choose a reliable provider. In this type of project, beware of estimates that are too low. You may be surprised by results that leave something to be desired.
  • Moreover, keep in mind, all the additional costs: creation of the tree structure, domain name, maintenance, etc. which will probably increase your invoice whereas initially, the estimate was not expensive. The frustration will be even greater.

If you have little budget to dedicate to the creation of your website (or still hesitate to inject the market budget) and you want to be sure to get value for your money? We know what you’re going to have to pay attention to.

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Free website creation: a false good idea?

Not 1 cent in the creation of your future site, yes, it is theoretically possible! When you are in control on the free site creation platform, you will be more or less sure to make a site in your image. All this in a few clicks and with a minimum of expense. Nevertheless, the few clicks can turn into hours, days and weeks of work, which is not nothing in your entrepreneurial schedule. And then, generally, you will still have to pay a fee so that the site is a credible minimum. For example, a monthly subscription to not have advertising or your domain name, etc..

The other question is whether the site created will achieve the objective. If it is a showcase site, for a small local business, a beauty salon or a florist, etc., the benefits will probably be there: the presence on the Internet. Indeed, you can tell yourself that a rather simplistic site does not deserve a huge expense.

On the other hand, if you are an SME that needs to be placed first in search engines, to be represented under a careful design and with a consistent number of pages, etc.. In which case, it is better to call on a real web professional, an agency that will implement a marketing strategy for SEO, who will use the talents of a webdesigner, a team that will think about ergonomics, etc.. Of course, it will be a more expensive investment, but the result and profit will be more rewarding.

So in the end, the creation of a free website, a good idea? We have the answer!