A common misconception amongst smaller clients, such as small businesses and nonprofits, is that the cost of their website project will be determined by two straightforward processes: design (the front end) and programming (the back end). While these processes certainly are a major part of building and launching a website, there are additional considerations that can have a huge impact on the website project process.

How many hours the overall website project will require comes down to three major factors:

1. Complexity

The number of features and unique business requirements that need to be integrated into the website build. More complex web projects will require more design and development hours.

Variables to consider:

  • The complexity of website navigation (what do people need to access?)
  • Marketing requirements like persona targeting, company branding, product branding
  • Custom visual design like animations, video, illustrations, or collages
  • Complex user interfaces or page layouts with large amounts of content/data (ex: eCommerce)
  • Integration with offsite or offline databases

2. Functionality

The number of unique tasks your website will need to perform. Ecommerce and customer accounts are typically the most time-intensive tasks.

Variables to consider:

  • Number of products (eCommerce)
  • Variety of products (eCommerce)
  • Amount of product details (eCommerce)
  • Customer/member accounts
  • Booking or scheduling
  • Content types – ex: portfolio, blog, case studies, team, resource center

3. Size

The amount of effort needed to create pages and content for the website. This will be determined largely by how much time needs to be spent on original content and design, and how much can be replicated across the website.

Variables to consider:

  • The overall number of web pages
  • Number of page templates needed (ex: product page, resource page, gallery page)
  • Amount of original content and copywriting needed
  • Amount of original media needed (may not be available service from web agency)
  • Amount of automation allowed (ex: page content generated from product data and dynamic built-in logic).