A Marketer’s Advice on How to Get a Website
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The most common question I get is “How much does a website cost?”

My usual response is, “How much does a house cost? It depends on a lot, doesn’t it? Websites are like that, too.”

Their common reaction is persistent disbelief, and they want me to name numbers. So I tell them: “A website can be $5, or $50, or $500, or $5,000, or $50,000, or $500,000.”

They usually can’t wrap their brains around this, so they ask how much it would cost for me to make them a website.

And at this point, I give them a sad look and tell them that right now, I only build websites with an enterprise-level development team, and our websites cost about as much as a house.

It’s usually not a very pretty conversation.

Here’s what they really want to know but are afraid to ask: “What do I need to do to get the kind of website that I need?” Because there’s more to getting a website than paying what’s on its price tag, and there are many, many, many different kinds of web solutions available. So the first question, really, is “Do you know what you need?”

I’m going to turn it over to Seth Godin now, because he pontificates beautifully on the subject. He recently posted two articles:

How to Create a Good Enough Website – Because, admit it, this may be all you need.

How to Create a Great Website – Ten principles not to avoid.

I know you don’t want to believe me, but the first article is actually a lot more enlightening and useful than the second. Most of the people who ask me “How much does a website cost?” are really, when they get down to it, only looking for this level of solution. And that’s okay! But it’s hard to admit, isn’t it? I know they would be immeasurably happier if they came to terms with this fact before the end of the project.  I’ve seen too many of them end up with websites that feel way too expensive and don’t actually do what they need them to do.

So read Seth’s advice, alright? He’s got it.

And get your priorities in place before you shell out a dime.

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2 Responses to “A Marketer’s Advice on How to Get a Website”

  1. Elke Sisco Says:

    I love your answer to that question! I might just quote you next time someone asks me the same thing.

  2. Kat Says:

    I’d be rich if I only had a dime for every person who asked me this question!!! Though you know, a smart designer is also a consultant and you DO want people to hire you to help them figure out what they really need. ;-)