Allocating Your Budget: How Much Does a New Website Cost?

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 | Tags: website

(This post is an extension of two past articles: A Website Redesign Guide for Nonprofits and How to Set a Budget For Your Website Redesign)

It’s the question that organizations are asking more often as the Internet grows each day – how much should I spend on a website? How much of my budget should be allocated?

There are two critical factors to take into account when considering your website budget:

  1. First, all methods of advertising (events, direct, social media, etc.) point back to your website. It’s the face of your organization and often the first impression. If your web experience doesn’t measure up, then everything leading to it could be considered a waste of money.
  2. Secondly, Millennials, the generation with the largest group in today’s U.S. workforce, are connected 24/7 and will check your website before deciding whether or not to engage. They expect web experiences to be intuitive, robust, and absolutely seamless on any device.

With those considerations in mind, the better choice would be to budget more money for a new website rather than less, given its importance.

So let’s talk numbers. A typical website build can fall between $8,000 (on the low side) and $150,000 (on the high side), depending on the variables brought to the table.

These variables are items such as:

  • Functionality of the underlying software
  • Level of creative design and user experience
  • Number of pages to be migrated to the new site
  • Any complex additions needed (such as e-commerce, forms, events, user rights, 3rd party integration etc.)  

The sheer amount of considerations can be overwhelming, so it may be easier to start by prioritizing the must-have objectives on your list, as compared to the “nice-to-have” aspects.  Be sure to consider the list from a typical visitor’s point of view as well.

Overall, a good rule of thumb for many is spending .05% - 1% of your yearly operating budget. This at least provides a starting point, and then you can start thinking about how to get your budget approved.  

But do your research and talk to the right people. Your website should present the best possible face to potential new members, new donors and to the world at-large.

Attempting to save money on your website build can be like stepping over dollars in order to save pennies – not something you want to take a risk on.  

When you invest in making your web experience the best it possibly can be, you can bet you’ll start to see results.  


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