Questions and Answers
I'm trying to get an idea of what a fair price would be to pay for a website for a small local business. May or may not have an online store. If you've had someone build you a website in the past–what did you pay? If you build websites, what do you usually charge?
This is a little difficult to answer, because there are so many variables. If you are building a site for a local service provider or retailer, you can probably have a 5 page business site built for less than $500, if you build it in WordPress or use an HTML template. Just find the WP theme or HTML: template you like and have it customized for your business.
As long as you are not selling a large number of products, you can use PayPal checkout or Google checkout for any purchases on the site.
If you want or need a website to have a particular look or functionality, things start to get expensive.
For a website to have a custom look and feel you must bring on a web designer to layout the site, then a web developer to build out the design and functionality. You can expect to start at about $2000 + to bring in these professionals.
If you use a theme or template, the design is set and you can avoid the expense of a designer, and your developer just has to apply your information to the template, reducing your costs further. Expect any template changes to cost more though.
If you are going to build an online store, the advice from above about using an e-commerce platform is spot on.
You can expect to have to spend more money for added functionality. A shopping cart will cost extra, a submission form may cost extra, a members area, forum, messaging, and all will cost extra. Most small business sites do not need this.
My rates as of march 2013
Basic template or theme based 5 page small business website, home page and 4 content pages, about us, contact us, sitemap, and robots.txt file (all required for SEO) $395
As above but 10 pages $750
Custom designed websites from $1500, will build to suit.
E-commerce basic platform (Magento), with shopping cart, capable of handling 200 + products–$1000
Simple WP installation on your hosting, Install WordPress, install a selection of premium themes, install and configure SEO plugins, set up home page, blog page, about us, contact us, sitemap, and robots file, then turn over to you for use: $100.
I am in Houston, and our market is very robust with lots of competition, your local rates may vary according to your local market.