I’ve been asked this question so many times. It’s one of those questions that comes up naturally – before we even discuss the scope of a client’s project.
Honestly, it’s hard to give a direct answer to the question.
First, there are a lot of different ways to build a website. Your website will be very different from Jumia for example. Jumia is very different from eCitizen, Mpasho, BrighterMonday and so on. Second, you have a unique goal you want to accomplish with your website, and until we get to know those goals, it might not be able to tell you an exact figure.
To determine how much your website is going to cost, it’s important to first know the following:
1. What type of website do you need?
A website is very much like buying a house. Is it a mansion or bungalow? How many rooms? Does it have a garden? A driveway? And so on. There are tiers of types of website, just like there are tiers and types of houses.
The first thing you need to ask is: “What do I want my website to do for my business?”
- Sell products like children wear, computers or handcraft
- Perform hotel bookings
- Book appointments for law firm or dental clinic etc
- List property on sale and so on
For a more realistic price comparison, think about these two scenarios:
- You run a small shop that sells 200 products, and want to start selling them online.
- You run a small coffee shop, and need a website with 4 or 5 pages outlining your services.
Naturally, the first website in this example is going to cost more. And not only because you have 200 products. Sure, the products could take a little while to enter and setup. But on top of that, you have to integrate payment options, account for deliveries, product specifications, variables and so on.
Let’s take a look at the different types of website you might need for your business:
a) A single page website
Single page, or one page websites are often used to promote the launch of something. Perhaps an upcoming event, or a larger, more built out website.
b) A brochure website
Brochure websites are a significantly better solution than single page websites. This is usually the type of website that most businesses want (providing they’re not an e-commerce.)
A brochure website will have more pages than the single page site. And they’re used for informing website visitors about your business, and what it is that you offer.
Brochure websites are more expensive than the single page website, but they’re still not too expensive!
c) An e-commerce website
An e-commerce website is an online portal that facilitates online transactions of goods and services through means of the transfer of information and funds over the Internet. Examples of e-commerce websites in Kenya are Jumia, Kilimall and Masoko.
When determining the cost of an e-commerce website, we consider various factors such as:
- The platform e.g. Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Drupal etc
- How many products are you selling?
- How many categories are your products split into?
- Who is responsible for uploading all of the products?
- Which payment gateway(s) shall be used?
As you can see from the points above, e-commerce websites generally have a much bigger scope, and therefore they do tend to start creeping higher in price.
2. Domain name & Hosting costs
When it comes to calculating the cost of a website, a web designer may include the cost of domain name registration and hosting package, or may advice the client to do the purchasing themselves. It is therefore important to be clear if you will purchase the domain yourself or your web developer will do it for you.
On average (in Kenya), .com, .net, and .org domain names cost from KES 1,000 to around KES 2,000 inclusive of VAT. The .co.ke domain costs from KES 600 to KES 1,500, whereas the new Second Level Domain (.ke) costs around KES 5,999 to KES 8,999 depending on the registrar.
For hosting, however, most Kenyan companies will charge from KES 1,500 to KES 10,000 annually, depending on the package you choose. Most hosting companies in Kenya will give you a free .co.ke domain with any hosting package you pick for the first year.
3. What features shall the website have?
Is your website just informational with a single contact page to capture customer enquiries or it will have more features like booking calendar, online payment gateway (MPESA, PayPal, Card etc) and so on. Each of these features will have an additional cost.
4. Who provides the content?
Will you provide all the write-up required for all the pages, or you’ll need help in writing the copy? Will you provide your own images or you will need photography services? Do you have a logo or shall it be included in the package?
5. Who is going to be responsible for updates?
In most cases your website shall be built on a CMS system like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Craft CMS, etc. Unless it’s necessary, go with WordPress. It’s not like am biased, but there are many reasons to use WordPress. If you have some doubts, check out these 20 top Kenyan websites built with WordPress.
What I’m trying to say is, if your website is built on a CMS, you will have the ability to make most of the changes and updates yourself such as adding blog posts or changing text and images. This will reduce or minimize the cost or maintaining your website.
In case you prefer your webmaster to update content for you, plus carrying out regular site checks, updates and back ups, you need to consider a retainer.
Retainers work great for both parties.
- For you as the client, it means you can have your web designer “on call” – depending on what you agree to pay them for.
- For the web designer, it means they can plan their workload and cashflow allowing them to serve you better.
Each business has it’s own set of needs and requirements when it comes to its website and online presence. To give you a proper costing of your project, we need to first consider the factors above.
If you want to get an accurate cost for your website design project, then get in touch.