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Website development costs

Website development costs

Most of our Clients like to gather some information on the possible cost implications before taking a decision on a possible website development project. Here we would like to share some general information how the final website development cost is built up and what are the key cost drivers. In this article you will find detailed information on the following:

  • Website development cost elements
  • 3rd party costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Website development hourly rates

Summary

If you’re working with a high quality website development agency, the creation of a website will take between 3 and 5 months, depending on its complexity.

Developing a high quality but simple website can take between 150-200 hours, whilst a more advanced website can easily involve upwards of 300-500 hours of development time. Ultimately the number of hours it takes to develop the website will define the final price. The below examples are based on a typical development using WordPress platform.

Key website development cost elements

At the below section we would like to provide an idea what are the basic key cost elements of a website development and what is the work hour need for these different tasks.

Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need
Wireframe and website design creation The following range depends on the number of pages and the complexity of the content. It includes at least two different design alternatives and 2-3 modification rounds. This estimate does not include general brand element design like logo design etc or any kind of additional design tasks like infographics etc. Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 40 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 80
Theme development Developing the general theme of the website, this includes setting up the foundations of the website, creating the design elements, creating the foundations of the additional functionalities. Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 40 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 80
Page building This task is the is the individual creation of each page of the website. Creating the structure, adding design and uploading the content. Low end is around 5 pages, high end 10-12 pages Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 20 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 50
Animations Adding animations can be done in a simple way using existing animation libraries, however special custom animations can take a lot of development hours Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 10 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 60
Technical SEO optimization This includes many small (40+) development tasks to optimize a website from a SEO perspective eg: clear structure, optimized speed, installing SEO plugins etc. Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 8 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 16
Tracking - Google analytics Setting up Google Analytics on the website for usage tracking Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 4 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 8
Testing, bug fixing The developed website has to be tested in detail to assure there are no hidden bugs. This is usually 10% of the development time. Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 8 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 20
User Guide & training Creation of a user guide how to use the Content management system, we also provide a training on this. Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 6 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 8
Project management Generally it can be stated that the project management hours are 15% of the total work hours Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 20 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 48
Total work hours Low-end (5 page simple website) Work hour need 156 High-end (12+ unique pages complex website) Work hour need 370

Additional functions and related work need

Besides the basic website development tasks below we listed some typical additional functions, which are requested by many of our Clients

Low-end work hour need High-end work hour need
Multilingual module Development of multilingual functionality Low-end work hour need 20 High-end work hour need 40
Translation upload Draft estimate is 2 hour per page. The low-end would reflect adding one language to a 5 page website. High-end calculates with adding 2 additional languages to a 12 page website. Low-end work hour need 10 High-end work hour need 48
Search function Searching for keywords within the website content Low-end work hour need 10 High-end work hour need 30
Donation module (PayPal) Integration of Paypal donation function Low-end work hour need 8 High-end work hour need 16
Downloadable files Adding downloadable files. Possible list of downloadable files with filter functionsis included in the high-end option Low-end work hour need 4 High-end work hour need 20
Interactive map (with Google Maps) Creating an interactive map with different hotspots and related description and content Low-end work hour need 36 High-end work hour need 70
Newsletter integration (Mailchimp) Integrating Mailchimp newsletter subscription Low-end work hour need 10 High-end work hour need 30

Additional 3rd party website cost

Besides the actual website development there can be additional 3rd party costs which are related to a new website.

Yearly cost CHF
Hosting and domain costs A website has to be stored on a server and a domain has to be directed to the website Yearly cost CHF 150 - 500
Plugin costs Some of the above listed special functions require special plugins, which have a yearly subscription fee Yearly cost CHF 50 - 300
Premium stock pictures Basic stock pictures are included in the design, but mor premium special images can have a higher cost Yearly cost CHF 200 - 1000

Maintenance costs

When creating a new website it is very important to calculate with maintenance costs as well. The developed websites have to work perfectly in a continously changing environment. The browsers and related technologies are updated regularly and also new security measures have to be applied as the time goes by. That is why it is important to maintain the different websites to grant that these are running bug free and are as secure as possible.

Maintenance service elements

A general maintenance service is built from the following elements

  1. Availability – a team has to be granted who is up to date with the website and its components and is capable of doing any maintenance task to the website. This also includes the supervision of diagnostic tools.
  2. Tests – Testing the website every given period (eg: 1 months or 1 quarter)
  3. Updating and bug fixing: Making sure that every component of the website is up to date and if there are any bugs then those are fixed.

As a general rule it can be said that the yearly maintenance cost is around 12-15% of the total website development cost. This depends on the different service levels required eg: response times, testing periods etc.

The hourly rates of different website developers

Website development costs are calculated based on hourly fees. The hourly rates depend very much on the provider who will the actual development. The following categories can be identified: Freelancer, Off-shore Indian company, Swiss / European providers.

Freelancers
They are the cheapest, they can be 50% of the regular agency hourly rate in Europe. But have you thought about who will coordinate their work? Without a professional project manager, you will need to synchronise the work of the designers, developers, as well as testers. There is a huge risk, people may disappear, many do it after their full-time jobs. If they can’t all meet the deadlines or provide the needed quality, the whole process can be stuck and it’s all wasted money. This can never happen with a coordinated team of professionals with proven quality solutions.

Indian off-shore agencies
You can choose a development team located outside of Europe, there are a lot of website developers in India. They work approximately 60-70% cheaper than the regular European, Swiss agency hourly rates. Challenges will be no face-to-face interactions, slow and difficult communication, time difference and little oversight on progress and quality. A lot of Clients approach us with a problem that the website they developed in India is full of bug and the developer can not be reached any more and it turns out that it has to be re-developed from scratch.

Website development agencies based in Switzerland / Europe

There is a good selection of quality web agencies to develop a website. A high quality web agency has a team of web front-end developers, back-end developers, designers, as well as, project managers and account managers to ensure high quality and timely development deliveries. Western European agencies might work for 80-90% of Swiss rates.

Swiss Tomato’s website development approach

We at Swiss Tomato believe in maximum quality and 100% Client satisfaction. That is why we employ senior professionals to make sure that all of our website development projects run perfectly. Contact us for a free consultation regarding any website development project and we would be happy to share with you our proposal

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