Costing concerns

Plenty of myths have been generated concerning the cost of having a Web site developed. Figures in the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars have been bandied about - no doubt scaring off a lot of people. Gavin Nealand, from Sydney-based Barbosa which specialises in placing Web development personnel, says that, on average, good Web developers, including database specialists, usually charge in the vicinity of $85 per hour.

Unfortunately, the waters are muddied by the numerous pricing models used to cost out the development of a site. Some developers charge on a time and materials basis, whereas others charge per Web page. Yet others simply charge a flat figure for the total cost of a project including sourcing hardware and software, Web hosting and marketing of the site.

Further complications arise from the different technologies which can be employed to develop a site - varying the per-hour or per-page pricing. For example, adding Flash animations or Real Video clips can increase the per-hour charge to $150. Dedicated SQL Server experts have been known to charge $200 plus per hour.

Graphics is another area where costs can escalate. If you cannot supply any images yourself, the Web developer will normally charge you for any custom graphics they create. This may be on an hourly basis or per image. In some cases, the developer may retain the rights to these images and charge ongoing royalty fees.

Alexandra Peters from Melbourne-based Carbon Places, who has developed sites for the Federal Minister for Health and Hewlett-Packard, among many others, estimates that, on average, a 15-page site for someone with a corporate identity would cost in the vicinity of $5000. She adds, however, that other factors such as having to pay licence fees for images and photographs may increase this.

Peters believes that it is important to have the entire project specification in writing. This stops any potential confusion or misinterpretations during the development phase.

"No matter what type of site you are having developed, before you engage a company, get a quote in writing that clearly states the work to be undertaken, and the price," she said.

In comparison, Dale Harper of Sydney-based BIGdy, which specialises in Web-based SQL Server applications, suggests that development of a database-driven Web site would start at around $18,000. He believes full e-commerce capable sites would cost a lot more depending upon their complexity and whether third party facilities are used for credit card verification.

"A recent e-commerce, database-driven site we quoted on, including hardware, was around the $120,000 mark," Harper said. "Of this, around $80,000 is the Web development component. On top of this cost is the co-location Web hosting at a major ISP priced at around $850/month."

Harper is quick to point out that a site of this magnitude is very much the exception, rather than the rule. This project would span six months and involve a number of different personnel contributing different skills to the site's development.

Along with Alexandra Peters and Marek Sumalski, Harper agrees that the initial price point for a small business Web site with no database connectivity or animations, and user supplied graphics and text, is in the $5000 bracket area.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

IDG staff

PC World
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?