What Makes a Website so Expensive?

The price for a website design can vary greatly – from $500 to $10,000+.  Why is there such variation? What makes a website so expensive while others are cheap? Well, every company has their own recipe. That recipe determines the overall quality of your website. Most importantly, there is more to a website than meets the eye.

Necessities for an Effective Website

At Kreative Solutions, our minimum is $1,800 per website. Project after project proves this is the minimum to build an effective website. An effective website supports the business’s goals, aligns with the brand identity, incorporates search engine optimization, integrates with the overall marketing strategy, leverages modern technology, provides an excellent user experience, is responsive across devices, and integrates Google Analytics.

To quote any cheaper, sacrifices must be made and the overall quality suffers. If you get a quote for anything less than $1,000, you should wonder what is missing. Here are a few examples:

  • If your website is built with an out-of-the-box template, it is not unique and will look like a million other websites.
  • If your website is not optimized for conversions, website visitors will ask more questions and feel lost because they do not know what to do next.
  • If your website does not align with your brand identity, it is not an accurate representation of your business and it will be impossible to develop brand recognition and in turn loyalty.
  • If your website does not support your business goal, it is not going to help you achieve what you want – more leads, more sales, etc.
  • If your website is not optimized for search engines, then it will be even more difficult for website visitors to find you online when they search Google.
  • If your website redesign does not include redirects, website visitors will be frustrated when they land on a 404 page (no results found). If they cannot find what they are looking for on your website, they will look elsewhere – likely a competitor’s website.
  • If your website does not include Google Analytics, you won’t be able to monitor website traffic and therefore you are unable to measure your return on investment.

Over the years, I have heard every single one of these complaints in my previous roles and in my consultations with prospects.  On the surface, the website looks just fine, but on a deeper level items are missing. It is frustrating for website owners when their customers cannot find their website online or when they can’t track their return on investment without analytics. It is crucial to remember cheaper prices signal missing pieces, while higher prices signal quality and customization.

Kreative Solution’s Websites

To avoid these frustrations, Kreative Solutions offers comprehensive website packages to incorporate everything you know you need and everything you don’t know you need. The goal is to provide every customer with exceptional value.  At Kreative Solutions, every website package includes the following:

Branding & Custom Design

Your website’s look and feel matches your brand (i.e. logo, colors, fonts). Even though it sounds simple, things can get complicated quickly. Most sites require custom fonts to be uploaded, custom branded images, and cascading style sheets( CSS) to take the design to the next level. To add an artistic feel and imagery, background images are also customized to fit the brand identity and this requires significant graphic design work.

User Experience Design

User experience design revolves around the user and aims to enhance customer satisfaction by providing positive, pleasurable interaction between the user and the website. User experience pertains to the visual design, the website’s structure, usability, and accessibility. Website users have expectations on where information should be found. The website must be designed to enable efficient and effective usability, so that visitors can accomplish their goal (i.e. request a consultation or buy a product).

Integration with Marketing Strategy

Your business goals directly influence your marketing objectives and in turn marketing strategy. To support your other marketing efforts, your brochures and flyers can be available for download on the website.  The website can link to social media profiles or integrate social media feeds. There may be a blog or resource page that serves as a content stream that can be repurposed in your newsletter and social posts. If you have an email newsletter, it should be easy for contacts to subscribe and add their information to your email marketing platform.  Also, there should be a contact form or a lead form to make it easy for a prospect to get in touch.  Some of these integrations are standard but often require some additional customizations.

Copyrighting, Content Creation, & Conversion Optimization

For an effective website, you need your website to speak to your ideal customer. Your copy covers what you do, who you are, and how you do it. Your content covers what makes you unique, why choose you and differentiates you from the competition. You need great content to create an emotional connection with your customers! Writing about yourself is one challenge, but writing to your ideal customer in your brand’s voice while creating a connection takes it to a whole nother level.

Furthermore, your website must be optimized for conversions and support your other marketing efforts. To optimize for conversions, your website should include a strategic primary call-to-action to get a quote as well as a secondary call-to-action to nurture customers along their journey from awareness, to interest, to evaluate, to purchase, and eventually loyalty. Conversion optimization is aided by trust builders such as affiliations, awards, testimonials, reviews, associations, memberships, etc.

Quality Assurance

You don’t want website visitors to receive errors or become frustrated when using your website, so quality assurance is essential. At Kreative Solutions, quality assurance incorporates testing of links/buttons, testing of all functionality (i.e. contact form submissions), testing across devices (responsive testing), testing across browsers (performance testing), and a multitude of other online tests for performance, SEO, mobile-friendliness, etc. Different devices, operating systems, and browsers have different default settings. Some fonts are available on certain devices and not on others. It is important to manually test these devices to ensure everything displays properly and that there are no surprises.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization includes: keyword research, optimization of the title and meta descriptions included in the search results, as well as on-page optimization of heading, text, and images. With Google accounting for over 90% of searches worldwide, every website is registered with Google Search Console for indexing. Every website is tested with Google online webmaster tools for measuring mobile-friendliness, page speed, schema markup, etc. Learn more about the benefits of bundling SEO with your website design or redesign.

Functionality, Custom Development & Software Integrations

All too often, a client says they want a “simple” website and then ask to include a subscription option, scheduling capabilities, etc. When you want advanced functionality beyond an informational website, that will require additional coding and custom development. Once the functionality is in place, often it doesn’t look just right or another feature is added. To make it just right and fit the requirements, it often means even more custom design & development. Many people fail to realize how much time and expertise goes into coding and development. Even though the change may seem simple, it may actually take extensive custom code and additional testing. 


Every website incorporates Google Analytics tracking to measure website traffic, acquisitions, and user behavior. Analytics are essential for measuring performance and calculating return on investment.

Compliance Best Practices

There are increasing regulations in regards to privacy and accessibility. The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in data privacy regulation in the 21st century. For every website, GDPR best practices are implemented – a privacy policy, cookie notice, etc.  More recently, California implemented its own privacy law in January 2020.

Website Training

Kreative Solutions also provides a website guide with links to tutorials and a 1-hour training session. The training guide includes all the necessary information to hand-off the website maintenance. The guide details all software components and includes links to their support libraries. The training guide is provided before the training session for client review. The training session covers the essentials and incorporates time for the clients to ask questions and practice updating their website.


The majority of the items outlined above are invisible, yet very important. The cost of a website design accounts for far more than what you see on the screen and much of the work is done behind the scenes. Our website packages are intended to be comprehensive and integrate a multitude of priorities based on different perspectives:.

  • The designer who is focused on the user experience and visual appeal.
  • The developer who is focused on the website’s performance and technology.
  • The marketer who is focused on the website’s ability to convert, how the website supports the company’s overall marketing strategy, and how the website helps you reach your business goals.

When you work with Kreative Solutions, you are getting the whole package – a designer, developer, and marketer!