2. How to save on website development?
Why don't web agencies show the cost of a website right away? Why is there such a big price difference? In this article we give you approximate price estimates and show you how you can save on certain cost items.
So how do you estimate the price of a website?
Usually only entry-level agencies publish their prices. They can do this because their designs are easily cloned and the basic functionality of the websites has significant limitations. Each feature or page added to the site increases the final bill.
For a custom-made professional website, it is practically impossible to estimate the price without laying down detailed specifications. Depending on the complexity, number of pages and attention to detail in the design, the cost of a website can range from a thousand to a hundred thousand francs.
However, we can make some estimates using an example:
Cost examples for website development in Switzerland
Let's take the example of a relatively simple page of 5 to 10 pages, with a custom design and standard features, including the home page, presentation of the products and company, and a contact form. In this case, it is not an online store or advanced interactive features that require databases.
Here we evaluate the price of web agencies in Switzerland (no guarantee, since there are often differences between cantons and agencies). Read more about freelancers below and other alternatives to save on those costs.
Between 1 000 and 7 500 CHF
For this price you usually deliver the texts and images to the agency. The agency selects a website template and puts it online. That was it. If you are thinking of buying a home, it would be the equivalent of a prefab home that comes turnkey.
This price range is suitable for… a personal, non-commercial website or a very small business. You have minimal visibility on the web, allowing you to let your current customers know about your offerings and your business. It will not allow you to stand out from your competitors or attract customers.
Between 7 500 and 15 000 CHF
This is the minimum amount for a design and implementation tailored to your business and audience. Depending on the agency, you will receive support with the content and photographic design and implementation. Using our example of buying a house, you are dealing with an architect who visits the premises and designs a house according to the typology of the plot and the sunny side.
This price range is for you if… you are an entrepreneur, start-up or SME and want to give your website a certain professional and competitive look.
From CHF 15,000
Various specialists are available to you here. In most cases, alongside the web designer, a marketer will help you make your website visible to your competitors.
This price range is right for you if… you are an SME looking to establish yourself as a leader in your market, strengthen your brand image or expand your customer base.
From CHF 30,000
If you want your house to be featured in an architecture magazine, you've come to the right place. These agencies are like Herzog & de Meuron on the web. They create complex and innovative websites, are recognized for their achievements and work for large Swiss companies such as PostFinance or Nestlé. They can work on a project for several years and their hourly rate is among the highest. The cost of a website for this type of business is therefore in the hundreds of thousands of francs.
This price range is for you if… you are a large SME with very specific needs or a large enterprise.
In short, the more time an agency spends developing your website and the higher the agency's reputation, the higher the bill will be.
How to save on web development?
1. Take web development into your hands
Thanks to sites like Squarespace or Shopify for online e-commerce platforms, it is possible to develop your own site without any coding knowledge.
Price: A very cheap investment (between 15 and 30 francs per month) without having to write a single line of code.
Access to several standard functions. It is possible to add features such as videos, photo galleries, etc. in a few clicks. Some are free while others are paid.
Time Spent: You still have to spend time putting things together, creating content, and promoting your site to get visibility.
Limited Impact: Creating a website requires very different skills: design, photography, typography and marketing, all working together to make a website visible and of high quality. "Homemade" sites often lack design and harmony.
Cookie Cutter Theme: While the template can be customized, it can look a bit like a copy as the same template may already be used on thousands of other websites.
A good solution if… you want to develop a personal website or a small e-commerce site for selling handmade jewelry or t-shirts.
Tip: Learn the basics first. Read blogs. Learn more about SEO and how to make your website visible. Try several tools before deciding on one. They all have advantages and disadvantages.
2. Take your website development abroad
With significantly lower hourly rates, the countries of Eastern Europe, the Maghreb and Asia seem to be a good alternative at first glance. Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages:
A price that is up to three or even four times cheaper than in Switzerland. In India you can create a website including a corporate design for a few hundred francs.
Aside from dumping, websites created abroad have two major shortcomings that mostly make them unsuitable for Swiss companies:
Inconsistent Quality: Carefulness in implementation is average at best, mediocre at worst: poor design, bugs, misspellings, laziness, etc. It's also worth noting that design is culture-driven. Codes and preferences differ greatly, especially between Asia and Europe.
Additional costs for coordination and control: The creation of a website requires frequent face-to-face communication, every detail can be interpreted very differently. Coordinating and managing a project with an agency abroad and speaking a foreign language is difficult and time-consuming even for a professional.
A good solution for… a personal website or a small business on a very tight budget.
Tip: Check the references of the agencies you hire, make sure they can offer you the quality you expect, and be prepared to invest time to coordinate and oversee your project.
3. Hire a local freelancer
Freelancers, also known as freelancers, have the advantage of offering web agencies similar expertise at a lower price - as long as you choose him or her well.
Price: Without a fixed structure, without hierarchy and without time-consuming internal meetings, freelancers have significantly lower fixed costs and can therefore offer an affordable hourly rate that is between 25% and 50% lower than that of a web agency.
Local and personal: A freelancer is your single point of contact throughout the project, unlike an agency where you deal with salespeople, project managers, designers, and programmers.
Skills: Freelancers often gain experience in web agencies before starting their own business. They are therefore able to offer an agency-like level of competence.
Skills in other areas: Freelancers often specialize in their core area and may not have skills in other areas. If your freelancer is a hardcore programmer, pay attention to the quality of the design. If he is a designer, can he make your site visible on google? If he is a marketer, does he implement the website himself or does he have it done abroad?
Reliability: The myth of the freelancer who disappears in the middle of a project still exists. Without going that far, some may be less reliable than an agency when it comes to meeting deadlines.
A good solution if… you are an entrepreneur or SME manager and value quality and personal contact.
Tip: Find out about the freelancer's career path and recommendations. Select one that has a registered company in their name and has expertise in all three areas (design, programming, and marketing).
In a nutshell
In short, the best choice depends on the size of your business, your needs, and your goals.
Creating a quality website takes time and manpower.
Creating a website requires knowledge in several areas (design, programming, marketing).
Tariff differences between web agencies often reflect the time they spend on implementation and their reputation.
At first glance it may seem attractive to set up your location abroad, but the quality often loses and the coordination can represent an additional effort.
For the same skill set, freelancers are a much cheaper alternative, provided you take a professional.