Are Special Features on a Website Really Worth My Money?
What do Special Features for a website cost?
Special features exist for a purpose — they attract attention, keep visitors on site longer and they are often part of the process of managing online customers. If you want to stand out, if you want special features or functions — they’re going to cost extra. What follows is a list of common special features many businesses add to their websites. One caveat — things change so quickly on the Web, consider this a partial list only:
- Custom Content Management Systems — if you want to manage your own content, you will need a customized content management systems (CMS). Most vendors work with PHP-based open-source CMS solutions like Drupal and WordPress. Costs for integrating and customizing a CMS can range from $2,000–20,000.
- Training and documentation – you will probably need some instructions and documentation on how to maintain and edit site content. Depending on how extensive this is, expect to pay from $400–1,500.
- Blog — many businesses want a WordPress or similar blog within their website, customized to their website branding and design. This ranges from $1,000–2,500.
- For e-commerce shopping carts, catalogs, payment processing expect to pay $1,500–5,000 or more depending on requirements. Remember, this cost does not include transaction fees.
- Email Marketing Campaigns — clients that want to gather emails and send out branded email blasts for announcements or newsletters require an e-mail management tool. An abundance of third-party tools (graphicmail, MailChimp, Constant Contact, to name a few) allow you to work with an email blast template design, keep track of incoming e-mails and direct e-mail campaigns. Or your design/ development team can do that for you using the same tools. In that case budget $720 and up.
- Branding/Identity Development — Logo design requires both strategy and execution. At the minimum expect an 8-hour process that generates about 3-6 rough logo concepts. Once a direction has been set, the logo design will go through several rounds of revisions to arrive at a final version. Cost starts from $900–3,500.
- Style Guides — An online style guide is important because it establishes brand consistency and provides a guide for all your print collateral and online marketing. Basic style guide: $1,440.
- Targeted Landing Pages — Landing pages are pages that promote a specific product or service. They are usually part of an email, social media, or banner ad campaign. Budget to design and create these pages starting at $450.
- News feeds of both your content (outgoing) and adding content to the site (incoming) $400.
- Contact forms and surveys $300 and up.
- Newsletters $400–900.
- Advertising integration (Google AdWords) $200
- Photo gallery $250–500
- Metrics — Google analytics, custom reports, you need to know what is going on with your site to manage it optimally $200–2,000.
- SEO — on-page optimization, off-page optimization submission to search engines, make sure your audience finds you easily! $500–4,000
- Social media: Create and manage your social media network profile on all major platforms: Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram — $500–2,000.
Obviously, you’re not going to add everything on this list to your website — but a number of these items are close to must have, and the rest are very good to have. (One point — a custom CMS already includes a lot of the other things on this list.)
Everything on this list works for other websites right now — there’s a reason and purpose to each. Carefully consider the list and talk with your IPP to find out which is best for you.