It is now 2016. Every business needs a website. The size and scope of that site varies by company, of course, but a presence on the web is a must to help grow and spread its reach. Web design professionals are frequently asked why websites are so expensive to design, create, and manage. The answer is fairly simple: there are a lot of moving parts at play.

Let’s take a look at some of the forces behind building and maintaining a website.

The Design

Everyone holds their brand near and dear to their heart, and they should. Your brand is a representation of you, your employees, and the work you do. This needs to be incorporated into your site. In order to accomplish this, you need to sit down with a designer and go over what is important to you. The important pieces of your business need to be highlighted correctly, and they must work in sync with the rest of your content.

Getting the branding right is a big piece in itself, but you also have to consider best practices for the layout of a site. Everything needs to be easily accessible and simple to understand. Otherwise, you’ll lose visitors. The design portion requires several back and forth meetings to cover all of the bases and to allow the web designer to truly understand your company’s vision.

The Build

You’ve received your final proofs and the design is approved. Now it’s time to build. Enter the developer. This person will spend the time necessary to turn your dream website into a reality. It is the developer’s job to ensure that each element looks correct and functions accordingly. Again, this can be a time consuming process. It is essential that your pages operate as expected, or visitors will leave and search for another website to find what they need.

The Maintenance

Congratulations! Your site is up. Now everyone can sit back, relax, and coast on this new digital employee. Wrong. Once a site is up, a significant number of updates are required to keep things running smoothly. This area of running a website is the most time consuming and is an ongoing process. Fresh content needs to be added to keep the site relevant. Plugins need to be updated so that form submissions and picture galleries stay working. Keywords need to be monitored and adjusted accordingly to ensure better rankings on search engines. If you want your site to continue to be a top performer, it’s going to require a lot of work.

Designing, building, and maintaining a website all require research, time, and people with different skillsets. And to be completely honest, it’s not even the full list. There are other expenses such as server hosting and the purchasing of a domain name that are going to add to the overall cost of a website.

So you see, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you may have originally anticipated. Sure, you can get a cheap site put up as a place holder, but it’s not going to drive any business your way. A professional, functional, and performance-driven website requires a certain amount of money based on your needs and wants. If you are in need of website design, digital marketing advice, or SEO support , give The Web Guys a call today at (317) 805-4933.