Balancing quality and cost: what’s the right budget for B2B website design and development?

Expectations versus reality for cheap tattoo

We get a lot of questions from business-to-business companies about how much to spend for a website redesign. The same applies to companies in the manufacturing, energy, real estate investment, and business-to-government sectors.

How do you balance quality and cost for your website project? It’s a tricky question to answer before gathering requirements and knowing your parameters. We can recommend some key considerations to guide project cost based on our experience building hundreds of websites.

Our focus is on medium-sized and large businesses— companies that have high expectations for the role a website plays in their business and significant needs for an enterprise-level solution. Companies of this scale have requirements that call for a professional custom design, information architecture, content plan, and development.

Budget range for corporate websites

The reality is that there is a huge potential range for your B2B website budget. For a website design and build, we see budgets for medium-sized companies range from $25,000 to $250,000. A website project for a large B2B company will typically start at $100,000 and can go up to seven figures, depending on what is involved. More important than upfront cost, in the end, is getting good return-on-investment and having your budget translated into actual results that will help your business.

Audiences for your website

While purchasing decision makers are the highest priority audience for a B2B company website, there are a number of other audiences that interact with the site. Your corporate website needs to connect with purchase influencers, partners, investors, employees and the public. It plays an important role in marketing, sales, human resources, public relations and investor relations. The quality of your website will shape perceptions of your brand. It is often the closest thing to a brick-and-mortar storefront that your B2B company will have.

Key budget considerations

Answers to these five questions can provide direction for your website budget:

  1. How much can the website potentially impact business results? If there is high potential impact for generating sales, there is usually more complexity to the website strategy and design, resulting in higher costs.
  2. What is the size of the audience for the website? A bigger audience typically means more requirements for the website and a bigger budget.
  3. How much content or data needs to be available on the site? The more data and content you need to feature on your website (like a product catalogue, for example), the more time and expertise is needed to organize and present it for a quality user experience, resulting in associated costs.
  4. To what degree does the website need to integrate with other software or applications? If the site will integrate with CRM software, a payment solution, inventory software, a careers platform or anything along these lines, there will be specific technical and budget requirements.
  5. How many design options do you want to choose from, and how many revisions do you want for your chosen design? If you want to see an array of design mockups with a different look and feel, and provide many rounds of stakeholder feedback, there will be corresponding costs for the creative work.

Of course, there is also the question of how much the company is willing to invest. Just like building new physical infrastructure, a quality-first approach will result in higher upfront costs but should give corresponding returns. A lower-budget solution may be attainable, and the returns will correspond. Basically, you will get what you pay for.

Websites for small and micro businesses

For many small businesses, the requirements and budget for a website project will be similar to the range for medium-sized businesses. However, if your annual revenue is less than $1 million, an enterprise-level solution is likely beyond what you currently need. We recommend comparing template solutions, do-it-yourself platforms, and freelancer services— simpler options are often the best fit for micro businesses.

The cost of a website project should not only connect to services provided, but to the expected impact and return for your business. It's important for your provider to focus on providing a clear return-on-investment for the money spent.

Upanup is proud to deliver award-winning web solutions for enterprise-level businesses— from website design and development, to full-service marketing and communications services. Check out our work to see the possibilities for your next project.

Have questions about balancing quality and cost? Get in touch— we are happy to help you out.

By Peter Knapp
CEO & Lead Strategist
November 15th, 2018
Disclaimer: Our team members contribute to this blog in their own voices. As such, opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily shared by Upanup. If you are curious or concerned, please contact us.
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