How much does it cost to build a professional website?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Sensamic, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Hi everyone.

    A friend and I are trying to build a new website, kind of a media site with lots of services. We are not programmers, therefore we have no idea how much would it cost. We are trying to figure this out. Maybe you guys could tell us how much does it cost to build a site these days.

    For example, how much would it cost to build a site like Macrumors itself, Wikipedia, Tumblr or Youtube?

    We are looking for companys that build websites. How much do these companys charge for building a website like the ones mentioned above?

    Thanks everyone.
  2. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Macrumors... Is VBulletin, which is $195 software and probably 10 hours of design time to theme it.

    Wikipedia, tumblr, and youtube..... Probably millions to develop similar technology.
  3. AustinZ macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2008
    Web software like PHPBB (forums), MediaWiki (the software that Wikipedia runs on), and Drupal (general content management) are all free and open source, and very good at that. However, to set them up and get them doing exactly what you want them to do requires at least a little knowledge about programming and what web servers, PHP, MySQL or other databases, etc are.

    Check out Drupal and see if you like what you see.
  4. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    If it is something big and complex like Youtube, assuming from scratch lets say it takes 10 man months to do the design, coding and testing which is reasonable for a small/medium web project.

    So whether you hire 1 man for 10 months or 2 men for 5 months(negating diminishing returns) and they clock in 35 hours a week, even at minimal wage where i am the cost of development is still £8400(£6/hour).

    Now you would probably have to quadruple that or more to hire competent web developers, i charge £20/hour so to higher two web developers for 5 months assuming all goes well it would cost £20800. And there is a good chance you also need to hire a logo designer, marketing, branding(see logo designer), and also a web designer to make the site look ascetically pleasing.

    If it is something that can be done off the self it is far less expensive to do, however far less likely to be unique and profitable when you have many competitors able to use the same technology.
  5. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    May 4, 2010
    Depending on what your site is going to be used for ( sorry I couldn't quite tell from th OP), you may also want UAT (User Acceptance Testing), it's pointless doing the above if the site is buggy or leaves you open to risk i.e. Fraud etc.

    Contractors can range from £100-400 a day from my experience, to come in and do the testing. Expensive but worth it in the long run.
  6. besler3035 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Just a rough estimate, at least $10,000. You're talking about custom design and extremely in-depth development. It would have to include custom databases as well as a member login system. Definitely not an overnight project by any means.
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    If none of that is in your price range, and I doubt they are, check out SquareSpace. You won't find better hosting/web services anywhere. Plus, because of WSYWIG CSS editing you can easily make your site unique. Free for 14 days (no CC requirement).

    *I'm not in any way affiliated with them. They're just a great company/service.
  8. besler3035 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Squarespace is decent, but you can't really build a YouTube-type website with them...unless they've changed that much over the past few years.
  9. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Sure you can. You just have to know what you're doing.
  10. numeeja macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2010
    A website typically costs about the same as a car.
  11. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    Depends on the web site and functionality much like cars vary in price. You want a Toyota or a Porsche?
  12. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2007
    Waterloo, Ontario

    Before you start asking others for prices, you need to know exactly what you want. Log into a few sites and pay attention to every screen you see, from login, to browsing/searching, to uploading files/videos and setting account information. If you don't know certain details, someone else needs to define them. As such, the more you know, the better the price and the shorter the timeline.

    For the services you referenced, think thousands of hours, not dozens. Programming is much more complicated than most people think, and you need to trust your developer for any relationship to work. Things take time, and timelines can slip when unexpected issues appear.
  13. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    It also depends on the expected purpose of the site, and whether or not you can reuse existing software packages (commonly known as COTS, or Commercial-Off-The-Shelf products).

    For example: if my goal is to create a small site where my friends and family can post videos to share, then perhaps I can leverage existing sites like YouTube and Vimeo to do the actual media hosting, and my site is much simpler because then it essentially only has to manage the links.

    But if my goal is to create "the next YouTube" because, say, I've invented a new compression algorithm that's better than anything else out there, or I have this new idea for video sharing that's never been done before, then that's a whole new scale.

    Even when it comes to labour effort, the cost is very subjective. You could do it yourself for "free", get a hardworking teenager to do it from their basement for a couple hundred bucks, or you could hire a consulting company for many thousands of dollars.
  14. djsound macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2006
    I have done websites for years using Dreamweaver and never even knew about Squarespace. I just checked it out and would WAY rather use that then Dreamweaver..unfortunately keeping track of the monthly fee for many clients might be a pain. Also I don't like the branding of their site on the pages and I doubt some of my clients would either....I am surprised someone hasn't came out with something like Squarespace but a desktop version. That you can just upload the files once they are created . That way you can skip the monthly bills..
  15. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2009
    I am planning on creating my own webpage. Fairly simple, made in dream weaver, run by myself. All it will cost me is domain and hosting. ($100 bucks a year... ish)

    And by simple I mean, 5-10 pages. If for some reason my site gets popular, I am going to have to do A LOT of research to advance it or higher outside help.

    Once you start running services etc this is where it gets tricky. You will have to start setting up databases (php, mysql etc..) Which is complicated.

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