How Much Does a Website Cost?

There is no simple answer to this question. It all depends on function, design and strategy. Having said that, Keystone websites will be more expensive than a company that spits out low-quality, template sites. Every week I'm regaled with at least one story of some WordPress hack or [insert industry here] template website company who convinced their former customer (now telling me their tales of woe) that they could do all the wonderful things Keystone does - and at a fraction of the cost. 
Here are five questions we hear often during our proposal process and our explanations:

1. Plan? What plan? Why plan? 

All too often, people are too ready to dive in and start building a new website without thinking it through. They want to shoot first and aim later. Horrible idea. Our first task is to develop a plan that will take into consideration what you need now and in the future...and account for all of it whether it happens now or two years from now (an Internet eternity). No one has ever said to us at the end of the project: "You know all that time we spend determining what our best website would look like? Who our customers are? How we're going to reach them and get more of them? Yeah, that was a waste of time and money." NOBODY says that. 

2. But can't I can write my own content? 

Ummm...I've read your work. Ok, so maybe you can pound out the occasional email or text, but you can't write for the web. For the three people I know who do write well for the web, skip ahead. For the rest of you...well, just stop trying. Why in the world do you want to be a writer anyway? Don't you have a nonprofit to run, a tax return to finish, or product to sell? We're the ones who should be dealing with the mind-numbing drudgery of writing scintillating website copy. 

3. How long can a good design take? 

Good design? How about mediocre? Good design takes time. There is a reason why the heavily visited websites you use work so well. The really good ones will work on your smartphone too, or any browser you can name. This doesn't just "happen" by clicking a few buttons. Standards change rapidly and new technologies emerge monthly, which can make things easier or more complex. We're on top of them, but not everyone cares. 

4. Software, that's free right? 

Free is a sucker's bet. You're always giving up something, whether it's security or your soul. In the case of WordPress, you're giving up both, along with your time and sanity as you try to stay one step ahead of the Chinese hackers who want to hack your website or post spam messages in your blog. Kentico CMS is secure, flexible, and unlike WordPress, lightning fast. All those are very compelling reasons to actually pay something for the system that is the framework of your website. 

5. Isn't all hosting the same? I think $4.95 a month is plenty fair. 

If your hosting company is slow or unreliable, it doesn't really matter what you've got to say. We learned a long time ago that providing our customers with premium business-class website hosting fixes a lot of problems. First, our phone rings for better reasons. I can't remember the last time someone called us to say, "my website is running slow." Sure, we get calls about not being able to see anything on the web, and that usually requires a call to Comcast or some other Internet service provider. Second, when something does go wrong, do you really want to be greeted by someone reading a script out of a foreign call center? Look, I know call centers are a necessity in business. But for your website? Do you really want a business-critical function to be outsourced to some cut-rate service? If you do...we wish you the best. As for us and our customers, we're using Amazon and Rackspace, the premier providers of hosting. 
So first, thanks to our raggedy, corner-cutting competitors for making Keystone look so competent and put together. As the old saying goes, "if you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur."