Many people come to us and inquire about development cost after they have already been disappointed by someone else.
These people fit into two main categories:

  1. The people who were looking for a cheap solution with low development costs and they got what they paid for.
  2. The one’s that went all out with a reputable agency and got very little return on their investment.

In both cases these people have been left deeply frustrated and very suspicious of anyone else, no matter how highly recommended we came in.

As disadvantageous as this ends up being for us, we don’t mind it and we welcome anyone that wants a properly functioning website, we will get the job done.

So how much should development cost?

The costs of development varies greatly but as a general rule, good development will cost you anywhere from $75/hour to $250/hour.

You can get cheaper development, especially by using beginners, but you have to be willing to take on the headaches and risk failures that come along with it.

Why should I pay so much when they are cheaper alternatives?

Our best answer to that question really is “try it out and then you can write the answer for us”.

If you’re not in the mood of running experiments, here’s the answer 🙂

You’re running a business, your website is just one of many aspects (albeit a crucial one) of your business.

You want to be able to just explain to someone what you need to accomplish and then never have to worry about it again.

No one would consider buying a second-hand 5-year-old computer for the secretary, because they understand that the performance they will get from it is not worth the dollars they’re saving.

The same goes for your development, you want the job done right the first time and not spend the rest of your day/week/month re-explaining what you meant, fixing something else that broke or smashing your head in frustration.

Getting the full picture

People often think that while they know the drawbacks of cheaper development, they’re willing to take the risk because they think anything can be fixed. They also reckon that they will easily find what was done wrong and spend minimal (and cheaper) time correcting these minor bugs.

This is wrong, the reason a lot of these bugs show up in the first place is not because of a bad development job on the specific task, rather it’s due to a poor overall idea of what’s going on.

Let us give you an example of something we recently fixed for a customer.

They had installed a third-party app on their checkout page to auto-validate the user’s shipping address. The extension used some JavaScript (JS) and that’s perfectly fine. When they combined the JS with the scripts they already had on their site, it broke and the address wasn’t getting validated.

If you don’t know what combined JS means – it’s just a method for combining all the JS script files that are needed for your site into one file, this helps for faster page load. The result of combining JS is that all your scripts are in one file and get loaded with one call, as opposed to loading multiple files to render your site.

In order to fix this issue, the developer just edited the scripts in the combined JS file and everything worked just fine – almost.
A few months later, the site owner decided to add another script file to his site, and they needed to recombine all the JS files, since they now had an extra one.
Of course, as soon as they recombined, the address validation was broken – the issue was never fixed in the source file, it was only fixed in the combined file, and as soon as you re-combine all your problems come right back.

If you didn’t follow the example, because it was to techie (we tried simplifying) then you definitely shouldn’t be relying on sub-par cheap development.

If you did follow through and you’re thinking “that’s a dumb mistake – our guy would have never done that”, he definitely would and did.
It might not be this exact scenario, but it would be something along the lines of getting the site to function properly on demand, only to find out later that it’s not really functional.

This would be akin to getting your car fixed, only to find out 500 miles later that the fix wasn’t really that, it was just a temporary application, although when you left the mechanic the car was driving oh so smoothly!

Our Project cost was very high, but we are still disappointed!

There’s one more crucial part to this and it is very unfortunate that so many customers learn this the hard way.

Good development doesn’t cost, it pays – only if you’re really getting good development.

You MUST get actual reviews from real customers before you sign on with anybody and commit your hard-earned money to anyone.

Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to another customer, and if they give you a hard time, you know it’s time to look at other alternatives.

Someone recently told us

“I thought building a site was like building a home, the contractor and I are just going to get in an argument”

This cannot be further from the truth, in fact we have built very strong friendships with our customers.


Bottom Line

The bottom line is that just like in any industry, they are beginners, professionals and unscrupulous people. This industry is not as cheap as you would like it to be but the return on investment opportunities are endless if you place your money on the right person/agency.

You should be hiring a developer to get things done and not to add things to your to-do list.

While the costs of good development might seem high, they really pay you back very nicely – try it, you won’t be disappointed!