Why are my website quotes so different?

Why are my website quotes so different?

Clients often tell us that when they get quotes for a website project they receive wildly varying prices.

This is both confusing and rather disconcerting.

  • Which quote is right?
  • Why such a difference?


To try an answer that question here are my top four reasons why website prices varying;

1. Sadly, someone is trying it on. Like any industry there are rogue traders and because technical development can be complicated these guys can abuse trust. I have no idea what is wrong should my car break down, I have to trust the mechanic on his word – and sadly they don’t have a great track record either.

2. Outsourcing to India (or similar). Typical UK hourly rates range from £30 per hour for a cheap developer, perhaps a one-man-band just starting out. More expensive charges can be around £100 per hour which should get you a premium developer with a big and recognised company. Just within UK rates there is a big range, but some agencies will outsource development work. This can be as cheap as £5-£10 per hour. Tempting, and it can work. You get a much better price for your website but buyer beware! 80% of outsourcing ends in tears; poor coding, short-cuts, not post-production support, no longevity and bad design.

3. Small agencies / one man bands. These guys can build a great website and can do it cheaply because of low costs. We were once one of these so we have to be kind! The problem with this option is on going support. People take holidays, get really busy and shut up shop. A large agency gives you security and reliability. Also beware that a one-man-band will not have the full depth and breadth of knowledge so may fall short on security, hosting, design, customer UX, etc – no one person can be a master of all trades.

4. Bespoke vs Pre-build content. There are two levels to this. Occasionally advertised on TV are the ‘site-builder’ services. Dead easy to use, anyone can make a site and do it cheaply. Great idea if you want a cheaper website but if you want to expand the site, or get a unique feel you will be restricted. You may also find that, by paying monthly, you end up spending a lot more over 2-3 years. The second option it to buy pre-built themes. WordPress has thousand of pre-built website that, with a bit of design skill and tech knowledge, you can build a good looking website. The danger with these that we have found is, they are restricted to the pre-built functionality and you are dependant on the author to update the coding in line with platform updates and security patches.

5. Specification gap.  It is hard for clients to describe what they want and then relate that to effort. Sometimes things that seem easy to a client are really tough to do, and vice versa. When quoting, agencies may not fully understand what the client needs. For example, one agency may not plan in future proofing when another does as they believe it is important. Getting a website specification right is much like getting good architectural plans, it can save a lot of pain later in the project.

Ultimately – you get what you pay for – quality does take time!

Hope this helps!