Websites for 3 Business Phases. What’s Yours?

Let’s walk through 3 quick client profiles to help you get an understanding of process and cost at various phases of business. The purpose is to help you identify some of your own needs in at least one of these examples. Each represents an exciting and fulfilling time in our own professional life, and we couldn’t be where we are today, serving you, without them. Let’s meet the profiles that exemplify the heart of each level of a website build.

Client One | Service Professional

Small Business

This small professional consulting firm needed a simple website primarily for marketing purposes. They had an offline brand/logo and no real website design ideas. They provided the content which consists of copy, head shots, a logo and a video idea featuring their CEO. During a meeting with our Project Manager and Art Director, they researched a short list of example websites they liked. They didn’t require databases but we did implement a 3rd-party email management tool for them so they can collect client inquiries and send out email blasts. We’re looking at approximately 6-10 pages.

Our estimate:

Interface Design: 18 hours – Layout, User interface and experience, Graphics, Content
Development: 8 hours – Customization of theme, including HTML and CSS additions
Project Management: 6 hours – Info sharing, milestones, communication, consulting, testing
Total: $2,200

Open source development is always an option. This client chose to work with a theme that they could maintain themselves as much as possible post launch. Using a theme made the cost more affordable and the time to launch quicker, which suited their personal strategy.


Following is a semi-complete list of the deliverables from our team:

  • Planning document that lists creative and website goals
  • Content checklist and schedule
  • Access to our project management tool (if desired), eg. Basecamp
  • 2 home page design options that get modified based on client input to arrive at one  approved design
  • Design for website pages (based on the home page design) and all associated graphics
  • Programming for the website and integration of 3rd-party email management tool
  • Integration of all client content
  • Integration of Google Analytics
  • Upload to client’s hosting server and setup of email addresses
  • Testing and Launch
  • Proactive submission of site to the major search engines
  • At the end of the project we provide the client with a complete copy of all our original files on CD (.PSD, .PDF, HTML, etc)

This type of small business project accounts for about 1/2 of the projects we do. Post-launch, these companies often come back to us for content updates and enhancements which we bill at our regular hourly rates or fraction thereof. Clients who require regular edits save money by purchasing a tailored Retainer Plan that allows us to offer a discount.

Client Two | eCommerce Product Sales

Mid Size Business


This small to mid-sized business needed a landing page and ecommerce for an additional product line. They had an online brand/logo and some design ideas. They provided the content for their website which consisted of copy, trademark images, product photos, and a PDF download. They also wanted a logo and a product label. During a meeting that our Project Manager, Art Director and Tech Director had with them, they review the look of their parent site and confirm what elements to maintain for continuity. They had a merchant account.

Our estimate:

Interface Design: 60 hours – Layout, User interface and experience, Graphics, Content (may include some Flash design)
Development: 30 hours – Theme/or Custom HTML, PHP and CSS. Integration and customization of cart by All Pro Web Tools.
Project Management: 15 hours – Info sharing, milestones, communication, consulting, testing
(You can expect to pay a little more for separate hosting and an SSL certificate)
Total: about $7,500


Same as Client One plus a additional hours for client-side training on their custom ecommerce cart.


Client Three | Membership Services

Offering Programs, Events, Affiliates + Travel

High End Business


This business needed a marketing website for a new brand. They also needed membership and email marketing components. They will provided the content for their website which consisted of copy and video clips. During a meeting with our Project Manager, Art Director and Tech Director, they showed us their previous site and confirmed their creative vision and functionality requirements for a new site. As the project developed, they also requested a professional into and outro video, a video series conversion strategy, pop-up email capture, various program opt-ins, a quiz, affiliate links, and more.

Branding design and online style guide: 36 hours
Interface Design: 60 hours – Layout, User interface and experience, Graphics, Content (may include some complex Flash design)
Development: 140 hours – Custom HTML, PHP and CSS. Integration and customization of Add Ons and membership modules.
Email template design and programming: 16 hours
Project Management: 48 hours –  Info sharing, milestones, communication, consulting, testing
You can expect to pay a little more for the hosting and an SSL certificate
Total: about $22,000


Same as client one above, plus a several hours for training on the CMS solution, custom interactive tools for video, audio, forms, quizzes, plugins and add-ons.


Adding Attention To Your Website 

There are a thousand add-ons you can use to enhance your website. The suggestions and estimates below reflect the general requirements we have seen, however you always have the control to push forward or scale back your website development at any point. If you don’t see your add-on here just email us and we’ll provide an estimate.

  • Custom Content Management Systems– For clients who want to manage their own content we can offer them a theme, or integrate and customize a content management system (CMS). We work with both theme customizations, and PHP-based open-source CMS solutions like Drupal. The range for customizing a theme is around $1000 – $5000. The range for integrating and customizing Drupal is about $4,000 to $20,000 and up.
  • Custom Blog– Many clients want a WordPress blog within their website customized to their website branding and design. This ranges from $1,250 – $3,000 and up.
  • Email Marketing Campaigns– Clients who want to gather emails and send out branded email blasts for announcements or newsletters require an Email management tool. We integrate the 3rd-party tools (Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact) and create an email blast template design, we can even manage your email blast. Fully integrated email conversion tool is $600 and up.
  • Branding/Identity Development– Logo and collateral design is something we are often asked to do. We start with an 8 hour process that generates about 6 rough logo concepts. One of these is chosen, and we enter several rounds of edits to arrive at a final version.  $350 – $3,500
  • Style Guides– An online styleguide is important because it establishes brand consistency and provides a guide for all your print collateral and online marketing. Basic style guide $250 – $1,250.
  • Targeted Landing Pages– Landing pages are pages that promote a specific product or service. They are usually part of an email, social media, or banner ad campaign. We can design and create these pages starting at $650.

We hope these scenarios give you a clear sense of exactly what contributes to website build. By now, you have a real sense of the creative effort that goes into understanding your unique values, services and products and to tailoring each in a way that directly serves your business lifestyle and supports your financial goals for years to come. Thank you for walking through these projects with us. If you have questions, please feel free to email us and ask. We hope you’re inspired by what you see and hear, and should you decide we’re the design team for you – we’ll be as excited to work with you as we have been for each of these lovely people and unique businesses.

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