Why Are Websites So Expensive To Make?

It is no secret that web design companies can charge lucrative sums for slick websites that have a lot of elements.  If a website requires custom coding to make feature-rich pages, the time and manpower required can really escalate and the costs involved will spiral out of control.

It is not uncommon for big website design projects to fetch millions of dollars for large scale companies that have a lot of needs when it comes to the usability and performance of the website.  Some notable website builds that cost millions to make include carinsurance.com which is an American car insurer that paid $50 million for their site build in 2010, and rental company vacationrentals.com cost around $35 million to make.

One thing to consider when building a website is that it is not the fancy animations, widgets and tools that makes building them so expensive.  These can take time to build and will contribute to the overall cost, but it is the design and flow of the user interface that really adds value to a website and therefore it costs a great deal to execute this element properly. 

A hefty amount of research into target demographics and how they think and act in a buying situation is needed to properly understand exactly how the website should flow.  This is particularly important for any e-commerce site, as the actual process of buying a product can vastly affect whether or not a customer follows through with the purchase. 

One recent example of a lengthy and costly website build is the British Army’s complete website overhaul that took over four years to finish and ended up costing well over 100 million pounds.  That is a huge sum of money, and the agency that was tasked to build the site said that they had underestimated the elements that make up the website.