Website Front End Dev costs

Any idea what it would cost to have someone set up a website for a small ice cream shop, nothing too serious just menu’s pictures, contact info.

The answer here is “it depends”.

The truth is, to answer this type of question with any degree of accuracy or confidence, would require a much more thorough description of the requirements which can only come about through conversations with someone (or some firm) interested in doing the work.

Off the top of my head, the developer will probably need to know things like:

  1. What is the main purpose of the website? Help people who already know about you get more info? Help people find out about you? Entice people to come to your shop? Upsell your customers (maybe you have cow-shaped hats)?
  2. What content do you envision putting on the website? Specifically, will there be content that may change frequently (e.g. a Menu, a Blog, a News or Announcements page)?
  3. Do you intend to sell anything through the website?
  4. Do you expect to be able to update the content of the site yourself, or are you comfortable paying the developer a fee to do so each time?
  5. How “custom” do you need the website to look? Are you comfortable using a pre-existing theme or design and simply tweaking it, with the knowledge that there will be certain compromises you’ll have to make from a design perspective?
  6. Who will develop the finalized content for the site? Do you have in-house graphics and copy-writing expertise? Do you have good photos, a high resolution version of your logo and other art?

And, very importantly, what is your budget? These kinds of projects can be anywhere from hundreds of dollars all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It all depends on the specifics of what you need/want and the trade-offs you’re willing to make.

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  1. It is already an existing site but is quite bad a former employee did it for free. Main purpose is just to advertise the ice cream shop as well as post photos and menu items.

  2. Menu, photos, probably won’t be updated much as we want to link the instagram account to it and update the photos there.

  3. Nothing will be sold on the site, it will be strictly informative.

  4. Comfortable paying for it to be updated or if it is simple enough to change I will do it my self.

  5. Wouldn’t mind using a pre-existing theme on word press or something along those lines.

  6. We have high res photos and a pre existing logo.

Budget wise not too sure, just trying to get a ball park figure here. Another cafe has this website and I don’t mind the layout of that site. Something along those lines.

Just put it on WordPress, and buy a Single Page app theme.

Upload your photos, enter your content and company info, done.

That Dooney’s site is also WP based.

Based upon your answers, you don’t need any custom development at all. I would say that even WordPress is probably over kill.

Something like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace would probably fit the bill.

I believe there are folks who specialize in setting up those kinds of things, but it’s not really my area. Depending on your comfort level, you may also want to consider the do-it-yourself route since these platforms try hard to be very user-friendly.

I am the one they want to hire to do the job, but I didn’t want to quote them a price for somethig that may not be that much work. Would be the first paid project id work on so I was trying to come up with a price

I see. Well, in my opinion, this isn’t a custom job and you should definitely use one of the platforms I mentioned, so long as the customer understands the constraints (theme and feature limitations) and is comfortable with them.

Based on how I used to do things way back when I ran a small dev shop, here is what I would advise.

A quick Google tells me one can get a Wix developer, for example, for about 30$/hr USD.

Take whatever time you think would be required to build them a site on that kind of platform and multiply by 10 (believe me, if this is your first paid gig, that is a very reasonable assumption). Then use that as a baseline price to provide them an estimate (very important, this is not a quote, it’s an estimate.)

Let them know that your estimated price is based on the number of hours you believe it will take to complete the project at a rate of (for example) 30$/hr … then tell them that as you build it, if there are changes or unforeseen requirements that would cause you to exceed your initial estimate you will communicate them early and come to an agreement on how to adjust either the scope or the budget to accomodate the change.

Take 50% upfront, 40% on delivery (i.e. they pay the 40% and you release the site to them), and 10% on acceptance (after you’ve released the site to them, they pay the last 10% if they are happy with it). Be prepared for the reality that they may disappear on you after you got your 50% and also be prepared to walk away from the last 10% if they turn out to be more pain than it’s worth.

Be prepared for them to haggle. Also, make it clear, that the value you bring to the table, is not “the lowest price” but rather your reliability and commitment to quality and transparency. And of course, your estimated hours should include all the time required to manage the project (client interactions, emails, meetings, discussions, clarifications, and so on…)/ This is where a good chunk of that 10x will come into play, by the way.

Brennan Dunn also has some excellent advice on this kind of thing:

Finally, consider putting in place a maintenance contract that entitles them to a certain block of hours each month for 20% of the total project cost per year (on top of the Wix or Squarespace pricing, obviously).

Hope that helps.


starting out, I charge about $1800.00 for a simple site with about 3 pages.

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