Motivation

Extremely subjective and many a times highly erratic - only because there are lots of factors that affect pricing of a project, some are quantifiable while the others are not. Here is a simple to understand guide to help you save on your business website design/development cost.

UX (User Experience) thinking

Importance: The most important parameter is time and energy invested for UX which essentially is about getting into the minds of actual users and designing to make their experience most satisfying possible. The web professional (or team as the case may be) must have enough skills and experience to deal with the finer aspects of UX or it will fall flat without any positive impact on the conversion. In most cases, small business owners and web professionals overlook UX in favour of lower cost.
Deciding factors: Skills and experience of the designer team in the UX domain which is very specialised field of study combning many branches of arts and science.
Range: Not possible to generalise

Layout design - look and feel of the website

Importance: Layout of a website is like appearance of a person - it helps make a long-lasting first impression. The layout will decide how a visitor will feel about your website/business in first 10 seconds of landing. And whether he will interact with your website or just move on with the next search result on the SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page).
Deciding factors: Experience of the designer and quality of the deliverables which can be evaluated in advance from his/her past projects portfolio.
Range: Rs. 5K - Rs. 10K

Happening elements in the website - toppings on the pizza

Importance: It is like plain pizza or with toppings. Obviously everyone loves pizzas with toppings. Same with the website visitors. Simple website with only text and images no longer makes a punch in visitors' mind. So you need to add some text or images transitions/rotators, some simple but interesting animation effects, social integration widgets, videos from YouTube or Vimeo, some presentations from SlideShare or Google etc. Possibilities are endless and each of this feature adds some cost to the project.
Deciding factors: Open source code for almost all of the above widgets/features are available free of cost.
Range: Rs. 2K - Rs. 5K per piece of widget or feature

Static vs. Dynamic - limited or unlimited number of pages

Importance: Static website - every page needs to be created manually. Dynamic website - pages are generated by the programs on server using a template. For 10-15 pages website that does not require frequent updates, static website will work well. For dynamic websites, generally open source CMS are used - Joomla, Drupal, WordPress etc.
Deciding factors: Static pages are charged per page. Open source CMS used for dynamic websites are free of cost. You have to pay to your web developer only for layout and/or features customization.
Range: Static website - Rs. 0.5K-Rs. 1K per page. Dynamic website - Rs. 10K - Rs. 15K for template creation/customization. Rs. 2K - Rs. 5K for open source features (as described in above paragraph) addition/customization.

Who is doing it - a freelance, a small web firm or a reputed agency?

Importance: A freelance generally costs the least while a reputed agency has to charge to you for all the overheads as well as premium for the brand. It is up to you to decide what is your priority and where you are going to invest your money. In my opinion, opting for a freelance or small web firm could be a better option from cost perspective.
Deciding factors: Level of commitment, availability for service/support, experience in the web domain, quality of deliverables
Range: For a 10-15 pages static website : Freelance - Rs. 10K - Rs. 15K, small web firm - Rs. 20K - Rs. 30K, reputed web agency - Rs. 30K - 50K.

Hope this article will help you make well-informed decision.

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