My company develops websites for small to medium sized businesses. I wrote a software package which allows site owners to create pages, upload pictures and track conversions on their website. Only minimal technical knowledge is required so it's pretty easy to do. If you can send email, you can manage your website using this system. Additionally, the system was developed to rank well on search engines.
You can create as many pages as you wish and upload as many pictures and files (example: MS Word/PDF) as you wish within hosting limits. I haven't had a company come close to maxing out their hosting limits yet.
The programming is very flexible. Your site can have almost any look you could want. It wouldn't have a 'blog' look, for instance, and you're not boxed inside a frame work.
The issue I'm having is determining how much the thing is worth to a small business. What's your company's budget for a website? Under $1000? $1000 to $5000? Do you even have a budget?
#1. "RE: What is a reasonable price for a website?" In response to Reply # 0
That sounds like a pretty good tool. The only thing that concerns me is that someone with limited technical knowledge is not going to pay a whole lot to build there own website, especially if they can get some software, freeware, or even buy a website dirt cheap. From my experience, a small business would pay a little more ($500 - $2500) for a professinal to build their site rather than opting for expensive software to build their own.
On that note, it does sound pretty interesting and I wouldn't mind looking at it and reviewing it on my site. Let me know what you think.
#4. "RE: What is a reasonable price for a website?" In response to Reply # 0
Chico is right on, about $5000 to $2500 for a well done 5 - 10 page site.
If you figure your pricing based on an hourly unit and you work at approximately $65 per hour (industry standard based on Salary.com) you put about 38 hours into a $2500 site. That's a full week. Of course there is some time you have to eat but as a whole thats fairly standard and as long as you are good a bidding out a price then you will be able to break even or just a little better. Then you can work the customer with additional services and sales after the initial design.
If you look at monetizing a build it yourself site, you have to be careful because people don't put the same value on "professional" that a web designer does. What looks good to them and works isn't necessarily good web design so pricing on your "professional" tools won't attract them. A self-service tool is expected to be relatively inexpensive. There are many real estate web site tools out there that charge a subscription that runs less that $50 per month and they get tons of software and contact management tools that go along with it.
For a static site with a few standard tools built on a template engine CMS you also run into the fact that there are literally thousands of ISPs who provide a similar thing along with their web hosting. Godaddy has one and bluehost has one that lots of people like. Do they build pro sites? Absolutely not. But they do create a site that people like and will run with.
The bottomline is that you can't price a sophisticated site builder anywhere near a custom designed site and expect to do as well as the custom person.
The advantage of having a CMS engine is volume. You don't need the staff to create the sites, and you get many more people worked through.
Also, look at your pricing model. For anything like that subscription is definately the way to go. If it takes you one week to do a $2500 site the most you could realistically do in a year would be 52 sites. That would work out to $130,000 per year gross revenues. Then the next year you'd need to do the same amount of work to generate the same revenues.
By lowering your prices and attracting people who can see the value of a better builder you stand to do much better especially in subsequent years.
To generate the exact same amount of revenue all you have to do is get 100 people to subscribe at $25 per month for one year. If all 100 carry over to the next year your revenues remain unchanged and you have to do virtually nothing to keep it that way.
If you generate an additional 100 subscribers then your margins go way up and you become a sales organization. Now you can add affiliate programs and do some leveraged sales of your service. Let other web hosts/shops sell you service for you. You keep the service up and running and continually improve it and let other people sell it for you.
"Things are difficult only while you don't understand them."
#9. "RE: What is a reasonable price for a website?" In response to Reply # 0