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How much does it cost to create a website in Hong Kong

November 11, 2021 ・10 min read

A user-friendly website design is critical for any business: it creates trust to your potential customers; leaves a good impression for your investors and helps to attract your future employees.  

There are a wide range of options to design and develop a website. to a business that is not familiar with the efforts and costs involved in each of the options, the selection can be a difficult one to make. A website can cost as cheap as US$200 or as an expense of 6 figures, and if you are willing, you can even set one up for FREE with tools such as WIX, Squarespace and Webflow. 

We have helped many companies to understand their needs and the investment they must make to create a successful digital presence with the following 4 steps of decision making:

Step 1:

Take a step back from the website design, start from the result you want to achieve

A common mistake of business owners is to start out thinking about the their website design before anything else. Only after they have launched the site, they start to think about what the business objective for the site is. This is backward. 

 

A better way is to start with the business objective, that is why the first question we ask all our business owners is “how will the website help your business?”. Do you need the website to generate online sales, or help you acquire new customers,  or bring awareness to your business partners and investors? What is the action you want them to do after arriving at your website, registering an account, submitting their email address, or placing an order? 

 

Having specific targets to start with helps the website design teams focus on the right thing, setting the project off to success. Content, information architecture, and design come second, once you have established a clear set of goals.

Step 2:

Know the hidden cost of the different website design options

To summarize, there are three ways you can create a website:

Method 1:

Use a DIY no-code website editor

Building your own website (or asking your nerdy friend) seems like an appealing option. There are so many no-code web design and development tools available and you know what you want and so why not do it yourself.

 

And the tools also look reasonably easy to use. Website design platforms such as WIX, Webflow, Squarespace and Shopify are just a few of the many options on the market. They provide good templates and tools, plenty of educational content and lots of functionality.

 

The hidden cost of this option is: you probably do not know what a successful UX is for your website and marketing strategy for your business.

 

Copying your competitors’ website is not going to give you an advantage, customers can’t differentiate you from other similar businesses, then it is just comparing price which is not a sustainable business model.

 

Using the pre-built templates is not going to produce a result specific to your business, it only creates a website that looks many others.

A website with good UX makes sure the target audience know the value the business will bring to them and gets the users to complete their actions fast and smoothly. It’s quite probable that you’ll miss many of them and struggle to create a website that can attract traffic and generate leads for your business. There are also lots of tricky technical issues that you’ll need to overcome, such as image resizing and optimization, setting titles and data for search engines, and improving page loading speeds.

 

A fair number of our clients went down this route before coming to us. We advise you to focus on your business and outsource website UX design and development to save your time and your business!

Method 2:

Find a freelancer

If you browse any of the crowdsourcing platforms you will discover many freelancers who offer website design and development for very low prices. Like HK$10K or less here. 

 

This seems a good bargain, but just bear in mind that at this low price point, your website designer will NOT be asking detailed questions about your business nor will they be investigating your target market or providing solutions on how to better promote your products or services. Their objective is to get the work done as soon as possible so they can get paid and move on to the next project.

 

If you choose this option, you must take a lead on design and layout, and you’ll be in the same situation as you would be if creating it yourself – you do not have the knowledge or experience! Moreover, you have potential language barriers and the chance of miscommunication is high. There is also the risk of a sudden disappearance or uncertain project delay when the work becomes more challenging than expected, as the freelancer is likely working on multiple projects and prioritizing based on how easy it is to get paid as their resource is very lean. We received quite a few websites that are unfinished or need serious fixing after the business owner has used these cheaper services. We recommend that if you are serious about your business, don’t be tempted by lower prices, save your time, and make sure your investment brings a return.

Method 3:

Hire a UX agency

There are a lot of website design agencies in Hong Kong so how can you know that you are getting the right one?  Your investment should be paying for the knowledge and experience of a professional. A company that understands what your business needs and can advise you on what your business requires. 

Pay attention to the comments and suggestions they give, did they identify the right competitors, did they research their products and customer feedback? Look at the proposal, did they identify your goals, your target audience correctly and then define the best online solution possible that is within your budget.

And the best UX design companies identify the market changes before you do. They see themselves as your partner and they are naturally curious about what is going on in the market, they will share the findings spontaneously and propose new ideas. These companies are the most difficult to find and if you are working with one, you know your website will be a great business success.

Step 3:

Find the right website development partner that fit your needs

Depending if the website is a one-off or an on-going project, you will need different type of development engagement. However in most cases, you need to update contents on the website and may need to change the major pages because you have added new products or services, new target segments or new markets.

For the same cost consideration, you may be tempted to find a freelancer, why it may look cheap in the first place, the fact the knowledge of the code is written and lack of ongoing maintenance may create a lot of problems when you have to update any content. If your website is hosted on wordpress or webflow, this risk can be reduced as the development is following a series of defined specifications from the technology provider but if it is a custom build site (as it is for most of the sites if you want to create a truly differentiated experience), the additional effort to try to understand an outdated codebase can be quite sizeable.

A dedicated web development team provides the sustainability your website needs, making sure the code is well maintained, regularly updated and bugs are fixed as soon as possible. They would also help with all the modifications you need as you identify new features and usability issues. 

If your website design agency already works with some development companies, it can also be a good option as it would simplify your project management effort and create a faster turnaround as they have already formed a good working process.

Step 4:

Develop a way to monitor the result and continue improving

We found that for many business owners that are not familiar with digital products, they often neglect the importance of behavioral analytics tool implementation. This is adding tools such as Optimizely or Google Analytics to your website and configuring the tool so it can tell you how many new users are coming to your website, what channel they come from; what they do on your websites and what issues they encounter. 

 

A product is not complete when there is no way to measure the success or failure of the product against the business objective. That is why we always make sure we discuss with the clients how they want to track the website performance and work with the development team to create the dashboard and conversion funnels. With our expertise on SEO and marketing, we can give good suggestions on how clients shall look at data and propose how to improve the website design to get better results.

Conclusion

After you thought through your website following the 4 steps, you would have a good idea of what you are looking for, at the end, we also have a checklist of the steps you (with your selected agencies) can go through for website development and deployment:

  • – Identify your target audience.
  • – Research online behaviour of your target audience.
  • – Research into keywords used in searches by your target audience.
  • – Create the look and feel of the site and the tone of written content.
  • – Create content to attract and convert the target audience.
  • – Create a user-friendly structure and flow for pages
  • – Conduct a usability test to make sure the solution resonates with the target audience
  • – Create systems to convert visitors into customers.
  • – Develop and deploy the website
  • – Optimise pages for search engine results.
  • – Create social media campaigns and/or advertising strategies.
  • – Automate retargeting systems to reach abandoned carts or past visitors.
  • – Set up ongoing promotional content and social media strategies.

Each one of these steps can be completed in greater or lesser detail. Each step could require work that might cost HK$30K on its own, or perhaps they could all be lightly touched for an entire budget of HK$30K.

You can see an example of a project process starting from research to development: how Uxlicious helps Alchemistt develop its trade-in solution

A budget that allows more work to be committed to each of these steps produces a much more effective business result. By reducing the budget some of these steps will be skimmed over or even entirely omitted. 

That is why a good website design company will ask you what your budget is. If websites were houses, then they need to know if they are building a skyscraper for thousands of residents to live in for a large real estate developer or a country house for a family of 3-4 ppl. As a business owner, the most important question is what building you want to create and how much budget you want to spend on it. Website development companies also want to work with clients that clearly know their objective and have a good chance of success. If our client gets great results, then it is a win-win for everyone.

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Whether you want to learn about UX Design or need product design services, feel free to get in touch. We love a good challenge.

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