Betcha didn’t know that.

Seriously–did you know that every single website in the world that’s considered “good,” “great,” or “awesome and effective” cost someone $10,000 to implement?

Let’s break it down. But first, let’s understand why we’re even getting into this argument (you do disagree with me, right?) in the first place.

Why I’m being ridiculous

Maybe I’m being hard-nosed about this concept because I work at a marketing company. Maybe it’s because I’m angry at all of those “But I have a website people.”

Or maybe it’s because I really do care about making the online world a better place.

Anyway, I do believe that websites that are worthy of visits cost $10,000. Period.

Here’s where I’m getting my data:

  • Your time is worth something. I’m going to assume it’s at least $100/hour, but for the sake of this argument, I’ll stay there.
  • Your initial investment is anything from $0 to $10,000. If it’s any more than that, I’m sorry, you may have overpaid.
  • That last statement is false. If you paid more than $10,000, you seriously overpaid.

Got it? Good.

Okay, here we go.

If your time is worth $100/hour, it would take you around 100 hours to build a website that falls in the “$10,000” range. That’s a lot of hours, but it can be done in a few weeks, given an open schedule, not a lot of social life, and a lot of 5-hour energy drinks.

Maybe your time is worth more–in that case, go ahead and recalculate.

Step 1 – Calculate the time you actually spent on your site

Let’s say you’re a creator who spent 50 hours setting up your current website. It’s pretty cool–you have some neat social media plugins, a great (free) theme, and some nifty widgets on the sidebar that let people see how great you are with WordPress.

Let’s also assume you didn’t spend a dime on your initial setup–after all, it was you who set the thing up, and you who registered the domain name for a “” website.


But you didn’t spend a dime, and now your site kind of sucks. Sorry, but it does (you know who you are). Sure, it’s got an About page, and you try to blog every other day, but overall it’s just not working for you. No one seems to care about you or your piddly little Blogspot blog.

You wonder why, and then you somehow found this post. Awesome! Keep reading.

The other side of the coin. 

Let’s say you actually did spend $10,000 USD on a website. It’s pretty kick-butt awesome, if you do say so yourself. And you do.

It has widgets galore, it’s completely customized to your personal preferences, and you have the designer’s cell phone number saved on a Dashboard sticky.


But you didn’t spend any time actually getting in the thick of things–you just blindly trusted a (probably great) design firm to “build you a competitive and super-duper website.” It certainly is competitive–it looks better than anything you’ve ever seen, and you almost wish your own child looked more like it.

But it’s not doing anything. You’ve come to realize that having a website is one thing; having a website that generates attention and builds your platform is totally another thing (and it has many more words).

Awesome (but not really)! Keep reading.

Step 2 – Calculate the amount of money you actually spent on your site

Again, let’s assume you didn’t spend a dime–we already talked about that. That means that it was on you to design, concept, layout, write, implement, and set up your entire website, not to mention host, maintain, tweak, and set up emails.

If you’re of the latter group we mentioned who spend gads of dollars on your site, the opposite is true–you’ve spent hardly any time getting to know the ins and outs of your website, save for a tutorial or walkthrough of the CMS.

Step 3 – Realize the truth

Do the math, and I think you’ll see where I’m going with this:

  • As I mentioned before, let’s assume your time is worth $100
  • Let’s also assume you only spent $5,000 on your site out-of-pocket, but
  • You maintain the site yourself, and you personally set up widgets, tweak the navigation, and add content

Is it fair to say you’ve spent around 50 hours or so on the site, or at least will have spent that much on it by the time you can call it “great?”

So if you split your time and your money down the middle (50/50), your awesome website still equals $10,000–half time, half money.

However you decide to split the time/money, the equation holds true.

Want a free website? Expect to spend 100 hours getting everything set up properly.

Want to have someone else do it all? Expect to spend $10,000 to have a whiz-kid do your work for you.

The point

Yes–I realize I’m taking a complex argument and oversimplifying it a bit. But the point is this: if you want the website of your dreams, someone has to do it. Go too far either way on the time/money spectrum and you’ll either go broke or let the world pass you by as you program the perfect widget for your sidebar.

When I design websites for clients, I don’t charge $5,000, or even $2,000 most of time, much less $10,000. And there’s a simple reason why:

More often than not, my client can spend X amount of money on a site and be satisfied with the look and feel of the site, but they still won’t have enough understanding of it to make it great. It’s important that they spend hours getting to know the interface, the CMS, and the backend system.

I expect them to love the design that I created, but I also want them to feel comfortable (and not need to call me every day) installing new plugins, templates, etc.–and that takes time.

So, for you, it’s time to look at what you’re using as a brand platform. Your first impression for many people will be your website–are you ready for them?

Is your website a $10,000 site, or is there something lacking on the time/money spectrum?

Leave a comment and let’s see where you stand!