I’m often asked about the cost of developing a new website … and many people are justified in being concerned about the cost when developing a site the traditional way.

However, I recently read a story of how the small town of Albert Lea, Minnesota used WordPress (one of my favorite content management systems) to not only improve their website, but do it at a fraction of the cost of traditional development.

WordpressThe City of Albert Lea had solicited bids from local web development consultants, and was facing project costs of between $10,000 to $30,000.  In a chance meeting, another local consultant shared the wonders of WordPress, a free “content management system”.

As reported by the Albert Lea Tribune:

It (WordPress) is a Web-based content management system that allows officials in each department to change their pages without needing much knowledge of Internet language, said Teresa Kauffmann, the city’s public information coordinator.

Some cities pay a consultant $10,000, $20,000, even $50,000 for a Web-based content-management site that looks professional and is consistent through and through. …

… Kauffmann was in charge of the site’s revision, and last October she put together a committee of city officials to advise her.

She said the committee decided to shoot for a site using a content management system — or CMS — but it was outside of her Internet skills. The city began seeking estimates from Web design companies. When the estimates returned, they realized the city couldn’t afford it.

“We just didn’t feel we could justify spending $20,000-plus on a Web site,” Kauffmann said. “I happened to run into Jeshua Erickson on the Pelican Breeze one day, and we talked about Web sites and how he was developing them using WordPress.”

The City of Albert Lea ended up paying Mr. Erikson under $1000 to install and customize WordPress for their needs.  While in our opinion the city got a steal of a deal, it demonstrates the dramatic cost savings that can happen by using WordPress.

WordPress is a very powerful, flexible, almost infinitely extendable, and search engine friendly web platform.  While project costs will still vary using WordPress, it is still dramatically lower in most cases vs. traditional web development.  For example, while we’ve seen costs go as high as $9,000 for a very complex implementation, most of our projects are in the $1500-2500 range.

If you’d like information on creating a “content management system” web site for your business or organization, give us a call at 503.581.4554.

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