Home stagers have a plethora of expenses for their business. Although the importance of a website is obvious, the fact is that a website is another business expense. So how much is this extra expense going to be? And is the expense of a website really worth it?
The short answer of cost is that it a website can range from being free up to a few thousand dollars. The difference in price depends on a few things, such as how much work you have to do to make it, the extra services and support, the quality, and the effectiveness. There are actually more variables to consider, so many that it is possible to get overwhelmed.
In an attempt to simplify, we will discuss four different options for getting a website for your home staging business: <treat this like a table of contents, where they can click a link to scroll down to the one they want to read about>
- Make Your Own Website
- Use a Home Stager Specific Website Builder
- A Developer Who Charges a One Time Fee
- A Developer Who Charges a Monthly Maintenance Fee
We don’t want to get too deep into the value of a website, because in the age of the internet, you already know. But a good website should be something that you are proud to send potential clients to. A good website gets found in Google, Yahoo, and Bing so that it generates leads for you 24/7. A good website provides value to your website visitors, quickly, professionally, while showcasing your work and your brand. A good website gives your business the Curb Appeal it deserves and makes your website visitors want to work with you.
What do you Need in a Home Stager Website?
Home Stagers have a few different options for getting a website for their business. Before you just go choosing a website developer based on price, you need to understand what you really need.
There are a three primary website and service options to consider:
- Do you want to make your own website, or have your website completely made for you? There are even some hybrid options where you start with a template, then you add all the content yourself.
- Do you want to use a company that specializes in working with home stagers, or a general website company? If you have researched websites, you have likely found that there are a few companies that make websites specifically for home stagers. Meanwhile, general website developers can make websites for any type of business, like coffee shops, churches, hardware stores, video game forums, or anything else.
- Do you want to pay a larger one time fee for the website and take care of your own hosting? Or do you want a lower up front cost, and then a monthly maintenance fee for your website to be hosted, updated with new software and security patches, and have support when you need it?
Typically, there are more questions that arise as you consider you answers for each of those questions, such as “how hard can it be to make my own website?” That is very similar to a homeowner asking “my decorations look nice, so why would I need a home stager to help sell my home?”
The answer comes down to how much you trust yourself versus trusting an expert.
Website options for Home Stagers
Now that we’re done with our website soul searching, let’s talk about how much it really costs for each option. The costs vary greatly, depending on what your needs are.
Make Your Own Website
If you are considering this option, you have likely heard the names Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Vistaprint, and even Houzz. Google “How to get a website for my business” and you will find a number of other companies that offer a similar service.
These are all companies that provide website builders. They make it easy for you to design your website. They typically give you a domain name (www.MyHomeStagingCompany.com), host your website, and have tutorials on how to make your own website.
Website builders can range in cost from free to $30/month.
This option provides a great value for anyone who has the time and a little bit of technical expertise. The drawbacks are that you are on your own for designing and making your website, there are limits to the flexibility in design and other options, and they don’t have the best built in SEO.
For the more technically capable, you should use WordPress, get a theme with great functionality (we like Divi from Elegant Themes for $89/year), and get fast hosting (we recommend WPEngine).
Cost Summary: $0 to $30/month
Use a Home Stager Specific Website Builder
Some home stagers still want to build their own website, but want a helping hand while doing it. Well, you’re in luck, because there are companies that sell a home stager website templates, so all you have to do is enter in your own text and load your pictures. This option is typically offered by home staging certification or training companies.
These companies generally provide the following for their clients:
- A website template
- Documentation or videos on how to use the website builder
Using their website template makes it relatively easy for you to enter in any text that you want. And knowing that your website hosting is being taken care of is one less thing to worry about.
This option has a wide range of pricing, such as a one time fee of $300 up to $700, and then $200 to $400 per year for hosting.
This options is great for those who like the ease of having your certification and your website through the same company, and like the ease of just having to enter your own text and pictures. The drawbacks to these types of websites are that they have limited flexibility in design, it can be difficult to perform some tasks like loading pictures, and have limited SEO features.
Stager Sidekick offers custom websites for home stagers that function similar to those templated services. Our difference is that our websites are built on WordPress, are hosted on a fast and secure host (most other companies use a shared server), and we even submit your website to Google and other search engines once it is launched! Click here to learn more!
Cost Summary: $300 to $700 for the first year, then $200 to $400 each subsequent year.
A Developer Who Charges a One Time Fee
This is probably the most obvious of the options. Simply Google “website developer”, and you will see a long list of local website development companies.
How do you choose which one to use? You can start at the top of the list from your Google search and start calling them. But how do you choose which one is right for your business? How do you know what features and services you need? And how much will this cost?
Since these companies quote for each project, you won’t know the cost until you have a conversation with them to explain your needs.
As a general rule of thumb, to get a decent website for a home staging business, you should expect to pay a one time fee around $2000 to $5000. Anything less, and you could be disappointed in your purchase. Anything more is for larger companies with more sophisticated needs.
Then comes hosting and support, and each company addresses it differently.
Some companies may host or manage the hosting of your website for a monthly cost that could range from $10 to $50 per month. Alternatively, some may require you get your own hosting.
Since you are buying a website, it is usually up to you to maintain it, so a support plan is generally not included. You would get some instruction on how to use it, update plugins, change text, create new projects, and anything else you need. But if you run into a problem, these companies will bill you by the hour for support.
This option is great for the home stager who wants a truly unique website that has a lot of nice design features, and doesn’t mind hosting maintaining their website on their own.
Cost Summary: $1500 to $3000 one time fee, hosting $10 to $50 each month, and support charged by the hour.
A Developer Charging a Monthly Maintenance Fee
This is a variation of the previous option. One difference is that the up front fee is a lot lower, but there is a monthly fee. That monthly fee pays for the developer to set up and manage your website’s hosting, perform regular maintenance, updates, and provide support.
This is the type of service that Stager Sidekick provides. And we couldn’t find another company in our research that offers anything similar for home stagers.
We developed this plan because we found that home stagers don’t want to deal with the technical side of websites, don’t want to deal with finding and managing a website host, want someone they can contact when they have questions, want their website to be professional and modern looking, want their website to get found in Google, and don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for it.
This option is great for a home stager with those needs. If you would like to learn more about the features and services that we offer to home stagers, please see our features page here.
Cost Summary: contact us for your custom pricing.
Cost Summary Home Stager Website Services
Home stagers who need a website have many different options. There are several factors that home stagers should consider to help them decide which option to investigate more, such as:
- Your level of technical knowledge
- How much time you want to spend making your website
- How important certain website features are to you
- How much you can spend
We have spoken with many home stagers who tell us cost of a website is usually the determining factor. But it shouldn’t be…within reason. Would a prospective client prefer to work with a home stager with a professional and modern website, or a home stager who got the cheapest website? How much is that client worth compared to the cost of a quality website? How much is it worth to get leads when people who need a home stager search Google.
The table below summarizes the cost of each type of website we discussed:
|Type of Service||Features||Cost|
|Make your own||Design and build your own website||$0 to no more than $40/month|
|Home Stager Specific Website Builder||Build your own website using a template||$300 to $700 for the first year, then $200 to $400 each subsequent year|
|Developer Charging a One Time Fee||Website built for you||$2000 to $5000 one time fee, then hosting $10 to $50 each month|
|Developer Charging a Monthly Maintenance Fee||Website built for you, hosting, technical maintenance, and support||Custom pricing for website development and monthly hosting and maintenance|
4 Types of Website Services Available for Home Stagers
Final Thoughts on the Cost of Home Stager Website Services
Websites are important for any business these days, and your home staging business is no different. With so many choices for getting a website, how do you choose which option is best for you?
Every home stager has different needs with a website. Every home stager has a different level of technical skills. And every home stager has a different budget and different amount of time they can spend on a website. That means there is no such thing as a one size fits all website solution.
Yes, you are unique. So you need to find the website solution that is right for you and your business.