How much does it cost to build a website in Switzerland?

Why don’t Web agencies display the cost of a website? Why is there such a huge disparity in rates? In this guide, we give you price estimates and show you how to save on these costs.

How can you estimate the price of a website?

Typically, only entry-level agencies post their prices. They can do this because their designs are cloned and the basic functions of the websites are clearly limited. Each function or page added to the site will increase the final bill.

For a customised professional site, it is virtually impossible to estimate the price without establishing detailed specifications. Depending on the complexity, number of pages, and degree of attention to the design, the cost of a website can range from a thousand to hundreds of thousands of francs.

However, we can make some estimates based on an example:

Example of website costs in Switzerland

Let’s take the example of a relatively simple site of 5 to 10 pages, with custom design and standard functions, including the home page, the presentation of the products and the company, and a contact form. In this case, there is no question of an online shop or advanced interactive functions requiring databases.

We evaluate here the price of Web agencies in Switzerland (without guarantee, because there are often differences between cantons and agencies). See below to read more about freelancers and other alternatives to save on these costs.

Between 1,000 and 7,500 francs

For this price you usually deliver the texts and images to the agency. The agency will pick a website template and put it online. That’s pretty much it. If you think of buying a house, it would be the equivalent of a prefabricated house, delivered turnkey.

Good for a personal non-commercial website or a very small company. You will have minimal visibility on the Web, allowing you to inform your current customers about your offers and your company. It will not enable you to stand out from your competitors or win customers.

Between 7,500 and 15,000 francs

This is the minimum amount for a design and realisation tailored to your company and your audience. Depending on the agencies, you will be offered assistance in writing and implementing the content and photography. Using our example of buying a house, you will be dealing here with an architect who will visit the premises and design a house according to the typology of the land and the sunlight.

Good if you are an entrepreneur, start-up, or SME who wants to give your website a somewhat professional and competitive look.

From 15,000 francs

Here you will have different specialists at your disposal. In most cases, in addition to the Web designer, a marketer will help you make your site visible among your competitors.

Good if you are an SME wishing to establish yourself as a leader in your market, strengthen your brand image, or increase your customer base.

From 30,000 francs

If you want to see your house in an architecture magazine, this is the place to go. These agencies are like Herzog & de Meuron on the Web. They create complex and innovative websites, receive awards for their achievements, and work for large Swiss companies such as PostFinance or Nestlé. They can spend several years on a project and their hourly rate is among the highest. The cost of a website for this type of company is thus in the hundreds of thousands of francs.

Good if if you are a large SME with very specific needs or a large company.

In short, the more time an agency will spend on your site and the higher the agency’s reputation, the higher the bill will be.

How can you save?

1. Build it yourself.

Thanks to sites such as Squarespace or shopify, for online e-commerce platforms, it is possible to create your own site without programming knowledge.

Advantages

  • The price. A very affordable investment (between 15 and 30 francs per month), without having to write a single line of code.
  • Access to multiple standard functions. It is possible to add functions such as videos, photo galleries, etc. in a few clicks. Some are free, while a fee is charged for others.

Disadvantages

  • Time-consuming. You still have to spend time putting things together, creating content, and promoting your site to make it visible.
  • Limited impact. The creation of a site requires very diverse skills: design, photography, typography, and marketing, all of which work together to make a site visible and of quality. “Homemade” sites often lack design and harmony.
  • Cookie-cutter design. Even if the template can be customised, it may look a bit déjà vu, as the same template is potentially already used on thousands of other websites.

Good if  you want to create a personal site or a small e-commerce site for the sale of handmade jewellery or T-shirts.

Advice: First learn the basics. Read blogs. Learn more about SEO and how to make your site visible. Try several tools before choosing one. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

2. Have your site created in a foreign country.

With much lower hourly rates, the countries of Eastern Europe, the Maghreb and Asia seem, at first sight, to be a good alternative. Here’s a review of advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

  • A price up to three or even four times lower than in Switzerland. In India, they can make a website including corporate design for a few hundred francs.

Disadvantages

Apart from dumping, websites created abroad have two enormous shortcomings which, for the most part, make them unsuitable for Swiss companies:

  • Very inconsistent quality. The care given to the realisation is at best average, and at worst simply mediocre: poor design, bugs, spelling mistakes, sluggishness, etc. It should also be mentioned that design is culture-related. Codes and preferences differ greatly between Asia and Europe in particular.
  • Additional costs for coordination and control. The creation of a website requires frequent face-to-face communication, each detail can be interpreted in a very different way. Coordinating and controlling a project with an agency abroad and speaking another language is difficult and time-consuming, even for a professional.

Good for a personal site or a small business with a very tight budget.

Advice: Check the references of the agencies you hire, make sure they can offer you the quality you expect, and be prepared to invest time to coordinate and monitor your project.

3. Hire a local freelancer.

Freelancers have the advantage of providing similar expertise to Web agencies at a lower price – as long as you choose him or her well.

Advantages

  • The price. With no fixed structure, no hierarchy, and no time-consuming internal meetings, freelancers have much lower fixed costs and can therefore offer an affordable hourly rate, between 25% and 50% lower than that of a Web agency.
  • Local and personal. A freelancer is your only contact along the project, unlike an agency where you will deal with salespeople, project managers, designers, and programmers.
  • Skills. Freelancers often gained experience in Web agencies before setting up their own businesses. They are therefore able to provide a level of competence similar to that of an agency.

Disadvantages

  • Skills in other areas. Freelancers are often specialised in their core area and may lack skills in other fields. If your freelance is a hard-core programmer, pay attention to the quality of the design. If he is a designer, can he make your site visible on Google? If he is a marketer, does he implement the website himself or does he have it done abroad?
  • Reliability. The myth of the freelancer who disappears in the middle of the project still exists. Without going that far, some may be less reliable than an agency at meeting deadlines.

Good if you are an entrepreneur or an SME manager who values quality and personal contact.

Advice : Research the freelancer’s career path and recommendations. Choose one who has a registered business in his/her name, and know-how in all three areas (design, coding and marketing).

 

In a nutshell

In short, the best choice depends on the size of your company, your needs, and your objectives.

  • The creation of a quality website requires time and manpower.
  • The creation of a website requires skills in several fields (design, programming, marketing).
  • The differences in rates between Web agencies often reflect the time they spend on the realisation and their reputation.
  • At first glance, it may seem attractive to have your site set up abroad, but quality often loses out and coordination can represent an overcost.
  • Freelancers are, for equal skills, a much cheaper alternative, provided you pick up a good one.
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