Median prices by city for building a Web site:

Published on .

New York$35,000$98,150$302,550
San Francisco$92,500$258,750$1,037,500


ACME Sprockets. A marketer of widgets, sprockets, etc. for distribution to construction contractors. They want to be "on the Web," but still aren't really sure what that entails. They'll need basic services like hosting, a virtual domain and some form of getting mail.

The site itself will feature tables of parts specs and corporate information. On the back end, they'll need some easy way for their people to update documents on the site without having to learn HTML and FTP. This company is not very wired in its own offices and is largely getting online to provide easy access to information for its customers and distributors. Perhaps ACME would need an e-mail/fax gateway so that people visiting the site could interact with them.

ACME has logos of its own already, which it would like to incorporate into the site, and the company really likes those "animated picture thingys..." Executives will need a lot of tutoring and hand-holding.

Look and Feel (design/site mapping) for about 20 pages
Virtual Server
Publishing Tools
E-mail/Fax software
Training them to use the site
Internet Service (dial-up) from you or contracted out.


Investments R Us: An investment brokerage firm with its own intranet. The company needs a server and domain and outside e-mail to interface with its internal mail. They have a lot of proprietary investment data that they want their clients to be able to access, but no one else. They want that to be searchable and sortable.

They also need an "about us" section with information for their clients and for prospective clients. They handle all sizes of customers from individuals to large corporations, so they want to use this site in sales pitches as an example of the excellent customer service they provide. It must look nice, be a tad flashy, but mostly be very, very functional and get users to the data they need in the form that they need it easily. Those Java "stock ticker-tapes" make their eyes pop out.

Look and feel (design/site mapping), about 100 pages
Virtual server
Publishing tools
Training them to use it
Internet service (dial-up) from you or contracted out
Custom programming of the stock ticker
Search engine
Password-protected directories
Database services (minimal)


The Blockmonster Entertainment Corp., a chain of record/video/software/super stores. They want the works. Contests and promotions. Shockwave games. A database of reviews (both professional and generated by visitors) which is searchable, and which can be used to create on-the-fly pages based on a user profile which site visitors fill out and which also gets databased. Their audience is young music/entertainment fans who want to talk about the music they listen to, so they need a chat feature as well. Full-out ad campaign with a media buy on several major sites and engines.

They want to use frames for easier navigation. They're not sure whether or not they want to sell products over the Internet, but they're willing to test the waters with some special orders, so they need secure transaction capability. For other orders, they want a locator guide so people can enter a ZIP code and come up with a detailed map of where they'll find the nearest branch. They're going to want all the stops pulled out, and as new technologies come out, they want a fast response of well-thought-out applications. You will also host the servers necessary to run this type of operation.

Server hosting and maintenance
Publishing tools
Training them to use it
Internet service (dial-up) from you or contracted out
Custom programming/development of Java applets, locator and Shockwave files.
Search engine
Password-protected directories
Database services (extensive)
On-the-fly page generation
Digitization and integration of sound/video
Secure transaction capability
Working with their agency to provide:
Look and Feel (design/site mapping)
Plans for the media buy/ad banner design
Content for promotions

Most Popular
In this article: