How Much Does A Condo Association or HOA Website Cost?
One of the most important and commonly asked questions, however, is, how much does a condo or HOA website cost?
There are many factors that affect the overall price of your condo or HOA website and while every website provider structures their fees differently, we want to break it down into two primary categories to help give you a better idea of what factors are calculated in determining the price of your website.
The first is the type of pricing models different web vendors use. The second is the features included in building the website. Both of these areas impact the overall pricing of your condo or HOA website.
Disclaimer: While we provide ‘hard’ numbers in this post, these should be taken only as a guideline or reference. So many factors come into play when determining website pricing, location, years in business, number of employees (overhead), economic factors, time of year, etc. This is meant to give a ballpark and not an exact dollar amount.
How Different Pricing Models Affect Condo or HOA Websites
Here we will dissect the two most common pricing models used when creating websites. The one-time fee and the subscription model. The pros and cons of each and what you can expect to receive with these pricing structures.
This form of payment structure is generally what most customers will be familiar with. It involves paying for the website outright, whether as a lump sum, or broken into a short payment plan of 2-4 deposits. When it comes to the one-time fee model, you are looking at a larger short term balance. While website prices vary greatly, a good rule of thumb is somewhere between $3,000 and $35,000 depending on features, images, maintenance, etc. Yes, we know this is a large range, but there really is no set price.
It’s worth noting that if you are leaning towards a one-time fee pricing structure. You understand once the project is complete, you may be on your own with keeping the site maintained, backed-up, updating content and in general, managing the associations website.
Once the amount has been paid, that’s it. You no longer have a balance. The site database, webfiles and domain registration are handed over (here are the keys to your brand new car!) and you can drive off into the sunset.
Large upfront payments. Even if the provider works on a 50%-50% arrangement (50% due at signing, and 50% due upon completion), having your association tap into reserves for 2 payments of $5,000, for example, can be something you need to budget for and account for, months in advance.
The Subscription Model
Low upfront payments. Generally paid on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The subscription model often means you avoid the large down payment. So, your association does not need to dig through reserves to come up with $10,000 to allocate towards a new website. It can be made in smaller chunks, sometimes costing as little as $0.25 per resident per month. Another plus, usually the subscription model means the management of the website on an ongoing basis is taken care of as part of the recurring fee. So while you are billed regularly, it may also include regular website maintenance and updates as part of the price.
While the payments are usually much less substantial, as long as the website is being maintained by the vendor, the payments continue. So while you are able to essentially finance the website, over the course of 15 years, the payments add up.
How Different Features Affect Condo or HOA Website
Here we’ll dive into some of the most common website features included in HOA and condo websites and how they play a role in the overall cost.
This way, you can consider how important each feature is for your residential community association website, and evaluate pricing accordingly.
An HOA website typically takes somewhere between one and three months to develop. Consider the needs of your desired website. What functions will it provide? Community association websites can encompass a wide array of tools and features needed to offer all the services the board wishes for it to provide. If the website will be quite technically involved, the web development firm may need more time to complete the website. The intended uses and specific needs of each website will impact development time differently.
Working with a provider who is familiar with condo and HOA website features and needs can greatly reduce the overall timeline for completion. The development time should be considered in evaluating proposal costs. The more features, generally, the more expensive.
Hosting + Domain Name
Web hosting is a service that provides storage space and web access for websites. In this case, it is important to consider if your condo or HOA will host your own website or will the website provider take care of the hosting for you.
Either way, the website will need a server to host the site so it is publicly accessible. There is typically an annual fee associated with this service, somewhere between $100-$199 depending on the details specific to your Condo or HOA website.
To this end, you’ll also need a domain name. A domain name is the actual web address or URL associated with your Condo or HOA. There is a nominal annual fee to purchase a domain name and may also be included by your website provider.
Generally, a domain name can be purchased for between $10 – $20 depending on the domain registry you use and the number of years you commit too. When considering how much a condo or HOA website should cost, account for the price of web hosting & domain name.
Condo & HOA Specific Features
It is important to develop a website that is functional and user-friendly. When developing a website for a condominium or homeowner association, you’ll need features that address the residents needs.
Some desirable functionalities for a Condo or HOA website include a private portal for residents and homeowners with login credentials, secure document storage, contact forms, event calendars, and MLS listings.
Does the web vendor you are working with offer custom plans so you can pick-and-choose the features that suit your association? Or do they only offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution? Have they ever developed websites with these features before? The quantity and complexity of your websites functions will impact the overall cost of your condo or HOA website.
Something to consider in calculating the cost of a condo or HOA website is the photography or imagery that will be used on the site. While stock photos can be purchased and included in the price, if you’d like custom photography to show off the unique features and amenities of your association, and really make the website pop, original images will be needed.
We typically advise investing in professional real estate photographs with basic retouching. By including high-resolution, high-quality images of your association, you showcase its strongest features and promote the Association within the community. Similarly, you are able to demonstrate the exceptional upkeep of your property.
Consult with your website provider on if they are able to produce professional photographs for your website. Very popular right now are the drone photos that offer unique and high-resolution images of your community, capture from different angles and heights. Photography and photo editing contribute to the overall cost of the HOA website and should be considered when evaluating proposals.
Takeaway: A single session, which should be able to capture the entire association, can run between $500 – $1,500.
One often-overlooked cost associated with all websites is the ongoing maintenance required. In evaluating proposals for your condo Association website, be sure to determine who, how, when, and at what price the maintenance will be performed.
Condo and HOA websites require continuous updates and typically have changes or new documents that need to be uploaded on a regular basis.
Be sure to find out if the vendor provides this service, and if it is included in the website pricing or any related monthly fees.
Website providers that specialize in Condo and HOA websites may offer ongoing maintenance in order to alleviate this burden from the Board and residents. Keep the costs of ongoing maintenance in mind when evaluating proposals for a condo association or HOA website.
Takeaway: We have seen maintenance pricing for association websites range from $49 per month – $349 per month.
With these factors in mind, it should be easier to understand the DNA of a condo or HOA website proposal and the various quotes your association may receive. Having a clear picture of how every piece connects will help put you and your web developer on the same page regarding pricing and expectations.
It’s worth noting that if the web vendors you’re considering using are not familiar with the recent laws put in place for Condominium websites, or the features your association website will require in order to stay compliant, you may want to consider a provider who specializes in Condo & HOA website development.
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