Cost Factors of a TYPO3 Website

We’re often asked, “How much is TYPO3?” (It’s free!) and “How much does a TYPO3 website cost?” (It depends!) In this post, we’re going to break down some of the fixed and variable costs of a TYPO3 website. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but we have a roster of qualified, experienced, and vetted partners, so we can find the perfect fit for your project needs and budget. 

Start your search for a digital agency with us and save time (and money)!

How much does a TYPO3 website cost?

Asking “How much does a TYPO3 website cost?” is like asking “How many trees do you need to build a house?” It depends on the level of complexity and the scope of your project, because like TYPO3 projects not all houses are built the same. It depends on the level of complexity and the scope of your project. The budget range is as wide as the variety of websites and applications out there.

Our partner toujou has off-the-shelf TYPO3 websites that fulfill the “Basic” requirements of a small business website for €1,680 for the initial setup and €480 annually for maintenance. Another partner, jweiland.net offers a pre-installed “sample project” with all of their TYPO3 hosting packages, and those start as low as €17 a month. These starter sites still require some further development and customization to make them exactly what you need. On the other end, highly custom enterprise business applications could run into hundreds of thousands of Euro. 

It’s a big price range. It all depends on the cost factors and complexity.

What are the cost factors in a TYPO3 website?

From the initial idea to launch, there are many one-time fixed costs related to getting a website developed. After the launch, the site needs to be maintained. Let’s break down some of the cost factors into three phases. 

  • Phase 1. Initial planning and design costs

  • Phase 2. Software development costs

  • Phase 3. Proactive maintenance costs

Phase 1. Initial planning and design costs

Digital agencies offer more than just software development, they offer technical business consulting. Many partners offer online marketing consultation to help customers reach business goals, whether it might be to acquire new customers or lower support costs with a self-service portal.

We match partners to projects often based on expertise areas or regionally. We have partners who are experts in POS (point of sale) applications or digital publishing. They will have expert knowledge that can save time and money. 

Digital agencies work on the design and planning to create a vision with deliverables such as:

  • Personas and user stories 
  • Journey mapping 
  • Wireframes

No matter how you build your website, you won’t get anywhere without determining how the website or application will help you reach your business objectives.

Phase 2. Software development costs

It’s hard to generalize the fixed costs in software development without knowing the scope. With that said, each website project will contain most of these elements. 

  • Front end development 
    • Interactive design and the frontend user experience.
    • Creating templates and implementing designs in code.
  • Customize the admin UI for ease of use
    • The admin backend will need some customization, for example for content management workflows. 
  • Custom backend programming
    • Many TYPO3 applications include some kind of custom business logic.
    • This could be written in TYPO3 extensions or, for example, as an external library or service in PHP or Symfony and integrated with your website.
  • Integrations
    • Consider whether you have external data sources or external applications you may need to integrate with.
  • Multilingual
    • Consider whether or not your site needs to work in multiple regions and languages. You may have a fully translated website with a different domain or you might just need a few pages translated. 
  • Content migration
    • If your site will need to include data from an existing source, you may need content migration scripts. 
  • Content creation and translation
    • If your site operates in multiple languages and markets, it will need to be translated and maintained as you add and update content over time. 
  • Onboarding and training
    • Getting staff prepared to maintain content. These costs can be lowered with a good backend user experience and testing.

How complex any of these factors are will affect the scope and cost of your project. 

Phase 3. Proactive maintenance costs

You have to account for the costs of long term maintenance and support of your websites. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hosting
    • Some hosting packages will manage backups and some even manage software updates. 
  • Backups
    • Secure backups of data and code.
  • Software updates
    • The TYPO3 roadmap includes maintenance updates every 6-8 weeks for supported software.
    • Security updates come up when needed. 
  • Site maintenance and content management
    • Every site has to be updated, new users added, and new content needs translation. 
  • Support
    • Onboarding and training new staff. 
    • Handling support questions usually for backend users. 

When sites aren’t evolving over time, they can begin to stagnate. Many of our partners demonstrate the benefits of long-lasting creative relationships with their customers as they make new additions to projects over the years. 

That’s why besides essential maintenance, it’s also common that site changes are rolled out regularly throughout the lifecycle of a project. For example, as part of their ongoing services, our partner Marketing Factory will monitor digital marketing campaigns to track rankings and report success. New ideas might come from the findings and that is exciting!

If your site isn’t working for you, we can uncover performance and security issues. We also offer project reviews for quality assurance.

So, how much does TYPO3 cost?

TYPO3 CMS is free! As an open-source content management system, there’s no license fee to pay. It’s free from the moment it’s released and officially supported for three years after, during which time, the TYPO3 community provides bug fixes and security updates—and this official support is free, too! 

However, this exposes one of the myths about open-source software. It’s obvious that there’s no license fee, so you will be saving money, but you do need to spend money on creating a custom application, providing a good user experience, keeping it secure, and up-to-date as time goes on. As our CTO, Susi Moog says, “As you have access to the source code, you have 100% freedom to get the software changed to perfectly fit your needs.” 

While there’s no license fee, we encourage all organizations to become members of the TYPO3 Association. This gives you a vote in the Annual Assembly and it supports innovation!

Over the last few major TYPO3 releases, more functionality has been brought into the TYPO3 core. This means you can do more with TYPO3 without using custom code at reduced overall development and maintenance costs.

TYPO3 makes it easy to deliver features that can be challenging with other CMS. For example, with TYPO3 v10 you can create forms to capture data or flexibly manage layouts all without adding new extensions. 

This keeps the cost of customizing a TYPO3 site lower when you compare to other CMS, like WordPress. Many WordPress installations are collaged from different plugins which each have their own licensing fees and SLA and potential security issues when the plugins aren’t updated.

Start your search with us and save time

We help our clients choose the right TYPO3 partner that fits their project both in terms of expertise required, the size of the project, and the time frame. We’ll match you to the right partner from our network of qualified partners. This can be a huge time and money saver for you. 

Contact us to help you find the right partner.

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Comments

Ronald
Ronald
September 11th, 2020

100% agree Jörg, there are a lot of possibilities from small to large. That's why we offer a Discovery Sprint with the customer where we first deep-dive in the project before we start "just building features".

Btw, don't forget the Service Level Agreement in a project. Very welcome when the project is live!

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