I get this question a lot: “How much would it cost to make a web site like ‘XYZ Stuff!’, except with A, B and C?”
It’s not a bad question, and honestly, ask any one who’s built one or more sites before, and you’ll get a different answer from each. However, I just recently responded to one such question, and thought I’d share with you, in case you were wondering the same thing. It might not help or be applicable to your case, but just in case it is…enjoy =]:
Q: How much would it cost to build a site like [small-to-medium sized somewhat-custom web site]?
A: To answer your question, you could build what you need for free, with just a monthly hosting cost ($5-$50) to keep it running, using tools like Mambo, Drupal, or Joomla (a Google search should bring up lots of info on these). However, these free or low-cost solutions are pretty complicated and buggy to get running just the way you want them, so you always trade cost for comfort, pretty much. If you had someone build what you want it shouldn’t cost more than 5-10K to get the basics up and running, but you’ll be paying more every month to get small changes, bug fixes and new features. Another option is looking at higher-end services like Kick Apps, a Facebook community or a YouTube group to house what you want to do.
To be honest, there are a lot of easy options for an individual to post and share docs, videos, blogs and chats with everyone in the world – but they’re not very customizable. There are also lots of free tools for businesses to use to put together custom experiences (like the example given), but you have to be really technical and patient to figure them out.
Probably the most economical solution would be to find someone or a small web development group to set up a Joomla, Mambo or Drupal site like your example site has, then teach you how to keep it running. You might still pay $5-$10K for it, but you’re more likely to get something that will last longer for your needs than a custom-built web site would. I don’t think either of those 3 tools would have a problem hosting or storing videos for your combines.
As always, your mileage may vary, but I would be wary of anyone who promises to build an entire web experience from scratch for less than $1000, and especially wary of someone who promises you an exact duplication of a moderately successful, well-running web site for less than $20K. These numbers, of course, depend on what the site does and who does it, but honestly, would you spend 3 months of your life to make $500, or would you trust your business to a web site built in 8 hours?
Anyway, hope this is useful. If not, I’m always open to other opinions and perspectives =]