One of the first questions we always get is how much does a website cost? If website design cost is not your area of expertise, how do you know what to compare prices too? We’ll share indicative website design costs/prices for you now:
When talking about a service-based offering such as website design and development, few like to talk pricing upfront. This can be for various reasons. Here are some classic examples:
- ‘I need to give myself enough time to come up with the very best I can do. I want to experiment a bit. That will cost a bit more…’
- ‘So I’m not exactly sure what my time is worth. But I guess the going rate is Y’ or ‘I assume it’ll take me X hours so I’ll change Y’ When it could actually take longer. This might leave you with the choice of an incomplete site, or paying more money to complete it.
- ‘I know someone who charged X so I’m going to do that’. This by the way could be well under or over the ‘going rate’
- ‘I have a bill coming up for X and need to make that payment – I’ll charge X’
The truth is, not everyone is out to get one up on you. Some people are genuinely inexperienced with website design cost/pricing. There are many sincere website designers and developers out there. However, you want a website designer and developer who’s worth their fees. You want a guarantee the work will actually be done – and on time! There are some very serious things you need to understand so you can take these into consideration.
No ‘one price fits all’ scenario
Every website tends to be different in terms of structure, functionality, and the platform it’s built on. So there is no ‘one price fits all’ scenario. So you shouldn’t accept a ‘standard’ rate, in fact, you should be wary of anyone offering this to you.
On the flip side, you may have others who don’t want to give their pricing upfront. Maybe you’ve approached an agency that will want to get to know your needs and requirements in more detail. They might want this first before providing you with a quote. Or even, perhaps they don’t want their competitors to know what they charge.
So in this article, we’ll address the elephant in the room and talk about what you can expect to pay. We’ll also cover what you should expect to receive for your money!
So what’s the process when enquiring how much a website costs? It’s not uncommon for a potential buyer of any service to get 2 or 3 prices first. These will be from different sources before making a buying decision. It’s very likely that if you get 3 quotes for a website, they might vary quite considerably.
And honestly, the cheapest isn’t always the best. We’ve worked in this industry for decades – the ‘cheapest’ may in fact be the most expensive long term! In many cases, we’ve helped clients who have come from these quick-fix situations.
Website design cost: up to £750
If you receive a quote within this region, chances are that you are dealing with a freelancer. Not an agency. The website will be built using an off-the-shelf solution such as Wix or with a WordPress template.
This means that the website is not being ‘built’ or ‘developed’. It means that part has been pre-made (templated). The website person is purely creating a look and feel for you (i.e. website design only).
Sometimes people offer this when they are just starting out in the industry. They might offer this service as a side project to their normal day job. This isn’t ‘bad’, it will keep the cost low for you. If that’s what you’re after, it can be a great thing.
Taking this option may be a quick fix, but please be careful – it could hinder your growth long term. If your budget is very limited, then sometimes this price bracket and service level is the preferred route. Which is understandable! But there are some key considerations to take into account before you make your decision:
1. Is it future-proof?
Before asking how much a website costs, ask if the platform being used going to hinder your digital growth.
Reflect back: ‘why did I choose to get a website?’. Perhaps, for example, it’s to generate more leads or sales and actually have people ‘discover’ your website. Do you understand enough about digital marketing yourself to:
- Be sure this cheap website designer does everything from a technical standpoint to set me up for success?
- That search engines like Google are actually able to crawl the pages properly?
- If this person is just making it look good, that’s not going to get you the results you need?
Ask questions about the CMS they are using and their knowledge of it. How easy is it to optimise and make changes? Who ultimately has control of the site?
Web design is an unregulated industry *sigh*. Therefore, a lot of people are out there offering website design and development as a service. Even if it’s not an area they have significant experience! And can you trust they’ve built the websites they say they’ve built? Do they have google reviews from those clients? A bad website will truly hinder your business growth and cost you more long term. Not only for a new website. But also in the amount of time wasted in getting your business where it should be online. Digital Marketing takes months of lead time to build up, so that’s something to also consider.
2. Is it up to the task?
The site may lack a high page speed score. Or it may be incorrectly marked up, for example missing a key h1 tag on each page. Things like this will affect your ability to rank the site on Google.
A website designer and developer will know about all of this – and so should you! Make sure that you are asking them these questions and checking that they are doing these basics, correctly.
Slow sites in particular will limit your search engine ‘discoverability’ (i.e. ranking ability). This could also provide a frustrating user experience. Anything that causes a negative user experience immediately puts you in search engines (Yahoo, Google, Bing etc) ‘bad books.
Website design cost: £750 to £2000
Again, this price range is more than likely to be from a more experienced freelancer/one-man team. Equally, this could always still be someone who doesn’t fully understand digital marketing principles alongside website design. This will limit your website’s core reason for existing (i.e. sales, leads etc).
A freelancer may have a design background. They may therefore look to build the site with a code-free page builder like Wix or Squarespace. Or maybe even a WordPress template. On the other hand, they may have a coding/programming-based background and lack the design flair of the first option. On the other hand, they may approach things more from a marketing-based angle. This might mean they have only some knowledge of design and coding.
To find one person who has expertise in all the core areas (coding/technical, digital marketing & design) is rare. So where your site may work well in one area, it may struggle in others. Ask what people’s backgrounds are – it’s important!
In addition to previous important things to consider:
1. Consider communication
Freelancers can come and go. They may take a long-term contract, relocate, or take a full-time position. Should this happen, communication may become difficult. This could harm the ability to quickly make changes to your website if needed.
We often take on projects where the previous freelance developer has stopped communicating or has become very slow at replying and actioning tasks.
2. Do they know what they are doing?
As with any business decision, make sure you ask for previous work examples and testimonials to assess their knowledge level. Make sure they know what they are doing! A bad website can give off the wrong impression about your brand and could lose your business.
- 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design – Source: Kinesis
- 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile. Source: SocPub
Where are they?
It’s possible that a quote within this price bracket could be from an offshore company. There are a lot of very talented people all over the world, and the level of work is great. So you can get great results. The main issues to contend with would be time zones for communication and language barriers.
Website design cost: £2000 to £5000
The chances are, if the cost of the website falls within this price range, you’re dealing with a small agency. Or perhaps even a more established and experienced group of freelancers. It’s more costly than some others, but it’s an investment in the long run.
Dealing with a small team gives you the added benefit of having an expert in each area. For example, one person may focus on the design and UX (user experience). Another team member may focus on the building of the site.
You can expect your website to be a custom design and build a website, (designed from scratch for you). This means it’s coded to meet your specific requirements and design preferences. So this means your site would be flexible and able to grow with you. Possibly with a CMS (content management system) like WordPress.
When working with a small team, expect them to have systems and processes in place. This is crucial when it comes to planning and working on your website design. This will make the whole project a much smoother experience than when working with an individual. You also benefit from experts from multiple disciplines coming together on your project, for no extra cost.
Website design cost: £5000 to £8000
You could expect this price for a larger and/or well-established agency. It might be more expensive because you have super specific requirements. This could include a lot of design and coding. Or perhaps you just have a serious volume of content that takes a lot of time to get into the right places.
Said agency may have the added benefit of having a marketing person on the team. They can inject invaluable knowledge into your project. The designers, developers and marketing experts will communicate with each other. Doing this during the project ensures you get the best possible outcome – taking all factors into consideration.
The chances are the agency would have a project manager who oversees the project. They become your main point of contact, communicating between yourself and the designer/developer team.
Expect WordPress custom builds, maybe Shopify for e-commerce, or custom HTML/PHP etc. Certainly no template/page-builder type websites.
Website design cost: £8000 plus
A more specialist agency, perhaps using their own custom-built content management system for the build. You would expect a team of at least 4 or 5 people to be involved.
Perhaps you need a completely bespoke platform which is too complex for an existing content management system. Or you need a large-scale e-commerce system built with Magento.
They would have a portfolio containing some recognizable brands and be very well-established.
Conclusion: so then, how much does a website cost?
How much does a website cost typically?
- DIY – £20 – £100
Depending on things like hosting platform and demand of your desired URL
- Up to £750
Chances are that you’re dealing with a freelancer, not an agency. Most likely from a template, not a custom build.
- £750 to £1500
Could be a small agency or freelancer. More likely a custom design and build. They MUST know about digital marketing for this price.
- £4000 to £8000
Typically a small agency, or perhaps a more established and experienced group of freelancers. Should be custom designed & built for you and technically set up for digital marketing.
This could be a small website with a large agency, or a highly bespoke, custom build with a smaller agency.
PLEASE, before commissioning anyone, ensure that they understand SEO, and digital marketing and can technically establish your website, ensure its safety and that you’re ‘discoverable’ with search engines. You can always learn this for yourself, receive consulting and training, or have an agency do all of this for you. This is not an area to cut corners on, here’s why:
If a price below £1000 is your main criterion for a new website, you may find you will suffer long term. A cheaper website may fail at basic needs. The basic needs are:
- to provide a site which looks great
- provides users with a smooth experience
- and is technically efficient with the ability to optimise and grow digitally speaking
For example, this could look like spending loads of money producing quality content. Then you discover that something basic in the back end (i.e. where you code) is not working. You then realise this is preventing google from even being able to locate your content!
Businesses in today’s world need to be digital first. So trying to hold back on investing in your website and digital marketing will prevent your business growth. Online AND offline!
The question of how much a website costs should not only look at the upfront costs. You should also consider the ongoing costs too, to ensure your website continues to perform for you. You should be consulted on the ongoing changes and updates needed. See a website more like a flower that just keeps blooming, rather than a static one-off job.
For more information about how Red Sentence can help you, please get in touch with the team today.