How Much Does A Website Cost?.
October 25, 2017 | Web Design & Development
The shocking truth on why professional website design isn’t cheap!
Having a website is a crucial part of almost any business, regardless of whether they are a startup or an established national company. Current and future customers have come to expect an online presence, and they expect the website to function well and be simple to use. However, most small businesses are understandably careful about how they spend their money, particularly in the startup phase.
Usually, when we are contacted for help with creating a website or digital brand, there is often one main question that we get asked;
How much does a website cost?
It’s a fair question to ask and we understand that clients want to feel like their money is being used in the smartest way possible.
So, how much does web design cost?
‘How much does web design cost’ is one of the most popular questions a person considering hiring a web designer asks. Prices will vary from a few hundred pounds for a relatively straightforward and simple brochure/static website to thousands of pounds (even tens of thousands) for more complex, CMS (content management system) sites that may require bespoke components, such as member area websites or eCommerce websites.
You could get quotes from 10 different designers or agencies, and get back 10 very different prices, based on an array of factors.
When considering the costs we need to carefully consider both website design and website development costs, the cost of running a website, website maintenance and support costs, web hosting, domain names and more.
Average website costs.
There are many different elements that come together to create the overall website cost – some of which are quite often overlooked. Only by considering all of these elements do we get an accurate idea of how long a website takes to develop and how much it will cost.
Generally it makes perfect sense to consider all of these costs together, from the outset. This is usually more economical overall and there is less chance of being ‘surprised’ by added costs later on in the project.
You particularly need to be careful to compare costs against seemingly enticing ‘cheap web design’ packages, such as; WIX, Moonfruit, Weebly, or any of the ‘free’ ones offered with cheap hosting accounts. Whilst we cannot deny that there is a place in the market for these, in most cases these website builders prove to be inflexible, limited in functionality, and potentially cost you more in the long-run. You will also likely be without ongoing maintenance support as these services generally do not provide that. We suggest that you look into these options carefully, before deciding if they are right for you.
It makes sense to consider the cost of a website in terms of the return on investment (ROI). Generally speaking, a website will pay for itself, if you’ve done your homework, because it will act as a strategic tool to facilitate and grow the business. Think of a website as your doorway, it’s like the online version of a bricks and mortar shop – without it, you won’t sell your products or services!
The table below gives brief breakdown and idea of the prices you can expect to encounter when having a website built. Website design costs vary from business to business though (for example, freelancers are often cheaper than agencies, but may not have the support network or experience), so it is important not to make assumptions about any of the costs included and use this simply as a guide.
|Feature||What is it?||Cost|
|Domain Name||Your online label – the URL used to find your site.||£6-£50 per year|
|Web Hosting||Web hosting allows your site to exist, and supports visits.||£10-£250 per year|
|Design & Development||Makes your site look and work as it should.||£25-£250 per hour|
|Content & Images||Content is needed to rank your site and engage users||£25-£250 per hour|
|Smartphone & Tablet Ready||To have a site that works on desktop and mobile you will need to pay for it.||£250-£3000|
|Maintenance||Depending on your requirements, you will need maintenance.||£40-£300 per month|
|SEO||SEOs are experts in ranking your site in search engines.||£100-£500 per month|
How much does it cost to build a website?
As you can see, there are various elements to consider when undertaking a web design project (and this just touches on them!). When asking how much does it cost to set up a website, we need to look at each of these variables in a bit more detail.
Costs will vary (a lot) depending on the type of website you need. A complex online shopping website with eCommerce functionality and huge product database, for example, will have very different costs compared to a very basic website promoting a local plumber or builder, who’s primary goal here is to get people to call them.
To help you understand how pricing scales, we can break the different types of websites down in to categories. The table below includes a side-by-side comparison of website design costs based on website type and size – again, this is meant as an example and you should always ask your web designer to explain their costs fully.
|Type of Site||Features||Price|
|Basic||Limited functionality – good for basic advertising.||£500-£1500|
|Advanced||Larger or more complex than a basic site.||£1500-£6000|
|Bespoke||Designed to your exact requirements, with bespoke functions.||£2000-£10,000|
|eCommerce||Designed and developed to allow sales to take place online.||£3000-£15,000|
|Redesign||Dependent on your old site and requirements for redesign.||Dependent|
Basic website costs.
In your basic website costs you need to consider the primary function of your site. Is it to attract new customers, generate leads, create brand awareness? This list is endless. A basic website will normally have limited functionality (contact forms, galleries, maps etc), but it can be an excellent platform for showcasing your business and acting as a portal for enquiries. However, you should ensure that the website is scalable, so as your business grows your website can too. If possible, try to think of future needs, as well as current ones, and explain to your web designer or developer your plans going forward.
To create a basic website you can opt to use a freelance web designer or an agency. They tend to work either on an hourly rate, or on a fixed project fee. You can expect a large variation in cost across the board, so do ask to see examples of their work and a breakdown of what is included. A ballpark figure would be in the region of £50 per hour for a mid-range UK web-designer, maybe a little more if using an agency.
You could expect to pay as little as £5-£20 per hour for an overseas freelancer with less experience (and very limited support), or as much as £250 for a top-end website designer or high-end web design agency. However, for basic websites you should not need to pay at the top end of the range.
On top of this you will need to factor in the basic costs of web hosting, a domain name and after-sales support. All in, a good quality basic small business website cost should be in the region of £500-£1500.
Advanced website costs.
Advanced websites typically need to be a bit more flexible than a basic website, you may need to pay for additional size, and possibly some eCommerce or interactive functionality. Again, try to think of future business growth and not just today.
Expect quotations from freelancers and agencies to be highly variable. You will need to look at these in detail to see what is included – and equally, what isn’t! To get more accurate quotations make sure you’ve done your homework and have a clear brief to give to web designers to work from as this helps them understand in more detail your expectations and can eliminate the need for ‘buffer zone’ costs to be added.
If the website is utilising advanced technology then we would suggest making use of any support or maintenance agreements offered to you. These can save you a lot of time (and money) throughout the year as the designer will take care of the day-to-day maintenance of the site, leaving you to focus on running the business.
As well as the standard costs of a basic website, you will additionally be looking at more technical wizardry and programming. An advanced small business website cost should be in the region of £1500-£6000.
Websites with bespoke functionality costs.
If you are expecting a much higher degree of traffic, or need your website to perform specific functions, then you will need a highly skilled programmer capable of delivering bespoke functionality. It is recommended to approach such website costs as a long-term and ongoing arrangement. Therefore the same website designer will also provide maintenance, updates, management, and support.
Bespoke functionality websites take much longer to develop, test, and get up and running, and the overall cost will reflect this. It can therefore be beneficial to establish costs up-front, broken down in to the initial cost of setting up a website, and then the ongoing cost of maintaining a website. You may find it useful to develop the website in several phases, with smaller, more manageable payments.
Before choosing your web designer, be sure to shop around. Get prices, view portfolios, arrange meetings. No designer will expect you to say yes right away, so take your time and make sure you choose the best fit for you. The average cost for a bespoke functionality site should be between £2000 and £10,000. The ongoing cost of maintaining a website will largely depend on the services included in the package, rather than on the size of the website itself. As an example, some packages may include social media management, SEO services or a certain amount of content creation, whereas others will be more limited and focused solely on web hosting.
Ecommerce website costs.
If you are looking for the ability to sell your products or services online, then you will need to factor in the costs of an eCommerce website. We recommend you choose a UK designer who specialises in eCommerce web design and/or has a large, up-to-date portfolio.
Most eCommerce websites require a large amount of bespoke and advanced website development, as well as consideration towards advanced security (although security should be paramount on any website) so you should expect to pay a lot more than most other website types. Please be very wary of ‘cheap’ web design costs for eCommerce.
To get an online shop up and running you are typically looking in the region of £3000-£15,000 depending on the level of functionality required, extra features (live searches, wishlists, variable shipping etc) and who is populating all the products (there could be thousands).
Website redesign costs.
Unfortunately, many websites are more cost-effective to start from scratch rather than redesign. It can often take several days to pull apart an old website, modifying it to make use of newer technology etc. This is especially difficult when it is somebody elses work and you don’t know what is in there until you start poking around.
Therefore, always move forward cautiously with a view to scalability. It is also a reason why it can prove worthwhile to have an ongoing maintenance contract following the actual design process.
That way, the designer is responsible for ensuring your website can adapt and change over time. If you want to see if a re-design is possible from your existing site, then ask a few different web designers for their opinion, but always ask for a full breakdown of what is involved.
WordPress & Google.
Based in Lewes, East Sussex, FLEXX Creative are first and foremost a WordPress web design agency.
In fact, we’ve built WordPress websites for small startups, established local businesses, schools, charities, local authorities, nationwide companies, international brands and even other web design agencies.
To be successful in Google, you need a website you can update easily because Google loves fresh unique content. Understanding this, every site we design needs to be easy to edit, and easy to add this fresh content that is so important to free traffic from Google.
That’s why, when you hire us to create your next website, every one of our websites come with a free content management system (CMS) installed. Yes, that’s right – you do not need to ‘buy it’ and it’s not specific to us, so you could take your website elsewhere without hassle!
What’s more, it’s not just any CMS either. It is WordPress – the most popular (and best at what it does) CMS in the world. We love it so much that we won’t use anything else!
Although it is almost impossible to tell you how much you should be paying, hopefully this article gives a deeper insight in to what goes on behind the scenes and why professional website design may cost more than you think.
For further information though, you need to speak to the experts – we can help with that.
About Simon Vincent
Simon Vincent is the founder and managing director of FLEXX Creative and previously founded RootHost. His skillset is vast and includes WordPress development, search engine optimisation techniques, social media marketing and brand development. He has a keen passion for music and spends a lot of time traveling the world following Bruce Springsteen (amongst other artists).
Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive.
Bruce Springsteen, This Hard Land