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Last updated: 14 March 2024

Website Design Cost

What Is the Cost of Designing a Website?

How much a website design costs depends on the type of website you need, and whether you will build it yourself or hire a professional web design company to do it for you. 

A website’s design cost includes fees related to domain, hosting, and maintenance of your website. Domain and hosting are necessary expenses that every type of website needs.

Domain prices start from £6.99 per year. Keep in mind that for some domains you might get a 50-75% discount on the very first year. However, hosting costs range between £2.99 and £44.99 per month. Further, website design cost also inlcudes maintenance, which might cost you around £29.99 per year.

Depending on your budget and the size of your website, you can consider doing it yourself, hiring a freelancer, an offshore company, or a specialised agency or web company. If you have a small budget and want to build a basic blog, you can do it yourself at the minimum cost of £9.99.

However, hiring specialised agency or web company might be a better solution if you are running a more complex site, such as an e-commerce website, that needs additional features. This can bring your website design cost anywhere from £999 to £9,999.

Finally, an agency might also be a suitable option if you need a complex website for a large business. Keep in mind that this kind of website design cost would be the highest, between £5,999 and £21,999.

Website Design Cost Breakdown
CategoryDo It YourselfFreelancerOffshore CompanySpecialised Agency or Web Company
DesignFree£559.99 - £9,099£559 - £9,099£4,999 - £19,999
Website Builder£2.99 - £19.99/month£2.99 - £19.99/month£2.99 - £19.99/month£2.99 - £19.99/month
Domain ( £6.99/yearFrom £6.99/yearFrom £6.99/yearFrom £6.99/year
Hosting£2.99 - £9.99/month£2.99 - £9.99/month£2.99 - £9.99/month£9.99 - £44.99/month

Basic Factors Impacting Website Design Pricing

When it comes to designing a website for your business, there are two key factors that must be taken into account: the domain and the hosting service.

These two basic factors must be included in your budget for website design cost as they are unavoidable for anyone that wants to have their own site.

Basic Website Design Cost UK

Choosing a Domain

A domain is a necessity when considering website design costs. Even if you want to create a website yourself, it won’t save you from upfront costs. The prices start from £6.99 per year if you choose a domain suffix, or £9.99 per year for a .com domain suffix.

After the standard registration period, which is usually one year as the default, (some registrants offer 2 years or longer) you will be required to renew the domain name at a higher cost.

Selecting a Suitable Hosting Service

Additionally, you would also need to pay for a web server hosting service. It is important to select a web hosting provider that is reliable and scalable.

The cheapest option is shared hosting, which starts as low as £2.99 per month, but requires you to share the server with several other sites. This means that you would also have to share the bandwidth with others, which is only appropriate if your small website is not expected to get too much traffic.

There are other more expensive and efficient options you can choose from that won’t heavily impact your website design cost. For instance, for a medium-sized website you may want to choose a virtual private server (VPS) hosting from £9.99 per month, which allocates several servers to its sites.

For bigger and more complex websites, we recommend cloud-based web hosts. With this option, you only pay for what you have used, which may be the best solution for newly created websites that still don’t know how much traffic they will get.

If you already know that your website will receive a lot of traffic, then having a dedicated host is definitely the best way to go, even though it will cost you at least £64.99 per month.

Additional Website Features Affecting Website Design Costs

Except the basic web design elements and website maintenance, you might consider speaking to your web designer about adding additional functionalities to your website, such as a site optimised for mobile-first indexing. 

Furthermore, you should have a look at SSL Certificate, CMS, or Content Creation & SEO. These features might considerably change your website.

Whether or not you choose to include one or all of these additional features and functionalities will affect the website design cost of your project.

Cost of Additional Features & Functionalities
FeatureDo It YourselfFreelancerOffshore CompanySpecialised Agency or Web Company
Mobile WebsiteFree£199 - £299£199 - £299£199 - £299
SSL Certificate£14.99 - £199/year£14.99 - £199/year£14.99 - £199/year£14.99 - £199/year
CMSFrom £9.99/monthFrom £9.99/monthFrom £9.99/monthFrom £9.99/month
Content Creation & SEOFree£149 upfront/ £25/hour£149 upfront/ £25/hour£200 upfront/ £40/hour

Mobile Website Design

A mobile website is different from the standard website, as it allows the website to be displayed on smaller devices - in other words, it is responsive. A response website is able to display content on different screen sizes - it is optimised for desktop, mobile, tablets, etc. 

This kind of mobile website design improves user experience, and has the added benefit of aiding SEO efforts. The cost of mobile website is between £199 and £299. However, if you have enough technical knowledge, you can do it yourself without any additional website design costs.

Creating a mobile website is not a difficult task. In fact, it can be built separately from the desktop website. In other words, it can be added to the existing website. The advantage of a mobile page is faster loading time because of less files and images.

One thing you should consider is that you need to stay up-to-date with fast developing technology so your website can be adjusted to new types of devices.

Did you know?

44% of users leave a website because of bad mobile navigation.

SSL Certificate

SSL means Security Socket Layer that is a global security technology that fosters coded communication between the browser and the server. Many online businesses use this feature to protect their client’s sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords.

Although an SSL Certificate is not a fundamental feature for every type of website, e-commerce business should be equipped in this feature to protect the data of their customers. The average cost of an SSL Certificate is £14.99 - £199 per year, which you should take into consideration for website design cost calculation.

Before buying an SSL Certificate you should have a unique IP address. If you use shared hosting service you might request an upgraded account to create your own IP address. Keep in mind that there will be either a one-time or a monthly cost.

To buy a certificate, you need to prove that you are the owner of the website with, for example, a site ID card. Next, CSR, a certificate signing request, must be generated to be submitted to the SSL Certificate Authority. The final step is to install SSL certificate either by yourself or by the host.

Content Management Systems

This software allows your online company to publish and review its content, even without a deep understanding of HTML and CSS code. CMS can be useful for DIY website builders without specific technical knowledge, as these can save a substantial amount of time in the development of a website.

Amongst the more commonly-known CMS systems are WordPress, Wix, Joomla, and SquareSpace.

Whether or not you invest in a CMS system is dependent on your technical skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.), your budget, and the agency you are working with. However, in most cases a CMS system would be beneficial.

If you choose to have a design company creating your website, you may have a content management system included in your package. Some design agencies only charge £99 on top of the agreed fee to provide you with a CMS.

Did you know?

The user needs only 0.5 seconds to form an opinion about certain aspects of your website.

Content Creation and SEO

Publishing your website is only the first step in achieving a great online presence. Afterward, you will need to regularly post relevant and unique content, to keep it interesting for your readers. If you are planning to publish content yourself, be it for your small business website or your personal blog, you won’t incur any additional website design costs.

If, however, you own a larger professional website, with many different pages and categories, you may consider hiring a specialist content creator. You should also consider this in your website design cost calculations.

Freelance content creators in the UK that usually have solid SEO skills usually will cost around £149.99 to set up the content and initial optimisation of a small to medium-sized website. For subsequent content updates, you can expect to be charged £25 per hour.

Bear in mind that content is what really drives your website. For this reason, you may want a professional agency to manage your web page content and SEO. But these agencies can increase your website design cost, so make sure to choose the one that fits your needs and objectives in the most cost-effective way.

Different Types of Website Design for Your Business

Your business needs and the website’s purpose will heavily dictate your website design cost. Whether you are going for a very basic website including only a few pages, or if your small business web design requires more functionalities, or if you need a full-blown e-commerce shop will impact your costs.

Below you can find the prices and features for different types of websites.

Cost of Different Types of Websites
Site TypeAttributesSuitable forPrice
Basic“Booklet” that includes a contact email or the contact form, up to 5 pages, simple design, low cost of maintenance.Businesses with a limited budget and those that want to show the presence of their business online but do not plan to post content regularly.£199 - £499
Small BusinessUp to 20 pages, social media sharing, other features such as logo, CTA, navigation, more advanced design, responsiveness.Start-ups, fast-growing small business, and freelancers£499 - £999
E-commerce“A virtual store” that allows selling products and services, and make payments SSL certificate, feedback and chat options.A business that sells products and services online.£999 - £2499
BespokeUnique design, CMS, personalised features suited to your business type and audience needs, customer service, high security.A business in need of highly functional websites such as finance or recruitment. £2,499 – £9,999

A basic website typically has a form of a "booklet", which contains up to 5 pages, has a very simple design, and low maintenance cost. It is suitable for small businesses with a limited budget and do not plan to post content regularly. The website design cost for a basic website can range between £199 - £499.

Small business websites commonly contain up to 20 pages and have social media sharing features, navigation menus, and are optimised for mobile. This kind of website design costs £499 - £999. It works well for start-ups, fast-growing small business, as well as freelancers.

An e-commerce website is a "virtual store" that allows businesses to sell products and services. An e-commerce site has an SSL certificate, as well as additional features like feedback and chat options to help aid the user experience on the site. This type of website suits business focusing on online retail and it cost £999 - £2499.

A bespoke website is the most costly of all. It is a highly functional website that is tailored to the individual company’s business needs. The website design cost for a bespoke site can vary from site to site.

Choosing the Right Company to Design a Website

Before deciding on the best way to design your website, you might consider the following aspects:

    • What is the purpose behind your website? Decide whether you are building it to grow your business or if it’s a personal project, a blog, for instance. Do you already have a website? You may want to only renovate your existing one, to keep it up-to-date and optimised. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that your website design costs will be lower.
    • What do you want to achieve with your new website? Think whether your main goal is to increase your reach, sell your products online, or simply communicate your business identity to your audience.
    • Do you want to specialise or to be an all-arounder? Evaluate whether you are focusing on something specific, or you are aiming at offering a variety of services.
    • Who are you designing your website for? Think about whether you aim at targeting other businesses or private customers.

When you have determined your goals and target audience, it should be easier to choose the most suitable way to build a website. There are several different options to do it and you can find them below:

1. Specialised Design Agencies and Web Companies

Design agencies and professional web developers are required if your plan involves creating a complex business website. 

The best web design agencies have a higher websites design cost compared to lower-cost alternatives. Some of them charge no less than £19,999 for a business website with additional functionalities. 

The reason for this is their level of skills and expertise. For example, specialised web design agency would be able to set up your CMS system in a way that will be tailored to your site.

Moreover, if being responsive is imperative for your site then a web design company can execute that for you. This is particularly important for a site with many visual elements, such as images and videos, that have to be adjusted to various different screen sizes.

Other additional features, like live chat functionality, are important for certain businesses. If you are running an e-commerce site, this is recommended in order to help customers if they are facing issues that may prevent them from making a purchase.

A business website might also benefit from order management system that runs different aspects of business such as order processing, call centre, accounting or marketing.

Advantages of hiring a specialised web design company
  • Unlimited subpages
  • Responsive web design
  • Live chat functionality
  • Social media integration
  • Content management system (CMS)
  • E-commerce functionality
  • Order management system

A specialised company will be able to deliver on these requirements as they have a team dedicated to various different aspects.

For example, web designers focus on the graphic side of the website; they will deliver an intuitiveuser-friendly layout, and give the website a sophisticated aesthetic.

Web developers, on the other hand, work on the technical side of websites. They will take care of the HTML code behind your website, while also solving any IT issues users may encounter.

What is exceptionally good about hiring a professional agency is that they will take each detail into consideration, without you having to worry about a thing. The cost is certainly high, but it’s definitely worth investing in an excellent website that will be noticed among your customers and competitors.

2. Freelance Website Designer

Hiring a freelance web designer is suitable for whoever needs a professional website of average size, on a medium budget. Depending on the freelancer, your website design cost can differ greatly. However, on average you can expect the fees to be anywhere from £9.99 per hour, up to £64.99 per hour.

Freelancers and web designers in the UK represent an attractive option, since they offer a personalisable service that won’t involve a significant outlay.

It takes at least four weeks to develop a simple website with a limited number of web pages. Therefore, you should expect to pay up to £9,099 for freelance designers. Freelancers usually request being paid by the hour, since they are mostly employed for the development of small, basic websites.

However, there is a reason behind the low cost of freelancers; you can never know whether they possess the necessary experience or tools offered by specialised web design companies.

Advantages of working with freelancer web designer
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Fast completion of work
  • Easy and personalised one-to-one communication
  • Project management flexibility and adaptability

3. Offshore Web Companies

Offshore web companies are suitable for designing a professional website of average size with a medium budget, similar to freelance web designers. However, the website design cost for offshore companies is usually lower and ranges between £3.99 to £19.99 per hour.

Taking the time it takes to build an entire site, you should expect to pay at least £559.99 when hiring offshore design companies. The main advantage of hiring an offshore company is the affordable rates and quality work.

4. Do It Yourself

Nowadays, designing a professional website is also possible with a very low budget, thanks to different website building tools.

Website builder platforms give you the ability to design your own website without hiring a developer. These let you create simple websites based on pre-existing templates, so you don’t need outstanding graphic capabilities or increase of website design costs to develop a website with standard functionalities.

Drawbacks of building a website yourself
  • You will be constrained by the functionalities of the website builder you have chosen to use
  • You will likely be limited to basic functionalities
  • Most of the time, even upgrades to premium versions will be restricted to a certain level

Nevertheless, if you decide to build a website on your own, you should get familiar with web design trends to learn the fundamentals. 

Next Steps to Getting Your Web Design Project Started

Now that you know about the different website designs and their costs, it’s time to critically evaluate your options. First, think of your ideal website design cost according to your desires and opportunities. Then, contact a web design agency well in advance, and prepare the right questions for them, to make sure you both have the same vision about your project.

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