Website Design Cost Guide for Your Business
Websites are among the main channels through which your brand shows your customers what you are, what you stand for, and what you offer by selling products online. But how much does website design cost in 2019?
If correctly optimised, good web design can help your company grow while widening reach and driving sales. You need to find the best web design company to fit your budget and make sure all your web pages look professional and are user-friendly.
Website design costs have changed over time due to the necessity of developing a responsive web design (RWD) to improve the usability of websites on devices with varying screen dimensions (e.g., computers, smartphones, tablets). This variable has definitely driven website design costs up in the last 10 years.
Offering great user experience through improved usability is crucial, as your online customers will then be facilitated in carrying out a transaction and will be more likely to visit your page again in the future. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to estimate your website design cost in advance.
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Read about Website Design Cost in Our Guide
Having a solid plan is essential to design a powerful website in a cost-efficient way. There are several variables to be considered when choosing the approach to website design to get the best out of your resources.
Web Design Agencies or Web Developers?
There is a difference between web design agencies and developers that you should definitely know before hiring a professional company to work on your website. The former focuses on the graphical side of the website: agencies will design and organise your web pages with an intuitive, user-friendly layout, and giving them 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 site, while also solving any IT issue users may encounter by programming more efficient functionalities.
There are web design companies that offer both types of services at an additional fee on top of the agreed website design cost. However, as a rule of thumb, you should aim at understanding whether aesthetics or functionality are more important for your website, and then choose a specialised agency accordingly.
The Objective of Your Project
Before reading about website design costs, you first need to think about the purpose behind your website.
- What do you want your website for? Decide whether you are building it to grow your business or if it’s a personal project, such as a blog.
- Do you already have a website? You may only want to renovate your existing website 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 your website aims at targeting other businesses or private customers.
- How big is your project? A bigger business implies more web pages on your website to give clients a complete picture of your idea. In turn, this increases the website design cost.
Your Budget for Web Design
You also need to take into account your website budget for the design of your online business. Ask yourself, what is a realistic website size considering your website budget? This will have an impact on your website design cost.
If your budget does not match the size and complexity of your website design idea, then re-evaluate either your budget or your expectations, or contact us to get a quote on website design cost that can match your requirements.
Afterwards, you ought to think about your timeline when you calculate website design costs, for example, do you have enough time to design the type of website you aim at creating? If not, go over your plan once again, or consider hiring a professional web design company to speed up the process.
You also need to bear in mind that when designing a website, there is no average website design cost: every cost element depends on your specific requirements, so it’s important that you give a weight to each deciding factor regarding your project.
An e-commerce function allows your company to sell products and services on your website. As of today, e-commerce is a must for some businesses, particularly those companies who sell their products exclusively via web.
If you decide to sell products online, you will need a SSL certificate to further increase your website’s security, since you would be handling online transactions. If you are committed to adding this feature to boost your website, then check out our article on the design of e-commerce websites to evaluate which alternative is the best for your project.
Website design cost has considerably changed during the past few years, as web design is a concept that is still under continuous improvement. Because websites are among the main marketing channels for most companies, current website design costs in the United Kingdom reflect the need for higher quality features.
Designing a responsive website is much more costly today than it was before, as the optimisation of user experience on each device is now crucial for companies to retain online visitors. Developing a responsive web design is what really makes the difference between the lower website design cost of less skilled web page builders and the website design cost of professional designers.
Still having doubts? Check out the importance of adapting your website to be responsive on multiple devices in our guide to mobile optimisation.
Of course, when developing websites, you get what you pay for. There are different website design cost brackets for each solution you choose, as they reflect the complexity and uniqueness of functionalities you will get.
Below, you can find a price breakdown to understand how much your website design could cost depending on a high, medium or low budget. However, no matter your budget, the results of investing in an expert web design agency or web developer company will definitely be worthwhile.
|Suggestion||Type of Company||Web Design Budget||Type of Website||Approximate website design cost (min-max)|
|Specialised design agencies and web companies||Multinational enterprises, international corporations, large businesses||High||Complex website||£6,000-22,000|
|Freelancers and offshore web companies||Small- to medium-sized companies||Medium||Basic business website with additional features (e.g., e-commerce, social media, responsive design)||£1,000-10,000|
|Design a website yourself||Freelancers, self-employed people, blogs||Low||Basic website, blogs||£8-400|
Design agencies and professional web developers are required if your plan involves creating a complex business website. In fact, a structured website may include strong accessory features such as:
- Unlimited subpages
- Responsive web design
- Live chat functionality
- Social media integration
- Content management system (CMS)
- E-commerce functionality
- Order management system
The best web design agencies have a higher website design cost than the lower-cost alternatives. Some of them charge no less than £20,000 for a business website with additional functionalities—though the difference in quality would likely be significant.
What is exceptionally good about hiring a professional agency to design your website is that they will take each detail for your online website into consideration without you having to worry about a thing. Their website design cost is certainly high, but it’s definitely worth investing in an excellent website that will be noticed among your customers and competitors.
These are also solutions for whoever needs a professional website of average size on a medium budget. The best choice for a standard expenditure is either between freelancers who charge from £10 up to £65/hour, and offshore web companies whose website design cost usually ranges between £4 to £20/hour.
Website design costs may appear economical at the beginning due to lower average labor costs—especially with regards to offshore web designers who are based in developing countries. Freelancers, on the other hand, represent attractive options, since they offer a personalisable service that doesn’t involve a significant outlay. We have a guide on the freelance web designers in the UK that you can check out.
It takes at least four weeks for to develop a simple website with a limited number of web pages. Therefore, you should expect to pay at least £560 in website design costs to hire offshore design companies and up to £9,100 for freelance designers.
However, there is a reason behind their low website design cost: you can’t be sure on whether they possess the necessary experience and tools offered by specialised web design companies.
Moreover, all too often offshore web companies offer website design prices that are too good to be true, so it takes time and experience to search for and find which ones can offer a professional service at a fair website design cost.
These two options request being paid by the hour, since both are usually employed for the development of small, basic websites. If you are a small- or medium-sized company with a strong business website to build from scratch, we suggest you request a quote for the whole project. Make sure you specify the deadlines and desired functionalities in advance, otherwise, it could be harder to predict the total website design cost.
Design It Yourself
Nowadays, designing a professional website is also possible for the cheapest budgets. Thanks to tools such as website builders, anyone can develop their own web page at minimal website design cost.
Website builder platforms are online instruments that give you the ability to design your own website without hiring a developer. These let you create simple web pages based on pre-existing templates, so you don’t need outstanding graphic capabilities or increased website design costs to develop a site with standard functionalities.
However, there are certainly drawbacks if you choose to build your website yourself. First and foremost, you will be constrained by the functionalities of the website builder you have chosen to use. Most of the time, even upgrading to a premium version won’t help your website look less basic than it actually is.
Plus, you would need to learn the fundamentals of web design trends, which usually takes a long time, as well as develop graphic design competences. If you decide to build your own website and you need some inspiration, visit the best web design blogs we have just reviewed for 2018.
All in all, in order to create a more unique and sophisticated website, we recommend you hire a professional developing company, which is something you may want to consider if you aim at achieving a strong online presence that can help you grow your business at an effective website design cost.
Designing your website yourself is the cheapest option. This is because the major expenses in designing, researching, and maintaining your website are cut off, as the developer is the one responsible for creating the website and keeping it running. However, there are hidden website design costs that solo designers may not be able to see.
The cost of learning all the necessary skills to build a website for the first time is not taken into account in our breakdown. However, if you aim at creating your own website, this is a variable that you definitely need to remember—especially if you are running low on time and resources.
|Current Website Design Costs||Website Design Cost if You Design Your Own Website||Website Design Cost of Freelancers & Offshore Web Companies||Website Design Cost of Specialised Agencies|
|Website Design Cost Breakdown||Upfront Costs||Ongoing Costs||Upfront Costs||Ongoing Costs||Upfront Costs||Ongoing Costs|
|Website Builder||Free upfront
|Domain (.co.uk)||From £5/year upfront
From £10/year ongoing
|Optional Website Design Costs:|
|CMS||From £160||From £60/year||From £160||From £60/year||From £100||From £50/year|
|Content Creation & SEO||Free||Free||£150||£25/hour||£200||£40/hour|
Choosing to create your own website won’t save you from upfront costs either: a necessary expense for every website is the domain, which starts at £5/year if you choose a .co.uk domain suffix, or £10/year for a .com domain suffix. After the standard registration period—which is usually 1 year as the default, though some registrants offer 2 years or longer—you will be required to renew the domain name at higher cost.
Additionally, you would also need to pay for hosting from a web server. If you are new in website design and don’t know what hosting option to choose to minimize your website design cost yet, check out this guide about the best web hosting services.
The cheapest option is shared hosting, which starts as low as £3/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 in case your small website is not expected to get too much traffic.
There are other more expensive—but more efficient—options you can choose from that won’t heavily impact on your website design cost. For instance, for a medium-sized website, you may want to choose virtual private server (VPS) hosting (from £10/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 on their web pages. If you already know that your website will receive a lot of traffic, then having dedicated hosts is definitely the best way to go, even though it will cost you at least £65/month.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
This software can help your online company publish and review its content on web pages without needing a deep understand of HTML and CSS code. They 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. Plus, this wouldn’t add much to the overall website design cost.
CMS is considered an optional investment for website runners: if you choose to build your small website and publish content by yourself, you won’t necessarily need a CMS. On the other hand, 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 £100 on top of the agreed fee to provide you with a CMS.
Content Creation and SEO
Publishing your website is only the first step in achieving a great online presence. Afterwards, you will need to regularly post relevant and unique content to keep it interesting for your users. 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 cost.
If, however, you own a larger professional website with many different pages and categories, you may consider hiring a specialist content creator to update your web pages. You also should factor this into your website design cost calculation.
Freelance content creators in the United Kingdom that usually have solid SEO skills as well usually ask for £150 to set up the content and initial optimisation of a small- to medium-sized website, while charging £25/hour for periodic content updates.
Bear in mind that content is what really drives your website up. For this reason, you may want a professional agency to manage your web page content and SEO. But these agencies can drive your website design cost up when it comes to producing fresh and relevant content, so make sure to choose the one that best fits your resources and objectives in a cost-effective way.
Now that you know what to expect from web design, 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 think about the right questions to ask to you make sure you both have the same vision about your project.
Are you ready to start designing your own website now? Market Inspector can help you with finding the solution that best suits your desires. Fill in the form on the top of the page and we will provide you with up to 4 free, non-binding quotes from the most reputable web design agencies. Click on the button below to find how much would your website design cost.