How Much Does Web Design Cost?

When starting a new business or designing a new website, most people are unsure of where to start and the costs of a new website. They assume it can be done quickly, and some smart kid they know should be able to do it for a couple of bucks. But in reality, things work a little differently.

Your website is one of your business's most important tools. It is the central hub for marketing, sales, and information for your clients or customers. It's available anywhere, at any time, with very easy access for just about everyone.

Here's another way to look at it is this:

Imagine you are looking for a new employee. A potential candidate walks up and introduces himself. He says he can work 24/7, with (almost) no breaks and wants no vacation time. He never gets sick, doesn't need any benefits, doesn't have taxes to pay. He is there to answer questions, provide information, take leads and make sales. On top of that, he doesn't require an hourly rate or a salary. Just an upfront flat fee. What would you offer him? For most companies, even if he cost $15,000, that would be a steal. This is the real value of your website.

The Cost of DIY

Monetarily, building your own website is the cheapest option, with costs ranging between $100 to $2000. However, there are other costs to consider.

  1. Time and energy. The less money you want to spend, the more time and energy it will take on your part.
  2. The final product. You're not a coder (I'm presuming, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog) so you won't end up with what you ideally wanted and there could be back end issues too.
  3. Consider that you could (and most likely will) make some mistakes (I certainly make a lot of mistakes if I try to fix any plumbing in my house), and these mistakes could lead to lost leads, costing you real money.

But, if you're the adventurous or DIY type you might want to go forward anyway. 

The best place to start for low budget startups is a Wordpress site. Dreamhost starts at $7.95 a month for hosting, and includes 1 click installs of Wordpress. While there are many free themes for Wordpress, it's a good idea to purchase a theme from a developer, which usually range from $30 to $100 dollars each.

Functionality, performance and ease of use all vary from developer to developer, so it's highly recommended to go a little research first. Look for a strong history, good positive reviews, ability to customize without needing to code, and good technical support.

Another popular option is the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. It is the backend of your website, which allows you to create content and edit the visuals of your theme with greater ease. After installing the framework, you can install one of their themes or a third party developed theme, which acts as the aesthetics of your site.

Their framework is a huge step up from the average theme, and worth the additional funds and cost.

Alternatively, you can look into website builders, like Squarespace or Format which offer fairly low monthly rates.

The Cost of a Freelancer

Hiring a freelance web designer is the next level up in terms of cost. The cost for a good designer should range between $2,000 to $5,000 for a simple website, and $10,000 to $15,000 for a more complicated and customized website. Though I should mention that these costs can vary based on project size and the experience of the designer.

Freelancers are usually a good middle ground; they focus mostly on the aesthetics of the site with a few improvements on user experience and optimization. They'll make a few mock-ups, and build the one that you like the most.

They can be a little hit or miss and will take longer as most are a one man operation.

The Cost of an Agency

The ideal solution however is to hire an agency. You get the most for your money, and you will have a professional team actively working to help your company succeed. But as you would expect, it also costs the most.

A simple website design can run from $15,000 to $20,000, and larger more complicated sites reaching $40,000.

But, you get a website that will compete with the best brands in the world.

A design agency works on so much more than design. Your website will be completely unique and look flawless. But the aesthetics are only a small part of the package; you'll also get time spent on content, user-experience, conversion rate optimization and anything else that helps make your website an asset to your company.

Agencies can turn your website into a powerful lead generating tool. If you have the budget to hire an agency, it's worth your time to talk and discover your options.

Learn more about a website redesign from Gryphon!

Jordon Packard