So, you’re new to the web development game and are curious about pricing. The good news is that you’re not alone—this is a challenge that all site owners face at some point. The bad news is that web design prices are notoriously difficult to estimate.
It’s easy to think of web design as a product that should have a fixed cost, but it’s more accurately defined as a service—the process of building and maintaining a website isn’t a “one and done” scenario. It requires continual upkeep and monitoring, making pricing a tricky calculation. You could ask three different firms for estimates on the same project and receive three vastly answers based on their unique rates and assessment of your needs.
There are many factors contributing to your web design prices, including:
- Which hosting service you choose
- Project planning and site development
- Upkeep and maintenance after the site is live
Your web design prices will vary based on your individual needs. Do you need a completely new site built or a redesign of your previous format? Is your site ecommerce focused, needing a store and online payment functionality? How about community involvement through blogging, forums, and social media integration?
All of these needs must be factored into your overall budget. And make no mistake, you must have an idea of your budget before you begin to look for contractors. You can go online and find website designers for as cheap as $10 per hour or as expensive as $300 per hour. The range is huge—and certainly has an impact on the overall quality of your site.
You Get What You Pay For
Now, don’t misunderstand—discount developers can do a great job designing your site, particularly if your needs are simple:
- <$500: At the lowest level of pricing, you can expect your developer to include stock photos, theme templates, and basic HTML or WordPress integration. Extras in the way of search engine optimization, analytic tracking, or 3rd party integration services will be hard to come by in this tier.
- $500 – $3,000: As your price range increases, new avenues of functionality open up. This is usually enough to include 3rd party services for marketing and online commerce, and gives developers more flexibility to create polished and high-quality designs.
- $3,000 – $10,000: At this level, designers are able to incorporate more customized content management systems, blog designs, and fully-functional on-page marketing services. High-quality images and unique layouts should always be included at this tier.
- $10,000 and up: If you’re a high-end service provider with plenty to spend, you can expect quality designs, customized layouts, efficient processes, and functionality across multiple online platforms. While huge corporations can end up spending hundreds of thousands on their site design, most small businesses can get by with more reasonable rates.
As you can see from this rundown, the well of web design prices runs deep—businesses can easily spend more than they can afford in search of quality web design.
Assess your business’s website needs to help you determine what type of rates to look for. Some firms offer up-front estimates based on hourly pricing, while others stick to a per hour model.
In the end, remember that web development truly is a “get what you pay for” scenario. Low web design prices often mean lower quality work, and can end up costing you more in the long run than if you had contracted with a qualified web design boutique on the first go.