It’s important to have a website for a business today and, unlike a decade or two ago, it must not look like it was designed by an amateur. But what does web design pricing look like now? How affordable is it to have a website built?
There are different ways to have a nice-looking website built, including do-it-yourself (DIY) and hiring a professional designer and developer. So, the cost to build a website is highly variable.
If you’re not sure if you need a new website, try our free Website Checker to get an audit Report.
In this article, we’ll explain what the different options are, what each entails, and roughly how much each will cost. We hope this is helpful to you!
Web Design Pricing to Meet Your Needs
There are essentially two different ways to have a website designed, doing it yourself and hiring a professional. Each has a number of variations. We’ll go over them in the following paragraphs and weigh their pros and cons.
It used to be that designing a website yourself simply meant being competent with HTML and other coding, as well as having a good sense of design and being able to create your own images and other design elements.
This was in the 1990s when the World Wide Web was an entirely new phenomenon and it wasn’t yet known what its eventual uses and capabilities would be. As you know, it’s something entirely different today.
Today, having a DIY website usually means using one of several website builders. A website builder is an online tool to assist in the construction of websites without needing to code manually.
Prominent website builders today include:
- WordPress: a sophisticated blogging software with integrated hosting at different service levels. WordPress blog themes are a popular option for website design.
- Wix: is distinguished by its unstructured editing tool for those wanting complete design freedom. It has integrated hosting.
- SquareSpace: Considered “highly recommended,” this is described as having “excellent features” and “the best blogging, podcasting, audio players and photo galleries of any website builder.” See our article on SquareSpace vs WordPress.
- Weebly: considered among the easiest to use, yet has a sophisticated look and multiple apps to help with it.
- GoDaddy: is extremely expeditious in creating websites, perhaps a bit oversimplified.
- Webflow: is geared toward professional designers, not amateurs. “Even though it doesn’t require you to code, it’s interface is really an abstraction of a code environment.”
A longer list of website builders is available at the site linked above, along with in-depth reviews for several of them. This site is also the source of the material quoted or paraphrased above.
For more information on the specific services and terms offered by the site-builders discussed above, or any others, go directly to their websites.
Hiring a professional website designer and/or developer can be a gamble. However, if you have very precise specifications for what you want for your site, can afford the overall cost, and are willing to do careful research, this option could pay off.
That is to say, you would have the unique design and features that could make your business truly stand out among the competition.
Hiring a Freelancer
There are several websites to connect you with web design freelancers including Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, bark.com, and several others.
An upside to hiring a freelance designer is that you can speak with the person directly as well as negotiate what you will pay them. Plus, since they’re “starving” freelancers, they’re likely to do excellent work to build their reputations.
Some downsides are that you will need to select candidates and do thorough interviews with each of them. Also, reviews from their previous clients are not necessarily all that reliable or honest.
Hiring a Design Firm
Although design firms usually come at a steep price, you get a lot for that price–including these options:
- Professional developer services, which involve the coding features that make the site work (not just look nice).
- Responsive web design (RWD), which allows your site to look its best on any platform
- Search engine optimization (SEO), which can include structural optimization as well as blog-writing and other features
- Virtually error-free design and development
- Ongoing site maintenance
Choose your firm carefully and they’re sure to give you a great experience!
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
Based on what we’ve said so far, you can well imagine that there’s not only a broad range of possible website costs that reflect a complete site, but there are also many different options to consider, depending on the way you choose to build the site.
Basic Website Design Pricing
- Domain name — between $10-15 annually
- Web hosting — from $1 to nearly 300 monthly, depending on service level
- Minimum annual cost for a very basic site — $115 annually (it can go to over $3,000, though)
Your business won’t thrive at this very basic website cost for long, though.
More Realistic Estimate for a Professional-Looking Website
- Domain name — between $10-15 annually
- Web hosting — from $1 to nearly 300 monthly
- SSL certificate — $7 to 250 annually
- Content management system (CMS)
- Web design expenses — from $1,000 up to 20,000 at start-up, less annually unless a redesign is needed. These expenses can include full design and development (including the theme), and RWD.
- Optional online marketing add-ons — up to well over $30,000 annually. These can include SEO, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), conversion rate optimization, copywriting, content marketing, and social media linking and maintenance.
Managed Website Pricing
Also, consider managed website options. These are packages of commonly requested website design features at a fixed monthly price. There usually are additional add-on options for other services as well.
Given the itemized costs listed above, it might be worth it for you to have a standard monthly cost for your business.
You might be wondering if all these expenses are really necessary. Of course, there probably are some you could manage without. But don’t skimp on your business website, since it can help your standing among the competition.
According to Google’s 2016 data, 68 percent of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to a store within 24 hours, and nearly 50 percent make a purchase within a day.
Now Live on the Web
The cost to run a small business effectively is high enough, never mind the added expense of building and maintaining a website and everything that goes along with it! What happened to the good old days before this thing called the Internet?
When you ask, “What is web design pricing today,” you’re likely to get as many different answers as there are options and combinations of options to consider. But is cost really the main point?
As long as your budget is sustainable, you should do your homework, ask questions, and choose just what you need. Remember, it’s easier to add a feature later on than it is to subtract one.
If you have a professional website to build and reinforce a solid reputation for your business, you’ve done a good job. And if you need more help at any point along the way, let us know. We’d be happy to help you out!