So your business has grown enough to realize the necessity for a strong online presence. This means it needs a website. Or you became aware of the fact that your current website no longer has what it takes to properly represent your business, isn’t able to handle the necessary requirements, and is simply outdated, making your business look bad. It also means the time for changes has come. But with professional web design prices ranging so much, it’s clear that there are multiple factors involved in influencing the cost of web design. So as a follow-up to our app design cost study, in this web design pricing guide we’ll break down the custom web design costs, what the cost to design a website is built of, and what are the best practices to optimize the web design price.
How much does it take to design a website?
A significant chunk of your website budget will most likely be eaten by its development that you won’t be able to really assess if you are a non-technical person. What you will see though is that the design is something that is galvanized by the front-end development and backed up by a strong back end. From another perspective, web design is a thing that everyone on the managerial end of a business has to say something about, but only design professionals truly understand.
Website design is a sensitive entity, although not a full-blown art, as professional web designers follow strict and almost mathematical laws of UI/UX design. Grid systems, designing the user flows, the meticulous choice of fonts, colors, and images make it as technical as anything, while also calling out for the aesthetics. So how much does web design cost in and of itself?
Website design hourly rates
Let’s start by defining the perfect place to find a web design team. With modern outsourcing strategies and tools for remote cooperation, especially in our post-COVID-outbreak time, it becomes more and more common for businesses to embrace the benefits of global development practices. Web design is a subdivision of web development and not a standalone service, but an organic extension of the process with a strong emphasis on appeal and user convenience.
Depending on how much UI/UX web designers make, you can judge the cost to design a website in terms of quality level, delivery, standards, and the amount of headache attached. However, the point of outsourcing lies precisely in the idea that you can get a quality service at a fraction of the cost. It mainly depends on where your outsourcing partner is based. For example, rates can start from around $25/hour if a designer is situated in South-East Asia and reach up to $200/hour for the price of a specialist based in the USA. The best and most advantageous way to walk a razor’s edge and keep the quality while sticking to the budget would be to choose something in between in the form of web design outsourced services from Eastern Europe and Russia where the cost of hiring a website designer is around $50-70/hour.
As a web design agency with 10+ years of experience in different range projects, we know where to aim for the best possible result. There’s no point in going too high in costs, as there will be no room for other things just as important. You can’t hit the bottom price as well, as you wanna buy nice, not buy twice. 75% of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks. So, it’s the middle of the range, where the services provided are of a competitive quality but with reasonable price tags. Choose your web development company wisely.
What is web design price composed of and what determines web design prices?
Before we go any further trying to answer the question of how much does a web page design cost, it’s important to understand what exactly you are paying for. Is web design an integral substance, or can you leverage different aspects of it depending on whatever reasons?
Address the following questions:
- Do you need a redesign, version 2.0, or a brand new website?
- Do you need a CMS (content management system)?
- What kind of images do you want: stock, custom, reusable?
- Do you plan on using multimedia?
- Are you thinking about using e-commerce platforms for your website?
- Do you plan on adding features like custom chats to your website?
When analyzing the cost of designing a website, these points will help you figure your way in the web design cost breakdown and help optimize your budget on the assumption of what you need first and foremost. Let’s get into detail together.
New website design cost
Redesigning a website may be a half or at least a third cheaper than the basic website design price done “from scratch”.
- Freshly new design. A new start is the opportunity to go over your website functionality and have it designed the way you want it so it would fit your business needs better.
- Unified information architecture. The scalable structure allows adding content that fits into the general pattern. This possibility has to correspond with the modern tendencies and not get dated a year into the launch.
- Price. The additional cost of designing a website from scratch is more expensive as it includes all the pages from scratch, entirely new UI kits, wireframes, and graphics.
- Time. Designing something from scratch can be smooth and go faster than redoing. However, it usually takes quite some time to design the entire website.
The final new website design cost is eventually formed by the complexity of the pages and the amount of content. The redesign or semi-new design might save you some money initially, but it’s inevitable that you will have to address it later on.
Designing custom CMS and blogging
Building a website with blogging capabilities from scratch can assure a unique look and total control over your platform. Consequently, this brings more expenses in time and effort. With website template services, you are getting the complete package with a CMS you can start contributing to right away.
However, there is not a lot a designer can do with a predesigned theme, so the look of your CMS might be dissonant to that of the entire website. Many of our clients end up approaching us exactly to fix the template design constraints with a custom web design.
- Consistent and in-sync look. Only the blogging space or a CMS designed in the common style of the entire website has that classy, unique, and appealing look and feel to it. As delivery oftentimes is as important as the content itself.
- Extravagance. If you are up to a cost-efficient selection of pages to be designed for a minimum viable product, you might consider playing around with blogging themes of template services. The problem is that such an approach only postpones the necessity of a custom CMS. So as a short-term fix, this might work, but the amount of headache makes it not worth the savings.
Custom images and graphics
Bad graphics and stock images might be the ultimate off-putting cause for your website. Free graphics are most likely used all over the place and don’t seem to have an expiration date. The current trend is to abandon the practice of using bland stock images in favor of something more custom-made that would indicate that you really care about your business and customers. At the same time, custom photography may be way too expensive.
If you are running a business, there is no problem in taking pictures of what you do. That gives you the best representation of your craft and unique imagery as well simultaneously sparing your website design costs. You can have those images neatly integrated into all the prototypes accordingly. You can also isolate the process and delegate it to the designer for them to make use of the custom graphics sets like static or animated illustrations.
A visual identity budget should also be extended to incorporate expenses on custom icons, logo design implementations, buttons, and banners.
If you are not willing to concentrate on custom imagery, allow your designer to use licensed images on purchase. It’s important to have the license for the images you use on your website. The costs for stock photography subscriptions may vary from $20 to $100 depending on the quality of the content.
Added multimedia website design cost
Embedded videos and animations add credibility and attractiveness to any website. Homepage background video is one of the hottest web design trends of recent years. Consider additional costs for designing a website with animation, shooting a video, editing, and placing it on your website.
Optional e-commerce pages design
If you are running a business not related to selling stuff online, you might feel like e-commerce is not really required on your website A list. You could be missing out big time though. Think of a successful website that becomes a brand. Like any other major brand, you will come up with merchandise or other commodities. This means your website will require an e-commerce engine with multiple services to take care of financial handling.
Implementing e-commerce includes shopping carts design, categorization, and design of payment process screens of various kinds. It also raises the web design price a bit.
Forums are complicated socializing platforms, specific for the theme websites. Forums allow you to consolidate users around the topics specific to your industry. It helps to strengthen the community and better know your audience.
Creating a custom forum engine is an impractical and extravagant idea, taking into account there are multiple SDKs available. Our particular experience in custom-designed forums is bound to Discourse. It integrates perfectly into a website design, works perfectly well, is intuitive and easy to use.
Other features that affect web design costs
With the number of website features designed for the MVP, you can run a web application’s core services. However, if you are planning on adding more features to your website and turning it into a robust source of your business services, consider the design of the following features:
- User interaction, surveys, polls, and comments
- Analytics, metrics, and reports
- Social media integration and SEO optimization
A web design estimate is a flexible entity. Different rates come from various reasons – single designer work is significantly cheaper than a team effort, which directly affects the quality of the product delivered. The bigger the price, the better the service, however, you can take time and discover the best cost/quality ratio and leverage the project according to your priorities.
Examples of average costs to design a website
- Simple website. A website of such a type whose purpose is to simply tell about a company or a product usually takes around 120-160 hours of design work with web design costs ranging between $6 000 and $8 000. The website we did for the SELECT mobile app is just like that. It’s basically a sales page where visitors can view and assess the benefits and features of the app, check the reviews, and familiarize themselves with the necessary information. For business owners, it’s a marketing tool to accurately represent their business brand.
- Medium complexity website. Projects of this caliber are more sophisticated, taking 160-240 hours and $8 000-$12 000 of web design costs respectively to complete. One example of such a project is the website for the Multifamily Modeling investment platform. It took more resources because of the increased number of pages, the more complex structure, the set of custom illustrations we created and implemented to enhance the website’s appeal and credibility, basic e-commerce elements, and the necessity to devise a more convenient way to depict data like Excel tables.
- Complex app. Such projects usually take 250+ hours to design and over $12 000 costs to design a website such as this one. Our Cubebrush website is a beautiful example of such a project. Being an online marketplace created for digital artists, it’s a full-blown e-commerce platform that requires an exhaustive strategy and planning, prototyping, and UI/UX designing to produce an efficient and specific shopping experience. We made it extremely quick and easy to use on all devices while keeping its aesthetics.
Cost-efficient web design
An important thing to understand about website design costs is that web design and development are not built of Lego bricks where you can attach and replace different parts and it all works just fine. A website is an organic entity with a lot of intersecting parts that have to work together for the best result. This is the reason why delegating different parts of work to freelancers, or postponing features and leaving 404s in their place is not the best option. Instead, let the professionals do all the work. We at Shakuro can get you a dedicated team to gradually build your project, adding more complex functionality as we go, while making the best of the available resources and polishing the existing services.
The main idea, though, is that a website with a simple design doesn’t mean it would lag behind in terms of performance, nothing like that. The cost to design a website depends on what you need. You need a website that suits your business needs with a corresponding number of features and complexity levels, and not to pay for options that you don’t need. At the same time, you need to look into the future and consider adding features that would help your business grow.
Do you need a quote for the cost of a professional website design? Reach us. We can help you deal with all the web design subtleties, saving your time and money.
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This article about the cost to design a website was originally published in May 2017 and was updated in November 2020 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.