How Much Does a Custom Website Design Cost?
When speaking with a potential client, the question we can always rely on answering is “How much does it cost?”
Before any sort of purchase, that is always one of the most important factors in the decision-making process.
Put simply, web design services from an established web design and development agency can cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $100,000.
If you are reading this post and looking for an answer, you are probably saying “that literally does not help me at all you stupid asshole”.
Even as a web design company, when we first started, we had no idea what the hell to charge people, so that was a question we were constantly searching in Google.
And we ran into the same issues finding an answer (even to this day) that you probably are right now.
So, we are going to give you a rundown of how we charge our clients for our web design and development services.
How much is a new website design; a creative agency’s answer
Before we break down our process, we will get right to a relatively broad answer and then details as to what factors into our web design price/quote.
Our web design and development services typically range between $5,000 and $25,000.
That is our price for a custom “business” web design.
If you need some basic eCommerce functionality, we may be able to keep it within that range, but if your website’s primary purpose is to sell products and accepts payments directly through your website, the cost will definitely exceed that range.
Breaking down the costs of web design and development services
Before we start on a web design and development proposal, we always ask our client what their budget is.
For whatever reason, a lot of them say they “don’t know yet” or “they want to see what our pricing is before they give a number”.
Most of the time, it is because they don’t want to give a price higher than what we would normally charge, and we totally understand that.
However, if we know what their budget is, we can structure the proposal to meet that budget.
Having a budget/price range in mind will save both you and web designers a lot of time when looking for a quote
We spend a shitload of time researching our client and their industry when we create a proposal, so if we don’t know what their budget is beforehand, we come up with a price and very rarely budge on that price.
We do this because very rarely does a client have no idea what their budget is, and again, we spend a lot of time (usually between 5-10) creating a proposal, and if we don’t get the project, we did a lot of work for no reason.
So, in short, if we know your budget we are able to be a lot more flexible with our pricing than if we are forced to create a web design quote based only on our research.
We consider ourselves a “high-quality small studio”, so that gives you an idea as to how we currently charge.
For SEO purposes, we are going to write out everything on that graph, so you can ignore this part:
- Average cost for web designs using website builders: $3,000
- Average cost for web designs using pre-built/purchases WordPress theme: $4,000
- Average cost for a web design built by a freelancer: $6,000
- Average cost for a custom standard website built by small studio: $12,000
- Average cost for a custom website with high-quality, custom scripts (animations, page transitions, etc.): $16,000
- Average cost for a custom website built by a large agency: $25,000 +
- Average cost for a basic Drupal or Shopify eCommerce web design built by a small studio: $22,000
- Average cost for an extensive Drupal or Shopify eCommerce or user membership/network website: $27,000
- Average cost for an extensive Drupal or Shopify eCommerce or user membership website built a large agency: $40,000+
Again, every agency is different and once you start looking into large eCommerce sites (especially when working with a large agency), those prices can easily exceed $100k.
Questions we ask our clients that determine a web design’s cost
Our next post will be an in-depth look at our web design questionnaire, but here a few factors that play a major role when it comes to the cost of a new web design.
Website design cost factor #1: When are you looking to have your new website launched?
This is a question that has a significant impact on the price.
“Basic” web designs (I.e. a law firm) typically take us between two and three months to complete.
If you have a specific date that is before our anticipated completion date, our proposal will include a price for completing it by that date (assuming it is possible) and also one for completing it by our originally anticipated launch date.
Website design cost factor #2: On which framework would you like your website developed?
If you are wanting to use a website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly, we’d recommend just doing it yourself or finding a local graphic designer.
If you find someone charging more than a couple thousand dollars to build a website on one of these website builders, they either just did a line of coke or they are trying to squeeze as much money out of you as possible; either way, they are ripping you off.
From time to time, we will help clients edit or set up their website on something like Squarespace or Weebly, but we never build a complete website on one.
Here are the most common content management systems and frameworks we work with:
- Webflow (about 90% of the time)
- Static HTML, CSS, JS (sometimes PHP)
Website design cost factor #3: Do you need other services besides UX design and development?
If we are providing multiple services, we will always provide a discount for our web design and development services.
For instance, if we are also providing branding or rebranding services (logo design services, brand strategy, brand guides, business card designs, etc.), we will bundle these services into a single package at discounted individual rates.
Some things we also ask during the web design and development process include:
- Do you need photography and videography services?
- Do you have your content written, or will our copywriters be providing some or all of the content?
- Will we be providing ongoing SEO services once the project has been completed?
Obviously, we want to try and sell as much shit as we can, but we do pride ourselves on our honesty.
So if you don’t need a $5,000 video, we are going to tell you that.
Website design cost factor #4: Are you wanting high-quality animations, transitions, or integrations?
Nowadays, adding things like text animation or page transitions can make your website like extra badass.
Depending on our client’s budget and whether or not they are interested in these types of features, we love incorporating these types of things to enhances the user’s experience.
With that being said, we don’t see a need for things like this on a lawyer or accounting firm website; so we don’t overuse them.
How much will your web design and development project cost?
The best thing you can do is simply reach out to local web designers and give them an overview of your project and needs.
Again, we strongly recommend having a budget in mind, even if it is as broad as “between $5,000 and $15,000”.
An honest agency will give you a fair quote and not attempt to squeeze as much money out of you as possible.
Have a look at some portfolios and make a list of designers that have impressed you. You can then give them a call or shoot them an email to either give them your budget (they can then create a proposal), or you can simply ask how much they estimate your project would cost.
If the price is within your range and their quality of work meets your standard, you can then ask for a proposal.
You can just hire us. That is the best thing you can do. Everyone else is shit.