What Is the Average Cost of Website Design? Your Variables and Options Today

Website Design Cost

At last count, 1.8 billion websites were online. That number grows every day and is telling of the popularity the internet has among hobbyists, business owners, and everybody in between.

If you’re a business owner and you haven’t gotten online yet or your online presence is meek, it’s time to start doubling down on your presence by investing in quality website design.

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But what is the average cost of website design? Can you afford it?

In this post, our team breaks down everything you need to know so you understand how best to approach design pricing and can determine which avenues to a better web presence make sense for you.

The Cost of Website Design Hinges on Variables

While our team would love to give you a straight-forward answer your average cost of website design questions, the truth is, costs vary greatly. Those variables hinge on a handful of key things.

Below are the top influencing factors you need to be aware of.

Firm/Professional Location

Cost of living always impacts the cost of goods and services. That’s why you’ll pay less for a water bottle traveling through Saigon than you’d pay traveling through Paris.

If you’re planning on hiring an individual or a firm in your local market to manage your website design, you’ll have a pretty good beat on how much local market rates can bear. If you’re hiring a professional to work on your website remotely, do your homework.

Hiring a designer in an expensive city like San Francisco is going to set you back a lot more than hiring a designer that’s based in Boise.


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Scope of Project

Time is money when you’re purchasing services. The same holds for when you’re buying web design.

Are you looking to have somebody craft a site that’s only five pages in volume? If so, you’re going to pay a lot less for that than if you’re having somebody build out 100 pages for you.

Most web designers will give you an estimate after you let them know what your vision is for your site so no need to guess how much you’ll be charged per page/per hour on your project. Just know that if your job listing is beefy, you’re going to need to invest more money in your design.

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Freelance VS Agency

If you’re hiring a website design professional, you’ll have two options to pick from. Freelancers and agencies.

A freelancer is an individual website designer that you can find on popular gig boards like Up Work, Fiverr, and the like. An agency is a more polished business that usually has multiple people working for it and tends to manage multiple accounts.

You usually enjoy more project security with an agency since they have more resources and will likely be apt to ensure your satisfaction since they have a brand to maintain. Freelancers can be great hires and are usually cheaper than agencies. Their quality may vary though since it’s a lot easier for freelancers to disappear if they make a customer upset.

These helpful tips can help you narrow your agency/designer options.

Content Creation

A web design agency can build you a functioning site. What’s going to go on that site though?

Do you need custom images? Sales copy to push products? Are you planning on adding all of that yourself?

If your thought is that your design agency is going to deliver you a turn-key, publishable project, you’re going to need to set extra budget aside for content creation. This can add a significant amount of cost to your design budget versus if you’re just hiring your professional to work out the technical aspects of your project.

Ongoing Maintenance

Do you possess the technical prowess to be able to hop onto your website and update it occasionally? If you don’t, you’re going to need to pay your web design company for ongoing maintenance services.

Some design companies have monthly maintenance subscriptions you can pick up at a reasonable rate. Others don’t manage small maintenance projects/updates at all.

Your best bet to cut this expense out is to make sure your agency builds your site in a content management system (CMS) that you can learn how to self-manage for small tasks. Popular CMS’ include WordPress, Joomla!, and Wix.

Other ongoing maintenance-like expenses to watch out for are your annual server hosting costs and domain fees.

The DIY Route

If you’re overwhelmed by all the aspects that could affect your website pricing, going the DIY route could simplify the equation. With DIY design, you’d use a free CMS (like WordPress), pay your domain/hosting fees, and the only other cost you’d incur is related to your time.

Be aware that if you’re starting from educational scratch doing DIY web building, you’re going to need to invest a ton of time in learning your CMS, troubleshooting, and more. If your time could be better invested in doing something more productive, we recommend working with a pro.

Closing With Some Average Cost of Website Design Examples

We’ve given you the insight you need to understand the fickle nature of web design prices. If you’re hungry for some flat averages though, here are numbers to play with.

Template websites crafted in programs like WordPress could run you anywhere from $100 to $3000 based on the factors we’ve shared. If your website is built custom (ie: uses a lot of hand-coding), you’re going to be spending close to $15,000.  Bigger sites that require lots of SQL queries and are likely to be harboring thousands of users simultaneously could easily run $40,000+.

With that said, you don’t know exactly what the average cost of website design will be for you until you start taking in proposals. So, reach out to designers, pitch them your project, and see what they say.

For more guidance on web design and other technical topics, check out additional content on our blog.

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