Having a professional, well-designed website is critical for any business today. Your website is often the first impression potential customers will have of your company. An attractive, easy-to-use website design can grab attention, build trust, and convey professionalism and credibility for your brand. A poor website design can turn customers away and hurt your brand image.
But hiring an experienced web designer to create a custom website for your business comes with a cost. Website design services can range greatly in price depending on the scope of the project and level of complexity involved. If you want to get an idea of how much it will cost to pay someone to design your website, this guide breaks it down for you.
What Factors Impact the Cost to Design a Website?
Several key factors influence how much it will cost to have a professional designer create your business website:
- Designer’s Skill Level and Experience
- Project Scope and Complexity
- Design Specifications
- Additional Services Needed
- Your Location
Let’s explore each of these factors in more depth:
Designer’s Skill Level and Experience
One of the biggest factors determining price is the skill level and experience of the web designer creating your site. Designers just starting out will charge less than those who have been in the industry for many years and have lots of complex projects in their portfolio.
Typically, designers that cater to small businesses and offer more basic websites and layouts will charge between $50-$150 per hour. Their completed projects often run $500 on the very low end up to $3000 or more.
More experienced designers that cater to medium and large companies tend to charge between $100-$250 per hour. Their design projects frequently exceed $5000 or more for complex sites.
At the top end, very senior designers with specialty skills like UX design and that work with large corporations can charge $150-$500+ per hour. Their high-end website projects start around $10,000 and often exceed $100,000.
As you might expect, the more skilled the designer and the more complex sites they have in their portfolio, the more you can expect to pay for their services. Define your budget upfront when interviewing candidates.
Project Scope and Complexity
Another big cost factor is how extensive your website project is and how complex your needs are. A short 5 page website can cost much less than a large e-commerce site for your online store.
Here are some examples to illustrate how project scope impacts cost:
- 5 page digital brochure site = $500-$1500
- 10 page small business site = $1000-$3000
- E-commerce site with 25 pages = $3000-$8000
- Large corporate site with 100 pages = $10,000-$25,000+
- Complex web application build = $25,000-$75,000+
In general, expect to pay more for projects that require a greater number of pages, custom functionality like e-commerce features or web apps, complex animations and graphics, and dynamic interactive elements. All of those increase the scope and enhance the complexity, which takes more time and expertise.
The specific services you request in your website design also affect the total cost. At the low end, you may just want a designer to create a visually appealing layout for your site pages. This starts around $500-$1000.
A mid-range option is having the designer create the full visual design and providing all the image assets, but you handle the development/coding yourself. This often runs $1500-$3000.
At the high end, you can hire a designer to deliver the full visual layout plus develop all the custom code for the site. This full service option typically starts around $3000 and up for more complex sites.
On top of the core design service fees, you may need to budget for additional services like:
- Copywriting – If you want the designer to create all the text content for your site, copywriting fees apply. This is often charged per page or per word.
- Photography – Original professional photos for your site will increase costs, especially if done on location. Stock photos can also add up quickly at $10-$100 per image.
- Icons and Illustrations – Custom icons and other graphic elements you request.
- Animation – Moving elements, videos, parallaxes and complex animations increase complexity.
- SEO optimization – Services to optimize pages for search engines like page metadata, alt text, headings structure and sitemaps all take additional time.
Be sure to define exactly what services you want included in your website project quote to avoid surprise add-ons later that increase your budget.
Designers based in areas with a higher cost of living tend to charge higher rates for their services. For example, a designer in San Francisco or New York City may charge 25-50% more than a designer in Boise, Idaho for the same quality of work.
When interviewing candidates, pay attention to where they are located. You can often get more competitive rates from designers based in areas with lower costs of living. Many also work remotely, so location may not matter.
What is Included in a Typical Website Design Quote?
To understand what goes into the costs, let’s look at what items are typically included in a website design project quote:
- Designer hours – The estimated number of hours to complete the defined scope of work. Hourly rates apply.
- Meetings – Initial kickoff meeting to define project scope and gather content, plus regular project review meetings.
- Home page design – Visual layout of the homepage, often requiring multiple iterations and rounds of client feedback.
- Interior page design – Additional inner page layouts, assuming consistent design theme.
- Custom graphics – Icons, buttons, custom illustrations the designer creates.
- Image licensing – Fees if original stock photography is used for the site.
- Content implementation – Taking the text content you provide and formatting/inserting it into the designed templates.
- QA testing – Testing all designed pages across devices, browsers and screen sizes.
- Revisions – Typically 2-3 rounds of revisions to designs are included.
- Files and Documentation – All final design files, code, images provided for site development handoff.
- Project management – Oversight of project timelines, milestones and communication.
Understanding these typical deliverables can help you evaluate project quotes and determine fair market value pricing.
How Much Should You Budget Overall?
Given all these factors that contribute to the cost of professional website design services, what is a reasonable budget range to plan for?
Here are some guidelines based on your business size and the type of website you need:
- Small business brochure website – $1000-$3000
- Medium business website with 5-10 pages – $3000-$5000
- Basic online store ecommerce site – $5000 – $15,000
- Large corporate website with 20+ pages – $10,000-$50,000+
- Custom web application – $25,000 – $150,000+
As you can see, website design services span a very wide range. The key is clearly defining your needs, goals, target audience and overall vision for the site during your initial scoping so designers can provide fairly accurate quotes.
Investing in a quality website designed by professionals that represents your brand well is worth the price. An effective website delivers ROI many times over by attracting customers 24/7, building trust and credibility for your company, and fueling your overall digital marketing success.
How Much Does it Cost to Pay Someone to Design Your Website?
The costs can vary greatly, but for most small businesses planning $3000-$5000 for a nice custom mobile-friendly site with 5-10 pages is very reasonable for the investment. Lock in the scope and specifications upfront to prevent budget surprises. Carefully vet designer candidates to choose one with the skills and experience aligned with your specific project needs.
While professional website design services do have a cost, the benefits for your brand visibility and success over the lifetime of your site make it a very worthwhile investment!
Ready to create a website? Visit www.siennacreativedigital.com today!