I have been in the sales and marketing industry since I was 22 years old.  Without giving away how old I am, I will tell you that I only had a desktop landline phone and fax machine to close advertising sales in my first job at a local newspaper.  I still remember my first email address (in fact I still have it!) and I remember sending the first email to a client when working in sales for an Information Technology market research company.  Things have come on leaps and bounds, and now I find myself living day to day, learning more about online marketing and what makes a website work effectively for clients daily.

As a small business owner, I must make sure that what I am charging my clients for my services is based on the value of the product combined with market forces.  I want my work to be valued, but there again I want to support small businesses with a great deal when it comes to what they have to pay for a professionally designed website.

After googling “How much should a website cost”, even I am confused, and I own a web design business.  I can only imagine what a small business owner must think when they read these articles.  No wonder, there is a terrible misconception in the world that a professionally designed website is super expensive!

“How Much Should a Website Cost in 2024? The average cost to build a website (with an agency or freelancer) is $12,000 to $150,000.”  https://www.webfx.com/web-design/pricing/website-costs/

I’m not sure where Webfx.com is getting their information from but their statement is very misleading.

Based on consistent research over the last 15 years, I find this quote quite ridiculous.  This is what I see and advise my clients.

Service Estimated Cost (Sources: WebFX, Fiverr, Forbes, & Indeed) Our Estimated Cost for a small business website (exl. hosting & domain) and designed using WordPress
Web Design $12,000 to $150,000 $395 for a 1 pager to $1395 for a basic eCommerce website
Website Maintenance $400 to $60,000/yr. Starting at $25/mth
Website Marketing $2,500 to $12,000/mth or average of $125/hr. $30/hr.
Website Design Services $0 to $100,000 or average of $115/hr. $45/hr.
Hosting Services $5/mth and up With hosting we advise clients to get better hosting even if it is a small website – sadly cheap equals unreliable!
Businessman with Big Paper Cloud

The confusion surrounding the cost of website design stems mainly from several key factors, each contributing to the variability and opacity of pricing in the web development industry. Here are some key driving factors behind website design pricing.

  1. First and foremost, the digital landscape is incredibly diverse, encompassing everything from simple, single-page sites to complex, feature-rich online platforms. This wide spectrum of website complexity means that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much a website should cost.
  2. A small business looking for a basic online presence will face vastly different pricing compared to a large corporation requiring an intricate e-commerce platform with custom functionalities. This intrinsic variability makes it challenging for clients to gauge an appropriate budget for their specific needs.
  3. The pricing of website design is influenced by the market’s competitive nature and the lack of standardized pricing among service providers. Freelancers, agencies, and web development companies all offer website design services, but their pricing strategies can differ significantly based on their expertise, reputation, and operational costs. Some may offer package deals that bundle design, development, and hosting services, while others charge hourly rates or project-based fees. This lack of uniformity in pricing models adds another layer of complexity for potential clients trying to compare costs and value across different providers.
  4. The evolving nature of web technologies and design trends contributes to the confusion about pricing. As new tools, programming languages, and design philosophies emerge, the scope of what can be achieved—and at what cost—changes. For instance, the rise of user experience (UX) design and mobile responsiveness has made these elements essential components of modern websites, potentially increasing the cost of projects that prioritize these aspects.

You may not be fully aware of how these technological and trend-driven factors impact pricing, leading to misunderstandings and mismatched expectations between them and service providers. This constant evolution makes it challenging to establish a clear benchmark for website design costs, further muddying the waters for those looking to invest in a new website.

However, as a small business, you should be confident in knowing that if you are paying a lot more than $1000 for a website for your business that does not include eCommerce aspects, marketing, or SEO, you are most definitely paying too much!  On the opposite end, if you are paying less than $300 for a business website then you are probably paying too little.  You may end up working with an offshore company whose communication and quality may be poor and a website that does not represent your business effectively.

So, the key is “due diligence”.  Here is a list of questions that I would ask a web designer or developer when “interviewing” them for a project:

  1. What software or Content Management System (CMS) they will be using to design the website in?
  2. Is it possible that I can make changes to the website moving forward after the designer has finished working on it?
  3. Does designer offer hosting options?
  4. Can the designer show me examples of their previous work?
  5. What is the designers’ design process?
  6. How does the design approach usability and user experience in their designs?
  7. Can the designer work within your budget and timeline?
  8. How does the designer handle revisions or changes during the design process?
  9. How will the designer communicate throughout the project?
  10. Will the website be responsive and mobile-friendly?
  11. Does the designer offer SEO and content strategy services? (this item is expensive, so consider that when doing a cross comparison between suppliers)
  12. What security options will be implemented?
  13. What support does the designer offer after the website goes live?
  14. Who will own the website and its content?

I hope that this article has answered some of your questions about the world of web design and understand why prices differ so much from designer to designer.

#webdesign #webdevelopment #websitecost #websitebudget #budgetfriendly #tlwds #budgetfriendlywebsite

About the Author

Alyson Stasek is the owner of The Little Web Design Shop, LLC based in Mount Olive, Mississippi.  The Web Design Shop works with small businesses to help them with their online identity, website, social media, marketing, and search engine optimization.

Essentially, The Web Design Shop helps small businesses to grow, succeed and to develop an online identity and brand that will take them into the future.  This can include helping right from the beginning and the initial concept for a company.  Services include designing of a logo, writing a business plan, domain & hosting purchases, email, and set up social media accounts, in addition to web design, development and marketing support.

The road is long, and full of distractions and hazards.  Let The Little Web Design Shop help guide you and support you.

www.WebDesignShop.us | Office 601 667 0009 | info@WebDesignShop.us


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