Last Updated: December 27, 2021
A strong online presence is no longer an option. The business world is slowly but surely migrating into digital expanses due to pandemic and growing demands. Therefore, having a website that represents your company is a must-have.
According to stats, 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company's credibility based on its website design, and almost 60% of users say they won't recommend a business with a poorly designed website. The importance of having a high-quality, well-groomed, regularly updated, and the well-maintained website is quite apparent. Therefore, it is time to get a new website or update the old one to meet the target market's current needs.
We have already illuminated some important issues like how to find the best web design agency and how to write web designer interview questions, thereby hiring a web designer with the most impressive web design portfolio. It is time to consider a sensitive issue – how much does it cost to design a website in 2021?
Though, first things first, let's dive into some more impressive stats to be sure that web design does matter; and it is undoubtedly worth your money.
Website Design Cost
The cost of a simple website is around $5,000 to $20,000. However, a corporate website can range from $75,000 to $100,000, so you must research and get estimates before hiring anyone.
Why Does Web Design Matter?
Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that web design matters, and the answer to the question "is web development dying" is no. However, let stats does the talking since it can be pretty convincing.
According to recent studies,
- Bad websites with unattractive layout scare away almost 40% of visitors, making them leave and never come back.
- More than 90% of users create their first impression of a website based on design alone.
- Web design alone forms 75% of the judgment of a company's credibility.
- It takes only half a second to form an opinion about a website.
Indeed, people eat with their eyes. If you want to ensure your online presence is “appetizing”, you need to take website design seriously. It plays a crucial role in any business's success regardless of niche, target market, and goal.
Website Design Pricing Can Be Tricky
So, what is the website design cost in 2021? Well, the answer is tricky. You can get a website absolutely for free (in case you can handle WordPress and its free themes and plugins) or for a small fee if you are willing to use one of the popular website builders or all-in-one solutions like Wix.
If you are up to a solution tailored to your specific needs and requirements that implies creating everything from scratch, you need to deal this with a professional web design agency. In that case, the average website design cost may range from $1,000 to more than $100,000.
That's not all; this is only half the challenge. The problem is, different website design agencies may get back to you with different quotes on your proposal, even though you were sending the same web design RFP.
The reason is, there are a variety of factors that influence website design pricing. More so, some other circumstances may affect the final price. For example, young teams may charge you less since they only build their portfolio and reputation. In contrast, respected digital agencies from the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City with a wealth of experience, impressive web developer portfolio examples, and the best artists on board may charge you much more.
Therefore, to find out what web design cost is, you need to figure out how much you should spend on professional web design, whether you need a personal blog or saas web design.
How Much Should You Spend on Web Design?
To determine an accurate web design pricing estimate, you need to define what is the lowest and the highest price tag.
So, what is the lowest website design cost? Believe it or not, but it is practically nothing. As we have already said, you can get a new website absolutely for free or for a small fee that is like $5-$40 per month. Let's consider the pros and cons of this way to get a new website and whether it is right up your alley or not.
Pros and Cons of Free Website Design
The most significant advantage of free website design is its price, which is practically zero.
As we have already said, there are numerous free solutions. There are self-hosted CMS like WordPress, UI frameworks like Bootstrap that let you create a website with code snippets or all-in-one solutions like Squarespace. You can even find solutions that were designed specifically for your niche. Therefore, another big advantage of free solutions is that you have a pretty good selection.
That's not all; if you are a web developer, you can add to these advantages a quick setup and a pretty intuitive environment.
To sum up, there are three significant advantages: free price, good selection, and quick setup.
However, what about the cons? Well, if you are a non-tech-savvy person or entrepreneur who prefers to conduct business seriously and value its precious time, then there is a bunch of them.
The deal is all those solutions come with pitfalls which only professional web developers and designers know how to deal with efficiently. Let's highlight the most drastic:
- Free solutions are time-ineffective and resource-consuming to handle, even for tech-savvy people who are no strangers to fix minor bugs.
- They may easily ruin your reputation due to some leaks in security.
- Some of them come with strings attached since websites built on a third-party platform are considered another company's property.
- If you are a non-tech-savvy person, you will find it challenging to align your website with the brand since you have just basic customization options.
- You can't create unique projects since the capabilities of free solutions are limited.
If you meet one of these criteria:
- you are an entrepreneur who concerns about time,
- you are a person who in doubt whether you can pull this off,
- you want more freedom with your idea,
- you want to design not just a website but a selling platform for converting users into leads, then obviously, free solutions are not for you. You need a professional website design company.
Creating Website Design in Web Agency
So, you are one of those who are sure that free solutions are not your cup of tea. Reasons for that can be different. However, the important thing is that you are confident to address this issue to the group of professionals. As you may have guessed, in that case the web design cost can be the highest. However, it does not mean, it will definitely be like this. Chances are, you may end up with a pretty average cheque.
To figure out how much it costs to design a website in a digital agency, let's break down the custom web design price and find out what is it composed of.
Related Posts: Web App Development Cost, Mobile App Development Cost, Branding Cost
What is the Website Design Pricing Composed of?
Many essential factors determine custom web design pricing. Let's consider the most influential ones along with an estimated price tag:
Site size (number of pages) - $1,000 to $10,000.
Site size may easily escalate the web design pricing. The bigger website you need, the more time the web designer spends on creating them, the more you pay. That's not all; the broad range of web design cost is caused by not only the number of pages but also the types of pages.
For example, if these pages are similar in design or require minor tweaks, there is no work to do since web designers may reuse some styles. However, if you need a custom design for each page or extra functionality like maps, forms, galleries, testimonials, etc., the artist has to spend much more time on just one page, resulting in a giant cheque.
Site Copywriting - $60 to $300 per page
Everyone knows that content is a king. Your website can't exist without well-thought-out copy that will deliver a message, give users food for thoughts and simply bring value.
The average price for copywriting varies between $60 and $300 per page. If you are up to SEO-optimized copy that captures your brand and unique selling points to help generate quality traffic and maximize ROI, then you may be charged even more.
However, this expense can't be ruled out. More so, a copy may give the website designer an idea of how to design the page to deliver the message and reach the audience effectively.
Site Style - $1,000 to $15,000
It is here where you are limited only by your imagination. So does your budget. As you may have guessed already, the more extravagant design you have in mind, the more you need to pay. That's not all. Difficulty in implementing the idea is not only the decisive factor. Some other aspects may influence the web design pricing, for example
- Do you want to create a new design or refresh an existing one?
- Do you want to encapsulate your brand identity inside?
- What message do you want to stress out through the design? Do you want to build trust? Do you want to make the first impression count? Do you want to use pioneering features?
- Do you want mobile-first website design or desktop-first website design?
- What niche are you working in?
- What is the scope of work? Do you need to create a custom design only for critical elements like homepage, website header design, and website footer design, or you need a fully-fledged website design where each page has a unique flair and charisma?
- Are you going to do A/B tests? Do you need several versions of the same page?
- Finally, what sort of style are you looking for? Do you want to look luxurious and extravagant, or you want a more laidback yet professional design?
SEO - $2,000 to $10,000
Although it seems that SEO has nothing to do with website design, however, in fact, the work of an SEO specialist is more profound. SEO specialist creates a solid foundation on which web designers can safely build on.
The deal is, SEO specialists give some useful insights on structure and information hierarchy. He or she also assigns keywords for each page, thereby giving designers a theme for the page that should be realized through design to look natural and unobtrusive. If you work with experienced web designers, they will help to reinforce SEO using the design.
Besides, SEO specialists may inform web designers what features the page should have to stand the competition by analyzing competitors.
The work of an SEO specialist ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 for small and medium-sized projects. If you are up to a big project like e-commerce, then be ready to increase this budget dramatically.
Responsive Design and Mobile-friendly Version - $500 to $25,000
According to stats, more than 50% of all website traffic is generated from mobile phones, 61% of consumers are more likely to purchase from their phone, and 52% of PPC clicks come from mobile. Therefore, it goes without saying that if you want to generate more traffic to your website and onboard as many quality leads as possible, then responsive design and mobile-friendly behavior are crucial.
First thing first, let's clear things up a little bit. Responsive design and mobile-friendliness are different things.
While responsive design implies your website gracefully adapts to various viewports based on some algorithm or a unique set of styles linked to breakpoints, mobile-friendliness implies your user interface to be comfortable on cell-phones and phablets. It means that your buttons should be tappable, sliders should be draggable, font size should be at least 16px (according to Apple's specifications), and so on. Therefore, ideally, you need these two aspects to work together to provide the best user experience for your target market on every device you can imagine.
Depending on the project, the number of pages, and functionality, the website design cost for responsive layout and mobile-friendly behavior may vary cardinally: it can be as little as $500 and as big as $25,000.
However, this investment is imperative to your business to stay afloat. Without these two aspects, your website slowly but surely will become useless and start to lose its precious clients and loyal fans, since we are moving towards the supremacy of mobile internet.
Ideally, you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. However, suppose you do not have money to cover all expenses. In that case, you should stick to responsive design since at least it provides your users with a consistent experience across devices and may ensure a relatively comfortable environment for users on small viewports.
One of the best ways to create a mobile application is with your own thoughts and ideas. The price for developing mobile applications can be different, but they have their advantages as well!
If you are up to a landing page or a small personal website, then chances are you won't need any other extra functionality. However, if you pursue marketing goals and want to use your website as a reliable platform to run a marketing campaign, promote your brand, turn users into brand evangelists, and most importantly, earn money, then you will need some extra functionality.
- First and foremost, you need an admin panel to make adjustments to your website. You need a mechanism to add pages, edit styles, insert components, change multimedia, etc. It is here where you need an integration of CMS. As a rule, it is WordPress. However, if you have specific demands, your agency may create its own in-house CMS, which may cost you a lot. Therefore, the price for the admin panel ranges from $1,000 to $25,000.
- Second, you may need integration with various platforms and services like social media websites to capitalize on word-of-mouth, ESP to collect subscribers and create email marketing campaigns, Google Analytics to track your success in search engines, and much more. This price depends on what goal you have and what services you need. Generally, this cost starts with $100 for integrating your website with social media and ends with $5,000 for making it a fully-fledged platform for raking in cash through various media channels.
- Third, e-commerce functionality. eCommerce functionality is a specific request. As we have already mentioned, digital stores may pay a whole fortune for this. However, the price for adding an eCommerce block depends on your project and website.
For example, if you have a WordPress-powered website, then your expenses may not be as big as you can imagine. The deal is, WooCommerce, an open-source eCommerce addon for WordPress, is delivered free of charge. In this case, you need to pay only for its integration and customization.
If you are perfectly fine with just providing your users with payment options through well-integrated Payment Gateway API, it is also a low budget option. In other cases, the pricing may be more significant.
In a word, the website design cost with extra functionality ranges from $2,000 to $25,000.
What You Can Afford Depending on Your budget
If you are a startup with a shoestring budget, it does not mean you can't get a place under the digital Sun. Although it won't be one of the best startup websites, nevertheless it will still provide you an opportunity to flourish. Much like with freemium options, you can solve this issue with the help of low-cost solutions.
For example, you may buy a premium theme and plugins for a WordPress-powered website and create your portfolio by yourself. This certainly requires a bit more technical skills, to say nothing about spending some extra time on documentation and tutorials. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you will have a fully working website for presenting your company.
Alternatively, you can go for relatively expensive website building platforms such as Squarespace.
However, do bear in mind that none of these solutions imply such vital things as SEO and content writing. These are extra expenses that you need to take into account.
$1,000 - $2,500
For starting businesses with a budget of more than $1,000, you can expect some more quality and devotion to your project. Although you will be unable to hire a legitimate web design company, nonetheless, with some thorough researches, you may find a freelancer in outsource platforms.
When working at this price-point, you are likely to get a customized design. As a rule, projects include no more than five inner pages and imply some handcrafted artworks. Unfortunately, you can't expect some custom dashboards to run your website from the back. However, you may end up with a WordPress-powered admin panel that is pretty intuitive to use.
Again, there is no SEO, content writing, or any other perks that help the website stand out from the crowd.
$5,000 – $10,000
Small or medium-sized businesses with a budget starting with $5,000 and ending with $10,000 have some good options to choose from. They can expect much more than just a 5-page website with a customized theme. It is here where you can work with a professional team whose experience and technical skills may help your business to reach its goals or at least create a solid foundation to put your marketing strategies in action.
At this price-point, you can expect a fully-fledged website with a unique design, SEO, and integration with some popular platforms like social media or ESP.
$10,000 - $25,000
$10,000-$25,000 sounds like a considerable amount of money to spend on your website design. However, if you have a large-scale project, tricky technical requirements, or you simply want to collaborate with the top web design agencies in the niche, then it may even require some more money than you expect.
The deal is, many factors influence the website design pricing. If you are in a low competitive niche, you will be perfectly fine with regular website design; however, if you are a young pharmaceutical company that has to exist in a cut-throat niche, you need to pull out all the stops just to keep up with the rest.
At this point, you may get professional design, professional development, custom functionality, extra features, content writing, SEO, and even marketing analysis that will help create a website to accomplish all your marketing missions and business goals.
$25,000 and more
Well, if you think 25,000 is a limit, then we are ready to prove you wrong. Believe it or not, any major brand e-commerce website would easily cost $100k+ to redesign, relaunch or build. According to stats, many e-commerce websites for smaller clients are between $15k and $50k. Therefore spending $25,000 on a website for big corporations or famous brands is a usual thing.
The bigger project you have, the more challenging task you need to complete, the more professional people you need to involve. When you require UX designers, product designers, visual designers, researchers, marketers, project managers, copywriters, frontend engineers, backend engineers, you can easily reach the milestone of $100,000.
At this price-point, you may expect lots of stuff to happen. It is here where you can get a whole plan, sales funnels, analytics strategies, well-thought-out and previously-tested calls to actions, A/B testing, handcrafted assets, accessibility features, landing page options, affiliate banners, tracking, the best SEO, fantastic video content, to say nothing about professional design and development, handy custom backend and manageable database.
There is no success in business without prior investment. With tough competition almost in every sector, we do not have the luxury to make money out of thin air. We have to spend not only our time but also money to keep things going. With the right moves, we can see a return on investment pretty much soon.
Creating a high-quality website design is one of those right moves that you need to undertake. If you still doubt whether you need a website design, ponder through statistics that boldly state that you can't survive without a proper online presence these days.
So, what is the website design cost in 2021? The answer is tricky. It depends on many factors. First and foremost, it depends on you, your technical skills, product, company, and goal. Therefore, web design cost can be nothing if you are comfortable using WordPress, or it can be a fortune if you need a top-notch ecommerce website design to impress your visitors and accomplish some serious marketing missions.
Updated: May 31, 2023