How Much Does Website Design Cost? - Pricing Breakdown Ultimate Guide - 2022

Website design costs vary depending on your needs. But how much does a high-end website cost? DIY, web builders, freelance, or an agency, here is the breakdown.

What You can expect to pay for website design.

  • A DIY (do it yourself) website design is the cheapest option that will cost $0 to $100.
  • An online website builder will cost between $99 - $399 on average.
  • A freelancer will cost between $500 - $5,000.
  • A design agency will cost from $10,000 - $20,000 or more.

When researching website design costs, many factors should be considered when putting together a price for website design, especially for your business. Depending on your business size and long-term goals, a website design cost can range from $25 to $150,000 or more.

It is essential to understand that your website is the number one sales and marketing tool you will have to gain new customers, leads, and traffic that you would not otherwise be able to obtain. Anytime a new prospective customer shows interest in your business, they will first look at your website. They will convert or leave based on website structure, design, ease of access, and valued information.

Unlike ten years ago when websites were just a billboard for a company's image, they are now the main point of contact to help consumers build trust and relationships with your brand. Consumers expect a fast, optimized, and custom website that reflects their needs and matches their identity.

In today's fast-paced world of information, every business is compelled to improve their website and strategy to show uniqueness and be in front of their competitors.

In our guide, we will break down every website design cost. Our goal is for you to walk away with an idea of what it will take to have a website built for your needs. You will also have a solid foundation when discussing a new website design with freelancers or agencies.

Website Cost Breakdown Chart

Many services add to a website design cost. If you need more advanced options like on-page SEO (search engine optimization),  advanced CMS (content management system), or enhanced speeds, the price will rise.

The basics, such as hosting, domain name, and SSL certificates, are needed for basic functionality for almost every type of website design option. Other design options like themes, CMS, e-commerce functionality, and CRM integration are optional but can help your business move faster. Our chart provides a higher overview of all the resources that add to website design costs.

Website design cost comparison chart

Basic Costs Every Website Will Need

As mentioned above, there are a few essential tools you will need no matter what type of website you build. The three main components are hosting, domain registration, and SSL certificates. 

Hosting is a storage/database where your website files are stored and executed to present to your customers online. Costs for hosting can start at $3/month and can go up from there based on your storage and functional requirements. Most websites can be hosted comfortably with GoDaddy for $20/month.

A domain name is an easy-to-remember address used to access your website. It should be short and sweet, easy to remember, and preferably end in a .com extension. (i.e., google.com or facebook.com) Domain names can range from $1 - $1500 depending on availability and popularity. Most domain names cost $12/year and can be researched on GoDaddy.

SSL certificates are still relatively new to many businesses and must show your website on browsers like Chrome. Chrome may not even deliver your website without them and pop up a red website error window. Companies and organizations need to add SSL certificates to their websites to secure online transactions and keep customer information private and secure. You can purchase an SSL certificate for between $0 - $1500, depending on the level of security you need. Most SSL certificates cost around $60/year on GoDaddy.

Website design essentials cost chart

With these three basic steps, you are ready to start developing your website. Next, we will go over the four types of website design options and the costs associated with each of them.

DIY Website Design Costs

A DIY (Do it yourself) website design is the cheapest option that will cost $0 to $100. This option is excellent if you have a limited budget but much time to perfect your website. Many startups who know website design and development choose to use this option. With options like WordPress providing a platform for easy basic design through themes starting at almost nothing, this opens the world of website design up for anyone to learn.

Of course, the old saying “you get what you pay for” does substantially impact your ability to design a website and attract new customers. Suppose your goal is to attract new leads and rank upon your competitors. In that case, this will not be a viable option as there are many limitations to design, customization, expansion options, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that will most likely be missed and are essential.

Website Builder Costs

An online website builder will cost between $99 - $399 on average. Website builders such as GoDaddy Websites are an easy and inexpensive way to create a website with minimal knowledge or experience in web design or development. These services often provide templates where you can upload a logo, your brand fonts, and colors. These elements are automatically incorporated into your website to have a semi-matching website for your company. 

More advanced website builders such as WordPress can allow more flexibility and editing options. However, they are generally more expensive and require a slight learning curve. If this is an option you would like to explore, we recommend looking at WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. These would be considered our favorites for those with a limited budget, not focused on SEO or ranking, and are not as concerned with unique branding. 

If you are looking to have a website designed by someone else (either an amateur or professional), you will need to either look at hiring a freelancer or design agency. Some agencies use website builders such as WordPress but have more knowledge of website design and can work on SEO practices to help new customers find your business online.

Website builder comparison chart

If you are looking to have a website designed by someone else (either an amateur or professional), you will need to either look at hiring a freelancer or design agency. Some agencies use website builders such as WordPress but have more knowledge of website design and can work on SEO practices to help new customers find your business online.

Freelancer Website Design Costs

Hiring a freelancer will cost between $500 - $5,000 for a website design, depending on the experience and knowledge. Freelancers are a one-person operation that would have the ability to create, scale, and potentially develop websites from scratch to uniquely match your brand. The main benefits of hiring a freelancer are both cost and time savings. If you have a specified budget under $5,000 and a little time to design a website, a freelancer is your smartest choice.

While freelancers are very easy to find and can be a good investment for small startups, some drawbacks need to be considered. Because it is a one-person operation, there will not always be dedicated time to your project if they work on other projects. If you have a tight timeline for project completion, it may not be possible for a freelance website designer to meet it. Also, there is usually a lack of knowledge on landing pages, click funnels, API and outside marketing integration, SEO, and potentially more necessary for your business to grow. Lastly, most (not all) freelancers use templated websites or themes. This means your website may not be unique, and if you need to expand capabilities, you would need to completely redesign your website through an agency, costing you more in the long run. 

Agency Website Design Costs

A design agency will cost from $10,000 - $20,000 or more for a unique website design with a heavy focus on your growth needs and marketing efforts. Of course, we will always recommend working with an agency of designers and developers to get what you need to support your future sales goals and eliminate any risk to your company. 

Since every company has different strategies and goals, the pricing widely varies from business to business. On average, you can expect to see a price in the ballpark of $15,000 for a small business website design that will bring in new clients and expose your brand beyond what a sales team can do. 

Of course, the drawback to this website design choice is cost. One scenario to consider is the return on investment. A completely custom website with proper SEO, clean coding, enhanced speeds, visual optimization for lead generation, landing pages, CMS, APIs, Analytics, and more, can provide potential that freelancers, website builders, and DIY options can’t. 

The biggest pro is that with most agencies, you have a dedicated support team or specialist for you to make updates, prevent malware, make back-end updates where needed, and provide advice when you need them. For a growing business, this is crucial to make sure analytics and marketing KPIs are met.

Additional Services & Cost

As with any service, there are other options businesses may need. They will cost extra, but if the return on investment is worth it, you can consult with your website designer. Below is a list of additional services and average costs that come along with them.

  • Technical SEO - $300-$5,000
  • Blogging & Copy - $25 to $25,000 per page
  • Monthly Maintenance - $400 - $4,000 /month
  • Analytics & Keyword Research - $500 - $4000
  • Landing Pages - $100-$1,000 per page
  • Enhanced CDN’s & Servers - $20 - $100 /month
  • Client Editor Capabilities - $40 - $500 /month
  • Ecommerce - Additional $15,000+
  • Visual & Content Updates - $100 / hour average
  • Membership & Paywalls - $5000 - $10,000

Cost vs. Value & Your Needs

In summary, you have to weigh the cost vs. value each one of these options brings. It is now very well known that your website is the most powerful tool in your arsenal when designed and implemented correctly outside of a logo. Word of mouth is always the most powerful form of marketing. However, your website comes into a close second. 

Remember, your competitors are doing everything possible to one-up anyone in their industry to collect new leads through search engines like Google, so you don’t receive them. This is why website design is so important. 

To quickly recap what we have taken away from extensive research in the industry if you have a budget under $500, DIY or website builders are your only choice. If you have a more robust budget of up to $5000, a freelancer will be your best bet. Just make sure you conduct your research and measure your goals against what they offer. If you have a budget of $10,000 or more, you will benefit from speaking with a website design agency about your plans and how an effective website will help you reach them.
VAVA Graphics has been a leader in the website design industry since 2016. If you are looking for a free consultation or want to speak with someone about your website design goals, feel free to reach out to us here. We would be happy to talk with you.