How Much Should Web Design Cost

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How Much Should Web Design Cost?

Custom Web Design vs Pre-made Web Design 

Depending on who you ask to design and develop a website, the price range can be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 and more. The giant price difference has everything to do with your site’s functionality, the size of your website and the amount of work to bring your vision to reality. 

There are three ways to have a website made: do it yourself, partner with a professional or a hybrid approach. 

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Thankfully, we have spent decades designing and developing websites and can help you decide which approach is best for you. 

Before we dive into the options, let’s take a look at the technology and how a website is built and some of the newer options to build a website. 

If you want to do it yourself you can use a website builder or a content management system like WordPress. 

A drag and drop website builder such as Pagecloud is a great choice for those who need a simple website and are looking for a cost-friendly option. You pay a monthly fee to use the website builder and for hosting your site. When you decide to stop paying, your website disappears.  

Website Builders are suited for those with minimal experience building websites and provide an easy-to-use drag and drop builder.  If you are looking for additional features, plug-ins and apps are usually available. 

There is also the option to use WordPress to build your website. Almost 40% of the web is built on WordPress, so you are in good company. You can choose one of their cost-effective plans and build a site you truly love.  

Building your website using a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal are excellent choices for those who need a little more flexibility and function from their websites.

Using WordPress or Drupal does require some technical knowledge like basic HTML or CSS. Like a website builder, there are plug-ins available to increase the functionality of the website, which sometimes can require a paid licence.  Unlike a website builder, additional costs do start to show up, such as purchasing your domain and hosting.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the different options to help you understand how you determine the best way to build a website for your small business or charity.

Should You Do It Yourself? 

Even if you don’t have a basic understanding of web technology, the volume of helpful resources online and drag and drop website builders available can help you create a site. 

All you need is time. Time to learn how to do it, time to design, time to write content, time to gather the right images and graphics, time to develop the content, and time to bring it all together. 

You will also need a few other important essentials to get online.                                                                    

Website Hosting and Domain Name:

$10 – $15 or any other variation with new .variants are available for you to register for about $10 to $15 a year. We offer reasonable hosting starting at $20 a month. An SSL certificate is included with our hosting to ensure your site is secured.

Website theme:

A website theme is a blueprint for your website. You can spend hours reviewing themes with thousands of options available.  We recommend you spend a little money and also read the reviews to ensure the theme is updated and to understand the challenges others may be having with the theme. You can find themes on Envato.


$5 to $200
The magic of WordPress websites is the gallery of available plugins to help you accomplish almost anything with your site.  Some of the more popular plugins include Yoast for SEO, or Duplicator to create backups. You can use free plugins and paid plugins, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.  Once again look for the reviews, the last time it was updated to ensure it is compatible with your version of WordPress.      

Photography and Images:

$25- $100
A picture is worth a thousand words especially today with our decreasing attention spans. The imagery on your site can really enhance the look and feel of your site.  If you have access to quality photos or photography, use them on your site. If not, there are loads of royalty-free photo galleries to choose from. You pay once for the photo and can use it multiple times. Check out AppSumo (affiliate link), they often have discounted deals for access to photos. 

Never just google images to copy and paste into your site. The majority of the owners of these images will find you, send you exorbitant invoices and terms. Just don’t do it. Pay a few dollars to buy images or hire a photographer to help you. 

Colour and Logo:

$100 to $1000
You may already have a logo and a colour scheme for your organization. If not, you can choose to find help from a local graphic designer or logo maker near you. To choose the right colour scheme for your site, head over to and use your logo colours to generate a colour scheme.


30 -100 hours or more
Depending on your site and the technology you choose to build it with, this could turn out to be lots of time or very little time. If this is your first time, expect to double or trip the time required. Time flies when you are moving stuff around online trying to get it to work on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Despite all the advances in web development, building a modern, well-engineered website is way more time-consuming than most people realize. But if you have more time than money right now and you don’t get overwhelmed by web technology, the DIY approach is a perfectly viable option

Keep in mind, any time away from working on your organization is time spent away from sales, growth, and deepening relationships with your customers and/or donors. 

Website design vs Website Development? 

Website design and website development are often used interchangeably but in reality, they are very different skills and functions to create a website.

Think of the developer as the architect of a home. Their function is to create the structure of the website and determine how the visitor will interact with your site’s layout and functionality, this is called the user experience or UX. The designer also takes into consideration your branding, style and tone to ensure the website is an accurate representation of your organization, product or service.


How Are Websites Charged?

The final option is hiring a professional web designer. This is the best option for most people who want a well-done website and have little to no technical experience. This option is the most costly as the designer takes on the bulk of the work but can save you significant time and effort.

On average expect to pay $5000 to 10,000 and more depending on the number of pages on the site and the amount of customization or eCommerce capabilities. It is also common to have monthly costs after the project to cover things such as website maintenance and hosting.

Custom Site Layout

The majority of websites built today start out being built using a website theme.  There are loads of great quality and well-designed themes to help your developer get a head start on building your site. Most firms will work with a few tried and tested themes and can counsel you on the best approach. 

Adding customization and coding to your theme will increase the overall cost of the website but could also improve the experience for your visitors.  

Make sure you think about the buyer journey when someone comes to your site and how you can make it easier for them to do business with you or donate to your charity. 

Custom Programming

From customizing an order form to making your multiple-level membership site work effortlessly, requires some specialized skills and experience. Although many plugins work as intended, others will require a significant amount of back end work to integrate with your website and all the other plugins on the site.

Page Volume

Your average website has 10 pages, a home page, an about section, a few product or service pages with sub-pages, a location page and a contact page. Adding more pages to your website will typically increase the overall costs.


The benefit of using a theme is you get a good idea of the look and feel of your website by looking at the examples. However, your designer will need to customize your site to reflect your brand.  

On average, most firms allow for two rounds of design of the site and some additional minor variations. Additional design revisions can eat up your budget quickly and add significant costs to the project. 

We always recommend working from a clear and agreed upon website brief that covers the design, the functionality and the look and feel of your dream site.  Getting it on paper is a critical step between success and costly failure.

Content Development

One of the biggest challenges to launching a new website is the content. We’ve had websites delayed as we waited for the clients to deliver their written content and choose their images.  

Interesting, well written, and compelling content is the foundation of a successful website project.  Unfortunately, many people struggle with this task because it is time-consuming and can be gruelling to develop the right copy for every page of your site. Many clients get too caught up in their own jargon or can’t convey what they do in a succinct and compelling way. 

Don’t worry, professional copywriting can help your modern and stylish website deliver on its promise to visitors. This is an investment well worth every single penny. 

Using a Hybrid Approach

You may want to try a hybrid approach to developing your website where you do some of the work and hire a professional to do the stuff you can’t do. This is a great way to save some money, while still getting that professional touch.

Hourly Rate

This is a common method where the developer sets a value for each hour of work they put into the website.  This is a great method as the project can be broken down into separate parts. The developer should roughly know how long each part of the project should require and provide an accurate estimate. 

Expect to pay between $85 – $175 per hour for a developer.  

Flat Rate 

Some developers may charge a flat rate for a website. The rates are often tiered packages with the cost increasing based on the requirements needed. With flat rates, you know what your cost will be before the project begins. This allows you to have a better idea of the type of value you are getting for your money.

Monthly Rates

Monthly rates are often seen with DIY solutions such as WIX but can also be used by developers. This is a friendly method for both the developer and the client as it provides a steady stream of income while reducing the upfront or one-time cost of a website. 

It is common to see the other costs of a website covered in these types of agreements. Things such as domain and hosting management as well as website maintenance can be included.  

Another advantage of a monthly rate is that it lowers the initial cost of building a website and breaks it down into small payments. This allows organizations with a minimal budget to build a website that can adequately address their needs.

What Are The Additional Costs of a Website? 

Website Maintenance

Depending on your level of comfort you may want someone to maintain your website for you. While most updates are straightforward, some are larger and more involved. There is also the chance of breaking your website if you do something incorrectly.  The cost associated with this can vary depending on your website’s size, but typically starts around $150 a month.

So How Much Does a Website Cost? 

As you probably gathered by now is that a website’s cost can vary dramatically depending on your needs. In addition to this, there are also additional costs after the website is built that you may not have known about.

We suggest that if you are interested in getting a website or just considering it, that you speak to a professional developer and discuss your needs. They will be able to help determine the best option for you.



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