How Much Does Web Design Cost?

how much does web design cost

With over 1.9 billion active websites, you need to do something massive to stand out. One of the best ways to make your site memorable is to pay for a unique web design.

However, a lot of things can affect the answer to, “how much does web design cost?” Keep reading to learn how much you can expect to pay for your new site.

What Goes Into Designing a Website?

It helps to know about certain factors to answer the question “how much does web design cost?” A lot can affect the price you’ll pay, so no two websites will cost the same amount to design.

However, knowing what goes into web design can help you predict the final cost. Then, you’ll be able to find ways to cut costs if necessary, or you can add more features if you have the budget.

Here are some elements of web design that have an impact on your finances.

Domain and Hosting

First, you’ll need to pay for a website domain and a hosting plan. Your domain is the URL you’ll enter to access the main page of your site, and you’ll have to renew it each year.

Domains can cost $1 to $12 or more for one year. You can choose from a variety of website hosts, so hosting may cost as little as $18 a year for the first year.

Most hosts will offer a low introductory rate, but you’ll have to pay more after that. Standard hosting plans can cost anywhere from $8 to hundreds of dollars per month.

Fortunately, some website hosts will include a free domain with your first year. You might need to pay for the domain after that.

Security Certificate

You could have the best website out there, but it may not matter if you don’t secure it. If you want to take payments or simply encrypt your data, you need an SSL certificate.

Some website hosts offer an SSL for free, but you may need to pay up to $1,000 per year. The price depends on where you buy the certificate and what type you purchase.

Premium certificates offer more liability protection. That can be nice when running your business online.

Website Template

Another essential part of your web design cost is the overall visuals. You can find some templates or themes for free, so you don’t need to spend anything in this category.

However, free templates are popular, so your site may look like other sites out there. Some templates are easy to customize, but others might still look relatively basic.

You can pay for templates, and the cost can vary between $30 and $300, or more. The exact price depends on the complexity of the design, its functions, and what website platform the template works for.

Custom Website Design

If you don’t want to use a template, an excellent alternative is to pay for a custom design. Now, this can cost a lot more, usually anywhere from $1,000 on up.

The specific cost depends on the designer and the website you want to create. A newer designer might charge closer to $1,000, whereas someone with years of experience could charge $4,000 or more for the same work.

Similarly, a simple website with a few pages might cost you $1,000 to $5,000. But if you want to add other features or a blog, you may need to pay significantly more.

Website Content

You should consider the content you want for your site when researching “how much does web design cost?” Web content can include blog articles, photos, videos, and graphics.

If you don’t already have the content you need, you’ll need to create it yourself or pay someone. Articles can start at around $80 and go up into the hundreds, depending on the length.

Photographers may charge $200 to $500 for a photo shoot with a few edited photos. Graphic designers can charge between $15 and $100 or $150 per hour of work.

Of course, you probably won’t pay a web design team for all of the content, so your design bill might not change. But it’s good to keep in mind if you choose to hire other professionals.

eCommerce Features

You also need to decide if you want to add eCommerce features to your website. If so, that can add to the cost of your website design.

It takes time and skills to integrate payments into your website and to add a shopping cart. While some plugins make it easier, your designer will still need to do the work.

Keep that in mind when setting up an online store or deciding to take client payments online. It’s hard to estimate prices, but it could add a few more hours or a couple hundred dollars to your total bill.

Marketing and SEO

Another important part of web design is to implement search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps get your website to show up near the top of relevant search results.

You can use keywords in your website content and page titles to help. However, it takes a bit of extra time for website designers to optimize your website for search results.

In some cases, it might not add to the cost at all. Other times, you might need to pay an extra $10 to $100 for the service, so be sure to talk to your designer about your needs.

Apps, Plugins, and Integrations

Whether you’re designing your site or working with a professional, you may need to pay for integrations. Some platforms, such as WordPress, use plugins while others use apps.

Whatever you call them, integrations can add more functionality to your website. Some apps and plugins are available for free, so you don’t need to pay more.

Others cost money or have a premium version, and they’ll usually cost $10 to $100 a month or more. You might be able to save money if you pay for a full year upfront.

What Affects Website Design Rates

If you want to work with a professional website designer or design firm, you should know what affects design rates. That way, you’ll be able to better predict what you’ll need to pay.

You can also use these factors to choose the best design firm for your needs. It’s also helpful in deciding what you absolutely need to have on your site and what you can live without.

Here are some things that affect the rate for web design.


One of the most significant factors that can affect your web design costs is the designer’s experience. If the designer or firm has made thousands of sites, you can expect a higher rate than from a new designer.

However, that experience can help you get an idea of what the designer or team can do. You’ll be able to review a sample of the design team’s work to see if you like the sites they’ve done.

Hiring a team with experience is also well worth it if you want to add special features to the site. Beginners may not know as much about how to add eCommerce features, for example.

If possible, look for someone or a team with a bit of experience. You may need to pay more, but you won’t have to worry about the designer not knowing how to do what you want.

Site Complexity

Another thing to consider is how complex you want your website to be. In most cases, a simple three-page site will cost much less than a full website with a blog, a contact form, and other elements.

Adding media can also increase the cost of your website as well as using SEO. If you’re on a tight budget, you can start with a basic site and add to it as you need.

Then, you won’t have to spend a ton of money upfront but can still get started. So consider what you want to have now and what you can add later.

Type of Site

In most cases, you’re probably hiring a website designer for a business website. However, if you want to design a personal or portfolio site, keep that in mind.

A designer can still help with your individual project, and the cost may be cheaper. For example, a portfolio site will most likely have fewer pages than a full online store.

The type of site can also affect the complexity and features you want to add. You don’t need as much to make your personal or portfolio site stand out.

Requested Features

If you want to add extra features, such as eCommerce functionality, that can increase the cost of your website. You can also expect to pay more for setting up social sharing or to get social media services.

Web designers may be able to set up an SSL certificate for you as well. However, you’ll probably need to pay for that work as well as the cost of the security certificate.

Be sure to consider everything you want to put on your website. If you add a lot of features, you might quickly double the overall cost of the project.

Freelancer or Agency

Another thing that can affect the cost is if you hire a freelancer or a web design agency. A freelancer will usually cost less since they don’t have to pay employees or cover other expenses.

However, you’re only getting to work with one person, so it can take longer to complete the site. Meanwhile, a good website design firm will have a team of people to work on your project.

You might pay more for the work, but you can get your site up much sooner. If one person gets sick or goes on vacation, your project won’t get delayed like if a freelancer worked on it.

Depending on the firm, you may get to work with designers and developers. That way, you can make sure your website will look good but also work well on the backend.

Hourly or Project

The web design cost can also vary depending on how the designer charges you. An hourly rate is nice because you’ll pay a set rate for every hour the company works on your website.

However, it can be unpredictable, especially if something goes wrong, and the project takes longer. Still, you may be able to set a cap on the number of hours to help budget for the site.

A project rate is a flat rate that you’ll agree on before the work starts. The cost is even easier to predict since it won’t change even if the designers have to work a bit more on your website.

Hourly and project rates have their pros and cons, and neither is always the best choice. Be sure to talk to a designer or firm about your budget so that you can find a payment option that works for both parties.


You should also consider your location and the location of your designer or design firm. The design company needs to cover their bills, such as office space and employee paychecks.

So if you hire a company in New York or LA, for example, you can expect to pay a lot more than for designers in other cities. Ask the design firm for a quote to make sure you can afford the work.

Rush Fee

Regardless of where your design firm is, they might charge more if you want them to prioritize your website. A rush fee allows you to get your website ready to launch sooner.

It covers the extra work that the designers will have to do to complete your website on time. They may have other projects that they have to set aside, or they may need to work overtime to get yours done.

If you can wait, you may be able to save some money. Depending on the firm, the rush fee could range from $100 to over $1,000 for your website.

Do You Know “How Much Does Web Design Cost?”

A lot goes into answering “how much does web design cost?” The cost depends on factors like designer experience and website complexity.

You also need to pay for other things, like your domain and hosting. Keep all of the potential costs in mind when budgeting for your site so that you can get the design you want.

Are you ready to hire a design firm for your new website? Contact us to learn how we can help.

You can never quit. Winners never quit, and quitters never win

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