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How Much Should Website Design Cost?

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We’ve been in the marketing space for over 9 years & one of the most common questions we get is “how much should website design cost?” It’s a difficult question to answer without some details as every business has unique needs and goals. With that being said, we’d like to give you a review of the process and an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Phase 1: Planning and Scoping

There are several things to consider when determining what you should be spending to hit your goals. The first thing you need to know when trying to budget web design costs is what you’re actually going to need. There are a number of things that can influence the cost of your website such as how much custom design you will need, content creation such as services pages, cost of stock images or videos and additional features such as member dashboards, calendar of events or photo galleries.

The majority of our customers are really just looking for a nice and contemporary looking website that is mobile friendly, easy to edit and update and is equipped to rank well in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Many of our clients own brick and mortar local business are looking for 10-15 pages of content that features services, products and promotions, staff biographies, information about the company along with contact information with a clickable phone number and map, lead capture forms. Other clients require a much more robust website with additional functionality that requires more resources and time to implement.

Here are some questions to ask your self:

– Is this a new site or a redesign?
– Do you need blog or content management functionality?
– Do you have graphics already created or need custom images created?
– Are you using a template or using custom HTML/CSS?
– How are you planning on servicing mobile customers?
– Do you need multimedia (Flash, video, etc.) on the site?
– How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
– Do you need other special features like social media, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
– Who is going to maintain and support the site?

Phase 2: Pricing and Examples

Typically, a website budget is determined by the estimated number of hours required to design and build it. Website developers have different rates depending on their overhead. An offshore web company may charge anywhere from $10 – $40/hr while an established US web agency may charge between $60 – $200/hr or more. You may find a solo web developer in the US charging between $25 – $100/hr.

However, we do not recommend that any serious business use a one-person shop or an offshore team. Successful website design leverages several distinct disciplines (marketing, user experience design, visual design, programming, and project management) and these are very hard to find in one person. When hiring a professional agency, you should write up a requirements document for all the candidate agencies to reference in their proposals, so you are comparing apples to apples. This document doesn’t have to be too complex (a page or so in length will do), but it should describe what kind of website you want, what types of pages you want (News, Contact, Services, etc.), desired functionality, and your business goals for the website. It’s also helpful to provide examples of websites you like. We even have a Launch Document that will help you get this info organized.

Listed below we will reference some clients of Search Control and give you a general idea what similar websites might cost.

Small Website Design: $500 - $1500

Medium Website Design: $1500 - $3500

Large Website Design: $3500 - $10000

Phase 3: Implementation and On-Going Support 

Outside of the main cost of designing and building a website, there are other costs that can impact your budget during development and on an ongoing maintenance basis. Following is a list of those associated costs.

Domain name: $10-15/year

Hosting: $50 to $250+ a year depending on traffic and hosting services. For example you may want to pay extra for regular website backups and extra security features.

License or cost of plugins: There are thousands of extensions, plugins, widgets, modules and applications that can add great features to your website at a low cost. In the old days we had to build these from scratch. Now it’s a matter of paying a small fee $0 – $300 or annual license $20 – $1,000+ and adding the feature to your website. Keep in mind that these plugins are mini-applications that have versions so at some point the version will “expire” and need to be updated. Updating an expired plugin can be simple as one-click or complex taking many hours of effort. Usually a professional developer will have to upgrade or update your expired plugin.

Continued website maintenance and upgrades: $500-$1,000+ per year, depending on level of support and updates required.

Stock art: Royalty-free stock art photos and graphics can range from $15 – $100+ each depending on license fees and usage.

Marketing/Advertising and SEO: $250-$5,000 a month and up to proactively market your website.

If you’ve read this far, you must be serious about your web business. Take the next step by giving us a call at 480-378-0246 or filling our short inquiry form. We will get back to you ASAP with our no-obligation Web Site analysis.

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(480) 378-0246


Search Control has an amazing team of talented individuals that have built thousands of successful marketing campaigns and usable websites for over a decade. Which means we are really old and wise in web years!

While we have national and international clients, the bulk of our customers run small businesses that are focused on getting in front of local customers. Having a strong local web presence is one of the most effective ways to show your potential customers that you are the best, and we understand that. Our well-rounded team of skilled individuals is focused on finding, creating and publishing content that is not only industry-relevant, but also provides value to your customers, no matter what part of town your business is in.

Our team has won many awards for our past work and we truly understand what it takes for a business to succeed online. Everyone on our staff works for you and we are confident you will be able to tell we are passionate about our results.

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