How much does web design cost is one of the major considerations when considering getting a new website. Prices can vary from a few hundred pounds for a relatively straightforward and simple website to thousands of pounds for more complex sites that may require bespoke components.
Major cost consideration: What do you want the website to do?
Were you to enquire of the price of a car or of a new kitchen, you would need to have made some initial decisions before asking for an estimate: what size car, what sort of luggage capacity, what sort of driving conditions. For a kitchen you would need to consider the size of the existing room, the equipment you want, the finishes, the ease of accessibility for installers. The same can be said for a website. Before even considering building a website yourself or employing a web designer or web design company, you need to know exactly what you want your website to do. For example, do you want it to:
- Sell goods online?
- Capture leads?
- Give information?
- Something else?
Having a very clear and specific idea of what you want your website to do will help reduce the cost of your website as there will be no need for your web designer to drill down your exact requirements. Time is money as they say, so the less time spent doing this will reduce the cost of developing a website.
For a website, you need to consider what you want the website to do and what information – text, images, databases, computer skills etc. that you have available already to bring to the process of putting it all together.
What makes a website cheaper?
Having a clear idea of what you want your website to do now and in the future.
Allowing good time for the design and development process. Like we said earlier, time is money so doing this will reduce the prices of web design.
A clear structure
Having a clear structure of the way the website will be put together. What the different sections might be, what information is to be included in each section. This is true even if there are only two or three sections. This is often referred to as the website ‘architecture’. Get your sit architecture right at the beginning and you can significantly reduce the costs of web design both initially and ongoing.
Text and words ready
Having the text for each section and each page clearly set out – even if it will later change. In fact, a good web-developer will probably suggest changes to the way things are written. Writing for a website is different for writing in a brochure – people read things very differently on a website. But having it written down gives the web-developer a better means of picturing the whole structure while creating design ideas.
If you are a confident writer, then it is often a good idea to write your website copy personally as you have the experience about your product or service and are passionate about it. However, it can be a good idea to call a professional copywriter in to write your website copy as they may be able to help rank the site better in terms of SEO as well as increasing conversions. Consequently the price of your website may increase but you should make more money in the long-run.
Having images ready in a digital format – not necessarily the final images but at least versions that show what will be there. You might take your own product photos for now but have booked a professional photographer for the final versions.
Before taking final pictures for your website whether taking the pictures yourself or using a photographer to take pictures for you, you will save a lot of time, and potentially save a lot of money, if you get the photographer to talk directly with your chosen web-developer first. It isn’t just about the content of the shots, it’s how they are going to be used on the website that can dictate the backgrounds, colours, sizes, framing etc.
Don’t be tempted to reduce the cost of building your website by using images that you have simply copied off the internet. You need to ensure that you have full rights to use any image, as images are protected by copyright. If you use an image that you do not have the rights to, you may be sued and this can be very expensive to defend and can significantly add to the cost of your website. UK web designers who are competent and ethical should always get their images from reliable and ethical sources but it is always worth asking the question to ensure that you do not have any nasty surprises down the line.
OK – so what’s the bottom line?
Webspace or hosting
Don’t forget when factoring in the price of a website, you will need to think about ongoing costs too, the main one being hosting. You will need some webspace to ‘host’ your website pages. You will want email addresses that tie in with the web address. You will want a domain name or ‘web address’ for your website.
Allow between £80 and £120 per year for that. You can get it more cheaply – you may have see this service offered at silly prices – a cheap price means a cheap service. Paying a good price means a good service: unlimited downloads for your visitors – the website doesn’t disappear halfway through the month, your domain name is automatically renewed having been registered in your name not the name of the cheap hosting provider.
The design process is at the heart of the whole thing of course. A good web-developer will look at your needs, look at your content (text, images etc), consider your potential audience. Only then should there be any design work. This is in fact the part that (should) take the most time if it’s done properly.
You can help your web-developer by looking at sites on the web and make a note of those that you like and those that you don’t like. Cut and paste the website’s address from the address bar of your browser – paste it into a text editor or into Word and add some notes about why you like it or why you don’t like it.
Once that part is done well, then putting it all together takes relatively little time.
A simple brochure website, with all the content prepared beforehand should cost around £400.
What really adds to the time is messing about with images and getting them right for a web page. So if there are a lot of images not taken by a professional photographer, expect this to be more.
More complex websites can cost anything from £1,000 to much more. It all depends on what you want. But BEWARE if a web-developer starts quoting you anything around the £5,000 mark before really talking to you, then walk away. There are LOTS of sharks out there charging outrageous prices for web design.
UK Web Design Cost Versus Outsourcing Abroad
One of the key web design cost considerations is whether to invest in a site by a UK web designer or to go for the lower web design prices that are often offered by offshore web design companies, usually in places in India and elsewhere in Asia.
Whilst there are some good web design companies from places such as this, unfortunately there are a LOT of ones that are not reputable and offer a poor service and are a complete waste of money. They will over-promise and under-deliver, and whilst they may charge web design prices that are very low, you are in effect wasting your money completely.
A cautionary tale….
A company wanted a straightforward website that allowed visitors to search for particular types of holiday accommodation. Without talking in any great detail with a developer, they were quoted £32,000 (yes, thirty-two thousand pounds). When the company said that this was more than they had expected, the web-developer offered to do the same for £16,000 – half the original quote! Yet the alarm bells didn’t start ringing. It gets worse: when the company asked if it would be possible for it to be done in two weeks (from giving them the content – list of properties etc) the web-developer were happy to comply. The company knew there were only two people involved in the web-development company. BUT they didn’t think to work out that this meant that even if the two worked 16 hour days for two weeks they would be charging £50 per hour. We happen to know it took one of them 10 days – £200 an hour!
We were called in when it became clear that the website was badly designed, was not accessible to visitors with disabilities, was not accessible by major search engines and when the company soon discovered that visitors were unable to understand the over-complex accommodation search system.
We started from scratch – we produced a well-designed website, that was easy to use, was accessible by everyone and search engines. We did it for £3,000 and considered ourselves well paid.
Can you update it yourself?
Easy payment system
More to follow…