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Cover image for How much does it cost to design a site?
Grant Watson
Grant Watson

Posted on • Originally published at grantwatson.app

How much does it cost to design a site?

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Such a vague set up to a loaded question
Let's start with the nagging question I have for this question: What do you want the website to do???????? Once we get that question fully answered, we can move forward with a overall cost analysis.

Typically, when a company comes to a freelance web developer/designer, or a consulting firm, they are looking for cold, hard, facts. The "they" in this situation is looking for the bottom line costs. More than likely because it's their job to wish to know, or higher ups are asking for this piece of information.

Let's go on a fact finding journey to get to the answer of this article. And mind you, every case for a new website will be different, so the numbers you find here are by no means a definite, and they are subject to change per consultant/agency.
The typical first questions a person and/or company will be asked by a developer/designer is: "What do you want the site to do and have?" This, like the title of this article, is a loaded question as well, and it may be valuable to break that question down into smaller, more manageable questions like the following:

Do you already have a logo to show on the site?
Do you wish for the site to have login functionality for your users, either employees or other individuals?
Do you wish to have the ability to send chat messages to potential customers who want to speak to a live person?
Many, many other questions
Consider this β€” It is indisputable that the Lamborghini Spyder is one hot car. Even so, what most Lambo enthusiasts love about this car is not how it looks, but how it sounds – it is the roar of the v10 engine that takes the Spyder from 0 to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds. Just like the $250,000 Lambo, what makes up the cost of a website is not only how the website looks on the surface, but rather, what lies β€œunder the hood” that makes a website work. So, don’t judge a website by its cover β€” its design is only one slice of a much bigger pie. After helping hundreds of businesses to create their websites, I’ve done and have seen a lot.

For those wondering where to go to get their website up and running, consider the following:

What’s worth your money and what’s not worth it.
What to focus on and what to toss out the window.
What matters and what doesn’t.
There are places like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix that offer free sites, but is it worth it?
Whenever you are trying something new, having someone in your corner who has experience in the subject can really help. This is why the value of designers or developers goes beyond just the surface design of the website.
How Much Do Websites Cost?
The cost to design a website with a drag-and-drop builder will be between $5-15/month. This price fluctuates depending on your needs. For example, adding ecommerce functions to your site will cost between $15-30/month. The full range of website builder price plans is $0-500/month. To expand beyond a basic website, you’ll have to budget for additional domain and hosting costs. Domains usually cost $10-20/year, after first year discounted prices. Hosting plans range from $2.75-300/month, though most sites will be on the lower end of that spectrum. On the other hand, the cost to build a website using a custom web designer is around $6,750, and the priciest designers can cost $20,000 or more. Simply put, the cost of building your website boils down to 4 resources:

Time
Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
Money/Budget
The final breakdown
So, what have we learned here? There are different answers to the question "How mush does it cost to design a site?" Are you willing to put in the time to build it yourself? If so, there are options out there for you to get started for free to cheap monthly/yearly costs.

If you don't have the time, consider setting up funds for a freelance developer, like myself, that can design, develop, maintain and host the site for you and your company. There is the other option, and sometimes more expensive route of going through an agency to do the same.

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