The Skinny on Website Design Costs – Part 1

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In truth, the cost of a website and design for digital marketing in 2022 depends on six key factors.

However, to begin, we’ll discuss the first three website design factors in detail for this article. And in the following one, you can learn more about the other three.

So, freely jump to the factors and sections that interest you the most, or continue enjoying the read!

How much does a website really cost? Short answer— ‘It Depends!’

Website costs will always have a ‘value range’ due to multiple consideration aspects surrounding the overall investment. First, you must understand that general website design and development include costs to strategy-plan for it, build/develop it, and then maintain it. So, when people ask about website costs, I always reply with an answer most prefer not to hear – “It depends.”

But the blanket answer for website costs in 2022 can range between $500 and $50,000+. However, that range starts at a highly-affordable DIY site build to a standard build in the middle and ends at a comprehensive and professional website with custom features.

Therefore, the three most significant counter-questions I ask clients who inquire about website costs are:

  • ‘What do you want the website to do for your business and ROI?’
  • ‘What business problem will this new website solve for your current or potential customers?’ And,
  • ‘What value does that solution bring to your organization?’

So, regardless of cost, every business must consider developing their website design based on strategy, value offering, and a clear return on investment.


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Factor 1: What type of website do you desire? The D-I-Y Web Builder, a Standard Site, or a Custom Build?

Factor 1- Web design type cost comparison table

Website type refers to who will build it and how. In other words, site types can be DIYs, standard builds, and professional custom builds. As a business owner, you may choose to develop the site yourself, have a freelance contractor build it, or hire an experienced marketing agency web developer. However, most small business owners can quickly determine site type based on their budget and/or how much they want to invest in its development.

Do-It-Yourself Site-Builder Templates

For budgets well under $5000, you can choose a DIY website builder option and research various software plans that offer basic site templates for simple builds. Some of the most popular web builders include Squarespace and WIX; however, several more options are available depending on your budget.

With some businesses, this option works well, as they only pay monthly fees for their website. For example, monthly costs with web builders can range from $15 to $500/month, depending on the host builder, the template you choose, the complexity of the site, and its size.

However, keep in mind the following five key considerations:

    1. You’ll invest much of your time and energy in building the site. And you must make time to consistently add new pages and fresh content to keep it active and relevant.
    2. Building your own website also means losing precious time for developing, expanding, and building new business opportunities.
    3. In most cases, you don’t own your site’s technology. So, you must build it to fit around the confines of the chosen template.
    4. Once you stop paying the monthly fees, your site shuts down and is no longer visible or operating online.
    5. There are limited custom features, images, and functions due to how the templates are already designed.

Yet, on average, businesses can expect upfront costs of anywhere between $0 to $250 for a very basic, DIY site. After the initial fee, they begin paying the ongoing monthly fees to maintain it. Also, since hosting fees are another primary factor of website costs, we’ve omitted them here and will address them in the Part 2 blog. But you can determine costs for maintenance based on which plan you choose; there are many options.

Standard Freelancer Sites

Say you’d like to hire a freelance contractor to build your company website. Of course, most will charge anywhere from $1500 to $5000 to build your site, in addition to maintenance and annual hosting fees. At the same time, they’re also likely to use a website builder software plan to build your site. (The previous option discussed above.)

A word of caution— Be fully aware of cheap-cost offers from freelance designers; you’ll get what you pay for in such scenarios. For instance:

    • Businesses may not get what they expect from their site— like proper site optimization, functionality, and/or visual appeal.
    • They may get a nice, basic-looking site that merely serves as an online business brochure.
    • Typically, there is no genuine marketing thought or strategy development behind building the website.
    • Contractors will usually perform the bare minimum to get your site up, which is generally what you instruct them to do— set pages, content you provide, and basic navigation based on a chosen template.

So, as a rule of thumb, it’s always prudent to do your research before hiring a semi-pro. Check reviews, references, and portfolios to see past works and projects. Doing your research gives you a better idea of what to expect and can make an informed decision.

The custom website

Custom and responsive website design conceptIf you prefer a business website that has highly connective appeal for online visitors and potential customers, then a custom-designed high-level site is what you need. Professional website developers and experienced marketing agencies have the know-how and capacity to build a customized site that can be found online through search engine queries and provides visitors with a fantastic user experience. Yet, it is equally important to do your homework and research agency developers to ensure you make the best choice for your company.

Custom sites derive from sitting with a professional developer to plan strategically on what you want the site to do for your business and for the visitors who click into it. There is much to consider, with content marketing and brand messaging being the top priority for the website. Unique and customized content and keyword research help people find your site online. And how they experience your site when they arrive on it is determined by how well your site is developed through highly-functional design.

Although professional custom websites can cost anywhere from a minimum $7,500 and up, you truly can get what you pay for in lead generation and increased traffic flow to your site. In the end, you’ll find that a professional site is worth every dollar. And with thorough strategy planning, you’ll see it can help yield a substantial ROI!

Factor 2: Your Website Design Layout

Website design is the overall look and feel of your website. We call it the UI or User Interface, which is the visual aesthetics of the site that appeal directly to online visitors.

Even with a simple website design, developers can create a highly-aesthetic appeal for site visitors. For example, their combined use of color palettes, typography, images, and digital animations can provide site users with easy visual flow and guidance.

In general, the more elaborate the design, the higher the cost. This notion applies simply because creating an appealing UI requires a lot of thought, strategic planning, and the appropriate time for design application and testing. Overall, an excellent website design should delight and effortlessly guide online visitors and potential leads to the goal of conversion.

The following criteria make up the general costs of website design.

    • Design Style/Theme and visual flow
    • Images and placement, product or service descriptions, and design layout
    • Animated features
    • Functionality placement for products and services (E-commerce, portals, etc.)

Website design costs are typically included in the cost of functionality and/or programming, so the price ranges below include both factors.

BBMS Website design and functionality cost comparison table

Factor 3: Website Functionality and Programming

Regarding the bulk of total costs that make up a website price, content is one factor, and website functionality or programming is the other. And since they are the two most vital aspects of what makes a website a website, their cost factors make up most of the total price.

However, we will discuss content marketing for your website in Part 2 of this blog. So, let’s talk more here about website functionality. First, we define functionality in terms of what the site can DO through clicking interactions and how easily users can navigate through to access needed information. For example, if you’re going to invest in a dynamic website, know that functionality is essential to its digital marketing success and your ROI.

General website design consists of two parts:

    1. Visual design or UIwhich we already discussed above.
    2. Functional layout or UXwhich we’ll discuss now.

When addressing functionality with clients, it’s the part where I ask them what they want their website to do for them and their customers. For example, ‘What do you want visitors to do, or how do you want them to interact when they hit the site?’ ‘Does the site need e-commerce for selling products and services?’ Or ‘Will it strictly serve as an industry resource tool for making customer/client connections and storing a wealth of crucial information?’

Functionality and programming aspects of web designAll aspects of functionality can be determined through the website’s layout, mapping navigation, and the types of pages to include. So, the better the functionality, the greater the user experience (UX) and interface (UI), too, as both design and functionality go hand-in-hand.

Unfortunately, some companies still become enticed with a website’s aesthetics or beauty and ignore that it falls short of delivering the simple functionality that keeps users online. Consequently, the business and its potential clients lose when functionality is missing from the equation. And as a result, people cannot find what they seek from the site, and the company doesn’t get the ROI results they expected.

Adding up the costs where functionality is concerned may include the following features.

    • Well-defined and simple site navigation layout
    • An easy-to-follow design that provides a positive UX
    • Interactive multimedia
    • Website responsiveness – Is the site compatible and easily functional on any digital device?
    • Excellent product and service elements with detailed descriptions and e-commerce options
    • Distinct and clear CTAs and functional interactions
    • Database integration
    • An active company blog page providing consistently fresh resource information

Analyze your current website and receive insights for starting off right!

Regardless of which route you choose for building your website, discussing your needs with marketing professionals is always prudent. That’s where BUILDINGBLOCKS comes in to provide the valuable insights and recommendations you need. Whether you work with us or not, we aim to help you develop a complete understanding of your marketing needs and have the perspective for making an informed decision.

So, let’s get started! First, click the link below to receive your free website analysis so you’ll know the full digital status of your site. Then, connect with us online or call 281-203-0529 to talk more. Remember, we’re here to help you determine which digital marketing plan best fits your needs!

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