What is the price of a website? Our most frequently asked question at Stich is how much a website costs.
Additionally, we are asked for the cost of a logo, how much is branding, and many more?
Price is a hot topic!
I find it frustrating when I contact a company to get a price, and all I get back is more questions. We understand.
In addition, it’s hard to provide an accurate estimate for your project without knowing more details.
A website can be built in many different ways. If you look at eBay for instance, your website will be much different. Amazon’s website is not similar to eBay’s. In comparison to Facebook, Amazon is very different. And so on.
So just like our answer in our How Much Does SEO Cost? post:
“How long is a piece of string?”
You’re asking the wrong questions
A very basic and generic question is how much does a website cost? If we hope to answer the question, we need to be more specific.
Buying a house is very similar to buying a website.
What is the size of a house? How many rooms does it have? Is there a garden? What about a driveway? And so forth. Websites can be classified into various types, just as there are various types of houses.
The first question you need to ask is: “What do I want my website to accomplish for my business?”
It will help you build a great relationship with your design agency, if you share your goals and vision with them.
Once you’ve defined your goal/vision, it’s time to move forward.
What should you ask yourself next?
Why do I need a website?
That’s the first question to ask yourself. How important is a website?
Here at Stich, we believe that every business should have a website – the internet is the best tool for spreading the word.
The common misconception is “My business runs entirely on Facebook, so I don’t need a website!” But you couldn’t be more wrong.
We wrote about this earlier in the month, but the long and short of it is, relying on platforms you don’t control to market your business is a flawed plan.
What happens if Facebook shuts down? Highly unlikely I know. But:
What happens if they slice “organic reach” like they did a few years back. People went from having lots of organic traffic, to not much at all. And you don’t want that to happen.
And that’s why having your own website makes sense. It’s a platform that you control and will only change when you want it to. There should be no nasty surprises!
Then, you need to ask:
Do you need a specific type of website?
There is a wide range of website design costs based on the type and functionality of your website.
IKEA’s website is massive and would cost a lot more to design and build than your local takeaway website.
I know that’s a bit of an extreme example, but I’m trying to make a point here!
For a more realistic price comparison, think about these two scenarios:
- You run a small shop that sells 200 products and want to start selling them online.
- You run a small coffee shop and need a website with 4 or 5 pages outlining your services.
Naturally, the first website in this example is going to cost more. And not only because they have 200 products.
Sure, the products could take a little while to enter and setup. But on top of that, you have to integrate payment options, account for deliveries, product specifications, variables and so on.
As you can see, there’s quite a wide range of websites.
So, let’s look at the different types of websites you might need for your business:
A single page website
Single page, or one page, websites are often used to promote the launch of something. Perhaps an upcoming event, or a larger, more built out website.
However, some companies are now using single page websites to showcase what they’re all about. Especially app and SaaS (Software as a Service) companies.
Now, whilst we aren’t big fans of the single page website at Stich, they do tend to be significantly cheaper. That’s because there’s a lot less work involved.
One page, designed, and built, no fuss.
They’re a lot easier and take less time to make. However, they do come with there drawbacks.
- They’re harder to get ranked in search engines, as they tend to have a lot less content.
- The navigation can be clunky and confusing, especially if you’re expecting it to take you to a different page.
- A single page containing a lot of information can be too long and boring.
Like I say, we’re not big fans at Stich, but some people do use them, and they’re at the cheaper end of the website design pricing spectrum, that’s for sure.
A brochure website
Brochure websites are a significantly better solution than single page websites. This is usually the type of website that most businesses want (providing they’re not an ecommerce business or website.)
A brochure website will have more pages than the single page site. And they’re used for informing website visitors about your business, and what it is that you offer.
Brochure sites typically have between 10 and 50 pages. Smaller companies usually have less to say. Larger more established companies tend to have more content.
Another consideration with a brochure website is the fact that they will usually contain a blog or news page.
This is something that does usually end up adding to the price, as several extra templates must be designed and coded.
Brochure websites are more expensive than the single page website, but they’re still not too expensive!
(I know we keep teasing with the prices, but we’ll get on to actual figures later, promise!)
An ecommerce website
Now we’re moving into the more expensive type of website. And that’s fine.
A good agency won’t rip your eyes out, they’ll do what’s right for you. We’re not all about making a quick buck!
Ecommerce websites come with a unique set of challenges. We recommend using the rather affordable Woocommerce when building ecommerce sites.
Here’s a brief overview of some of the things that need discussed when building or pricing an ecommerce website project:
- How many products are you selling?
- How many categories are your products split into?
- Who is responsible for uploading all of the products?
- Which payment provider are you using?
- What happens with returns, cancelled orders, failed orders, and more?
As you can see from the five points above, ecommerce websites generally have a much bigger scope, and therefore they do tend to start creeping higher in price.
A more complex website or web app
So, there’s another type of website that doesn’t fall into the three basic categories above. And that’s the “complicated website” category.
Booking systems, membership websites, websites that talk to other websites, login systems, data recording websites, the list goes on.
The stuff nightmares are made of! (Not really, with the right scoping out and planning, even these complex websites can be ironed out and developed.)
However, depending on exact requirements, when you’re getting into this exciting territory, the website pricing does tend to escalate quite quickly.
We recently finished a project that was a fully functioning web app. There were a lot of moving parts and nuts and bolts.
That project cost the client well over £50,000 in total. And that’s not uncommon when you’re creating something that’s never been done before.
Now that you understand the different types of website design projects, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your budget.
What is your budget?
Once you have a clear picture of the type of website you might need, you need to start thinking seriously about your budget.
As you already know from above, the website pricing hierarchy is going to look something like this (with the first being the cheapest):
- A single page website
- A brochure website
- An eCommerce website
- A more complex website or web app
You need to think about what you can realistically afford, and what you’re willing to pay.
If you can’t afford at least £1000, I’d say you need to save your money until you have more in your budget to put towards the work.
To set a website design budget, try this:
Think “What will my website make me in one year, two years, and three years?”
If you’re looking to “just have a website” then you can afford to invest less. But if you want to make big returns from your website, the initial investment is going to need to be higher.
Forbes have a great article about setting a budget for your website.
Payment plans and budgets
A lot of agencies will be willing to work within your budget (providing it’s not silly low) in order to build a strong relationship that lasts well into the future.
But let’s talk about payment plans, options, and how we operate at Stich. Most of our projects tend to be in mid-four-figure category.
This means we split our projects into either 3 or 4 payments. Usually start, middle and end.
Deposit Payment – This covers the website planning, kickoff meetings, and visual discovery session.
Midway Payment – This is due on presentation of the initial website design.
Completion Payment – This payment is due before the website launched to the live server.
Where we can, we try to keep the three payments even, but we’ve been known to help clients out by backloading the payments. Or even break things down into smaller chunks.
We’re happy to help our clients out providing there’s a level trust between both parties. Trust and transparency goes a long way in the web design business.
Some agencies operate on a different price model, where they bill their clients a minimal amount to “launch an MVP” which is a minimum viable product.
From there, they bill out to build it out and maintain it. This is what’s known as The Agile Approach to billing.
However, at Stich, we much prefer things simple, and that’s why we bill on a per project basis.
You need to reach out to design agencies about your project and find the right fit for you.
Another important question is.
Who are you going to get to build it?
There are several options when it comes to having your website built.
In an article earlier this month, we covered the difference between hiring a design agency, a freelancer, or a student.
But, there are a few additional options, so let’s cover all of the bases:
Building it yourself
It’s not uncommon to try and build your own website. However, we do whole heartedly recommend against it.
Just like you wouldn’t tile your own roof or plumb in your own bathroom, you shouldn’t be building your own website.
Sure, you can pick up some tutorials on HTML and CSS and throw something together.
But is “thrown together” the way you want your website and therefore business or brand to appear? I highly doubt it.
We’ve all seen the adverts:
Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, 1&1 My Website, Cheap Websites for You.com, the list goes on and on.
The lure is “get a free, professional looking website, that you can update yourself, in an instant.” And sure, some of the templates they use, look good.
But, they’re also in use by thousands, if not millions, of other businesses.
The reasons not to use a website builder go on and on, and would probably make for a full blog post on their own, but here’s a quick summary:
- The templates are in use by lots of other people or businesses.
- A template isn’t the best solution for your business. Your business has it’s own needs.
- The price, when you add in all of your “pro” features (that you will need), isn’t that cheap!
- Building a relationship with a professional design agency will help your business grow.
So what are your other options when it comes to having your website built?
Essentially, you have three further options:
- A Design Agency
- A Freelancer
- A Student
Earlier in the month, we posted an article exploring the pros and cons of each option. You can check that out here:
Being the founder of Stich Creative, I’m in favour of working with professional design agencies.
I feel that building a relationship with a professional design agency will help your business grow in the long term. As long as you’re off running your business, they can help you grow your online presence.
Another thing to keep in mind is…
Where in the world are you?
Website design pricing around the world differs greatly.
If you’re based in India, the chances are, you’ll be able to find a reputable design agency to build your website for a lower cost, than if you were based in the UK or USA.
The reverse is also true.
If you’re in the UK or the USA, website design pricing in your country will be higher than if you decide to use an offshore firm for your project.
That’s because pricing and cost is relative.
The cost of living in India is lower, and therefore, what would be considered a high price there, could seem low to you.
However, this opens the whole “offshoring” debate.
Do you want to be placing your website design project with an offshore agency, just to shave a couple of pounds or dollars off your website price?
Kissmetrics have an article exploring hiring an “in house” vs “offshore” developer. If you replaced “in house” with “design agency” – they make some great points!
What do you want your design agency to provide?
Once you’ve entered discussion with a design agency, you need to work with them to define a web design brief, deciding exactly what you want them to provide.
Not all website design prices or quotes are created equally.
If two quotes for a website design project look miles and miles apart, it might be worth asking for an exact breakdown of costs.
When creating a brochure or eCommerce website at Stich, our projects include the following stages:
Research is key to any website design project. We need to understand your business, your customers, the marketplace you’re operating in, and your competition.
Alongside that, we begin pulling together visual research to create a moodboard and visual direction for your business.
Then, we’ll analyse it together, discuss ideas, eventually distilling down the visual research into one or two primary directions.
The first thing to do in the wireframing stage, is to ask about your users, and understand what you want your website to do for them.
From there, we’ll begin planning out wireframes and rough user interface designs. We’ll piece them together and then there’s a discussion between both parties, to ensure everyone is on the right track.
Oftentimes, we’ll use a tool like InvisionApp to create an interactive website prototype. This way, everyone can gain a clear understanding of the direction.
Once the wireframes are in place, we’ll begin fleshing out the design.
In the wireframe stage, it’s likely we’ll start to gain an understanding of how we might want to use type and colour throughout the site.
In the design stage, we begin building on that, and flesh out key pages of your website.
Once the visual direction is agreed, it’s onto the build.
This is where we take your website research, wireframes, and design, and piece it all togehter, turning it from a series of screens to a full functioning website.
And that’s where we draw the line for our standard website quotes.
However, there are several additional things you might want to consider when it comes to the price of your website.
Many design agencies (we included) don’t include written content creation in their core service offering.
However, like most other agencies, we’re more than happy to either work with you on this or include this in your quote as a separate item.
Written content takes a long time to create, and realistically, you know your business better than anyone else.
We often find that it’s best for the client to create a mass of content, then have the Stich team run through and distil the content into something usable!
You might be looking to have a series of illustrations or icons created for your website.
As this varies for every single client, it’s best to have a separate discussion regarding your illustrative requirements. Therefore, we don’t include this as a base level requirement.
SEO / digital marketing
All web practitioners should be setting up website code with best SEO practises in mind. And that’s exactly what we do here at Stich.
However, we do tend to overextend on the SEO side of things and include basic SEO research in most of our projects from the offset.
Again, if you’re wanting to get advanced or ongoing SEO and digital marketing support, that should be looked at as a separate project altogether.
Photography / video
A lot of design agencies won’t include any photography in web projects at all.
However, at Stich, we often include a number of stock photos within each project. So we at least have some idea of the type of photography that will work within your website.
Next, we can create a unique set of photos for your website in collaboration with you.
Video is no different. Some stock footage and photography are available, but most often, we need custom videos and photography.
You’re more likely to compare apples with oranges when comparing website design prices. There is no apples to apples comparison.
Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if the quotes you receive are unclear about what is and isn’t included.
Who is responsible for updating the system?
When it comes to pricing, this is a crucial decision.
Your website will be built on a CMS platform by most respectable design agencies. Content management systems refer to this. Among them are WordPress and Craft CMS.
In most cases, you will be able to make changes and updates yourself if your website is built with a CMS from a reputable agency.
Most CMS systems provide the capability to add blog posts, and most respectable ones do.
If you want to change text and images and add articles, you may want to consider a retainer.
The benefits of retainers are mutual
Clients can therefore have their agency or web designer “on call” depending on what they agree to pay for.
The agency can plan workloads and cashflow based on that information. As a result, we are able to bring on additional staff if necessary, allowing us to better serve you.
Your web design agency should be generating revenue for your business through the retainer model.
You should make sure that your web design agency is on your side. The agency should be a business partner.
And that’s why we love what we do at Stich. The more we can help you grow, the higher the chance of repeat work, or retainer work, allowing us to grow alongside you!
The right agency working with the right business will be a win win for both parties.
What are the additional costs?
There are several “hidden costs” when it comes to website pricing.
As we’ve already covered updates, photography, and digital marketing services, let’s talk about two “must haves” for every website.
- Website Hosting
- Domain Names
Without either of these, you’ll not be launching your website any time soon.
Providing website hosting
You can think of website hosting as your website’s online home. A website’s home is its host.
There is no way to visit your website without an internet address, without it, no one can access it.
Depending on your needs, website hosting prices range from insanely low to ridiculously high.
The same is true for web hosting – not all of it is created equal. For you as the end user, you may not be able to tell as long as you are able to access your website.
You can get free web hosting, which is terrible. Cheap hosting, which is also terrible. Affordable hosting, which is acceptable. And premium hosting, which we recommend.
Cheap hosting exists with companies like GoDaddy and HostGator who charge a minimal amount, sometimes as low as £2-£5 per month for hosting your website.
With cheap hosting, the old saying “pay peanuts, get monkeys” rings true. You really do pay for what you get.
Affordable hosting is available through companies like Vidahost or Krystal, who might charge somewhere between £10 and £20 per month.
Premium hosting can be purchased through a company like WPEngine (if your website is built on WordPress) and could cost around £30-£60 per month.
The differences are vast and again, could do with a blog post of their own.
Essentially, cheap hosting isn’t worth the hassle. If you’re really cash strapped, affordable hosting is workable. But premium hosting wins out every time in our opinion.
Your domain name is the .com, .co.uk, .net part of your domain. There are many domain extensions.
And they don’t cost a lot of money, unless you’re trying to buy a “premium name.”
stichcreative.com costs me £10 per year (+VAT).
However, stichcreative.com is “parked” – which means someone has bought it to sell on at a later date. I enquired about buying it, and was told:
“To buy stichcreative.com, don’t bother replying unless your offer is over £10,000.”
Another example is our friends over at Change Creator.
They paid a small amount for the domain changecreatormag.com – but recently acquired changecreator.com. Needless to say, their bank balance took a bit of a hit.
You can buy your domain on a per annum basis, or you can buy several years at once and get a small discount.
.com seems to be expensive, as does .co, but .co.uk and other localised domains can often be picked up for very little cost.
When buying a domain, you’ll probably find that the one you want is taken. You need to get creative!
Try using adapters such as:
Or if you can “afford to get funky” try spelling your business name differently.
When Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income couldn’t get the domain name FoodTrucker.com – he removed the e, and bought FoodTruckr.com – problem solved.
Now that we’ve been through most of the key points, let’s take a look at some further important considerations.
Web design is a service, not a product
Your website is the product, but web design and development is a service. Requirements change, ideas develop, business progresses etc. Therefore, putting a single price to a website can be extremely difficult.
There is a lot involved in building a website
Building a professional looking website that services your customers is no easy task. Often, website projects will take between 8 and 12 weeks to complete, and that’s with a team of 3 or 4 people working on it.
Pricing for your website will often depend on the level of detail, as well as the amount of time that we estimate needs spent on different features.
Per page pricing never works
Often, you’ll see cheap web design companies quoting “£1000 for a 10 page website.” Which is absurd.
Here’s a real life example:
Recently, we quoted for a new project. In our proposals, we include a rough number of page template that need created, we included “up to 10 page templates, than can be reused for X amount of pages.”
The client wrote us back “we only need 5 pages, can the quote be reduced?”
However, there’s always more than meets the eye. Most websites normally have the following pages:
That’s a total of five pages with five templates, right? Incorrect.
More than 5 can be attributed to a single blog post. Let’s look at an example.
You can view all posts on the main blog page
A single blog post appears when you click on it
The author’s name appears when you click on it
The date appears when you click on it
When you click a category or tag, you are directed to that category or tag
Right there, you have five different scenarios.
The short and sweet of it is that pricing per page does not work. It’s an outdated model, designed for people who create websites with Microsoft Frontpage.
Seeing the number of pages on a website isn’t everything about it. The behind-the-scenes work also needs to be taken into account.
There is a subjective element to quotations and proposals
Quotes and proposals vary greatly, as we discussed earlier. Compared apples to apples is not always possible. You often need to keep in mind that you are comparing two very different things.
You should ask questions of both agencies if you receive a quote for £1000 and another for £50,000.
You can pay in more than one way
Most agencies require a 50% down payment, followed by a 50% completion payment. Our process is based on milestones, which breaks down the work into manageable amounts. Others will charge by the hour, while others will bill by the month.
It would be best to have an open and honest discussion with your agency about a payment schedule that works for both of you.
Just like quotes and proposals, standards are not equal. Companies differ in the way they build websites. Some use frameworks, others use pre-built themes. At Stich, we build our own themes based off of a framework.
And honestly, some agencies are better than others. Just look at their work. Is it creative? Does it work for you? Do you like the people you’re communicating with?
You can sometimes use your intuition to check whether you have a bad impression, or if you have a wary feeling.
It’s a big investment, and it can have a huge impact on your business. So you need to be comfortable with your agency.
Be careful of these things…
You should be careful
It’s not always the most professional place or highly vetted in the world of web design. Although it is unfortunate, it is true. Fraudsters and tricksters have tarnished the reputation of honest designers.
You should keep an eye out for the following:
People who offer website design packages
Previously, we discussed this topic. A price of X for five or ten pages makes no sense.
This type of website design package is commonly offered by companies that have no knowledge of how things work in today’s world.
In addition, most companies offering website packages tend to be the type that grabs your money. You do a lot of small projects to pay the bills and make a living, and nothing else.
A web design agency who does that is not what you need! A web design agency that acts as a business extension is not what our customers need! We benefit when our clients grow.
Telling you that your friends and acquaintances have gotten a cheaper website
Have you heard about that cheap website your friend got? Wow. Will it work for you? Is it easy to use? What does it do?
Comparing website quotes or websites is not equal, which goes back to the beginning. The websites of your friends have nothing in common with yours.
If they have any recommendations for good agencies or designers, please ask them. Don’t worry about the costs, because their business and website will have different needs from yours.
The cheapest isn’t always the best
Buying cheaper is never a good idea. The cheapest thing is the cheapest thing. It is a balancing act between the price and the quality.
People will build you a website using a content management system like WordPress (which we also recommend). But, they will use an off-the-shelf theme, and in that case, WordPress isn’t much better than Wix.
You should build your website, and the way it looks and functions, around your business. A theme designed for mass consumption shouldn’t have it snuck in.
Remember to always…
Often, your website is your biggest selling tool. When you’re asleep, it’s working hard for you. This demands a high-quality mattress.
You don’t want to lose the opportunity to convert them into a lead or a sale when they land on your site.
Websites are often the first touch points with your brand, so you should make them the best they can be. Invest in making it work for you, and you’ll grow.
Here are some actual prices and figures
I’m sure you’d rather hear about the cost of a website if we jumped straight to the numbers.
Unfortunately, as you probably figured out, it’s not that easy.
Nonetheless, I hate leaving you hanging – so here is a rough estimate of how much website design costs:
Creating it yourself
Here are the figures if you decide to build it yourself using something like Wix, which we strongly recommend you avoid.
Pricing for Wix starts at $5 per month. It will cost you $25 per month if you do not want your website cluttered with banner advertising and actually usable.
If you live in the UK, the cost is £225 per year.
Those costs are purely Wix’s. They do not include your emails.
One of the main things it does not cover is the time it will take you to learn the Wix platform and build your first site.
Suppose you spend 10-20 hours creating a website, but charge £50 per hour. This amounts to an additional $500-$1000.
In year one, you would spend a minimum of £775. That’s not including updates and tweaks.
It will become more and more expensive if you try to install Google Analytics, or if your storage needs exceed the 20gb limit.
In addition, you should consider SEO and how you can use it to your advantage.
Due to the lack of a design agency at your disposal, you’re on your own, with an average-looking website, and realistically, you’re left paying for a lesser-than-average service.
Also consider this:
If you want to move your website from Wix in the future, what should you do? It’s not possible. The big red cross.
The web design agency will have to be paid anyway, so do it right away.
Design is of utmost importance. You will make more money and grow your business with a good agency.
Hiring a professional design agency
The best way to get the cost of a website, is to reach out to a professional design agency who will offer their thoughts on website design pricing.
However, here’s how a very rough guide on how we price websites at Stich. These figures shouldn’t be taken as definitive, but are here to give you a ballpark figure.
A single page website
The design and development of a single page website requires less work than other types of websites.
Nevertheless, research, wireframing, design, and construction still needs to be done. One-page websites still require a lot of work.
A typical website design would cost £1500, plus £15 per month for hosting, and £10 for your domain name.
A brochure website
All the elements from the above stage must be included on a brochure website, as well as several additional pages and templates.
In addition to news, blogs, and media sections, brochure websites typically have a gallery, individual service pages, and more.
The cost of a brochure website from Stich is usually somewhere in the £2500-£5000 range. Obviously, that’s quite a wide range, but it really does depend on the specification and requirements.
An ecommerce website
With an eCommerce site, everything from a brochure website is combined with a shop.
In other words, there has to be a shop page, individual product pages, a back-end system created, payment gateways integrated, etc.
A typical eCommerce website costs our clients between £8,000 and £20,000. The price depends on the exact requirements, as well as the amount of work involved with the products.
A more complex website or web app
Web apps are usually huge projects, and we partner with an external company to deliver complex websites and apps at Stich
Our team has worked on web app projects starting at £15,000 and has worked on platforms and web apps costing up to £100,000.
These types of projects are impossible to estimate even in rough terms.
Conclusion: how much does a website cost?
That’s it, we’ve explained the intricacies of website design pricing.
As well as answering the question “how much is a website”, we have provided some very rough ballpark figures.
A cost calculator for website design is not available, and average prices for websites are not relevant.
When it comes to their websites and online presence, each business has its own needs and requirements. As a result, blogging about the cost of this type of project isn’t very helpful.
What do you think? If you want to get an accurate cost for your website design project, then get in touch. We, at Stich, have highly trained specialists in designing and developing websites, prepared to offer the best solutions for your idea. Contact us!