When it comes to price-checking website design services, it’s tough to determine what’s reasonable and what’s not. In this post, my goal is to clear up that confusion so that you can feel good about the amount you decide to invest, and what to expect when investing in a website.
That said, let’s dive right into four of the key factors that tend to influence the price of website design services.
The Designer’s Experience Level
In general, the more experience a designer has, the more you can expect to pay for their services. Of course, this isn’t always the case. I’ve seen fairly new designers charge premium prices, and I’ve seen plenty of seasoned pros with super affordable rates.
This is one factor that really does depend on the designer, and that designer’s unique situation. There isn’t a “rule” about how much you should pay someone who has been designing for 2-3 years versus someone who has been designing for 10+ years.
Still, experience level is something to keep in mind because designers with more years of experience under their belt can sometimes offer higher quality work, faster turnaround time, and other added value. They may also have built up a team of contractors or employees! But again, this varies from designer to designer, so ask questions and don’t be afraid to request references and work samples (especially if their site doesn’t have testimonials or a well-rounded portfolio).
Also note, a designer’s location can also influence their prices simply due to differences in cost of living. For example, a designer in California might charge more than, say, a designer in Kansas.
Included Website ‘Extras’
When comparing prices of different design packages, pay special attention to any “extras” that might be included.
Many designers include services such as strategy, maintenance, logo design and more in some of their packages. And while these “extra” services are incredibly valuable, not everybody needs them.
So if you find a designer you want to work with, but their packages are a bit beyond your budget, see if the packages include “extras” you could do without. The designer might be willing to customize a package that fits within your price range.
Often, the website platform you choose (i.e. WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) can play a big role in the price you should expect to pay for a website design.
WordPress sites, for example, have a lot more customization options than Squarespace sites do. That said, WordPress site design projects tend to cost more because they typically require more time and effort than Squarespace projects.
This factor is one worth considering well in advance, since picking a platform that’s simpler to work with could save you quite a bit of money on website design services. If you’re still trying to decide which website platform is right for you, this video can help.
Website Features & Functionality
The amount of custom features and functionality your site needs also impacts the price of website design services. And today, even simple and easy-to-use platforms like Squarespace offer lots of customization options and functionality.
So, although you may pick the simplest, easiest-to-use website platform out there, if your site requires special functionality (like a shop, podcast display, etc.) and/or added customization, expect to pay more for design services since these elements will require more time and effort on your designer’s part. Especially if you are going to have a shop, you can expect the price to probably go up a couple thousand dollars.
Now that you know several factors that impact website design prices, hopefully this will help you price-compare with confidence, and pick a website designer who’s right for you and your budget.
All that to say…
I would caution against anyone who says they can build you a full website for less than $1,000. There are exceptions – I have a Starter website package that is less than that, BUT… it’s a pre-picked template and only four pages. This is drastically different than my usual website offer.
There is also a difference between a designer and a developer. Developers do more in-depth customization and coding. If you have a lot of specific design customizations you want, you may need a developer. Your designer may need to outsource parts of your project to a developer. The investment for your website may be higher if you need a developer.
If you want even more budget-friendly website options, I cover more money-saving tips in this week’s video: