how much does a website cost?

​Website designers come from all walks of life and from many disciplines. Some are full time and some do it on the side. You have college kids and hobbyists, full time professional freelance website designers (individuals) and website design companies or agencies. It can be jolting to see the difference between college student website design fees, freelance professional fees and full blown agency fees. I aim to position myself in the sweet spot between amateur and agency fees.

I’m a seasoned professional who has worked for both myself and agencies. I can accomplish what an agency can, I just can’t serve as many clients simultaneously. As a client and customer who is spending their own dollar, you should choose the type of designer that you feel comfortable with.

Fast, Cheap or Good?

Just like most products you find at the drug store, website design fees can range from economy to average to luxury, so can websites. Basically, you get what you pay for. If you buy the most inexpensive paper towel, you may go through more of them because they are lower quality than the most expensive paper towel. If you go with a cheap website designer, you may get a product that will not work as well and will need lots of tune ups for most of it’s lifespan.

I am always 100% transparent with my fees.

I’m going to explain how I establish my website design fees for a typical small business website. Keep in mind, your website fee may vary based on many different factors. Those factors will be listed in your detailed quote once you engage my services.

Here’s a task & price breakdown of a website I built last year (based on a rate of $85)

  • Planning & Project Management (meetings, phone & email correspondence) $680 (8 hours)
  • Server Setup and CMS/plugin Install $340 (4 hours)
  • Graphic Design For the Screen $340 (4 hours)
  • Convert Existing Content to New Website Parameters $340 (4 hours)
  • New Content Writing & Development $595 (7 hours)
  • Web Page Build Outs $595 (7 hours)
  • Conversion Optimization (Lead generating / Calls To Actions) $425 (5 hours)
  • Search Engine Optimization $850 (10 hours)
  • Theme Customization $850 (10 hours)
  • Integrations $425 (5 hours)
  • Testing $425 (5 hours)
  • Training One Person to Maintain Basic Content $199 (flat rate)

Total: $6,064 


Website Scope Breakdown

Planning & Project Management

Project planning, meetings, phone & email correspondence $680 (8 hours)

First, a lot of brain power and work time goes into the thought process before any actual designing or developing even happens. I learn about your business from the inside out. We need to know the business history and customer experience in order to accurately translate them into a digital (internet) format. That information will determine specific aspects of the project.



Server Setup and CMS/plugin Install $340 (4 hours)

The fun part. (Psych!) This is a monotonous phase that you simply need to start with every time you build a new website. Some of the tasks included in this phase are:

  • Domain name registration
  • Hosting server set up
  • WordPress installation
  • Private domain registration (so you get less marketing calls)
  • Plugin sourcing and install
  • Theme sourcing and install


Graphic Design

Optimize images for web, create stylistic graphics, photo editing, pixel bending $340 (4 hours)

Not all content delivered to a website design is going to be ready to go for the web. Just because we want to include a high-res photo in one place doesn’t mean it needs to be that size everywhere else on the site. If it is, it will slow down the site and contribute to lower Google rankings. There is usually on-going graphic design happening during a website build, even after the “design” phases has been completed.



Convert Existing Content to New Website Parameters $340 (4 hours)
New content development $595 (7 hours)
Web Pages Build Out $595 (7 hours)

Once the framework has been setup, we can fill it up. I’ll gather the content from you, my client. I’ll design some new content and edit what I’ve been given to fit the website perfectly. I’ll build out every page around the content. The site is built to showcase the content, not showcase the site. It’s all about your businesses’s information being clearly and accurately portrayed.


Optimization (SEO and Conversion)

Conversion Optimization (Lead generating / Calls To Actions) $425 (5 hours)
Search Engine Optimization $850 (10 hours)

Once the content is loaded, we can go back through and fill in the gaps where optimization is necessary. I’ll be optimizing along the way. but editing your work is imperative for a fully-optimized website. I’ll comb through each section of each page and ensure all possible SEO standards are met. I’ll also be moving and placing buttons, links and content in the best place for users to read or access. Placing a button here instead of there can mean the difference between a few leads and a ton of leads.



Theme Customization $850 (10 hours)

Once the bones are in place, I’ll apply your branding cues like colors, fonts, and logos. I’ll spend a lot of time on this because each website and each WordPress theme is different. Plus, I pay extremely close attention to detail. That attention is seen in the quality and consistency of my website designs.



Integrations $425 (5 hours)

Whether it’s a social media feed, email marketing sign up forms, customized legally binding contract forms, or something unique to your website, integrating with other platforms takes time and energy. It may seem like you can connect two cables, flip a switch and ta-da, it works! Though, that is hardly ever the case. Integrating platforms can help your site stand out and attract customers. That’s because it’s an intensive task for your website designer.



Testing $425 (5 hours)

After all is said and done, it’s not quite done! Finally, we must TEST each and every page on multiple devices as to catch any quirks before publicly launching for the world to see. We’ll make sure it works every-where, every-time.


Then, we launch… and celebrate your brand new website!


If you have more questions about the cost of website design or search engine optimization, I encourage you to contact me.

Illustration by Fifteen Design


F I N E   P R I NT

  • Fees vary greatly between projects. Blog websites start at $2,500 and most small business websites start at $3,250.
  • SEO packages start at $945/month | SEO Sweep & Audit starts at $840
  • As of April 2017 my hourly rate is $105. This rate is determined based on experience and my distinct hybrid design/marketing/consulting service offerings.
  • Subject to change annually. The above was calculated at a previous rate of $85.