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Website design cost guide

What do you need a website for?

Understanding the purpose of your potential website is essential. By identifying your business’s need for a digital presence, you can then decide on the type of website you need.

Matt Stabeler at BigBadWeb explained the different motives behind a business getting their very own website:

“For some businesses, it’s simply a web presence that potential new customers use to find your contact details and fills their confidence in your professional profile. In this case, your focus is likely to be on ensuring your website shows up in searches.

For other businesses, your website might be a window into your core business, for example an e-commerce site, or property sales, or an online brochure for your unique product or service. This leads to a more critical focus on how well each page of the site performs in terms of search engine optimisation, and optimising user experience to encourage your users to buying your product, or improve the number of new leads, or convert leads to sales.”

Why should I pay for a website design?

For many potential customers, your website is their main experience with your brand. The better it is, the more likely they will be to buy from you. With that in mind, paying a website design cost is a smart investment to secure your online presence and bring in new sales.

If you want to appear professional online then you’ll need a good-looking website, that clearly explains what you do and encourages people to buy from you. In fact, 94% of first impressions of a website are based on the design. If your website takes an age to load, has broken images and content, or is generally a nightmare to navigate, it can put off potential customers.

It’s well worth mentioning that a website designer is someone who visually creates the look and layout of your website. A website developer is a technical expert who will build the website through coding – replicating the design provided by a designer.

So, if you don’t know your HTML from your CMS, or your SEO from your WYSIWYG, let us help you understand the cost of website design.

How much does website design cost?

Type of websiteCost + VAT
(Range low - high)
Average cost
Website design cost£495 - £15,000£7,747.50
Ecommerce website design cost£1,000 - £5,000£3,000
Wordpress website design cost£400 - £7,000£3,700
Bespoke website design cost£2,500 - £10,000£6,250

The cost of website design can vary drastically depending on what you need:

  • Do you want a simple 10-page site, or a complex Ecommerce website with thousands of products?
  • Is your content mostly text, or do you need videos created and animation added?
  • Are you happy with standard templates or do you want to really stand out?

We’ll go into these areas in more detail below to help you decide exactly what you need. Depending on those choices your website design cost could vary from £495 to £15,000, and even beyond if you’re really ambitious.

Find a web designer near you

Professional website design costCommon types of web design

Depending on how much content you need and what activities you want your team and your customers to perform, you’ll need to choose from one of the below options:

Static website cost

Although not very common anymore, a static website is designed solely by the web developer and can only be updated by them. You’ll save money this way initially but bear in mind you’ll have to pay them every time you want a page changing or adding.

A static website can cost as little as £495.

WordPress website design cost

A much more modern approach to web design, a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress, gives you the ability to update your own content any time for free. It’s also known as a “database driven website” as the content is stored in a central database. You’ll still need to pay a web developer to create the overall design but after that you have much greater control.

This is done through a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get), so named as the content appears the same on the website as how it looks when you add it in the editor, much like on a Word document. The most common CMS is WordPress but there’s also Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Joomla and many more with equally unusual names.

WordPress website design costs between £400 – £7,000 depending on the site’s complexity, and around £3,700 on average.

Ecommerce website design cost

In addition to having the ability to add pages to your site, you could need to add products and services. Most importantly, you may need the ability to have a shopping cart and process payments through the site. This can be done with an Ecommerce website, such as by using a third-party tool like Shopify, as a plugin to your CMS, or by using a dedicated Ecommerce CMS (e.g. Magento).

Depending on this choice, your Ecommerce website design cost can vary between £1,000 – £5,000. It may even cost much more than this if you need a very large site, or need help adding products to the site.

Bespoke website design cost

The most expensive type of website is one that’s bespoke. This means it will be 100% tailored to your specific needs.

Whilst you can save money on WordPress website design costs by using a template, there’s always the risk your site will look similar to someone else’s. Spending the money on bespoke website design means you’ll have something unique but also that you’ll need a larger budget.

Bespoke website designs cost from £2,500 – £10,000, although this is really only the tip of the iceberg. Large brands spend hundreds of thousands on their sites, especially when they have to integrate them with complex internal systems. For example, Hertz spent over $32 million on a website that never even went live!

Ecommerce website design costBenefits of paying for website design

In addition to the benefits in the introduction, a new website can also:

  • Give your business a more prestigious look and feel.
  • Drive more sales by appearing more professional.
  • Enable you to take payments online.
  • Improve your rankings in search engines, giving you more customers.
  • Make it easier for customers to find key information.
  • Give you more control over your content, so you can easily add and update pages.
  • Let you include better visuals and even videos.
  • Act as a clear and straightforward way of displaying essential information for users.
  • Cut down on Customer Service calls by giving people the information they need online.

Factors affecting website design cost

Along with the type of website, your website design costs will vary based on:

  • Size of site: The more pages you have, the more you’ll pay. The exception to this is if you upload the content yourself, although this can be a long process.
  • Clarity of the brief: When contacting a web developer, you should try to make your instructions as clear as possible on what you need, as well as any other sites you like. The cost of website design can quickly spiral if you change your mind later, on what you need.
  • Existing site: If you already have a website and are happy with the content but not the design, it will be quicker and cheaper to build a new one than if you need brand new content.
  • Complexity of design: If you need a login area, custom forms, database connections, lots of plugins and fancy menus (etc.), you’ll pay more than for a simpler site.
  • Experience of web designer: The more experienced your web designer, the more you’ll pay. Equally, very large web development agencies typically charge more than smaller ones, who charge more than freelancers.
  • Imagery, photography and videos: If you don’t have very good photography available, then it can be hard to make a good-looking website. This may be the perfect time to invest in new photography and even video to really make the site stand out.
  • Location: Where you are located in the UK will affect the price you pay. Specialists in London and the South-East generally charge more than elsewhere.
  • Website app: Turning your website into an app for mobile devices allows people to access your site any time. It’s great for Ecommerce sites, or so users can quickly login to your site, but it does carry an extra cost.
  • Maintenance: Some web developers offer monthly maintenance packages. This can be useful if you need adhoc help adding content or updating plugins. This is often bundled with hosting, so you only need one monthly fee to cover everything.

How can I promote my website?

Once you’ve got your new website, it won’t instantly bring in new customers, so you’ll need to promote it. There’s a lot to understand in each of these areas so we’ve compiled some of the best guides around to help you get started. Click on any of the links below to learn more.

Can I design a website myself?

Whilst it’s true that designing a website can be as simple as downloading WordPress and a theme, unless you know what you’re doing it’s very hard to create a great design. If you don’t know how to code, or understand the ins and outs of your CMS, you’ll end up with the same design as hundreds of other sites and will have to make a lot of compromises.

Professional website design costs more but is well worth it as you’ll get a much higher quality design that is user friendly and bug-free. Plus, you’ll have the assurance any online payments will be processed correctly via your Ecommerce site. They can even advise on other ways to market your site, such as SEO.

For these reasons, we would recommend hiring a professional web developer. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised website design cost use our free search feature.


Where can I go for website design?

If you would like a new website developed, then you can choose from the following places to help realise your vision:

  • Freelance designer
  • Web design agency
  • Offshore web company
  • DIY templates

What other costs are involved with website design?

Along with the cost of website design, you will also need to pay for:

  • Website hosting
  • Domain name registration
  • Images (either via new photography or for them to be purchased from a stock photo site)
  • Content writing
  • SEO and other marketing

What is the typical process from design to development?

We spoke to Matt Stabeler at BigBadWeb to get into the nitty-gritty of creating a website:

“There are many aspects to building a new website or platform. This includes forming a brief for your website, the design, coding, testing, publishing, and ongoing operations. In many cases, especially when working with a freelancer, these parts are all done by the same person. In some cases, you might find this split is between a visual designer and a technical developer.

The designer and developer will be involved with the up-front understanding of what you are trying to achieve, the requirements of gathering and analysis for what you’re looking for. A designer will then create a design based on your requirements, and the developer will plan any technical solutions that need to be put in place to implement the design.

When the work is underway, you, the designer and developer will do some quality control in the form of testing, and ultimately the developer will publish your website/platform/product.

After that, you might repeat this cycle when you want make changes, or add new features.”

Website design checklist

  • Website design costs can be offset by the time saved on Customer Service queries and by increasing sales
  • Improving your website can attract and retain new customers
  • The type of website will vary the cost a lot. Static sites are the cheapest and bespoke website design costs are the highest
  • Being clear on what you need, and providing exiting content and images, can reduce the cost
  • Don’t forget to do SEO, PPC and other promotion to help market the site

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