If you’re looking for a website designer for your small business website a quick Google search or dive into Facebook will show you results ranging from £150 to £15,000. With all things, including website design, not being equal, how do you know what you’re paying for, what’s the right setup for you and what’s the right price for it. 

The myth that’s ‘you get what you pay for’ 

It would be very easy to start this post with ‘you get what you pay for’ and in certain cases that’s true. But with big agencies charging £15k to dump your content into a pre-built template (that’s not even built by them) sadly you can’t judge someone’s skill, creativity or professionalism based on what they charge. In this case less isn’t more but more isn’t more either. 

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So how are website costs made up? 

To understand how website costs are created you need to know the setup of the website and where the costs occur: 

Hosting 

This is the server the website files are kept on. Hosting packages vary depending on the type of server used, the software on it and the skill of the developer configuring it. 

The hosting will directly influence the speed of your website, the load time of the pages, how many errors your website throws up, the search results and ultimately whether search engines choose to display your website in their search results. 

Pro tip - free hosting will not help your website to rank on search engines so do not choose a website builder that gives you free hosting. 

Software 

Whilst WordPress itself is free, you don’t want to be using a free template or theme for your website. Free themes don’t offer enough flexibility for your website, it can be like trying to jam a round peg into a square hole in terms of trying to get your content to fit the theme and you often can’t build and layer the functions you need onto them. Also - free websites look cheap so if you’re looking to sell your products or services through your website, free is not the way to go. 

A website developer working in WordPress will use a paid-for theme and tools for your website and this cost will be incorporated into the cost of the website. 

On top of the theme your website will most likely have additional plugins which extend the functionality of your theme - for example - contact forms, payment gateways, membership options etc. A lot of these plugins will have a free and a pro version which will either be a one-off or annual payment. 

Pro tip - ask your developer what theme they plan to build your website in and whether there will be any ongoing costs after the initial build. 

Build time 

Website build times can vary and even a simple website can take a while to optimise for mobiles. It’s not just a case of what you see on the page, it’s the background setup, theme settings and options, page design, optimisation, it all adds up. A 5 page website can take up to 100 hours to setup, design, build and test before it gets signed off by the client. Often website designers will quote a price for the whole website rather than a per page or per hour price to incorporate this. 

Pro tip - steer clear of designers who quote per hour for a new website build as it can either get very expensive or it could be very basic as they try to keep costs low/within expectation. 

Experience

When working with an experienced website designer you can expect them to offer tips and suggestions on your website, talk through your processes and offer a variety of options. This experience will be built up from working on a variety of websites, if not in the same industry as you, then in similar industries, alongside knowing the different types of software available to make this happen. 

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Processes

A developer who has good processes for signing up and onboarding new clients has usually spent years honing and refining their processes to get to that point. Great processes include: 

Terms of Service which have been crafted to their way of working, rather than a generic document printed off the internet. 

Clear instruction as to what they need from you to build the website and when. 

Insurance. If something goes hideously wrong it’s nice to know the developer’s insured. 

Skill

Knowing the theory and implementing it are 2 different things. An experienced developer will also have the skillset to implement the functions you want on your website as opposed to a developer who is using limited templates which don’t allow for extended functions. 

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As you can see pricing a website build or estimating what a developer or designer will charge isn't a simple process, particularly if you're looking for a custom built website with specific plugins and functionality. Whilst you won't necessarily get what you're looking for, from a designer who charges the least, you won't always get an all singing, all dancing service from someone charging the most either.

Your website is your online reflection of you and your business. It's your first line of marketing and where people will be finding you. The most important part of the design and build is your experience. It can be worth spending more to work with a developer who has the experience to launch your website online as well as give you a great experience. Website projects are very relationship based so work with someone who has the skills and portfolio to match the style of website you want, as well as someone you feel is a good personality match for you.

If you're thinking of having a new website built or an existing website rebuilt, I'd love to see if I can help you. Book a complementary, no-obligation Zoom call with me, using the button below and let's get started.

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