Website design price guide

I was reading through the Web Design survey by AListApart and found some of the results quite interesting. As a director of a web design company it was good to see how we compare to other companies. One statistic I’ve always wanted to know is the average price a website design/development project.

Broad I know but the price of website design and development fluctuates greatly and its something that has always bothered me. I tried looking for a decent guide or survey on the matter but couldn’t find anything. If anybody knows of one please let me know!

On some quick research of this topic I put “website design prices” in to some search engines hoping to find some sites or blogs that gave an overview of prices across the industry but to my surprise all I got were company guides for individual companies. From these results and a little experience, I grouped prices in to the type of company. I got it down to:

  • Students

Normally getting work from forums or small online communities. Prices range from £25 to a few hundred pounds.

  • Part-time individuals, usually working from home

A lot of these guys have some decent search rankings and seem to come up quite often. Given away by their address and lack of any decent contact details. Prices normally range from £100 – £500.

  • One man bands, usually working from home

Their website tends to look more professional and less outdated, they have a number of clients on the books and provide contact details for office hours. I’d imagine price ranges are quite broad in this category. From a couple of hundred pounds for a simple site to hundreds of pounds a day for someone with a decent reputation.

  • Small (often niche) companies

I’m classifying this group by any company that has more than one employee and works in designated offices. At this level the stakes at much higher with larger outgoing expenses and so higher prices are to be expected (with the hope of better service and support). I’d say sites at this level are likely to take at the least a couple of days to complete and so a basic site would start at £500. Additional features, such as shopping carts or content management systems are likely to be 3rd party or generic.

  • Design agencies

A large number of staff, marketing teams, design teams, development teams and project managers. Prices are sometimes per hour rather than per project. The price of a standard site is likely to set you back at least £2000 and there won’t be many bells or whistles for that price. Prices of £10,000 – £20,000 aren’t out of the ordinary for bespoke development and if you’re getting an entire package (seo, marketing, print media, training, etc) I’m sure it will cost a lot more.

Now obviously these prices aren’t completely accurate and not every company fits in to one of these groups or sticks to these prices but from my experience its the sort of prices one should expect to pay for a simple site with a few pages and a nice bespoke design.

There are countless people that expect to pay less than £500 for a website. If they aren’t convinced to spend more on a decent solution they are often left disappointed. On the other hand I’ve met companies that have spent large sums of money of a website that isn’t up to the task and need to update it within a short space of time.

I’d say stick with “you get what you pay for” – this isn’t always true but if you want to make any return on investment you’ve got to put a decent amount of investment in.

There seems to be a stigma that website designers charge a lot for nothing but in most cases I don’t think thats true. Big budgets are set aside for other forms of advertising, perhaps it is just time before the masses accept the true price of a decent presence on the web?