An Ultimate Guide to Website Design Costs in 2021

Your Business Website is the Single Most Important Marketing Weapon That You Have


Do You Have an Old Website that Needs to be Revamped?

Your business website is the single most important marketing weapon. It is the face of your business online, and the most preferred hub prospects would visit before making any deal with you.

With more than 22 years of business experience and delivering all types of website design solutions for startups to medium-sized enterprises in Denver, we’ve been through it all.

Thankfully, businesses have started realizing how important it is to have a functioning website.

But imagine you have an old website that needs to be revamped. What do you do? Would you hire a freelance website designer or use drag-and-drop website builders? Would you build it yourself or hire an agency?

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Table of Contents:

Let’s cut the chase. The average cost of designing a website is $2500. But several small and medium businesses end up investing many thousands of dollars. Why is there such a discrepancy in website design costs?

Since small and medium businesses usually have limited knowledge on how much a website redesign should cost, we’re here to answer this question for you.


The Cost of Designing Websites Yourself

When it comes to website design costs, these often range anywhere from $500 to $10,000, and even more. If you go the DIY route, expect to invest up to $5,000.

When it comes to a complex set of website functionalities, you need good developers and coders, which many businesses don’t have. Another harsh reality is to invest hundreds of hours in doing everything yourself.

Website design costs vary from industry to industry and platform to platform. For example, a static website intended to serve as a portfolio can be built for less than $100.

Thanks to Wix, Squarespace, and other drag-and-drop website builders, you can instantly get a domain and monthly hosting with high-quality templates starting at just $30. An ongoing payment of $10 to $20 each month will get you a nominal-looking website.

But that’s pretty much it. You get what you pay for. You can add blogs, but you won’t have complete control over your website as it would be closed-source.

The moment you start building traffic and require more functionality, you will need to move to a custom website design solution. Don’t expect a website designed using a drag-and-drop website builder to compete with the world’s leading brands.

A Professional Website That is Easy to Use

Your business website is the single most important marketing weapon. It is the face of your business online, and the most preferred hub prospects would visit before making any deal with you.

With more than 22 years of business experience and delivering all types of website design solutions for startups to medium-sized enterprises in Denver, we’ve been through it all.

Elements to Consider

What are the Three Main Website Design Elements to Consider?

Your website is an amalgamation of three main elements that work together to deliver flawless performance and reliability. These are:

  • User Interface: Your website’s navigation and how users interact with it. What are the difficulties they may encounter and how can you address them?
  • Graphic Design: Using high-res images, unique graphics, vector images that automatically adjust to screen sizes without pixelating, brand logos, and everything in between. Graphic design elements immediately distinguish your website from the rest.
  • User Experience: What feelings and experiences do users have when browsing your website?

At Sitewired, we treat each website uniquely, even if it’s in the same niche. While graphics and visuals are critical to enhancing your brand image, it’s your website’s usability that differentiates it from others.

You need to decide what can and cannot be done on your website. Do you want a website that allows people to sign up and upload documents? Sure, it can be done, but it will require different backend functionalities and a complex development procedure.

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The Three Primary Methods for Building a Website:

  • Using drag-and-drop website builders like Wix, Squarespace, etc.
  • Using WordPress and/or Drupal or other open-source CMS with a free or paid theme
  • Completely customized from scratch and based exactly on your requirements

Drag-and-drop website builders, as we have already discussed, do not require coding knowledge. You get hundreds of free templates, ready to take your website live! It costs around $13 to $20 per month. However, these builders have several limitations. While no coding is required, you can’t really add custom functionality to your website.

When you build a website using WordPress, you don’t have to pay for CMS (Content Management System). A CMS is software that lets you build new pages, create new blogs, and maintain and update your website.

Although WordPress is open-source and free, you should expect to pay for essentials like website hosting, SSL certificates, themes, and plugins. Even at low-end, if you build your own WordPress website without hiring a designer or developer, you can expect to spend between $250 and $500.

The most expensive method is to build a site from scratch based exactly on your requirements. This can set you back approximately in between $5,000 to $15,000 if you want a complex e-commerce site with 50+ pages and an integrated complete payment solution.


Factors Impacting Website Design Costs

There are a number of factors that impact the cost of designing and building a quality, fully functional website:

  • Size of company
  • Website requirements (i.e. static or blog/magazine/app/SaaS)
  • Website style
  • Open-source (WordPress, Drupal, etc.)
  • Closed-source (custom from scratch using PHP, HTML, etc., which costs more than open-source)
  • Number of pages
  • Website functionality
  • Type of website (e-commerce, magazine, blog, portfolio, basic, etc.) 


Breakdown of Website Design Costs

At Sitewired, we cater to startups and small and medium-sized businesses in Denver, Co. Based on our experience, here is a breakdown of costs for different tiers:

  • Startups and small businesses – $1,000 to $10,000
  • Medium-sized businesses – $10,000 to $25,000
  • Large businesses and enterprises – $25,000 to $50,000 


Website Essentials

Here is a further breakdown of website essentials:

  • Domain registration – $15 to $40 per year
  • Website hosting – $70 to $200 per year
  • Basic website design – $1000 to $10,000
  • SSL Certificate – Free to $1,000 per year

Depending on your requirements, you can see how quickly these costs add up. Nothing we have discussed so far is a luxury. You need reliable website hosting and also an SSL certificate to protect your website from hackers.

SSL certificates aren’t vital only for e-commerce sites anymore. Google has made SSL certificates an important ranking indicator for websites.

When it comes to website design, startups and small businesses need to enhance their business identity online. Ideally, every website design package should be responsive on mobile devices.

If you are a startup or small business, we understand that you’re bootstrapped and don’t have the budget of a large enterprise. Realistically, you shouldn’t expect to spend more than $5,000 for a small website with all the important pages of your business, such as Home, About Us, Services, Contact, and a blog.

If you are looking for an e-commerce store, there may be additional costs you need to consider, such as:

  • Creation of pages required for each product
  • Payment method integration (Credit/Debit Card, Venmo, Paypal, Stripe, etc.)
  • Custom coding to ensure payment protection
  • Paid SSL Certificate

An e-commerce website for a startup can set you back anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, again dependent upon how complex your requirements are.

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Why is Hiring an Agency the Most Expensive Option?

While hiring a website designing agency is the costliest option, it goes without saying it’s also the wisest.

Engaging with a digital marketing agency goes a long way than just the aesthetics. Agencies have some of the best coders, developers, marketers, and designers to optimize the user experience of your website.

With more resources at their disposal, an agency gives you the highest return on your investment, which is why startups and small businesses hire them to redesign websites.


Concluding Thoughts

Your website is an indirect salesman of your company. An outdated website that looks clunky and difficult to navigate will drive potential investors, customers, and leads away from your business.

More than 75% of your customers will judge your business’s credibility based on the speed, performance, and overall design of your website.

Professional development agencies create websites with complex functionality that can never be achieved using a freelance designer or drag-and-drop website builders.

Still confused? We’re here to help. Talk to us or send in your website for a detailed, unbiased critique.