How Much Does a Website Cost in 2018?

When it comes to website design cost, it is understandable to want a "great" website at the lowest cost. But, since there is a wide range of web design quotes online (from $50 to $30,000+), the answer to that question depends on your expectation of the website and your overall goals. In this article, I will point out the three most common types of website design and the prices and services to expect for each. That way, you will be more informed to make the right decision which will save you time, money, effort and headaches. Let's get started.

First, before you look for someone to design a website, here are two important questions you should contemplate:

  1. What do you want to do with your website?
  2. What do you want to accomplish with your website? (Your Goals)

How Much Does a Website Cost in 2018?

Whether you pay $50 or $10,000 for a website, if you don’t have the answers for these two questions, your chances of achieving your goals will be slim. There’s a famous quote by Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

For example, let’s say you want to start a small lawn care business website. Let’s try to answer those two questions:

  1. What do you want to do with your website?

Answer: I want to promote my small lawn care business online so people can find my business in the cities I can serve.

  1. What do you want to accomplish with your website? (Your Goals)

Answer: I need my website to answer most of the common questions received from my potential customers. This will save me the time since I don’t have to answer the same questions multiple times, and it will provide answers quickly for those who are interested or starting to compare services. I also want at least 20 potential leads to contact me because they found my website online.

Second, website designs come in three types: Brochure Website Design, Website Design and Custom Website Design. I will point out their specialties, price ranges, and the services most often provided in their offerings:


Brochure Website Design

This provider offers template websites with the purpose to duplicating and selling them to as many customers as possible. And since their prices are cheap, customer service and product quality often hold to a lower standard. Their website design prices range between $50 to $600. Here are the things you would most likely see offered:

  1. You can choose one website template from their library of templates.
  2. You populate the content onto that template yourself, but if you pay closer to the $600 price range the provider might do that for you (within a limited number of hours).
  3. They can set up your website to host with them on a shared host server for only $5 to $10 a month.
  4. On-site search engine optimization (SEO) is an additional service with a fee.
  5. If for some reason your website is hacked, there is a fee to clean up and recover your site.
  6. Other services are available for additional fees.

We shouldn’t blame them for taking this approach to business. It’s a valid business model to serve the masses because the majority of people prefer to accept the lowest cost first, and figure out the rest later. So, if there is a demand, there is a supply. The worse thing in this example is that the internet has been flooded with tens of thousands of new brochure websites every day. For any new website to stand out and communicate effectively with the crowd, it will require a different website design approach.


Website Design

Based on your business needs, this provider will choose a Content Management System (CMS) template website that is close to what you want, then program and adjust its design to meet your expectations. Providers of this web design will typically charge between $2,500 to $7,000. Here are features you will most likely see in their offers:

  1. They meet with you (in person or over a video conference call) to learn about you, your organization and your needs. They then suggest a few CMS template websites for you to choose from. After you select the one you like, they will adjust and program the site to meet your needs.
  2. Although they are starting out with a template website, their adjustments can make your website design standout from other brochure websites.
  3. They (should) have a service agreement contract for your project which you both sign.
  4. Most of them include on-site SEO optimization as part of your web design project.
  5. They also provide web hosting if you would like to host with them after your site is complete.
  6. Their tech team members often are more skillful and experienced than those who handle the less expensive sites.


Custom Website Design

If you want a unique website for your organization with mainly custom layouts and features, then you should seek out this style of web design for your project. This type of provider has a strong team of skilled, experienced professionals who can customize your website on many levels. Most of them also build your website on a CMS platform.  Their web design quotes are often in the high range of $10,000 to $30,000+. For that reason, I only suggest this provider to well-established organizations who want their websites custom redesigned. Here are the services you can expect from this provider:

  1. They require to meet you in person or over a video conference call to learn, in detail, about you, your organization and your project. They suggest the best approach and site design cost.
  2. Once you decide to move forward, they will have a service agreement contract to go over with you, that you both sign. They will make sure you both fully understand the obligations you have to each other.
  3. They inform you at every stage of your website design project to make sure you are satisfied with the work at each stage before moving to the next.
  4. Their projects often include content propagation, on-site SEO optimization, website coaching, etc. to make sure all the bases are covered.
  5. They often provide web hosting, SEO, social media marketing, etc. as additional services.
  6. Their tech team members are often more skilled and experienced than in the two categories mentioned above.

Now that you know the two questions to answer before looking for a web design provider and the three types of providers with their prices and services, you should be able to choose a provider wisely in 2018.


Bonus

Remember, having a website is just half the battle. You need a provider that can help you succeed online. Therefore, when you interview providers, this is a question you should ask each of them to see whether they are the real deal digital marketer or a digital faker. “What are the top factors you think would significantly increase my website’s chance of success with search engines like Google.com?

Here is an article that will explain to you The Top Key Factors Google Uses to Rank Websites. Educate yourself about this ahead of time, and you will increase your chance of finding the ideal website designer who can help you with your online marketing success. I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it with others on your social media pages. Thank you for reading!


Phong T. Nguyen

BA from St. Olaf College
MBA from University of St. Thomas
SEO from "the School of Hard Knocks."