How Much Should a Website Design Cost?

Let’s talk about how much website design should cost with a little analogy. Let’s say that you walk into a used car lot and ask the dealer to show you the least expensive car in the lot. He walks you over to a hunk of junk hidden in the back corner of the lot where it wouldn’t be a visible eyesore from the road.

“This is the cheapest car we have,” he says with some shame knowing such a rundown rust bucket is permitted to tarnish his otherwise presentable car lot. “But you have to understand that there are a lot of things broken on it. If you have the budget for something slightly better, you could possibly get one of these…”

“Shh…” you say as you begin to count the wheels on the car. “One. Two. Three. Four. Yep, that’s a car alright. I’ll get it.”

This approach to car buying would be ridiculous. Sure, all cars have four wheels. Sure, passing up one 4-wheeled vehicle for a much cheaper version of the same thing may seem attractive to someone who wants to be wise with their money. But there is so much more to what you are buying than that. You have to consider the age of the vehicle, the mileage, the state of the transmission and whether the rust on the undercarriage will make your purchase utterly worthless in less than 6 months.

Cost vs. Price: Consider What You’re Getting

The illustration of the bargain-shopping car-purchaser highlights a common dilemma when it comes to buying anything that isn’t immediately disposable.

If you are going to have to live with your purchase for any amount of time afterwards, buying something has two costs: initial and ongoing.

With website design, this is also the case. Paying for a poorly-designed website or avoiding paying entirely by trying to do it yourself may seem attractive for its low initial price. However, when you consider the ongoing cost of a cheap website, the real cost starts to add up.

Cheap Web Design Can Be a Waste of Money

There are many reasons to hire a web design company to create a custom appearance for your internet presence. As a business owner, your website is your professional introduction on the internet. If you pay an unprofessional company to design your website, the result will make your company look unprofessional.

Besides reflecting poorly on your brand, a cheaply-built website is hard to navigate and doesn’t translate website visitors into customers who are thrilled with your product/service. Pretty soon, the ongoing cost of operation eats up your initial savings and spits out the bones.

Worse than a cheap car limping in and out of mechanic shops just to stay on the road, a bad website can be a sinkhole of lost profit opportunities without you even knowing it.

Free Website Builders Can Be a Waste of Time

While cheap web design companies can be a waste of money, free website builders can be a waste of time. Many of these low-cost solutions promise a quick and easy way to create a professional website without hiring a web design firm.

The problem is that, unless it’s your business to create websites on these platforms on a regular basis, designing a website on a free website builder is almost guaranteed to take away time from your business. Even on the most intuitive website builders there is a new interface to learn and decisions you must make about what your website should say and why.

This raises the question then of what your time as a business owner is worth. The longer you spend on your website, trying to watch tutorial videos late at night, trying to understand fundamental design, trying to understand marketing funnels, advertising psychology and user experience, the longer you are kept from doing what you are supposed to be doing — running your business. Is that time you can afford to spend? What’s more is that the end result of your efforts might not hold a candle to one of your competitors who opted for a professional website design firm.

Talk About Why You Need a Website

When you have the proper perspective on your need for a website, you can more accurately evaluate the qualities that make one website design company more worth the price than another.

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself:

  • Do you need a website for validating your small business as a seal of legitimacy?
  • Do you anticipate users reading about your services and calling you from your website?
  • Do you anticipate users finding you with Google, social media, or advertising?
  • Is your business information constantly in need of updates or will it remain the same for a while?
  • Is there a unique quality about your company that could really sell your business well if it was communicated across all online and offline materials?
  • What are your competitors up to these days with their online marketing tactics?

When you consider the above questions going into web design shopping, you can more accurately assess how you evaluate the real cost and value of a web design. With more ambitious goals, the cost goes up but so does the value that you are getting for your money.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Website from Key Web?

The Value of a Custom Web Design from Key Web Concepts

Here at Key Web Concepts, we believe in giving you as much value for your dollar as we can.

This value starts with your initial consultation. We spend time meeting with you in-person or on the phone at your discretion to talk about what your needs are and how we can best approach designing your website.

We then give you a proposal with the estimate cost and ask that you meet with us for a user experience strategy session. In this meeting we delve into who your customer really is and how your site can improve their understanding of what your company has to offer thus increasing the likelihood that they will become a customer.

We then optimize your website’s text and visual elements for both your users who are visiting your website and for search engines where users can discover your website. The end result is a website that attracts visitors and turns them into valuable customers.

The Cost of Designing a Website With Us

As you can see from our process, while the steps for designing your website remain the same, how we execute each step of a web design varies drastically from client to client. We don’t cut corners by recycling templates from one website design to another.

Because of the variety of needs and goals that we encounter, our pricing structure is based on the hours we will actually put into creating your website. So, unfortunately and fortunately, there isn’t one set price that we can quote for a website.

We can, however, tell you that the typical cost of new, fully-customized, search engine optimized and mobile-responsive website from Key Web is less than half of what you might spend on a used car. That hardly sounds like a lemon to us!