As you may have discovered, the question “how much does professional website design cost?” is one of those inquiries without a standard, definitive answer. It is similar to asking “how much does a car cost?” Indeed, if you want to coast through the drive-thru in a snazzy new Ferrari 812 GTS, then prepare to fork out a cool $450,000 or so. But if you’re perfectly happy cruising around in a 1995 Chrysler K-Car, then your wallet will only be about $250-$500 lighter (heck, you might even get it for free if you ask really nicely).
Yet with this in mind, there are 8 key factors that largely determine how much professional website design will cost. We highlight these below, so that you can move forward with clarity and confidence, and avoid the regret of either paying too much for too little, or just as commonly, paying too little and getting even less!
#1: Domain Name
A domain name can cost as little as $10 a year. Coveted top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com and .net typically cost more. And buying a prized domain name can cost hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars. For example, in 2019 the domain voice.com sold for a whopping $19 million!
#2: Web Hosting
In order for your website to exist on the web, it needs a place to live — i.e., a web host. Just like domain names, web hosting ranges from relatively inexpensive to fairly costly. Basic web hosting from a shared hosting provider can cost as little as $10 per month, while more advanced web hosting can cost $50-$100 per month (these are typically billed annually, and discounts are sometimes available for purchasing multiple years in advance).
Also keep in mind that some web hosting — especially those on the lower end of the price tier — may not come with email services. If so, then you can easily and inexpensively purchase email accounts separately, which include benefits like virus and spam protection. You can also sync email between your desktop PC and smartphone, to ensure that you never miss anything.
Generally speaking, the more pages a website has, the higher the professional web design cost. Why “generally speaking” and not “always”? Because not all web pages are created equal. Some are very simple and might take less than an hour to design. Others are more complex and sophisticated, and could take several days to design (including testing and debugging).
What’s more, some web pages may have minimal text, such as a headline and a paragraph or two. On the other end of the spectrum, some web pages may have hundreds or even thousands of words of text. The amount and type of content you need will have a direct impact on your professional web design cost.
#4: Responsive Design
There was a time when having responsive design — which means that websites display quickly and properly on mobile devices, and not just desktop monitors/laptops — was optional. Well, that time is over! Up to 70% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. In addition:
• 59% of global website traffic now comes from mobile —up from 31% in 2015.
• 80% of Alexa’s top-ranked websites are mobile-friendly.
• 61% of mobile users will never return to a website if it is not mobile-friendly.
The good news is that you will not necessarily pay more for this, provide that you choose a web design template that is responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly). In the distant past this was a bit of a challenge, but these days most templates are responsive. And if you wisely choose to work with a professional web design company, then you can be assured that they will ensure your website displays quickly and flawlessly on desktops as well as mobile devices.
#5: Interactive Multimedia
Another major shift in the web design world is the rise of interactive multimedia elements. These are things like videos, animations, graphs, and games, which make the experience more engaging, enjoyable, and memorable for visitors.
Adding various interactive multimedia to a website is not very expensive (unless we are talking about something really leading-edge like Chrysler’s new test of ownership tool, which showcases a vehicle’s features, provides a visual display of key statistics, and publishes feedback from owners).
Again, here is where working with a professional web design company is a smart decision, because you can focus on the interactive multimedia elements that will drive visitor engagement — and steer clear of the “cool but not really relevant” elements that will not do much but drive up your costs.
#6: Content Management System
Perhaps the greatest innovation in the web design world in the last couple of decades — or heck, maybe of all time — is a content management system (CMS).
Essentially, a CMS is type of software that allows virtually anyone — including folks who do not know the first thing about coding and HTML — to manage and update a website (pages, content, images, etc.). Some popular CMS solutions include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and several others.
A professional web design company will help you choose the right CMS for your needs, goals, and (especially) your budget.
#7: E-commerce Functionality
Another key factor that will determine your overall web design cost, is if you sell (or plan on selling) products or services directly to customers.
Generally, e-commerce websites cost more than non-e-commerce sites, due to factors such as:
• E-commerce software
• SSL certificate
• Payment processing costs
• Store themes and designs
• Add-ons and extensions
What’s more — and all else being equal — an e-commerce store with 500 items will cost more to put together than one with 50 items.
#8: Database Integration
Integrating your database with your website achieves two important goals. First, it lets your teams access key details such as customer contact information, engagement details, and so on. Second, it lets your customers log in and see relevant things such as their order history.
Database integration can cost as little as about $1,000, and range to over $25,000. It primarily depends on the complexity of data, and the extent of customization. Furthermore, a pre-existing third-party database is usually going to be cheaper than creating a new, unique database from scratch.
The Final Word
How much does professional website design cost? As you can see, the only honest answer is “it depends on what you need and want.”
Yet with this being said, you do not need to hope for the best while you brace for financial impact. Instead, you can work with a proven and reputable web design company that will help you make the right decisions — and avoid the wrong ones!
Noble Webworks is proud to provide professional and affordable professional website design services for customers of all sizes: from small businesses to large organizations. Contact us today for your free, no risk consultation.