The problem with web design prices
You know it: You want a new website or a redesign of an existing one. You're looking for reliable information on prices and costs in the web design market and you'll find everything but not simplicity or transparency. You will find offers ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars and legitimately ask yourself – what should I do? How should I set the right budget? And most importantly, how can I ensure my web design investment is profitable? With this article we would like to shed some light on this topic and inform you about the most important things.
Why web design is an investment
Before we look at the costs in detail, let's first take a step back and answer the fundamental question: why invest in professional web design?
The website is often the first point of contact between you and your customers these days. A well-designed and functional website can greatly increase customer trust and build a strong brand identity. Drawing a parallel with real physical stores, it makes a world of difference whether your store is welcoming, attractive, and well-designed, or whether it looks dated and neglected. In both cases, your customers have an emotional experience that has a direct impact on their purchasing decision.
According to a study by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 75% users judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website. This means that a bad or even average website can actually hurt your business.
In addition, a study conducted by Adobe shows that 38% of users will abandon a website if they find the layout unattractive. This leads to decreased visitor time, falling conversion rates and ultimately lost revenue opportunities.
In this regard, a professional web design is more than just an aesthetic choice. It's a strategic business decision that strengthens your brand identity, improves customer experience and increases your business results. It's an investment aimed at generating a positive return - be it through increased customer satisfaction, improved brand perception or increased sales.
Cost Factors in Web Design: An Overview
Web design prices can vary widely. What makes the difference in price? What are the different offers on the market based on? Here are some of the key components that affect the cost of your website:
- Scope & Complexity: A simple website with few pages and standard functionalities will cost less than a multilingual online portal with complex user interactions and bespoke back-end development.
- Individual design: A custom theme made from scratch costs more than a customizable template theme. But it also offers more opportunities for uniqueness, user experience and brand individuality and is a particularly crucial factor in the success of a website.
- Choice of CMS: The right choice of CMS also has an impact on costs. Systems like WordPress, which offer many functionalities natively or through large ecosystems, can save a lot of time in development.
- Scope of Services: Web design often goes hand in hand with other services such as performance optimization, SEO, content creation, social media integration, graphic design and so on. Combining these services into an “all-in-one” package can often be cheaper than hiring them separately – but it also depends on what exactly you need and what you already have in-house resources for.
- Expertise of the web design agency: Expertise costs money. A renowned agency with many years of experience and a portfolio of successful projects will demand more than a less experienced or less established agency. But it can also offer you a higher level of security, expertise and quality.
Value for money: Cheap vs. expensive web design
The well-known adage “you get what you pay for” applies to the web design industry. Cheap web design deals could be a sign of poor quality or a "one size fits all" design that doesn't showcase your brand's uniqueness. Individually adapted solutions, on the other hand, which are specially tailored to your company's needs and user-friendliness, often mean a higher initial investment, but can lead to a significantly higher ROI in the long term.
In this context, it is important to emphasize that web design covers a variety of aspects - from understanding target groups and strategies, to creating convincing designs, to clean programming or the implementation of security measures. Expertise and quality in these and more areas is critical to the ultimate success of your website.
However, that does not mean that you should necessarily go for the most expensive offer. Your focus should be on long-term ROI, and quality features play an important role in this.
Tip: Each design team will give you a different result, which is difficult to predict in advance. We therefore recommend that you – if the budget allows it – spend some money to have your favorite agencies create a first design (e.g. only of the future start page, or only of the upper area of the start page). Not only will this give you a better sense of the quality of the work and communication, but it will also show which service providers actually understand your corporate identity, your target group and your business model.
Hidden costs in web design
When budgeting for your web design project, you should not only consider the obvious direct costs of design and development, but also factor in factors that are often overlooked or not immediately apparent. In particular, this includes things like maintenance and updates, hosting, licenses and more.
The time it takes to create, review, and update the content, as well as the cost of extensions, tweaks, or support, should also be considered upfront and budgeted for. To avoid unexpected expenses and surprises, we always recommend formulating the requirements precisely, so that we can then ensure that they are taken into account in the web design agencies' offers.
Budget planning for web design
In order to summarize the whole thing clearly, we would like to briefly list the most important points for budget planning below:
- Define your goals and requirements: What do you want to achieve with your new website? Which functions and services do you need for this? By clearly defining your goals and requirements, you can better assess what costs you will incur.
- Research prices and offers: Consider multiple agencies and ask for detailed quotes. Compare the prices and services and look out for hidden costs. Be clear about your expectations.
- Think about what you can do internally: Can you take some work in-house to reduce costs, such as content creation or project management? However, be careful not to underestimate the costs of internal resources and, above all, not to skimp on quality.
- Plan for the future: Keep in mind that your website is a long-term investment and there will be additional costs for maintenance, updates, and optimizations. Plan a financial buffer to be prepared for unexpected expenses or future improvements.
The ROI of professional web design
Professional web design has been proven to make a significant contribution to overall business success. For example, Gomez found that 88% users don't revisit a website if the first impression is negative. HubSpot found that 94%'s first impressions stem from web design, and that a positive user experience translates into higher 87% customer satisfaction.
In order to be able to calculate the actual ROI holistically and effectively, it is crucial to define various goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in advance, which form an optimal mix of quantitative and qualitative factors.
Examples of quantitative factors include:
- The number of visitors, leads, or customers
- The development of length of stay, bounce rates or conversion rates
- Increase in turnover, sales or new customers
These numbers and statistics are relatively easy to collect and measure using various analysis tools and tracking methods.
On the other hand there is the qualitative factors which are extremely important to determine long-term effectiveness and actual ROI. These aspects include, among others:
- Improving the brand image
- Increase in customer loyalty
- user satisfaction
These qualitative factors can be determined, for example, through customer surveys, customer ratings, feedback, social media analyzes or user experience tests.
In the end, it is important to define the right combination of quantitative and qualitative factors and to use them systematically to calculate the ROI.
And how much does web design cost?
To better understand web design costs, we must first examine the processes and associated man-hours required to create a custom website.
We assume the following project types for the time specifications:
- Minimum time specification: Small WordPress based website with few landing pages, standard features but with an overall strategy and custom design.
- Maximum time specification: Extensive, multilingual WordPress website with different areas (e.g. news, events, shop), all of which require an individual design and have their own structures. In addition, individual functions are to be developed, processes automated and synchronized with third-party providers.
For the times given, we assume that efficient solutions (e.g. the use of sensible WordPress plugins) are used for various requirements, but that individuality is still very much in the foreground and that buffers are included in the calculation.
Responsibilities and average estimated times:
- Project management and communication: 5 – 20 hours
- Analysis, strategy, planning: 4 - 20 hours
- Conception & design: 10 – 50 hours
- Development 15 – 85 hours:
- Testing & Optimizations: 2 – 15 hours
- Launch: 2-8 hours
Prices for small and large projects:
Let's assume that you are looking for a web design agency that understands your craft and convinces with quality and expertise. Then the hourly rate is usually at least €120, but not infrequently significantly higher.
At this hourly rate, we get the following results:
Small website project with individual design:
38 hours * €120 hourly rate = €4,560 total costs
Large website project with individual designs, functions, processes & connections:
198 hours * €120 hourly rate = €23,760 total costs
Please note that the estimates only serve as a rough guide. Every project, every brand and every company has its own requirements, challenges and visions that need to be considered and decoded individually. Even if we have set up efficient processes in our agency and use various AI tools to reduce effort and costs, there must always be enough room for creativity, strategies and ideas in order to achieve really good results.
Deciding to invest in professional web design is a strategic move that can have a significant impact on the perception and success of your business. Given the wide range of offers and prices on the market, setting the right budget and choosing the most suitable agency can be difficult. But by clearly defining your goals and requirements, thoroughly comparing different offers and considering all possible cost factors, you can make an informed decision that will pay off in the long run.
Don't hide behind a mediocre website just because it's cheap. Better to invest in a quality solution that will help you achieve your goals, strengthen your brand, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction and sales. Because in the end it is not how much you spend on your website that counts, but what you get out of this investment.
Keep in mind that every website is dynamic, not static - it should grow and evolve with your business.
If you have any further questions or are interested in working with us, we would be happy to to hear from you!