The Ultimate Guide to Website Design Cost in 2019

By Eman Azzoz - September 13, 2019

If you want to estimate the cost of your website, thinking of website design cost will be the first in mind. Why? 

Because while estimating your design cost, you will be pushed to answer the most important questions that guide the adventure of creating your site, and you will make the most critical decisions that affect the cost and efficiency of your website, such as: 

  • Which tool, platform, or SW you will use to build your site with. 
  • Hosted website builders or non-hosted.
  • You do it yourself or hire someone

In this article, we give you an overview of the web design world, that includes the web design process, aspects, tools, concepts, people, and, finally, cost.

What is Web Design?

Web design is the body of your site while web development is the sole. Though most non-tech people may consider them one thing, web design and web development are pretty different things. To understand that, look at the below image:

What you see is about web design; all the buttons, the layouts, the images, etc. What will happen when you click a button is about web development.

Say you filled the “Email US” form, then you clicked “Send Message!” button, your message should be sent to our email. The process of taking your data and sending it to our mail is web development. The button size, shape, place, color, etc. is web design. 

Any visual interaction on the website has functionality behind the scene. The visual part you see is what we call web design or Front-end, and any Back-end functionality/logic is what we call web development. 

Who do you need in the web designing process?

Three different fields are integrating to launch the visual side of your site.

Let’s tell the story: 

  1. First, you go to someone and describe the idea, purpose, and requirements of your website. S/He will turn your needs into a design, it may be on paper, Photoshop, whatever. But, it is NOT a webpage yet. You only get a Prototype.
  2. Then, you go to another one who will implement that design. S/He will create the layouts of your web pages. 
  3. Finally, you want to add images and other media to your website. So, you go for the last person who would design these things for you. 

For example, the first person said there should be an image here with X size, and it should contain Y element, and it should be clickable. The second person coded the web page to hold the image at this specific place and made it clickable. The third person designed the image itself. 

Who are these persons?

UX/UI designer

(User Experience and User Interface designer) is the one who designs the entire user experience flow, and designs a user interface that matches user experience. They deliver a prototype of your site, it can be on paper or a sketch.

UX/UI designer is just like an architect who draws a plan of your home. S/he gives you the design according to your description of the home (number of floors, rooms, etc.). S/he takes into consideration the safety, comfort, and welfare of the home.

Cost per hour $20 - $75+

Front-end Developer

The one who builds (codes) the layout of the web pages using HTML, CSS, Javascript, and any other JS library or framework (sometimes called web designer even though he doesn't design anything). S/he follows the prototype delivered from UX/UI designer. 

Front-end Developer is just like the constructor company that builds your home with concrete blocks.

Cost per hour $20 - $75+

Graphic designer

The one who designs images and other needed media on the website. S/he designs the logo, backgrounds, etc. The graphic designer is just like the interior designer who will make your home a sweet and beautiful place to live in. 

For example, the logo of “Femto15” and the image below are designed by a graphic designer.

Cost per hour $20 - $75+

What are your web design options?

Website builders

They are all-in-one platforms that allow you to build a website without any technical knowledge and at little to no cost.

Examples: Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify. 

Free Templates $0 + Time.
Paid Templates ($35- $300) + Time.

CMS

Open-source platforms, like WordPress, that are free to download and install. There is a plugin for everything and a big community of developers. And it’s easily customized (with tech knowledge).

Examples: Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.

Free Templates.$0 + Time.
Paid Templates.($35- $300) + Time.
Customize a template.($0 - $300) + tech knowledge + time. (you may hire someone to do it for you).
Build a custom website using CMS.Hire someone.

Customized

You build everything from scratch using different programming languages and platforms, no template to build on. 

Hire a freelancer. $500 - $5k+
Hire an agency $1.5k - $10k+

NOTE: for more details about the pros & cons of each choice, check the tools you may build your website with.

Who’s doing the work? 

Do it yourself

Web design source Web design Cost
Free templates/ themes from website builders or CMS (like WordPress).$0 + Time.
Paid templates/ themes from website builders or CMS (like WordPress).($35- $300) + Time.
Customize a free/ paid template from CMS yourself.($0 - $300) + Time + Technical knowledge.

Freelancer

Web design source Web design Cost
Customize a free/ paid template from CMS yourself.($20 - $75 /hr) + Theme cost.
Build a custom website using CMS for you.($20 - $75 /hr)
Build a customized design from scratch using different programming languages, libraries, and frameworks.($20 - $75 /hr)

Agency

Web design source
Creates a customized professional design from scratch using CMS or other programming languages, libraries, and frameworks. It has different specialists for each role on the web designing process, that makes the final work accurate.
Web design Cost
($1.5k - $10k+)

What are the factors affecting web design cost?

Customization

Customize definition by Cambridge Dictionary is “to make or change something according to a customer's or user's particular needs.”If you want to create a website for your particular business brand and needs, you will pay more for customization. The more customized and unique your website is, the more it will cost. Free templates are used by everyone so it will give you a cloned website. Paid templates are more customized but not as a customized design.

Complexity

The complexity of your site means the number of pages and integrations on it. A website of 10 pages won’t, obviously, cost like a website of 50 pages. A website integrated with a database won’t cost like another simple website with no integrations.

Features

There are Basic Features for any personal/ simple website, and there are other features which are necessary for upgraded websites, such as business websites and eCommerce websites. 

The more features you add to your site, the more your web design will cost.