There are over 250 000 marketing agencies based in the UK. With so much choice, it can be a minefield to find the best web designer to build your website, especially when most freelancers and agencies will only give you a quote after you submit the requirements for your project.
With that in mind, I decided to put this web design pricing guide together so you can have a clear idea of how much your website should be costing you in the UK, in 2020. Let’s go straight to the point!
How much does a website cost (UK)?
To explain the cost of a website in the UK, I decided to create a quick scenario which is quite common considering the enquiries I normally get.
The table below represents the cost of a brochure website with a simple contact form and 6 pages (home, about us, services, gallery, blog and contact us). The objective of this website is to represent a small business company online and to generate new leads through phone calls and e-mail enquiries.
We will look into the difference between getting a freelancer to build your website or a web design agency. We will also compare the price difference between a website created using a CMS like WordPress and a website created using a hard-coding approach.
The table below represents the cost of a basic e-commerce website, with up to 20 products and all the basic features to start selling online.
Website Design in the UK: The Ultimate Pricing Guide for 2020
As a business owner, you want a website that reflects your brand and more importantly, a site that makes you proud. But do you really have to pay thousands of pounds for a website that does the same job (or better) and only costs you a few hundred pounds?
The price of your website may depend on factors such as the location, complexity, level of experience your web designer has, quality of the work needed and the quantity as well. But the two main questions that will determine how much your website will cost are, without a doubt, the following:
- Is your website built using a CMS (Content Management System) or is the web designer using 100% of his hand coding skills to create it?
- Is your website built by a website design agency or a freelance web designer?
How do I choose between a CMS (e.g. WordPress) and a hand coded website?
To answer this question, first, you have to consider the objective of your website, how large is your budget and how long are you willing to wait for your website to go live.
If you choose a web designer who can create your new website using a CMS like WordPress, you can expect your website to be:
- CHEAPER – When comparing to a web designer who will be hand-coding 100% of your website and charge you £2,000 for his time and work, a web designer who can build your website using WordPress, will charge you less than £500 for the same quality, type and size of the website;
- SAFER – CMS platforms like WordPress are backed by a large community of cybersecurity experts who are dedicating their time to create and improve their security plugins, every single day;
- EASIER TO MANAGE – A Content Management System is very user-friendly which means you will be able to easily make any changes to your text or images without any coding skills;
- FASTER TURNAROUND – A hand coded website takes a lot more time and effort to build than a website designed using a WordPress visual builder. For that reason, with a WordPress website, you can expect a lot more done in a shorter timeframe;
- SCALABLE – As mentioned before, WordPress has an incredibly large community, and you can find a plugin to add almost every type of functionalities that you need on your website. Let’s say, for example, you start with a brochure website, and in a few years you decide to create an online shop, you won’t need to pay hundreds of pounds again. All you have to do is install the WooCommerce plugin and hire someone who can make that plugin work the way you want, for a small fee;
- BESPOKE DESIGN – With the rise of companies like Elegant Themes, WordPress now makes it easier and faster to build a fully bespoke website, using tools with a visual builder such as Divi. It’s just like painting a masterpiece!
Most small businesses don’t need a website to be the next Google or Facebook. There is no reason why you should have to pay £2000 for a website that can advertise your business, sell your products and cost you as little as £500 with the same size, functionality and quality.
How to choose between a website design agency and a freelance web designer?
If you are struggling to decide between a freelancer and an agency for your new website project, here are the main points you must consider so you can make a decision that is right for your website needs.
Price of the website
A freelancer will charge less as compared to a web design company that offers the same quality and service to you. This fact happens because of the significant overheads that an agency have comparing to an independent web designer.
Quality of the design
Website Design Agencies charge more, but that doesn’t mean the quality is higher, it just means they can take more clients at once, and your website will probably still be assigned to a single web designer anyway. In essence, when you hire a web design agency, you are paying a company that has more clients, more staff, more wages, more expenses, higher prices, same quality and less personal approach than a freelance website designer or developer.
Timeline of the project
Here is a situation where an agency can win against a freelancer. If you are in a rush and with a very tight deadline, an agency can put more in-house web designers working on your project and complete the website development in record time. But also bear in mind that more than one person designing a website can bring issues such as lack of brand/design consistency. Lack of communication between team members can also be a problem that you won’t have if you hire a freelance web designer or developer. So, if you hire a web design agency, make sure you check every single page very well before signing off the project because you might find some inconsistent elements of the design.
Web Developer Freelance Rates
A considerable number of people in the UK are working as Freelance Web Developers, not just in-house website developers working for web development agencies. With that said, I’m sure you want to know what do UK web developers charge for a website in 2020, both freelancers and agencies.
Even if they don’t tell you this, a freelancer always takes into consideration an hourly, daily or weekly rate. So, what is the average freelance web developer hourly rate in the UK?
A junior freelance web developer who is just trying to establish a place in the UK market might even offer services as little as £20 per hour. In comparison, a more experienced web developer might charge you between £50 – £75 per hour for the services offered.
Freelance Web Designer Hourly Rate
As mentioned above, a common way to determine the average price for website design in the UK is by setting an hourly rate. The same happens with freelancers from other countries, where the hourly rate can be as little as £5, which is quite common for freelancers from India or Pakistan thanks to their conversion rates. Still, the hourly rate can also be £150 per hour or even more than that for more experienced freelancers living in western countries.
Some freelance website designers like me, structure their prices into packages too, where they include all the aspects above mentioned and come up with a fixed for every project. Where else, package prices for delivering a website may start around the low hundreds and may go as high as around seven thousand pounds.
The prices usually depend on other factors or additional services provided as well.
To take a rough estimate: A 6-page website should cost you around £720. This number is estimated by taking £60 as the average per hour rate and multiplying it by 2 hours invested in each page.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the web designer you chose stays within your budget.
There is a variety of freelancers and web design companies available out there; each one of them has got a specific set of skills. Hence, you need to choose the right one for your requirements and check if the rates offered by that professional are reasonable and suitable for your business.