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 2021. 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 5 pages (home, about us, services, 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.
Firstly, let’s look into the difference between getting a freelance web designer to build your new website or choosing a web design agency. Next, let’s 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 2021
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) as one that costs less than a thousand pounds?
The price of your website may depend on factors such as your location, its 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 (20% OFF HERE 😉). 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.
What’s the cost of a website builder?
When you want to know how much does a website cost, it is an excellent idea to list all your options and adapt accordingly. Website builders are a good alternative if you don’t want to hire a professional web designer or developer.
You can create your website on your own, and you also have more control over when to get started. The great thing here is that most website builders cost anywhere from £7 to £20 a month, and if you search really well, you might find one for even less. That means you don’t have to worry about spending all your budget.
Just make sure you approach this wisely, prepare to spend hours trying to learn your chosen platform and even more time trying to get your website perfect to your standards, but if you are tech-savvy and have a lot of time on your hands, this should be very easy to accomplish.
Going the “low-cost” route might be an advantage when it comes to the creation of your website. However, the truth is that you have a certain number of templates you can use. Even if you customise the entire site, it won’t look worlds different when compared to other people that are using the same platform.
So if you’re looking for individuality, uniqueness and a website that looks absolutely stunning, this is definitely not the best option. It will take a little bit of time to figure out which option suits your needs the most, so try to consider that before making the final decision.
Is WordPress good for SEO and other website key factors?
The great thing about WordPress is that it can be a great backbone for pretty much any type of website, especially when it comes to growing your business through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Thanks to its huge worldwide community, WordPress has new SEO plugins and theme extensions coming out every single month, more than any other framework, and let’s be honest, Google loves WordPress!
In terms of website maintenance, it’s a free platform, all you need is to pay for hosting and to buy a domain name. That being said, you can also invest in security plugins, themes and customer support or professional help. Keep in mind that all of these are optional, so aside from hosting and a domain name, you don’t have to pay anything if you want to use WordPress to create your website. In fact, WordPress is so powerful that most web designers and agencies use it on every single website.
This is why WordPress is a great solution for anyone, especially a blogger or someone that’s just starting out right now. Not only will it help you immensely, but it will make it easier than ever to get started with an online business or a professional presence online.
And as you will notice from the website maintenance cost in the UK, we are very lucky, the overall costs are minimal. You don’t have to worry about overspending on maintenance. It works amazingly well, and it will convey the sense of value and quality you would expect without that much of a hassle.
When it comes to WordPress hosting, a lot of people go towards Bluehost because they are WordPress certified. Plus, their prices are small, under £3 per month or even way less than that during times for special offers such as Black Friday, etc. They also bring WooCommerce hosting or managed WordPress hosting, everything you need in order to make your business stand out of the crowd in a proper and powerful manner.
What’s the cost of hosting a website in the UK?
If you are wondering how much does it cost to make a website, one of the factors that you really have to keep in mind is the hosting price. If you choose shared hosting, this can be anywhere from £2 to £13 a month or sometimes more, depending on the company you choose and the features you need. Managed hosting will cost between £15 to £50 per month, and e-commerce hosting can cost £5 to £25 each month.
E-commerce hosting is more suitable for online stores selling a huge number of products online. Managed hosting is for businesses, people with large portfolios and bloggers with large blogs. If you’re just starting or you have a small business or a hobby website, shared WordPress hosting will work just fine.
If you want to stick with UK based hosting companies, then you should definitely try out the same company as I use for all my clients (quite biased haha), Krystal.uk. Even the cheapest shared hosting package is powerful enough to handle big e-commerce websites or portfolios. You can actually try them for free during the first month, they gave me a coupon code to share with my followers, so it’s your lucky day!
Here is what to do if you want to try free hosting with krystal.uk:
- Click on “Hosting” at the top and then “Web Hosting”
- Select the Amethyst Plan and press “Order Now”
- Click on “Skip this step and continue with a temporary hostname”
- Select “Monthly £4.99” and “Continue”
- Click on “Got a promo / referral code?”
- Copy my promo code TIAGO02
- Paste my code there and click on “Validate Code”
- That’s it, you will be able to checkout at £0.00! 😍
What about extra fees, how much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
I already talked about the overall costs that you have to deal with when you hire someone to build a website. But there are other additional costs that you need to consider when you want to establish your own website. For example, the domain name can cost anywhere from £10 to £50 yearly, or even a lot more if you want a more established, premium domain.
Some businesses pay a lot on website security too, as they don’t rely only on what their hosting service has to offer. So you can sometimes pay £100 or even £200 per year if you use solutions like Sucuri, Wordfence, iThemes Security and others. If you hire someone to integrate custom security solutions to your website, that will cost even more. There is also the fact that you need an SSL certificate (https://) to ensure your visitor’s privacy.
All of the above mentioned can be obtained for free, but the level of security and privacy achieved is nothing compared to their premium plans.
So yes, you do need to pay a lot of attention to the website security, and investing in it from the start can be a perfect idea as I’m sure you don’t want to get hacked and spend hours/pounds re-building your website.
It’s also important to note that when you create a website, you have recurring costs. Most of the costs listed above are per year, so you have to pay those prices every year to keep your website up and to run. Granted, it’s not the best thing, but in the end, you get to have your own website and customise everything the way you want. That’s the thing that matters the most, so try to take that into account.
Do I have to pay for website backups?
Most hosting services will have their own website backup solutions. But for the most part, these are not free. So yes, you have to pay for those too. It’s not really a whole lot of super expensive, but it’s an added cost that you need to support here. The truth is that you might pay anywhere from £5 to £30 or more monthly for backups.
There are multiple factors here, such as website size, the amount of data you hold and so on. It will bring in front some interesting benefits and results, and that’s certainly the thing you want to keep in mind. At the end of the day, having a backup gives you peace of mind, and you will find that it works flawlessly in the long run.
Here is a tip: Always create a list with all the features you need!
You want to create a website feature’s list because that will make it easier for you to figure out the total costs of your website. The truth is that a lot of people misunderstand what they need for their website, and they add in every feature out there. You don’t need all kinds of website elements and features most of the time. Try to assess the other companies in your industry, see the type of website they have, and that will give you a good starting point.
Ideally, you want to surpass the competitors with better features, so build up from their own ideas, research and engineer their success! Of course, you also want to add some other features into the mix. It’s always a great idea for you to constantly bring in more than your competitors can, and the value of your business will be imposing to your customers. You may want to have that list customised based on the priority of every feature.
What features should you focus on the most? Obviously, things related to functionality and security are essential. These will ensure your customers are safe upon using the website, so that becomes a priority. On top of that, you also want to think about adding forms, maybe even having a special section for paid customers and so on.
Even if you add a blog to your website, that will usually cost extra. So there are always things you can add to make your website better. It might take a little bit of time to implement all these ideas, but it’s a great opportunity nonetheless, so try to consider all of that.
Request a quote from professional freelance web designers
I strongly recommend you to get a quote from a professional freelance web designer based in the UK because it can give you a good estimate of how much you need to pay for all the features you need on your website. Even if some might not seem like a lot, all the costs will add up when you are creating your new website. So even the smaller costs added up will end up totalling quite a bit.
Personally, I can give you all the information and knowledge you need before deciding which website is best for your business. My website design quote will help more than you imagine, and it will eliminate all the concerns you may have. As soon as you get a professional website quote, results can be great in the long run, even if you end up not choosing my website design services.
What kind of website design and development mistakes you should avoid?
The problem when you create a website nowadays is that you can easily encounter all kinds of issues. If you make any mistakes, they can eventually cost you thousands of pounds and hours of work. Which is why you need to take the creation of your website very seriously. If you hire a freelance website designer or a web agency, you must always look at their reviews and previous work. The last thing you want is to pay a lot of money for their work without knowing what quality of service and support you can expect.
On top of that, you should always listen only to reputable professionals that really know what they are doing. Making sure you get the best information and advice will help you prevent any costly mistakes that can indeed appear at any stage of your project. Also, try to ask for recommendations, don’t just work with any random web designer or developer who doesn’t have any reviews, as that can end up being a stressful and costly mistake.
In addition, avoid any faulty tech or tools that are really new to the market. Granted, they might give you an advantage and new features. But if they are not very well tested, you can encounter errors and that will eventually become a problem. Tackling all of that really helps immensely, and it will bring in better solutions in the long run. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do, but it will be worth it.
Should you invest in better website functionality?
Usually, it comes down to the nature of the website. If you have a simple, new website, then you don’t really have to invest that much into any functionality solutions. You can do that as you grow. Thankfully, if you use WordPress, you have access to thousands upon thousands of free plugins that can help enhance the website functions for free.
Granted, there are paid plugins too for WordPress, but you can go on and use those after you are turning a profit with your website. The same thing can be said with themes, a great paid theme looks and feels amazing, and it does bring in a vast range of benefits.
How can you avoid overpaying for your website?
- Always make sure that you have a list with all the features you need on your website. If you’re prepared and you also monitor the entire process, the chances of overpaying are way lower.
- Do comprehensive research and hire only the best freelance web designers that suits your needs. There is a vast range of professionals on the market, but some will increase the website design cost without bringing any value. Remember, reviews are critical in web design.
- Are there any additional services included in the price? Are the SEO costs a part of the total quote? If so, then you might be getting an excellent deal. You really need to adapt and adjust accordingly here, and it’s one of those amazing opportunities you do not want to miss. But make sure you understand that an SEO friendly website requires attention consistently, so you might have to pay monthly for SEO services.
- Be specific and ask for a price tag for every little feature. This way, you will be 100% sure that you are not overspending. Sure, it might seem that you are very picky, but in the end, you need to be certain you are getting your money’s worth.
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 2021, 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.
There’s no denying that you should be very focused on the website costs to ensure that you’re getting the best value for money. Learning how much does a website cost is very important, and as you can see, all the little costs can add up very quickly. Take your time, study the market and make sure that you find the right solution.
For some, DIY website builders will be enough because they don’t require a massive, complex website, not to mention it’s a great way to save money. However, if you want to create a business website, then hire a great website developer and designer, it will be well worth it in the long run. These prices are a great estimate and a proper starting point, but you should always ask professionals for a quote, then pick the one that really delivers the best value for money!
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