Website Design Costs

How much does a website cost?

There are several different types of website cost and these can be divided up in two different ways:

  • Your time vs money - either you can put time and effort into creating good quality website copy and supplying electronic images, or this is included in the website design or creation costs
  • Setup costs vs design costs vs build costs vs ongoing maintenance and marketing costs.

For most businesses the hidden cost of website maintenance and marketing is often more than the initial website design cost. This is especially true if the ongoing website maintenance and marketing costs are not considered from the beginning.

Website setup costs

When setting up a new website, the following costs need to be considered.

Domain name costs

The cost of acquiring a domain name is usually minimal for or domain names and not much more for .com or .org domain names. This is a recurring small cost every year or every 2/5 years.

Acquiring a 'good' short domain name may cost a lot more if this is bought of someone selling the name they have already registered.

Cornish WebServices usually include provision of a domain name ( or within the costs of creating a website.

Hosting costs

A website requires hosting somewhere. Hosting costs will vary from about £20/year to over £200/year. Free hosting is not worthwhile - any small saving in hosting cost is more than lost in marketing costs.

Unfortunately, the prices charged by hosting companies do not appear to relate very well to the level and quality of service offered, and Cornish WebServices think some of the more competitive hosting companies offer a far superior service to more expensive ones.

The variation in hosting cost required will depend a little on the size of the website and the type of data stored, the number of emails and if provision of outgoing emails is required or not, the reliability required (is it business critical), and other specific requirements.

Cornish WebServices usually include provision of hosting for 1 year within the costs of creating a website.

Graphic design costs

Almost all websites require graphic design to some level. If you already have a logo and letterhead then a large amount of the design work has already been done as it is important for the website image or branding to complement printed material and other media.

Sometimes extra work is required in producing other graphics (enhanced graphics, animated images, Flash or moving images) and this is usually an additional cost.

Cornish WebServices include the basic graphic design work (taken from logos / letterheads) within the cost of creating and designing your website.

Copy writing

Someone has to actually compose the page copy or text to go on the website. This is usually done by the client, so the client has to consider the costs of their own time to do this, or employ a copywriter.

Cornish WebServices can supply full website copy writing services on almost any subject but this would be charged as a specific extra to any website design quotation. Our standard proposals assume the client provides the page copy in electronic format for us to use to create the web pages

Website creation costs

This is the basic cost of creating the website from any supplied graphics and page copy. When Cornish WebServices create websites, this cost would include:

  • creation of prototype website design (2 pages) for client approval
  • creation of all pages from page copy / graphics supplied
  • testing and validation of all website pages
  • marketing of website
  • email / phone support for 1 year for website maintenance

We prefer to include in the above some of ongoing maintenance and marketing costs, rather than charge extra later.

Ongoing website costs

Website marketing costs

We are continually amazed by the number of people who come to us many months after they have had their website designed by another company with their website still invisible to all search engines. This should never happen. The very basic website marketing should always be included (in our opinion) when the website is designed, rather than be an additional cost later. Occasionally it can take one of the big 3 search engines up to 3 months to list a website - more usually it is a few weeks.

Getting listed within the search engines is (in our opinion) quick and easy. Getting highly ranked is now harder and is known as search engine optimisation. All websites Cornish WebServices write will naturally do well in the search engines, but (since 2005) extra ongoing marketing work will be required in competitive markets. Before search engine optimisation was widely talked about, almost all our clients enjoyed top rankings naturally but for many markets the competition is be in top places is so intense, a search engine strategy is needed.

Website updating costs

A website is a marketing tool. An out of date website gives a poor image. Therefore if your website contains time dependent information it needs updating. There are several ways (with differing costs) of handling this:

  • Write the website to require minimal updates (the most cost effective solution)
  • For quarterly / annual updates, ask the website design company to make the changes. Cornish WebServices always include changes to contact details for free, and if we are providing annual maintenance / hosting this will allow for a small number of website alterations per year
  • Use some software (e.g. Macromedia Contribute 3) to update the website content yourselves. The majority of our clients now use this as it is both cost effective, easy to use and very search engine friendly when set up correctly.
  • Use an online Content Management System. In 2005 we did not recommend this as we had never found any such system that allowed search engine optimised and accessible code to be created. This is now beginning to change, and we think this is now a sensible option for some clients.

Other ongoing costs

We have already mentioned the recurring domain name renewal and hosting costs.

Website redesign costs

Other ongoing costs to consider may be a redesign after a few years if your image / core business has changed. The costs of a completed redesign vary from about £200 **to a complete new website.

If a website has been written correctly, then it is possible to completely change the appearance of a large website for a few hundred pounds. Cornish WebServices have done this for some websites we originally created in 2002/03 - including websites with 4 pages, 80 pages and over 100 pages..

Additional Functionality

Many of our clients gradually expand their websites; starting with a simple web presence, other functionality is gradually added such as online payments or registration databases.

Example website design costs

Giving examples of website design costs is complicated by the fact that no two websites are the same, and that prices change with time over the years.

In addition, many voluntary organisations or charities would prefer to spend more time and less money, whereas for a business with highly paid staff, the staff time to help create the website is expensive.

Our website design prices page contains a list of our current website design prices from 2006.

Contact us for a realistic website design quotation.

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