How Much Does a Website Designer Cost? (+ Pricing Examples)

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Website design costs vary widely based on many things… a website designer’s experience, target audience/industry, go-to tools, level of service, turnaround time, client load, cost of living, etc. But prices also vary widely since every website is different.

Simple brochure websites are the cheapest, while additional functionalities and features will add cost to a project. Some website designers charge higher prices and include things like logo design or graphic/brand design, copywriting, image sourcing, on-page SEO setup, etc. My website design package prices typically don’t include copywriting or graphic design work, but clients often add on these services.

How Much to Expect to Invest in a New Website Design

I rarely see reputable (US-based) website designers advertise pricing under $2,500 for a full website build, but I do see businesses looking for super cheap website design on platforms like Upwork. I recently heard “there’s nothing more expensive than a cheap web developer.” I’ve worked with many people who came to me for a redesign after a bad experience with a previous cheap developer/designer, so to some extent, you do get what you pay for.

Most reputable US-based website designers I know charge between $3,000 and $6,000 for simple websites, and $6,000-12,000 for more custom/complex websites. According to 2023 data from The Admin Bar, $2,500-5,000 is the most common price range for website projects. When working with a bigger agency, prices may fall in the $20-50k range.

Many businesses don’t need to invest more than a few thousand dollars into a brochure website, but you’ll need to invest more if you want your website to work hard for your business generating and converting leads.

Simple, Template-Based Websites

You’ll often hear these called “brochure” websites, meaning they’re pretty static and basically serve as an online brochure. They won’t be updated very often. If they have a blog, it’s super simple. There’s no e-commerce, no membership functionality, no custom post types, no complex content organization. These websites are typically 5-8 pages, often Home – About – Services/Work – Contact – Blog, and they might have a couple of sub-pages. There’s usually one home page template and one interior page template.

I usually use templates for these websites — there’s no need to re-invent the wheel, and when your branding and content are added, your site will look totally unique. These websites are the ones that usually fall in the $3,000-5,000 range.

My simple websites also include a lot less planning and strategy work up front. The goals and business needs are more straightforward, and with less site content, we don’t need to spend as much time talking about how website visitors will move through your website. I still require a website planning workshop, but it’s a simpler, faster (and cheaper) process.

Note that even the most simple or template-based website should be built to be fully mobile-responsive — I don’t believe mobile-responsiveness should be an add-on these days, and if it is, think twice about working with that website designer.

Complex Custom Websites

I spend a lot more time with clients in the initial planning/strategy part of the process for complex or custom websites. We make sure we’re getting the sitemap, page sketches, and content planning right from the get-go, especially if it’s a redesign project. We may be talking about SEO, how the website user moves through the site, and how the site can do some heavy lifting for you.

These are often sites with a ton of content — maybe a robust blog, custom post types used to create locations or profiles or event listings, e-commerce or membership functionality, or several layers of sub-pages. These sites typically have more than 10 pages, more than 20 blog posts, and/or the need for custom code, custom fields/post types, etc.

These sites might also be ones that need more graphic design/brand design work and want a really unique look that requires some work on their logo, background graphics/images, motifs, etc. Websites that need intensive content strategy or SEO strategy fall into this category too.

This category is typically $5,000-10,000 (or more) depending on each client’s needs and the scope of work.

Initial Website Design vs. Website Redesign Cost

Website redesigns tend to be more time-consuming, complex projects compared to building a business’s first website. Starting from a blank slate can make things easier! Plus there’s a lot more to think about and line up when re-designing and re-launching an existing website, especially one with a lot of content, so redesign projects are usually more expensive.

But if you want to stick with your existing website content, layout/site organization, and branding, occasionally these projects are the same price or cheaper than a site built from scratch. You might just need a website or tech refresh instead of a full redesign in this case.

Website Design Pricing Examples

These pricing examples use my personal pricing calculations, and every designer/developer has their own pricing process. Prices are always subject to change, but I hope this guide will help you get an idea of pricing so you can budget accordingly.

The Simplest:

A local engineering company needs their simple website redesigned

This type of project is about as simple as it gets, so the budget and timeline will be the shortest for a project like this.

  • They provide all the copywriting and images for the website.
  • They don’t need much guidance and want to keep things really simple.
  • They only need page titles and meta descriptions filled in, no further SEO work.
  • They have a clear vision of what they want their new website to look like and provide website inspiration we can use as a guideline.
  • They provide their style guide (with Google Font pairings and hex colors they want to use) and various formats of their logo.
  • We only need a short website planning workshop since their needs and goals are clear.

I’d likely quote this project around $3,000 total: $500 for the website planning workshop & $2,500 for the build.

Less Simple:

A business coach who offers a variety of services needs their website redesigned

This person has been using a website they built on their own but they’re ready for a website that better speaks to their ideal client. They have a variety of service offerings and work with two different target audiences.

  • They provide all the copywriting and images for the website.
  • They DO need guidance figuring out how to move people through their site, what stage of the buyer’s journey these folks are in, and how their site can help convert people from prospects to clients.
  • They DO need some help and discussion on SEO and want to learn how to do some of this work on their own.
  • They have a pretty clear vision of what they want the site to look like, but they need some guidance to make it pop.
  • They need an email newsletter signup form added to certain pages (and they need guidance on which pages those should be).
  • They provide their style guide (with Google Font pairings and hex colors they want to use) and various formats of their logo.
  • We need a good website planning workshop to make sure we’re getting people to the right place seamlessly.

I would likely quote this project around $4,200 total: $1,000 for the website planning workshop & $3,200 for the build.

More complex:

A luxury adventure vacation company needs their website redesigned

This company needs a better way to highlight their trip options as well as their custom travel planning services. They have a team of people updating the website, so they need sections set up with custom post types and custom fields so their non-techy team can easily edit and add new trip listings.

  • They provide all images and most copywriting for the website, but we work together on copywriting for a few key pages.
  • They DO need guidance figuring out how to move people through their site, what stage of the buyer’s journey these folks are in, and how their site can help convert people from prospects to clients.
  • They DO need some help and discussion on SEO and want more SEO work done for them as part of our work together.
  • They have a pretty clear vision of what they want the site to look like, but they still need some guidance.
  • They need their services/trip offerings created as a custom post type so their team can easily add and edit them going forward.
  • They have various integrations they need to add in (email newsletter signup, lead magnet, Facebook Pixel, etc.)
  • They provide their style guide (with Google Font pairings and hex colors they want to use) and various formats of their logo.
  • We need a pretty robust website planning workshop to make sure we’re getting people to the right place seamlessly.

I would likely quote this project around $6,500 total: $1,000 for the website planning workshop & $5,500 for the build.

Pretty darn complex &custom:

A long-time real estate blogger needs their website redesigned

This blogger has years of content in dozens of categories that all needs to be re-organized, and they also want to talk about incorporating real estate property listings into their website. They have area-specific content that needs to be better worked in natively throughout the site to help with their SEO and their website users’ experience.

  • They provide all images for the site, but we work together on collaborative copywriting to make sure the messaging speaks to their audience.
  • They DO need guidance figuring out how to move people through their site, especially now that they’re incorporating property listings and have multiple website goals now.
  • They DO need some help and discussion on SEO and want more SEO work done for them as part of our work together.
  • They have a pretty clear vision of what they want the site to look like, but they still need some guidance.
  • Their website is a giant web of content that needs to be thoughtfully, intentionally re-organized. Redirects are needed for some of their content, and the launch process has a lot to keep in mind.
  • They have various integrations they need to add in (email newsletter signup, lead magnet, etc.)
  • They want to incorporate real estate listings down the line but not as part of this initial redesign, so we need to be thoughtful about how that could happen down the line. Implementing this later would add on to the cost below.
  • They provide their old style guide but they need some additional help applying their branding more beautifully to their new website. We need to create a motif to use throughout the site for background/decorative graphics.
  • We need a robust website planning workshop to make sure we’re routing people to the right places.

I would likely quote this project around $8,500 total: $1,000 for the website planning workshop & $7,500 for the build.

How to Find a Website Designer

Here are my website design services as a starting (or ending) point. When possible, I always recommend people with work someone they were referred to. The website design industry is still pretty new since the internet isn’t that old, and there aren’t any formal programs/training requirements to become a website designer, so there are a lot of not-so-great website designers out there.

If you’ve never worked with a website designer before, check out my post on what to expect when working with a website designer, which has some tips on things to ask a website designer before working with them.

Platforms like Upwork have pros and cons, but if you don’t have a personal recommendation for a website designer, it’s not a bad option to look into. If you found yourself here but I’m not a good fit for you, reach out and I can share other website designer recommendations!

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About the author

Jessica Kennedy

Jessica builds websites and optimizes sites for SEO for small business owners who'd rather be outside. Learn more about Jessica.

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