Web Design Pricing

19 March, 2019

Why is web design pricing so different from one company to another?

This is something we notice on a weekly basis and a question we get asked a lot when we put in our quote for a website. Potential customers come back to us asking why are we so much cheaper than other web design companies?


Expensive does not always mean good!

We could just give in and quote higher but that is not how we work. Yes, we are quoting what we believe is a fair price and what our work is worth, we are not undercutting just to try and get the contract.

We built JKE very slowly, this year (2019) will be our ten year anniversary. This was purposefully done to ensure we run efficiently with very low running costs.  Having built our own offices, created our own hosting company and having low staffing costs we have positioned ourselves to be able to provide great web design at a fair price.

This means that we actually provide the same service as other web design companies we just do it cheaper our side and rather than rubbing our hands together and taking more profit, we charge fairly.

This can sometimes mean we actually lose work because companies think our web design pricing is too low!


From £10,000 to £2,000

Recently we quoted for a website, a standard WordPress build with a bespoke theme. 7 core pages but with articles and case studies it ended up with around 20 pages. Our price £2,000. The highest quote £10,000! What was the difference? Nothing, same platform, bespoke theme, SEO optimised, written user guide and telephone support. One happy customer.

Always get a number of quotes for a website. Talk to the web design companies so you understand what you get for your money and don’t be afraid to ask why the quote is what it is. If they try to baffle you with technical jargon move onto a company that is honest and understandable.


Low Website Cost, High Running Costs?

The next thing to consider are the running costs of your new website. These should be detailed in a quote at the beginning for you. These will include your domain, hosting and possibly maintenance.

The majority of small to medium websites out there run on shared cloud hosting, only the big important sites need dedicated hosting servers which is not what we are referring to here.

If you use a good quality hosting company these will be well looked after servers with backups and resilience built in. This should provide good value, reliable hosting suitable for your business website.

This is where web design companies make their money because they hope that you do not really understand what is involved so they can charge a premium for your hosting and domain.

We have seen customers paying £35 a year for a .co.uk domain which should cost £9.99. All .co.uk domains are bought at the same price by the registrar from Nominet, so if we make a fair profit on £9.99 you can guess how much is being made on £35.

All too often we see customers paying £200+ a year for the hosting of there website, we charge £75.

Why the price difference? Well to be honest we are not sure because when we check a lot of web design companies are just reselling hosting from companies like 123Reg and charging whatever they want. We created our own hosting company Chip Hosting so that we can provide a quality service but charge inline with other hosting companies so that our prices are competitive. Our customers have full access to their hosting services because we are transparent.

If your web designer quotes more than £120 a year for hosting and you are a small to medium business then you are paying too much!


Paying Monthly for Websites?

This is another tactic used by web designers. Quote a very low build cost upfront and then charge you monthly for as long as your website is running. We have seen some customers paying £50+ a month for their website. Now this may be fair if the web designer is performing lots of updates each month but in our experience this is not normally the case.

Lets break this down. lets say you pay £400 up front for a website and then pay £50 a month thereafter and the website has been running for three years. You would have paid a total of £2,200.

Now our initial charge will be higher, as an average lets say you pay £750 up front, this is either paid over 6 months or as three instalments. Over the next three years all you pay is £84.99 to renew your domain and hosting, nothing else. So in three years you have only spent £1,004.97.

That’s a big saving! and every year after the saving gets bigger and bigger.

So it’s simple, if a web design company wants to charge you monthly, this is only good value if you are needing updates done each month to the value of the charge. Otherwise don’t do it.


Do you Own Your Website?

This one really amazes us because we see this a lot!

Do you actually own your website? and more importantly if you wanted to move your website from the original web designer to another web designer or just a cheaper hosting provider can you do this?

Some web design companies tie in customers by making this impossible, so you end up paying inflated yearly costs because the only other option is to start from scratch with the big cost of a brand new website. They will build the site on their own platform that cannot be transferred or they will purchase template licenses that they will not move away from their servers.

Before you decide on a web designer make sure you are clear on the ownership and how moving your website elsewhere would work. Do not get trapped because web designers know that the hassle and cost of starting again puts lots of people off.

An example of this we came across recently, a customer was paying £240 a year to their web designer to host a small 6 page website. They contacted us and we explained they could reduce their running costs to £75 a year for the exact same service. When they contacted their current web designer they were told if the website moved it would no longer work unless they continue to pay £50 a year to them for licensing! WHAT!

In the end we just rebuilt their website and in 2 years time they will be £165 a year better off and happy in knowledge they can move it wherever they like whenever they like.


Hidden Costs

When you ask for a new website to be built the last thing on your mind is how much will it cost if you ever want to transfer it elsewhere.

After the honeymoon period wears off and your web designer never does those little updates you need, or your website is down more than it is up and no one ever answers emails or phone calls, you may want to move to someone else who can support you better.

Not a problem your web designer replies, that will be £300 to move please. Yes, we have spoken to customers who have been quoted £300 to move a website! We do not charge anything but some costs are understandable if it is using up a persons time. However to move an average website should take no more than an hour, that’s a really good hourly rate!

So make sure you know all the hidden costs before you agree.


Web Design Pricing Summary

So with all this in mind here is our guide to making sure your web design pricing is fair.

  • Get more than one quote and ask what you get for the price to help you compare
  • Don’t let web designers confuse you with technical jargon, it isn’t that complicated they just want to charge you more
  • Understand your running costs, remember for a small to medium website more than £120 a year is too much
  • Never agree to monthly charges unless you are absolutely sure you will get value for this from your web designer
  • Make sure you own the website you are paying for
  • Make sure you can move your website to another provider if you wish
  • Make sure there are no unexpected surprises if you want to move away


If you want fair pricing for your website we would be happy to help, we provide transfers for free, great value hosting and no hidden costs! Contact us today and we will take you through how we can help.