Why does the cost of web design vary so much?

Web design pricing is a difficult topic and one that I don’t think many people comprehend. That’s absolutely understandable, as I believe it’s our job as web professionals to try and explain it to our prospective clients. If I put myself in your shoes, as a potential client, it must be so confusing when you contact several design companies and get one quote back from Company A for £500, and another from Company B for £5,000, for the exact same project. why-does-cost-web-design-vary So why the big difference? One obvious answer is did you contact a freelancer or a large agency. Typically a freelancer or smaller agency will be cheaper (although not always). But another, not so obvious reason, may well be because Company A, who quoted £500 (or any figure south of £1000) won’t be creating you a truly bespoke website. Both in terms of design AND functionality. We know this because, most companies quote for a project on a fixed price basis, they calculate that price by estimating the number of hours it will take to complete your project. So, if we work on an average industry standard hourly rate of approx £40 and they quoted £500 that’s approximately 12 hours work, or roughly 1.5 days to create your website – which goes without saying, is no time at all.  So, based on that, it’s pretty safe to say that your project won’t be getting the dedicated personal time and consideration necessary to get an end product you’ll be proud of. Let’s delve into the specifics…

When it comes to design…

Company A will likely be recycling a lot of their work. Either grabbing bits and bobs from other projects they’ve completed to produce design concepts to present to you. Or worse, they’ll be buying a template that’s readily available online for thousands of other businesses to use and then modifying it here and there. This approach won’t give you a website with a unique appearance, and chances are high that your website will feel like a ‘template’ to your visitors, or even worse you could end up with a website that looks the same or similar as your competitors.  That’s not going to instil trust in customers to either contact or buy from you. Company A may even skip design altogether (this approach genuinely keeps me awake at night!), and just build you a website without you having had a chance to become involved in the process at all. We believe there are several important steps to work through before a single line of code is written, and that a web design project should be a collaboration of ideas between you and your web designer after all, you know your business much better than anyone so your input is vital in getting your message across.

When it comes to development…

If your website is truly bespoke, it will have been designed to specifically achieve the goals you outlined when you briefed your web design company. With development, it’s no different. If you’ve gone the cheaper route, where Company A grab a template online and modify it to suit your needs, it can be like attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole, especially if you require lots of bespoke features and functionality. The likely outcome of this approach is that you’ll end up ‘making do’, meaning you’ll be more likely to scrap your website in a few months time because its not ticking all the boxes for you and your visitors. This can obviously be costly in both money and time. The development of a truly bespoke website will mean that the code has been written by hand, that the website is going to include all the agreed functionality, and importantly, your site will have the potential to be expanded on in the future.

So where do Authentic Style stand on this?

Well, you’ve probably guessed that we’re firm believers that a truly bespoke solution is the best option. As the saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’ and this is as true with a website as it is with anything else. Having said that though, this needn’t mean spending £5,000 on your website. As a smaller agency, we tend to sit somewhere in the middle, offering completely bespoke solutions starting at around £2,000.

Process

We put a lot of emphasis on our process. Without a solid process for a project to move through, we don’t think it can succeed. Here’s what our process looks like:

  • 1) Information Gathering / Research First, we collect as much information as we can about your business, finding out what you want your website to achieve and what it should allow your customers to do.
  • 2) Wireframes We then produce wireframes for key pages of the site. These are like blueprints, proposing how we’ll lay these pages out. We’ll then work with you to create a layout that everyone is happy with.
  • 3) Design Once you’ve signed-off on the wireframes, we then create 100% unique design concepts, asking for your feedback and comments along the way. It’s an iterative process.
  • 4) Development Next, we’ll code your website by hand, integrating it with WordPress and making it responsive, so it works on a variety of mobile devices. It will also be thoroughly tested.
  • 5) Launch Once content has been added we’ll make your site ‘live to the world’.
  • 6) Fuel And finally, we offer an ongoing service, where we conduct an analysis of user interaction with your website to propose changes to boost conversion.
Conclusion

So to sum up, we hope this post helps to explain why no sought after, successful web designer, or web design company, can possibly build you a truly bespoke website for £500. Building a bespoke website takes a lot more time than 1.5 days and should be a 2-way process between you and your web designer. If you do or don’t agree, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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