Level Up Digital Marketing

How Much Does a Website Designer Cost in 2023

Pricing out a website project nowadays isn’t as straightforward as it once seemed. A simple google search will return wildly different price points for a small business website. It can be quite overwhelming to say the least.

So what is the optimal price range for a small business website?

In this post, you’ll find a simple, yet extensive explanation of the costs that are involved in a typical web design project.

As part of our transparency with prospects and clients, you’ll get an inside view of how we price out a website in 2023. Plus, the development tasks to consider as part of the “billable time.”

If you find this information overly helpful, and want to partner with Level Up, click here to get started.

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    What Type of Website is Right for You?

    Keep in mind, not all websites are created equally. Your business needs will vary by industry and offerings to customers.

    To keep this easier to read, we’ve sectioned out the different website design/development costs to keep in mind depending on your needs.

    If you want to skip ahead to any of these sections, click one of the icons below.

    Do You Need a Website?

    This is a very valid question and I would be the quick to respond, “Yes you do.”

    It is no longer an option.

    97% of consumers were going online to find local businesses for products and services.

    It goes far beyond the days of just having a domain (.com) with some photos, text and a contact form. Web technology has since evolved, websites are more complex now in order to meet consumer behavior.

    Sure, it’s absolutely necessary to build an attractive website for your small business. But that’s not all, it should be responsive on ALL devices (i.e. phone, tablet, desktop), and easy to navigate for website visitors.

    What Does a Website Cost?

    As noted above, not every website is created equally.

    Websites serve different purposes, require different functionality or feature different technologies. Meaning, the website costs can vary drastically based on the requirements.

    If your design requirements increase, so does the cost of a web design project. The hourly rate we charge is $275, and we typically quote any web design project based on the time we think it’ll take to complete.

    It’s very important to note that a website at the end of the day is a product (and also a service), which also requires project management tasks. And all equates to billable time.

    Project Cost Breakdown:

    Here is a list of specific development costs to consider in the scope of a web design project.

    Domain Name

    FREE – $56/year – This is the price for new domains only. Renewal costs will vary from $64 – $672/year.
    Source: TLD List


    $50 – $8,700/year – This number is really dependent upon the type of web hosting a client prefers (dedicated, free, managed, or shared). There may be additional costs to consider like SSL, domain privacy, etc..

    Information Gathering

    $500 – $5,000 – In order for clients to succeed in their website goals, every important detail must be properly documented. The costs to consider usually include: a creative brief, website requirements and other information gathering tasks for website launch.


    $3,500 – $15,000 – This number is centered around the visual aspect of a website. This is the most time-consuming part in the development phase of a web design project, from a billable hours standpoint. It's usually an upwards of 25-35 hours of time. Which includes the Information Architecture (IA), User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) components.

    3rd-Party Integrations

    $300 – $10,000 – This cost will vary depending on what kind of feature (functionality) a client wants configured into their website. 3rd-party integrations, such as, accepting payments, appointment scheduling, email service will cost extra, but the benefits will certainly outweigh the costs.

    Website Copy

    $3,000 – $5,000 – For 3-5 pages of website copy, this cost will differ depending on writing the content yourself, outsourcing to a freelancer or hiring an agency to manage. Your website copy is important from the perspective of keeping visitors engaged and often results in converting into a customer.

    Launch Activities

    $500 – $5,000 – Each web design project goes through a 40+ point inspection before the official launch date. A complete check of the design, content, performance, lead captures, data collection, and other technical components. Each have a billable cost.


    $500 – $3,500 – Most websites are built on Content Management Systems (CMS) like Squarespace or WordPress. But not everyone can easily adapt to them. The pricing here reflects billable time spent training clients on how to manage website content post-launch.

    Website Managed Services

    $50 – $350/month – This pricing can include any managed services like updating content, adding content, WordPress updates, backups, etc.

    Design Costs:

    Now that we’ve covered the various development costs, let’s jump into the different prices of a website build based on the project type.

    Keep in mind, each of the website prices noted below are built on the WordPress (CMS) platform.

    Template Website Build: $1,000 - $4,000

    A template website is ideal for small businesses that have a limited marketing budget. With a template approach, it’s fairly easy to make edits the overall design. In order to stay within a specific budget, this option will limit you to the boundaries of the template structure. Which means, no significant design changes without an increase to the overall cost.

    We’ve seen many freelancers or agencies charge between $300 – $1,000 to implement a Website Template. Which may or may not include a creative briefing, planning, project management tasks, launch activities or post-launch support.

    When we quote for any project, all of these development costs mentioned are factored in for clients. In addition, pricing a Template website is based on the total hours we know it will take. This is based on previous experience with actual clients.

    One common pitfall to avoid is purchasing a Template with the belief that less (cost) is better. Only to find out that changing around the actual template to suit your needs would require customization to the Template. The net cost in doing so balances out with a Standard Website build below.

    Standard Website Build: $5,000 - $14,000

    A standard website is ideal for small businesses who have a reasonable marketing budget, and want more control over design/functionality. The standard build serves the purpose of a information resource for prospective clients online.

    It’s perfect for establishing a brand online and to generate leads for your business. The standard build would typically include 5-10 webpages with content, all built on the WordPress platform.

    With this approach, you would receive the maximal benefits of a web design project. More time being spent on:

    • Information Gathering
    • Planning/Design:
      • Information Architecture (IA)
      • User Interface (UI)
      • User Experience (UX)
    • Design
    • Integrations
    • Launch Activities

    Custom Website Build: $15,000+

    A spin-off of the Standard build above. The custom website build is ideal for small businesses who have more leisure with a marketing budget, and most focused on the return on investment (ROI). And also want control over the design/functionality.

    Much like the Standard website build, this approach requires the most time in research, planning, design, development and testing. Each of these phases in the project require careful alignment of business goals to web design best practices.

    The custom build would place more emphasis around these website strategies for maximal ROI:

    Final Thoughts...

    As you’ve probably concluded by now, a web design project has many price points to consider when it comes to your business goals and needs.

    What you’ll want to do before shopping around for a website design quotes is…

    ✅ Write down your goals (use S.M.A.R.T method) and what you’re willing to invest.
    ✅ Find a website designer who is willing to accommodate your marketing budget and business goals. 

    If you have any additional questions about pricing your next website project, feel free to schedule a marketing strategy call to learn more.

    See what your Next Website Project will Cost in less than 5 minutes...

    Simply answer the assessment questions and get a ballpark figure on your next web design project instantly. 

    NOTE: the Pricing reflected within this tool is meant to give you a general estimate associated in building a website. The details of every project is goal specific, and each project will need to be properly evaluated for an actual cost.

    Pricing will ultimately vary by designer or agency.

    Your Partners in Success
    Level Up Digital Marketing

    Level Up is a leading edge digital marketing company in Rockwood, Michigan. We deliver revenue-generating results for clients with our customized marketing solutions. Our team of web designers, SEO specialists, content writers and social media experts want to help you create a Next Level marketing strategy to help GROW your local business online. Give us a call today at (888) 754-5164 to speak with a marketing strategist.

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