There are no lack of web designers in the UK. Whether its your Uncle Pete who can “give it a go” using Front Page and Dreamweaver, or the 12 year old kid next door, web design is a common hobby for many. But good professional web designers are hard to find. However the web design cost can vary dramatically from freelancer to agency.
Having worked for over 20 years with individuals, I’ve seen websites can make or break a business. So I want to help you understand what costs are worth paying for and what you should avoid. How to recognise what is a needed cost, and what is just not worth having.
You have probably heard of Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace and 1&1. These are ideal if you just want to build a hobby site and have no money and nothing to lose. I’ve seen many small businesses just setup a business page on Facebook. There is no doubt there is an area in the market for these webdesign builders that have no cost. But it’s worth having in mind, they own the content , not you and what happens as your business starts growing?
Free websites tend to have a very fixed way of setting out where content goes. So it has to go where they put it in the template. Your control is limited, anything outside the basic layout just isn’t going to work. I noticed even the so called free website builders have hidden costs that can take it from £75 to £250 a year.
Try and look at it from your potential customer’s perspective, if you have a free website, does that suggest your business has been successful? Does a cheap website suggest you have had little business success and this is the reason you haven’t invested in a professional web site design.
So maybe you have concluded paying for a website design is a cost effective solution. Before we take a look at how much it costs to build a website for a small business in the UK, lets first look at a common misconception.
Maybe the problem lies with the fact you hear of small business owners being ripped off. Like car salesmen, there are website sharks that are charging 10k for a basic website and getting away with it. I have to say these guys are disappearing as Google is baseing a lot more search results on actual reviews and not clever SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tricks.
Cheap website designs are an investment. But like all investments, you reap what you sow. Some will offer you websites starting from £299. They may even generate a few new leads. But even the £499 website isn’t going to get you full professional branding, a decent logo design, several bespoke designs to choose from, time with the web designer to understand what you want to acheive, decent reliable hosting, a well chosen domain name and web management package for peace of mind. I agree though, it will be a dramatic improvement over the free Wix website that your competitor decided to save money on a year down the line.
I read somewhere that If you think good website design is expensive, you should consider the cost of bad website design. Like with all products in life, its worth what its worth to you.
From my experience and seeing the response of customers I would consider anything above £2000 in the UK in 2019 as being worthy of being labelled expensive. But this is on the assumption it is not requiring some incredible bespoke functionality, and a shopping cart to rival Amazon.
Web designers know that most of the cost is to cover there time. If you are a freelancer or running your own business, it becomes evident (certainly in my early years) that there are occasions where work can dry up. Unlike employment, there are no paid holidays, so all these costs need to be built into the web designer’s quote.
The more design work, the more the time will be reflected in the cost. I find many of my clients prefer to give me an idea of what budget they have set aside, and then I give them a breakdown of what I can give them within that price.
Website hosting, licences for software such as Adobe Photoshop, Windows, Templates etc Registration of Domain names. As you can see the unavoidable costs aren’t overwhelming. Though at least WordPress is a free download.
Generally you’ll see these from looking at your spam folder. “We can make you number one on Google” Yes right!. Number 1 for a search term nobody is searching! Avoid promises of SEO quick gains, or links from web site link farms. These wil seriously harm your website business. Stick with some simple good content and either add it yourself regularly using a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, or ask your web designer to do this for you. Most are more than happy to take on the web manager role if you ask.
I’ve spoken a lot on previous posts about good marketing using Aweber or Mailchimp. This gives you a chance to build up a client base and keep in touch with them. I would consider this a website cost well worth investing in. However use Google My Business and get your web master to optimise it correctly to see some great traffic.
Last year a small local Bournemouth business approached me, desperate for me to recover their broken website. They have an incredibly successful business and yet suddenly the previous web designer wasn’t answering emails, or fixing the site that had been down for weeks. This was severely damaging there reputation as a quality bespoke furniture business. Now the costs for an honest reliable web designer start to make sense. I’m pleased to say we took the opportunity to make their site truly mobile friendly. So since then they have been overwhelmed with business.
This is what they said ” I was introduced to Zane by a very good friend who has used him for years. He has remade our whole website as it was corrupted and unuseable. The previous web based company did not want to know and it was a struggle to contact anyone. We have had full cooperation and amazing communication from Zane and he has worked with us to bring back a remodelled fully loaded website back to life. Within 2 days of going live we were receiving enquiries again for quotations! It goes to show that a website is essential in today’s market place and we couldn’t recommend Zane Clements at Zanet Design Ltd highly enough to provide all of your online presence and ongoing support within the World Wide Web.S&K Furniture by design
In Conclusion : You get what you pay for. Free websites or cheap template designs will not get you much business. At best they give you some online presence like a brochure to say I’m here. So website design costs are unavoidable if you want a professional and website that works on your customers mobiles and devices.
You can get ripped off by large design agency’s or marketing companies that churn out the same template for each customer and as soon as you hand over the money they are no longer around. There is a website cost somewhere in the middle. But even then, reputation and reliability are worth their weight in gold.