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The cost of your website design project

Web Site Design Buyer's Guide

No matter what business you're in, if you always choose the cheapest product the price will reflect the quality. This doesn't mean that a relatively inexpensive basic website won't deliver exactly what you expect it to. You just need to ensure your expectations are set accordingly.

With complex websites, the price is just one of a range of factors to bear in mind. You may prefer to pay more, for example, because you want not just expertise but experience and proven competence.

Website packages
Website design suppliers price their standard website packages by the number of pages on offer. Each page is based on a template rather than a customised design and does little more than impart information and display images.

  • Single page website. £99 - £200.
  • Five page website. £380 - £500.
  • Ten page website. £600 - £800.
  • Additional pages. £50 - £75 each.

E-commerce websites start at around £700 - £800 for something very simple. In addition you'll need to have a secure socket layer (SSL) web server certificate to ensure the security of each customer's personal data such as credit and debit card numbers. Annual prices of the certificates vary between £25 and £400 depending on your business requirements. You may also want to subscribe to a secure payment system such as WorldPay. Such systems have setup charges of approximately £200 and ongoing monthly fees of around £30.

Hourly rates
The hourly rates for graphic designers, web developers and other professionals involved with a non-standard project vary according to geographic area and the reputation of the individual or company. As a rough guide, a graphic designer costs £18 - £45 an hour; and a web developer £20 - £70 an hour or more.

Customised websites
With this range of hourly rates and variety of available features, there's really no such thing as an average price for a customised website. In general terms, a medium-size website may cost £2,500 - £5,000, and a large e-commerce site with a range of extras may set you back £25,000 or more.

Content management system
A content management system that allows you to change your site without using a computer language such as HTML is about £400. Make sure the cost includes installation and full integration with your website.

Domain names
A domain name identifies you on the Internet. It usually begins with www., proceeds with your chosen name, and finishes with one of a number of endings such as .com. There are annual charges for domain name registration.

  • .com .net .org .info .biz Around £15
  • Around £33

Please note that some website design companies offer the first year's registration free.

Someone may already have your first choice of domain name. Website design suppliers either have their own name checker or can direct to you to a website that has one. Use the checker to find a suitable, available name.

Hosting costs can include such things as domain name registration; the amount of web space for your site; email addresses; and statistical analysis. For a standard host option, you'll pay around £70 - £160 a year. Advanced hosting will cost about £200 a year, and e-commerce hosting can be £300 a year or more.

A standard charge for updates on a small to medium size site is about £40 - £50 a month.

Other services
The services of a professional photographer are likely to cost around £40 - £50 an hour. Prices for search engine optimisation (SEO) work for your website vary widely but are also in the region of £40 - £50 an hour. Freelance writers for your text may charge £50 - £300 per thousand words.

If the website design company lays out the above charges in your contract, you'll know what to expect. Use this Website design Buyer's Guide to help you understand exactly what each company is offering you.

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