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How Much Does a Website Really Cost in 2021?

When it comes to building a website, the first question that comes to your mind is how much does it cost?


Countless people and businesses spend months planning a website that takes just weeks to build.


So, we have pulled together the definitive guide to web design costs, outlining every last detail. It covers all your questions and breaks down costs from each stage to give you a clear picture of what your website project will cost, so you can make an informed decision.

Costs involved in building a website UK

The costs of building a website differ depending on the type and scale of your project. A professional company can design your website for you at an hourly or fixed price, usually including hosting and domain name, but may charge a monthly fee in addition to the basic cost.


Here is a breakdown of the cost:


Average web designer’s fee: £400 to £15,000+


Average hosting cost: Roughly £100 annually or more depending on the size of your site


Domain name: Approximately £15 a year


Security: £200 per year


SEO: £30 to £7000 per month depending on your business requirements

Types of websites

If you are just getting started with your online business, you will probably have a vague idea of what type of website design to expect. Out of all the different types and designs of websites on the internet, there are a few that really stand out as being more effective than others for certain businesses.

Single-page sites


Source: Wix

Creating a one-page website is a great way to skip distractions and create an attention-grabbing design. One-page sites are immersive, structured, easy to navigate, and quick to load.


One-page websites that tell a story never fail to impress audiences with their simplicity! But long scrolling designs demand a lot of planning and commitment. And although they are worth it, they require a lot of hard work.


The slideshow with a left or right navigation bar can be perfect for a mobile website while the big pictures can give your design a very creative look. Being space-efficient allows one-page sites to be quite mobile responsive.


Besides, when you have a single page, the visitors see all your information in one place and don’t have to go hunting for information across the site.

E-commerce stores


Source: Wix

When you sell online, it is called e-commerce. Another word you may hear a lot is an online store. People use the terms somewhat interchangeably, but technically they are different.


An online store is really just any individual retailer that sells products online; an e-commerce store conducts all its activities on the internet, including its marketing activities.


Because the objective of e-commerce is to enable a customer to complete a purchase transaction successfully in an electronic form, e-commerce generally includes many other services.


Therefore, an e-commerce website needs to be built for more than just heavy traffic. They need to secure for online transactions and the layout ought to be based on psychology to make more people stay and buy.


Today, e-commerce websites also need to be optimized to be mobile-friendly as they receive half of the traffic from smartphones.

Online magazines


Source: Wix

Online magazines include popular websites that report news, offer opinions and a community experience. Like popular online newspapers, magazine websites make their content easily available to readers on the go with smartphones and mobile devices. Your online magazine website can have articles, podcasts, photos or videos.


Using a magazine website, businesses can create and deliver their information in an entertaining manner, which keeps readers interested and engaged.


Magazine sites also provide you with a clear and obvious path for monetization, including premium subscriptions and native advertising, among more.

Portfolio sites


Source: Wix

One of the top reasons to build a portfolio site is to help people find your work online. But it is also an opportunity to share your best work with potential employers, recruiters, or anyone who might be interested in seeing what your skills are.


A portfolio website can be used for a variety of different purposes, like professional resumes, online CVs and portfolios. It is a one-stop shop for the best examples of your work. It allows you to display your work clearly and in an orderly fashion. 


Your portfolio might be on third-party platforms, such as Behance, but having a portfolio site can make you appear as a professional who invests in their own business before expecting others to.


While these are perfect for freelancers or creative artists, they are not limited to freelance work. Small businesses can set it up to showcase their specialization or skill that they have mastered or even to highlight their founder’s portfolio and achievements. 



Source: Wix

A blog website combines the features of a website and a blog. It is a collection of entries regarding a specific topic.


Blogs allow their authors to share their views about any specific subject and are also used to generate revenue for the owners of the blog. They have their own cultures, communities and values that are completely different from other types of websites.


The use of blogs has increased over the years. In fact, they are one of the effective tools of digital marketing today.

But although some businesses prefer having it as part of a larger website, you can have independent blog sites to educate your audience on certain topics or include dialogue as well as stories in them.


Usually, solopreneurs and journalists create blogs to express their opinions or document their daily life. And while they may be easier to use, customizing them can be a daunting task for beginners.  


With the web being such a competitive and vast arena, businesses need to think outside the box to stand out against their competition. And a well-designed website can have a dramatic impact on the success of your business.


In the end, it all boils down to the fact that you need an effective and attractive website that will represent your business well online, get you sales leads, and set you apart from the crowd.

How much does each type of website cost?

The cost of a website is often a topic businesses are concerned with when you are just starting off. Your website design should fit both your budget and your expectations as web designs have a huge impact on the conversions your website generates and the experience end users have when using it.


From your homepage to the contact us page, all web pages should contain SEO copy, and every copy should perform differently in search results.


More importantly, your site should be flexible enough to provide you with room for expansion if you ever wish to start an online retail business.


Below are some of the best website building platforms in the market today that you can host your website on.


Wix allows you to create a website from scratch. It is easy, quick, and free. It has got templates you can mix and match as well as its own built-in drag and drop feature that allows you to quickly drop your content into your website.


It has almost everything you would expect out of a website building platform, which makes it one of the most popular options out there.


And while there is a common misconception about Wix not having a great SEO service, that has not been a problem ever since Wix revamped itself back in 2011.


Wix offers a fairly nice set of SEO tools. It is an all-in-one content writing and management tool, which makes it a strong choice for those looking to create their own website. Wix SEO Wiz also comes with a step-by-step guide, helping you learn faster and easily optimize your site.


Check out our Complete Wix SEO Guide to learn more.

Wix Plans:

Starting at £3 per month for responsive websites and £13 for e-commerce sites. 


You can’t talk about website building platforms without mentioning WordPress.


With features including easy customization of themes with tonnes of colours, custom menus, and advanced search functionality, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms used for creating websites and blogs.


The WordPress-powered blogging platform also remains by far and away the most popular content-sharing platform. But considering its cost, there is no denying that other tools offer better value for money and usability.


WordPress’ dashboard is designed not only for developers and site owners but also for beginners who want to easily customise their own site.


That said, users with a coding background find it easier to figure their way around WordPress than those without.


Unlike Wix, WordPress can be rigid and even intimidating at times. Many users even lose interest in building their website due to the lack of a drag and drop editor. That can be an unpleasant experience for many!


Most users prefer WordPress for its SEO tools. But if you want to use them, you have to shell out more money as the basic plan is not plugin-enabled.

WordPress Price:

Starts at £3 per month for a basic plan, which does not come with any plugins, including SEO tools. 


Squarespace is a website builder that helps you create websites using standard CMS standards. It offers hosted templates, powerful coding tools, and drag-and-drop page builder features.

It also comes with an effective blog platform built directly into the page builder. The company uses its own in-house developed design platform as well as third-party plugins to make its eCommerce and marketing features shine.


While Squarespace does offer what some might consider a premium website build and design, its ease of use and integration with podcasting apps make this a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and podcasters.


The platform also has a clean, simple design with videos appearing automatically when users view a page.


So, is there a problem? Well, Squarespace is trying to be everything to everyone but even then, the fact that they don't offer a free plan may be a deal-breaker.


And it can be an issue for those who want to try out the platform’s service before making a financial commitment.


In addition to that, it does not have a drag and drop editor to simplify the website building experience for you as well as prove to be expensive for a lot of businesses.

Squarespace Price:  

Plans start from £9 to £30 per month. No free trial.


Shopify is a premium e-commerce business platform that provides its users with a number of advantages over competitors. One of these unique features is the clean design of its administration panel.


Besides, there are no traces of any third party software or other proprietary elements. This makes it easy to utilize the Shopify admin panel without having to install any other plugins.


Shopify has implemented this feature not only to bring into account the custom needs of its users but also to keep a clean and sleek appearance on all configurations.


Shopify is considered a “convenient eCommerce platform” due to a host of features and functionalities that make the platform a favourite for many online stores.


It’s easy to get started and manage your store effectively with everything from product catalogues to shipping options and CRMs, to analytics software to manage customer data.


Shopify also has room for search engine optimization. With its sophisticated SEO features like canonicalization, internal links, deep linking and multiple formatting options, it can help you optimize your SEO efforts.


Not only does it let you manage your store online, but you can also plan your SEO strategy with a built-in plugin, making it easier for you to market your business.


That said, a couple of downsides, such as its prices and features can be a problem for businesses. And even if you pay the price, you might not get all the templates for your site unless you pay for the highest-priced plan.

Shopify Price:

A basic Shopify plan starts at £22 per month and the advanced plan costs £277 per month.


Zyro is a major website builder with a clean and modern look that is responsive and visually appealing. This is a powerhouse application with tons of premium features designed to deliver maximum value to its customers.


The premium features include full support for SEO, custom page templates, advanced privacy controls, search engine integration, seamless integration with social networking platforms, mobile app compatibility, and more.


Zyro offers fully customizable and easy to use website templates. It provides you with everything you need to create a modern looking website quickly, hassle free and competitively priced.


The user-friendly controls allow for easy batch appending of functions and page elements, and you can easily add your own custom HTML code to widgets and page elements without code knowledge.


From posting to page layout and even the entire layout design, you have an entire website that you can customize very quickly with just a few clicks without spending days building offsite scaffolding.


Zyro is a tried and true theme builder. Having said that, it doesn’t have the same level of support as some of the bigger competitors. And you can’t get support 24/7 even if you paid a premium because they don’t have a well-equipped team.


So, although they are marketing an around-the-clock customer support, you might have to wait a few hours before hearing from them.

Zyro Price:

Starts at £2 per month for a basic site.

Google sites

Google Sites is a totally free web building platform that offers a ready-to-publish experience for small businesses.


You can use these to create either a fully functional website or just a blog based on one of the predefined templates. Just sign up, make your changes and you are done. You don’t need to have any knowledge of coding to have an online presence.


Google Sites is the only truly free website builder on the internet. This means that you won’t have any ads or other payments required - just an easy to use interface and a decent amount of features, which may not blow your mind.


You can choose from a total of 6 templates to build a landing page, one-page website or a portfolio site. The limitations might sound more tempting to solopreneurs than small business owners because there isn’t much you can do.


Google Sites does not allow you to edit the templates. You have to work with what you get. And if you want to expand your brand as an online retailer, which many companies did in 2020, you will have to create a new website from scratch on another website building platform such as Wix or Squarespace.


Sure, Google Sites provide you with the benefit of being on Google’s property, but your website can end up looking like many others or worse, cripple your online presence by not being customisable. And that can make it difficult for you to stand out.

Google Sites Price:

It is a 100% free website building platform.

How much do website designers charge in the UK?

While a website designer might be responsible for bringing your website to life, they aren't responsible for the upkeep. You might have to spend more to avail maintenance services. 


The national average for website design ranges between £400 to £995.


So, if you are looking to hire someone to handle your website design needs, it is best to know how much they will cost in the UK.

Offshore company – £10 – £25 per hour


The reason why an off-shore company will offer you the cheapest plans for website design has got more to do with the quality of services than their cost of living.


Offshore designers definitely won’t use the software and tools that allow detailing and you might not have a decent website to compete with your competitors in the UK.


In case you end up with an untrained web design agency, you might experience communication issues and even face delays in your project.


Even from a legal point of view, working with a company that’s on a different continent can be an issue due to the several differences in their laws. So, you won’t be able to take action against them if you don’t get what was promised.  


Therefore, offshore companies might not be ideal for everyone because the only guarantee they offer is affordability. 

Freelance web designer – £25 – £50 per hour


Freelance web designers are individuals who take on web design projects without a full-time commitment to an employer. And they might use the same tools for your site, but the problem with freelancers is that they may not dedicate 100% of their time to you.


There is also no way to know how skilled a freelancer is because they aren’t working with any supervision. So, if you are clueless about web designing and are completely reliant on a freelancer to make your site, you can end up with a poor experience.

Small web agency – £50 – £75 per hour


Perfect for small businesses, a small web design agency can deliver on your requirements within the given time frame. 


Contrary to popular misconception, a small web design company in the UK can provide you with the level of service and support that is normally associated with a large design agency today.


That’s because smaller businesses are trying really hard to compete with larger businesses, as with any industry. For this reason, they are more flexible and have the ability to accommodate your budget.


A reputable web design agency will also offer you a free consultation to help you know your requirements and how they can be accomplished.


At The Wix Geeks, our web design services start at as low as £39 per month - much lower than the average small agency. All our plans include SEO copy, mobile responsiveness, and a free domain. Check out the detailed list of our pricing plans here.

Large web agency – £75 – £150 per hour


Large web agency prices depend a lot on the client, the location and the size of the project with many not being very competitive. They usually charge an hourly rate, plus expenses for a project, and are pricier than freelancers or in-house designers.


But as a client, you enjoy a dedicated manager who manages your entire project as well as makes it easier for you to communicate with the company. This is why most large web design agency prices in the UK do not start cheap.


And that is just one of the reasons.


Housing a big team of designers can be expensive. Large web agencies have countless expenses to take care of including marketing their services. Thus, they may not be affordable for most small businesses.

Are website building platforms cheaper?

It is undeniable that the rapid increase in technology has made building a website, blog or app relatively easier. But website building platforms are definitely costlier than a small web agency. 


The upfront cost may appear to be cheaper but you are required to spend long hours learning and building your website as a beginner.


But a professional website creation service is a better value because you get exactly what you want, and don't have to spend time learning how to use a program.


When you hire a website design agency, you save thousands in overall development costs and receive your high-quality, custom-designed website within a week. 


In addition to that, you also get SEO services, without which your online presence is as good as non-existent.


So, if you add up the labour and marketing costs, you end up paying less to an agency than a website building platform.   

Building a website is not the ultimate task

A website can be your best business asset if you use it well to generate leads and sell more. But if you don’t know how to do that or have enough time, a website will prove to be a dead investment. Here are a few things you need to take care of after you are done making your website.


As mentioned before, having a website is not enough. If the search engines don’t know about your existence, a website will prove to be a dead investment for you. So, you need to invest in search engine optimization services to generate business with your site.


The Wix Geeks has a dedicated team of digital marketers that carries out the research and optimization tasks needed for your website to appear in search results, without any additional charges.


At the end of the day, a website is heavily dependent on technology. You can’t be too certain about its functions. Just like a machine, a website can also demand regular checkups, updates, and backups.


If you don’t tend to those, your site might malfunction and offer a poor user experience to your customers. And you might have to spend some time and energy fixing them.


Working with a web design agency can help take that off your plate and keep your website running as good as new. 


Every person or business that has ever had a website will tell you that there are times when you run into a technical problem that you just can’t figure out on your own.


Sometimes, the problem does not get resolved at all and countless people end up abandoning their website altogether. 


But a web design agency can help you avoid that. They can offer support for resolving any problem that you might run into and give your team and customers the same smooth experience of a new site.

Should I use a website builder or a professional web design service?

A team of skilled developers who have specialisations in web design software will create a well-designed site that can generate more traffic.


A website builder will offer you a platform to build your site on but you will be left all by yourself when marketing your online business - which is the more difficult side of it all.


A professional web service will have a dedicated team of people focused on one thing; your website. Therefore, they will have the skills and knowledge to do everything that you might need when it comes to designing, building and marketing your website.


So, choosing a web design service over website building platforms is a better business decision.

Working with a web design agency v/s a freelance website designer UK

An agency will have the resources you require to create an outstanding website and make arrangements to generate traffic on your site.


They will also have the relationships, experience and skills to effectively market your site to build an audience for you.


On the other hand, a freelance website designer will be able to give you a high-quality website, but options for marketing and SEO will be limited.


The reason?


Google’s algorithm changes every quarter and websites require constant optimization to stay at the top.


A freelancer may not be able to accommodate the cost of optimization in their plans, so working with an agency is a wiser choice for small businesses.


And although they will be ready for queries, after the project is completed, their responsibility towards your website will be over. They will only help out with any changes that you may require in the future.


Besides, you will have to manage everything by yourself; from planning through development and maybe need to come up with a marketing strategy, too, which will require a lot of costly resources and time.


On the contrary, you will not have to worry about any factors related to web design or maintenance if you work with a web development agency.

How long do custom web design services take?

Working with a web designer to create a new website can take some time. However, that time is varied based on factors specific to your project. Specifically, the size of your project and the number of pages it needs will affect how long it takes to get the details right.


New websites can often take a while to build. While the exact time frames can vary, companies will usually take up to 1 month to build your new website.


A general rule of thumb is that custom web design services take between 60 and 90 days, depending on how many pages and changes your site will have. You can always put a rush on this timeframe with an additional fee.


Remember that design is not the only element of your website. From copy to SEO, your site needs to have everything in place before you go live.


That being said, at The Wix Geeks, we hand over the first draft of your website within 5 days.


The Wix Geeks also provides you with 2 rounds of design revisions. And if for some reason you are not happy with your website, we offer 30 days of unlimited support after the website goes live. This includes a 1-hour call with a Wix Geek who assists you through all of the features of your site and the Wix platform.

The verdict

In an ideal world, you can simply pay £3 to a website builder and start conducting your business online. In reality, making a website is only the first step. From troubleshooting to SEO, the little aspects of web development can be time-consuming. Hence, working with a small web design agency can be a more cost-effective decision for a small business.


Ready to build an online presence? Speak to our web design specialists at The Wix Geeks and get your customised web strategy right away