The short answer is anything from £5,000 to £30,000 plus. At ESM Inbound, most of our website redesign projects come in at between £15,000 and £20,000. For a large enterprise customer, the cost may run to up to £80,000, although this is unusual. These figures are generalisations, though. In the case of one large enterprise client we worked for, we were told they spent over £200,000 on their site, a casual aside that drew a sharp intake of breath from us, not least because the site didn’t work properly! It was full of bugs, and the payment function was broken. This cautionary tale proves that when it comes to website design, you don’t always get what you pay for. The importance of due diligence and a careful briefing and planning process cannot be over-emphasised.

At the other end of the spectrum, companies who have built their own site using WordPress or Squarespace sometimes expect to find an agency who can create a site for a price of between £500 and £1000. Because their understanding of web design is based on the experience of using heavily templated tools, they assume there is little additional development work involved in building a website. When they call us, they may be shocked by the cost of a new site and we always explain in detail exactly what website design involves and what it is you are paying for.

If you’re on the lookout for an agency to work with, and you Google ‘website design’, the variety of agencies and options that are out there can feel totally overwhelming. In addition to doing your research by reading blogs such as this one of HubSpot’s own (which you clearly are, as you’re reading this post – high five!), here are some helpful pointers to bear in mind when you’re navigating the due diligence process.

Five keys to getting value for money in website design

1. Shop around

Don’t go to the first agency you find. At ESM Inbound we are clear with new clients that we may not be the agency that is best-suited to their needs. Look into the pricing approach of different agencies and freelancers. Be choosy! Make sure there is enough scope in the pricing for an in-depth consultation period, ongoing negotiation and fine-tuning included, and enough scope for revisions.

2. Think about your website from your customer’s point of view

One of the biggest problems when commissioning a website redesign is that as a CEO or CMO, you may sometimes get caught up in an insider view of your business. In other words, you forget to approach it from the customer’s point of view. As our HubSpot Diamond Partner competitor agency B2B Marketing Lab points out, “on average, your buyers go through 50% of the sales cycle before they first contact you” – they will visit your site more than once and it’s important to understand what it is they are looking for when they do.

3. Ask lots of questions before you sign up

Don’t get seduced by sales patter. Your agency or freelancer should be able to tell you exactly what the process is and what is included in the price and they should answer your questions in full. A web designer or agency should also explain what they will need to charge extra for, and the likelihood that you could rack up extra cost.

Build in time for revisions at the outset, and ensure these are costed. Some cheaper agencies may operate in a pay as you go way, and you could get drawn into endless revisions with a spiralling price-tag. At ESM Inbound we mitigate the risk of this with our processes. Experience has taught us that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

4. Be wary of bargains

There are aspects that are essential to good website design and a smooth process that may not seem obvious to the uninitiated. One example is testing and bug fixes. If a designer or agency is promising a quick turnaround for a cheap price, it is highly unlikely they will have allowed enough time and budget to properly test it before it goes live, which could result in costly and frustrating problems down the line. Nobody wants to suffer the business equivalent of morning-after regret, so make sure your chosen web-design partner is the real deal before you swipe right!

5. Don’t be over-eager with development

Never agree to let your web design partner start the development of your site until the designs are fully signed-off and you are happy with them. Once something has been built, it is far harder (and more expensive) to change it, so make sure you nail down the design you want before a developer invests time in building. Educate yourself on the process involved in website design so you understand the timescale and potential cost impact of changes to the plan down the line.

Which aspects of web design will send the budget rocketing?

Interactive, bespoke aspects that need a lot of customising can be costly. This includes quizzes, and calculators.

Many of the more complex and tailored interactive elements need to be built in JavaScript, which means a slower work-rate, and greater developer expertise and time. It can be a tough call to work out whether a particular interactive element is the web-design equivalent of a cocktail umbrella, or more of a key ingredient that takes the user experience on your site to a whole new level. The best way to work out if it’s worth it is to talk to your agency about why you believe a particular element is important.

The alternative approach: Growth Driven Design

With growth-driven design, you have the ability to spread the cost, and evolve your site on a rolling basis, which gives you the opportunity to road-test different elements as they roll out. The cost of this with ESM Inbound depends on the number of elements you want to build at a time. We work with you to find an approach to suit your needs and budget.

If you’re starting from scratch with a brand new website, the initial phase takes between 60 and 90 days to create your launchpad website, at a cost of £8,000. Once you have got your launchpad website up and running, you can choose to add elements, or make alterations on a month-to-month basis. This is a great way to future-proof your strategy, as the average website redesign is likely to have a shelf-life of two to five years. If you opt for growth-driven design, you effectively relaunch your site every month or so.

If you’d like to find out more about the Growth Driven Design approach, our free e-book might come in handy. Simply click below to download your free copy.