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What’s the Average Cost of Website Design for a Small Business?

By Ryan Truax  |  Published Jun 14, 2024  |  Updated Jul 10, 2024
Ryan Truax
By Ryan Truax

With over nine years in SaaS and leadership, Ryan’s touched virtually every marketing discipline.

A focused woman is working at a round wooden table, using a laptop. The screen displays a website with information about a WordPress theme. She is holding a pen and appears to be taking notes. The setting is a cozy and well-decorated room with plants and bookshelves in the background, creating a productive work environment. This image is suitable for discussing the "average cost of website design for small business."

Curious about the average cost of website design for a small business? You're not alone. Whether you're launching a new site or upgrading an existing one, understanding what you’ll pay will help you budget effectively. In this blog, we'll break down the factors that influence website design costs and provide insights to help you get the best value for your investment. We’ll also compare hiring a web design agency to creating a site yourself with a website builder.

So, just how much does a website cost? Let’s find out!

What are the costs associated with website design?

When it comes to web design, there are a number of costs you need to consider. Here’s everything you’ll have to pay for when building a website.

Average cost of web design for small businesses

Domain name

Your domain name is your web address (www.yourwebsite.com) and generally costs between $10 to $20 per year, depending on the registrar and the domain's popularity. It's a good idea to compare prices across different providers to find the best deal. Some registrars offer discounts for the first year, so be prepared for a possible price increase upon renewal.

Along with the base cost, you might consider adding domain privacy protection. This usually runs around $10 per year and keeps your personal information private, which reduces spam.

Note: All Leadpages users get a free domain for one year. This can help reduce your initial costs.

Web hosting

Your web host makes your website available to users on the internet—it’s essentially where your website lives.

Costs vary depending on your site's needs. Shared hosting is the most economical, ranging from $3 to $10 per month, and is suitable for low to moderate traffic. VPS hosting offers more resources within a shared environment. It costs between $20 to $60 monthly and is ideal for medium traffic and businesses looking to scale. Dedicated hosting ranges from $80 to $300 monthly and provides your site with its own server, making it the best option for high-traffic sites.

SSL certificate

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate secures data transmitted between your website and its visitors. Standard SSL certificates typically cost between $10 to $100 annually, depending on the certificate type and provider. These certificates encrypt sensitive information such as credit card details and login credentials, protecting against potential cyber threats and enhancing user trust.

For businesses handling sensitive customer information or conducting online transactions, an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate is a premium option. It offers the highest level of authentication and can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 or more per year.

Website design and development

Design and development costs vary widely depending on the method you use to build your website. Using a website builder like Leadpages costs as little as $37 per month, offering customizable templates and drag-and-drop tools for easy setup. This option is budget-friendly and suitable for basic websites without complex functionality.

Hiring a web design agency provides a more customized approach but is usually more expensive. Costs vary based on the agency's expertise and project scope, but for a basic business website you can expect to invest between $2,000 to $5,000. This includes custom design, development, content creation, and integration of features like e-commerce or CRM systems.

Agencies offer expertise in branding, user experience, and SEO, ensuring your site not only looks great but also performs well and meets your business goals.

Website maintenance

The costs don’t end once your website is designed. You’ll also need to pay to maintain your site once it’s up and running.

Regular updates to software, plugins, and security patches typically range from $50 to $200 per month or more depending on your site's complexity. Some web hosting providers offer maintenance plans that include these updates as part of their services.

Additionally, investing in backups is essential to protect your website's data in case of emergencies or cyberattacks. Backup solutions vary in cost but typically range from $5 to $50 per month, depending on storage capacity and frequency of backups.

Keep in mind that if you use a website builder like Leadpages your monthly subscription includes all your maintenance costs. Additionally, if you hire a website design agency you can negotiate a monthly retainer that includes maintenance costs.

What factors impact the average cost of web design for a small business?

As you can see, the average cost of website design for a small business varies greatly. Here are a few factors that will influence website development costs.

6 factors that impact the cost of website design

Design complexity

Intricate designs with custom graphics, animations, and interactive elements require more time and expertise to create, resulting in higher costs. Simpler designs with fewer elements are quicker to develop and are generally more budget-friendly.

Functionality

Websites needing advanced features like e-commerce, membership portals, or integrations with third-party systems require more development time and expertise, increasing costs. Conversely, basic sites with minimal functionality are less costly to design and develop.

Number of pages

Each additional page requires design and development time, contributing to higher overall costs. Simplifying your site's structure or focusing on essential pages can help you manage expenses.

Content

Are you creating your own content or hiring someone to write it for you? If you’re outsourcing this work to someone else this is another cost you’ll have to budget for.

Timeframe

Rush projects often require additional resources and priority scheduling, leading to higher fees. Planning ahead and allowing sufficient time for design and development can help manage costs and ensure a smoother process. If you’re outsourcing the design of your site to an agency, make sure to discuss when you hope to launch to determine if it works with your budget.

Using a website builder or a design agency

Lastly, the method you use to build your website has an impact on your costs. As mentioned earlier, website builders like Leadpages cost as little as $37 per month whereas you can expect to pay between $2,000-$5,000 with an agency.

Of course, there’s more to consider than just money. Website builders require you to create your website yourself whereas working with an agency means someone else takes care of it for you. This frees you up to work on other areas of your business. There’s also a lot of value in having experienced experts design and optimize your site.

Website builder or agency: which one is right for you?

As we just discussed, perhaps the biggest factor that impacts the cost of a website is how you decide to build your site. So, how do you know which method is best for your business?

Website builders are ideal for small businesses or startups with limited budgets and straightforward requirements. They typically involve lower upfront costs and require minimal technical knowledge to get started. However, customization options are a little more limited.

On the other hand, hiring a website design agency provides a tailored approach to web development. Agencies offer expertise in custom design, user experience, and functionality, ensuring your website aligns perfectly with your brand and business objectives. They can handle complex requirements such as e-commerce integration, advanced functionality, and SEO optimization. While agencies involve higher initial costs, they provide ongoing support, maintenance, and scalability options that benefit businesses looking to grow and expand their online presence effectively.

Benefits of hiring a web design agency

Ultimately, the choice between a website builder and a design agency hinges on factors like budget, timeline, desired customization level, and long-term business goals. Assessing these factors carefully will help you determine the best approach to create a website that meets your specific needs and supports your business growth.

Leadpages Performance Marketing Agency

If you’re thinking a website design agency is right for your business then you’re in luck. Leadpages Performance Marketing Agency doesn’t just build beautiful websites—we also design pages that convert and generate revenue for your business.

Our team is made of seasoned marketing experts and backed by 11+ years of conversion data that we’ve collected from over 400,000 Leadpages users. It’s safe to say, we know how to build a winning website.

Leadpages performance marketing agency statistics

In addition to web design, we can also help you:

  • Create high-converting PPC and social ad campaigns
  • Optimize your site for search and maximize your organic traffic
  • Set up automated email sequences to nurture leads and drive conversions

Sound good? Let’s talk.

What’s possible with a website design agency?

Hungry Dogs Sports Academy provides a variety of programs for kids that allow them to embrace their passion for sports and reach their full potential.

As their business grew they needed a website that could keep up. Unfortunately, their old website wasn’t a strong representation of their brand. It was also slow and wasn’t generating any sales.

So, they turned to Leadpages Performance Marketing Agency to design something new and fresh.

Hungry Dog web design case study

The end result is a site that not only looks great but is also 2x faster than the previous version and more SEO friendly.

Just got the update with the website. It's cleaner, loads faster, and asking for simple additions was done perfectly! Laura also added a few things to the site that just puts a smile on my face.

- Spencer Perry, Owner

Average cost of website design for small businesses: frequently asked questions

Still have unanswered questions? Here are a few common questions we get regarding the average cost of website design for small businesses.

Are there any other costs associated with building a website that I should be aware of?

Depending on your business needs, you may also have expenses for SEO services, content creation, e-commerce functionality, and integrations with third-party tools. Planning for these additional costs will help you budget effectively and create a website that supports your business objectives.

How can I determine the right budget for my website design project?

Start by assessing your business goals, desired functionalities, and target audience. Consider the complexity of design and functionality needed, as well as ongoing maintenance and support requirements. Compare quotes from website builders and design agencies, and prioritize features that align with your immediate needs and long-term growth plans.

How long does it take to build a website?

The timeline for building a website varies based on factors like project complexity, design requirements, and the responsiveness of both the client and the design team. Simple websites using pre-designed templates on a website builder can be set up within a few hours to days. Custom-built websites by design agencies typically take several weeks to months, depending on the scope of work and the number of revisions needed.

What should I look for when hiring a website design agency?

When hiring a website design agency, consider their portfolio, industry experience, and client testimonials to gauge their expertise and reliability. Discuss your project scope, timeline, and budget upfront, and clarify their process for design, development, and ongoing support. Ensure they offer transparent pricing and a clear contract outlining deliverables, timelines, and payment schedules to avoid misunderstandings.

Ready to design your website?

Whether you want to build your own site with a website builder, or hire an agency to create it for you, Leadpages is here to help. Weigh your options and your budget and choose a solution that will put you in a position to succeed.

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Ryan Truax
By Ryan Truax

As a people-first marketing leader, Ryan focuses on simplifying the complex and delivering exceptional value to businesses of all sizes. With over nine years in SaaS, he’s built teams that were included on the Inc 500 fastest growing list, and touched virtually every marketing discipline, including creative direction, demand generation, and advertising.

A focused woman is working at a round wooden table, using a laptop. The screen displays a website with information about a WordPress theme. She is holding a pen and appears to be taking notes. The setting is a cozy and well-decorated room with plants and bookshelves in the background, creating a productive work environment. This image is suitable for discussing the "average cost of website design for small business."
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