Website Pricing Basics

Whether setting up a new business or improving an existing one, business owners can face many costs.  Everything from purchasing or upgrading existing machinery to improving advertising is critical, though in many cases the costs are generally known beforehand.  However, web design and website pricing is one of those critical pieces to a business that can unfortunately vary wildly.  This article will give a bit of an overview of what a business owner should…and should not expect with website pricing.


When first beginning the process of finding a web designer, there are several important questions a business owner should ask:

  1. What functionality do I need for my website?
  2. Is a single person or small firm designing my website?
  3. Will graphic design, stock photos, or videography be required?
  4. Is any of the web design or development “offshored”?
  5. Will the designers maintain my website after it is launched?

Question 1: What functionality do I need?

Website functionality is defined as the way a website operates and what is required for it to operate, and this is far and away where the greatest fluctuations of website pricing can occur.  Most small business websites require generally very little functionality, usually ~10 pages and some photography.  Some businesses require an e-commerce presence, which can increase the cost of the website as it in turn requires integration of a payment gateway, shopping cart setup, and product photography.  A smaller group of businesses see significant visitor interactivity with their website, and need fine-grain control of visitor workflow, data analytics, and complex tools for management.  Essentially, the more your business website needs, the more time it will take to develop.

Question 2: Who is designing my website?

This is a critical question for a lot of reasons, one of which is cost.  One can think of web design as buying a meal at a fast food joint versus buying a meal at a luxury restaurant.  Comparably, a single freelancer on Craigslist will likely cost less than a large advertising firm in the middle of the city, but the difference in price may translate to a drop in quality.  No matter who you hire, make sure they have an acceptable portfolio and can ballpark website pricing for you before you agree to any terms.

Question 3: Do I need graphic design, photography, stock photos, or work on a logo?

In many cases, a website may require more than just content.  Businesses need photography, graphic design and re-branding done on a website.  Depending on the necessities, dozens of man hours may be needed to produce an appropriate logo, rebrand and integrate with the new website.

Question 4: Should I “offshore” my web design?

Offshoring web design and development can save a lot of money, but in return, quality, scheduling, and future development may be heavily sacrificed.  Sandia Digital has seen offshored websites with large security holes and unnecessarily complex code.  In addition, it is very hard to schedule time with the developers, who will likely be asleep while you are working.  Sandia Digital does not recommend offshoring your website or development needs for these reasons.

Question 5: Will the developers maintain my website after it is launched?

It is understandable to think that a website will function flawlessly for the lifetime of its implementation, however very frequently security holes are found and exploited via SQL Injection or other means.  In many cases it can take thousands of dollars and many lost hours of downtime to clear up exploited websites.  Some large businesses have tech teams readily available to implement solutions to these needs, but many smaller businesses do not.  Even if it is not with us, we highly recommend purchasing some kind of backup and maintenance package.  These should start at $100 for basic hosting and maintenance (good for most small businesses), and go up to $2,000 for more complex services like server administration and SEO.  This all said, you should never be forced to agree to any services that you do not want.  If your designer is requiring you to host with them, consider finding a new designer.

Ballpark Website Pricing

Now that we’ve gone over the considerations for website pricing, lets go over some estimates.  Based on fairly standard implementations, these are the prices we have seen for freelancers, small firms (like Sandia Digital), and larger advertising firms.

  • Avg. Web-Design Price: Freelancer
  • Avg. Web-Design Price: Small Firms
  • Avg. Web-Design Price: Large Firms


In conclusion, the cost of web design can vary from person to person and from firm to firm, but the above prices should reflect an average of what you should expect for your end product.  It is also important to consider post-implementation maintenance for your website, as backing up and updating your website can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Still have some questions?  Sandia Digital is happy to help you!  Take a look at our page on web design, as well as our page on hosting and maintenance for more information.  Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the information below.