Why Do Websites Cost What They Cost?

Below is a table of contents that will let you quickly read through our web design pricing guide. The information on this page is accurate for 2017 and is, based on our research, pricing that falls around "the middle of the road". Click on any of the boxes below to learn more about each item and how they affect cost.

Custom Web Design vs Template Based Web Design

The approach that we take towards the design of a website is probably the biggest factor in determining a final price. There are 3 main paths that we have and they are as follows: Using a pre-designed template, a custom design or our high-end web design. All 3 can and will produce beautiful websites yet all have a different approach.

Pre-designed WordPress theme: There are many very nice looking WordPress templates available and we can use them as a way to keep our hours down. We will help you pick one out then implement the template. Even though the site would be using a template we can still make simple changes to the design to make sure that it matches your branding.

Custom Design: We will go through a number of steps to best understand your business, your goals and your general taste in design. Our web designs are very conversion oriented. We take great care to make sure that our designs are visually pleasing as well as well thought out to give us the best chance to gain more customers for our clients.

High-end Web Design: This approach will be similar to the above except we plan on spending more time on every last detail of the design. Custom icons, typography, and images are all scrutinized for web design perfection.

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How Much Design Time for Interior Pages?

There are two different kinds of interior pages that we typically come across in our web design projects. The first is content that is just nicely formatted and the second are interior pages that require a lot of design time. The difference between the two comes down to our time spent.

Basic Interior Page Design: A page that just requires an image or two and some nicely formatted text requires significantly less time spent than the design and layout you may see on a home page of a website. These pages are fine for pages such as Testimonial or possibly Bio Pages.

Custom Designed Interior Pages: We would recommend having more of a budget for very important pages like your main services pages for instance. Although just a basic layout will still look great, with the additional budget for design time we can put in calls-to-actions, parallax background and interactive elements to make the page more visually interesting. This extra cost could be well worth it to increase the chances that your website visitors will convert.

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Logo Design Budget

If you are in need of purchasing a logo for your new company or are wanting to update your old tired one we have a couple of options for you. Depending on your budget and your desired use of the logo we have a couple of different approaches that we can take. Read below to learn more:

Basic Logo: We can do a very quick text-treatment only logo that will be for use on the website. There will be a little bit of a budget that will allow us to do a quick logo that would look and feel much better than just your website’s name typed out. This option is great if you just need something quick for the web. We will be using Photoshop as a way to keep cost and time down.

Full Logo Package: The other option would be to have us design a full logo + mark. This option will be appropriate if you are wanting to use this logo for all of your collateral material as well. We will provide the logo to you in a vector format that can be resized for any purpose. Use this on your business cards, website and any other print material that you may want.

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Home Page Slider Costs

A lot of modern web designs incorporate a slider on their home page. This feature is great for catching people’s eye and showing them quickly what the website is about. A slider will help show website visitors at a glance that they are on the right kind of website. We have a couple different options for these slides:

A Simple Slider:A quick approach to the home page slider would be to have us design 3-4 slides that fade from one to the other. There will be little to no animation to help keep our design time down. This slider would just be JPG's that fade into each other. Although simple, this can be a great option for websites that have great product images.

A Fully Animated Slider: A second approach would be a fully animated slider. Each element of the slides can animate in and be handled separately. This is great if you really want a slick slider to show off your companies main services or products. As you can imagine this requires more hours to build out and more back and forth with our clients. Because of this, the price is higher than just a simple slider.

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Photo Galleries Pricing Options

Whether you are looking for a simple photo gallery or a fully fleshed out gallery section to display all of your work, we have options for you. Depending on your needs we may be using the built in WordPress gallery or using a plugin like NextGEN Gallery.

A simple photo gallery: This is the more affordable option that is perfect for people would just like a a nice page of images that a user can easily step through. User will be able to click on each image and have them “lightbox” open to view at a larger size.

A full featured gallery: This is a great option if you want multiple categories within your gallery and require additional functionality. If you are a Photographer, for instance, this would be the option for you. Easily manage categories and layouts for large numbers of images on your website. Many layout options are available to meet just about any photo gallery need.

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The Cost of Stock Images

We much prefer that our clients provide us with authentic original imagery to use throughout their website. People can pick out stock images from a mile away these days. Using your own unique images can only re-enforce your companies commitment to quality. Handling your images in this way will help ensure that your website is unique and stands out among the crowd.

That being said, stock images are used all of the time and in our opinion are much better than having no images at all. Our own website, for instance, uses stock imagery alongside our custom made graphics. We can help wade through the sea of available stock images for you to help find the right images to compliment the copy on your page. We tend to gravitate towards curated stock photography sites like istock for this purpose. There are many other websites that offer affordable options and we can help point you in the right direction depending upon needs.

Stock images can range from $1 to $50 each depending on the level of quality needed and its intended use. We recommend having at least one image on each interior page as it greatly increases the visual appeal.

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Search Engine Optimization Considerations

On Page Optimization: Although our websites are coded with SEO best practices and we take an SEO standpoint on everything we do, we can spend the extra time needed to properly research the correct keywords for any particular page to find the keywords people are using to try to find content like yours. We would then implement the keywords into your copy, alt text and headers. We are very careful to not keyword stuff your page and use tools such as Moz’s page grader tool to help focus your page correctly to give it the best chance to rank.

Copywriting: We also provide copywriting. Our copywriters will interview you to get an understanding of the image and voice you are wanting to have on your website and then produce professional copy that can be used on your website. Our copywriters are trained at SEO. This would mean your copy would come optimized.

Tracking: We can also take the time to install website traffic and monitoring tools like Google Analytics and setup an account in Google’s Webmaster Tools. This will allow you to analyze your traffic to help with marketing as well as speed up the indexation process by submitting an XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.

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Social Media Connection

Having a solid Social Media strategy can help drive interest and increase the viral potential for your new website. We can put into place many features to help your visitors spread the word. A few of these include:

On-site Social Media: We can implement social sharing and social following throughout your website. Having things like Facebook Like boxes and pulling in feeds from your Twitter account can help increase your social reach. We can also put in social sharing functionality to make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to share your content with all of the people they are connected with.

Social Media Account Design: The second is creating or editing social media accounts for you to help unify your branding. After you have a new web design, matching the branding across your social media channels can help keep your brand looking good no matter where your potential clients find you. We can for instance, design a Facebook banner that is inspired by our web design.

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eCommerce Options

If you have a need to sell products on your website or if you need a way for people to be able to donate money to your organization we have some options to help facilitate this.

Donation Forms: Our donation form options rely on tying into an existing donation system or setting up a PayPal account for you. PayPal has a very easy way to setup a donation system that will allow people to donate what they want and have it tie into your bank account. Many not-for-profit organizations go this route.

eCommerce Options: If you use PayPal we can help create your products within the PayPal system and then use their embed code to add PayPal buttons to your website. This is an affordable way if your selling needs are simple. If you are in need for something more feature-filled we suggest using WooCommerce. This will give us an incredibly flexible eCommerce system that will allow you to manage your products from the back end, put things on sale, create coupons, export sales history and many many more features. Read more about WooCommerce eCommerce solutions here.

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Event Management Systems

If your organization has events that need to be displayed on your website we can handle this for you. There are multiple ways to put a system in place to suit your needs depending on the level of complexity that your event management system needs to be. Learn more about the options available below.

Simple Google Calendar Integration: If all you need is the ability to show upcoming events in an easy to manage interface we recommend tying into a Google calendar. We have found through the years that for simple calendar based views Google Calendar is actually the best compared to dedicated WordPress plugins. This is a relatively affordable way to get your events online.

Full Featured Event Management: If you would like to have an event management system that will allow you to create events, deprecate available tickets after purchase and have users pay for attendance we can build you a fully featured system that is easy for your customers to use and easy for you to manage. There are a number of premium WordPress plugins out there that can handle this task nicely. Because of the complexity of these plugins quite a bit of time is typically involved in getting these set up, thus increasing the cost.

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Contact Forms

Although we feel it is almost mandatory for a website to have a contact form system in place for people to get in touch with you, some clients may not need this on their website which is why we have it as an add-on. Many people on the internet would prefer to communicate initially though email vs phone and a contact form is a great way to facilitate this. Read below to learn about the features included in our affordable solution.

If you do want a contact form system on your website we utilize a premium WordPress plugin called “Gravity Forms”. Gravity forms allows us to create almost any kind of form field imaginable, send people to thank you pages, send alert emails to you, send thank you emails to your clients and save all of this data in an easy to use back end system.

We also recommend having contact forms directly on your money pages. Making it as easy as possible for people to in touch with you about a service you offer is extremely important. Saving them a click to your dedicated contact page can help increase conversions.

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CMS Training Options

We have worked with every major content management system out there. One of the biggest reasons why we landed on WordPress as our primary CMS is how easy it is to work with from an end user perspective. There is endless amounts of information on the internet on how to do almost anything imaginable with WordPress. We have been amazed over the years at the quality of work our clients are able to do on their own without our guidance.

If you are wanting us to teach you how to use our WordPress systems we can handle teaching you how to use your website at the end of the project either through Skype or, if you are in the Los Angeles area, in person. While building out your website we will gain a clear understanding of how you will likely want to use your WordPress system and can tailor make a training session based on your needs. All of our training session are very specific to the website we are talking about and we have a knack for helping people accelerate their understanding of the Wordpress system.

Although not necessary, we do recommend letting us teach you how to use your website’s back end. We are also fine to answer questions after the website launch and training. Many of our customers are loyal customers because of our level of support in helping them not need us.

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What Other Costs May I Not Be Thinking About?

Below is information on additional costs that you should be considering if building a website. All of the costs below are outside of our typical contract.

Web Hosting Costs

We do not offer website hosting to our clients. Rather, we help create the relationship with a vendor and you. We feel it is important for you to have your own website host and think it is shifty for web design companies to charge for hosting. There are many different types of web hosting out there. At a minimum, a shared hosting account that plays well with WordPress is needed. You can move up from basic packages to better hosting to help with speed and bandwidth if you so choose. Our favorite affordable web host is Bluehost.

From $15 per month



Domain Name Prices

We suggest using a company like Godaddy to purchase your domain name. Even if you aren't ready to build your website now you should be securing a domain name as soon as possible. It is a lot harder than you would think to get the domain name you desire. If SEO is important to you it may be in your best interest to buy a domain name that includes your primary keyword. Even if Google says that they do not want keyword stuffing domain names to work, if you look at a typical search result page you will see that the practice still does work.

From $15/year.



SSL Certificates

If you are going to be having an eCommerce enabled website and you want your customers to be checking out directly on your website then you will be needing an SSL certificate. This will make sure that the data being sent from the website to the web host will be encrypted making transactions secure.

Another reason you may want to consider getting an SSL certificate is for SEO purposes. Google is pushing very hard to make the web more secure and has even stated that they will be giving some preference to https enabled websites. You can read more about their stance on this here.

From $100 per Year



WordPress Themes

Even if we are doing a custom WordPress design a WordPress theme will be utilized. These themes generally cost around $60-%70 for license. It is important that this theme be in your name to allow for future updates. If you move on to another developer this will make sure that you have the access you need to keep things updated.

As you may already know, there are TONS of free WordPress themes out there. Although there may be many that are coded well, in our experience it is best to pay for a premium theme like the top sellers on Themeforest.net. The theme authors that are making money from their themes tend to put a lot more care into their products, provide better support and are generally an all around better product than the free themes out there.

Around $65



Premium WordPress Plugins

Most WordPress plugins that we use to build website are free or we have a developers license for them. Some additional plugins may be needed if very specific functionality is needed.A few examples would be a customized calendar plugin or a plugin that ties into the FedEx shipping database for real time shipping quotes.

Again - Buying plugins that have a large user base at a premium generally results in a better product. We will never buy a plugin before checking with our clients. These plugins are also best to have in our clients name for future use

From $20 each



Website Security and Backups

If desired we will also help set up a web security and backup system/relationship with a company like Vaultpress (hard cost not included and to be handle directly with the vendor). This will keep your website backed up on a daily basis and also monitor for suspicious code and vulnerabilities. We strongly recommend doing this as WordPress websites can be a target for hackers. VaultPress currently offers two plans: Basic and Premium. We would recommend the Premium plan, which is what we have as it offers the most comprehensive backup, security and support.

From $10/Month



Ongoing Maintanenece

After a project is complete you may want to hire us for additional work, additions or maintenance. Our hourly rate is a very competitive $65/hr. All of our team members run a timer and we do not round our time. If we work for 9 minutes in one month, you will get a bill for $65 X 0:09 around the first of the following month. We will always provide a rough estimate for how long your tasks may take so there will be no surprises.

$65 per Hour