Web Design

How Much Should a Web Design Cost ?

OK! Now lets get this out of the way right off the bat. We don't like wasting peoples time. I would rather be honest and up front than to lead you into an invoice of thousands of dollars that you didn't expect or didn't understand the work that went into your web site.

At least a few times a month, Purple Chrome Grafix get emails from inquiring potential clients who ask one thing: How much for a design?

More often than not, the answer that is given causes them to hit the road. Funny thing is, based on industry buzz, Purple Chrome Grafix prices could actually be considered totally reasonable by comparison. Don't believe me? Well, today is your lucky day, you get the whole scoop - our prices, their prices, and my always heart warming editorial commentary on the subject.

Purple Chrome Grafix prices for the sake of argument, I'm going to constrain today's post to a 6 page design only.

When people email us and ask for a quote, I always follow the same process. I visit their current site and determine the following:

  1. The current CMS platform (ASP, Peril, PHP(includes WordPress), etc.)
  2. The scope of the site – how many unique styling elements will be required for specialty pages?
  3. The perceived complexity of the re-design. Does this person want a graphical masterpiece with all kinds of bells and whistles?

Generally speaking, there's not a whole lot of variance in these areas from site to site, so after checking out the site in question, I usually have a good idea of how much to charge. Now, to answer the question you all want to hear…How much is all this gonna run me?

At this time, site designs start at $1600. This price is for a site that has minimal graphical complexity, no customized icons, and no logo production. What you do get at this price is rock-solid, hand-crafted, browser-tested CSS, XHTML, and simple (but striking) graphic design.

In most cases, bells and whistles like plugin support, unique page designs, and extra graphics push the price up into the $1900-$2200 range. From there, the price is largely dictated by page-specific CSS/XHTML production and custom graphic design . It's totally conceivable that a pimped out small site could run as much as $3000. Rest assured, though, that it would be totally badass, and specific to their liking and no templates used here.

Their Prices

Based on my experience, I have reason to believe that about 90% of you who just saw my prices thought, "Gosh, that's awfully expensive!"

Well, you're right, but actually, you're wrong too.

You're right because $1900 is a decent chunk of change – for an individual. You're wrong because companies throw this kind of money around all the time. They do so because they understand that crafting a brand holds a value that is oftentimes hard to measure in dollars and cents alone. On top of that, companies typically have a monetary objective behind the launch of a new design, so to them, there's a foreseeable payoff. Individuals and small "mom & pop" shops, on the other hand, are oftentimes unable to see things in such a positive light. Let's face it – most people don't make a sustainable (or even decent) income off of their web site.

Everybody wants a killer design, especially after seeing one that they lust over. Problem is, nobody wants to pay for it.

At last year's SXSW Trade Show, a very informative roundtable discussion focused on blog design. Naturally, the hottest topic of discussion was pricing, and the panelists freely gave out information regarding not only their prices, but also some info regarding industry pricing trends.

For instance, The Blog Studio from Toronto, Ontario, charges $3000 - $5000 for a blog design. Some people thought this was quite high, but Peter (who runs TBS) was good enough to break things down into their individual elements to explain pricing more thoroughly. It's been a while since SXSW, so I'll try and rehash things as best I can here. The major elements of blog design include:

  1. Graphical comps produced in Photoshop
  2. Graphical splicing for optimal CSS/XHTML structure
  3. CSS/XHTML production in standards-compliant fashion
  4. Unique CSS/XHTML adaptation to CMS platform of choice
  5. Bell-and-whistle functionality to meet client requirements

All of the steps highlighted above require a certain degree of expertise to be completed in professional fashion. Unfortunately, people who want designs are oftentimes unfamiliar with the amount of knowledge required to pull all this off in seamless fashion. Sometimes I think people see a design and think it's all just a matter of applying a "look" to stuff that's already there. In reality, that's basically what's going on. In practice, however, things are intensely more complicated.

And this is why you hire a professional.

Another person on the panel at the SXSW Trade Show design discussion was the female member of a husband and wife design team. While I don't remember her name, I certainly remember what she said about blog pricing. $2500 and up, and this "just really begins to cover the actual time investment" required to deliver a complete, robust design.

Want another example? Javier Cabrera, a very talented designer from EMAStudios is responsible for some really great stuff, charges $2500 as a base price.

How's my $1900 price tag sound now?  . . . .  Looks to me like I need to raise my prices.

So we are all on the same page . . .

To clarify for your understanding when we talk about:

* Text Page is referred to as, no more than one 8-1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, 12 pt size font, single-spaced, with 1-1/2 inch margins at top, bottom and sides.

* Web Site Content Authoring does not mean our Web Designer writes or rewrites content. Your content must be supplied to us written the way that you would like it to appear on your web site. Failing that, we can for an extra charge do the verbiage for you . Our communications specialist would work with you separately.

* The categories and prices for web site content are based on you providing your content to us in electronic format. Written materials may be provided to us in the body of an email, Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, WordPad or Notepad format only.

* We can supply professional writers to do the right verbiage content for your web site. Wordsmiths available at extra cost.

* If you provide your content in the form of existing manuscripts, brochures, literature, etc. and you wish to have us process the information, additional fees shall be incurred. Please note that we will not rewrite and/or edit your existing materials/information. Your editing, etc. must be done prior to your submission of your materials. Additional fees shall apply if we must convert printed materials into electronic format.

Given the fact that not every site will fall exactly into one of the our categories because we make everything from scratch, no templates, you may use the following as budget guidelines.

Our Design Packages

Basic Package
Ideal for anyone who wants a simple yet attractive web presence without breaking the bank. Good for displaying a few pictures/text. Appealing design and simplicity make this a good first step on the web.

  1. Up to 5 HTML pages
  2. Professional looking template layout
  3. Tailor-made grafix design
  4. You provide all the copy text and up to ten photos of your choice
  5. client to pay hosting fee
  6. 60 days free support after going live to cover any corrections or minor adjustments
  7. from $750.00

Web Design Package
Great starter site to present your Idea's or service's. The Web Design Package delivers a high-quality web site with an industry standard technology interface. Perfect for presenting your ideas in detail, with style.

  1. Up to 7 HTML pages
  2. Up to 3 images per page
  3. Rollover navigation
  4. Professional layout
  5. Tailor-made grafix design
  6. Your photos, text and logo
  7. 60 days free support after going live to cover any corrections or minor adjustments
  8. Basic search engine submission
  9. All pages done within W3C Standards (World Wide Web Consortium)
  10. From $1,475.00

Custom Web Designs
For the more unique side of a web page design and concept. The web site is total custom with graphics, pictures, logo(s) and words, all original. Professional and independant programming, word smithing and art design will help give you that unique attention grabbing layout. Simple, unique, professional, something different for your industry or profession.

  1. Up to 4 hours of interviews and business analysis
  2. Up to 12 HTML pages
  3. Up to 4 images per page
  4. Rollover, slide-out or drop down menu navigation
  5. Pre-approval of 1 of 4 samples:
    • site design and navigation
    • Masthead graphics
    • Colours and accents
    • Basic page elements
  6. Basic Search Engine Submission
  7. 90 days free support after going live to cover any corrections or minor adjustments
  8. All pages done within W3C Standards (World Wide Web Consortium)
  9. From $2,395.00

Professional Layout
( Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Accountants, etc.)

  1. Up to 4 hours of interviews and business analysis
  2. Tailor-made graphic designs specific to your profession
  3. Photos, text, logo(s) done with professional assistance
  4. Co-ordinated business card design
  5. Co-ordinated letterhead design
  6. Pre-approval of 1 of 4 samples:
    • site design and navigation
    • Masthead graphics
    • Colours and accents
    • Basic page elements
  7. Basic Search Engine Submission
  8. 90 days free support after going live to cover any corrections or minor adjustments
  9. All pages done within W3C Standards (World Wide Web Consortium)
  10. From $2,495.00

Flash Web Design

  1. Professional layout
  2. Up to 4 pages
  3. Tailor-made graphic design
  4. Your photos, text and logo
  5. Includes animation and sound
  6. from $4,950.00

E-commerce Web Designs
Includes all of Custom Web Design Package above
- from $4,995.00

Website Renovations

If you currently have a web site and feel your site needs :

  • updating
  • an upgrade to current coding standards
  • a fresh new look
  • would like to switch to a different designer

Our team can handle your needs and requests. We will implement our knowledge of marketing and design techniques into your updated and fresh new website. You have the opportunity of working with some very talented people regardless of which path you wish to take. You may choose from any of the above packages or, if you want to bring your website up to current standards, we will estimate a cost or work on a cost per hour.

Your choice! We would be happy to discuss any of the above packages with you.