From small starter websites to complex bespoke solutions,
in this article, we cover all bases
A do it yourself website can cost as little as £10 per month and a custom made website by a professional web design agency can cost anywhere from £3000 to £30,000 +
So what’s the difference and what should you choose? In this article, we give a full overview of all the available options and why in most cases, the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
Site builders like WIX make it more tempting than ever to try and create a website yourself…but should you?
As a web design and marketing business, we’ll try not to bad mouth Wix too much! Wix are the big players when it comes to self-build web design. Relatively easy to use, Wix does have very nice looking templates to choose from. It’s a far cheaper option compared to even the most reasonable charges from a web designer.
So why do web design companies like ours exist?
The answer is fairly straightforward and we’ll use the following analogy to make the point.
There are lots of things that individuals can do themselves without paying for an expert. Most individuals at a push could probably learn to lay a few bricks. Does this mean the same person is then able to build an entire house? The answer obviously is no. There’s a lot more to the workings of a website than aesthetics alone.
A website is the most valuable marketing tool at your disposal and having a cheap-looking website that functions poorly will be very offputting to potential customers. Outsourcing your website design to a freelancer or a web designer doesn’t have to cost the earth. If done correctly, it’ll pay for itself over time.
Low Budget Websites
£30 – £60 Per Theme
£1300 – £3000 Development Cost
Website templates & themes
If your budget is up to £2000 for your website, you will probably have to compromise on certain aspects. A WordPress theme or template is essentially a pre-made website. Sometimes there is dummy content which you can remove and replace with your own. This is arguably the cheapest and best way to get a great looking website on a budget and we often find ourselves offering this option to small businesses.
Themeforest.net has a whole host of available pre-made templates and themes for you to choose from. A possible option would be to search for a theme/template that has been made with your particular industry in mind.
You could then approach a web design company such as ourselves, and ask them to make any alterations to the theme and add your content to it. Depending on how much alteration and content you have, this should be possible up to the thousand-pound budget. The benefit of asking a web developer to do this is that a professional web design company will be able to look under the hud so to speak and check the quality of the theme or template you’ve chosen.
What about code quality and being SEO friendly?
A professional web designer will be able to guide on the code quality side of things and it is important to make sure the theme is tested on all devices and browsers. However, if everything checks out, SEO (search engine optimisation) will be just as effective using a template or theme. We know this because we’ve used themes with many of our clients. A successful SEO strategy is less about neat code and far more about useful, content-rich pages.
So what’s the catch?
Not all themes are well designed which is why it’s still worth seeking a professional to help. Perhaps the largest compromise with a theme/template is the level of customisation available. Since the website templates and themes are pre-made, you are restricted in just how much you can change certain features easily. This, of course, isn’t a problem if you like the template!
Another issue is originality. Since these themes are available to anyone, someone else out there may have a similar looking website to yours depending on how much you customised it. A counter-argument to this is that most websites do follow a similar formula, which is true. You just have to weigh up how much this bothers you.
Standard And Extended Licenses
It’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t actually own the code of your website when purchasing a theme. You will own the copyright to your content if you protect it, but not the code itself. You are purchasing the right to use the theme under a standard or extended license. For the full lowdown between the two types, take a look at the differences the ThemeForest website here.
The main difference is that you are only able to use the theme once for an end product that is not resold or has any form of a paywall for the regular license. Purchasing an extended license is usually a far more expensive option and is not really worth the money. This is because you could have a custom made website developed which you could actually “own” for around the same price.
Pros of using a theme:
- Great for startup businesses wanting a professional look on a budget
- WordPress makes it relatively easy to alter pages and upload blog posts yourself
- It’s a much quicker process than having a site made from the ground up
- SEO works just as good on a well-made template/theme as a bespoke design
Cons of using a theme:
- Fewer options for customisation
- Originality can be an issue since anyone can purchase the same theme/template
- You don’t own the code of your website
- You usually can’t put a paywall to reach certain parts of your website without paying the creators of the theme an extended license fee. This fee is usually very high, almost the cost of a bespoke made website
Bespoke Web Design Cost
£3000 to £30,000 +
That’s a big price jump…
When you get into the realm of custom-made websites, the price point will vary massively. Generally, custom-made websites are the preferred choice when there is a reasonable budget involved. At the end of the day, it’s tax-deductible, so if you can go for the best, it just makes sense to truly own your digital product/website.
Bespoke WordPress Development
You might have noticed the term “WordPress” used in this article a lot already. For those unaware of what this is, WordPress is essentially a content management system that lets you change/alter aspects of your website without necessarily having to know how to code to do so.
WordPress powers around 30% of all websites on the internet, so it’s fairly popular! A custom made WordPress website is generally what most web design agencies will be creating for their clients. It’s a very popular option and allows developers/users the option to expand the functionality of the website with relative ease in the form of plugins.