One of the most frequent comments we get asked by new or potential clients is, 'how much does web design cost uk', or more likely, 'I have no idea how much web design cost, can I afford it'?
Now, this is not a simple question, and therefore the answer is not simple. Websites can vary in price from £300 to £100k+. But why is there such a disparity in the price of a website? I will attempt to answer that question and give you some indications of what you might expect to pay.
How much does professional web design cost?
The first aspect we need to look at is what's the difference between web designer and developer?
The primary aspects you are paying for when you buy a new website is the website's design and development. Design and development are not the same things. Think of design as how the site looks and the development of making the design work. Both go hand in hand, often with specialists in each discipline. Paddle Creative offer both aspects of this side of the website.
When asking yourself, how much should a professional web designer cost, there are many moving parts to consider. Every website Paddle Creative produce is bespoke to the needs of the business we build it for. We believe this is a key reason you should consider us for your next website and a vital ethos of the company – build for your business. Often this is where the most significant element of pricing for a website comes into play. Many website companies or Webflow Agencies will not offer that much in terms of website development or design. They offer instead access to a template they have purchased and change the images, logo, and text to make it look like it has been developed for your business.
For some businesses, this works just fine. It is usually the cheapest option and provides you with a presence online. However, this is not something that Paddle Creative offers, with each website created from scratch. Therefore, your Paddle website will look different from any other out there, giving you a way to stand out. The reason Paddle chooses this approach is quite simple – your business is important. Trying to fit your business's service offering, brand identity, and unique characteristics into a template often just do not cut it. Using a template, you will also look very similar to other companies in your niche, something you will want to try avoiding in all circumstances.
Your business is unique – it is worth paying a little more to ensure it is portrayed as unique online too. That said, having a bespoke website does not mean you have to break the bank. Paddle Creative offers bespoke websites starting from just £3,000, which gives you a hand-crafted website to showcase your business to its' best.
What Does a Website Developer Do?
Once your website has been beautifully designed, it needs to be developed into a fully functioning website. The development element is what makes your website work, and this is the part that often takes the most time on a project. The code behind the beautiful design is what your web browser interprets and enables you to navigate a website.
It is vital that this is undertaken correctly and to the latest best-practices, else you could be wasting money on visitors' bouncing' from your site without turning into visitors. A website's functionality is likely to have the most impact on the cost, probably more than anything else. You may not know what functionality you need. You may have a clear idea and simply do not know how to achieve it. That is where Paddle Creative can step in and use our knowledge to help guide you through the process. We will only offer to help if it is functionality we believe our collective brainpower and expertise can accomplish.
Why Responsive Web Design is Good for SEO
Without getting too technical, your website will be created with a lot of code. You will see a pretty website with images, branding, text, etc. However, your web browser and search engines such as Google will see the code! Going back to the previous point, if you use a template, it is likely that this code will be bloated with lots of extra, unnecessary lines of code. Taking the template or theme approach will have three significant drawbacks;
It may not appear correctly across different browsers and devices.
It will slow down your website, and so in turn, your visitors are more likely to 'bounce' and not turn into customers.
Finally, too much code will be bad for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), or how high you appear on search engines. More on that later.
Do I Need a Web Designer?
Now you may well know that you can have a go at developing your website yourself. There are many different website builders out there, from WIX to Squarespace. These are solid solutions that open up the web for many business owners. However, a familiar tale is clients will contact me and say they have tried to develop a website themselves using such website builder tools but have not managed to achieve the expected results! If you try it yourself, you will quickly see it is not easy developing websites, and although it will be a 'cheaper' solution, the chances are it will 'cheapen' your brand.
The cost of Plugins
As already highlighted above, the functionality that your website needs has a significant influence on cost. Website functionality may be anything from a booking system to a search filter and many other advanced features. Developers can develop many aspects, however often, it is cheaper, and you will get a better result if we utilise a solution that already exists. If you have any specific functionality your website needs, get in touch, and we can talk you through the options. However, some web companies will utilise plugins for fundamental aspects, such as navigation or an 'about page. By using unnecessary plugins, it will open your website to the potential of being hacked. Therefore, Paddle Creative does not utilise plugins – we will integrate into your website a specific service, but there is a subtle but essential difference.
Website Security & SSL
OK, so we realise this title may not fill you with excitement – but listen up! Security is your responsibility as a website owner. If your site gets hacked and your visitors subsequently get hacked, this opens you up to all sorts of liabilities. Not to mention, an insecure website will lead to poor search rankings and poor conversion rates. That is why you will want to ensure your site has minimal external plugins and has well-written code.
Also, you must have an SSL certificate in this day and age.
Secure Socket Later…yep sounds boring, right? OK, it's boring…but essential! SSL encrypts the link between a web server and a browser meaning any data passing through it is safe and secure, and your visitors know they are on a safe site (hence the padlock icon displayed on the top of a web browser to show it has an SSL encryption). If a site does not use SSL, it will be labelled "not secure" by the main web browsers, strongly discouraging people from visiting your site.
Combine these factors (well-developed website and SSL) with web hosting on an ultra-secure server. Then you can be more confident that you will not get hacked.
When people access your website, they do so on a web browser and entering a website address. That website address is essentially the door to your website. What is through that door is your website. Think of website hosting of a server that gives you access to that door. All websites (the part behind the door) need to be hosted on a server somewhere so that you can see through the door. Not all website hosting is created equal! Cheap website hosting is available, but it comes with its' issues which are likely to slow your website down and lead to security vulnerabilities. Both, in turn, will lead to poor SEO results. Paddle Creative only utilises what we consider the best you can get, AWS (Amazon Web Servers). These are servers offered by Amazon and, as such, are probably the best in the world. Due to the volume we buy, we can offer a discounted rate for your project. Our web hosting solution will still cost more than some of the cheaper hosting options out there, but it removes the security issue and speeds up your website, two things that are invaluable to your business!
What you write on your website is, of course, crucial to how it converts and the image it portrays of your business. If you are a confident copywriter, then go for it, and this will reduce costs. However, you could have the most beautiful website in the world, but without the correct content, you will always fail to attract the right type of customers. Paddle Creative spotted this, and we now include copywriting by a pro for most projects. Handing over most of the copywriting responsibility to Paddle Creative increases the speed at which we can get your project live, as this is often a stumbling block in the process. This is, of course, a cost to consider when getting a new website.
Like your text, imagery is crucial in the portrayal of your business. There are some fantastic free stock photography sites out there, such as Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. However, as these are free stock sites, your competitors are likely using the same imagery – not a good look when you are trying to stand out amongst the crowd. Paddle Creative also include premium stock imagery in your website cost, therefore giving you an added edge. Where appropriate, we can arrange for professional photography in the proposal if you want to stand out and give yourself an edge over your competitors.
So, there you have it. Your simple website has many facets and elements that go into making up how much it costs. Just how well these elements are undertaken and put together will be reflected within the cost. Paddle Creative are not the cheapest web design company you will find, but we do not try to be. We are offering you and your business something unique, as that is what your business deserves. So, you can go it alone, find a template reseller, or get in touch with Paddle Creative today and discover how we can help your business thrive in a competitive world. We will offer candid advice and a refreshingly open approach to working together. We cannot offer a cheap website, but a website that gives you a competitive edge.
If you would like to find out more, get in touch, and we would love to help you create a stunning website befitting of your business.