What Is the Cost of Web Page Design in 2023? Is Free Web Design Real?

Published 30 August, 2023 Updated 06 October, 2023

How much does it cost to build a website using a web builder, the WordPress platform or expert web design services? Is it possible to have a business site designed for free? Here are all the answers.

What Is the Cost of Web Page Design in 2023? Is Free Web Design Real?

Many believe that when it comes to building websites, their options are limited to using website builders, content management systems like WordPress or professional web designers’ services (including freelance designers and agencies). Needless to say, the cost of web page design varies depending on the option you choose. And you must choose wisely if your budget is tight and the resources are limited.

So how much does a website cost? Continue reading to find a breakdown of the estimated costs and learn how to get free site design. Yes, you’ve read that right. You could have your own website designed professionally without spending a dime. Curious to learn how to get your web pages designed for free? We’ve got the low-down. 

Key highlights

  • Different types of websites come at different price points. For example, while personal blogs are usually the least expensive, ecommerce business sites (online stores) are generally more expensive.
  • When considering a DIY website design approach, it’s important to weigh the value of time against the overall cost savings for an accurate assessment.

How much does it cost to design a website? 

The method you use to design and build a website significantly affects how much you spend. 

Needless to say, professional web design often comes with a higher price tag that many small businesses cannot afford. However, it is still crucial to carefully evaluate lower price point options to ensure you are not cutting costs at the expense of your website’s quality. 

Let’s dissect some of the most popular design options and their costs.

Using website builders

Website builders enable creating business websites without the requirement of extensive coding or technical expertise. When using popular web builders like Squarespace, Weebly or Wix, you must pay a monthly or yearly fee based on tiered pricing plans. 

A website builder plan typically includes a domain name, website hosting, website templates and basic design features. Lower-tier plans can be priced as low as a few bucks per month, but, on average, you must allocate between $20-$30 each month. 

Website builder prices vary based on factors like storage capacity, available ecommerce features or integration of search engine optimization (SEO) tools. In short, the final cost of using a website builder depends on your business needs and preferences. 

TOP CON: A website builder requires a long-term investment

Most web builders operate on a subscription-based model, meaning you must pay recurring fees to maintain your website. For as long as you want to keep your website running. 

At first, a monthly $20 web builder cost may seem quite small. However, you should always consider long-term costs before spending money. At the end of the day, the monthly or annual fees you pay eventually add up. In just a few years, the total amount you pay may exceed the cost of hiring a freelance web designer or using other design methods. 

Moreover, you need to factor in potential price increases. As your business grows and requires custom functionality or more advanced features, you may need to upgrade to higher-tier price plans. You may even find it necessary to migrate to a more robust platform or a custom-built website in the future. 

To sum up, while a website builder may seem affordable short term, you must consider your business growth and long-term cost impact to decide whether that’s an option for you. 

Building a website on WordPress yourself

Unlike web builders that typically offer all-in-one packages, building a custom site with a content management system like WordPress involves various aspects. And each may come with a price tag. 

The WordPress platform itself is free to use, which is why it is the go-to tool for many small businesses. However, you cannot really build a professional business website for free using WordPress.

First and foremost, you need to consider domain name registration and website hosting fees. Next, add the cost of themes and plugins, which are vital to website building on WordPress. Here’s what you need to factor in when considering building WordPress websites: 

As you can see, with various aspects affecting the cost of building a WordPress website, it’s hard to give an exact estimate. Ultimately, how much you spend depends on what features and functionalities you include. However, it’s safe to say that a basic WordPress website can cost hundreds of dollars annually. 

TOP CON: Building a website on your own is a challenge for the inexperienced

If you decide you wish to create a website yourself using WordPress, make sure you evaluate your time. It’s easy to assume that a DIY approach will help you save money. However, you should not underestimate the time investment required for self-built websites. 

You’ll need to invest time in learning how to navigate the WordPress platform, making design decisions, integrating plugins and optimizing your website for mobile devices. The learning curve can be steep, especially if you start by seeking the most basic web design tips

Moreover, take into account the fact that, even if you do it all yourself, you will still need to spend money. So be sure to weigh the potential cost savings against the value of your time and the quality of the end result. 

Hiring an experienced freelance website designer

If you decide to hire a website designer, you will most likely have to pay hourly rates or fixed project-based fees. 

You can search for freelance web designers on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. According to Upwork, a freelance designer will charge between $15-$30 per hour on average. When it comes to fixed-price arrangements, you can expect to pay freelance web designers $1,000-$3,000 or more.

How much you pay for the web designer depends on a few factors, including the freelancer’s expertise level, geographical location, project complexity or how many pages you require.

TOP CON: Professional web designers require higher budgets

Undoubtedly, your chances of getting a professional, user-friendly site are much higher when you work with qualified professionals. However, this website design approach may not be the most practical option for small businesses with limited budgets. 

First of all, finding a professional web designer can be a time-consuming affair. You might have to post a job ad, interview candidates with the right questions and then negotiate a deal that’s right for you.

Moreover, the cost of hiring a professional is relatively higher compared to other methods discussed. And while a freelancer may charge you between $1,000-$3,000 and more, you would have to pay even more if you decided to work with a web design agency. Agencies employ graphic and web designers, SEO and marketing experts, copywriters and other specialists for one project, which can raise the fees to tens of thousands of dollars.

So make sure you carefully assess your financial capacity before hiring a freelance web designer.

Business website vs. online store vs. personal blog – which is the most expensive?

The type of website you’re looking to build is a major factor that determines the overall cost. With an emphasis on content creation, personal blogs are usually the least expensive to create. Of course, additional features for site visitors and design elements can add to the cost, but you can build a simple website for blogging without significant expenses.

Small business websites are generally more expensive to create than a personal blog website or a podcast website. That said, just like with a blog, how much you pay eventually depends on what you want your website visitors to experience and what kind of website traffic you want to generate. Expenses can escalate quickly depending on the specific needs and goals of your business.

Of course, if your goal is selling online, you can expect to pay more because the costs tend to increase due to the added complexities of ecommerce functionality. Expenses increase as you scale your ecommerce website. For example, you may need a payment gateway integration, product management systems and potentially more advanced design and customization. Due to this, the ecommerce website cost is usually higher.

Additional business website costs to take into account

Beyond paying for domain name registration and the basic hosting cost, building a website usually involves multiple other components, each contributing to the overall expense. 

Here is a list of various considerations that can impact the web design costs for your new website:

  • Domain name registration
  • Website hosting costs 
  • Ecommerce functionality
  • Website content or copywriting services
  • Number of web pages included
  • Apps and plugins
  • Database integration
  • SSL certification
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Security measures
  • Responsive design
  • Search engine optimization (vital for accessibility via Google and other search engines)
  • Multimedia content
  • Custom design and branding
  • Accessibility compliance

Before you begin the website design process, you should thoroughly assess your business needs and objectives to determine which components are essential for your website. Each factor on this list can contribute to the overall cost. Your budget should guide your decisions on which ones to prioritize.

Free website design services – an unexplored opportunity

So how do you work with a small budget when building a professional business site? We recommend working with web design interns. 

Driven by the desire to build a strong portfolio and establish themselves in the industry, a beginner web designer might be willing to work for free or at a reduced cost. But what about the quality of the work? Someone who is just starting out might seem unreliable, but they can bring fresh perspectives, creativity, innovative thinking and a good understanding of design trends to your project. Therefore, we can confidently say that outsourcing web design to interns is worth it.

And how do you find motivated and talented interns? At WAcademy, we train web, graphic and UX design interns, and we can match your project with an intern who will turn your vision into a beautiful website. So finding an intern is not a problem! 

Why join WAcademy?

WAcademy is an EdTech company committed to training the next generation of skilled web designers. Through our virtual internship program, we have created a unique opportunity for small business owners like you to get a completely free web design service. 

By partnering with us, you get to establish a professional online presence without straining your budget. Moreover, our interns can submit the first draft of your website within 20-30 days after you finalize your vision with an experienced project manager. 

When you choose WAcademy, you not only receive a cost-effective website but also benefit from the following:

  • A quick and easy registration process
  • Support from a professional project manager
  • Full customization according to your specific needs (no templates used)
  • Complete ownership of the final product
  • Additional web services to enhance your site’s functionality

Please note that while WAcademy can guarantee free web design services, hosting and domain name registration are outside our project’s scope. The good news is, Getspace – our hosting provider partner – can offer a package containing WordPress hosting, domain name, data backup, professional email inboxes, SSL certification, Elementor Pro license and other perks at a great price.

So, are you ready to build your professional website? Register using the link below, and our team will contact you shortly.