We’ve collected six of the top website design trends you can expect to see in 2020.
How Much Does Website Design Cost?
A custom business website design can do more for your business than any other digital marketing strategy.
But how much does website design cost? And, how do you balance the price you pay versus quality?
We answer your most important questions in our comprehensive web design pricing guide below. For pricing guides for other types of design, click the drop-down below.
Today, it’s impossible to reach customers and prospective customers without a website. This is especially true for new small businesses and startups trying to compete in an increasingly noisy world. but it’s also true for even established companies.
A professional website design is a crucial component of your marketing and branding strategy. Customers visit your website because they have a particular purpose in mind – they need something from you – and your website should help to make them feel comfortable to purchase a product or service from you.
How much should web design cost?
Free website design options
Best for personal use
$0 to $300
|Website design options||do it yourself||generic templates|
|Quality and value||not professional, generic||not professional, generic|
|Who needs it?||personal use only||personal use only|
Affordable website design options (best value!)
Best for startups, growing companies, agencies, marketers
|Website design options||freelance designer or design contest||freelance designer or design contest|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||startups, growing businesses, marketers||businesses, agencies, marketers|
Grow your business with beautiful design.
Expensive website design options
Best for VC-financed startups and multinational companies
|Website design options||small design agency||large design agency|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||VC-financed startups||multinational companies|
FREE BRAND IDENTITY GUIDE
How can you determine if you’re getting a good value for what you pay?
Your company’s brand identity (everything visual about your brand) is one of your most valuable assets. And, consistent branding is the best way to build strong relationships with your customers and prospective customers. So, you should view your designs across all mediums as a long-term investment.
But, design companies and agencies typically charge tens of thousands of dollars for their web design services. And, you can easily find an amateur designer who will create a generic design for one page from a template for only $5!
With such a wide price range, it can be tough to identify the sweet spot that will deliver you an awesome, custom website design for a reasonable price.
Here are important elements that you should look for when you buy design services:
- Custom, Brand-Informed Design. Look for web designers or design firms who create unique, original designs that fit your brand. That’s one reason why crowdspring thoroughly vets, in every single design category, every designer who applies to work on crowdspring. It's also the reason we accept only a small number of applicants.
- Collaborative Process. Design is not a one-and-done transaction. Design is a collaborative process, especially when it comes to website design. If the designer doesn’t provide proofs for your review and isn’t willing to make changes based on your feedback, any price is too high. As an example, here’s how design projects on crowdspring work.
- IP Protection. Stock art and templates create problems with trademarking and protecting your design. Without a unique brand identity, you expose your business to potential future lawsuits. If your website designer or design company lacks the procedure for preventing intellectual property and transferring ownership to you, any price is too high.
- The Final Deliverables. In the design world, the design files you walk away with are called your final deliverables. For each type of design, you should receive specific high resolution and low resolution files, suitable for online and print use (when appropriate). Anything less will leave you spending much more money trying to modify or redesign that website later.
Free and cheap website design options: $300 or less
Obviously, the most cost effective option is to build your own web design. By using free design applications, or those you already own, you can craft your own web based on your own vision.
But not everyone has the talent, or time, to make a DIY design. Plus, doing so would require you to know, or learn, a graphic design application such as Adobe XD ($9.99/month) or Sketch ($99/year). Moreover, designing a website on your own is a lengthy process, and most people don’t have the time to build one themselves.
Instead, some brands in this range turn to online website templates from website builders, which provide generic website designs. These online template sites charge anywhere from $0 to $300 just the design. Keep in mind that the templates are generic and you’ll see hundreds or thousands of other companies using the same templates. Your business will not be able to stand out when it looks like everyone else’s site.
When should you use generic templates?
You’ll find many free or low cost automated template options from website builders that can build generic websites for you. But, online templates are generic and uninspiring designs that will make it impossible for your customers to fall in love with your unique business. After all, do you want people to think you’re running just another mediocre plumbing service? There is nothing premium or professional about generic templates.
Sure, you might be able to use a free template and save a few dollars, but it will end up costing you much more when you struggle to build a strong brand.
Computers don’t understand human emotion or psychology. Real web designers understand how people think and how to create emotionally powerful brands and websites that convert.
The truth is that free or cheap website design is never free or cheap.
Don’t fall for statements that you can create a professionally designed free website in minutes. This is not possible.
Look at the world’s most successful companies. Not a single one used a generic template to build their websites. That should tell you something...
You'll either pay for professional design up front with a small fee or suffer the inevitable consequences of bad design.
Generic templates will not leave a lasting impression on your customers or prospective customers, and will not give you a one-of-a-kind, professionally designed identity. Even if you can customize generic templates, you will get an uninspiring, non-professional, generic design.
Simply put: there’s nothing unique, custom or brilliant about websites when you make them using pre-made generic templates. It’s the equivalent of everyone in the world wearing black.
Affordable website design options: $900 to $1,300 (best value!)
If you have a slightly bigger budget and need a high-quality professional web design, freelance web designers and design contests are your best option (both options are available on crowdspring). They also happen to deliver the best overall value.
Freelancer designers can invest their time to build custom, unique designs that will help you stand out from the competition. You can share your values and your vision, and have a professional designer create a website that reflects your unique brand.
Usually, freelance design costs fall in the following ranges:
- Offshore Designer: $500 – $1,0000
- Beginner Freelancer: $1,000 – $2,500
- Experienced Freelancer: $2,500 – $5,000
- Renowned Freelancer: $5,000+
Similarly, design contests, like those you find on crowdspring, also incorporate a high-quality, professional, and personable process. Yet design contests go a step further, and allow dozens of designers to submit their own unique designs. At the end of the project, you pick the website design you love best! And, importantly, you set your own price.
With design contests, not only do you get that superior quality (with the added benefit of many options) – you get excellent service and communication, all wrapped up into one price.
Typical prices you can expect from design contests are:
- About 25 designs: $900 – $1,200
- About 35 designs: $1,300 – $1,600
- About 20 elite designs: $1,600-$1,800
- About 30 premium designs: $2,000+
A business website design contest is a perfect fit for businesses of all sizes, including your small business, agencies, entrepreneurs, startups, marketers, non-profits, and other types of organizations.
Expensive website design options: $20,000+
If you have a big budget, and are already a well established, multinational business, or want the 'complete branding package,' then agencies are your best option.
Agencies are equipped with talented teams of creative professionals. If using an agency for your project, they dedicate a team of creatives to design and plan your brand’s identity and your website. They also create a consistent visual style across your platforms, completing the all-inclusive package deal.
But the price can be staggering and out of reach for most businesses. Depending on your needs, and your budget, the following ranges represent typical agency design costs (these costs do not include the custom website design - this is just for the overall brand identity):
- Local Agency: $5,000 – $7,500
- Small Agency: $7,500 – $15,000
- Mid-Sized Agency: $15,000 – $50,000
- Large Agency: $50,000+
As you can see, agencies costs are significantly higher than other options. But, if you have the budget to invest heavily in your brand, this is a good option for you.
More than 60,000 of the world’s best entrepreneurs, businesses, agencies and non-profits love and trust crowdspring for professional website design.
Your custom website can look this good...
How to choose a designer or agency
Below, we share questions you should ask before picking a designer or agency.
Are the designs original, or based on stock art or templates?
Stock art and templates are all over the Internet. That’s why so many amateur web designers rely on them.
But stock art and templates are generic. If you use stock art or templates, your company’s brand identity will look like thousands of other businesses. You’ll simply confuse your customers and prospects.
Look for a designer, design company, or agency that provides truly original designs to help your company stand out from the competition.
How does the designer or agency protect your IP?
Original designs belong to the person who creates those designs, until intellectual property rights for those designs are legally transferred to a new owner.
In our digital world, where everyone has easy access to millions of designs on the web, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the designs you commission are original. Otherwise, you may find another business or designer knocking on your door with a cease-and-desist letter, requiring you to pay huge fines and forcing you to pay tens of thousands of dollars to rebrand.
That’s one reason why crowdspring, from the day we launched in 2008, has included a free, custom legal agreement transferring the full intellectual property rights to any original design you buy on crowdspring, to you. And, it’s also why crowdspring is trusted by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, small businesses, brands, and agencies from over 100 countries.
Does the designer or agency offer reliable, timely customer support?
A great finished design is only part of the picture. How you get there is important, too.
Make sure the freelance designer, design company, or agency you choose has support staff available to help in case you run into an issue, your project changes direction or you just have a few questions.
The best designers, design companies, and agencies will offer support via phone, chat, and email 7 days a week to ensure you can get in touch when and how you need to.
How many designers will work on my project?
A single designer can only excel in a limited number of unique design styles. And, the lower the price, the fewer design options you’re likely to see.
If you’re not 100% sure what you’re looking for, it helps to see many options. And, a team of a dozen web designers all providing varying artistic perspectives will ensure that you’ll find a design that resonates with you.
In what formats can I expect the final design files, and how will they be sent?
Your designer should send you a range of file types so that you can flexibly use the design in the future.
The most commonly used file formats are PNG, EPS, AI, and PDF. For web design, you’ll typically want layered PSD files and/or Sketch or Figma files. The designer should send you files in each of the proper formats in case you need a certain format for future use.
Each format has its benefits. Here’s a quick summary:
- For digital purposes – from presentations to image watermarks – use PNG files. You can also use PDF and other similar formats They have a clear background and are a small file size. However, they can lose quality when manipulating the size.
- For printing, use vector files for images like logos, and proper native files (like AI). Just remember you might need special software to view and change vector and other types of files.
- When you later need to make changes to a design, use SVG, AI, or EPS files. And for website files, as noted above, request layered PSD or equivalent files (ask your web developers what they will need).
Will I be able to easily ask others for design feedback?
Choosing and refining the perfect web design can be tricky. And, sometimes, we get so close to the process that it helps to have outside opinions.
Not all designers, design companies, or agencies make it easy to share the created designs and get useful feedback to guide you. Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers easy-to-use tools, like focus groups or polls, to get easy feedback without creating a lot of friction for you and your friends, colleagues, and customers. No one wants to manually assemble design comparison sheets and track lengthy and cumbersome group email chains.
Does the designer or design firm offer a money-back guarantee?
Design is a speculative field. You never really know what the end result will be. And, if you’ve been present and engaged in the creative process and you’re still not satisfied, sometimes it’s best to walk away.
Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee that covers all design costs and fees paid.
When should you avoid specific designers or agencies?
Here are some of the classic warning signs a designer or design company may not be worth your money:
- They only ask basic questions like your business name and industry. A designer can’t differentiate you from other businesses when they aren’t asking questions specifically about your brand, the audience you want to reach, and the emotion you want your brand to convey.
- The price they are charging is too cheap to believe. For designers, time is money. A low price range equates to little time and effort invested. This is true even for overseas designers who have become accustomed to being paid US rates for their design services. The quality of a design and the final deliverable files you’ll receive will both suffer if the price is too low. A unique, quality design evolves from a thoughtful and collaborative relationship with a designer - which will cost a bit more but is well worth the investment.
- No satisfaction guarantee. It’s a bad sign if the designer or design company doesn’t stand behind their work with a complete money back guarantee based on your satisfaction. If the designer isn’t confident enough in their work to offer a refund, why should you trust them with your brand’s visual identity?
If just one of these classic warning signs are present, you might want to keep looking for another designer or design firm.
What you should know about websites
What is a website?
A website is an online resource made up of different webpages. Each webpage is filled with meaningful and persuasive text, images, and videos.
A website advertises your brand in an eye catching, information-packed, and strategic way. Websites are made to give the viewer a complete look at your brand and how your business can benefit them.
Why are websites important?
Today’s consumers expect businesses to have a well designed website. They consider a good website design to be reflective of a reputable business. Moreover, consumers want the convenience of learning more about a business whenever they want and without having to talk to anyone.
Your website is a place where consumers can find a myriad of information about your brand including: who you are, what products or services you sell, contact information, your blog, client reviews, and much more.
So what are the important takeaways of a well designed website? A well designed website strengthens your company’s credibility, offers a perfect introduction to your brand, showcases your values, products, and services, and improves your brand’s exposure.
Strong websites promote authenticity
These days, information and authenticity is everything. People take the time to look into brands before stepping into the role of a customer or investor.
Prospective customers are typically looking for five different bits of information, depending on the type of website. A good website contains the following:
- Who you are. You should provide your business’s name and logo.
- What can you do for them? People came to your web page for a reason. Don’t waste time - tell them right away how you can help them.
- How to get in touch? You should clearly display your company’s number and email.
- Where are you located? Be sure to indicate your address and the hours of operation.
- Awards, testimonials, and affiliations. Knowing that the public opinion is in your favor is a good way of enhancing your brand’s reputation and standing in your customer’s eyes.
- A welcoming design. Simplicity goes a long way. Be sure your design is unique, reflects your brand, and follows your other branding.
Your company’s website is often the first place a prospective customer visits to learn about your company. And, while many different things influence people’s buying decisions, there’s a single common factor that drives nearly every purchasing decision: can the customer trust your business? A well designed website will easily convince them to trust your brand.
Strong websites create lasting bonds
One of the first (of hopefully many!) interactions between a potential customer and any business (especially a small business) often involves websites. And, a well designed website will make a customer’s experience easy and will help sell your brand over and over again.
At the end of the day, you are selling a product or service, and a website is the perfect way to show that off. Websites are made to cater to the needs of the consumer, and consumers crave knowledge and transparency. So, by including your company logo, call-to-action, testimonials, and other information in the web design, you are improving your marketing ability. But more importantly, you are sharing your professionalism and brand identity in a non-intrusive and creative way.
Strong websites support brand awareness
Brand Awareness is no one-and-done process. Rather, it’s a lifetime strategy for your business. As such, one of the most important aspects of branding is through visual elements such as logos, websites, and marketing materials. Therefore, your website design should echo the design of your logo, products, and other elements of your brand identity.
If properly designed, websites are impactful, memorable, and evoke emotions. More importantly, your design should be distinct and stand out from your competition.
Strong websites are impactful and filled with clear and useful information. They act as stepping stones for potential customers or investors to take the next step with your brand.
Strong websites are memorable
With all that said, creativity is key. A creative web design molds a unique one, and that is essential to pulling attention to your brand. If people recognize your brand, they are more likely to interact with it, and more likely to share it. And, importantly, more likely to buy from you.
You should impress people with your web design. The better the design, the better the impression, and the more people it will reach. And a great design will leave them talking about your business.
Tips for successful and unique website design
Have a simple design
Many different strategies, techniques, and skills are involved in creating a powerful web page design. Web design involves assessing many elements such as the layout, typography, graphics, colors, images, navigation, structure, search engine optimization, content and content management system, graphic design, social media links, text styles, interactive features, user experience, user interface, etc. Effective website designs maintain balance between the required elements to create consistency, integrity, and a powerful design.
Ultimately, your website should have accurate, easy-to-read information. If people can’t easily read details like contact information or your business’s name, your design has failed. Also, make sure your website has the most essential information and keep the design elements minimal.
Include only essential information
Studies show you only have a few seconds to make a good and professional first impression. So, make it clear up front why your business exists and what it does – and showcase that on your website’s homepage. After all, you’re selling a product or service and the best way to sell your brand is with a clear and simple call-to-action.
Organize your site to provide a better user experience
People prefer websites that are properly organized (and so do search engines). Keep in mind that when your prospective customers visit your site, they’re typically looking for specific information. They’re rarely going to read entire pages – they’ll skim headlines and small portions of text and look at photos or graphics (but not all of them on the same page).
A properly structured site that presents information in an orderly and organized way will be much more successful than one that appears chaotic. Here’s a tip: use bold, easy to read fonts and bullets to present key information or to stress things you want the readers to notice.
Content is important
Search engines index sites based on the quality of content (and links). The more meaningful content on your site, the more attractive your site becomes for search engines – and people! In fact, poor content can quickly cause a visitor to leave your site. Don’t ignore headlines – they can be very powerful and can mean the difference between a visitor reading the rest of the content and leaving your site.
More importantly, keep the content fresh and current. If your website has content dated from 2013, your visitors may quickly leave your site.
Use a responsive design
Mobile devices are accounting for an increasing percentage of web traffic. In fact, some businesses, like Twitter, have more people accessing their sites via a mobile device than a desktop computer. This trend has been going up for years and will continue for years to come.
That’s why it is imperative that your web design is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Most services offer a flexible design that will cover these requirements and will make your new website look beautiful across all devices.
Pay attention to site load times
People are impatient when browsing websites and slow load times negatively impact user experience. If your site design is graphically intense, you need to make sure you’ll have the hardware infrastructure and bandwidth to support the designs. This is especially critical if you’re serving a large customer base and expect substantial traffic to your site. You can improve your site load times by picking good hosts and keeping content concise.
A unique web design is a good first step...
Once you have your information planned out, it’s fun to try and think of interesting ways to make your website more impactful to the viewer. Your website is a digital platform, so imagination is your only limitation.
Currently, unique illustrations are popular among top websites. Even Apple has implemented illustrations across dozens of their webpages. You can also play with shapes, scrolling, layout, and more to stand out from your competition.
But beware, straying from the traditional look and feel of a website may increase your design costs. On the other hand, the added delight and brand recall that special and unique designs can have may be worth the expense. Just make sure your design is easy to read and interact with.
Invest a little time to make sure your web design is attractive, accurate, and on brand. That way, viewing your website is impactful, and is a meaningful start to a beautiful friendship.
How you can hire professional website designers
We know you have many choices for custom web design. The most common method is to hire a freelance designer, and you can work 1-to-1 with an expert designer on crowdspring.
There are other ways to get your custom website designs. For example, you can crowdsource your design by starting a web design contest on crowdspring.
Nothing makes us happier than connecting people, businesses, agencies and nonprofits with talented designers.
We have a terrific community of logo designers, graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, product designers and namers. Over 220,000 talented creatives from 195 countries work on crowdspring.
When you post your custom design project on crowdspring, you’ll get custom designs submitted by designers from all over the world. You won’t have to waste your valuable time digging through bids and proposals. You’ll pick your favorite from actual designs. In fact, clients have told us that choosing their favorite is the hardest part of the whole process!
When using crowdspring for custom design services, you can focus on getting the best result possible. We take care of everything else. With our award-winning customer service, hassle-free guarantee, customized legal agreements, strict intellectual property standards and fantastic project management tools, we know you’ll be happy. And if you’re happy, we’re happy.
And if you prefer to work with a single designer, we’ve got you covered. Just like a traditional crowdspring project, in 1-to-1 projects, you decide how much your project will cost. The minimum price for a 1-to-1 project starts at $200 (which includes crowdspring’s fee) and you can always increase the award.
Designers receive 100% of your award. Our fees cover the cost to host the project, our award-winning tools, escrow and payment, and custom contracts and non-disclosure agreements.
You and the designer you pick will be able to negotiate both the scope and the price for the project. When determining your award amount, please remember to price your project based on the scope of work. More labor-intensive projects deserve larger awards than very simple projects. You can set your own budget or you can ask the designer to provide a price quote based on the scope of work. It’s your choice.
We like to have fun at crowdspring, but we take our business very seriously. Although the vast majority of the businesses we work with are smaller, we regularly work with the world’s best Brands, including Amazon, LG, Random House, Starbucks, Barilla, Phillips and many more. We also regularly work with many of the world’s best agencies - and tens thousands of entrepreneurs and startups from over 100 different countries.
We would love to help you!
Need a custom business name, logo or website design?
Tell us what you need
Choose from 30+ categories, complete a project brief, and pick a package that fits your budget.
Creatives submit designs
Collaborate with dozens of creatives, give feedback and score, and get revised custom designs.
Choose your favorite
Work with the winner to finalize your favorite design and get print/web-ready files and full IP rights.
Not into crowds?
Pick a creative and work 1-on-1
Crowdspring is an online design platform linking businesses like yours with over 220,000 design and naming experts. Instead of investing over $10,000 with a branding agency - or paying an unknown freelancer for a single design you hope you like - crowdspring delivers dozens of custom designs to choose from for every project. With over 12 years of experience, we’re the reliable, affordable solution for small business.
Frequently Asked Questions about website design
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"I started with a small budget and some boring content, and within a short time, I had some amazing designs to choose from. The hardest part was choosing one."
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