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PDF with brief
This website is made by GRIN tech agency, so we give out own budget estimation in every calculator. However, you'll get a PDF with a brief based on your answers - so you can get a quote in other places too.
Granular segmentation
We have 17 different calculators to get as precise result as possible. To narrow down a choice we have following segmentation options:

by project type (e.g. startup, landing page, ecommerce etc)
by job type (e.g. design, development, marketing etc)
Free consultancy
Talk to GRIN tech's dedicated manager (chat on the right bottom)

Full cycle general solution
includesfollowing steps

Research is often a missing yet vital part of any project.

E.g. competitors research will help you to make a features list, keyword research is a must-have to define the site structure & marketing costs rough estimations can change your approach completly.
Are you doing a bare minimum to test an idea or strive to become a best-in-undustry from the very beginning?
Coding and other mysterious things related. Lets figure them out.
Website marketing 101.
Website content developement.
so

How much does it cost to build a website?

This is a genuinely fundamental and one might even say philosophical topic.

Both contractors and customers often base their assumptions on the idea that there is some fair price for a product or a service.

But different people have different understanding of what a fair pay is. Therefore, there is no fair price. There is only a set of variable conditions for both sides to agree upon.

The real value is in the result, not the process. Ultimately, your services cost exactly as much as people are ready to pay for them. People will agree to pay whatever you charge as long as they see value for themselves. And you need to understand that this is a very subjective matter.

The price should be determined primarily by business objectives. A good contractor must have enough experience with different tools in order to offer the optimal solution.

There is no need for a full-cycle development team to build a simple landing page for an offline business. There is no point in hiring a top-of-the-food-chain studio to build a hobby blog on wordpress or a student freelancer to work on a SaaS project.
First of all, there are three basic price formation principles:

  1. market based — take a look at the price range of your competitors;
  2. demand based — charge as much as customers are willing to pay;
  3. expenses based — net cost + the mark-up.

Each principle is just and the difference is only in calculation approach. It is advisable to use a different approach in different situations.

Secondly, know that the price by itself is not only a cost of a service, it is also a marketing tool — and a very powerful one. The price you set is a statement, a message to the market, saying "these are my customers".

I have an offline business (service industry), and as of now we have two products — an expensive one and a cheap one. Even though these products satisfy the same (more or less) customer need, they are different and can not be compared. People who buy an expensive product are very different from those who choose a cheap one. These two groups require ultimately different approaches and have a different focus of attention.

Speaking of design. Cheap products are in demand by:

  1. those who know exactly what they want and need an operant to perform a required task; [сreativity is unacceptable]
  2. those who do not care about the looks. They need something done and they need it now; [charge less to get these clients]
  3. those who delegate pieces of a large project to other contractors. [the works are delegated and they just get to take a share of profit]

The expensive ones are in demand by:

  1. those whose earnings depend on design and its quality; [design is a vital part of revenue generation]
  2. those who require a custom approach or offer a job of a unique complexity that not
  1. everyone can handle;
  2. those who are concerned about status and prestige the contractor can bring along. [sometimes people work with ArtLebedev Studio just for the sake of PR]
Therefore, it is useful to approach the pricing from the standpoint of marketing and positioning: who's your target audience?

Andrey
Small agency owner

Evgeny
Designer
To calculate the price I take net cost, customer value and average market price in consideration.

  1. To come up with net cost you should think like a business owner. Net cost is not based on an hourly rate — it is formed depending on wages, rent, taxes, equipment modernization and business development funds. Keep in mind that the project can take more time than planned, the customer can "freeze" the project or negotiations with a new client can take too long. At the same time, you need a financial safety cushion to keep your workflow stable. Do not forget that your expenses will constantly increase.
  2. The customer value is represented by benefits customers receive or losses they are able to avoid. The intangible values like a brand of a product/service can be omitted. Customers are ready to "overpay" for a guarantee that you are doing a good job on time. Delivering that confidence to a client is one of the cornerstones of your profit.
  3. The average market price is a controversial term. Different companies provide the same services in a different way: they execute different amounts of work, provide different level of expertise, different terms of execution, etc. Your task is to justify the price in a competent way. The price too high or too low is going to raise certain questions and doubts.

Do not forget that people tend to communicate and conduct business with their own kind. A successful customer is likely to decide to work with a successful company/freelancer. A good car, expensive clothes and accessories indirectly indicate that the contractor earns well and has enough customers who are willing to pay well. This acts as a sign of professionalism, efficiency and quality of services.
in a perfect world scenario

A good website starts with a prototype.

A website design starts with a prototype, developed by either a usability developer or by a manager/customer based on the content of the website. Generally, the options are:

  1. Wireframe. The image of the site which indicates the content blocks of the website and their location.
  2. Operational layout - all the buttons are present and active, you can freely navigate across the website. Designers only need to concentrate on what they do best and add some visual polish. This seems to be a laborious task, but can instantly reveal bad development decisions and save you from future mistakes.

With a prototype designers can easily estimate the number of layouts, the complexity of work and issue a price tag. Other participants of the process benefit just as equally by having a prototype.
And if there is no prototype...

It still has to be done. And hiring a designer to develop a prototype can result in increasing number of edits (equals "time consumption") and a constantly growing price tag.

Is it possible to determine the whole price ahead of the start?

You can write a technical assignment. Freely describe what kind of website you want, its purpose, its style, etc. Get into details about desired functionality, the required layouts, etc. Provide examples and references of some other similar websites for it will come in extremely handy.

What forms the cost
of a website?

The amount of work. The price is mainly based on the amount of time different specialists spend on the project. Therefore, the budget calculation begins with questions such as:

  • What is this website for? Is it a store or a business card website?
  • How many pages it should have in total?

You should deal with these questions at first. The homepage design is one thing, but adding five conceptual sliders or ten stylized realistic icons makes it totally different.

Then it comes to:
1. Number of iterations\variants\
test concepts
It is important to clarify this aspect from the very beginning, because some contractors are ready to implement edits until the job is done, while others charge on top of the originally announced price for each one.
2. The specifics
There are a lot of design aspects that go beyond the competence of a web designer. Designing a website can often require a collaborative work of an illustrator, photo/video editor, etc. So what the style of your website is going to be? Is it a minimalistic approach you aim for or do you need illustrations, skeuomorphic graphics or maybe animated backgrounds?

That's why sometimes it is better to work with a studio. Freelance designers are not always capable to provide solutions beyond their area of expertise (like illustration, 3D graphics, etc).
3. Markup
Adaptability Adaptation is the look of the site on a given mobile device. Adaptability is unquestionably mandatory in 2018. Nevertheless, many contractors include it in the design assignment and put an additional price tag on it. It usually includes 3-4 resolutions for tablets and phones, so the adaptation costs about as much as the design of the page itself.

In GRIN tech (the studio, which designed this website), designers only make desktop versions, and the layout designer independently adapts it to fit different devices. It has no effect on the budget.

Adaptation for older browsers A standard requirement by state-owned companies and large projects. Adaptation is implemented if a few percent of users with old browsers really matter for the project.
4. Programming
This is a fairly extensive topic and it is detailed in the corresponding section.

You also need to decide who to hire for a website design: a large web studio, a professional web designer, or a freelance newcomer. The price may vary a lot.
obviously

Prices are also region-dependant

For example, the average hourly rate for a Junior (!!) in-house developer in the United States is $30 (Calculated based on a Glassdoor stat number divided by 2,080 work hours a year)

So a freelancer with more experience would cost you significantly more. US company's price range would be $100 - $300. In England, Canada and Australia the rate will be slightly lower.

There are two popular outsourcing options:

  1. India. This option is suitable for people and companies which are well versed in the process and can quickly arrange stacks of understandable small tasks for outsourced employees. In our experience, turnkey development is not very difficult in the majority of cases.
  2. Eastern Europe: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine. It will be possible to find a really experienced specialist for a rate of $30. A company would charge up to $100.
busted

FAQ and myths

A prototype is a pre-made cost sheet of the entire project: design, layout and programming. You can easily find a freelance usability developer to develop a prototype for you. But about 90% of customers who make the project on their own make this mistake: they go straight to a designer instead of a developer. So asking "How much does the design cost?" you can only expect a question in return — "What website exactly are we talking about?".
customer:
How much does the design cost?
designer:
What website exactly are we talking about?

How can you build an online store for under $200?

Some companies really offer McDonald's prices. How do they do it? It's very easy: they do not do design, they don't work on functionality and feature set development, they do not create specific layouts. All they do is sell pre-made, ready-to-use engines — templates. They choose the one that suits your needs and essentially charge you for the service of installation.

In such companies designers have limited tasks: make a header, insert a logo and make up a few sliders. Thus they cost these companies pretty cheap. This is a well-established pipeline and if the conveyor gets stuck at least for a day it will quickly become unprofitable.

The topic of cheap website development requires a separate article. Typically, companies with low-cost services earn on passive income through domain maintenance and hosting of your site. And cheap sites are just a way of entangling customers into these tricky schemes. You constantly pay this company for hosting, service and support. There is a certain segment of customers who are quite satisfied with this perspective.


Template design is not a bad thing and at a certain stage of a website development is a great decision for a lot of customers.
It's good for high-loaded projects, or those who prefer to stay independent in full control. It also allows you to make changes in the very source of the page in case you want to do something custom.

Where do the million price tags come from?

Every time there's the news that the company "X" built another website for just $15000, the comments section gets heated. The most brave commentators state: "Now that's a robbery! I would have done the same thing for only $2000." Alas, you would not have, sir.

Let's see why.

Couch specialists have a very poor understanding of what a huge project is what it takes. The cost of such projects can be astounding. The profit on the other hand can be far from stunning. Projects of such scale usually last from 5 to 24 months and require from 5 to 20 people to get the job done. The salary of each individual varies from $800 to $2000 a month. So it may take you up to $4000 to pay only several specialists over two months.

Corporate websites often have hundreds of layouts. The engine and the code is often written from scratch. Apart from that, the company also fills the website with all the required content — add 2-5 copywriters to the salaries list. It's like a massive construction site. You miss the deadline, you have to cut your profit to pay an extra month of salaries.
It's good for high-loaded projects, or those who prefer to stay independent in full control. It also allows you to make changes in the very source of the page in case you want to do something custom.

Why can't it be cheap?

It's about time to explain that:

  • A good designer has a great understanding of the aspects of implementation (layout and programming);
  • A good designer does not "draw" sites, but develops a design taking style, usability and target audience in consideration;
  • A good designer does not just present a set of pages, but also all the mockups of the dynamic elements: active menus, pop-ups, drop-down lists, hover effects, buttons and links in three states (normal - when hovering - active);
  • A good designer has to figure out how everything's animated: how it moves, hides, unfolds,etc.
  • There are also some less obvious aspects like typographics (selection of fonts, kerning, etc.), that customers rarely consider.
    It's good for high-loaded projects, or those who prefer to stay independent in full control. It also allows you to make changes in the very source of the page in case you want to do something custom.

    Why designing the homepage is more expensive?

    Since landing pages have become popular in recent years, many websites have homepages that look like a full landing page on 3-8 screens. Designing a simple homepage with a title, a couple of pictures and a commercial text is one thing. It is a completely another thing if you have a page consisting of up to eight well structured screens with dynamic elements. Therefore, the homepage design is usually more expensive.

    Of course, a decent designer will not charge you a full price for a one-screen homepage.
    It's good for high-loaded projects, or those who prefer to stay independent in full control. It also allows you to make changes in the very source of the page in case you want to do something custom.
    all in all

    Summary

    You need to define what needs to be done to estimate the amount of work. Prototypes help a lot to do this and also get a clear understanding of what the price is going to be.

    It's possible to estimate the price without a prototype, but it will still be approximate. And in that case keep in mind that the larger the project, the less accurate the estimates are. If the designer names the exact price, it is simply a price with a margin and possibly a large one.
    approx. 15 mintues time

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    Awesome features (in case you missed them)

    PDF with brief
    This website is made by GRIN tech agency, so we give out own budget estimation in every calculator. However, you'll get a PDF with a brief based on your answers - so you can get a quote in other places too.
    Granular segmentation
    We have 17 different calculators to get as precise result as possible. To narrow down a choice we have following segmentation options:

    by project type (e.g. startup, landing page, ecommerce etc)
    by job type (e.g. design, development, marketing etc)
    Free consultancy
    Talk to GRIN tech's dedicated manager (chat on the right bottom)
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