How Much Do Websites Cost

The cost of website design in Phoenix can vary greatly. From freelancers to agencies, you will quickly learn that the cost of website design is a vast spectrum. Much of this has to do with how many people or how much overhead that particular business has. Additionally, experience, quality, and capabilities play a big factor. Read on as we take a deep dive into website design pricing.

Skill Level or Experience of your website design company 

$500 Only to build a website?!

There are a LOT of people out there that claim they can build a website for you. You likely have gotten the emails that say something along the lines of “outsourcing a website to us for only $500!”. Or an email that starts with “dear sir or madam…” “To the owner of the company…” BUYER BEWARE! These types of emails come from overseas companies. They send out these emails in mass quantities to see who will bite. It should concern you that a company you are potentially going to send money to is not one that you can call, visit, or even on the same continent as you. If the project goes sideways, what are your repercussions? ZERO. There is nothing you will be able to do unless you are willing to hire a private investigator and hope on a plane.

There will always be someone who says that they can do cheaper website design… but at what cost?!

A website is NOT a website. If someone is offering to build you a website for a few hundred dollars, you can fully expect that it will be hacked together, have usability and responsive issues, and may even come to you with malware right out of the gate. As the adage goes, you get what you pay for.

Your website is SO important to your success. Everyone looks online for everything that they use, need, or want. Gone are the days of the yellow pages. Referrals are essential and have a higher close rate, but finding your website organically is internet gold.

If you are searching for your website design company, look at their portfolio of work. That will be the absolute best way to see if their style matches yours. Always check their work first!

How can Referrals, Testimonials, and Google reviews help you?

Google reviews are also important. Many websites will have a “testimonials” page, but who is to say those are even real? Google reviews are submitted by real users like yourself and often tell their project’s story and successes or failures. The business world we live in puts a lot of weight on the testimonials of others.

Always work with a designer or company that you can CALL, talk to, and work through the process by means other than email. It has become more popular in the past few years to work with someone local. I get a lot of phone calls from people that say, “I really want to work with a website design company in Phoenix, AZ. I found you, loved your work, and that is why I am calling.” I have optimized my website to be found by Phoenix companies, though I do work for companies all around the United States. It is easier to get your website to rank for local search terms rather than national. But, that is a conversation for another blog post centered around SEO.

How much does website design services cost (Agency or Freelancer)?

A website designer or agency with the skills and knowledge to build a solid, clean website design for you will start their cost at a minimum of $1,500. Agencies generally start at a minimum of $5,000.

Does that mean an agency will build a better website for you because they are more expensive?

No. It does not mean this. Think about this: Agencies have many people in the company on the payroll. Secretaries, account managers, creative directors, designers, and copywriters, to name a few. You are paying for all of that people-where if you work with a freelancer, you are paying for that person and maybe one other. I can say this because I worked in agencies for over 10 years.

Here is a fun fact about a web design agency!

While working at my last agency, which happened to be an international retail design firm, a logo design project would cost close to $100,000. Yes. You read that correctly. As a freelancer, my logo designs start at $450. Same designer. Same work, but NOT the same price. When I was in an agency, a logo design project was not just me. I plus three other designers, the creative director, the marketing person, and the account manager. That’s a lot of mouths to feed!

Type of Website Design

Website Builder (Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly)

There are many “quickie” website builders out there. Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly, to name a few. There are many drawbacks to using these builders, specifically in terms of customizability. These builders are out there so “anyone” can build a website. The problem is, however, as your business grows, a website built on one of these platforms may not be able to grow with you due to its built-in restrictions in terms of design or functionality. I have acquired many clients from these platforms because they have been unhappy with the usability, flow, and design features.

WordPress platform

WordPress is the best platform, in my opinion, because the opportunities and options are endless. There really isn’t anything that you can’t do with WordPress. It is by far the most popular website design platform on the web today.

There must be a reason for that, right? Yes. The top reason is that WordPress is designed for the end-user. The interface is easy to understand and to learn. I have been training clients to use their websites after my work is complete for over 10 years now, and I have a 100% success rate.

We never had someone throw in the towel and say to me they don’t understand or can’t figure it out. I work with people of all ages and backgrounds, which says something about the usability of the WordPress interface.

Scope and Size of the Website Project

The scope of the website design project plays a significant role in the cost of Phoenix Website Design.

Basic Website Design Cost (10-pages): $1,900 to $3,700

A basic 10-page business website will run you $1900-$3700 (plus or minus) when you work with my company, Jen Chapman Creative.

Pre-Designed Website Templates: Starts at $1,900

If you are looking for a pre-designed website design theme such as the one you may find on theme forest, those costs start at $1900. When you select this route, I will help guide you in selecting the best theme for you. Typically, I will provide you 5-8 different themes to choose from. I do this because there are thousands of themes out there, and it can be overwhelming.

When you are looking at themes, look at them in terms of design and flow. All images, colors, and content can and will change to match your branding and voice. I will art direct the project so that the website theme will be “yours” and no longer feel like a template. I have found that the biggest stumbling block for website design clients is the content. Sometimes it can be a struggle to decide what to “say” on your website. I do help and guide clients on what to say and where to say it. I provide an outline or starting document to get your creative juices flowing.

My goal is to help you as must as possible to build a beautiful and functional website together! If needed, I do have a copywriter on staff that can take the reins to write the whole project’s content or edit what you have to provide a consistent and clear “brand voice.”

Custom Web Design (WordPress or Shopify): Starts at $3,700

If you are looking for more of a custom design using WordPress or Shopify, that project starts at $3700. This includes the design of two different homepages “looks” to start with. I do this because I have found that it is very beneficial to give my clients “choice” when it comes to their website’s design. So rather than presenting you with just one option to approve, I present two to you. Most of the time, I have found that people like aspects from both designs and blend the two into the final design.

A custom website design works very well for businesses with specific branding “look and feels” or have specific design traits or functionality that needs to come through in the design and user experience. The other benefit of a custom website design is that you have everything you need and nothing you don’t. Themes tend to be bloated with unwanted pages, tools, designs, and plugins. That, in turn, can tend to slow a website down, reducing its optimal performance and load time.

If you build a custom website design, it is clean, fast, and easy to use! You can always add to your custom website design as needed in the future. The sky is the limit because you built it from scratch!

Required Features of the Website Design

What does your website need to “do” exactly? Is it an informational business site? Is it an eCommerce site? Do you need a login or users that house specific user information?

Once you start adding features that are beyond an informational website, the price does increase. Adding a shopping cart and payment features for a store will typically add at least $600 to the project’s price, respectively speaking.

Again, it depends on the business or designer that is quoting you. The addition of plugins can also raise the price of your project. Some projects are a quick and easy add-on, such as Yoast SEO.

However, there are more complex plugins that are out there, such as Learn Dash. Learn Dash is a learning management system that allows a business to sell online training courses and classes for a fee. It typically includes video, written information, and quizzes at the end of each course.

How are website design projects billed?

It is a common thought that you should pay half for your project and the other half upon delivery. This used to be the way I ran my business. However, I had to change that in the last few years.

The reason being is I have a LOT of clients that start projects but never finish them. Some can’t seem to get the content together, images, product data, etc. I have more projects that have stretched past 1 year than you would think.

For that reason, I do collect the entire balance before the project starts. The only scenario I will collect half down is if I set up the navigation and homepage only. After approval of that, I will bill the remainder and complete the project for you.

Other costs involved with Website Design and Development Cost

What other costs can you expect when you are building a website? Here are a few:

  • Domain Price of Website: $12 per year

You will need to purchase a domain for your website. A good rule of them (if you can) would be to choose a domain that contains your primary SEO keyword in it. This will be beneficial to you for your SEO and is searchable by the web engines. You can purchase your domain anywhere, and this does not have as much value as hosting.

Godaddy and google domains are prevalent. They are typically around $12 per year as long as the domain is available. Sometimes you will find out the domain that you want is already taken but not being used. This is a common, dirty practice that I loathe. People will purchase domain names that they believe will be valuable and sell them for insanely high prices.

Personally, I would avoid giving these people your money and finding a different domain that will work for you just as well. Important: try to get a .com. It is more natural and easier to remember for most people.

  • Web Hosting Cost: $20-$40 per month

Hosting is not to be taken lightly. There are a few hosts that I STRONGLY recommend that you avoid. These are GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Blue Host and Host Gator. I have had nothing but issues with these hosts, especially the first two. To name a few options: slow server response time, hacking, security issues, websites disappearing randomly for hours at a time, and more. Save yourself a headache, and contact me for recommendations on hosting. Hosting generally costs between $20-$40 per month.

  • Maintenance:

This is a cost that most people are not aware of. Websites do need to be maintained every month to keep them up to date. This includes items such as theme updates.

If you built your website using a theme, updates would be released from time to time. Most good themes will be updated every few months. They do this to keep my recent WordPress and security releases to ensure that the website is still functioning and performing normally. If the theme you are using is no longer supported by the developer who built it, it can then start to act funny.

An example of this would be the banner image on your homepage disappearing. Another item that is taken care of in maintenance costs is the updating of plugins. Like the theme updates, plugins also need to be updated regularly to keep up with new features and be compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Lastly, website maintenance also includes backups of your site is taken. This is done as a security measure. Backups are important to have so that if your website were deleted, hacked, or compromised in any way, a fresh, clean copy of your website would exist somewhere so that you can quickly and easily get your website back online without having to build it all over again. (You don’t want that!) 

  • Plugins: Free to $250 per year

Depending on what features you want for your website, plugins may need to be purchased. These range from free to $250+. Many plugins are yearly subscriptions which you must pay to get the plugin updates and support.

You can often get the free version of a plugin, but some of the premium features are only available if you pay the yearly subscription price. I will help you determine the best plugin for your project so that you do not make a purchase that you regret.


I hope this article was helpful to you. Since 2011, I have been a freelance graphic designer and website designer in Phoenix, Arizona. I worked in large agencies and branding firms for 10 years before that. I have a lot of experience, a wealth of knowledge, and a creative brain that doesn’t stop.

Improve your website with Jen Chapman Creative!

I am committed to my clients to provide them with branding, websites, and materials they are proud of. Your business is everything to you, and it is everything to me. Let’s talk! You can reach me Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm at 623-476-7394. Thank you!