One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Why does website design cost so much?”

It’s a good question. There is definitely a range of prices out there. Some people charge just a few hundred dollars for a simple site and some charge a minimum of $15,000. There are also tons of free and inexpensive website builders that you can use without knowing any code (see my recent article, “DIY or Hire A Designer?”). Whatever the cost, there are reasons why hiring a designer or an agency can cost a pretty penny. But rather than view the cost as a high-priced expense, I urge you to view it as a long-term investment.

First, your website is your most important marketing asset. When you meet people, hand them your card, and talk a little about what you do, they will often whip out their phone and look up your site. If they don’t do it on the spot, they’ll do it soon after speaking with you.

Because of this, your website is an important member of your business team. And it has to make a great first impression on everyone who sees it. Whether people have met you in person first, or, they find you on social media, they expect several things: for your site to load quickly, that it’s responsive, that your messaging is clear, that it’s easy to navigate and find what they need.

Still, I’m sure you’re wondering why website design can cost a lot. So, here are my thoughts:

Designers have a skill set you don’t have

Creating that experience for your visitors takes a lot of work. So the first reason you would want to hire a designer or an agency, is because they have a skill set you don’t have.

At the most basic and foundational level, a designer can code, develop, build, and design. They can also edit pictures and come up with colors and typefaces that suit your style and your brand. They also know how to build and design features like membership pages, 404 pages, 301 redirects, forums, and blogs that you might want and need for your business.

Designers take the time to get to know you, your business and your ideal customers

I often tell people, “Your website isn’t for you. It’s for your clients.” You created some products and services to help them. And you want to give them a place to purchase those products and services. A good designer will do the necessary research to understand how your ideal clients think, how they behave and how they’ll use your site so that you get more people to buy from you. It’s one of the most important parts of creating a unique, custom-tailored user experience for your visitors. And the research and discovery period is easily the most important part of any website project.

Working with a website designer computers desk papers notes

A good designer will understand your marketing needs and even give you a fresh perspective on your marketing.

When I work with clients I always ask them what has worked in the past, what hasn’t worked, and what makes them most uncomfortable about their current website and marketing practices. What I’ve found is that many clients have a combination of copy that isn’t very conversational, and lackluster images that are neither memorable nor impressionable. So when we work together, we create new content that speaks in a more genuine and conversational style to their intended audience. And we get new pictures that really show who they are, how they work and where they work. When the copy and imagery on a site work well to convey your message, they boost your know, like and trust factors immensely.

Working with someone truly cares about you, your business, your customers and your future: priceless

Website creation is a very collaborative process. You want to work with someone who will not only do all of the above but who really cares about your future and your success. I think when you put your website project into a designer’s hands, you have to feel that you trust them, and that you can confide in them. You really need to work with someone who understands your fears, your concerns, your dreams and your passion. That person or that agency maybe hard to find, but when you do, you’ll know it. And the result: a website that you and your ideal clients love.

In conclusion

And so those are the reasons I urge people to not think of website design as just another expense. Of course it is, but when viewed with a longer-term perspective, it’s really an investment. And when done well, it’s an investment that has huge returns, financially and spiritually.

Spiritually? Yes! Because when you make good money off of your dreams, and you make a living doing work that helps other people and you FEEL good. It makes you want to keep going. To get even better at your craft. To help more people.

So those, my friends, are the five main reasons I think it’s a good idea to hire a website designer and also why it can be expensive. You’re really paying for more than someone with a special skillset. You’re paying someone to be a trusted advisor on the creation of one of the most important parts of your entire business.

Mari Pfeiffer Profile image

About the author

I’m a writer and a web designer. I create one-of-a-kind websites for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I help my clients expand their audiences, get more customers and make mo’ money. Get my FREE PDF checklist, Build a Website that Attracts & Converts: The 10 Elements Your Website Needs to be Highly Effective when you subscribe to my monthly newsletter for industry news, writing and design tips and special offers.