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The Elements of Affordable Web Design

Choosing to hire a website designer or developer is a big decision for any small business. It's finding a delicate balance between cost, quality, and turnaround time. It's also taking into consideration many elements of the relationship, like level of communication, proximity, experience, knowledge of your industry, etc. There are many factors involved in affordable web design.

What is "Affordable"?

"Affordable" is such a subjective term. Figuring out how to price something that's a combination of a service and a product is a challenge. First, let's talk about where your money is going.

  • Business expenses or overhead.
    Anyone in business has overhead. It's cost of office space, internet connection, phones, etc. Subscriptions like CRMs and invoicing software. Fees taken from payment processors. Cost of doing business.
  • Experience.
    You're not just paying for the person's or team's time. You're paying for their years of education, training, triumphs and failures, learning best practices from sleepless nights debugging code.
  • Software.
    You may not know this, but there is normally a level of expense involved in building a website that the designer and developer absorb. There's the ongoing cost of subscriptions like Adobe Cloud. Developer licenses for plugins alone could run hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
  • Project Management.
    When you work with a designer or developer, there's always time spent managing the project. "Project Management" time usually involves a lot of consulting, advising, and prepping. This is either handled by a designated project manager or your designer/developer handles it themselves. Either way, the amount of time needed for this portion of a project is often underestimated. A lot of important stuff happens before Photoshop is ever opened. It's an absolute necessity to the process.
  • Design and Development.
    The actual time needed to do the thing. The time spent designing, building, waiting for approval from the client, tweaking, fixing, tweaking again, testing, fixing some more.

Pricing out "The Competition"

After thinking about all the elements involved, it's a wonder that hiring anyone that knows what they're doing is affordable at all. That's why when doing your research you find price points all over the place.

Here are the average costs for a typical 10 page website:

Freelancers: $4,500

Agencies: $8,500

How we do Affordable

When building my company, I wanted to try to come in at a price point that was fair to everyone involved. Fair to the client, fair to me the business owner, and fair to my team. I knew I needed to keep it at a cost that was consistent, that I could afford to pay myself, and that didn't devalue the industry.

Many of the factors listed above, we don't have control over. But others we do. The linchpin to the whole thing is efficiency. The more efficient we can be, the less time we waste.

We have found the following methods really supercharge our efficiency:

  • Developing tools and methods to empower the client.
    Our prep guide and project workflow have been developed for the purpose of being efficient. We don't hide resources from you to help you do as much as you can to prepare your end before we get our hands on it. We also make sure you walk away from the experience knowing how to manage your site so you don't need a professional every time you want to make an edit.
  • Collaboration.
    Actually sitting down together to work on a project in real time has its rewards, and one of those is we don't need to waste time waiting to get answers or feedback from you. You're able to see what we're doing as we're doing it and have a dialogue with us in real time.

Usually when you need to stay within a strict budget, you need to sacrifice somewhere along the line. Sometimes that's necessary, but other times it doesn't have to be.

For more information on our pricing, please contact us.


Melissa Geissinger

Melissa is the Founder and CEO of One Day Labs. She's a proponent of efficiency through collaboration and passionate about empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners.