This post is meant as a guide for those starting out on the journey to redesigning their own website. The information here should help you understand what your costs may look like, and these numbers are estimates based on industry averages in the UK.
|Small website redesign||From £5,000||From £10,000|
|Medium website redesign||From £10,000||From £25,000|
|Large website redesign||From £30,000||From £50,000|
|Enterprise website redesign||Too big of a job||From £75,000|
Every business has different requirements for their new website and prices will vary dramatically across the globe, so it's important to talk with people local to you, who have done this sort work of before about how much various elements usually cost in your location. And, if you’re wondering what a successful website redesign looks like, you should be looking for results like those described in this website replatforming case study.
Your website’s size will affect the price. It’s not so much the number of pages you need to look out for, but the number of page types you need.
What is a “page type”? Imagine you visit a standard ecommerce store and look at the homepage, then click from there to see all the dishwashers they sell and finally you click through to see the details of one specific dishwasher. That’s 3 page types. The homepage is one page type, the product category listing page is another, and the product detail is the third.
The higher the number of different page types required to build your website, and the greater the level of complexity of each of those pages, the more work your developers will need to do. Therefore, the more it will cost you. So, let’s avoid being too specific about page numbers; instead, we’ll talk about websites being small, medium, large and enterprise based on the number of page types.
If you’re looking for a single page website, or just a few simple pages - nothing too fancy or complicated - do yourself a favour and get to Wix. You can pull together a website theme that does all the basics for free and upgrade from as little as £9.99 per month.
If you’re after something a bit more substantial, a small website built by a decent freelancer is going to set you back around £5,000, whereas an agency with various specialisms and skills will charge you around £10,000 for the same website.
A medium sized website, about the same size as the website you’re reading now, could have anywhere between 20 and 30 page types ranging from landing pages to portfolio pages, various service pages, case study pages, sign up pages, thank you pages (it’s easy to forget these!), sign up pages, and check out steps. For a good freelancer to pull this kind of website together, it’s going to cost around £10,000. An agency, on the other hand, might do this sort of work starting at around £25,000.
A large website of 50 to 75 different page types will likely be too big of a job for a freelancer. If you’re after something like this, an agency will charge you anywhere from £50,000 to £75,000.
An enterprise website falls into the “large website” category, but is difficult to pin down in terms of pricing. Whilst the number of different page types may be similar to other large websites, enterprise websites usually require a large amount of on-page tech that costs more to install.
Smart content, for example, can be added to your website so that your images and text adapt in line with inferred user intent.. We use HubSpot to put smart content on small and medium websites too, but the larger your website, the more sophisticated the installation, and the more it will cost you.
If you want to know more about how Noisy Little Monkey can use HubSpot to make your content smart, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask (we don’t bite).
There might be many reasons why you need a new website but do you know what you’re actually budgeting for? Is it a reskin, a rebuild or a replatform?
Reskinning your website is the most basic redesign which covers the absolute bare minimum: updating the aesthetic or cosmetic features of a website (or, in other words, its skin). This could involve choosing a new theme for your WordPress pages or selecting new templates for your HubSpot website.
In short, a reskin will see someone redesign your style, create (or tweak) those new templates, then roll them out on your “new” website. The clue to this one is in the name: all the changes are skin deep. Whilst your website might look different on the surface - maybe with a few changed images or titles - your content remains exactly the same. It’s vital that you know that whilst your website will (hopefully) look more up-to-date and professional but everything past the aesthetic stuff essentially remains unchanged.
There’s a lot missing with this approach, or at least a huge amount of missed opportunity. This particular opportunity goes by three letters: SEO. Unless you’ve already done a lot of work on your website’s content, structure and customer experience before you begin the reskin, then this approach is probably not going to get you the best bang for your buck. Even if it is the cheapest option, it probably has the least ROI of these three possibilities.
The difference between a reskin and a rebuild is like the difference between putting a new lick of paint on your living room walls or completely replastering, putting in a new carpet, choosing a new sofa and installing a new TV. Both options will leave your room looking different on the surface, but a rebuild makes changes from the inside out.
Whilst this is by no means the only approach to rebuilding a website, our tried and tested method goes something like this.
Start with a content audit to look at everything on your website and figure out what is and isn’t working; consider your buyer personas (which are essentially profiles of your target audience) and have an in-depth think about the journey your prospects will take across your website. Assess your website’s navigation, structure, URLs, H1s, on page content, downloads, videos and basically everything.
Use that thinking to redesign both the structure and content of the website so it’s perfectly aligned with your buyer, helping you to attract, delight and convert the right people at the right time. This often means rewriting all your content, creating and splitting out pages, redirecting pages to new URLs, and so on.
As you can tell this is a much bigger job than just changing your colour scheme and adding in some graphics. Don’t get me wrong, that’s no shade to changing the aesthetic - this is part of the rebuild, but works in conjunction with the rest of the work to transform your website from the inside out.
In order to make this magic happen, a rebuild will cost you more than a reskin will. If one of the quotes you’ve been given is drastically cheaper than the others, make sure to check that you’re not being sold a reskin by mistake.
Unlike reskinning or rebuilding; replatforming your website involves moving your entire website to a new CMS (that’s Content Management System). To replatform your website onto a new CMS you’ll also need to rebuild, so it’s worth considering that when scoping the project. You’ll also almost certainly end up with a new website design, even if it’s unintentional, because a new platform will usually have a different way of doing things.
When weighing up quotes for a replatform, make sure you check out who’s migrating the content from your existing website onto the new platform. It can take up a huge chunk of time, so if you have an agency doing it, it will probably cost you way more. The most cost effective way to manage the cost of content migration is often to hire an intern or a virtual assistant. That said, if you’re already having to move all the copy, plus resize certain text to fit in different areas or designs, it might even be the perfect time to give the content a big refresh! Doing this in house can be a royal pain in the arse but is well worth it in the long term as no agency or freelancer knows your buyers better than you and as the rather fabulous Tom Critchlow once said “you can’t outsource giving a shit”.
One of the biggest factors that can impact a website redesign is the inclusion (or exclusion) of SEO. Redesigns can come under many names at many different prices, and not all of them include search engine optimisation. If you’re going to do your website redesign properly, around 30% of your budget should be spent with a tech SEO agency to structure the data, the content, and to properly launch your new website.
SEO is often overlooked by most web design agencies and freelancers because it’s difficult and it really pushes the hours, and therefore the price, up. Or sometimes, sadly, it’s because unscrupulous people know that they can pull the wool over your eyes, add a line in their quote for SEO and talks lots about keywords and link building.This is a big red flag!
The best way to understand what SEO is covered in your web redesign is to understand the basics of SEO first, and then you can understand who’s giving you the best advice and price. There are technical SEO elements which are essential to consider when launching a new website (or a redesigned one) along with content considerations. Moz’s beginner’s guide to SEO is required reading if you’re new to this stuff.
A freelancer usually works alone or with a couple of trusted helpers. There’s typically one person in a room doing one set of work, compared to 20 people with multiple skill sets in an office doing several things at once. A freelancer doesn’t need a management structure and their day-to-day expenses are often cheaper, so their overall hourly rate can be too.
We know several great freelancers who we’ve worked with or passed business on to for the last 13 years! However, if they go on holiday, get ill or overworked, that’s when you struggle to get projects completed or on-going updates completed in a timely manner. You’ll also need to manage the project yourself, as the freelancer won’t have time to manage you, manage your stakeholders and do the work too!
If you’re unsure whether to place your trust in an agency or a freelancer, read all about the differences and benefits of each in this very useful blog about choosing the right web developer for your project.
There are lots of questions you should ask a new web design agency, and yourself to make sure you are picking a competent agency who will be a good fit with you and your team, and your project.
The most important thing to do when choosing an agency is to weigh up all your options. Talk to three people and see what options they come up with. Someone might come back with something brilliant, taking your project way past where you thought it could be - but you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t asked!
Don’t believe a sales pitch - always ask for proof. Think case studies, previous clients that you can talk to. If they don’t have any of this to show you, then you know you’re on the wrong track.
Think of hiring an agency or an excellent freelancer as a smart investment. Though more expensive overall, you’re likely to get far more extensive results over a long-term period. Your website is one of your biggest marketing tools - isn’t it worth the money to make it the very best it can be?
Here’s three options.
Good luck with your website redesign project!
Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.
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