Often times I get emails and phone calls from customers in the Raleigh-Durham area asking for a web design quote. I have some of the best prices around for the quality I provide, and still, some of them say “your quote is over our budget”.

For local small business owners who want a professional, optimized for search engines website, here are some good tips and information about the time involved in a typical web design project.

Hourly Rate

Our hourly rate is $60 per hour. Does it seem too much? Not really. Almost all established web design studios charge $80 and up. Big, well known agencies charge $150. Some web designers might charge less though, but most of the time their work is not up to the task.

Design Drafts in Photoshop

Design drafts are images that show the website layout and functionality. For a typical small business website, this design stage should take 20 to 30 hours, depending on the client revisions. This means anywhere form $1200 to $1800.

Optimized, Valid CSS/XHTML Templates

This phase should take 10 to 15 hours. What you’ll get is top-of-the-line optimized code following the W3C Standards. This means $600 to $900.

Integrating Templates with a CMS

This phase should take 20 hours for WordPress CMS and 40 hours for Expression Engine – depending on the functionality desired. This means between $1200 and $2400.

So, the total price for a simple, CMS powered website should be from $3,000 to $5,100. You’ll get a great looking, professional website that will rank well on search engines, have visitors and will be easy to update in the future. There are no ongoing fees. Of course, excessive revisions, additional features and e-commerce will drive the price up.

How Can Someone Quote a Smaller Price?

  • They offer low-quality web design
  • They have a smaller hourly rate
  • They will slightly modify a previous design
  • They will use old web design technologies
  • They will not optimize for Search Engines
  • They will not use a modern CMS

Why Will Someone Quote a Bigger Price?

Explanations are many but here are the usual ones:

  • They have a big hourly rate
  • They will offer what you don’t need
  • They are a big company
  • You will pay for extra staff
  • They spend time in endless meetings

If you want results for your website, you need a professional. After you get the quote, check the company portfolio to know what quality to expect.