Your website is the most important sales and marketing tool you have. It’s the hub of your inbound marketing strategy and it’s the No. 1 thing your prospects want to explore before making a purchase — or even talking to a member of your team.
Now that most companies understand the value of customer education, business websites overall are getting better. They’re faster, sleeker, mobile-friendly, and more useful. This is great for the consumer, but it makes the job of a marketer that much harder.
In this environment, we’re all forced to step our game up if we want to stand out from our competitors, which leads us to the inevitable project all modern businesses will face at one point or another — a website redesign.
The cost of a website redesign can vary tremendously from as low as a few hundred dollars if you do it yourself to millions of dollars for an advanced, custom-built website for an enterprise-level organization.
Since businesses often have no idea how much they should pay for a website redesign and what to expect for their money, we’ve decided to answer that question once and for all.
Below, we’ll break down your expenses into three categories:
The cost of a DIY website redesign
The cost of hiring a freelancer for your website redesign
The cost of hiring a website design agency
Wherever you’re starting from and whatever your budget, this article should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Why web design costs have increased
Like everything else, the price of a website redesign largely comes down to supply and demand. When the internet was still relatively new, businesses didn’t understand how valuable a website really was, so they weren’t willing to pay a high price.
Today, a website is one of the first considerations a business makes when planning its launch. In fact, many entrepreneurs narrow down their potential business names based on which domains are available and how the URL will look.
Of course, increased demand isn’t the only factor, however.
Websites today are more advanced than ever before
As time has passed, web designers have improved their techniques and they have access to much better tools.
On one hand, pumping out a decent-looking website is easier than ever with builders like Squarespace and Wix. On the other hand, building a truly first-class, strategic website requires more work than ever before.
Today, websites contain
Live chat (or AI-powered chat) so users can instantly get in contact with your company
Self-selection tools to show them the right services and products to solve their problems
and even calculators to show them how much they can save, grow, or transform with your solution.
In addition, the requirements to have an optimized website have become more rigorous. Focusing on page speed, accessibility, and user experience are more important than ever.
All of these factors can affect the cost of your website redesign, whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring a freelancer, or working with an agency.
Now let’s look at three of the most popular methods: building your website yourself with an online tool, hiring a freelancer, or hiring an agency.
The cost of doing your own website redesign
Building or redesigning a website yourself with a template is usually the cheapest option. It can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000 or more, but the real “cost” here is the time investment required.
Generally speaking, the less money you spend, the more time and hassle you can expect to deal with to get the site how you want it — and it likely won’t be exactly how you want it if you don’t have the ability to code.
New startups with limited budgets and no web developer often have to start small. ThemeForest offers tons of affordable website themes to choose from (especially for WordPress) that usually cost around $30 to $100.
Functionality, performance, and ease of use from those themes vary widely. As you look through themes, keep in mind the following:
The level of customization you can achieve
How easy it is to update
What out-of-the-box templates are included
Once you find a theme that meets your needs, check to make sure that it’s received a lot of positive reviews, has a strong track record, and allows you to make edits without any technical skill.
Another popular option is a website builder such as Elementor, which is essentially an updated back-end editor for your website that you install on WordPress. This allows you to create content and edit the visual features of your theme with ease by giving you a variety of modules and widgets to use, each with its own unique formatting and styling options.
Once you’ve installed the framework, you’ll be able to select a theme to match the aesthetic you’re looking for.
Elementor’s framework is a huge step up from the average, lower-priced themes on the market. They look great and are mobile-friendly, optimized for search engines, and easy to use. Take a look at their themes here — a lot of them will look familiar because tons of websites use them.
You can start using Elementor for free, but the Pro level ($49 per year for one site) gives you more robust widgets, templates, support, and more.
However, if you want more marketing capabilities and integration, there’s an even better option.
We recommend using HubSpot’s CMS Hub, which costs about $300 per month. They have many customizable themes to choose from, or you can build one from scratch using their drag-and-drop builder. CMS Hub also has everything you need built-in, from SEO to content management, so there is little need for add-ons.
Our own website runs on CMS Hub and we love it.
With all this said, expect to see steady gains in all of these tools as AI becomes a bigger factor in website design. From the simplest drag and drop template builder to fully custom sites, AI is playing an ever-larger role in how sites get designed, debugged, tested, and improved.
In the long run, this will likely drive down cost and increase competition.
The cost of hiring a freelancer for a website redesign
The next level up from building your own website is hiring a freelance website designer. Freelancers have various levels of talent and will charge accordingly.
Depending on what your goals are, you should be able to find a freelancer that will charge anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a simple website.
But that number jumps to $10,000 to $20,000 (or more) for a bigger website with a variety of template designs and custom features, in addition to a more professional aesthetic than you may be able to create on your own.
Your experience will vary further depending on the experience of your freelancer and your project details. For example, if your freelancer is extremely talented and can build you a custom self-selection tool such as a product configurator, or you opt to go through a branding exercise with them your costs may go even higher.
When working with a freelancer, you can likely expect a design that looks good and functions well without any glaring flaws. They will likely take your ideas, come up with a few mock-ups for you to consider, and then they’ll build the one you like best.
In most cases, the freelance designer is primarily focused on delivering the aesthetic appeal you describe to them while suggesting certain features to improve user experience.
The downside is that freelancers tend to be more hit or miss. Freelancing is often a side hustle. If it’s a full-time job, freelancers are likely balancing work from many different clients, and this can cause delays.
The project also might take longer if they are doing both design and dev by themselves.
At the end of the day, if you’re not in the DIY type of mood, you’ll likely be able to find a freelancer to fit your budget. Just keep in mind that your price will go up or down based on how big and complex your project is.
The cost of hiring an agency for a website redesign
The third option is hiring an agency to handle your website redesign, which gives you access to a team of seasoned experts who likely have experience with goals like yours and designing a website around them. However, as you would expect, a website redesign with an agency costs the most.
A simpler website redesign can run anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the site, whereas websites with a large page count, custom functionality, and more unique needs can cost between $40,000 and $75,000 or more.
This may seem absurd compared to the other options, but working with an agency goes much further than superficial design. Agencies spend equal time on content, user experience, conversion rate optimization, and everything else that makes your website a valuable asset to your company — all to help you actually achieve your goals.
What sets an agency apart from most freelance web designers is the amount of strategy that goes into building your site, turning it into a powerful and effective lead-generating machine for your business.
In addition to all design and dev needs, a quality agency will work with you to:
Create your sitemap architecture so you can understand the structure of your website and how the users will navigate through it.
Look at your historical data to make recommendations on what will work best for your specific users — all with the goal of removing friction in the user’s journey.
Optimize the user experience on your site with heatmap feedback and other data.
You’re gaining access to a range of experts who can pull from their combined years of experience across design, development, strategy, content, testing, and more, not just a single, finite resource.
If you have the budget to hire an agency, it’s well worth your time to talk with some to see what options you have available.
Keep in mind: Your website will never be ‘finished’
Launching a new website is exciting, but it doesn’t mean you should forget your website until you redesign it again in three or four years.
Just like a plant needs water, light, care, and attention to grow strong and thrive, so does your website. It needs to be monitored, regularly updated, and recalibrated both to reflect the changes in your business and to meet the evolving needs of your buyer.
If you’re going the DIY or freelancer route, make sure you have a plan for regular updates.
If you’re working with an agency, look for one that adheres to Growth-driven design — a process that gathers data after launch to keep improving your site.
Yes, this means keeping an agency on a retainer, but the net effects are almost certainly worth it.
You can expect anywhere from $5,000 per month to $10,000 per month for a growth-driven design retainer with an agency, depending on how aggressive your goals are and how much focus you’re willing to put into research and updates.
One final piece of advice: Focus on content first!
Businesses unfamiliar with the website redesign process sometimes get tripped up by this common mistake: Failing to understand who writes the content.
In most cases, it’s up to the company to write the headers, copy, product descriptions, and every other written word on your new site — even if you’re working with an agency. (Although many agencies do have copywriters they can connect you with.)
This takes a ton of time to do it right, and many web projects get held up because the client has not finished writing the content.
So, before you dive into a redesign project, focus on:
Your messaging and value prop
Your content strategy
Landing page copy
And so on.
To tackle the challenge of content, we ideally recommend taking a content-first approach, where you build your website around your content, instead of designing your website and filling in the content afterward.
If you’re doing a website redesign yourself, start by mapping out all of the pages you want your website to include. Then write the actual content for each of those pages.
That way, when you’re comparing website themes, you can pick out one that accommodates your content strategy best.
If you’re hiring freelance copywriters
Content costs will widely range depending on the size of your site, the amount of content, and the level of expertise needed (and if you’re doing it yourself or having someone else do it).
You can expect to pay anything from a few hundred to thousands of dollars for the right content for your website.
Putting the price of your website into perspective
Imagine you just hired a new salesperson who works around the clock, day and night, 365 days a year promoting your business to prospects with perfect consistency.
Given the right tools, this salesperson continually improves with minimal supervision and intervention on your part.
Whenever a prospect wants information about your business at midnight and you’re sleeping, your star employee is there with a big smile and all the information your prospect desires.
Now imagine this new sales rep doesn’t want to work on commission, doesn’t want a salary, and could care less about any of the benefits your company offers. All they want is an upfront fee of $40,000 and a few thousand each month to keep their skills sharpened.
Would that be worth it to you? Of course it would.
This is what a great company website can be.
No human alive can do what a great website can for your business, yet so many businesses look at their website as one of the first areas to cut corners.
Humans will always play invaluable roles in business, and remarkable employees deserve the high salaries they command, but where else can you get the incredible ROI that a powerful, well-designed website offers?
Your website is the smartest and cheapest salesperson you’ll ever hire. Treat it right.