How Much Should Website Design and Redesign Projects Cost?
Does Your Website Need a Redesign?
We get this question a lot from our clients and most of the questions revolve around how much web design costs. If we really need to do a redesign, if we can take an existing template and use that, what type of design do I need to do for different types of platforms?
If we are running a B2B lead generation site, it’s going to be different from an eCommerce site/ Or if you are running eCommerce sites, an eCommerce site that offers $50, $60, $70 products will be different from a luxury eCommerce site that might be selling $10,000, $20,000 worth of products. If you want to take the conversation offline and close the sale offline, it really depends on your operation and it really depends on what you are trying to push from a design standpoint.
Do you need rebranding? Do you need to start from scratch or do you need to optimize your brand because you recently raised money or you recently changed the name of your company?
It really depends on these details. So Joe, what are the steps in terms of design? How do we make a decision on if we need the redesign or not or we can use an existing template for a design on these different platforms? Obviously, you can get templates for $50 to $60 bucks for WordPress. Or you can get templates for a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars on Shopify.
How do we determine what needs to be done from a design standpoint?
Taking a step back, we need to see if does this company has any brand guidelines, right? Do they have brand guidelines in place that will then help us determine, okay, can we have this brand guideline implemented onto the site so that their brand consistency flows not only through the site but also across other channels as well? And what a lot of businesses fail to do is they forget that they need brand guidelines.
Most businesses, however, do not have their brand guidelines. We mean the different types of fonts, logos, and colors that need to be used. The brand guideline document is a document that highlights all of these details and most companies do not,
Creating Brand Guidelines for Your Website
Is the first step actually creating a brand guideline?
Absolutely. I don’t care if you’re a small business or a Fortune 100. You need brand guidelines because again that’s going to help you later on down the road in a situation like this where you might need a rebrand. Now you can go back to the original playbook and see what needs to be updated and what needs to be changed.
How do you determine if you need a rebrand or not?
Look at the company itself. Did they change their product offering? Did they change their name? Are they trying to go after a completely different target demographic? All of those things influence how your brand should look and feel across the web.
Most companies do a fresh brand guideline or rebranding if they’re repositioning their products, are recently acquired by another company, have merged with another company, or are basically seeing that they’ve been dropping in marketing or dropping in sales and they have to do something about it. That’s when people go after rebranding.
The difference between rebranding and a redesign is rebranding everything: your logo, fonts. All of these compile a representation of your company from a design standpoint. A redesign could be just the website redesign that you have. So the first thing that you need to do is determine where you are today and what you are today and as you suggested, that starts with a branding guidelines document.
Let’s say a customer has that: branding guidelines, logo, colors, font, different representations in the different real estate they have in terms of business cards, stationery or website, Facebook, or Twitter. How does somebody determine if they need a website redesign or not?
Look at it from a conversion sense. Is my website converting? If it’s not, then I need to move things around. My user metrics might be poor or they might be getting to a page and the content on there just isn’t placed where it needs to be.
For that scenario, you’re going to need to redesign the way that this page is structured. Again, you want that consistent structure throughout your entire site. Then that would constitute a redesign.
Optimizing Your Website for Conversions
What do we do when people come to us or when a prospect or a client comes to us and says, “Do I need a redesign?”
We’ll do an audit for the client. The audit is not really for design but rather conversion, making it a performance report. We look at Google Analytics, current sites, and best practices. We may say the following:
“Your mobile version is not responsive.”
“Your calls to action do not show on a mobile website.”
Or we say if it’s an eCommerce site, you don’t have trust-building elements in your cart or in your checkout, so this is definitely affecting your conversions and if you did S, B, C, D, your conversions could improve by 15-20%, so this is what we do.
When you talk about a redesign, are you trying to improve slightly certain elements or do you actually want the completely different look and feel for your design? Now if we talk about a redesign, we talk about mockups and wireframes. Can you talk about that process a little bit?
Throughout that redesign process, you always want to start with wireframing and essentially what that is is how everything is going to be structured, where everything on the page is going to be. Once that step is approved, then you can go into the mockup phase. The mockup phases are where you’ll actually see some visuals, images that are placeholders, and your color scheme implemented onto the site as well.
It really all depends on the back and forth because again, website design is subjective. What looks good to you might not look good to me. Overall the reason why we look at it from a conversion standpoint is that we want to see and get the numbers of what looks best to the masses, not just an individual’s opinion.
Once you get those design mockups approved and again, there’s going to be back and forth. Then you can go into the actual development stages of implementing that design and then it’s just about testing out how the user experiences using that new design and layout.
To recap, the process is we first ask the prospect what they like, what they’re thinking. We get the brand guidelines and look at some of the brands and websites they like. Then after that, we evaluate and send the questionnaire. They respond to the questionnaire, while we give them wireframes of what we think the structure of the site should look like.
The client approves the wireframes, then we go into the Photoshop mockups. For an eCommerce site, we usually have the homepage, inner page, like a category page, product page, and checkout mockups.
These mockups are on Photoshop and we review these. There are usually review sessions. We do anywhere from two to three review sessions, which means it goes back and forth two or three times. Once they approve the mockups, we’ll implement into the HTML CSS. We’ll go through two review sessions there as well, add the functionality and then we’ll launch the site.
Now, this is a complete redesign in terms of pricing. Obviously, you could go on Upwork and you could get somebody to say they’ll do the redesign for $500 bucks. What is a realistic number? How much should I spend on a redesign for my website?
The client and we will have exchanges of information that go back and forth. Therefore, I’m going to need to give you a retainer. Or I have to give you a set price and I have to limit the revisions. It all comes down to how many hours is it going to take for this to get done.
If you can say we only do two revisions, these are the number of hours that we’re going to spend on this project, I’m going to be able to give you a flat rate and that flat rate will most likely be anywhere for a WordPress, like you said, lead generation five to ten-page maybe site, you’re looking at $3,500 to $4,000 and then for an eCommerce where again, you’re going to have multiple inner pages, you’re looking at anywhere between $8,500 to %15,000. It really all depends.
How Much Should You Spend on Web Design?
It depends on the details and if there is functionality. Now on the lower end, this is if you are doing a redesign and not template customization, we suggest that you don’t spend less than $5,000. A lot will think that that’s a lot of money, but it really isn’t, especially if you are doing I would say over half a million dollars or a million dollars in revenue.
You can go with a company that charges $500 to $750 but you’re not going to get anything different and special. The most important element in the redesign process is strategy and expertise. Different experts in conversions, eCommerce, and lead generation, look at your design from a conversion standpoint.
That’s not going to be cheap. If you go and get a redesign for $500, $600, or $1000 dollars, and I’m talking about a redesign, not a re-template, you’re not going to get the attention, you’re not going to get the details that you require.
The whole concept of doing a redesign is for your brand to look better. So if you just do a redesign, I would say for less than $5,000 you’re not going to be able to improve 99% of the time. We’ve done redesign projects for $100,000 plus for higher education institutions, for universities, for eCommerce.
On average, if you are not looking for functionalities, en Photoshop markups, a few Photoshop mockups, and a few wireframes, you’re looking at anywhere from, I would say $6,000 all the way to $20,000 as a realistic number.
We work with clients who want rebranding, new photoshoots, and creative videos. As you add those up, the costs get more and more and more expensive. We’re just talking about the redesign process.
Our expertise covers different platforms. WordPress is one. We work with Joomla before, though it’s kind of dying out. We worked with Custom Solutions, WWE Volusion, Big Commerce, Shopify, 3D Cart, and the enterprise ones like Site Corp.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Redesign
How does the platform make a difference in terms of a redesign? When you’re doing a redesign, why does the platform matter?
All have different limitations. Different limitations and also just the way that they function are a little bit different.
You can have a designer that knows how to design a simple WordPress site, but he can’t implement any of that HTML or CSS on Shopify. Or he can’t do big commerce because maybe he doesn’t know how to do custom post types on WordPress. It’s going to be very, very different based on the platform, so that’s why you need an experienced team.
Ten years ago you would say, “I’m a web designer.” Nowadays it’s not just a web designer who’s on this project. You have a front end developer, a backend developer, UX, UI specialist, marketing specialist, and QA engineers.
A full team needs to go through this entire process, it’s not just one person that can handle the redesign. So having a team that ensures you that you’re going to have experts in the field that know how to work on each and every platform specifically to address its needs. The execution and implementation are going to be different based on the platform.
We like to start with an audit, looking at functionality first. You might be a B2B, services company, agency, eCommerce company, or health care provider. It really depends on the usability metrics of your website.
All of this is integrated now, so from a design standpoint, you have to expand beyond the basics. Look at marketing, functionality, checkout, site metrics, and brand guidelines. We like to do an audit first for design, functionality and maybe your platform. After we go from there and it gives you better expectations in terms of what you have to do next.
We’ll talk to you guys next week.
Is your website ready for a redesign?
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