Search the blog

It’s common for people to get more than one price when they want a job doing—and websites are no different. One thing that quite rightly confuses people when they do get more than one quote is the vast difference between prices. More often than not, when someone gets several prices there can be a great difference between the cheapest and most expensive. Why? Here I outline some of the main reasons:

Agencies versus freelancers

Freelancers tend to be much cheaper than agencies (though not always). Freelancers typically work from home and have very few overheads. Agencies, on the other hand, have the cost of running a studio and its staff. You can read  about this in more detail in my other post, Agencies versus freelancers.


The location of the web company has a strong influence on the price. In the UK, the prices steadily rise the further south you go. And companies that operate in around any of the major cities—particularly London—tend to come out more pricey. Of course, you can save money by using an overseas company that works from somewhere like India, China or Russia. Some companies increase their margin by outsourcing the work to such places, but they don’t always tell you, the client.

Are you getting a truly bespoke project?

Are the cheaper web companies really tailoring this project to your unique requirements? I’ve found myself competing with rock bottom quotes only to find out the company has done a similar site before for a client and they are planning to pass off a re–hash of that project but charge the client as though it’s been built from scratch. And of course, no two projects are the same so this is never going to be a good idea (for the client anyway).

Some cut costs by using open–source content management systems. While such systems do have their place—as I have discussed before—they by–and–large aren’t really suitable for high–end professional websites.

Inflated and/or hidden retainers

Some companies initially quote a very low price to ‘reel you in’, only then to claw back their costs through inflated retainers. Sadly, this is common practice. For example you might get the initial website design and build for a very low price but then get a large invoice every month thereafter for hosting and email newsletter activities that have been heavily inflated. Such retainers are usually omitted or hidden in website proposals.

Designers —good and bad

Finally, how good is the designer? Design is the most subjective element of a website. It not only requires creativity but also a sound knowledge of how websites work. Good looks need to support the website’s functionality, not come at the expense of it. Such designers are hard to come by and therefore you pay a premium for using them. Look at designers’ previous work first to check their quality. If they’re good, they’ll be more expensive; but as the adage goes: you get what you pay for.

If you need help getting a reliable and good value quote for your website, call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a web designer and developer. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.