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Planning & Budgeting for Website Design

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A quick disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links — which means we may receive a small commission if you purchase through them. However, they are all products and services we've used and love.

Your website is one of the most important pieces of your business and your overall marketing strategy, especially if the majority (or all!) of your business happens online. You want a website that looks great, aligns with your audience, and converts them into paying customers. But if you've never had a website for your business or you DIYed yours when you first got started, you might not be aware of all the pieces you'll need (and how much they'll cost).

As website designers, we walk our clients through the following list, to make sure they don't miss anything important and so that they can prepare for costs they might not have expected:

  1. Content: You can write all of the content yourself for your website. But unless you're a professional copywriter or a marketing expert, you might not know how to write copy that converts visitors into paying customers or clients. For our website design clients, we work closely with a professional copywriter (investment can vary, but most start at $3K-$4K) or we always recommend the Promplate Shop for a more budget-friendly option (we used it for our own copy!). Jess Jordana is a professional copywriter and her Promptlates combine prompts about your business with website copy templates, so that you can write your own copy that converts. Her entire website bundle for service providers is less than $300.

  2. Legal: Something I didn't know when I first got started in my own business (and maybe you don't either) is that you need to have a Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions on your website. This is a legal requirement if you're collecting emails on your site, have a contact form, are accepting credit cards, etc. We are not lawyers, so this is not legal advice! But it's definitely something you'll want to look into to ensure you are compliant. We used a customizable template from the Contract Shop for ours (less than $250). You can also consult a lawyer and have them draft both documents for you.

  3. Hosting: You can choose from a variety of website building platforms for your website. If you're an e-commerce business that sells a large volume of products, we always recommend Shopify. Shopify's system is extremely robust and provides you with incredibly helpful analytics for your site. Our favorite for service providers is Showit. Showit allows for a custom website with your own colors, fonts, etc., and they don't require hard coding knowledge to build or update. You'll need to buy your domain and pay for hosting it each year, as well as pay for a monthly plan with either platform.

  4. Photography: Whatever kind of business you have, you need great photos on your website and we believe it's absolutely worth investing in. You can hire a professional photographer to take photos of you and your work or you can take photos yourself (we invested in a good DSLR camera and took some online photography classes on Skillshare). Another option is to use stock images, until you are able to invest in a photographer. Make sure to only use images on your website that you own or have permission to use (don't use anything from Google!). Unsplash has royalty free stock images and we also love Haute Stock, Social Squares, and Moyo Studio.

  5. Design: Investing in a great graphic designer will help take all of the headache out of trying to DIY your website. We offer website design coupled with branding, to make sure that every visual piece of your brand is cohesive. Learn more about all of our services here. You can also purchase a template from a designer that you can customize, if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option.

  6. Additional Assets: A few other costs that might come up are purchasing a webfont license for your font (most are less than $20) and purchasing icons or illustrations that go with your brand (we customize these for our clients or you can find options at Creative Market).

This list is not exhaustive, but covers most of the costs we've seen come up for our clients and in our own experience. A website is a big investment for your business, but 100% worth it to start seeing a change in your revenue and to build trust with your customers. Comment below if there's anything we missed.


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