Web Design FAQs: Your Questions Answered

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By Dan Barraclough | Updated: 29 January 2021

We’ve compiled the ultimate list of common questions (and accurate answers) to ensure you’re never stuck again.


Ever had questions about web design? Well, you’re not alone. On this page, we answer the most common questions about using a web designer or web design agency, explaining how the process works and how much you should expect to pay.

We also cover questions about using DIY website builders, so if you’d like to start building a website yourself using a website building platform, you’ll find everything you need to know here. For a quicker alternative, check out our website builder comparison to see which platform would suit you best.

For everything else web design-related, let’s dive into our FAQs…


What is Web Design?

Web design is the broad term given to the creation and maintenance of websites. There are different areas of web design, such as user interface, user experience, web graphic, and search engine optimization design, which all focus on providing a positive or enjoyable experience for the visitor.

What is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

Web design focuses primarily on how a website looks and feels to the visitor, using best practice in user-friendliness and graphic design. Web development is carried out behind the scenes in the site’s backend, and typically involves developing  software, building the site’s structure using code, and fixing bugs. To create a business website, most web designers would also be able to handle the web development aspects for you.

How Much Does a Web Developer Charge?

Web developers with reasonable experience usually charge about $75 per hour, but that can go up to around $180 per hour. This means you’ll likely end up paying between $5,000 and $10,000 for a developer to build a fully-functioning business website. Of course, these figures will vary depending on the developer’s skill level and the tasks required.

How Much Does a Web Designer Charge?

Web designers typically charge between $60 and $80 per hour, depending on their experience and the size of the website you need. With this estimation, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for a new business website. If that’s beyond your budget, then using a DIY website builder is an alternative to consider.

What is a Website Builder?

Website builders are online platforms that enable you to create websites without touching any code, or spending thousands on web designer fees. There are ecommerce website builders – such as Shopify – specifically for creating online stores, and ‘generic’ builders – such as Wix – for creating non-ecommerce stores. Prices for these platforms range from $6 to $299 per month.


How Important is Web Design?

Web design is important because it can affect your business performance. A poorly-designed website that’s hard to use will reflect badly on your brand, and could negatively impact your sales. Alternatively, a professionally-designed, user-friendly website should help to keep visitors on your site and increase sales. Considering over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy online in 2021, this is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss out on.


How to Choose a Web Design Company

To find the best web design company for your business, you first need to think about what type of website you need, and what you want your new site to achieve. You also need to consider your budget. You should then search online for companies in your local area, and read customer testimonials or reviews to ensure your chosen agency has a proven track record.

How to Compare Web Design Companies

You need to compare each company in areas such as cost, their previous clients, online review ratings, and the overall quality of their portfolios. You should then get a good idea of which company would best suit your goals.

To make things easier for you, we can help you find the right web design company if you tell us what you need from your next website, and we’ll match you up with web design companies that best suit your needs. They’ll then be in touch with more information and free quotes for you to compare.

What are the Best Website Design Companies for Small Businesses?

The best web design agencies for small business include Hibu, Dotcom Design, Web.com, and GoDaddy. Each of these companies offers affordable pricing to suit the budgets of growing businesses, without sacrificing web design quality.

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How Much Does a Website Cost?

Hiring a freelance web designer will usually cost between $75 and $200 per hour, depending on their experience. That means the overall cost of your website could range anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000+. This cost is broken down into separate fees including web domain and hosting (approx. $140 per year), design and programming ($5,000+), content (approx. $500+), and maintenance ($500+). Alternatively, website builders offer set monthly price plans, ranging from $6 to $299+ per month.

How Much Does Responsive Web Design Cost?

When building your site, most professional web designers will ensure your website is mobile responsive anyway. This means that responsive web design quotes will charge between $2,000 and $20,000+, depending on the project and the designer’s experience. The easiest way to get a clear price, though,  is to get a web design quote today.

How Important is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is very important because it improves the user’s experience by reformatting content to fit on a mobile screen. It’s also a search engine ranking factor, meaning search engines will rank mobile-responsive websites higher than non-responsive sites to give search engine users a better experience. With smartphone usage rising year-on-year, responsive design is something your business can’t afford to skip.


How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website Yourself?

To build a website yourself using a website builder, you can expect to pay anywhere between $6 and $299+ per month, depending on your chosen platform. Some website builders, including Wix, provide free monthly plans, but these only enable you to create very basic sites that have adverts on each page. That’s why we’d recommend signing up for a paid plan if you want a professional-looking website.

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Website?

The cost to build a website depends on the software you use. Website builders offer monthly subscriptions ranging from $6 to $299+ per month, depending on the type and size of website you’d like to build, which you’ll need to pay for as long as you have the website you’ve built. For instance, a large ecommerce store will cost more to build than a simple blog website.


How Much Should Web Design Cost?

The web design cost for a medium-sized business website shouldn’t really exceed $6,000 – $7,000. The quoting process should be transparent, with the web designer explaining a clear price and estimated project length. Once you’ve compared a few quotes, you should then get an idea of the average expected web design cost for your requirements.

What’s the Average Cost to Build an Ecommerce Website?

When hiring a web designer, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000+ for an ecommerce website, depending on the functions you need and the ecommerce trends you want to follow. Using an ecommerce website builder such as Shopify is cheaper than hiring a web designer, with price plans generally ranging from $9.50 per month to $299 per month. But it will offer less creative freedom, because you’ll be restricted to using templates.


How Much Can a Small Business Website Cost?

Hiring a designer to create a small business website can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000+, depending on the number of pages and functions you need. For example, you’ll need to pay more for things like ecommerce or blogging functionality. You can also use a website builder to create your small business site, with monthly price plans generally ranging from $6 to $50+ per month.

What is the Average Cost of a Website for a Small Business?

When hiring a web designer, you’ll likely pay between $1,500 and $6,000+ for a small business website that has fewer pages to build or products to sell, and usually around $5,000+ for a small ecommerce website. You can also use a website builder, such as Wix, which have price plans starting from $6 per month to $299+ per month, depending on the platform.


How Much Does a Small Website Cost?

The overall cost of your small website (a site with just a few pages and basic design features) will depend on the type of functionality you want, and the general size of the project. Therefore, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $6,000+ for a small website.

What Does the Average One-Page Website Cost?

Whether you’re using a blogging platform or a generic web design software to create a one-page website, you’ll likely pay somewhere between $1,000 and $2,500 for a professional-looking end product.

What Does the Average Three-Page Website Cost?

The cost for designing a three-page website (which would be a medium-sized business website) typically ends up around $6,000. This includes an upfront fee, plus ongoing costs such as hosting and maintenance.


How Much Does it Cost to Have a Website?

There are different ongoing costs to consider when running a website. For example, you’ll need to pay for a domain name ($0.99 $39.99+ per month), hosting ($0.99 $20+ per month), and ongoing maintenance ($500+ per month). The overall price you pay will depend on the size of your website and the frequency of bugs you need fixing.

What is the Average Web Page Hosting Cost?

Web hosting is one of the most important website maintenance costs to consider – it’s what powers your site, after all. Shared hosting ($2.49 $15+ per month) is suitable for most small websites. VPS hosting ($20 $80+ per month) is best for growing websites, while Dedicated Hosting ($80 $300+ per month) is only suitable for very large sites. There’s also WordPress-specific hosting, starting from around $4.99 per month.


Web Design Glossary

Some of the language surrounding web design can appear complex, we know that. But worry not – we’re here to demystify the most common jargon-filled-phrases, so you’re never left feeling stuck.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Also known as mobile-ready design, this type of web design ensures that your website reformats its content when viewed on a mobile device, resulting in a seamless user experience. When browsing a responsive website on a smartphone, you won’t need to zoom, scroll, or squint because the content has adapted to the smaller screen.

What is CSS in Web Design?

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language used to describe how documents that are written in a coding language, such as HTML or JavaScript, should be displayed. The word ‘style’ is important here, because it highlights how CSS specifies your document’s colours, fonts, and page layouts. Think of HTML as the foundation, and CSS as the interior design.

What is CMS in Web Design?

A content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, is an online platform designed to help you create, upload, and maintain digital content without having to use any code. Ideal for creating blogs and business websites that need to be regularly updated, CMS are typically very user-friendly, providing a simple interface.

What is a Lightbox in Web Design?

A lightbox is a pop-up that enlarges and brings one section of the screen into focus. They’re typically used to enlarge images, but also to inform visitors about promotions, surveys, and PDF downloads, or to simply highlight certain areas on the web page that the user might be interested in. The lightbox feature either fills out the entire page, or dims the page background to shine the spotlight on the pop-up area.

What is Parallax Web Design?

Also known as parallax scrolling, this type of website layout makes the page background move at a slower rate than the foreground content. This helps to create a 3D effect as you scroll, providing a subtle element of depth that could help your website stand out among the competition.

What Does SEO Stand for in Web Design?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and refers to the process of optimizing your website to give it the best chance of appearing high up on search engine results pages (SERPs). Using organic methods (i.e. not paying money to the search engine), you can improve the position of your website on search engine results pages and, as a result, increase the number of clicks and visitors to your website.

What is Frontend Web Design?

A frontend designer uses code to create a visually appealing, user-friendly website. In essence, frontend design bridges the gap between web development’s complex programming, and classic web design that focuses on the website’s aesthetics. Frontend design dabbles between the two.

What is a Wireframe in Web Design?

A wireframe is like a blueprint for a web page you’re about to create. Also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint, a wireframe is used to help you arrange elements – such as buttons, banners, and navigation bars – in a way that would help those elements best achieve their purpose, before you actually build them.

What is JavaScript Used for in Web Design?

JavaScript is one of the most popular coding languages. It’s used to design interactive and engaging elements on a web page, including search bars, drop-down menus, colour-changing buttons, and the ability to ‘show or hide’ more information. It’s also used to design mobile apps and games.

What is a Carousel in Web Design?

A carousel is a horizontal list of digital content cards which can be browsed from left to right, like flicking through a book. Typically found on the homepage, carousels occupy a single space on the website. This helps to reduce clutter, while enabling the  user to browse your most important pieces of content in one, scrollable place.

What is Information Architecture in Web Design?

Information architecture (IA) is the content structure of your website. It involves organizing digital content on your website in a way that users would find easy and enjoyable to navigate, which is done by structuring and labelling content in the most user-friendly manner.

What is a Mockup in Web Design?

A mockup is a simulation of how your website will look once it’s published. The mockup combines the wireframe (the digital blueprint) with the images, graphics, and basic navigation functions that the final product will display. By viewing your site from a visitor’s point of view, you can test its user-friendliness and tweak the information architecture (content structure) if you feel the need.

What is a Hero Image in Web Design?

Also known as a hero header, a hero image refers to an oversized banner image placed at the top of a web page, usually extending to the full width of the page. Due to its eye-catching placement, the hero image is usually the first thing visitors see on your website.

What is a Modal in Web Design?

A modal window is a type of pop-up, similar to a lightbox. However, modals can usually only be closed by interacting inside the pop-up window by selecting an ‘okay’ or ‘X’ button, while lightboxes can be closed by clicking anywhere outside the pop-up. Modals are typically used to encourage users to take action – for example, an ‘invite more friends’ pop-up search function.

What is Adaptive Web Design?

Adaptive design uses static, pre-formatted layouts, and then displays one of those preset layouts depending on the device being used. While responsive design is fluid and automatically reformats to fit any-sized screen, adaptive design detects the screen size and then loads the most appropriate format you have already designed.

What are Breadcrumbs in Web Design?

A navigation technique, breadcrumbs display the visitor’s location within the website. Each breadcrumb is usually displayed at the top of the page, with the name of each page separated by a ‘greater than’ symbol (>). For example: ‘Home’ > ‘Products’ > ‘Footwear’ are three breadcrumbs. Similarly to the Hansel and Gretel fairytale, website breadcrumbs are there to help users find their way around.

What Does UX Mean in Web Design?

UX (user experience) is a web design process that focuses solely on providing a meaningful, enjoyable, and relevant experience to website visitors. The user experience itself ecompasses the user’s emotions or attitudes about using the website, and is affected by the site’s overall user-friendliness.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.

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