Why are High-Quality Websites “Expensive”?

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
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In today’s world, a website is a common denominator of every successful company. Regardless of the type of business you are in, you have to be able to swim where your clients, customers, and investors swim; the online pool. Having a presence on social networks is one thing, but managing a website where your followers can learn more about your line of trade and the services you offer is crucial. On the other hand, it’s also important to create a pretty face for your brand while providing consistent content to engage with and educate your clients and prospects. 

Why are High-Quality Websites Expensive

Table of Contents:

Sure, you can set your mind to it and learn how to make a website yourself. However, are you ready to condemn your business to a do-it-yourself website? Are you willing to put the future of your developing company in the hands of amateur web pages and expect them to produce meaningful results?

Web development is not easy and it certainly cannot be learned overnight. It takes hundreds of dedicated hours to fully master, not to mention, at the same time keeping up with the ever-evolving trends of the internet and market needs. 

Your best bet to establish your role as an industry authority is to turn to professionals like our web design agency here in Chicago to develop your website. However, premium websites come with a premium price tag attached. So, why are high-quality websites expensive? In today’s post, we elaborate on multiple factors that can affect website price.

The difference between great and poor websites

With so many factors that can alter your ROI, answering why high-quality websites are expensive is not easy. Of course, there is always a cheaper, riskier, and quicker option; however, when it comes to design you invest in value. Not investing in value could put your website at risk of taking eons to load, and even when it does, it could be difficult to navigate. Here you risk any information about your products or services being buried under piles of vague language. The design elements could also not be compatible with a smartphone and they may not even show up in search engines.

On the other hand, value-added websites load quickly. They are easy to navigate since they undergo the design QA process, don’t obscure key information, and employ an adaptive web design for handheld devices; most importantly, they show up in Google searches.

A great website tells your company’s story; it advertises, sells, entertains, and educates. Not to mention, it also evokes trust and loyalty and pushes brand/customer relationships to a whole other level.

What affects website costs

Let’s dive deeper into what makes a website that focuses on quality so expensive. Several factors determine the price of a website:


Website functionality is the most important factor of a web design. It determines the type of interaction that a website has with its visitors. Designers must employ different techniques to address the specific demands of people interacting with a website. For example, a simple informational website has limited functionality. It uses basic HTML to handle text and images. The more complex the design gets, the more expensive it becomes. A design that provides interactivity with users requires more time and effort invested. Therefore, it costs more.

It’s easy to take complex features of web design for granted simply because we interact with them daily. We’ve grown accustomed to a seamless checkout experience on eCommerce websites, that we often forget that designers and developers had to spend countless hours and energy to make it feel so easy to use. Truth be told, you can achieve most of the functionalities through plugins, but it can come with a price that isn’t necessarily expressed in dollars. You can use a Sage WordPress theme to create a fast and well-functioning website. However, as soon as you start including different plugins to achieve necessary functionalities, you’ll notice a significant drop in your website’s performance in terms of speed not to mention it will open the site up to numerous security vulnerabilities.

Custom design

Have you noticed recently how so many websites tend to look alike? It’s because most of them use pre-designed schemes or templates; there’s no shame in it. Using a template can save you time and money, but don’t expect it to be entirely free of charge. There is still a price for getting your website up and running.

On the other hand, if you require a custom design, be ready to pay more. Note that it can take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours to design a single web page. Multiply that by the hourly fee that your designer charges, and you get the idea.

User experience

Another thing that increases the overall cost of a website is the type of user experience you wish to provide. If you simply want to provide info. about your company and the services you offer, a single-page website that acts as a business card should do the trick. However, if you wish to create a virtual experience for your clients with a catalog, a social media feed, and blog pages you are looking at more hours required to create the website and at a higher price.

Domain and hosting

For your website to be live and accessible you need:

  • Domain
  • Hosting

Domains direct users to the host that houses your site and can be purchased for around $10 per year.

When it comes to hosting, there are typically three solutions:

  • Hosting included in your website builder – This is a good solution for DIY websites. You start with a template, build a website by yourself, and get everything you need through one monthly price. However, you should keep in mind that hosting is something you have to pay for as long as your website is live. Due to this fact, you can expect higher expenses because these DIY builders often amortize the costs of their “free-to-use” tool.
  • Using a web hosting provider – If you know how to build your own website from scratch without using templates, you can pay a web hosting provider to house your website.
  • Agency hosting – This type of hosting solution is provided by an agency that built your website. Since they are already familiar with your website, they can easily keep it up and running through regular technical and security updates.

Hosting fees usually go from $5 per month for basic hosting to $150 per month for fully-managed hosting that includes all the advanced features. Hosting fees can vary based on the size of your website and the amount of traffic it gets.

Website type

To answer the question of why are high-quality websites expensive, we have to talk about the type of website your business requires. You can’t expect to pay the same price for a simple blog as you would pay for an eCommerce website. Smaller business sites with no more than a couple of pages are less pricey than large enterprise websites.

Development, setup, design

Let’s say you buy a prefabricated house. Once it’s delivered to you, you still need someone to assemble it and connect all the piping. The same goes for a website. You have to pay a web designer or a developer to set up, design, and develop your site.

Plugins, apps, third-party services

Your website should be tailored according to the industry you’re in. If you intend to sell goods online, for example, you are likely to need different plugins, apps, or third-party services. This, of course, adds to the cost.


For a website to keep running smoothly long after it’s developed, it needs to undergo regular maintenance. This includes constant updates to your theme, plug-ins, and security upgrades.

How expensive are quality websites

The price of a quality website largely depends on the number of hours invested. We have already talked about what adds hours to the development in regards to the number of pages, design choices, custom functionality, and so on. Prices usually range from $35 per hour for Junior developers to $75 to $350 for Senior developers.

Final words

Websites are large projects that usually take weeks to create. They are not cheap but have the potential to bring an enormous ROI. The digital age has put all kinds of information in the palm of our hands. Today, people will search for a brand or company online before deciding whether or not to trust it. Furthermore, to answer the question of why high-quality websites are expensive, it’s because it takes weeks of development and ongoing maintenance to make sure it works smoothly and presents the brand in the most compelling way. Your website is an investment just like any other marketing effort. However, it’s an investment that pays large dividends and is your strongest marketing asset. When done right, it tells the story of your brand enticing loyal customers and building trust with them. 


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