How much does a Website design cost?

…Back in 2010 I posted Average Price for Web Design… well since then, we’ve had a recession and the price of living has gone up, so I decided it was high time for an updated report. Earlier this year I did a bit of price reconnaissance, and now it’s time to publish my findings.

This time around, my experiment was on a much grander scale; instead of contacting 100 web design companies, I contacted 457 web design companies, and under a pseudonym, I asked for a price for a standard 5 page website.

From those 457, I eliminated 7 companies that were just template-mongers trying to pass off as web designers, and 1 company that was from the UK trying to pass off as a South African firm. I eliminated a further 21, as I found they were just fronts for other web design companies that were already on my list.

I was then forced to eliminate 8 web design companies whose contact forms were broken, and didn’t list an email address.

It didn’t end there though…

A further 14 web design companies refused my business for various reasons, such as they were too busy or only worked with large established clients, etc. Good for them!

A whopping 172 web design companies just never bothered getting back to me – and that’s allowing for a month to pass since first contacting them.

I carefully looked through the websites and portfolios of the remaining 234 web design companies that did provide quotes, and divided them into 3 groups: Good Web Designers, Ok Web Designers, and Bad Web Designers.

The cost of a GOOD website.

I received quotes from 67 good web designers. Their own websites and portfolios were testament to the quality of their web designs. The average price for a 5 page website came to R 10 100.47. I then decided to eliminate 5 web design companies from that list because they had clearly been smoking *somehting whilst quoting (figures between R30k and R300k). Remember, this quote is for a standard 5 page website without any specialized programming or flash. The elimination of these 5 web design companies brought the average price of a good 5 page website down to R 7 920.74.

The cost of an OK website.

I received quotes from 97 Ok web designers. These were companies who could provide a product that wasn’t broken or flawed in any major way, but had no pizazz in the aesthetic department. Basically a bit of a yawn, but at least its workable. The average price of an Ok 5 page website worked out to R 6 126.35.

The cost of a BAD website.

I received quotes from 70 bad web designers. These companies had *really bad websites… Websites that were so ugly, they should come with a warning for permanent retinal damage and emotional scarring. OK, I’m being melodramatic, but you get the point. The average price for a bad 5 page website worked out to R 4 162.36. Having your company name associated with such a monstrosity could cost you more in the long run though.


This time, I’ve made a special category for Cherry Online Design, the company that charged the Free State provincial government R 140 million (or R40 million depending on who you believe) for a WordPress template. A company, that at the time of writing, doesn’t have a website themselves. Can anyone tell me how many low cost houses we could build for the homeless with a budget of R 140 million?


If you are in the market for a website, just remember an Aston Martin One-77 and a Tata Indica are both cars, but they have different price tags for a reason. With websites, most of the time, you get what you pay for, but if it is in the 7 digit region *and it is not for an large SLA – you’re being shafted!

Credits: Roxane Lapa of .COZA Web Design