How long is a piece of string?

With WordPress design and development, you get what you pay for.

Whilst that is a cliche, it’s true.

Website development is an unregulated industry; anyone can learn the basics and establish a web design agency.

How do you find the right agency and budget for your project?

This is quite a long article, but we’ve aimed to be as transparent as possible in our charging structure, so it’s worth the read.

How we charge for projects.

We provide a fixed-cost proposal to a fixed spec.

You tell us what you need; we’ll tell you what it will cost. If what you need changes, so does the cost.

In WordPress development, something that can take five seconds to say can result in five days of development work, so everything has to be scoped and fixed before a project starts.

If you would like a quote for a new website or help improving an existing one, we’ll look at the following:

  • What you do
  • The size of your business
  • The complexity of the scope
  • The deadline

We don’t take on projects that we can’t deliver 100% in-house in terms of design and build, so the first thing we do is work out if we are a good fit for your project.

We’ll then decide how long we think the project will take for each stage of the process:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Wireframing
  • Design/UX
  • Site Build
  • Functionality/Plugins
  • Content
  • On-page SEO
  • Snagging and tweaks
  • Optimisation
  • Hosting
  • Go-live
  • Post-live optimisation
  • Ongoing support, SEO and maintenance

See a breakdown of these stages and costs.

We apply an hourly rate for each stage rather than a flat rate across the project.

This gives us a fixed number of hours for each stage of the project, but it doesn’t mean the project is on-the-clock; it means that operationally, and from our experience, we know how long stuff takes to do.

If the scope remains the same, but it takes us longer to do something than we thought, that’s our problem, not yours.

What does a typical project cost?

Most agencies have a range of budgets that they work within and tend to stick within this range.

We’re no different in this respect and typically work on projects between £1,800 and £18,000 ex VAT.

That might seem like a wide range, but we help smaller businesses with bespoke-build brochure sites, and we with large companies on 800+ page sites with complex functions and requirements.

Note that if you’re a Charity, COOP, Social Enterprise or NFP on a tighter budget than above, still get in touch; we can help.

As we don’t have a flat hourly rate for everyone in the business, the figures above can translate into anywhere between 30 and 300+ hours across that budget range, depending on who is doing the work.

We’ve worked on projects outside this budget range (on both ends) that were a good fit for the team, so nothing is concrete.

Get a proposal for your project

We don’t like guessing.

We don’t like to waste people’s time and prefer not to waste our own, so we usually ask for a budget before we put a proposal together.

We also appreciate that this can be difficult as you can get a website for $50 on Fiverr, whereas we’ve just mentioned £18,000 above.

If you don’t know what your website requirements might cost, approach it logically.

If you need a 10-page brochure site and already have branding and marketing collateral that the design should follow, that will undoubtedly be at the lower end.

If you need WooCommerce, multi-language and bespoke functions, that will be towards the top end.

You will be somewhere in between the two.

Send us your budget (or, more accurately, what you want to spend) when you contact us, and we’ll be completely upfront about how we can help you within that budget range.

We appreciate that people often have no idea how much what they need to do will cost.

A bit like when your car engine starts making an odd noise, and you know nothing about car engines: it might be a simple fix or cost thousands to repair.

If you are unsure what a website project will cost, it can be a good idea to think about it like a car.

You can buy a car for £500, but you will know it’s going to come with:

  • An MOT that will expire in less than a year
  • Problems that you don’t see when you buy it
  • Poor bodywork, dents, knocks and a far-from-perfect interior
  • The risk that it could break down and cost you more than you paid for it to fix
  • Out-of-date technology
  • Unreliability in general
  • Potential judgement from others about why you drive it

Now, if you buy a brand new car, even a modest one for £25,000, it’s going to come with:

  • Everything brand new and working
  • Three years of free servicing
  • Free insurance and breakdown cover
  • Two years of warranty
  • The ability to get the manufacturer to fix anything that isn’t right
  • Up-to-date technology
  • Reliability
  • Compliments from others on your shiny new purchase

Websites are no different.

£500 can get you a website, but how good that site is won’t be known until you start to use it.

£5,000 will get you a website that is built correctly, does what you need, is optimised and so on.

What contributes to website costs?

WordPress is free software and works out of the box, so what costs money?

Using WordPress is famously easy. There are no charges for the software; getting an empty WordPress site up and running on a server takes minutes.

The costs come in as follows from the stages we mentioned above. Note that the estimates below relate to the types of sites we work on within our budget range. Larger and more complex projects take a lot longer.


The more complex your business, market and functional requirements, the more time will be needed at the start of the project to understand your business, your competitors and the functionality you’ll need on the site.

This can take anywhere between 2–20 hours.


You may already know exactly how you want the structure of your site, or you may need help with this.

The research above will inform this stage so you can plan your website properly from UX, content and structure perspectives.

Again, this can take anywhere from 2–20 hours. More if the project is more complex.

Wire framing.

This is planning the structure of your site’s pages, looking at the information architecture and getting the framework of your site sorted.

Simple sites may need a homepage and a series of content modules designed, while other sites may need lots of pages wireframing, so the costs vary.

The time required here is from a couple of hours to 20+ hours.


Probably the hardest part of any project as design can be so subjective. Having a set of brand guidelines to follow can reduce the time it takes to design a site. Having a good idea about what you want also makes this process easier. If you know what you like when you see it, the design process can take some time.

Typically a minimum of 10 hours to design a basic website.

Site Build.

So one of the fantastic things about WordPress is that it works as soon as you install it. We use bespoke themes for all our projects, meaning we have a ‘starter theme’ that contains the barebones, and we build from there.

The build of the theme, which is PHP, HTML and CSS, can come together quickly; our theme is fully responsive, and we have pre-built many content modules that are commonly used on all websites, so we hit the ground running.

We can build a basic website quickly, but it’s still a minimum of 10 hours of work.

Functionality and Plugins.

This is where most of the cost comes in when developing a WordPress site.

Whilst many plugins are free, they work how they work, and if you need something different, it’s bespoke development.

For example, it might only take minutes to install WooCommerce, but it takes hours to configure for each project.

It’s impossible to put an upper limit on the time required for this stage, but even at the basic level, you need at least 10 hours.


The time required to do the content is directly linked to the amount of content, its complexity and its structure.

Adding a blog to a site may be a simple copy-and-paste operation, but populating a complex landing page that holds text, images, testimonials, tables and so on takes a lot longer. This is also before any on-page SEO.

A simple single-page blog might be a five-minute job, whereas a more complex landing page may take over an hour.

On-page SEO.

This is another complex stage of the website process. Costs here depend largely on how far down the SEO rabbit hole you want to go.

You can use Yoast to do a large part of the work, but if you want to get into SEO research, LSI keywords, structure and so on into the mix, it can take a lot of time.

Doing on-page SEO per page depends very much on the quality of the content to start with, and how willing you are to allow an SEO expert to edit your text for SEO.

Snagging and tweaks.

If each of the previous stages has been completed correctly, this stage should be relatively easy.

It’s important to distinguish between a snag and a change. Asking for new functions to be added to an already-built page is not a snag nor a tweak; it’s additional development.

We usually allow around four hours for this stage, again, dependent on the size of the website.


There’s more than just Search Engine Optimisation. Technically optimising your site once it’s built is crucial.

It must be fast, cached, and hosted on an appropriate server.

Again, the time required here depends on the site, but it’s at least three hours of work.


Get the best hosting your budget allows for. You can host for cheap somewhere like Go Daddy, or you can get a bespoke solution from WP Engine.

Storage is also a consideration here. It will be more expensive if you want to store gigabytes of data on your site.

You should budget a minimum of £30 per month for hosting – anything cheaper will affect your website’s performance.


Getting a WordPress site live is simple, providing an empty, working WordPress install on the destination server.

We migrate the development site to the live site.

If you are using AWS, Azure or other non-managed servers, this can take more time.

Two hours for a simple migration and checks, potentially, a lot more if it’s not.

Post-live optimisation.

Once your site is on the live server, another round of optimisation may be required for this new environment.

This isn’t always required if you opt for a decent host, but slower, cheaper servers may require more work to get your site speed up to par.

Depending on the hosting, this can take as little as one hour or up to several hours.

Ongoing support, SEO and maintenance.

We provide affordable support packages for all the websites we build (and we also support 100s of sites we didn’t build).

Support and maintenance start from £40 per month for 40 minutes of support time and goes up from there.

Regarding SEO, we offer packages that start at £240 per month.

All of this is entirely optional.

Get started.

To get a proposal for your project, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form. We will then arrange a brief call or zoom to discuss your project and see how best we can help you.