How much do website design cost?

6 March 2021

When you decide to have a website, the most stressful thing that comes to mind is how much money will it cost you to have a website and whether you can justify paying for it. There really isn't a straightforward answer to that question. We will clarify why estimating costs is not as easy as purchasing a product.

Website Cost At A Glance

Website FeatureWebsite Cost
Website DomainRM40 - RM250
Website HostingRM70 - RM600
SSL CertificateRM0 - RM200
Website Template or ThemeRM0 - RM200
Ecommerce FunctionalityRM50 - RM24,000
Website ContentRM0 - RM3,000
Apps and IntegrationsRM0 - RM500
SEO and MarketingRM0 - RM6000

The cost of your website is dictated by the type of website you want and the amount of functionalities you have to have. On average, it going to cost about RM200 to build a website using the DIY approach, with a monthly maintenance possible cost of about RM100. Hiring a freelancer will cost about RM6,000, with an average annual cost of RM1,000. The cost would be much higher if you hire a web agency.

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Let's have a look at how you'll build your website – and how the pros and cons of each option will influence your budget.

A) Do Everything Yourself

The most budget - friendly option is to build a website all by yourself. But you do not have any coding and design skills.

A website builder is the approach you seek. A Website Builder platform does precisely as its name implies. You can create any website you like with a drag-and-drop user interface. It is a platform designed to help people create and manage their own websites with little to no web design or technical knowledge.

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In terms of price, this is undoubtedly the cheapest, and in terms of ease of use, it is definitely the fastest. These are hosted solutions that allow people with no technical skills to create websites without coding. Website builders usually charge on a monthly or yearly basis and sell a variety of plans with various levels of functionality.

Using a website builder makes it simple to turn plain sites into appealing ones. Website builders have a wide range of templates, making it simple to change the designs and font styles on your web. Templates also allow you to place graphics and other design elements exactly where you want them, saving you time that can be spent on marketing your brand.

Here are some pros of using a website builder:

  • DIY websites are cheap. It is usually cheap or costs no more than RM30 a month.
  • The website can be deployed quickly and efficiently.
  • Website builders host websites for you automatically.
  • Website builders have already designed the protection system.
  • Other website templates and themes are available in the designer.
  • The website builders provide a range of industry-specific templates and images, which help guide the developer in selecting themes and images for their company.
  • The best thing about these web builders is that some of the features are simply drag and drop.
  • The development of the features does not require use of any code.
  • Google analytics and SEO tools are integrated into these.
  • Web builders are simple to use and update in a short period of time.
  • A domain name may be used by the owner for a low cost.

Cons of website builders are:

  • Customization options for website builders are limited.
  • If the website provider has to be modified, the website must be rebuilt from the scratch.
  • Advertisements appear on websites built with the free website builder plan.
  • The builder's platform lacks specialised marketing and SEO tools.
  • The customer service number is only for paid developers, and it is only a telephonic interaction.

Investment Cost:
RM100 – RM500 per year.

B) Hire a Freelancer

Of course, if you have the money, you can hire a web designer to do it for you. The cost of a website is highly dependent on who you work with and how long it takes to finish your project.

Instead of relying on a random Google search, it's time to tap into your professional network to find a web designer. You should better choose one that comes highly recommended by someone you trust.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

There are millions of web designers worldwide who can assist you in building a website, but if you choose to meet with someone in person rather than over Skype, your network might be able to help you reach them.

If you can't find someone locally, or if you don't mind hiring people remotely, you can browse the online web designer pool to find a good fit.

The Perks of Working with a Freelancer:

  • Individual web designers and developers might set their own fees. As a result, the total project expense could be lower than approaches with a web agency. If your company is just getting started and requires a basic web presence, a freelancer or a small team could be the best option.
  • They could dedicate all of their time to your project in order to complete it more quickly, while an agency would be overseeing several projects with conflicting deadlines. A top-tier designer and developer can work quicker while still producing higher-quality work on a regular basis.
  • If you appoint a good designer, you can get a website that provides far more than anything you might produce yourself if you don't have any coding experience. That means you can expect more from your website's user experience.

Disadvantages of Working With a Freelancer:

  • Although some freelancers come highly recommended, assessing the feedback and expertise of a freelancer versus an agency can be more challenging. If you hired an employee rather than an organisation and that person becomes unavailable, you will have to start over with someone new.
  • Limited skillset. One of the most significant drawbacks of working with a freelancer is that you are restricted to that person's talents and resources.

Investment Cost:
RM2,000 – RM12,000. Pricing will depend largely on the developer's experiences as well as the complexity of the website development.

C) Hire a Web Design Agency

Established web design firms with a proven track record seem to be a trustable choice. Any reputable web design firm should have a list of past customers. You may request examples of previous websites they have built that are in a related market, have strong relevance, and have similar functionality to yours. You can contact the firm of your choice to get in touch with their physical location, and in most cases you can also visit if you wish.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Pros of using a working with an agency:

  • An agency is more likely to have a broad team of specialists with different expertise in all aspects of the project, such as a project manager, a web designer, a marketing director, and a web developer.
  • When comparing agencies and freelancers, it is usually easier to see an agency's track record in online reviews, past projects, and awards, whereas a freelancer may not have good portfolio to show.
  • An agency is much more likely to have a long-term relationship with you. You’ll will find better on-going support because they have the resources and a bigger team to manage future requests in a timely manner.
  • Agencies are known to communicate more effectively with their customers.

Cons of using a working with an agency:

  • The only downside of using an agency is the cost. Agencies can be more costly due to higher operating costs and a number of professionals on board. Even smaller agencies can charge far more than the average freelancer, but the expenses can be compensated by the increased conversions the website achieves.

Investment Cost:
RM15,000 – RM40,000. The agency website redesign cost, like freelance costs, varies depending on the agency's experience and reputation, as well as the scope of the project.

Additional Cost

In addition to the technical parts of web development, you might needs the following related services. If you hire an agency or freelancer, they may include everything into the offered package.

Graphic design:

Graphic designers will assist with logos, drawings, and other visual assets you place on your website.

Rate: RM30-RM100 per hour

UIUX design:

If you have an unique fresh idea and doesn't like template-based design, you can hire the freelancer or agency to spend more time perfecting the design based on your feedbacks.

Rate: RM50-RM200 per hour


Some web development and design agencies can also provide copywriting assistance, if you need help writing anything from your about page to product descriptions.

Rate: RM100-RM2000 per pages or length of your content

Search engine optimization (SEO):

If you hire developer, they probably already setup basic SEO in the website. However, if you need to gain more traffic from search engine, then you have to spend around RM200-RM3000.


Website hosting rates differ depending on the specifications and provider. You can get as little as RM 100 a year, all the way up to a few thousands. The package subscription services will have an impact on the website's loading speed, storage capacity, security, and so on.

Domain fees:

You must acquire a domain name for your website (example: Each domain name costs an average of RM20 per year.

The Verdict: Hiring A Professional vs. Do-It-Yourself

Finally, you must understand the role your website will play in your market. If you're starting a new company and need a simple website to create a web presence, you may be able to do it yourself.

Your website is closely connected to your product, target market, marketing objectives, and opportunity to reach potential clients. A high-quality website demands a wide range of abilities. You have to do design, writing content, setup hosting, experiment with different plugins, etc. Can you imagine doing everything by yourself?

Who do you ask when you encounter a problem you can't solve? Usually you have to contact the platform support, then wait for an hour or two for their replies. Best case scenario, they will successfully guide you or they just point you to buy another subscription items in their marketplace. This is very time consuming and frustating.

If your website is vital to your marketing and contains e-commerce or more advanced functionality such as booking modules, hiring a specialist is a better investment. Why choose to struggle doing something that is outside of your line of work while there are affordable experts qualified to do the tough work for you?

If you think it's simple, then you have misunderstood the problem.
― Bjarne Stroustrup

It is much wiser to focus on things that generate profits for you rather than those that would end up costing you money over the long term.

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