A Professional Manchester based web design freelancer

WEbsite design costs explained

This question can’t be answered very easily and therefor I’ve compiled this page which will hopefully break down all the ins and outs of building websites and give you a better understanding of the steps involved to produce a working website.  

Some websites require additional features that need to be programmed into the back-end to allow for specialist functionality. In some other cases a lot of work is required to optimise for SEO. Some website rebuilds can also be particularly challenging to retain existing URL and permalink structures while completely redeveloping / designing each page by hand. 

So to summarise, there simply is no no one size fits all approach although if we’re starting from scratch and all art and copy writing are provided there is no reason for a 1-5 page website to cost more than a few hundred pounds. 

Feel free to fill out a quick questionnaire about your requirements and I’ll get back to you with a reasonably accurate quote. Or if you have prepared a brief, attach it to the form on the bottom of this page. 

Web design costs

Rough pricing breakdown

Small business site (1-5) pages

When it comes to website design, the cost can vary greatly depending on the level of service required. If you only need a basic website and plan to handle the hosting and marketing yourself without any external integrations, the cost can be as low as £250.

However, I believe that a successful website requires more than just a pretty design. That’s why I take extra steps to ensure your website is optimized for search engines and has fast loading speeds. These tasks are technical and require expertise, which is why my prices may be slightly higher than other web designers.

Beware of web designers who offer cheap prices but fail to take SEO and page speed into account. You may end up paying more in the long run if your website fails to perform as it should. At DOTJUICE, I believe in providing a comprehensive and professional service to ensure your website’s success.

£500 - £1000 (1-3 week project timeline)

Custom larger business (10+ pages)

Larger more complex businesses might need specialist pages like custom posts with products and services that can be easily maintained from a CMS. This can often turn out to be fairly technical and time consuming not to mention the extra work required to make sure each page/post is optimised for SEO.

Once again, some “web designers” will resort to pre-built themes that may advertise to suit a particular type of business, but often fall short of expectations. A good example would be car dealerships or estate agents. 

Don’t get trapped using a theme that doesn’t quite deliver on your needs only to find later on that it can’t be changed without loads of expensive custom development. If you have a firm idea of what your website needs to do, then get in touch and allow a professional to build a website from scratch to suit your needs precisely. 

£1000-£2000 (2-8 week project timeline)

e-Commerce web site

If you are looking to sell products or services online? Need an e-commerce web site that can take payments for virtual or physical products? 

Pricing for these kind of websites are largely dependant on your requirements. For instance, some e-commerce sites will have 1000’s of products with complex categories and filtering, while others may only have up to 5 products. Unless I understand what your requirements are, it would be impossible to determine the amount of work that may be required to set it all up.  Some website owners are happy to do the data entry themselves and in some cases it might be necessary to import your products directly into the database that your website is running on. I can take care of all these tasks as I’ve got a firm understanding on MySQL and server technologies. 

£1000-£5000 (2-8 week project timeline)

Interactive & custom applications

Not all businesses will have the same requirements, but if you wish to display your products or services dynamically without the need to update pages from time to time, then you might need a custom application that makes updating easy. These web sites might have front end forms to update and and save data with access controls to allow only certain access groups to see the forms.

Having an interactive website will help create a memorable user experience and therefor leave a good impression. It is also useful to make a mark amongst your competitors and stand out as a business that perhaps does things a little diffrently. 

£2000 - £5000 (2-8 week project timeline)

Proper planning prevents poor performance

Be prepared...

Domain name

Before you can consider getting a website, you have to choose the right domain. This is probably one of the most important decisions you can make and if you're not sure. reach out and allow us to help you make the right choice from the start.

Plan it out

It's always a good idea to have a brief ready even if it is only a draft or at the very least a wish list of pages and functionality. This will help someone like myself to determine from the offset if it would be worth both of our time to pursue things further.

Copy writing

On website rebuilds this is relatively easy as I can just copy and paste old copy writing but in some cases this needs to be produced from scratch. This is an additional service I can assist with but it is preferable if you write up your own page content in your own words.

digital artwork / logos

If you're starting out without any art work or vector logos, no problem. However it would be good to find digital vectored versions of your logo or branding to avoid paying to have these files redrawn to have them as vector files.

Types of WEbsite builders

Website builders overview

When it comes to building a website, not all web designers are created equal. Let me explain where my skill set fits in the broader spectrum of designers and developers.

Many people opt for a page builder to create their website, only to realize later that their options for growth are limited. In some cases, these page builders can also slow down your website, negatively impacting your search engine rankings.

Freelancers can be found everywhere on the internet, but in many cases, they lack the skills to manipulate data or have any knowledge of coding or back-end server technologies. Pricing for freelancers can vary widely based on their location.

Agencies, on the other hand, offer a wide range of skills, but can be very expensive and better suited for large, complex websites and businesses with deep pockets.

At my agency, we offer a middle ground between freelancers and agencies. We take a methodical, phased approach to website design, ensuring that your website is built efficiently, stays on track, and stays within your budget guidelines. We specialize in custom-designed WordPress CMS sites that are fast and optimized for search engines.

With my expertise in hosting and managing open-source software like Nextcloud, Akaunting, and Freescout, I can help you save money and increase productivity. By self-hosting these services, you can have more control over your data, without having to rely on expensive third-party services.

So, whether you're a small business looking to build your first website or a larger organisation seeking a more complex web solution, we can help you achieve your goals with a professional and affordable approach.

Instant website builders

Are you considering building your website using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace? While these platforms may seem like an easy and affordable way to create a website, it's important to understand the pros and cons before making a decision.


  • Easy to use: Website builders are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, which means you don't need any coding or web design experience to create a website.

  • Affordable: Many website builders offer free plans or low-cost subscription plans, which makes them a cost-effective solution for small businesses or individuals on a tight budget.

  • Templates: Website builders come with a variety of templates that you can use to create a professional-looking website quickly and easily.


  • Limited customisation: While website builders offer templates, the level of customisation is limited compared to a custom-designed website. This means your website may look similar to other websites on the same platform, and it may not reflect your brand or unique style.

  • Limited functionality: Website builders offer a limited set of features and functionality, which means you may not be able to add certain features or plugins that are critical for your business.

  • SEO limitations: Website builders may not be optimised for search engine optimisation (SEO), which can limit your website's visibility on search engines like Google.

  • Ownership - You'll never truly own your website and moving it to a different server would be impossible. 

Overall, website builders can be a great option for individuals or small businesses with a limited budget and simple website needs. However, if you require a more customised and feature-rich website that is optimised for search engines, a custom-designed website by a professional web designer may be a better option.

Freelance web designer

When it comes to hiring a freelance web designer, there are both pros and cons to consider. One of the benefits is the ability to establish a personal relationship with the designer, as you will likely be working closely with them throughout the project. Additionally, freelance designers may have a diverse set of skills and be familiar with various technologies, allowing for a more customised approach to your project.

Another advantage is cost-effectiveness, as freelance web designers typically charge lower rates than agencies. However, it is important to keep in mind that some freelance designers may lack the experience and skills necessary to deliver high-quality work, and their availability may be limited for larger projects.

It is also possible that a freelance designer may lack specialised expertise in certain areas, such as search engine optimisation or user experience design. Furthermore, while some freelance designers may be highly organised and have a formal process for project management and communication, others may not, which can lead to confusion and delays in the project timeline.

Ultimately, it is important to thoroughly vet any freelance web designer before hiring them, checking their portfolio, references, and reviews to ensure that they are a good fit for your specific needs and requirements.


  • Personal relationship
  • Skilled in various technologies
  • Cheaper than agencies 


  • Some freelance "web designers" are unable to deliver high-quality work
  • Limited availability for large projects
  • May lack specialised expertise in certain areas
  • May lack a formal process for project management and communication

What makes DOTJUICE different?

Expert web designer and hosting specialist! With a unique combination of skills and experience, DOTJUICE offers the best of both worlds - the personalised touch and cost-effectiveness of a freelance web designer, along with the technical expertise and support of a full-service agency.

I have over 10 years of experience in creating custom websites that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. I'll work closely with you to understand your business goals and brand identity, and create a website that not only looks great but also functions seamlessly across all devices.

But that's not all - DOTJUICE also offers VPS hosting and care plans to ensure that your website runs smoothly and efficiently at all times. With regular backups, updates, and maintenance, you can be confident that your website is secure and up-to-date, without having to worry about any technical details.

So whether you're looking for a new website, a redesign of an existing site, or reliable hosting and maintenance services, We've got you covered. Get in touch today to learn more about how they can help take your online presence to the next level.


  • Personalised touch and cost-effectiveness of a freelance web designer
  • Technical expertise and support of a full-service agency
  • Custom websites tailored to meet the unique needs of each client
  • Seamless functionality across all devices
  • VPS hosting and care plans for secure and up-to-date websites
  • Regular backups, updates, and maintenance to ensure smooth operation


  • As a single service provider, I may have limited availability and capacity compared to larger agencies with larger teams
  • Depending on the scope and complexity of the project, I may require more time to complete the work than larger agencies
  • Clients may have to coordinate with me on multiple fronts, such as website design, hosting, and maintenance, which may require more involvement from the client compared to working with separate providers.

Web Design Agency considerations

Web design agencies offer a range of services and benefits that differ from those provided by freelance web designers. Here are some of the pros and cons of working with a web design agency.


  • Team of specialists: Web design agencies typically have a team of specialists with diverse skills, including graphic design, programming, SEO, and content creation. This means that they can offer a wider range of services and expertise than a single freelance designer.
  • Consistent quality: Agencies often have a formalised process and quality control measures in place to ensure that the work they deliver meets a high standard. This can be reassuring for clients who want to ensure that their website looks and functions well.
  • Large-scale projects: Agencies are often better equipped to handle large-scale projects that require extensive planning and collaboration, as they have the resources and capacity to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Long-term support: Agencies may offer ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure that your website continues to function smoothly after it has launched.


  • Higher cost: One of the main drawbacks of working with a web design agency is that their rates are typically higher than those of a freelance designer, due to the overhead costs of running a business and employing a team.
  • Less personal touch: While an agency may offer a higher level of professionalism, they may lack the personal touch and direct communication that can be found with a freelance designer.
  • Communication barriers: With multiple team members working on a project, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain clear and consistent communication, which can lead to delays and misunderstandings.
  • Limited flexibility: Agencies may have a set process and methodology that they follow for each project, which can limit flexibility and customisation options.

When deciding whether to work with a web design agency, it's important to weigh these pros and cons carefully and consider your specific needs and budget. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on the size and scope of your project, as well as your desired level of customisation, communication, and ongoing support.

Costs to expect from owning a website

Monthly costs

  • Hosting - Your website will ultimately live on a server somewhere and that will cost anywhere from £10 - £500 per month depending on the scale of your project and the number of site visitors you get. 
  • SEO - Marketing and ad campaigns should be factored in to help with your SEO ranking as Facebook or Linkedin ads will give you a boost in your rankings.
  • Newsletters - If you are capturing email addresses or have a mailing list, then services like MailChimp will be an added monthly expense for your business.
  • Plugins - Some functionality on your website may require the use of specialist plugins that may have monthly licencing fees. 
  • Licences - In rare occasions, your site might make use of stock images and fonts which will have licencing fees associated with them as well. 

Yearly costs

  • Software licensing - Some premium plugins require annual software licence renewal and while it isn't much for most webistes, it will start to add up if your website has lots of technical requirements. Any websites I host and maintain on a monthly retainer basis will benefit from free access to the library of plugins I own and subsribe to already. 
  • Domains - Each of  your domains will need to be registered annually and typically cost anywhere from £15 to £50 per year
  • SSL certificate - All websites require an SSL certificate whether you intend to have a web store or not. This is usually about £50 per year but when your site is hosted with us, we can add a free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate at no extra cost.

General costs

There are also a few other general costs to consider when owning a website, like;

  • Copywriting - In order to stand any chance at ranking well in search engines you'll need good quality, well considered text. It might be a consideration to pay someone who can produce quality copywriting for your website as it will pay off in the long run. 
  • Payment processing fees - I tend to set up Stripe for any website that takes payments online as they are very competitive but it should still be a consideration that you don't get all the money you set your pricing at. We're not talking large percentages but trust me the difference between 3% and 1.5% on large turnovers can make or break your business if you are taking small margins. 

Domain names

Buying a domain should be a once off expense and an in most cases be free or a very small amount. However, some premium domains can fetch ridiculous amounts as they are quite often owned specialist brokerage firms that hold them for years in the hopes of selling them for thousands. 

In most cases, though it should be possible to get a decent domain for as little as £15 - £50 

Do you have a web design project?

Feel free to get in touch for a no obligation proposal to help you get off on the right track with your website project.

If you have a website brief prepared, please attach it to your email to help us better understand what your requirements are. Thank you

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