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How Much Does it Cost to Design a Custom WordPress Website in 2023?

9 min read

Here, we’ll educate you on the cost of designing a custom WordPress site, and the price-determining factors. This article is a perfect guide for startup founders, serial entrepreneurs, and product managers looking for WP design services.

We’ll discuss the following here:

  • What a custom WordPress design entails,
  • When to opt for custom design over WordPress theme,
  • Cost of custom WP design,
  • Factors influencing WP design cost,
  • How to find a reliable WordPress designer,
  • And more!

If you prefer a visual text experience, go straight to the bonus infographic “Cost to Design a Custom WordPress Website”

Let’s dive into the crux of the article:

What is a Custom WordPress Design?

This Is the process of creating a website diagram for a WP framework to ease the process of WordPress web development. The WordPress website design provides the earliest pictorial view of the custom site.

Popular examples of sites with custom WordPress design are:

This picture describes the basic essence of the definition of custom wordpress website design

I hope you now have a good understanding of what custom WordPress design is. Let’s educate you further.

When Should You Pay for a Custom Design Compared to a Template?

A tricky decision that you’ll have to make before creating your new website is choosing whether you need a custom-designed WP site or a template.

Both have their pros and cons, as such, you’ll need to have a fair idea of what they entail.

Below is a table showing the difference between custom design and template:

Template Custom Design
Templates are ready-made interfaces on the WordPress framework that users can adopt at the prompt for a simple website.

In comparison to other website builders like Squarespace, and Wix, WP developers have an option of choosing between a free WordPress theme, or a premium theme.

Using a template also offers options for free domain names.

The development process of open-source templates basically entails drag and drop.

The functionalities for any site using a WP template are limited to the design.

Templates can be used via WordPress.com. Backend website maintenance is done by WP itself.

An example of a WP web design built by a template is The National Archives.

Custom WordPress design involves the creation of the pictorial view of the website from scratch.

Each button, icon, page, and functionality will be designed to taste.

The development process requires knowledge of CSS and HTML.

It may require knowledge of frontend, backend, and technical SEO to have an optimized use of design.

It requires the use of wordpress.org An example of a site in this category is spdload.com.

From the differences succinctly clarified above, it’s evident that you should pay for a custom design if you want a site that depicts your brand.

The illustration shows the main differences between the custom design compared to the template

Let’s delve into the WordPress website cost.

Interested in designing a custom WordPress website?

Contact us now. We'd love to share our expertise in creating a custom WordPress website design with you.

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How Much Does it Cost to Design a Custom WordPress Portal?

The cost of designing a custom site for the WP framework ranges from 3,000$ to 24,000$. However, the exact price is dependent on a range of factors.

Some of these factors include

  • The complexity of the site,
  • The type of designer,
  • The location of the designer.

Let’s help you make sense of these factors, and how they affect design cost.

Cost Defined by the Complexity of the Website

The complexity of a website is its set of functions, entities, user roles, and how they relate to the website. Simply put, the more functionalities your website has, the more its complexity.

And since designers map out every pathway to access functionality, highly complex sites require more time to design. For example, designing a clinic website to book appointments and pay medical bills will cost more than a business website.

To help you have a better idea of price per complexity, let’s give you estimates:

Complexity Level, $ Cost, $
Basic 4200
Average 8000
Complex 12,000

We’ll discuss the intricacies of each complexity level later. But for now, we’ll discuss on cost breakdown per team type.

Cost Defined by Type of Designer

Consider the cost implications of custom WP website design according to different team types. We’ll assume a specification of average complexity that need 150 hours to design:

Type of Team Cost, $
In-house, the US 18,000
The local development company, the US 24,000
Freelance 3,000
Outsource 6,000

Confused about what each team type entails? Let’s help you make meaning of them, and also describe their pros and cons.

Cost Defined by Designers Location

Your team’s location is another factor that determines the cost of an app. For example, the cost of designing an average custom WordPress platform in Eastern Europe is 12,000, while the same type costs 48,000 in the USA.

In the spreadsheet below is a detailed cost of designing a WP site of average complexity:

Country Cost, $ (Hourly)
The USA 24,000
The UK 20,000
Australia 18,000
Western Europe 14,000
Eastern Europe 6,000
Asia 3,000
This picture shows the cost of developing a custom WordPress website, depending on various factors

Now you know how much it costs per location, team type, and complexity. We’ll discuss the factors that affect them.

What Factor Affects the Cost of WP Web Design?

The cost of custom WordPress platform design varies with multiple factors. These factors affect price no matter of team type and location. These are:

  • The complexity of the website,
  • The complexity of the design,
  • The type of team.

We’ll discuss each of these factors to enable you to have a cost idea for your project.

Factor 1. The Level of Complexity of the Custom WP Site

In addition to the earlier definition given, it is worthy of note that the complexity of the WP platform varies with the number of roles, templates used, WordPress plugins, unique features, integrations, and unique screens for the platform.

Every element, clickable or not, affects the complexity of the site.

Thus, sites with fewer features, functionalities, and elements are less complex than those with more.

Let’s discuss how these affect site complexity.

  • Basic Complexity

WP sites of basic complexity mostly pass information to viewers and sometimes get information from them.

Most basic websites only have basic features like a homepage, service pages, landing page, a blog, a contact us section, free plugins, an SSL certificate, and automated back-ups. WP development beginners can easily create the features here.

Most small business websites have a basic design.

The average cost of designing a basic custom WP platform is $4200.

An example of a site in this category is harbottle.com.

  • Average Complexity

A WordPress site of average complexity helps page visitors carry out certain actions, and also provides them with relevant information. The cost of designing a custom WP platform of average complexity is $8,000.

An example of a custom WordPress site with this complexity is spdload.com. This type of complexity is also common with online stores.

What qualifies this platform as an average site is its multiple information pages and uniquely built calculators.

  • Difficult Complexity

Highly complex WP sites require robust design, multiple functionalities, in-depth knowledge of the web builder’s framework, and higher infrastructure.

Features that make some WP sites highly complex are; high search engine optimization (SEO) requirements, premium plugins, and cloud web hosting. Others are multiple advanced add-ons, automated back-ups, bandwidth, etc.

The cost of designing a highly complex custom WP platform is 12,000. An example of a site in this category is uniqueproperties.ae.

Irrespective of the complexity, some features are generic to the custom WP platform, these include the website hosting plan. They’re often supplied by WordPress hosting providers like Bluehost, Siteground, etc.

The illustration shows the impact of the level of WP custom site complexity on the cost of WP web design

Another generic expense is the domain name, which is purchased from GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc. Beyond domain and hosting, site complexity will always affect cost. Another cost-influencing factor to consider is the complexity of the design itself.

Factor 2. The Complexity of the Design

The complexity of the design refers to the animations, accessibility, readability, scalability, and ease of UI implementation of the designed solution.

The number of pages also affects the complexity of the design. As such, web designs with more characters are generally more expensive than those lesser ones. Just as web complexity, this can also be divided into three types:

  • Basic Complexity

Basic designs often have a simple layout with few interactable buttons and icons. Also, the wireframes and mockups have few pages and are easily implementable in the frontend. An example of a site with a simple design is the Obama foundation.

  • Average Complexity

A WP design of average complexity is one with a simple layout, but with few animations, and is easily implementable for a mid-level WordPress designer. Most small business eCommerce websites have an average design complexity.

An example in this category is tryascend.com. Custom woocommerce designs also fall in this category

  • Difficult complexity

This type of design is characterized by multiple animations and other advanced features. Difficult designs require an in-depth knowledge of WP content management systems to implement. An example of a WP design in this category is ecosystemizer.com.

This picture describes impact of WP custom website design complexity on the cost of WP web design

Factor 3. The Type of Team

Team type is another cost-determining factor to consider. Common team types include:

  • In-house,
  • Local-development agency,
  • Freelancers,
  • Offshore outsourcing.

Let’s discuss what each entails.

In-house Design Team

As the name suggests, they’re designers working as full-time employees of the startup, and taking orders daily from the management team. The startup here is responsible for the designer’s welfare, and the operational cost attached to their task.

Besides the design team, the startup also has to manage the support team, and cater to hidden costs. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this method:

Pros Cons
  • In-house teams can quickly make adjustments to designs.
  • They’re best for keeping a company’s design secret.
  • The design team has a better understanding of expected deliverables.
  • There’s no need for upfront payment.
  • There are lots of hidden costs attached to this model.
  • You should use our outstaff calculator to know the hidden costs you may be overlooking.
  • The startup is solely responsible for maintaining management and labor laws.
  • This type of team is expensive, as your payment remains the same even during unproductive hours.
  • E.g., when an employee is sick.

For cost reasons, it’s not the most ideal option for most business owners. As such, we’ll provide you with another suitable alternative.

Local Design Team

This process entails outsourcing your WordPress design task to an agency in your country. The cost here can be very expensive for startups based in the UK, Canada, or the US. Let’s discuss its pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • Both the design agency and the Startup are not restricted by time zone, cultural, and legal differences since they’re in the same time zone.
  • Custom WordPress cost is high for Startups operating from high-income countries.

The con here makes it a bad choice for many startups. As such, we’ll consider another option.


Freelancers are independent web designers that handle tasks on a per-contract basis and are not employees of an organization. They take random projects, as desired. Below are the pros and cons of this option:

Pros Cons
  • Freelancers have designed different types of websites.
  • As such, they can offer deep insights into a versatile WP platform.
  • Startups have restricted control of freelancers’ workflow rate.
  • They can easily abandon your project without prior notice if they get a much better offer.

One other option to consider is an outsourcing design team. Let’s help you understand this.

Outsourced Team

Outsourcing is a cheap and effective means of hiring UX/UI designers for a WordPress site. Outsourcing entails contracting a WordPress design process to a team of foreign web design agencies. This method offers the perfect mix of effectiveness, quality, and price.

Just like others, this option also has its pros and cons, these are:

Pros Cons
  • This is the most cost-efficient team to hire for startups in the UK, US, Australia, or any other high-income nation.
  • It makes it easy to scale your team. As there’s no risk of breaking labor laws.
  • Offshore agencies have a large pool of experts.
  • Time zone affects communication.
  • Cultural differences may impact workflow expectations.
  • This is most common with corporations between western-based startups, and design agencies in Africa or Asia.
The illustration shows the impact of the type of team designing a custom WP website on the cost of WP web design

Now that you know the factors influencing the cost of a WordPress site design, you’re probably ready to onboard a designer. Let’s help you understand ways to find reliable designers.

How to Find Reliable WordPress Designers

Finding the best WordPress web design team for your custom website project can be tricky. However, with the right knowledge, you can find reliable designers fast. Below are some steps to hiring WP designers.

1. Identify your Needs

What type of designer do you need? Would you rather opt for an in-house designer, freelancer, or a seasoned design agency? Knowing the answer to these questions quickens your search process, and streamlines available options.

2. View Their Portfolio

Once you’ve identified a prospective suitable designer, check through their portfolio of projects. Vet the quality of their past projects, as it’ll give you a hint on their capacity.

3. Check out Reviews from Verifiable Clients

Look for reviews on reputable platforms like Clutch. It provides you a hint on its client satisfaction rate.

4. Surf through the Platforms and Accounts they Own

Surf through their portfolio/site, social media profiles, and content on their website. The quality of content they’ve published will provide you a hint on whether they’re known to design your WP platform or not.

The illustration shows tips to help you find reliable WordPress designers

Now that you have an idea of WP design website price let’s help you get started.

Interested in Designing a Custom WP Site?

Let’s assist with your custom WordPress development by creating a WP design for your site that meets your technical and business requirements. At SpdLoad, we’ll design your WordPress site in just one month.

Doubt our pedigree as a web design agency? Surf through our portfolio and page on Clutch.

Contact us right now for a free estimate, and to hold a discussion with our representative on any question you have.

Bonus Infographic

Here is a summary of our detailed guide. Learn about the main factors that will affect the cost of a custom WordPress website design.

This infographic shows the main points that affect the cost of designing a custom WordPress website



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