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How to Create a Budget for a Website Redesign [with Template]

January 12, 2023

by Sydney Wess

Businesses base the scope of much of their projects on their budgets. A website redesign budget is no different — it facilitates realistic expectations and priorities. Companies looking to undertake a redesign effort should look first at their needs and budgets.

An entire revamp of a website might be too big of a stress on a startup or small business’s internal resources to handle alone.

Similarly, entrepreneurs and one-man-shows aren’t expert web designers and may not feel comfortable with a technical DIY project.

Still, websites are essential to running a successful business. Plus, at least some of your toughest competitors have thriving websites. In fact, 79% of small businesses have their own site.

Companies that are serious about competing with others must invest in a website and its continual upkeep.

A website redesign is a project that companies with existing sites undertake when they find their performance dwindling because of an outdated or ineffective user experience. To remain competitive in the market, it’s essential to update your website upon noticing those red flags.

This article is all about preparing for your redesign journey by establishing one of the most important things: your budget. We’re here to help you bring your vision to life without breaking the bank.

 

What Goes into a Web Design Budget?

Creating a realistic website redesign budget requires a general understanding of factors that contribute to a successful web design.

What makes up website redesign budgets list

When you hire a web design company or freelancer to reshape your website, you’re typically not just asking for the design itself (if you are, make sure your budget aligns with that). Rather, your web design project may contain any or all of this work:

  • Website Design: when a new visual design is built — examples include adjustments to the layout, color scheme, typography, and other graphics.
  • Web Development: refers to the technical work needed to implement the design into the finished product. Development activities include creating new, custom features or adding integrations with external tools for new functionalities.
  • Content Creation: all copywriting or new website content for the site to make sense in its redefined context. This also involves creating and/or sourcing new images, videos, or other media.
  • Project Management: people tend to forget about this one! This refers to the time and resources necessary to oversee the project. Your main point of contact with a web design company is typically your project manager. Their duties involve coordinating with designers and developers, setting project milestones, and communicating client updates.
  • Testing and QA: also forgotten at times, QA efforts contribute to the time and effort required to ensure your end product is functioning correctly and free of errors. For website design projects, testing is typically pretty quick but can be make-or-break for those developing new features.

The scope of your requirements in each of these categories will determine the team size necessary to expertly complete. Your budget will depend on how much work you need in each area and how many people are required to bring your vision to life.

In short, these work categories are a barometer for your project’s complexity. The more requirements you have in each focus area, the more in-depth and costly your project will likely be.

 

Choosing Between a Website Redesign and a New Website

This is an important crossroads; there’s much to consider when deciding between a new site and a website redesign project.

Even though the end result of the project might look similar, the journey toward your finished website will be very different depending on which path you take. The cost will be strikingly different between the two as well.

website redesign vs new website considerations

Which should you choose for your business website? Here are the main considerations small business owners should make when deciding between a website redesign and a completely new website.

Website Redesign: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • Often less expensive than building a new custom website from scratch
  • Ambitious deadlines are workable since the overall structure of the website already exists
  • Ability to modernize the look and feel of your current site to better engage visitors and improve conversion rates

Drawbacks:

  • May fail to address underlying issues with the website’s structure. If the structure is the problem, a redesign may not work.
  • More challenging to make sweeping changes to the design and layout without building a new site entirely.

Building a New Website: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • A clean site for your website design and structure — your site can be directly tailored to your goals.
  • Chance to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and design elements that weren’t sensible, available, or convenient when building your old site.

Drawbacks:

  • More expensive and time-consuming than a website redesign
  • Labor-intensive, often demanding large-scale content migrations or reconstructions for more complex projects

In the end, the scale and scope of your desired changes determine whether a website redesign or a new website is best. If you need to make structural to your site, a new custom site will probably best use your time. Similarly, a new site will serve those desiring different functionality or a brand-new online presence.

However, a website redesign is suitable for those looking to upgrade their website's design and appearance. A redesign will save time and money while achieving a cleaner, contemporary feel.

How much does a website redesign cost? Learn more with our web design pricing guide

How to Create a Budget for a Website Redesign

Building a budget is all about pinning down your immediate needs, learning how they can be addressed, and remembering to factor in the cost of all tools and human resources involved in realizing your new site design.

That sounds like a tall order, but you can achieve a solid budget with just four steps:

  1. List the most pressing website redesign priorities
  2. Identify the new design features and functionality needed
  3. Determine the value of a freelancer or web design agency
  4. Track recurring costs of web design tools as applicable

These steps are intended to aid you in finding your must-haves while balancing costs along the way.

 

1. List Top Website Priorities

Budgets are meant to help you reach your goals without overspending. An essential part of determining your budget is a solid understanding of your goals. This means evaluating the shortcomings of your current site and determining the most critical areas of focus for your project.

Prioritization frameworks are a reliable way to guide yourself through selecting your most important action items in a project like this.

Prioritization frameworks are tools intended for brainstorming and categorizing the level of importance of certain actions. When budgeting, it’s particularly important to differentiate your core needs from long-term desires.

exmaple of a simple prioritization framework

Source: Motley Fool

Above is a simple way to start using prioritization frameworks. This example consists of a 2x2 grid that evaluates tasks based on urgency and importance.

The tasks you place in the “crucial” and “do now” square will be the essential things you’ll work on in your redesign. When making your final budget, you’ll be able to make smart decisions and compromises if you’ve completed this matrix exercise.

 

2. Identify the Design Features and Functionality Needed

With your brainstormed list of priorities in hand, you’ll begin to understand what design changes might bring your vision to life. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to address your priorities on your web pages.

Not everyone will have a firm knowledge of the website redesign process or additional ways a web design team can assist them. So, we came up with a list of the most common ones.

Here are some of the activities that a web design team can help with and the associated priorities the tasks address:

Graphic Design

Graphic designers are responsible for your visual assets, using color, shapes, and typography to communicate visually. Graphic design elements could include logos, brand colors, or creative visuals intended to explain your company.

UX Design

User experience work is meant to teach companies about their user’s needs and expectations for a product and provide actionable adjustments to existing designs. Sites with good UX are considered to be user-friendly and have strong usability.

Companies having trouble engaging website visitors for very long or high bounce rates may want to consider UX design services. Additionally, UX designers can specialize in accessibility, which can help you meaningfully connect with a diversity of individuals.

Content Strategy

Content strategy refers to the intentional and planned selection of written material on your site.

There will likely be several parts to your strategy, including search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives, protocol for operating your content management system (CMS), and copywriting tasks.

Web Development

As mentioned above, website development activities can be implemented (with some limitations) by a web design company.

For instance, adjustments to website functionality can be executed and new plugins from third-party providers can be added to supplement new functionality.

Complex web development asks should be saved for a web or software development project, but less complicated asks can be handled within a web redesign project.

Digital Marketing

Some website design agencies will even help clients out with digital marketing activities and marketing strategy. This includes but is not limited to creating social media graphics, copy for advertisements and landing pages, and sharable animations.

These services will be particularly helpful in introducing your newly updated website to your client base.

Additional Reading: 'Web Design Glossary'

3. Determine the Value of a Freelancer or Web Design Agency

The decision to hire a freelancer or a web design agency for your website redesign will play a huge role in how your budget looks.

Some may want to execute a redesign in-house — after all, you’re not creating something from scratch, right? While this is true, there are still huge benefits to investing in the expertise of a design agency.

Businesses that keep their website up-to-date on their own are still challenged by traffic loss, a lack of time and expertise to maintain a new site, and fluctuations in search engine rankings post-launch.

External assistance from a freelancer or company can handle these problems confidently and take stress off your plate.

But how will hiring outside service providers affect your budget? Which type of provider should you hire?

We’ve evaluated each option to help you choose what’s right for you. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:

  • Size and complexity of the project: If your website redesign is large, and complex, you may want to consider working with an agency with the resources and expertise to handle it. On the other hand, if you have a smaller, simpler project, a freelancer may be a good option.
  • Cost: Freelancers may be less expensive than agencies since they don't have the overhead costs of a larger organization. However, keep in mind that an agency may be able to get the work done more quickly and efficiently, which could save you money in the long run.
  • Availability: Freelancers may have more flexibility in their schedules and may be able to start work on your project more quickly than an agency. However, if the freelancer becomes unavailable due to illness or other circumstances, it could delay the project. On the other hand, an agency should have multiple team members who can pick up the work if someone becomes unavailable.
  • Expertise: An agency may have a wider range of in-house expertise, which can be beneficial if your project requires various skills. However, a freelancer who specializes in the specific area you need may be more knowledgeable and experienced in that particular area.

We recommend getting quotes from freelancers and agencies — especially if you’re not sure which is best for you at this point. By considering both, you’ll best be able to compare cost, availability, and expertise side by side.

 

4. Track Recurring Costs of Website Design Tools and Upkeep

At this point, you should be starting to have a pretty good idea of your main priorities in the redesign and who you will be hiring to take on these tasks.

Now, it’s important to keep up with the recurring costs of keeping your website intact once the initial redesign work is complete.

It’s likely that you’re already using some of these tools in other capacities within your business, but take heed of those you’re paying for specifically for web design.

Types of Web Design Tools

  • Wireframing Tools: Also including prototyping tools, these resources give designers a way to plan the layout and navigation of a site. Figma, and InVision are popular examples.
  • Graphic Design Tools: Tools allowing for new visual designs to be created for the website, allowing for adjustments to the layout, color scheme, and typography of visual assets. Commonly used examples include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Canva.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Your company probably has one of these in use if you have an existing website, but updates sometimes change your need for how you upload and manage your content. Not requiring any coding skills to use, examples of CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
  • Project management tools: Especially if you’re working with external teams regularly, you may already have a project management tool. These are designed to communicate, assign, and organize tasks while tracking project progress. Examples include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp.

In addition to design tools and platforms that you may have to budget for, there are also maintenance costs of keeping a website up to date.

If you’re looking to keep a web design company on retainer for ongoing upkeep after the main part of your project has ended, you’ll be charged a monthly fee for their continued work.

Additional Reading: What You Need to Know About Agency Retainers

Keeping tabs on these recurring website design expenses will help you get a holistic few of your budget.

 

Website Redesign Budget Template

 

Website redesign budget template

Download the Website Redesign Template for Your Budget.

 

Factors that Influence Website Redesign Costs

Some aspects of a redesign have a greater impact on the final cost of a project than others.

The main factors that affect the cost of a website redesign include:

  • Complexity and scope of the redesign
  • Number of pages on the website
  • Amount of custom development required
  • Hourly rate of the designers and developers working on the project

The price tag of a design project can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of resources necessary to execute within the desired timeline.

This is why it’s helpful to get several quotes from different types of providers — you’ll be able to get a rough range or average cost for a redesign of your unique scale.

The cost of a website redesign fluctuates wildly depending on needs, but these factors will give you an understanding of what drives cost most directly.

Decide whether to hire a web design freelancer or web design agency with our guide. 

Budget Website Redesigns Wisely for Your Own Website

It doesn’t matter if you’re an e-commerce business or a nonprofit, a sound budget can make or break your redesign efforts. By making strategic decisions and keeping your priorities front and center, a website redesign can fit into just about any budget.

Looking for quotes on a redesign project? Contact a top website design agency on Clutch.
 

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