Website redesign cost: nuances, challenges, solutions

If visitors to your website linger there for 10 seconds at the most and conversion is dropping, it is time to freshen up the place — time for a redesign. The website redesign cost can range from $500 to the greatest possible number, it all depends on the depth of the changes, their purposes and the prior state. In this article we are going to discuss the price of site redesign, the stages of the process and how to avoid wreaking havoc in the look and function.

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website redesign cost
Table of contents

    What goes into website redesign

    Redesigning a website means updating its presentation and/or functionality, depending on what is required. Anything can be rehashed, from services like VK or YouDo to catalogues of online shops. Here we are only going to touch on services but focus on the subtler points of landing-page and company-site redesign. We have first-hand experience in this area: apps often need landing pages to take off nicely, so we know how to create a website or refresh the visuals in a cogent and effective way.

    That said, some people imagine that redesigning only means tweaking colors, fonts, menu icons and the like. But there is more to it. Redesign is engineering, on any level. It is like fixing up a house. Some houses may require a relaying of rotten floors or foundation, while others will be fine with a coat of new plaster on the walls. Likewise, website redesign may involve getting a new site engine and reoptimizing every function from the ground up or just a new background with daisies. 

    Usually the task is shared across a team of project managers, web designers, site developers, SEO optimizers, copywriters and layout people. Most of them will have something to do, whether the web design job is big or small. 

    Even if all that is required is drawing a new logotype, picking a different palette and rounding down frames, the web designer will have to sketch the updates and the developer – express them in code. Still, major changes take a team longer than a superficial web redesign process. The cost and time needed will vary accordingly.

    How to tell just what to change on the website? The problems you are running into will give the answer to that. All sorts of reasons can prompt changes, from an outdated aesthetic to poor usability.

    When to consider redesigning

    Every system’s life cycle has reasons for being, and websites are no exception. Reasons to create the site in the first place, but also reasons to upgrade it through a site redesign as time goes by. 

    Information technology is a fast-changing field, and things that trended five years ago may look outdated now. As Coco Chanel, our favorite image expert, said, ‘You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression.’ 

    Experts point out several tell-tale signs that it is time for an overhaul:

    • Low metrics: less traffic, less time spent on the site, fewer transfers. It is like sailing in a rubber boat circled by sharks and leaking air somewhere. The metrics measure how much longer you can stay afloat.
    • Outdated web design: if the start page makes jokes about Donald Trump, it is rather out of touch. And if the website displays wrongly on smartphones, something needs to be changed under the hood.
    • Poor usability: when, for example, the “Okay” button sits on the left. In the art of UI/UX design UI is about looks and UX about logic and functionality. If the user never arrives at the Order button nor fills the feedback form, he must be getting stuck at something missing, illogical or jumbled.
    • Style mismatch: if yesterday you had no logo and company colors and today you do, but not on the website, it is embarrassing like wearing black trousers with white shoes.
    • Errors and underoptimization: the website’s engine may be old, produce structure errors, long loading times. The site’s resources may need optimizing. A 4Mb image of a product is too big, especially if it is to load on the screen of a smartphone with two bars of signal strength. Nothing is gained and all may be lost by making people run through fire.
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    Types of redesign

    Website redesign is like apartment renovation. You decide how far to take it and what it will be:

    • lite redesign: a modest cosmetic facelift;
    • moderate redesign: a conversion improvement;
    • full redesign: a thorough overhaul.

    Lite redesign does not affect the website’s structure but only icons, fonts, colors, pictures. The rеfreshed and hip look should better attract visitors, projecting “we follow the trends and we want to stay interesting to you.” The overall concept of the site, its tools and gadgets and structural blocks remain the same.

    This is equivalent to taking grandma’s carpet off the wall and putting a cat picture instead.

    Moderate redesign haрpens on the blocks level and involves UI/UX specialists. The structure remains, but elements inside the blocks are shuffled about. This makes sense when the owner wants to improve usability for visitors and therefore the returns for themselves. The site becomes nicer to swim around in, the colors are fresh, the buttons pop in the right place.

    For the next stage of the “digital renovation” we change the wallpaper (UI), the door rug (UI/UX), stop using the washing machine for a table and move it to the bathroom (UX).

    Full redesign digs into the entire service, including the menu, navigation, structure, filters and code, with a complete upgrade matching the best idea of visitors’ needs.

    Only the bare walls remain. Too bad the cat picture had to go. Instead there is a crowd of people in hard hats: designers and developers.

    website redesign cost

    Website redesign cost

    On average, website redesign costs anywhere from $10 000 to $55 000:

    • $10 000 to $30 000 for a small-scale redesign (minor adjustments to the interface)
    • $30 000 to $45 000 for a medium-scale redesign (serious adjustments to the interface and some new features)
    • $45 000 to $60 000 for a large-scale redesign (serious adjustments to the interface and a reworking of the functionality)

    It hugely depends on the number of pages, design complexity, and multiple other factors. But this is us oversimplifying things a bit — unfortunately, we can’t tell you how much exactly your project will cost without first studying its specifics. However, we’ll tell you about what factors we take into account when determining the price, and with that info in mind, you’ll be able to estimate how much your project will cost. 

    But before we begin — a little disclaimer. We also can’t vouch for all other agencies in the market, since every company functions a little differently and offers a unique price list. Please bear in mind that everything we say in this article doesn’t necessarily apply to other design agencies.

    Website redesign cost breakdown

    Everyone wants to know how much an upgrade is going to cost. And what does the price of a site redesign depend on? There are many variables here, but the chief three are the scale of the upgrade, the time frame and the quality of communication between the client and the developers.

    Scale of upgrade

    Less expensiveMore expensive
    Redecoration, minor adjustments to the UI/UX designChanges in the code, major alterations to the functionality 

    In a standard variety of website redesign the functionality will be unchanged, only the page design. In this case the bill is going to include:

    • Website design basics: main concept, site page, adaptive layouts;
    • Coding;
    • Management;
    • Copywriting;
    • Images or clips: shooting, processing, editing.

    As tasks mount, the budget for site redesign and the size of the team also grow. If you need a change in the code and more advanced functions, there is no avoiding the expense of hiring one or more coders who know that field. UI/UX designers will step in to sort out the usability, and so on.

    Let’s imagine that Jack just stepped in as the new CEO of an online store that launched several years ago. The field of e-commerce has been progressing in leaps and bounds, so the service’s current website lacks some popular features and just looks outdated. 

    Jack wants to attract a younger audience and generate more leads by reworking both the website’s UI/UX and functionality — for instance, he’d like to add chatbots and some gamification elements. 

    This will cost much more than simply updating the interface, as Jack will have to hire not only designers but also a team of developers and testers to revamp the website


    Less expensiveMore expensive
    Small- and medium-sized websites (50–250 pages)Large websites (250+ pages)

    The size of your website is one of the key factors in determining redesign costs. But let’s clarify the term first — by ‘size’ we mean the number of pages that the user can access, ranging from the main screen to the legal sections. 

    Generally speaking, websites with up to 50 pages are considered small, while everything above that counts as medium or large. Some of the largest projects can include more than 250 pages, and the only limit here is the scale of the business.

    In almost all cases, redesigning a larger website will cost more than redesigning a smaller one, although some scenarios may differ. For instance, redecorating a 170-page website is cheaper than carrying out a complete visual and functional overhaul of its 60-page counterpart. 

    But the number of pages still plays an important role in pricing, so it’s one of the first things every agency will ask you when commencing work on your project — ourselves included. If your redesign project involves creating new pages for the website, it will also cost more. 

    Keep in mind that working with smaller agencies can be disadvantageous if you want to redesign a large website. Such agencies employ teams with fewer specialists, which will rack up both prices and timelines for a huge workload. 


    Less expensiveMore expensive
    Minimalistic designs with a minimum of custom elementsCustom icons and illustrations, animated elements, 3D elements, intricate color schemes

    The logic here is simple: the more complex your final design, the higher the price. If you want to cut some costs, you can stick with austere and minimalistic interfaces — they are highly functional, relatively inexpensive, and quick to produce. But if you don’t want to settle for a website with a couple of colored blocks against a white background, you can always go another way: add custom illustrations, sprinkle the pages with neat animations, and create an intricate color scheme. However, this means more man hours, which, in turn, means more money. 

    It does pay off, though. Here’s what you achieve by creating an appealing website design: 

    • Foster a positive perception of your service — which, in turn, increases loyalty, boosts retention and helps you attract new customers more easily.
    • Create a robust foundation for all your marketing campaigns and branding efforts
    • Cement the positive image of your company in the customers’ minds. 
    • Get a visually striking website that draws a clear line between you and your competitors. 
    The potential ROI for great UI/UX reaches up to $100 per $1 invested.


    Less expensiveMore expensive
    Long timeframes (in general, starting from one month)Short timeframes (in general, less than a month)

    The bottom line — making everything according to plan, but cramming and “I want it yesterday” cost extra. Where a programmer and a designer would suffice normally two, three times as many people may have to be involved.

    Let’s get back to Jack, the new and ambitious CEO of an outdated online store. Jack contacted a web design agency and asked them to assess the project. The agency said that it would take a month to redesign the website and add new features, but Jack wasn’t satisfied with that — instead, he insisted that he needed the results in two and a half weeks max. Since cramming timeframes requires twice as many people working on the website, the price will also increase almost twofold. 

    Quality of communication

    Less expensiveMore expensive
    Clear communication and goals, no backtrackingMuddled communication and obscure goals, lots of backtracking

    The more detailed and descriptive the customer is in his wishes, the better. It is basic care for one’s purse to give the redesigners analytic info about the site. Corrections and misunderstandings cost money.

    There are also cases when a client doesn’t have a specific vision for their project and the development process quickly turns into a labyrinth of corrections and reworkings. This is bad for both sides: the client has to spend more money and deal with extended time frames, whereas the team loses motivation and gradually burns out. Some members may even leave the project, which also leads to additional expenditures — introducing new team members to work on your website is a long process that cannot be done overnight. 

    To keep the redesign cost down, start out with a full description of your preferences even before the work begins, and later give feedback promptly and exhaustively. This will keep backtracking to a minimum, speed up the process and save yourself cash.

    3 ways to approach redesigning your website

    OK, it’s time to do things. But this begs another question: should you do everything by yourself, hire some freelancers, or delegate the project entirely to an outsource team? Let’s figure it out.

    Doing website redesign on your own

    If you choose to go this way, you will rely solely on your in-house development team. What this means is that you’ll be able to handpick every team member and exercise full control over the website redesign process. You will also gain much more flexible timeframes and save plenty of money: in this case, the price tag usually spans from $1,000 to $5,000 (not including workspace bonuses). 

    However, there are also some hefty disadvantages to this approach. In-house teams are notoriously expensive to maintain, as apart from paying the hourly rates, you also have to provide your employees with various workplace perks (e.g. health insurance). And, of course, if your company primarily operates in a non-digital niche, you may not have this team to begin with — and recruiting new employers nowadays is lengthy and rather costly. 

    So, the direct costs might be lower than hiring freelancers or an agency, but the total costs can amount to $10,000 and even more.

    Redesigning with an in-house team
    + Full control over the website redesign process

    + Full control over the team’s composition

    + Flexible time frames

    + Accessible website revamp cost

    – In-house teams require additional expenditures

    – If you don’t have a development team, recruiting will also entail some expenses 

    – You’ll have to manually manage every process, which can be distracting

    Hiring website redesign freelancers

    Hiring freelancers is a great way to access experienced specialists for website redesign without committing to full-time employees. You can hire professionals who have specific skills in web design, development, UI/UX design, testing, and other roles to best suit your requirements. 

    Apart from lower hourly rates, freelancers also offer high flexibility and can be a great option for both short-term and long-term projects. The cost to update a website ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 for a simple website, and from $10,000+ for a complex one.

    However, freelancers might have limited resources compared to web design agencies. They might not have access to a wide range of tools, software, and expertise that larger teams can offer. In addition to this, you’ll have to assemble the team by yourself and directly manage every process, thus sacrificing the time you could spend improving the business.

    Redesigning with a freelance team
    + Affordability

    + Great flexibility

    + Freedom in handpicking every specialist on the team

    – Limited resources

    – No supervision, hence varying quality of work

    Outsourcing website redesign to an agency

    When you outsource, you delegate every website redesign task to another team and pay only for the result. This is a good option if you don’t want to be too involved in the process, instead focusing on your core business objectives and thinking about the big picture, not about the website

    There also won’t be any technical limitations: agencies usually hire only seasoned specialists that are able to implement even the boldest ideas. Take Purrweb, for example. Among the 200+ people on our team, there are no juniors — only middles, seniors, and architects, all with extensive experience in dozens of fields.

    Here’s a quick look at what it’s like to redesign a website with us. After you tell us your idea, we’ll take on every part of the process. Our team will carefully analyze the current interface, study customer feedback, create a new design concept for the website and make sure everything works just the way it should. Since we’re a full-cycle agency, our developers will bring the new concept into life and thoroughly test it before launch. After this, we’ll gladly continue to support and update the website for as long as you’d like. 

    As we said earlier, outsourcing website redesign to us costs anywhere from $10 000 to $55 000.
    Redesigning with an outsource team
    + You pay only for the result

    + No need to distract yourself from core business objectives

    + No need to waste time and money on recruiting

    + No skill ceiling — you work only with the most skilled specialist in the field

    – You cannot directly manage the process

    – The website redesign price can be high

    Efficient and clean? Before vs. after

    Website redesign is an involved process which, like the Shakespearean play, consists of five acts: metrics collection,designing, coding, testing and metrics comparison. We have already covered designing and testing, now to discuss metrics, because they give an indication of the problems redesign work needs to hone in on at the first and the relative success of the work at the last.

    Getting the metrics before the project is important to avoid vagueness in the scope of work. The numbers will suggest to you what ails the site. What’s the bounce rate? How effective are the calls to action? Is it convenient for people to make payments here or do they end up leaving before concluding the deal? The numbers will provide clues to some of these losses. 

    After the analysis the developer team can figure out which possible changes would be the most applicable here, estimate the timeframe and cost and try predicting the new, higher, better levels when the work is done. 

    These projections are to be compared to the metrics after the fact; this is a more objective assessment than whether the team and the owner like or dislike the new look and functions, because they are not part of the target audience. Totals of desirable metrics going up are an obvious vindication of the changes as far as potential buyers, readers or viewers are concerned.

    Here are the important items: 

    • Total traffic: how many people come in; paid and organic traffic may be considered separately.
    • Bounce rate: counted when a person has opened a page and closed it within 15 seconds. 
    • Average time on site.
    • Conversion: whether people end up doing what you intend them to do.
    • Traffic on desktop vs. mobile versions: to find out what devices are more often used to visit the page.
    • Viewing depth: how many pages a visitor opens during a visit.

    For sites with relatively small audiences redesign is done all at once, then the metrics are consulted. When the audience is broad, it is a staged process, and the new version is introduced sequentially: first shown only to a set of users, alfa/beta tested for key metrics improvement, comparing controls and the test group, then spread to the rest.

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    Redesigning without losing ground: things to keep in mind

    “Do no harm” is a sound principle for doctors, but also for businessmen. A website upgrade must aim at making the place as convenient and congenial as possible to the former and the new audiences alike. A rushed or blind change can pepper the website with error 404 pages and convoluted controls that users will curse as they quit. The metrics will plunge also. For instance, in 2019 Netflix users were treated to a new version of the website’s front page (in test mode). The test did not go so well: the movies’ thumbnails were smaller, there were identical calls to action on the same page, pricing info disappeared, and users were left drifting in confusion. The company ended up leaving the old design in place and might have made some resolutions about their site for the future. Apart from Netflix’s mistakes, there are some other to consider:

    • Unnecessary structure changes;
    • Layout html tags changed too;
    • Too many new blocks;
    • Old content vaporized.

    A modernized design template

    After redesign the website needs to become a more effective instrument for the purposes of the owner’s business. If this is a service destination of some kind, there must be more registered users coming in and buying the product. If this is an image-improving blog, there must be an influx of traffic and a greater viewing depth. What constitutes website redesign success is different for every project, but there are three universal standards:

    • A state-of-the art form: a high-quality look improvement can hope to stay relevant for at least five years. 
    • Noticeable conversion: more clicks, views, link transfers or whatever the owner hopes to obtain from its audience.
    • Intelligent usability. People coming to the website need to be able to do their business, entertainment and, in short, things there as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If the metrics show that visitors spend minutes on the starting page, perhaps they see no clear way to click themselves out of there. If many leave the checkout before completing purchases, the process may be too complicated or unsatisfactory in some way. All these obstacles on visitors’ path to the desired actions need to be removed.

    If reading this article left you with a conviction that you, at least, have a modern and convenient website, congratulations! But if the problems described above sound familiar, don’t delay a renovation. Purrweb stands ready to take up the job: 18 experienced technicians in all of the relevant fields will help improve your website’s interface, make it appealing and pleasant to navigate. Fill the feedback form on our website, and you will hear from us within 24 hours.

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