There are many web designers to choose from here in Christchurch, and it can be confusing for business owners to know who to choose and how much it should cost. Some Christchurch web companies can charge thousands for a simple website and a lot more for an ecommerce online store.

How much should it cost, and what is good web design? As a Christchurch born and bred company (over 10 years now!) we’ve seen a lot of web design companies come and go. We’ve seen prices fluctuate wildly (ours have stayed constant for over five years now) and we’ve seen plenty of overseas web companies trying to lure new business with packages that sound tempting but leave customers feeling ripped off and abandoned.

We’ve talked before about what exactly web design is (particularly compared with web development) and it’s surprisingly difficult sometimes to pin it down precisely. This is mostly because it can be hugely subjective. What might be good design to one individual can be downright ugly to someone else.

So, firstly, let’s talk about good design.

While there are some basic tenets of good design (avoiding comic sans, using the golden ratio, catering to different screen sizes etc), there’s also a lot of scope for variation.

Sometimes, you only know it when you see it. Sometimes, you need to see something mocked up before you can figure out what you don’t like.

You might even need to sit down and have a face-to-face with a graphic designer to work through your likes and dislikes (we work with third-party designers as well, and can build your website from a design mock-up e.g. PDF).

Here are a few guidelines that can help you decide on your web design strategy:

  • Do you have a brand guide (or brand kit) – if so, use that as your north star. Even just a logo is a good starting point.
  • Who are you designing for? Do you need to put aside your personal preferences and think about your visitors instead?
  • What’s more important – design aesthetics (looks) or functionality? Sometimes the two disciplines will clash, and you’ll need to pick a side.
  • Decide on an approximate budget. The general rule is that the fussier you are, the more web design will cost. If you have a tight budget, be prepared to reign in your expectations.
  • Be as specific about the design you’re looking for, before you start the process. Include colours (hex values), font names and the content (text and photos) you will be providing.
  • Provide links to websites you like and think will match the type of website you will be building. Ideally, find out how much the website cost to design to help you set realistic expectations.
  • Keep a good working relationship with your website designer – if one of your requests was overlooked it’s possible it wasn’t practical for a mobile-friendly responsive design or clashed with another element on the page. Be prepared to acquiesce – they know how websites work across different browsers and devices – and sometimes a theoretical design just isn’t workable. They aren’t doing something different to annoy you or ignore your input.
  • Know that websites generally have a design refresh every two or 3 years, so don’t stress if you’ve run out of funds and this iteration isn’t quite your dream design – jot your ideas down for the next redesign.

With that said, how much should web design in Christchurch (or any other part of New Zealand) cost?

As a starting point, we would suggest checking out our $299 website packages. You can see some examples of web design that can be achieved at this price point.

If you’re not sure if it will have enough design chutzpah for your liking, we are happy to keep tweaking the design until you’re perfectly happy, at a very affordable $40 hourly rate.

We generally design websites in WordPress, including for our Christchurch clients, and while it does use themes (sometimes referred to as templates) there’s really no limit to what you can do in design terms with a theme, if you know what you’re doing.

Templates seem to have something of a bad reputation as being rigid and fixed, but it’s actually an incredibly flexible and smart approach to web design and all of the major website companies use them (e.g. Shopify – get a free trial). It also makes it easier to tackle the design refresh when it comes around in a couple of years, or when your branding changes.

Is Web Design in Christchurch overpriced?