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Website Design Prices in South Africa

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Website design prices can be cheap, expensive, or just right!

Website design prices in South Africa (SA) range from as little as the price of pair of average tekkies to an astronomical special edition Kruger Rand.

The cost hinges primarily on two factors: how many pages are needed, the level of design complexity and the experience and skill of the designer or agency chosen. The old adage, “pay peanuts and get monkeys” has never been truer.

A truly proficient web designer has vast experience in both technical design and marketing, enabling it to seamlessly integrate and align with the client’s brand or the website intent.

Over the past decade, web design in SA has witnessed a remarkable surge in demand, encompassing both professional and personal websites. This trend has been particularly strong since the COVID outbreak which has given rise to an explosion of amateur designers and template populators to service the demand for web design. Unfortunately, most of the time the customer ends up wasting money and have to pay again for a seasoned professional to deliver a properly designed and SEO’d website.

Three price points

There are usually three price points when shopping for a designer or agency. Cheap, expensive and the Goldilocks zone (just right). Let’s be honest, unless the cheap price is offered by a web design sweatshop in a third world country, it’s  not possible to build a standard five page quality website under R3000. You will understand why a little later in this article when important questions about website design complexity are addressed.

Expensive! Well what is expensive? The only way to determine that is by having a base for comparison. Expensive doesn’t automatically mean good, so you should obtain at least three quotes and compare them. Remember, compare apples with apples.

What is it going to cost?

Very simply put, the number of pages and the complexity of the design will determine the price. Will your design be a single one page blog or will it consist of hundreds of categories and pages of a large online shop or directory website?

For the naïve consumer, the “cheaper” once-off price tag can be alluring but will most likely be a waste of money as it will lack design quality and correct Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), without which would be the same as buying a new car without an engine.

How do I know what I need?

At the end of this article you will have a very good idea of what you want your website to accomplish. Passing this information on to prospective designers or agencies will undoubtedly yield accurate quotes based on your input.

There are several elements which will affect the final cost of a website. Let’s consider some of the most important questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. Who is your target audience? Is the audience local, national or international? This will affect where your website is hosted (directly affecting the cost), which you will be paying monthly or annually, either in rand, dollars or euros.
  2. What is the purpose of the website? Is it for your business or personal, such as a blog?
  3. Will the site provide your clients with information about your business, products and services? Or will it solicit readers and memberships for a news service, using dynamic content advertising service, or a niche information portal or even a NPO to solicit contributions and provide assistance to a particular cause.
  4. Does the website need a file management system to upload or download documents, images, videos or music? This may require user access control and content management software. It may also affect the hosting requirements -instead of operating from a shared hosting service, a dedicated server may be necessary- which will certainly increase the monthly hosting and maintenance price quite dramatically.
  5. Will it be an ecommerce store or a standard website with an ecommerce component? If you intend to have a large store, a dedicated server with more processing resources and larger disk space requirements may be necessary.
  6. Will you just need a simple local product cost delivery system, or will it be a more complicated system taking into account product size, weight or international delivery?
  7. Are you going to sell to the local in-country markets using only local currency, or is your market international, requiring your website to deal with foreign currency. 
  8. Will your website require multiple-language translation? Naturally this will also affect the cost of design as special software is required.
  9. Will the content change daily, several times a month or hardly ever? Your answer will determine whether a dedicated software backup product and infrastructure is needed to support website integrity.

If you have done your homework by answering all questions above and passing the information onto prospective designers, you can be confident you will receive an accurate quote to build your project without going through budget creep.

To answer the question posed earlier in this section, “How do I know what I need?”, let me tell you unequivocally there is one thing you definitely need before engaging a designer, their commitment to supply you with a complete “Website Audit Report” of the completed website.

The report should show speed tests and SEO audit with tools like, GooglePage Speed, Pingdom, GTmetrix, and Seobility. Keyword research , planning and competitor analysis using these tools,.

A Keyword research plan using tools like, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Moz, SEO Power Suite and Spyfu must be used and incorporated into strategic areas of each of your web pages. This is your “Certificate of Quality”. This will provide you with a feeling of confidence your money has been well spent and your website well built.

Add hosting and domain name to the budget

Now you have your website, its time to give it a home. Hosted web space is a rented piece of “real estate” on a hosting server where the website is kept and offered up to customers on request by the browser.
The cost varies depending on whether the website is using shared hosting or a dedicated service. Suffice to say basic shared services including email and an SSL certificate will cost about R100 a month. Some companies are even cheaper at about half of that cost. Like anything in life, you get what you pay for.

Dedicated or shared hosting

Price is the main factor which separates the two in conjunction with the quality of service each option is built around.  

The dedicated hosting market is aimed at the host service reseller or large business, usually corporates. Dedicated hosting is roughly 10 to 20 times more expensive, but the quality of service is that much better. But for all intents and purposes, it’s a premium service.

The difference between the two are the unexceptional resources allocated to shared website as opposed to almost unlimited resources enjoyed by dedicated host websites. By that I mean processing power, memory and network bandwidth.

A website on a shared server may share resources with up to 200 other websites. The results are obvious. More resources mean a faster more responsive website, translating to a better customer experience, which is the business of Google. But starting at a cost of around R1500 a month this is not an option for small to medium business or blog sites.

If you’re a small business owner or just starting out, your choice is clear. Shared hosting offers access to the same internet market at a fraction of the cost of dedicated servers.

If the website is designed correctly, keyword research done and SEO’d, the website stands a very good chance of leapfrogging existing website rankings and heading for a spot in the holy grail, the first  and second page of Google.  

The all important “Secure Sockets Layer” (SSL) certificate

When shopping around for a hosting company, be sure to ask if a SSL certificate is included in the price. Purchasing a SSL certificate as an add-on to your hosting service can cost you between R300 to R3000, depending on the role of the website.

If you are wondering if you really need one, the answer is a resounding, YES! An SSL certificate helps encrypt your site’s data keeping your customers information safe whether it’s login information or credit card numbers. Google won’t use your website without one.

The domain is your website name or address

Your domain name or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) will be the same or similar to your business name providing it hasn’t already been taken by another person or company. It is your unique identifier, your brand.  This is how prospective customers or visitors can find your website or business on the internet.

Domain prices are very similar from one registrar to the next. They do however range in price based on the extension appended to the domain name, for e.g., .CO.ZA, or .COM .,and there are many more extensions in the range. The domain must be renewed annually to keep it valid.
This is the final purchase to get the website or blog live on the internet. It should not cost more than R100 to register a domain name.

Website maintenance plan is a must

There is one more component, although not mandatory but just as important as all the other bits, a Maintenance Care Plan.
A website maintenance care plan is a protective bubble for your investment that encompasses various crucial elements. This comprehensive strategy includes content updates, security checks, performance optimization, regular testing, SEO monitoring and responsive design maintenance, all of which collectively guarantee a very positive user experience, boosting search engine rankings.
This should be seen as a benefit helping to grow your business and not a grudge purchase.


Answer the questions in this article to provide a clear idea of what the reason for getting a website.

Your goal, like everyone else who has a website, is to be visible in the search results page. By using organic growth through proper SEO implementation and a well-designed website, you will give your business the best possible chance of ranking to get visitors engaging with your website.

Most importantly, ask the agency or designer for a website audit report on completion of the project detailing compliance to all the important SEO metrics, including the keyword research plan of all the keywords used in the websites pages.
This way you can be confident your website is built correctly.

You want your investment in this business tool to work for you and not just be a digital paper weight collecting internet dust.

ACTION Stations!

I need a website!

Have you decided it’s time your business or blog be introduced to the World Wide Web, let SEO WEB DESIGN be your first choice. We build it first time right so contact us now!

Revamp my website. I need a fresh look and feel and top up the SEO.

Is your website outdated, not bringing new customers to your business or not converting visitors into customers, contact SEO WEB DESIGN for a free web audit and quote. We can elevate your business website and set it up for organic growth.

I need a Maintenance Care Plan (MCP)!

Happy with your website performance, look and feel but tired of trying to manage  updates and incompatibilities, uptime, backups, changes or addition to content and design, you need to let go and enjoy total peace of mind, you need a Maintenance Care Plan.