A useful guide

Ultimate guide to website design prices for SMEs in Singapore

Web design  |  6 min read

Whether you’re starting your first website project, or updating an existing site, price usually drives other decisions. Web design services don’t have to cost a fortune, and you’ll need to explore the costs and benefits of launch dates, website speeds, user feedback, and other features.

Luckily for the small and medium enterprises (SME) of Singapore, this helpful guide can provide some questions to ask as you evaluate the right web developer to engage – both the technical and graphic designs of making your sites functional and attractive.

Illustration showing a person assessing prices of website design services on a tablet

Website development rates vary, based on needs, pricing models

Deciding on a budget for website design services requires attention to detail. Balancing the art, science, and business of your company’s website can produce a vital tool for growth. And, like any other product, a well-made website should be a long-term strategic investment, a platform for the future.

That doesn’t mean expensive. Web design costs can be quite reasonable when small business owners in Singapore are just starting out. You’ll find that having a partner who shares your vision makes a big difference.

Consider the different types of websites: Corporate sites, e-commerce stores, product listing sites, or secure, private sites that can be shared with suppliers, partners, or customers depending on the industry.

Also, the pricing structure adopted by web development companies matters. Charges may be offered in the form of:

  1. Fixed fee with a limit on the number of pages included. Take note that if the initial website creation rate is low, the cost of maintenance of the website is usually high – there’s no free lunch.
  2. Monthly subscription fee with an upfront setup cost. Web hosting companies favour this model.

For Emerge mLab, it’s none of the above with fees instead based on the number of pages the customer requires. If a single new page needs to be added, you’ll only get that page. We believe this is a fairer model because customers don’t pay extra and can grow at their own pace. Also, spread payment option lets you manage expenses.

Budget for web design based on the website’s role

A simple brochure of your company’s offerings, 6-8 pages with an online contact form may be a good starting point. Create a “call to action” that website visitors should consider as a next step: call or click for more information; download a brochure; watch a video or even place an order.

Think about your year in advance. Are seasonal sales or busy times on your calendar the opportunity to promote your company’s new offerings? Is there an anniversary or milestone to announce via the website? Does your business have a local niche in Singapore, serving a geographic area to focus on lead generation?

As your business grows, a reliable web design partner can add pages, capabilities and even enhance your website to turn browsers into prospective customers.

After surveying prices and estimates from nearly 40 local companies, we found these average prices for web development below.

Price estimate (S$)
Single-page, long-scroll website
Business website (up to 10 pages)
Catalogue/product listing website
$1,500 or more
E-commerce website (up to 20 products)
Community website
Discussion forum website
Business listing & rating website
Crowdsourcing & crowdfunding website
Marketplace & price comparison website

As you can see, the type of website you choose, such as an online store, community message board, or simple brochure makes a big difference in setting budgets.

Ask what’s included in any price estimate and proposal

Different platform tools – such as WordPress, Joomla, or Squarespace, for example – each have particular strengths and limitations for connecting with other software for e-commerce, calendars, email marketing, etc. So, identifying features you want – or might need as you grow – often helps to decide the platform and vice versa.

Talk with your website design advisors about milestone dates for certain deliverables. It makes sense to set a budget and timetable for when you would like pages to “Go live” to the public. Can the work be completed by your target date? And does that incur “rush” charges?

Having a separate amount for ongoing maintenance, updates, hosting, or other expenses is part of planning your web budget. Similarly, ask if your project will be handled by senior, experienced teams. Do you know, and trust, the people working on your site and managing it through revisions?

What assets do you have and what’s needed?

Prepared with your list of what the website should accomplish, a next crucial step is identifying what resources are required. Sometimes, these add to the total cost of developing a website or updating existing pages.

  • Images and animation (logo, videos, product stock photos, or custom photography).
  • Interactive features such as online calculators.
  • Content writing done in-house or outsourced.
  • Data sets that need to support the web contents.
  • Consulting on search engine optimisation (SEO) to help your products and services get top results.
  • Hosting and security to deter spam and hacking.
  • Additional technology or services for A/B testing, analytics, or lead tracking.

Consider also the related costs of domains and ongoing maintenance as yearly website expenses. Registration costs can be quite low but adding features and security can add to the total budget.

  • Domain registration – a new .com.sg or .sg domain costs $55-$80 per year, the annual fee of .com domain is $14.50-$25.50.
  • Web hosting – business shared hosting starts as low as $2.50/month.
  • Website maintenance – it ranges from a low $300/year to as much as $3,500/year for sites that are updated and refreshed often.

Don’t worry if these details aren’t fully developed on Day One. A good web design partner will help you refine and optimise. Any website project discussion has to account for many factors beyond budget, such as timing, staffing, and future growth.

Can I pay for results?

Beware of website design companies promising you instant bottom-line outcomes. Reputations take time to build on the web and search results change dynamically.

Financing or satisfaction with the work is different from your sales or business results. Emerge mLab, for example, offers a guarantee on professionalism, appearance, and functionality to customers. If you’re unhappy with our service and wish to cancel, let us know before the actual design of your website is shared, and we’ll refund you the payments you’ve made. No question asked!

Payment plans or monthly fees that scale with the success of your company can be another way to reduce upfront cash outlay. Ask for details as part of deciding on your web design partner.

Key takeaways
  • Small companies can afford a website – they just need to start with a basic site that fulfils current needs and expands on its functions as business grows.
  • When comparing prices, factor in the ongoing cost of website maintenance in addition to the fees quoted for web design and content creation.
  • Don’t let budget alone deter your online presence and lead generation opportunities, explore alternative payment arrangements with web development agencies.
Kirby Poh
Kirby Poh

Search marketing & web design

Spent years marketing and selling to SME customers in Southeast Asia - he knows B2B marketing. Gets a kick out of using his SEO and PPC ad abilities to make money for Emerge mLab’s clients.

David Wallace
David Wallace

Content strategy & creation

Contributed to Wired, Reuters, The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer as reporter/editor for 15 years. Adjunct news reporting instructor at Emerson College, then Boston University in US.

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