What is the difference between a $500 and $5,000 website?

As previously mentioned in the article “5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Website Designer,” prices for websites can vary dramatically and it’s necessary to understand the difference between a $500 and $5,000 website.


High End Website: All branding, including color schemes, font styles, graphics and layouts are tailored to fit with a company’s unique brand.

Low End Website: Colors, font styles, layouts and graphics are most likely generic options included in a website’s template.

Why is this important?
Having a consistent and unique image across all platforms, be it print, online or in person creates a stronger brand and makes your business more recognizable and builds trust with customers by its consistency.

Quality of Code

High End Website: The code will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure it is fully compliant with W3 standards and does not misfunction or falsely trigger virus protection software.

Low End Website: The entire website will likely be made with a template and involve no custom code. Additionally designers of low end websites may lack the knowledge to review and make revisions to poorly written code.

Why is this important?
Flawless code makes your website function faster and more effectively and ensures that users are receiving a high quality experience every time they visit.


High End Website: These websites are thoroughly tested and refined to ensure that they are performing at the highest possible level.

Here are a few of the types of tests we perform on our client’s websites:

  • Mobile Device Compatibility: Test the website on the 12 most popular mobile devices including: iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Note, Kindle Tablet, Windows Phone, Surface Tablet, BlackBerry and more.
  • Browser Compatibility: Test websites in the following browsers to ensure they display and function flawlessly: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
  • Speed Testing: Use a pinging service that tests the load speed on websites from 3 different servers worldwide and returns a report card of load factors. All websites launched end up with a speed test score of 90% or above, meaning the site is faster than 90% of all websites.
  • Security Testing: Use a hacker-emulation software that tries to break into a website which allows preemptive improvements to vulnerable areas.

Low End Website: These website will likely undergo little or no testing.

Why is this important?
The best way to solve a problem is to prevent from occurring. By thoroughly testing websites potential problems can be identified and the vast majority avoided.


High End Website: Designers create features and elements for new websites that are very purposeful. Examples are contact forms built to improve conversion rates, seamless transitions between desktop and mobile platforms providing a uniform experience, and services and products displayed to increase user engagement.

Low End Website: Designers create features primarily for aesthetic purposes rather than function.

Why is this important?
Because a site that looks good, without producing results is of limited value.

Final Thoughts

Web site purchasers need to discuss the reasons for acquiring a site with the designer. If the goals fit with long term increase of business, rather than a mere identity or logo, a High End site is probably in order. However, a $500 website may be for you if you are strapped for cash, but be sure to set money aside for a professional website as your business grows.

What do you think are the differences between a $500 and a $5,000 website? Share your comments below.

Erik Egelko is a serial entrepreneur and lead developer at BYTELA, a website design company based in San Diego, CA. You can view more of Erik’s articles at https://bytela.com/blog/