Sometimes there's a huge gap between the lowest and highest web design quote you receive. Why is one offering a website for $800 and another is asking $10,000? Is the low price a mistake, or is the high price a scam?

With all things being equal (same site, same requirements), here are some of the factors that make some web designers more expensive than others.

  1. Number of employees - A boutique web design shop with 2 employees is going to be less expensive than an agency with 10 employees. This has less to do with value or skill, and more to do with overhead.
  2. Track record - A seasoned vet will build you a completely different website than a site built by someone with less experience. Having lots of successful websites in their portfolio means a web designer can charge more than someone without the same track record.
  3. Experience with similar websites - If the web designer has built similar websites before, the cost will be lower because they'll be more efficient.
  4. Location - A web designer's overhead will vary depending on their country, city, and neighborhood. For example, a web designer in the Philippines will be less expensive than one located on Madison Avenue in New York City.
  5. Bundled Services - Web designers typically bundle a variety of services into their quote. For example, not all web designers will create personas or mental models during the information architecture stage. Those who do will be more expensive, but they will create a website that is easier to use.

By weighing these factors you can get a better understanding of a web design quote's true value. A low price isn't necessarily a mistake, and a high price doesn't mean it's a scam. Remember, web design is a service industry. There aren't any standardized price lists or packages.

Do you think there's anything else that makes some web designers more expensive than others? Tell us in the comments.

Johan Johansson is a web developer at Pixelmade, a Vancouver web design + internet marketing firm.You can find him on Twitter and Google+.