How To Offer Custom Design Services To Your Web Development Clients
Offering custom design services as part of your overall web development service can help increase your appeal, your revenue, and allow you to add more value for clients. Learn, step-by-step, how it’s done in this article.
Looking to expand your services beyond general web development work? Or maybe you’re learning new web design skills and looking for a profitable way to put them to use?
In this article we’re showing you how to offer specialized web design services to your clients, even if you have ZERO design skills or experience.
FYI, we surveyed our 50,000+ members and researched dozens of professional websites to come to the recommendations and suggestions mentioned in this article.
“The money I’ve made from this side business has paid for vacations and new toys I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.” – Phil (WPMU DEV Member)
By the time you’re done reading you’ll have ideas for…
- The best types of web design services to offer to your clients.
- How to implement or outsource the services.
- How much you can charge for design services.
Skip ahead to any section of this article:
- Top Design Services To Offer Your Web Development Clients
- Visual Identity
- Landing Pages and Lead Generation
- Displaying Your Design Services Menu
- Get Started Offering Web Design Services To Your Clients
As mentioned above, our definition of design services are services that go above and beyond your normal theme, template, or page-builder approach.
Branding, rebranding, logo design, landing page design. These are the kind of things a lot of web developers might pass on doing, and that’s fine.
But if you’re up for earning extra income, providing more value for your clients, and making your overall web development service standout from the rest, we’re showing you how to do it.
Also don’t worry if you’re not a designer, or don’t think you have the necessary skills or experience to offer these services.
We’ll provide you with various outsourcing options that still allow you to apply a markup and make a profit.
As we touch on each service you’ll also see we give you a number of tools and resources to use if you want to do the job yourself.
The Top 4 Web Design Services You Can Offer (As Voted By Our Members)
Once you’ve decided on offering these additional web design services, the next question is what type of services you’re actually going to offer.
Rather than taking a stab in the dark, or copying what the top Google result said, we thought we’d ask a group of people who know better than anyone, because they actually do this for a living…
Our 50,000+ web developer members!
Here are the design services that came out on top when we asked them in a recent members discussion:
- Visual Identity
- Landing Pages and Lead Generation
Now let’s look at each of these design services in detail. You’ll learn what’s involved with each service, resources, tools, and outsourcing options for each, as well as what you can possibly charge your clients.
Branding is how a business differentiates itself from other entities, and what customers will identify and associate it with.
You don’t have to go beyond the basics to get a brand up and running, especially if it’s not a massive corporation.
Additional branding components can also be supplemented, if or as they become relevant.
“Start with only what’s required and add more if necessary.” – Databoy (WPMU DEV Member)
The branding we’re focusing on – based on member community input – is simply creating a brand by incorporating a color palette, selecting fonts, and strategically placing a logo or wordmark (we’ll talk about logo creation separately; see Visual Identity below).
Creating a color palette for your clients brand
Adopting a color palette is integral to the synergy of a client website.
There are some great online tools you use if you need help putting shades together for your clients.
Here are just a few we like, all of which are free.
Color palette tools:
With Coolors, you can quickly generate palettes randomly, or more precisely using their color inspector (RGB bars), or by uploading an image – for both solids and gradients.
If you prefer ready-made options, they have a huge library.
This tool is available via iOS and Android apps, a Figma plugin, and a Chrome extension.
They also offer a Contrast Checker, and an Artwork Recolor tool (see my test case in the image above).
Adobe Color provides their professional color wheel tool, with three modes available: RGB, HSB, & LAB.
You can extract a theme from an image to save as a color palette or gradient.
Accessibility tools are another plus; use their Contrast Checker and Color Blind Safe modes to see either, respectively.
Eggradients lets you select from a number of ready-made gradients. These are simple, two color blends, but can be helpful or spark creativity if you’re looking for basic palette approaches.
Their color palette generator lets you choose from a list of varying shade gradients.
They also have a “50 Shades of Color” section, which will pull random tones in that color family, each with corresponding hex codes.
Choosing Website Fonts
Typography and strong font choice play a crucial role in the success of a new design.
There are several decent tools for comparing and testing fonts, as well as sites that offer access to a robust assortment of the fonts themselves.
Again, these are all free options.
Web Font Tools
Fontpair has a collection of pre-paired fonts on their site gathered from around the web.
They have a suggestions/submissions page, with new pairings added weekly.
Pair & Compare
Pair & Compare makes experimenting with font pairings easy.
You can use Google or local fonts (shared from your device), and have up to three comparatives simultaneously on the screen.
There are lots of editing options: size, weight, color, line height, and more.
You can also change any of the sample text, and bookmark fonts for testing later.
Google Fonts is an excellent resource for finding and using fonts, with nearly 1500 families – including variable fonts and material symbols.
These are all free to use, even commercially or within a product that is sold commercially (example: a logo or wordmark).
Downloads are available for families, or individual styles, and can be shared with others via links.
Additional sites that offer free fonts:
- FontBase (this is a font management system)
- Font Squirrel
And a selection of premium/paid font sites:
To get an idea of how to price your branding services, a useful exercise is to check out what the competition is offering and charging for creation of the same or similar content.
We did this ourselves and here are some relevant examples to draw pricing inspiration from:
TechCrunch had a great article on the cost of startup branding & visual identity, from a designer with a decade of experience (including Fortune 500s).
Here’s a breakdown of what they charged:
Pricing estimates are broken into two categories, based on the stage of the business, which as you can see, greatly affects the approximate costs.
The Branded Agency is a full-service digital agency that offers services and advice encompassing all elements and levels of branding.
They have an informative article in which they provide specs to help with planning & calculating branding costs.
There is variance in these prices too, but they’re still helpful to get an idea of what the typical range is for design services.
Knowing this can help prevent you from massively over or under charging, taking your skill and knowledge level (and the scope of a given project) into account.
Of course you can and should price higher the more you’re including in your branding packages.
Average price range for branding services: $1,000-$30,000+
A visual identity could be a graphic only (logo), artistic text only (wordmark), a combination of both, or the full complement of all.
It could be as basic as a circle with an initial in it, or the business name in a specific font, weight, and color.
Case in point >> WPMU DEV!:
Deciding on a logo for a client has varying degrees of difficulty.
It boils down to how particular they are, and what their budget is.
The more complicated or specific a client-envisioned design is, the more likely their needs will be met by going with a custom one.
The other distinct advantage to a custom design is it will be unique. The prefab stuff is available to anyone, so multiple companies could purchase and use the same design.
Just as we checked out some sites that can help with the core elements of branding, we next set out to find resources that offer nice choices for visual identities (logos, wordmarks, etc).
Tools and Outsourcing Options For Creating Custom Logos
All of the logos on Logo.com are free.
These are very basic, premade cookie cutter offerings, but there are a lot of them.
They also allow great variation in color (there’s a Hex field) if you need a very specific shade.
Playing with free logo customization on Logo.com.
Considering these are completely free, it’s a decent option if you don’t need anything intricate or unique.
Creative Market has 150,000+ logo templates for use in corporate branding, e-commerce, and entrepreneurship.
The logo template sets include badges, icons, and other elements for creating unique and modern logos.
These are all pre-made designs, so keep in mind that any number of people can purchase/use the artwork in addition to you. If your client wants a unique logo, this option won’t work.
Fiverr is a highly popular seller marketplace, where you hire an individual artist for any number of design elements offered as Gigs.
Because this is fully dependent on what designer you happen to pick, your mileage may vary. But in general, reviewers seem pleased on the whole, and feel they got a good deal for what they paid.
Manage unlimited WP sites for free
The prices range from $5 to $995, depending on the skill level of the artist and the components included.
Logoglo is a premium logo site. Anything you get here would be a unique, one-off design, professionally made from scratch, based on your brief.
Packages include more content as you go up in tiers – such as number of initial concepts, turnaround time, & revision allowances.
This is a great option if you have a client who has a slightly bigger budget, and wants artwork that people won’t come across elsewhere.
99designs is a subsidiary of VistaPrint, the highly successful online print house.
Offerings include the level of designers, and whether you get a dedicated manager and prioritized support.
The number of presented design concepts starts at 30, and goes up to 90. All designs come with a money-back guarantee, and full copyright ownership.
Jacob Cass is a brand designer, strategist, and the founder of JUST Creative, an award-winning branding & design consultancy.
JC.com has an article on design cost, with a helpful chart on logo design pricing. Additionally, they provided a list that breaks out the costs in greater detail.
Full Branding for global identities is priced extremely high, tapping out at over a million dollars.
This of course is the elite upper echelon, well above average.
For the level we are focused on, you can see the variance goes from $0 for DIY/free logo makers, to upwards of $5K for an experienced designer.
Average price range for visual identity services: $500-$5,000
The primary goal of most websites (aside from education and entertainment) is to turn incoming traffic into leads.
Offering landing page or similar conversion-based services to your clients is well worth it.
After all, they’re not likely to turn down the potential of gaining more customers and leads.
“Each page has one purpose, to convert. Make sure you have a clear path on how the client wants to convert, what is the goal that the client wants out of every visitor. Keep your design focused on getting that convert click.” – Chris (WPMU DEV Member)
You may already have a template you use for client landing pages – either self-created, purchased, or acquired for free.
If you are looking for something fresh, or don’t already have a go-to, here are some options for Landing Page websites.
Tools and Outsourcing Options
Nicepage offers 10,000+ pre-designed Landing pages, or you can make your own.
You can edit any of the pre-made templates, using their own website builder – which allows for drag-and-drop, no coding customizations like content editing, layout changing (blocks), modifying colors and fonts, and making adjustments for different responsive modes.
Nicepage is available for Windows or Mac OS as a WordPress Plugin.
Fiverr’s experienced landing page designers can create the right layout and branding identity for your page.
Expect premium quality images, responsive design suitable for mobile devices and desktop, content upload (of content provided by you) and more.
The prices vary greatly, depending on what you want, how fast you want it, and the self-ascribed skills & experience of the artist you choose. For reference, we found prices ranged from $5 to $1500.
Landingfolio features a beautiful and diverse collection of landing pages, curated from around the web.
Their offerings include:
- Tailwind CSS Site Templates – Figma included on all designs
- Logos – a collection by designer Jord Riekwel, donated to the community (they’re free)
- Mockup Generator – quickly create device mockups for your app or web design; enter your website URL, and they’ll generate the mockups for you
Tailwind is a CSS framework like Bootstrap, that speeds up your development time. It uses classes to style elements, so you don’t have to write any CSS.
Popular Page Builders Like Elementor and Divi
Of course, you can always turn to page builders and themes if needed, most of which will help you create quality custom landing pages for clients.
Divi only offers a paid version of their builder, which provides a nice looking end-product when it comes to landing pages and conversion elements. Elementor also has the capability to create landing pages in both their free and Pro versions.
Create Lead Generations Modules With Hustle
Every good landing page needs effective lead generation elements.
You can put together some great lead generating modules with our free Hustle plugin.
Opt-ins, pop-ups, slide-ins, social shares, and embeds – Hustle helps you create them all, designed to drive results and convert visitors.
It’s easy to build great looking modules in minutes with Hustle’s professionally designed templates (18 and counting).
All of which are mobile responsive, and come with a choice of email opt-in forms and informational designs (i.e., users click a button and are sent to another page).
Hustle comes in both free and pro versions. Both give you all of the same great settings and options.
The only difference is the Pro version comes with unlimited Opt-ins, Custom Content, and Social Sharing.
Want more Hustle? Check out these info-packed articles on the blog:
- How to Get The Most Out of Hustle
- How to Use Visibility Conditions in Hustle
- How to Get The Most Email Subscribers Using Hustle
F5 Studio, a successful web development outfit that has been in business since 2013, has a great article breaking down the elements of design, and what goes into its landing page pricing.
They say digital agencies charge from about $600 to $3,000 to create a static landing page, and from $2,000 to $5,000 for a dynamic landing page.
Brimar, an award-winning, full-service marketing agency, shared these insights on landing page cost, claiming an agency can charge anywhere from $300 to $3,000 per landing page, depending on the project’s complexity and the clients business goals.
Overall, the cost of creating a landing page varies depending on the complete scope of the job, and how much work will be involved.
Average price range for landing page and conversion services: $300-$5,000
There are several reasons why a client might benefit from or want a website redesign. The most common are:
- The overall look and feel is outdated or unappealing.
- The business identity isn’t well-reflected in the design, or soon won’t be due to a planned rebranding.
- The usability is poor, making navigation difficult and limiting conversions.
“It is especially important for a complete overhaul (the UI might require a complete rethink) if trying to appeal to a completely different audience—e.g. if a website changes from b2c to b2b.” – Marianna (WPMU DEV Member)
Understanding the user experience is key. If a site’s interaction/conversion rates are a lot less than their site traffic, it would behoove you to look into behavior analytics.
Hotjar and Crazy Egg for UX insights
By observing recorded screen behavior, you can pinpoint any weak areas, and make upgrades based on real-use data.
Hotjar offers their service for free, up to a thousand dollars (per month) based on what features you need, and for how many sessions (“Observe”) or responses (“Ask”).
Crazy Egg pricing includes 5 different packages, from less than thirty dollars a month, to priced by quote. Each tier allows greater quantities of services (like tracked page views, snapshots, & recordings).
Learning where customers move their mouses and where they click, what they focus on vs what they ignore, removes any doubt and guesswork, allowing you to focus on the areas specifically highlighted as ripe for improvement.
Redesigns are very similar to new designs in terms of the overall effort required. They involve many of the same elements, tools, and time requirements.
The only price differential with a redesign would be the additional cost of UX insight tools, as explained above.
As for overall web redesign costs, participants in a recent global redesign survey revealed some key stats:
- Average cost to design a website (with basic features): $3,200
- Average time to design a website (with basic features): 2 months
- The foremost reason people hire a professional web designer (rather than using site building software): the ability to completely customize.
Regardless of the reason behind a redesign, it’s important to establishing what the expectations are for scope and cost in advance.
We’re seeing an average of $3+K and a timeframe of about two months for full web designs/redesigns. Factor that into what your average build time is and what services you will include to help set your prices.
Average price range for website redesigns: $2,000-$4,000
Having gathered information and given it due consideration, you can now construct a menu uniquely tailored to your web design services, providing easy access (and value proposition) to interested clients.
An Example of a Complete Design Services Menu:
Here’s an example we came up with, which includes variations on elemental prices, depending on the components included and expected work involved.
We hope you took away some valuable insights from this detailed look at offering web design services.
If you need any more advice or clarification about anything discussed in the article, feel free to ask us in the comments below.
There are a lot of balls to keep in the air as a Web Developer. At WPMU DEV, our goal is to assist in making that process as easy as possible.
If you’re interested in giving our platform a try, our free plan is the best place to start. It includes unlimited site management, built-in billing, plugins, and more.