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What should I pay a Web Designer in South Africa?

If you’re not Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, you probably watch your spending. We want to feel that we are using our money efficiently and getting the most “bang for our buck”. We are especially cautious when it comes to paying for something intangible like a website – you can’t hold it in your hand, so how much can it really be worth? Here we’ll try and figure out what a web designer costs and why they cost that much, especially in South Africa.

What are you paying a Web Designer for?

A web developer / web designer is your go-to professional when you need a website. So what are you actually paying for?

See: How To Write A Website Brief For Your Web Designer

You are paying for knowledge and experience

A good designer has gained skills and knowledge over many years of experience. They will often hold a degree in computer science or a diploma from a technical/ design school. During their career they will also have completed additional courses and workshops in: design, typography, graphic design, user experience, and more. The list seriously goes on and on.

They are also constantly learning and taking new courses (on platforms like Udemy) to keep up to date with the latest web trends, in what is the most rapidly changing industry. Web designers basically have to forgo many standards every 5 years in order to stay on top. Imagine a doctor whose degree would be redundant 5 years later…

It is a complicated field that not everyone can work in. Web developers  are specialized, rare and in high demand.

What should you pay a web designer at work

You are also paying for tangible items and operating costs

A web designer, just like any other professional, has expenses. They have equipment, such as computers, additional hardware, software and licences, specific to their work. Eg:

  • Office Rent: R10 000-30 000+ per month
  • Laptop / Macbook Pro: R26000-65000
  • Additional Hardware – R40000+
  • Adobe Creative Collection: Photoshop, Illustrator, : R25k+
  • Email and internet Line, Data: R2000+ per month
  • Servers and hosting: R4000+ per month
  • Development tools + Software Licences: R4000-20000+ per month
  • Stock content and asset libraries like Shutterstock for images: R3000+ per month
  • Student Loans for their training
what do web designers charge

So what do web designers charge?

The cost of web design work varies. You could ask for quotes from 10 different designers and receive 10 completely different amounts, ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Why is this?

See: Woww Pricing

Different Web Designers

Web developers range in skills and experience, some are very specialised in a few key technologies and are incredibly adept and have great insight respectively, you will often hear of backend or frontend only focused developers.

While others are known as full stack developers and are fairly competent in both frontend and backend areas of website development.

A developer with a very niche and specialized skillset can charge up to R3000 an hour while a general full stack developer can be as low as R300 per hour.

Different websites

Every website is unique. This means different requirements and different amounts of time to build each website. There are also many different avenues to achieve your website goals. Thus you also have different programming languages and platforms all which come with their own pros and cons.
A WordPress web developer is perfect for getting a content website up and running for a blog, small business, online store or portfolio site.

However if you’re wanting to build a social media platform or functional website with custom and unique capabilities, you’ll want a custom fullstack developer.

This can vary the price incredibly eg:

  • A cheap WordPress designer could charge R300-500 per hour
  • A good WordPress designer could charge R500-1000 per hour
  • A cheap Custom developer could charge R500-1000 per hour
  • A good Custom developer could charge R1000-R2000 per hour
Check our Pricing

However, Web Design is cheaper in South Africa

So while a very talented web developer could charge R3000 an hour, its unlikely they’ll get that rate in South Africa. They would normally get those rates when hired by US or UK clients, but locally you can expect very talented developers to charge much less.

South Africa has very talented web developers, graphic designers and hardcore programmers, and due to the exchange rate of the Rand vs the Dollar, SA is growing as one of the more popular outsourcing destinations.

You can also expect developers to charge less per hour on project rates, as freelancers are willing to be paid less per hour, if guaranteed an overall number of work hours.

Why should I hire professional web developer?

We’ve written another article here about why you should hire a developer instead of doing it yourself?

But in summary building your own website takes time and skill. More importantly, your time. This means that you are not earning money for those hours and your attention becomes divided whilst you spend time on your developing a website. Paying a Web Designer to do it for you means you can focus on your business and leave the website deisign to a professional.

They will build you a professional website in a fraction of the time. It will work.

wordpress websites hire a professional


There is no simple answer to this question. A website is a highly underestimated online marketing tool and is a valuable long term investment. It is therefore imperative to have a well built professional website. You should get the best website that you can afford.

With Woww, we’ve streamlined the process of developing content websites with WordPress.
This allows us to get websites up and running in under one week (provided all the content is given upfront) and at an affordable rate. This saves you hours of time but also gives you the most affordable website design while still looking amazing.

If you need a custom functional site, see our pricing plans for more information.