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How Much Would You Pay for Blog Design?

Recently, Franky asked how much you think a WordPress installation is worth to you, and if you would be willing to pay for it if you had to. For most WordPress users, WP runs as a personal publishing platform. For some of us, though, we run sites on WordPress for a living. This means WP is used as a tool of the trade.

Now I ask, how much would you pay for blog design? How much do you think your blog’s look and feel is worth to you? For most who run personal blogs, free themes would suffice, just as running on a hosted blogging platform under a subdomain (or subdirectory) would be okay. For those who are picky enough to have to run a self-hosted software (such as WordPress) under one’s own domain, perhaps a custom design would be next in your to-do list.

A couple of years back, Chris Pearson wrote that he can design basic–and he means basic–blog themes for $1,500. And he says that’s less expensive compared to other designers he has benchmarked against. That was two years ago. Now considering inflation, the dollar’s decline and other factors, I reckon the starting price point for themes is higher.

On Splashpress Media, we usually run sites on their own custom designs whenever possible. For new sites, we try to set them up with custom themes prior to launch. For acquired sites, we try to redesign within a couple of months of taking over. Still, some sites have retained their old designs, because either the audience is not that big yet, or that the original design is part of the brand. This is especially so, if the cost of design has been incorporated in the valuation of a blog.

The preference in the network is for custom design because we feel we can better establish a blog’s identity with a unique look and feel. Also, we take into consideration the other aspects of design aside from aesthetics, which I think is actually more important than just how a blog looks. The user interface, the flow of information, and the underlying code are also very important, and can make or break a blog.

But to an individual blogger, does it matter at all? How about to corporate bloggers or business bloggers?

I can understand if an individual blogger would have qualms about paying $2,000 for a theme, unless one earns big from a blog (or set of blogs) and can recover the costs quickly enough. A big company who wants to blog can perhaps afford this, and even more. But a startup with a small budget might want to try out free designs first.

So I ask you, how much would you be willing to pay for blog design? Should you stick with free? Would you go cheap? Or would you pay top dollar for top designers?

And as a disclosure, I manage bLogics, a blog logistics consultancy under Splashpress Media. We do have a set starting price for blog design, but knowing your opinion (hopefully from both designers’ and users’ points of view) would help me determine whether this price is fair.

Categories: Blog Design

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Comments

  1. Jay says: 5/25/2008

    I think a lot of WordPress theme designers seem to be sticking to that market’s idea of “cheap”. Not to say that the themes stink, just to say that there is a lot of competition out there and quantity of theme sales over quality seems to be winning out right now.

    Of course, that’s for the mass-made WP themes, not exclusive themes. I guess my point is that since WP has come into the market the entry price seems to have gone down and I don’t think it should as WP is just a delivery mechanism, not an actual design.

    Reply

  2. Brent says: 5/25/2008

    How about a more important issue – not that of full blog designs but a service for simple to extensive customizing of existing themes or even for some the simple services of integrating all the other items one needs to market the blog site properly.

    I know many that might be able to eventually figure out how to integrate feedburner and I know those that think FTP is somethin that you put in a car gas tank..

    I have searched many times for good sources for blog extras integration and either the services are way to much money for the normal blogger that makes no money or the services are so sketchy you wonder why you even asked…

    Provide services that are resonable to the blogger that has enought time to put their ideas down and a few bucks to take their blog to the next level and you might just have yourself a business…

    If my blogs made me money I would have no issues plunking down 4-600 bucks for a exclusive design that incorporated full widgets integration and areas setup for easy inclusion of marketing….. but anything above that would take ages to recoup.

    Thou if I was running my entire company site off a CMS like WordPress – even 1500 for the possibilities compared to static sites is a great deal.

    Reply

  3. 蓝兔 says: 5/26/2008

    我想在我们国内绝大多数Blogger还是希望能使用免费的主题吧,这大概跟各个国家消费水平有关

    Reply

  4. Danny Foo says: 5/27/2008

    In Malaysia, the market is very saturated and every one wants cut throat prices for a custom design. So it’s either they buy it from you or the next door neighbour.

    End of the day, their limited education between benefits of having a pre-made WordPress theme and fully customized WordPress theme doesn’t equal the dollars or cents they should be paying.

    But I do agree with Brent, if you’re targeting the casual blogger market then we as designers are better off designing WordPress theme which generate recurring sales. Like Brian Gardner’s Revolution theme is aimed mainly to the casual blogger.

    So who are you targeting?

    Reply

  5. Alex says: 5/28/2008

    Are we talking about the design or the coding of the blogtheme? Maybe both? I think if you’re designing something thats totally unique. Everyone can code a WP theme… that’s what makes it “cheap”. But i think there are not that many really good designers out there to “design” the WP theme.

    The design is worth the money… not the coding.

    Reply

  6. Evert de Ruiter says: 5/31/2008

    I payed around 500 dollar for mine. But I eventually want to monetize my blog so I should earn it back. It’s more of an investment to me so I don’t mind paying for it.

    But paying for a premium wordpress theme when you don’t want to make money from it just seems silly to me. You can find other great and free wordpress themes all over the web.

    Reply

  7. Daniel says: 6/1/2008

    Personally, Is not necesary to pay for a blog design, I have made all my blogs design, it’s easy you must learn a little of HTML, MySQL and PHP, but if you don’t know or you don’t want to learn, WordPress is a good choice even Blogger gives you the option to upload your files via FTP to your hosting service also you can attach a domain name using blogger.

    If you want to check my blog desing:

    Business Management Tips

    Reply

  8. Brandon Eley says: 6/2/2008

    Being in the industry (I work as Interactive Director for an advertising agency) I do put a value on good design. How much I would be willing to pay and how much I could afford to pay are different, however.

    For a personal blog with no income, I wouldn’t likely purchase a blog design when there are some good free themes that can be easily customized. That said, on a professional blog that is going to be generating a substantial revenue, I think a $3,000 – $5,000 blog design would be well worth it (if designed by the right person/firm).

    I wouldn’t recommend going out and paying for a $5,000 blog design right off the bat though. Grow into it… it’s like the old issue of scalability with web apps. Do you plan for 1,000,000 users at launch? My philosophy is more like 37 Signals and Jason Fried – worry about it when you need to.

    The same principle can be applied here as well – don’t pay for a blog design (or an expensive one) until your subscriber base supports it. If you’ve already got thousands of subscribers and strong revenues for your blog, then purchasing a professional blog design might be appropriate.

    Reply

  9. Suraj Singh says: 6/2/2008

    Nothing. i had not paid for blog design. there are so much site from where you can find blog design for free.
    http://zwqa.blogspot.com/2007/11/to-best-of-my-knowledge-best-way-to.html

    Reply

  10. cem ceilsoy says: 6/12/2008

    i can pay something but if it is blog, i pays nothing. Because “google search” is a nice designer ;)

    Reply

  11. izmir evden eve nakliyat says: 8/9/2008

    thanks..

    Reply

  12. Maxwell ) says: 8/11/2008

    I’d handsomely pay for blog design. I’ve seen the light! Boring static websites are dead. Blog CMSs like WP and ExpressionEngine are the future. I do work for non techies who want websites created, but now I realize it’s better to just get a sweet theme designed, focus on their content, do up the categories, tags ahead of time, get the pages right and blam…a wicked dynamic website is ready for my clients.
    If any of you do good designs at reasonable prices, please give me a holler.

    - Max (aka MaxTheITpro)

    PS–> BTW this is a sweet theme! How much would it cost for this? Or where can I download it?

    Reply

  13. saç ekim says: 8/11/2008

    thanks

    Reply

  14. saç ekim says: 8/11/2008

    thank you!

    Reply

  15. saç ekimi says: 8/11/2008

    thank you veryMuch!

    Reply

  16. lazer epilasyon says: 8/11/2008

    thanks!!

    Reply

  17. IJF says: 8/15/2008

    I designed my layout myself. And I charge about $15 to customize a blogger layout.. sometimes for free.. (the theme of my blog) is that too little or too much? give my educational background is literature/psychology/education..

    Reply

  18. Allan Cass says: 9/11/2008

    I don’t think too much people will pay for that. There are billions free.

    Reply

  19. Millard says: 12/7/2008

    Too many free designs out there and content is still king, right?

    Reply

  20. Tabldot Yemek says: 5/15/2009

    The same principle can be applied here as well – don’t pay for a blog design (or an expensive one) until your subscriber base supports it. If you’ve already got thousands of subscribers and strong revenues for your blog, then purchasing a professional blog design might be appropriate.

    Reply

  21. mikeyaozm says: 9/19/2009

    If you’ve already got thousands of subscribers and strong revenues for your blog

    Reply

  22. izmir evden eve says: 12/26/2010

    i can pay $500 max.. if it is affiliate site i can pay $1000 max for a site…

    Reply

  23. sac ekim fiyati says: 2/27/2012

    If any of you do good designs at reasonable prices, please give me a holler or?

    Reply

  24. sem calcinha says: 2/28/2012

    Adoro me mostrar peladinha na web cam

    Reply