Before you pay anyone for blog design services, you need to understand what services designers provide and identify which of those services you actually need. Ask yourself the following questions before you go any further in the blog design process:
1. Do you need a free or premium theme tweaked? That would entail changing color palettes, inserting your own images, changing fonts, moving widgets, and modifying the theme's CSS stylesheet to give it a more custom feel for a lot less money than a complete custom blog design would cost. This is adequate for most blogs.
2. Do you need a completely custom blog design, so your blog looks entirely unique? This is common for well-established blogs or businesses.
3. Do you need new features and functionality that aren't inherent in your blogging application? This advanced functionality typically requires the help of a developer who can work with the code that makes your blog run.
Your answers to the above questions will affect which blog designer you work with and how much the designer's services will cost. Following are various price ranges to give you an idea of what you can get for your money. Keep in mind, some blog designers are more experienced than others, which means higher prices. You get what you pay for, so make sure you choose a designer who has the skills you require. Also, some designers are freelancers who charge lower prices than designers who work with larger design agencies or development companies.
Under $500: There are many freelance designers who will modify free or premium blog themes and templates for under $500. You'll end up with a professional-looking design that doesn't look exactly like other blogs. However, there may be other sites out there that will look similar to yours simply because the structure of the theme is usually not altered for under $500. The designer might also upload some plugins (for WordPress users), setup widgets, create a favicon, and add social media sharing icons as well as perform some other simple design tasks.
$500-$2500: There is a huge amount of design modifications that blog designers can make to themes and templates beyond simple tweaks. That's why this price range for blog design is so wide. This price range is also greatly affected by who you hire to do your design work. A freelancer might charge $1,000 for the same services a larger design company might charge $2,500 for. This mid-price range requires the most due diligence on your part. Create a specific list of what you want modified and added to the theme or template you choose and ask designers to provide specific price quotes to match your requirements. This way, you can compare apples to apples when you receive quotes from multiple designers. It's also a good idea to ask for an hourly rate, so when additional requirements arise, you know up front what you'll be charged for them.
$2,500-$5,000: At this price range, you can expect to get a highly customized premium theme or a site built from the ground up. Typically, the design will begin with an Adobe PhotoShop layout, which the designer will code to meet your specifications. Additional functionality will be limited at this price range, but you can be assured that your site will look very unique.
Over $5,000: When your blog design costs exceed $5,000, you've either requested an incredibly customized site with a lot of added functionality that requires developers to create or you're working with an expensive design company. If you're not looking for a site that has a great deal of features that need to be built for your site, then you should be able to find blog design services that meet your needs for a lower price than $5,000.
Be sure to shop around, get recommendations, view designers' portfolios, and visit the live sites in the portfolio to test them out. Also, take the time to talk to each designer before you agree to work with them, and always get multiple quotes to compare pricing!