Arghh, the million dollar question . . .
Below are three other routes you may consider taking, rather than using an independent web designer such as me.
"The cheapest option"
This may be the cheapest option, but will likely result in an ineffective, poor performing website.
"My closest competitors on price"
Some web design companies form part of a franchise model that floods the internet with a website for every town. This can give the impression of being local, but the reality can be quite different.
You'll liaise with a sales rep, as the people building the website are likely to be a long distance away.
Another option is to use an online marketplace to connect you to freelancers offering a cheap service. However, most are working overseas, which can result in language and timezone problems.
Whilst these options can result in an acceptable website, what happens if things go wrong, or they vanish from the internet? I have several clients who came to me after discovering their overseas web designer had vanished leaving them high and dry.
"All the bells and whistles"
There will be a whole team of 'creatives' working on your project, each bringing their own specialisms to the different stages of the project design and build.
Granted, you'll get a fantastic website, but the fee will be eye watering.
These companies are really best suited to corporate organisations who have an impressive budget, or need specialist website functionality.
You will likely be asked to attend many meetings to discuss each stage of the design and build process with the relevant staff members from each department.
If money is no object, then this may be the best option for you.
Below is a basic price comparison for a simple 8-page brochure website, just like this website (prices correct 2019).
Brief: "8-page brochure website with blog and content management function".