Harnessing the web and leveraging it is a key strategy for growing your business. Even if you consider your business as one that’s primarily offline, your online presence matters. No matter how established your company is as a brick and mortar brand, a website is still one of the most important assets that you could have.
A website can help you create brand awareness, boost your organization’s credibility, and let you establish good rapport with customers. To that end, it’s clear that every business needs a website. Ultimately, it boils down to understanding how much resources you can invest in it and knowing how much should a website cost.
When budgeting for a growing business, it’s important to think carefully about how much you’re going to spend on your website. After all, cutting corners during the early, development stages can lead to significant problems down the line ranging from losing brand credibility to experiencing devastating security issues. On the other hand, you also don’t want to bleed money working on your site, particularly on features that you may not necessarily need.
To address these concerns, we wanted to discuss exactly how much should a website cost with this complete guide.
How Much Should a Website Cost?
It’s hard to pin down an exact amount of how much should a website cost.
How much a business spends will vary greatly from one company to another, depending on numerous factors such as what you’re creating the website primarily for and how you intend to build your website. The three main ways you can create a site however includes:
Let’s look at each option in closer focus.
How Much Does a Website Cost Using a Website Builder?
Using a website builder is probably one of the most cost efficient options for building a website. It’s the ideal option if you’re a technical novice, and you need to set up your site as quickly as possible.
It’s also a common option for those building a personal website or portfolio, rather than an ecommerce site, or something more advanced.
|Website Builder Costs||Price||Info|
|Monthly subscription||$6- $60 per month||Your subscription should cover hosting, security, themes, and a range of features.|
|Apps||$0- $20+ per month||Apps (free and paid) add extra functionality to your site.|
|Themes||Not required||Most website builders come with free themes, but you may be able to buy some premium options too.|
|Hosting||Not required||Hosting will be included within your monthly subscription price.|
|Security||Not required||Security is already built into your website from your builder, unless you want extra apps.|
|Professional help||Not required||Easy-to-use website builders rarely require professional guidance to use.|
There are a ton of different website builders out there with different price points. The more straightforward solutions will usually cost between $6 and $60, depending on the kind functionality you need—for instance, adding ecommerce features or booking functions.
You also have the option to choose free website builders, however they’re rarely the best choice for most companies. Most come with very limited features, such as low bandwidth and storage options, a non-custom domain, like www.mywebsite.squarespace.com, and very minimal customer support. You may even end up with ads displayed on your website.
Paying that additional fee to get higher tier customizations can go a long way in terms of creating a significantly more professional and better functioning site.
The Additional Costs Involved with a Website Builder
Outside of your monthly subscription fee, the most common costs you’ll need to consider when using a website builder include:
- A custom domain name: Although a free custom domain may be included with your plan initially, this will usually run out after a year. On average, you’ll pay around $12 per year for your domain, but this could vary depending on where you go.
- Apps: Custom apps will add extra funtionalities to your website, such as booking widgets, extra security features, and marketing solutions.
- Premium themes: You can pay for a premium theme with some website builders, but you’ll also be able to use a range of free options.
The total cost estimate: $10 to $120 per month.
How much do the best website builders cost?
Website builders cost more depending on the features you need. For instance, if you just want a basic website, you can start with a very low-cost site with small amounts of bandwidth and a handful of capabilities, like blogging and SEO.
|Hosting Type||Typical Cost||Best For|
|Basic||$12+ per month||Simple blogs with limited numbers of website pages. You’ll also create a great portfolio with a basic plan.|
|Ecommerce||$18+ per month||Online stores and people selling services.|
|Enterprise||$500+ per month||Huge stores with a significant number of visitors and huge bandwidth requirements|
There are a handful of great website builders out there, and your choice will depend on mainly on your preferences. Some of the top website builders include:
- Wix: One of the easier website builders to use, prices start at around $13 per month
- Squarespace: Great for personal portfolios and attractive free themes at $12 per month
- Weebly: Around $12 per month for the professional plan, with a range of features
How Much Does a Website Cost Using WordPress?
Solutions like WordPress are referred to as open source site builders. This means they give you a lot more control over what you can do with your website. This option is usually recommended for people with a bit more technical experience, and require more flexibility in terms of building their site. Blogs, business sites, larger websites, and more unique designs are all possible with WordPress.
The full cost of a WordPress website can be difficult to predict because you have so much freedom when it comes to how simple or complex your site is. You can download the platform for free and have the option to use its selection of free themese and plugins. However, you will need to pay for hosting, security, and any premium apps that you intend to add to your site.
|Website Builder Costs||Price||Info|
|Monthly subscription||$0||WordPress is free to use.|
|Apps||$0- $100+ per month||There are free and premium plugins available. The more advanced the plugin, the more it costs.|
|Themes||$0 – $50+||While there are free themes available, you may also want to consider a premium theme, which will usually require a one-off cost.|
|Hosting||$2.95 – $50+ per month||Hosting is an essential part of getting your site online. You’ll need to pay around $35 up front for a year of hosting at minimum.|
|Security||$0 – $200 per year||Security can be included in some hosting plans, but it may be worth installing additional security features, particularly if you’re building an ecommerce store.|
|Professional help||$80 – $180 per hour||This is an optional cost if you don’t have the technical knowledge required to use WordPress.|
The exact amount you’ll pay for a WordPress website will depend on a lot of factors, including how customized you want your site to be, and how much help you need building your site.
How Much Do the Best Web Hosts Cost?
Web hosting fees are perhaps the most significant cost to think about when building a WordPress website. Without a host, you won’t be able to publish your website on the Internet, which means it won’t be available online and you won’t be able to share it with anyone else.
The exact amount you’ll pay for hosting depends on hosting type, and where you get your hosting solution from. For instance:
|Hosting Type||Typical Cost||Best For|
|Shared||$2 – $15 per month||Ideal for new websites, blogs, and hobby-style websites. Shared hosting will come with limited bandwidth and low costs.|
|Managed WP||$20 to $160 per month||Bloggers with larger sites, people building big portfolios, and businesses. Managed WP gives you more assistance managing your hosting needs.|
|Ecommerce||$7 – $30 per month||Online stores and companies selling services. Ecommerce hosting gives you more security, and better uptime overall.|
There are a number of WordPress hosting providers available, including:
- SiteGround: Starting at $3.99 with an uptime of 999.95%
- BlueHost: Starting at $2.95 with an uptime of 100%
- Hostgator: Starting at $5.95 per month with a 99.94% uptime
The Additional Costs Involved with WordPress
Outside of the cost of hosting per month, there are a handful of other expenses which can make building your website with WordPress a little more expensive, such as:
- Professional assistance: WordPress is very beginner-friendly, but you may find yourself needing additional assistance as you start building it out. Developers can cost between $30 and $100 per hour, and the more skills they offer, the more expensive they’re likely to be.
- Domain name: The domain name is the address your customers use to find your website. You’ll need a custom domain to ensure you stand out on the web. Some hosts provide your first year of domain hosting for free.
- Plugins: Add-ins and extras for WordPress can cost you extra, like newsletter subscription widgets, SEO plugins, and marketing tools. While these aren’t a requirement for every brand, they may be necessary for some companies, depending on what your website needs to do.
- Themes: While free themes are available, they are somewhat basic. Premium themes can allow you to accomplish more with your website design. They also often look a lot more professional, and may even come with additional features specific to your company’s needs. Premium themes can cost anywhere between $50 and $200+.
- Security: Hosting providers generally offer security as part of the service you pay for on a monthly or annual basis. However, additional security plugins are extremely useful for blocking and removing potential threats from your site. Extra security may be a good idea if you want to protect your site from hackers and give visitors peace of mind, especially if you run an ecommerce site.
The total cost estimate: $250+ upfront for themes, designs, and specialist support, then between $3.95 and $150 per month for hosting, your domain name, and other extras.
How Much Does a Website Cost Using a Web Designer?
Of all the ways to build your website, hiring a professional web designer is probably the most expensive option. There are various ways to go about this. You can start by checking out sites like Upwork or Fiverr, or explore sites like People per Hour.
Working with a web designer means you don’t have to worry about designing your website yourself, and can simply hand the hard work over to a professional.
If you need a more complex website, you want to design a more advanced solution for your brand, or you don’t have any time to work on your site yourself, this could be the option for you.
It’s difficult to estimate the cost of hiring a web designer, because there are all kinds of freelancers and agencies out there, all at different price points. Generally, you can spend anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 to get a full website made.
If you want extra assistance in managing your site, this will be an extra monthly fee as well.
|Website Builder Costs||Price||Info|
|Monthly subscription||$500 – $1,000 per year||A monthly fee is usually for things like maintenance for your website, updates, and re-designs when necessary to keep your site up-to-date.|
|Apps||$0||Apps, extra features, and widgets are usually included in part of the total upfront cost for your design.|
|Themes||$0||The use of any themes will be included in your up-front quote. However, many web designers will start building your site from scratch.|
|Hosting||$2.95 – $50+ per month||You’ll still be responsible for managing the hosting of your website with a website designer in most cases. Usually, you’ll need to pay an annual price.|
|Security||$0 – $200 per year||Security can be included as part of your hosting plan. However, it’s worth investing in additional security measures too, particularly for ecommerce sites.|
|Professional help||$5,000 – $30,000||The “professional help” part of the equation will include the costs of paying someone to create and design your website. The more complex the design, the more your site will cost.|
What are the Typical Costs of Hiring a Web Designer?
The exact amount you’ll pay for your web designer will depend on a number of factors, including how complex your website is, and how much you want your designer to handle. If you’re asking your web designer to manage hosting, domains, and plugins for you, as well as ongoing maintenance, this will require an additional fee.
You’ll also need to think about the features you need (such as ecommerce capabilities), how many pages your site will have, and whether your designer will be starting from scratch or be using a template you’ve purchased in advance.
You’ll usually find it’s easier to manage your own domain name and hosting, as this way you’ll have more control over the price. The typical costs of a web designer will usually be:
|Elements of Design||Hiring Your Web Designer|
|Design and building||$5,000+|
The average cost of building your website will usually be somewhere in the region of $6,750+, but the full cost will depend heavily on your specific needs. You can sometimes save a little extra by using a pre-made theme for your website, and managing things like maintenance and hosting yourself.
The total cost estimate: $6,000-$10,000+ upfront, followed by around $500 – $1,000+ per year for additional maintenance and costs.
5 Key Questions Before You Start Building Your First Website
Regardless if you’re building your website using a website builder, via WordPress, or by tapping the expertise of a professional web designer, you’re going to need to answer some questions. The most important queries to address before you make a decisions are:
What kind of website am I building?
First, you need to know what you want your website to do. The price of building a small portfolio website is very different to the costs of building a complex business website. If you want to be able to sell products and services on your site, then you’ll need to take this into account when choosing your website-building route. Some common options for types of sites include:
- Small site or portfolio (the cheapest option)
- Blog or larger business website (mid-range)
- Ecommerce or enterprise site (higher costs)
How will I manage my website?
The amount of work you’re willing to put into managing your website will also have an impact on how much you spend on your new asset. If you’re managing your site yourself, you can reduce your monthly maintenance and specialist costs.
Running and managing your site yourself also means you can make changes immediately without waiting for your developer to step in. However, it also means you’ll need to be cautious about the actions you’re taking on your site.
It can be more expensive to have a developer handle your website for you, but you do get an extra level of expertise and support.
What kind of features do I need?
The features you need for a successful website might change over time, so it’s worth thinking about your requirements both now, and in the future. For instance, if you’re running a standard business website, you may only need basic features now, like a blog and some basic marketing tools.
As your site grows, you may want to implement some additional features, like a page where people can sign up for monthly newsletters, or a booking app.
Most companies start with a relatively simple website and work their way up to something more complex.
Will I handle the technical side myself?
Managing your website isn’t the only example of long-term work you’ll need to put into your project. You’ll also have some technical points to think about too. The technical side of your website can include everything from handling SEO, to implementing patches.
If you have a little technical knowledge, you might be willing to handle a few things on your own, like applying patches and updating your apps. Alternatively, you may want to seek the help of a specialist to assist with more complex things, like technical SEO.
What does my budget look like?
We all have budgets to consider, when investing in any aspect of business growth. With this in mind, it’s worth taking some time to consider how much you can reasonably afford to spend. If you find your budget is too low to get anything high-quality created, you might need to re-consider your options and find additional funding.
Remember, when planning your budget, you’ll need to consider both the up-front cost of the website design and set-up, and the ongoing costs. Ongoing costs include everything from domain name purchases and hosting to maintenance and security.
So, how much should a website cost?
There are a lot of ways to build and maintain a website, and each option has its own unique costs associated with it. Your three options include:
Using a website builder: $6-50 per month (cheapest)
Website builders are ideal if you have a limited budget, and not many advanced needs for your website. You can get your site up-and-running fast, and you don’t need to learn how to code.
Using WordPress: $35- $780 upfront cost, $11-$50+ per month ongoing (mid-level);
You’ll have a lot of control over your website with WordPress, including more room to customize your website. WordPress does require a little more coding knowledge, however.
Using a website designer: $500 to $10,000+ with variable ongoing costs (most expensive)
This is an ideal choice if you have a larger budget, and don’t want to deal with the responsibilities of creating a site yourself. It can also be ideal if you’re short on time.
Building a website can be as expensive or cheap as you you would like it to be, but it will very much depend on what you need your site to do and how much resources you can dedicate towards creating and maintaining it. That said, having this comprehensive guide can help give you a ballpark idea of how much should a website cost.