Thinking about building a website for your business, then you must know about website vs blog first, only then you can plan out a good website. Planning and budgeting are crucial and unfortunately, there is no straightforward formula that you can apply to find out the accurate cost of building and maintaining a website. It simply boils down to how much work is involved. There are just so many factors involved to estimate exactly how much does a website costs? In this article, we are going to boil down various types of websites and different ways to build a website to calculate the exact cost of a website.
Mainly, there are 2 main factors determining how much work is involved, i.e. size and complexity of your website. For instance, if you need a professional-looking site with no more than 15 pages and standard customization, it is going to cost less than a website with 50 pages and above. So, while planning out on website budget, you must include essential pages for the website. Therefore, it can cost you somewhere between $1k and $10K. Of course, it is a big price range and not at all helpful. Therefore, we are going to break things down to narrow down the costs in order to help you with a more realistic estimate for what it will cost to design and develop your website. Let’s dive in-
Typical cost of a website
Following are some of the common expenses you have to spare regardless the nature and size of your website/business
Domain name is the unique name of your website that allows your visitors to find you. For instance, the URL of our website is ‘www.xyz.com’ and ‘xyz’ is our domain name. You will have to think of a unique domain name. Here is a detailed guide on what is a domain name. In case you don’t have a domain name, try blog name generators to create your unique domain name. Once you create a unique domain name, there are a lot of domain registrars, you can purchase or register your domain name. A standard domain name costs somewhere between $12-$60 a year. It is a recurring cost and you will have to renew your domain name from time to time. You can use a blog name generator for ideas.
Website hosting is a server that hosts your website. Think of it as a house for your website where you keep all your website files. Depending upon your hosting provider and plan you choose, you can get unlimited storage, bandwidth, free domain name, CDN services, uptime guarantee, WAF, DDoS protection, and more. There are some free hosting providers available as well with limited features. A standard hosting provider can cost your something between $35-$600 a year. Similarly, it is a recurring cost and you will have to renew the service agreement from time to time.
The internet is not a safe place and everything on the web is subjected to malicious users and security threats. SSL (secure socket layer) is a standard security feature added to most websites. Basically, it encrypts all the data between the user and the website to prevent man-in-the-middle attack. Moreover, it adds a padlock icon on the URL of the website which ensures the visitors that their data is safe with the website. Furthermore, a secure website is always preferred by Google in terms of SEO. Although it comes free with some hosting providers, it can still come independently and can cost you something between $0 and $200. Depending upon the kind of service you pick, it could be a recurring cost or a one-time purchase.
Theme or templates
In case of websites, looks matter a lot. If you want your visitors to come back to you, you need to offer them a pleasing sight and experience. Platforms like WordPress offer a lot of free WordPress themes or templates to offer a professional-looking website. However, most users go for premium themes or templates because they usually have something more to offer. A typical theme or startup template can cost your something between $0 and $500, depending upon your platform and features you want.
eCommerce features are a must if you are going to monetize your website. You can sell digital as well as physical goods. However, you need to integrate some selling features in your website to make that happen. A standard website doesn’t have eCommerce features and you may have to spend additional money to integrate eCommerce features. Depending upon the complexity of the features, it can cost you something between $20 to $25K. Financial planning is a must thing.
Website content is the information you provide on your website to your customers/visitors. Of course, you can’t have an empty website, you need to populate it with content. Moreover, you need to curate content that your visitors want. You can’t just write anything on your website or plagiarize the content or you can end up with some severe consequences like fine or lawsuits. Apart from words, you need to put up some media files as well to keep your website spiced up. If you have that flair for writing and understand the expectations of your visitors, you can write the content yourself. However, if you are not so great with the writing part, you can hire a professional writer with experience to populate your website with content. A standard website content can cost you something between $0 and $5K, depending upon the quality of writing your want.
If you want to enhance your website content further, consider incorporating interactive elements such as flip books. An embedded flip book can be seamlessly integrated into your website, maintaining SEO friendliness, and has the potential to captivate your visitors more effectively than a conventional blog post.
SEO and marketing
There is no use of a website if you can’t reach your potential customer. In order to reach your potential, you need to embrace some SEO practices. Some of the most common SEO practices are email marketing, landing page, ad campaigns, get showcased on industry news blogs etc. For that, you will have to hire marketing professionals and get subscription to digital marketing tools. Overall, it can cost you $0 to $1K.
Cost of a small business website
A small business website is often an entry-level website built to accommodate a handful of visitors with some standard features and pages. A basic website usually features 10-15 landing pages, a blog, contact page, online booking, some specific features (like selling or appointment booking features, etc. Then, you will have some standard assets on your small business website for driving website traffic to your website. Let’s consider some of the upfront costs like domain name, hosting provider, downloading and installing the CMS of your choice, theme/template, security features, etc. a small website can cost you around $100 and $10K. For a precise estimation, you need to know the level of customization you want in your small business website. There are various ways to build your site and they can severely impact your total spending.
Cost of a small business website built using a website builder
A website builder is a platform that allows you to build your own website without having to code at all. It is suitable for even beginners. In fact, it can be a cloud-hosted platform like Wix that just requires you to have a stable internet connection and you can get to work. Meanwhile there are offline website builders available as well that require you to download the software and build your website even without an internet connection. Building a website using a website builder involves following steps in general-
- Get a website builder
- Download the software or visit the online platform
- Build the website
- Get a hosting
- Get a domain name
- Hit publish
Since building a standard website doesn’t require much, you can start with the cheaper plans. A standard website builder can cost $10-$50 a month. However, some platforms like TemplateToaster are available with one-time purchase. Total cost of building a small business website using a website builder can cost you something between $50-$500.
Cost of a small business website built by a freelancer
A freelance is an individual with website building expertise. There are various platforms available like UpWork, Freelancer.com, etc. that help you hire a freelancer for your project. If you want a professional to build your website within a budget, then this is a reasonable solution. A small business website can be built within 40-100 hours and a basic freelancer can charge up to $50-$80 a hour. So the total cost of the freelancer will round up to $2000-$8000. On top of that, you will have to get a website builder/template maker subscription, hosting provider, premium plugins, domain name, etc. Overall, this way can cost you something between $2,500-$8,500.
Cost of a small business website built by a professional agency
Hiring an agency is the most traditional and easiest way to get your website built. They take a fixed amount to build and maintain your website. Good thing is that they have a team of professionals to develop, design, test, and deploy your website. Hiring an agency to build your small business website can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. Again, you need to specify your requirements like the requested features, level of customization, capacity of your site, etc, to get the final price quote.
Cost of an eCommerce website
An eCommerce site is an online platform that allows you to sell digital or physical goods to your targeted audience. Any standalone business venture or brick-and-mortar store falls under the eCommerce website category. Obviously, they require some special features like shopping carts, payment modules, order management, shipping management, inventory management, and more. A basic Shopify website can cost you around $300-$500 a month. However, building a website like eBay can cost you several thousand dollars a month. In simple words, complexity and the website’s operation scale can significantly impact the total expense of your website building.
Cost of an eCommerce website built using a website builder
Building an online store using a website builder involves identical steps as building a small business website. However, you will have to subscribe to high-tier plans that come with eCommerce templates and eCommerce-specific features to build a functional online store. If you are using an open-source platform like WooCommerce or PrestaShop, you may save some expense. You will have to spend around $200 to $1,000 a month on a website builder apart from other costs like domain name, hosting, add-ons, transaction fee, security modules, etc. Overall, you can expect to spend around $500-$10,000 on building and maintaining your online store. Although it is an affordable way to build an online store, it can limit the functionality and capacity of the eCommerce site.
Cost of an eCommerce website built by a freelancer
There are freelancers with expertise in building eCommerce sites and they charge more than a basic freelancer. Depending upon the complexity and level of operations of your website, a freelancer can charge $80-$200 a hour to build an online store. Moreover, it can take up to 80-150 hours. Therefore, it can cost you around $6,400 to $30,000 to build your eCommerce store. If we add other additional costs like domain name, premium templates, hosting, add-ons, security features, etc, it can cost around $7,500 to $31,500. While it can be a reasonably priced solution, hidden charges can end up costing you more than you anticipated.
Cost of an eCommerce website built by a professional agency
Hiring a professional agency is the most expensive way to get your eCommerce site developed. Depending upon the size of your store and the popularity of the website development agency you hire, it can cost you around $10,000 to $300,000. Good thing is that they cover a full spectrum of services from collecting the requirement to deploying your website. Moreover, they usually have a professional team of expert designers, developers, testers, SEO executives, and more. In addition, you can commission a scalable website rather than being stuck with certain features that you may or may not need in the long-run. Overall, it is a good way to invest in a long-term ROI but it demands higher initial investment.
Cost of an Enterprise-level website
An enterprise-level website is nothing like the standard websites you see on a daily basis. They usually have a wide array of features that are seamlessly integrated with other operations, simultaneously powering your business’ operations. Since it is hard to standardize an enterprise-level website, it is equally difficult to pin-point its cost. A rough estimate of the enterprise-level website lies around $1,500 to $300,000 minus the annual maintenance costs. Here is the break down-
Cost of a website built using a website builder
Building an enterprise-level website using a website builder is not a good idea. Most website builders are limited to small and medium business websites. In fact, they don’t even have the capacity to offer advanced features and the level of services it requires to build and maintain an enterprise-level website. However, there are still some website builders available that offer plans to build and maintain an enterprise-level website. Although they are often quote-based but you can expect to pay around $1,500-$7,000 excluding maintenance cost. Maintenance of an enterprise-level website can charge you tens of thousands a year.
Cost of a website built by a freelancer
Similarly, hiring a freelancer for your enterprise-level website isn’t the best idea. They can cost you around $5,000-$15,000 which is comparatively cheaper. However, hiring the wrong person for the job can cost you a lot more time and resources than you anticipated. However, if you have an in-house team and want to extend your team within budget, this might be the best solution. It allows you to gain a fresh perspective on your website’s design, performance, and infrastructure to pin-point the areas for improvement.
Cost of a website built by a professional agency
A web development agency is your best shot at building and maintaining an enterprise-level website without putting in a lot of efforts. Obviously, it is going to be an expensive endeavor but the long term ROI will be worth it. Expect to pay between $50,000-$300,000 for an enterprise-grade website. Good thing is that they will take care of everything from gathering requirements to maintaining the performance of your website, post-deployment stage. Only downside is that it is expensive and you may need to hire an in-house technical advisor to oversee the development.
Tips to avoid overpaying
Best way to avoid overpaying is to start small. When you start small, you cut down on spending and increase your resources when you really need to. In the opposite case, you spend on the resources in advance and end up wasting the resources. Here are some tips that can help you avoid overpaying-
- Always keep the on-going discount offers when you want to upgrade to premium themes or plugins. Most providers run discounts on festivals like Christmas, Easters, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.
- With the growth of your website, you will also need a powerful hosting plan that offers more than just standard features. Moreover, you will need to optimize your WordPress server on a regular basis. Try doing some research before choosing a hosting service provider based upon the pricing and the quality of the service they offer. In fact, consider hosting your WordPress site on managed WordPress hosting and eCommerce site on cloud-based hosting. If you have an enterprise-level website, it is better to move to a VPS hosting service for added security and capacity.
As we have mentioned before, the cost of your website depends upon the complexity of a website. Therefore, various types and sizes of website can end up incurring different costs. However, all the websites have some things in common that can allow you to chart up the common expenses you can’t skip. This article explains those factors along with the expected costs. Hopefully, this article helps you understand the cost of building and maintaining a website and you can have a rough idea about the budget of your next project. For any query or doubt, please feel free to comment down!