People often ask me, how much does a website cost?
That is a tricky question because there are a lot of factors that influence the cost of the website production. It’s impossible to lay out a specific price without having knowledge about the project’s details and business goals.
It is possible to calculate a pricing range based on whether you decide to create the website yourself or hire someone to do it for you, but first consider your future domain name and web hosting.
The first thing to consider is the purchasing of a domain name for your website. Domains can cost as little as 99 cents and go up from there. The majority of domains are in the $10 - $30 range annually. You want to consider your business name when choosing a domain name and to also make sure there are no other businesses in your industry that already have that name. When you create an account for your domain, it’s important to set up the annual registration for auto renewal so that when it expires the website will not go down.
The price of your web hosting varies a lot. If you are creating the site yourself using Wix or Squarespace, the price will be tied into your monthly fee to use that platform. If you are creating a website that is self hosted with WordPress, the cost of your hosting can start as low as 3 or 4 bucks a month for something cheap and go up from there. Choosing a good web host is worth the investment because you will have a more reliable infrastructure to house your website files. The benefits are that the site will load faster, will have more uptime (ideally 100% uptime), and provide great customer support.
If you hire a company to create your website, web hosting is often tied into your monthly website maintenance plan. There is no way to get around web hosting. There must be a reliable web server somewhere that hosts your website files.
DIY or Hire Someone?
Before checking out prices to find out how much a website costs, ask yourself a few questions:
- How much can I actually afford? As a small business, start up costs are high and your budget may be low so you will have valid concerns on investing in web design & development. Having a clearly defined budget will help you narrow down your options
- What your website to do? It’s great to be ambitious, but it’s unlikely you will be the next amazon.com anytime soon Your site will mainly showcase your business.
- Figure out what you would like your website to look like (fonts, colors, vibe)
- Determine what content you will want to publish. At the very least you will need a contact us page, an about page & content on your product or services. What other pages will you need?
Creating Your Own Website
If you decide to create a website yourself you may be saving money, but wasting a lot of time.
There are many beautiful pre-made themes and drag and drop page builders that require no coding knowledge, but for some people the learning curve is still too steep.
The drag and drop website page builders often look easy, however it is not the best option for people that get frustrated easily or don’t have a lot of time. You might struggle with messaging and properly conveying your site's products and services. You want the user experience to be easy, you need the links need to be working, external links need to open in a new tab, your social media links need to work, and the page's content needs to be centered within an inner container, for example. Depending on your budget, this may be the best solution and when the time is right you can upgrade to a website that is more custom.
Business websites are informational and intended to promote the business brand and increase the loyalty of the company’s target audience. The costs to build this kind of website depends on the level of complexity. Website design company’s generally charge a flat fee based on the deliverables and the estimated amount of time it would take to develop their site based on their hourly rate. The hourly rate of a designer ranges based on skill level and experience and whether your designer is a freelancer or part of a large agency.
E-commerce websites often start at a few thousand dollars more than business websites because of a different elements and features of the website. The integration and proper configuration of a of a payment processor is what drives up the cost as well as the need for on-brand product photos and product upload.
Other things to consider are:
- Inventory management
- Addition of product coupons
- Shipping features
- Taxes on products
(Did I mention the necessity of a marketing strategy and well thought out design?)
One Page Websites
One pagers are usually divided into sections that would normally get it’s own page and the navigation menu items normally scroll down the page to it’s relevant section. Overall, one page websites are not overloaded with content so as not to divert the user’s from the site’s overall goal. Generally, these types of websites take the shortest amount of time to create and will generally be at a lower cost
Custom Designed Website
Design is an important factor contributing to a website’s success. Design helps to attract a user’s attention and lead them to take an action on the website. Custom designed websites using best UX principals will require a higher investment as everything related to the build will be customized based on the user’s journey and desired lead flow.
Another factor that drives up the cost of a website build would be the functionality:
- Membership sites
- Registration with different levels of user access
- Website that syncs with other databases
Brand New Site or Redesign?
Another important factor is whether the site is being redesigned or if you creating a brand new site. If you are redesigning a website, it’s always best to keep it on the same domain in order to retain the SEO benefits. If you decide to move an existing site to a new domain, the URL’s need to be redirected to the same page on the new site in order to maintain the benefits of any incoming links. You also need to tell Google about the change of address in the Google Search Console. Technical SEO is a necessity in these situations. It’s important to have a plan in place in migrating a website without losing search engine rankings.
The cost of creating a new website will be greatly determined on whether you want to do it yourself (or your sister's cousin's son) or hire a professional web designer. You need to consider your business goals, your budget, and your personal time in order to make the best decision for your needs.