In this post, I’m going to talk about what expenses should you expect when building a website – and what is the best building option for your needs and goals.
Generally speaking, the question of “how much does a website cost?” is the biggest question when making a website. We all have our budgets and bills to pay (I certainly do!), and so – it’s important to know what you’re getting into – before you splurge.
But here’s the thing.
It’s impossible to really tell how much a website costs – it’s a question with a very complicated answer. And the answer depends on your individual needs.
Dear reader, allow me to illustrate:
How much does a car cost?
Certainly, you may have some questions.
Are we talking about a state-of-the-art supercar or a beat-up 1986 Toyota you have to start up with a wrench? Is it purring like a cat with a handcrafted V12 engine or coughing like a flu patient after a ten-mile run? Do you have to push it using your own legs like you’re Fred Flintstone?
You can have a website that’s free – or essentially free – while other sites can cost something like mouth-watering $30,000 to design and maintain. The more money you’ll have, the more original your website is going to be, the more engaging content it’s going to have.
Well – not always. There is a chance of getting ripped off while spending a huge amount of money on something that’s not worth it.
That’s why, when setting up a website for the first time, it’s quite normal to get preoccupied with questions about pricing. For example: how much cash should I set aside for hosting and design? Or how much do I pay for a developer?
If your current website bills seem high, it’s perfectly reasonable to search around for a more affordable option.
So, in this post, I’m going to help you not get ripped off.
No matter how you decide to create your site, your website costs will break down into four distinct categories – design, content, maintenance, and management. This will be more-or-less true whether you go down the route of hiring professional assistance or use a straightforward website builder. But take note that in some cases, separate costs may get lumped together.
So what are those all-important website cost categories? Here’s a quick overview:
These costs can add up, with small business websites costing upwards of $10,000. But you’re about to find out why, for most first-time website users, prices are far closer to the bottom end of that spectrum than the top.
There is a selection of methods to build that great website while having only a couple of hundred dollars in your pocket or even less. So don’t let those zeros scare you.
As the table below demonstrates, it all depends on how you decide to create your site.
If you prefer to save more time than money – then you can hire a team of those super-geeks who will bring your idea to life.
However, if you’re one of those skillful web developers (or want to become one) – a content management system solution is a great option to save quite a few pennies.
And of course, if none of this applies to you, then there is a golden middle solution – website builders. Note the prices used here correspond to one year of ownership or a one-time setup cost.
|Subscribe to a website builder||Do it yourself with a Content Management System (CMS)||Hire a professional|
|Design||$0||$0 to $120 (one-time)||$250 to $10,000 (one-time)|
|Content||$0||$0||$250 to $1,500 (one-time)|
|Maintenance||$60 to $200 (yearly)||$30 to $300 (yearly)||$400 to $2,000 (yearly)|
|Management||$0||$0||$500 to $1,200 (yearly)|
|Total||$60 to $200||$30 to $420||$1,900 to $14,700|
Don’t panic if you’ve never heard of a ‘content management system’ before. We’re about to get into the details of different website creation methods.
You’ll have to pay for website design, content and maintenance no matter how you create your website. However, the costs break down differently based on the particular route you choose. For example, if you decide to hire a professional to make your site for you, it’s likely that more of your budget will go on design rather than maintenance.
Now, it’s time to get more in-depth regarding how pricing works for the three most common techniques you can use to create your site. These are:
You can think of these three techniques as different transport options that are all getting you to the same place.
Hiring a professional is like taking a private jet, using a website builder is the equivalent of catching a train and using a CMS is driving your own car. The destination is a great website no matter which option you choose, but some methods are faster, cheaper or easier to work with.
Now, some would argue that there are more techniques you can use to create a website than the three I’m focusing on here.
So if you’re thinking of dashing to the comments and owning me with the: “you could write all your site code yourself and run the website from your own home using a local dedicated server!”, I’ll stop you right here.
Alternative website creation methods like that aren’t really suitable unless you have a professional website design background. And, if you are a professional, well… A website costs as much as you charge.
Doing it alone also means spending literally hundreds of hours in front of a computer screen learning how to code and troubleshooting your site design. In short, it’s not even worth considering when there are far easier ways to create an awesome website.
$60 to $200 for one year.
For many, the best way to create a website will be to sign up for a website building platform. But what, exactly, is a website builder?
In short, a website builder is an all-inclusive service that makes it easy to create a great looking website no matter what your experience level is. Website builders allow you to have a good-looking website that has all of the important features – like an ability to blog or sell online.
Subscribing to a website builder not only lets you create a great looking website, but it also gives you access to essential features to enlarge your online presence. For example, SEO tools, responsive designs, and fast performance are important to climb those search engine page results.
Don’t get alarmed by all this alien language since subscribing to a site builder is the simplest way to build a stunning website.
The experience of using a website builder is basically like filling out a nicely designed yet quite advanced form. All of the important features are there for you at the beginning, you just have to choose which ones you want and add important things like content and a theme to your site.
Remember, a website builder is the ‘train’ transport option of site creation. Almost everything is done for you, but you still have to bring your own snacks and entertainment.
With a website builder, as you’re about to find out, the website cost categories we talked about earlier are normally rolled into a single monthly payment. In total, you should expect to pay between $60 and $200 annually depending on the website builder you use. Here’s how the various costs break down:
Normally costs $0.
With a website builder platform, the awesome thing is that you won’t have to pay anything for website design. That’s because website builders come with a bunch of site templates included. After you’ve picked one, you simply customize the design yourself. As long as you choose a good builder, such as Wix, Squarespace or GoDaddy, personalizing your site will be a piece of cake.
Normally costs $0.
Modern website builders are set up to make it easy for you to create your own site content. Often the template you use to create your site will have placeholder information that tells you what kind of text and images should be put in a particular location. Because website builders make managing content so straightforward, you shouldn’t have to pay anyone else to take care of the content for you.
Also, some website builders take things a step further and offer stock libraries of photos that you can use on your site free of charge. Again, the Wix website builder is an example of this as Wix customers get access to a ton of free video and still image content.
And as if that wasn’t enough, with certain website builders you’ll receive unique content that would normally be expensive to create elsewhere. That’s the case with the Squarespace Logo Creator which is a free branding and logo creation package every Squarespace customer can use for free.
$60 to $200 for one year.
Website builders work on a subscription model, so more-or-less the whole price you’ll pay for using it can be considered a website maintenance cost. So there’s only one maintenance fee and that’s paying your bills or you’ll get offline.
Maintenance costs vary wildly between different website builders, but you should expect to pay from $5 to $17/month for an ad-free website that can be connected to your own domain name. Domain names aren’t free either – you need to pay to register and maintain your internet address.
Domain registration is what you pay for your website address. As long as you don’t request a super popular domain name, like www.pizza.com, then most website builders will cover the cost of at least one year of domain registration in your subscription. After that, you should budget around $10/year extra for domain name renewal.
Because modern website builders are all-inclusive services, web hosting maintenance costs will be covered by your subscription. Often, the price of the subscription will depend on the amount of web hosting space you need. In other words, the cost of your website builder site might increase if you need extra storage space or receive more visitors.
With Wix, for instance, prices vary between $8.50 and $19.50/month. The cheapest package only lets you upload 3GB of data and use 2GB of bandwidth a month.
Bandwidth is the amount of data your site transfers to visitors in a set time period, so you’ll need more if you want to share your site with a big audience.
How much audience is 2GB of monthly bandwidth? Well, that varies, depending on how big your website is, but on average, that’s about 2,000 monthly visits – if you think that’s too little, you may need a bigger plan and that will also cost more.
But website builder maintenance costs aren’t always related to site and audience data requirements. They can also be determined by the features you need access to. For example, the majority of website builders charge extra for access to eCommerce features. And some, like Squarespace, only include important tools like visitor metrics in their upper-tier plans.
Normally costs $0.
With a website builder site, you don’t have much access to the technical processes or servers powering your pages. And when it comes to site management, that’s a good thing because it means the platform will take care of any technical issues for you.
A lot of website builders even come with free 24/7 technical support, so if something does go wrong with your site, you can just delegate the technical management to a support assistant.
Site management isn’t just about solving technical problems, though. It’s also about interacting with visitors and providing support to your own clients.
Many website builders allow you to create complex websites with features like live chat. If you’re running a big enough operation through a website builder, you might want to hire someone to manage your site’s live chat or email responses. Paying someone to respond to live chat messages should cost between $10 and $30/hour.
Heard that it’s possible to make a free website with a website builder?
Well, in a technical sense, it is. A lot of high-quality website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Jimdo have basic plans that you can access free-of-charge. Most of these are permanently free, meaning you won’t even need to add any payment information before creating a site.
But with pretty much every free website builder plan, there’s going to be a catch or two. Normally your storage, bandwidth and domain name will be heavily restricted.
Take Weebly’s free plan, for instance.
It only gives you 500MB of data storage so you’ll only be able to add a few images to your website. Also, any site created through Weebly’s free service will display compulsory Weebly branding in the form of an unremovable banner ad, and you’ll have to use the builder’s subdomain, so your page will be available on “myamazingproject.weebly.com”.
Not exactly a good look for a professional website.
Let’s return to my favorite website-travel metaphor:
If using a paid website builder is the equivalent of taking the train to your new website destination, then using a free website builder plan is like jumping on top of the train and riding it there for free. Yes, you might finish the journey without paying, but you probably didn’t have a great time and you might have to deal with issues like broken limbs by the time you arrive.
In the table below, you can see a quick summary of the costs of using a website builder:
|Website Cost Category||Price Breakdown|
|Maintenance||$60 to $200 (recurring)|
Example pricing schemes:
Squarespace: $12, $18, $26 or $40/month
Wix: $13, $17, $22, $39/month
Weebly: $5, $12, $25/month
Jimdo: $7.50, $20, $30, $40/month
Unless you decide to hire a part-time live chat or email manager, then $30-$90/week.
|Total||$60 to $200 (recurring)|
Website builders are great but they can be a bit restrictive and pricey. A source of frustration for a lot of users is that website builders are ‘closed ecosystems’. Or, to put it another way, once you’ve made your site through a website builder, you’re committed to using its hosting services forever.
So using a website builder makes you a web service prisoner. Doesn’t sound really nice, does it?
If you feel the same, combining a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress with a third-party hosting service may be the best way for you to create a website.
This is an awesome option not just for the flexibility to host your site wherever you want – choosing to build a website with CMS also lets you take complete control over your site’s code and look.
A website builder is like a kid’s coloring book where all you need to do is fill in the blanks. A CMS, on the other hand, is like a box of LEGO bricks. You can create something more unique and interesting on your own terms, but it’s also not as easy as using a site builder.
Sadly, we’re grown-ups and swallowing a colored LEGO brick isn’t the only issue we may encounter. Now we have to think about how much that cool brick set may cost so it doesn’t make you choke. (That’s right, I’m using a second comparison now.)
So, how much does a website cost if you create it using a CMS? After a careful review of numerous hosting providers, I gathered that you should budget from $30 to $300 a year for a CMS website.
A website builder is an all-inclusive solution while using a CMS requires some third-party integrations. Considering all of them cost a little, these prices might add up.
$0 to $80.
Using a CMS like WordPress is more complicated than getting to grips with a website builder. Partly, because website builders are usually easier to deal with while using What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) drag and drop site editing. So naturally, a CMS will be more difficult to handle than dropping some content blocks around to achieve nice-looking results.
Essentially, if you want a CMS website, you should probably spend some time and money learning how to use your new system.
It’s because a CMS like WordPress has a lot of integrations available and there’s no guarantee that different WordPress plug-ins and themes will play nicely together. You may occasionally have to get your hands dirty with a little coding to ensure your site functions properly.
Therefore you may consider investing in a tuition course if you want to become a specialist in a hurry, but that will cost you. There are several platforms you can choose. For example, Skillshare is a great platform not only to learn the CMS basics but more advanced skills, such as – design, website maintenance, and management.
But design tuition or time spent while learning to code isn’t the only CMS web design pricing cost. If you decide to create a website with a CMS, there’s a good chance you will end up spending $20 to $80 on a custom premade theme. However, using premium pre-made themes might be easier and cheaper than learning everything yourself.
Even if it’s true that there are plenty of free themes for WordPress and other CMS platforms, except they are often buggier, uglier and lacking in features compared to their paid counterparts.
Normally costs $0.
By the end of the design stage of setting up your CMS website, you’ll have things like your website color scheme and logo in place. In short, you’ll have a blank slate or skeleton website that you can now populate with content.
The majority of CMS website owners prefer to create and manage their own site material. Besides saving money, versus paying a professional, you may choose to do this because it means retaining full control of your site’s content from the reader’s experience.
Also, CMS platforms such as WordPress make creating new posts extremely straightforward. As such, the majority of users find it easy to keep their content up to date.
And in order to make your content attractive adding visual elements is essential. And if you don’t have pictures of your own (and I’m not talking about selfies here, unless that’s your thing) there is a solution – stock pictures.
Most stock photos are priced at around $10 for a one-time piece or $70/month for access to a full library of content.
However, if you’re on a budget there are some slightly inferior options that still provide decent visuals. A good example would be Pixabay. It offers free images for commercial use.
$30 to $300 for one year.
A lot of your CMS website budget is likely to go on your website maintenance costs. Although the WordPress software package is free, you will have to pay a third-party hosting service to run your site. Basically, you’ll be paying for access to a server on which you can install your CMS and the costs will probably range from $3 to $25/month.
Like website builder pricing, expenditure tends to depend on how much storage space and bandwidth you require. But there are tons of other maintenance costs to consider too. For example, do you require a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your site for global visitors or offsite backups to keep your data safe in case of technical outages?
WordPress hosting maintenance costs are best explained by looking at an example website host:
One of the greatest WordPress hosting services is Bluehost, a CMS hosting service that’s recommended by WordPress itself and also supports other Content Management Systems like Joomla and Drupal.
Bluehost’s WordPress server prices vary from $2.95 to $49.95/month. With the cheapest plan, you get 50GB of storage, a free domain for a year and an SSL certificate to encrypt your website’s traffic.
Meanwhile, the most expensive Bluehost WordPress plan comes with unlimited storage space, free site backups and access to premium WordPress plug-ins for eCommerce, as well as advanced analytics and superior server performance.
Of course, Bluehost isn’t the only great CMS website host. Other commendable options include Hostinger, where CMS hosting costs vary from $0.80 to $3.45/month and SiteGround, where costs range between $3.95 and $11.95/month.
So, what’s the takeaway here? It’s that CMS website maintenance costs change a lot depending on the particular host you pick as well as on the scale of your website.
Don’t forget to budget for CMS technical maintenance.
With CMS website hosting, there are actually two kinds of maintenance costs you need to worry about. First, there’s the basic price of keeping your server online, which we’ve already considered. And then there’s also the price of specialist maintenance, which is what you’ll have to pay to deal with any technical issues that crop up with your site.
Most CMS web hosts offer basic technical support which you should be able to rely on in the event that your site experiences a technical glitch. However, depending on the service you select, you may have to pay around $3/month extra for website backups to keep your data secure in the case of an emergency.
But the major issue with relying on regular technical support is that most web host customer service agents will only help with server-side issues and won’t be qualified to assist if you encounter an error in your CMS software or site setup.
If that’s a concern for you, consider buying ‘managed’ CMS web hosting plans such as the priciest Bluehost WordPress plan. If you are in need of something more professional – 10Web is an option you could consider.
It could cost up to $170/month. With a specialist managed hosting platform, you’ll get access to technical support staff who are proficient coders and capable of fixing tricky issues with your CMS. Also, managed hosting services will ensure your site stays up to date with security patches and updates.
Normally costs $0.
Keeping your site up to date with new content is important no matter what kind of CMS website you create.
Fortunately, with most CMS platforms, that’s a very easy thing to do for free. In WordPress, for example, new posts will be automatically integrated into your website as soon as you create them. Also, there are plenty of CMS plug-ins that make it easy to stay on top of the emails that your site receives by re-directing them to your personal inbox.
To put it simply, CMS programs make it extremely easy to manage a website and your business by yourself, so you shouldn’t need to pay anyone for site management.
Here’s a rundown of the different costs associated with a CMS website:
|Website Cost Category||Price Breakdown|
|Design||$0 to $120 (one-time)|
$20 to $80 for a custom template plus $40 for CMS tutorials.
Unless you need access to stock photos, then $70 for a subscription.
|Maintenance||$30 to $300 (recurring)|
Unless you need a premium ‘managed’ web host, then $170/month.
|Total||$0 to $120 (one-time) $30 to $300 (recurring)|
So, now it’s time to answer the age-old question: ‘can’t someone else do it?’.
And the answer to that, when it comes to website creation, is ‘yes they can’.
The internet is a big place, and it’s full of sites on which you can hire professional designers, content creators, and site managers. In short, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can offload the entire workload of creating a website to freelancers who will handle everything from web hosting to blog writing.
Unsurprisingly, this is by far the most expensive way to create a site. However, if you’re looking for a top-quality result, you shouldn’t let that put you off.
But how much should a website cost if you hire someone to build it for you? Let’s break down the costs:
Costs $250 to $10,000.
If you decide to get your website built by someone else, the largest expenses won’t have anything to do with server maintenance or domain registration, though sometimes these costs can be significant.
No, the thing many custom-designed site owners spend most on is, in fact, website design.
But when you think about it, is that really so surprising? Everyone wants their website to be functional, beautiful and unique. And that can be a tough combination to nail. Consequently, many corporate and personal site owners think hiring a designer to craft a bespoke site for them is well worth the cost.
There’s almost no limit to how much you could end up spending on a by-the-hour web designer. The amount of time required to put together your site will entirely depend on the scope of your project and the user-interface or graphical features you want to be created just for you.
And sometimes it doesn’t even end up looking that good.
So, how much does a website cost if you hire someone to do it for you when it comes to design?
Well, for a relatively basic site, you will probably need the services of a designer for 10 to 20 hours. Web designers charge around $25 to $100 an hour, so you’re looking at $250 to $2,000 of design costs here for a small or medium scope project.
However, if your project has a bigger extent, a designer could spend months implementing your vision. Consequently, with a huge project, you could incur design costs of up to $10,000.
When it comes to determining how long a designer will spend on your site, a major factor is whether they build it from scratch in a coding interface or create it in a CMS platform. Employing someone to write your entire website in code will be far more expensive but will mean you get a completely unique final product.
Also, websites coded from scratch tend to perform way faster than CMS-based websites nearly most of the time. Fast website loading speed is important for user experience, therefore, most companies prioritize it over beginner-friendly website building.
However, for most users, hiring a professional to build a website based on a premade CMS theme will still be the best option. That’s partly because it’s cheaper, but it’s also because you’ll be able to manage the finished product inside a user-friendly web system.
There are plenty of freelancing sites like Top Tal where you can get in touch with web designers capable of building a custom site for you inside or outside a CMS. As this is such an expensive way to do things, you should definitely shop around. Consider putting together a project brief to share with multiple designers and compare their quotes.
Alternatively, you can hire a designer to create a site for you in a website builder. For example, with Wix, you can actually contract freelance designers to create a site for you within the platform. This may be an option worth considering if you don’t feel comfortable designing a site entirely on your own but are drawn to a certain website builder platform by its other features.
Typically, hiring a freelance designer through a website building platform will cost around 20% more than through a standard agency as the website building platform will charge a significant service fee for connecting you.
Costs $250 to $1,500.
Of course, splashing out for jaw-dropping website design isn’t much use if your site is full of typos, ugly photos, and incorrect information. For that reason, many custom website owners pay someone else to write, or at least correct their site content.
If you decide to hire out for your website content, the cost will scale with the size of your project because professional website content writers typically charge per word. Website copy could cost anywhere from 6 to 12 cents per word.
For a medium-sized site, content costs could vary from $250 to $1,000. That estimate only covers text content, if you need a content creator to put together custom images and videos for your site as well, prices could be significantly higher.
Also, to ensure your site looks its best, you may need to hire a designer to come up with a custom logo and other branding materials. In this case, you will have to bring in a more expensive graphic designer who will typically charge $200 to $500 per project.
$400 to $2,000 for one year.
Even after your pages are designed and populated with stunning content, your website spending isn’t over. You still need to get your site installed on a publicly accessible server and keep it up to date with the latest software and security patches.
Is yours a large and complicated site? Then, unless you’re a tech whiz, paying a developer to set up your server is a great investment for peace of mind. Decent developers charge $30 to $100 per hour, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours of work to get your site set up once the design is completed.
And because any technology is prone to failure if left alone long enough, you should consider retaining the services of your developer for a couple of hours every month. That way they can ensure your site stays up to date with the latest security patches and deal with any unforeseen technical gremlins.
After the site is online, you’ll also have to pay a web hosting company directly for server space and domain registration costs. This should cost between $5 and $40/month.
$500 to $2,400 for one year.
You now need to ensure your website stays up to date with new content and design improvements that add value for visitors.
The majority of personal website owners manage their sites themselves, but if you’re running a business website and have more important things on your plate, you should probably hire a professional to do this. Paying someone to post blog updates, create topical videos and respond to any emails the site receives is a great way to keep your pages fresh.
Typically, a digital content creator or remote site manager will charge $20 to $40 for an hour of work. So, if you bring someone on board for a few hours a month, you could be looking at costs of $40 to $200/month.
As you’ve seen, hiring someone to create a site for you isn’t cheap:
|Website Cost Category||Price Breakdown|
|Design||$250 to $10,000 (one-time)|
Costs are higher with ground-up site builds and when hiring designers through website building platforms.
|Content||$250 to $1,500 (one-time)|
$250 to $1,000 for written content plus $250 to $500 for branding and logos.
|Maintenance||$400 to $2,000 (recurring)|
Varies based on the number of hours you hire a developer for per month.
|Management||$500 to $1,200 (recurring)|
|Total||$500 to $11,500 (one-time)|
$900 to $3,200 (recurring)
The price of a website is almost entirely determined by the method you use to create it. Decide to get it designed by a pro? Then you will probably end up paying thousands of dollars whereas a DIY website created in a CMS platform could be less than one hundred.
But which is the right choice for you? The truth is that you shouldn’t make a decision based only on your financial budget. Time, skill, and money are the three key resources you should consider when picking a website building method:
Most people have, at most, access to two of these three key resources. Therefore, the best way to make a choice about how to make your site is to consider the following questions:
Here’s the general idea of how your answers to those questions should help you choose the right website building technique for you:
For the most part, the overall price of a website will be set by the technique you use to build it. However, another major price-determining factor is the extra features you want to be included.
Do you need an online store or a booking system, for example? When budgeting for a website, make sure you consider your individual requirements.
Now that you’ve already got an expert understanding of the rough amount you need to budget based on the way you build your site, it’s time to get in-depth on the cost of these additional features:
Just like normal websites, different eCommerce sites cost staggeringly different amounts. If you take a budget approach, you may pay as little as $12/month for an online store. However, if you are after a premium site and hire a professional to create it for you, your costs could easily exceed $500/month.
But that cost variation is hardly surprising when you consider that there are tons of different eCommerce stores that wary in size and choice of products. Obviously, some of these are far larger and more expensive operations than others.
In truth, eCommerce websites aren’t actually all that different from normal sites when it comes to pricing structure or creation. They can also be made using the same three methods discussed throughout this article – using a website builder, DIY with a CMS, or hiring a professional. So an online store building cost is closely related to the creation technique you choose.
This is how much you should expect to pay for an eCommerce website for one year:
$150 to $460 for one year.
Most website builders now support eCommerce websites. However, almost all charge extra for eCommerce functionality or have a separate range of eCommerce plans that are distinct from regular website subscriptions.
That’s why, with a website builder, site creation is typically around 50% more expensive for an eCommerce store than for a standard website.
Website builder eCommerce prices often change based on the number of products you want to add to your store or the maximum number of sales you want to make a month. To give you a clearer idea of how eCommerce pricing works with website builders, let’s take a look at two examples, starting with Weebly.
As you’ll see in my in-depth Weebly eCommerce review, Weebly is a great choice for online stores thanks to its easy-to-use store builder and point-of-sale integration. Its prices vary from $12 to $38/month. With the more expensive subscriptions, you get access to extra features like inventory management and automatic abandoned cart emails.
However, Weebly isn’t the only great eCommerce platform for your business.
Wix is another great website builder for online stores. Here, subscription costs range from $13 to $39/month. Higher tier Wix plans come with more storage space and bandwidth, allowing you to upload more products and sell to a large customer base.
When signing up for an eCommerce store website builder, make sure you check if there are any transaction fees associated with your plan. If you make a lot of sales, these will add up and end up costing you just as much as the price of a premium subscription.
$35 to $3,600 for one year.
CMS eCommerce stores can be either very expensive or very cheap, and it all comes down to the particular CMS platform that you decide to use.
The first option is to stick with good old WordPress and install a plugin to turn your regular WordPress site into a fully-featured online store. The best option for doing this is WooCommerce, which is so popular that an estimated that 3 million stores are currently using it.
Now WooCommerce is technically available for free, which means that you can get an eCommerce CMS store for the same price as a standard hosting site. That means your online store could cost just $3/month. However, you’ll probably want to improve your site’s security if you’re opening a store, and this will normally increase hosting costs.
Also, if you want to sell subscription products or access premium WooCommerce themes, you’ll need to purchase a WooCommerce membership which costs $150/year for a single site.
The second option is to use Shopify, which is a dedicated eCommerce-only CMS. Shopify is a powerful platform that blows the competition away with an incredible app market and unlimited product support.
Although Shopify is technically a CMS, in some ways it also works as a website builder with subscriptions that include domain registration and website hosting. Shopify prices range from $29 to $299/month and its top-end plan comes with significantly reduced transaction fees.
$6,000 to $29,700 for one year.
Hiring a pro to create an eCommerce website is significantly more expensive than paying someone to create a standard website. That’s because you have to pay the base price of professional website design along with the additional cost of creating a functional back-end order and payment system.
So, how much does a website cost for an eCommerce business if you get a pro? Here’s how the expenses associated with outsourcing an eCommerce website break down:
So, for a professionally built eCommerce site, you’re looking at $2,500 to $17,500 in one-time setup costs. You’ll also need to budget $3,400 to $12,200 in recurring annual expenses.
As you’ve seen, hiring a professional to build an eCommerce site isn’t cheap. But despite the cost, this may be a viable option for some businesses. If you work closely with your developer to come up with design features that drive up sales, the financial cost of going down this route could be offset by your store’s commercial success.
Remember, with eCommerce, you will have to process sensitive customer payment and address information through your site. That means you should only use trustworthy developers and follow up on the references of anyone you hire.
$0 to $150.
Do you run a business based on bookings like a hotel, beauty salon or legal services firm? If so, you may be wondering how much it costs to add a functional booking system to your website. The price, again, depends on the particular method you’ve used to create your website.
In most cases, adding a booking system won’t be particularly expensive. Here’s how the prices break down depending on the method you use to create your site:
$0 to $600 for one year.
If you made your site with a website builder, then it will probably be possible for you to add a booking system to your site for free. Most major website builders have large, well-populated app stores, and normally there will be at least one or two free booking apps.
With Weebly, for example, there are some free booking add-on software packages and others that cost between $12 and $49/month.
$0 to $40.
It’s a similar story with DIY websites created in CMS programs. With WordPress, for example, there are literally dozens of free booking plug-ins you can add to your website.
While almost all of these are free, there are a handful of premium booking plug-ins that cost up to $40 for a single license.
$50 to $150.
Finally, if you want a booking system incorporated into your professionally built website, you just need to add it to the design brief which you send to your designer. Typically, a developer won’t build a booking system from scratch for you but will embed a pre-made system into your site.
Doing that shouldn’t be a hard task for an experienced developer, and most will be able to get it done in a couple of hours. Consequently, you should budget between $50 and $150 assuming that you hire your professional for $50/hour.
No two websites cost the same amount. Depending on the way you choose to create it and the features you want to be included, a regular website could cost you anything from $60 to $15,000. However, as long as you are willing to commit some of your own time to design your pages or learning how to use a complex CMS platform, you should be able to spend $240 or less.
By now, you’re an expert on website pricing and aware that prices vary massively based on your personal needs. All the same, let’s recap how much different website building methods and site features will cost you:
Prospective website owners without much cash but lots of free time are well suited to building a website with a CMS system. Meanwhile, users willing to pay for a premium product might benefit from hiring a professional.
In the end, the method you choose will always depend on how much time, skill, and money you have.
But what did you think of this web design pricing guide? If your experience of website costs has been different, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.