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How Much Does a Website Cost?

August 17, 2018

5:48 am

Starting your own website is a big deal – whether it’s an online store for your business or a personal blog or portfolio. A good site has the potential to completely transform your prospects of making money, attract new customers, or land you that dream job. But how much does a website cost you?

Prices can range from free to $10,000+ depending on your approach and requirements.

On this page we’ll explore all the ways you can create a fresh new website, and the associated costs. Plus, can you and should you create a website for free?


On This Page:


Costs for Creating a Website

We’re going to be honest with you here and say that, yes, if you want to create a good site, you’ll need to pay for it. Even if you’re the most expert coder, you’ll still need to get access to a server or pay for a server and set it up yourself. However, some methods are cheaper than others.

CostProsCons
Free website$0
  • It's free!
  • Limited feature sets
  • Adverts on site
Website builder$8-30
/month
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Cheap
  • Loads of features, from online marketing tools to blogging platforms
  • Cheaper plans might limit features
Ecommerce website builder$30-$100 /month
  • Purpose built for creating online stores
  • Hugely scaleable as your business grows
  • Automate difficult tasks such as accounting and stock keeping
  • Not the best for design features
Web designer$500-$10,000 /month
  • Saves you time
  • Keeps it in the hands of an expert
  • Can be expensive
  • May need to keep the designer on a monthly retainer fee for updates and fixes
HostingFrom $2 /monthDon't forget though, you'll need somewhere to host your site, even if you build it all yourself. Sometimes hosting is thrown in for free when you use a website builder. If not, there are loads of hosting companies around that can give you website hosting from as little as $2 per month.

Unless you've got no time to spare, we'd recommend that you opt for a website builder to create your site. It'll save you a significant amount of money compared to hiring a web designer, and you'll remain in full control of your site at all times, free to make changes and edits as you see fit. Whether you should opt for an ecommerce website builder or not simply depends on whether or not you want to be able to sell stuff online.

With both a simple website builder and an ecommerce website builder, no experience is required to get started. Your website builder platform, such as our top-rated Wix, will provide easy drag and drop templates to get you started and give you an easy way to get a professional website.

Learn more:

See the Latest Discounts on Wix, Our Top-Rated Website Builder


Create a Website for Free

Now, let’s be clear, you can build a website for free. Most website builders offer free packages, too. But, while you can use these packages to construct a website for absolutely no cost, there are quite a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to.

No custom URL – One big reason to avoid a free builder is that you won’t get a custom URL. This means that you’ll likely be lumbered with a URL that looks something like:

How much does a website cost? Bad URL
This would not only look unprofessional, but would also make it harder for users, and potential customers to find your site.

Adverts – You’ll have adverts on your site promoting the website builder you used. This, again, doesn’t make your site look particularly serious or professional. It’ll also slow down the rate at which your website’s pages load, as your browser will have to display all of the adverts, as well as your own content – another drain on potential customers.

Bandwidth – Your site will also have its bandwidth reduced – this limits the amount of traffic your site can handle. If you exceed your monthly limit, your site won’t load for any more people.

Features – You won’t have access to the full gamut of features available with a website builder, unless you sign up for a paid package. This might be as simple as missing out on some website templates, but it could restrict your ability to add crucial functions to your site, such as contact forms, for example.

Support – Say something goes wrong with your site. Perhaps you add some text and it doesn’t display the way you’d like it to. With a free website builder package, you might not get access to the help and support functions that could find a fix for you in a matter of moments. Instead, you might end up trawling through user-generated forums, searching for the resolution to a potentially unique issue. All the while, you could be losing potential customers and creating more stress for yourself.

Find out more – 5 Reasons You Should Never Make a Website for Free


Website Builder Costs

Website builders make it easy for you to create your own site, giving you templates and tools to get started. They have a different monthly fee, depending on the sort of features you require to build your site.

Basic website example

Let’s say you’re running a small business selling cakes. You’ve already got an established bricks-and-mortar store in your local area, but you want to create a website to help get more customers to visit your store.

You’ll want a website that can give users the information about your store’s opening times, location and a menu, so people know what cakes they can look forward to buying. To meet all of these criteria, you wouldn’t need the most advanced features, but you would need your site to be free of adverts, and you’d probably want to have a decent level of storage, so you can add images of all your confectionery.

All of the leading website builders below will be able to create a site like this, but some are available cheaper than others. Here's a comparison of the pricing plans from each website builder.

Wix

Weebly

Squarespace

1&1

WordPress

GoDaddy

Site123

Wix logoWeebly logosquarespace logo glyph1&1 Ionos logoWordpress logo GoDaddy LogoSite123 logo
Test score4.5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars3.5 stars3 stars3 stars
Free plan14-day free trial30-day free trial
Paid plan (monthly)Starts from $5Starts from $8Starts from $12Starts from $7Starts from $4Starts from $5.99Starts from $10.80
Try it TodayVisit WixVisit WeeblyVisit Squarespace*Visit 1&1Visit WordPressVisit GoDaddyVisit Site123

 

Additional features

The features suggested above are the basic features that most sites require to be of any use to anyone. But you can often turn your site from a useful one to a great one for an extra $5-10 per month. You’ll get access to features such as third-party plugins so you can host a Facebook Messenger app to talk directly to your customers, and SEO (search engine optimization) tools that could help you make your site easier to find on Google or Bing, thus bringing in even more customers.

But, what if you wanted to take your site to the next level- and sell directly online? You'll need a business website, with ecommerce capabilities.

Read more – the 6 Best Website Builder Platforms for Beginners


Ecommerce Website Builder Costs

An individual product page on a Shopify website

A product page on a Shopify website

If you're after a website that you can sell products through, you'll need to use an ecommerce website builder. These have some more advanced functions than typical website builders and consequently require a step-up in price.

eCommerce plans normally start from at least $20 per month. For this price, you’ll get access to dedicated online shopping tools, such as:

  • Product pages
  • Shopping carts
  • Checkout pages

However, you might find yourself restricted to the number of products you can offer, or how many products you can actually sell every month.

The most advanced eCommerce plans can cost between $30-45 per month, dependent on the sort of features you get. For this extra outlay, you’ll get access to high-level online shopping tools including:

  • Support for abandoned shopping carts,
  • More payment options
  • Tax calculators
  • Accounting software
  • Inventory management

If you want your online shop to be a success, you’ll need to pay this extra fee. But, as you’ll be bringing in more money than ever before, it won’t be such an issue.

 

Want to take your business to the next level today? These are the Best Website Builders for Businesses


Website Designer Costs

Hiring a designer has long been the standard method for creating a website. These can sometimes be one-man-band operations, or large companies operating globally.

Find out more – Best Web Design Companies

It can sometimes be difficult to estimate exactly how much it will cost a website designer to develop your site. That’s a good thing, in a way – a quality web designer will treat you as an individual client, and take time to understand the needs of your business and the bespoke website you require for it.

However, here’s what you could expect for different prices:

  • $250-650: A brochure-style site with 1-5 pages, including a landing page and a contact page. Ideal for someone not looking to regularly update their site, or doesn’t need advanced features.
  • $650-1300: All of the above plus:
    • A content management system – allowing you to make changes easily as and when you need it.
    • Integrated social media pages.
    • Google Business and Maps integration – when someone searches for businesses like yours, Google will highlight yours if they are nearby on a map
    • Analytics integration – this will help you keep track of your visitors and see what they’re doing on your site
  • $1300-3,250: All of the above plus ecommerce features, including:
    • Order management system – this helps you track customer orders and manage the products in your shop
    • Delivery tracking – so you and your customers can track their orders
    • Live chat features – so you can keep in touch with customers
  • £3,250-13,000: Database driven website – ideal for local or regional businesses, including:
    • Better data insights from customers
    • Allows you to work with custom services for analytics, tracking, orders, accounting software.
  • $13,000+: Advanced database driven site designed for:
    • For national or international businesses
    • Or those in need of bespoke functionality

Get a free quote from a website designer in minutes


Website Hosting Costs

We briefly mentioned this above, but without a website host, your site will never make it to the internet.

All websites need to be hosted on a server – think of it as a big, internet-connected hard drive that stores all the data on your site. These servers are actual, physical things, living in a remote location elsewhere in the world. When someone visits your site, the server communicates with their computer, phone or tablet, sending them all the relevant information they’ve asked for.

Most website hosting companies, including website builder companies, offer packages based on the features you require. For this example, let’s consider HostGator, one of the most popular hosting companies.

Hostgator offers three pricing plans. The cheapest is the Hatchling Plan, which costs $2.75 per month. For that price, you’ll be getting a single domain, one-click installation of popular content management systems such as WordPress, unlimited bandwidth (the amount of traffic that can pass through your site at any one time) and an SSL certificate that encrypts all the data being passed back-and-forth between your site and the server.

The next plan up costs $5.95 per month, and gives you unlimited domains plus all the above.

Hostgator’s most expensive plan currently has 60% off, making it $5.95 per month as well, and gives you stronger SSL protection, a dedicated IP address and free SEO tools.

However, most website builders will host your site as soon as you sign up for a paid package – giving you all the features above, as well as an easy-to-use site builder.


Create Your Website for Less Now

So that's all the different ways to can build a webiste nowawadays:

  • A free website – Fine for getting started, but limited features will hamper site growth
  • A website builder – Great for most people and businesses, and no experience required
  • An ecommerce website builder – Ideal for those looking to sell products or services online
  • A website designer – Expensive, but can take the load off your hands if you're really stuck for time

A website builder or ecommerce website builder will be the best bet for most people. They're easy to use, even for beginners, and are way less expensive than hiring a web designer.

If you're not sure a website builder is the right choice, you can always sign up for a free trial to get a feel for the platform before committing.

Get started with Wix, our top-rated website builder

  • It has brilliantly-designed website templates
  • It has a super simple drag-and-drop editor
  • It has a huge app store so you can add extra features to your site as and when you need them
  • You can even sell products online
  • And it's free to get started!

Build your website cheaply, easily and quickly with Wix

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.co with a range of experience in the world of tech publishing. Tom covers everything from cybersecurity, to social media and website builders when he's not reviewing the latest phones, gadgets, or occasionally even technology books.