How Much Does a Website Cost?

on Web Design, Website Cost

How much does a website cost? The real answer is: there is no real answer. There are so many factors that affect a website’s cost, and as a result the cost varies greatly.

Depending on the kind of website you want, how you’re going to use it and how you go about creating it, you could find a free solution or pay more than $20,000 for your website. But don’t let that scare you. You have options, and you should only end up paying based on your specific website requirements. There are a number of factors to consider when determining the cost of a website.

Hiring Someone

You could hire an agency or a freelancer to build your website. This is likely to be your most expensive option up front, but could require much less work on your part. Your price will largely depend on the size of the agency, as larger agencies tend to charge more. Smaller agencies or freelancers will be somewhat cheaper, and likely charge you by the hour.

This is where you’ll want to be very selective. After all, you’re entrusting a potential stranger with your website, and a lot of money. So do your research, ask a lot of questions and look at portfolios before making the final decision.

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Some agencies offer package deals ($2,000 for Package A, $5,000 for Package B, $10,000 for Premium Package, etc.), but those generally only include the initial website design and development.

Be sure to look at the fine print and determine exactly what’s included in each package. What if you need changes made at some point, or you want to revamp your site down the road? Will you have to go through the agency and pay another bill? These are things you should consider when looking at packaged pricing structures.

Once your website is built, where do you go from there? What level of control will you have over your own website? Some agencies prefer that you go through them to make changes to your site. Others may give you some control, but it will require hours of training to get to know their development platform. Will all this time be worth making a simple change to your site? 

When looking at hiring someone, be sure to ask about the level of control that you will have. This is your website, after all. It only makes sense that you have access to making changes and updates down the road. Don't be afraid to ask about how this works with an agency you're considering. 

Type of Website

Your specific website needs will play a significant role in determining your final bill. The size, complexity and elements involved (images, video, content, etc.) will all affect the price, so make sure you know what you want when you start shopping around.

To give you a sense of just how much the price could vary, here’s an example of one agency’s pricing model:

Simple Informational - $7,000 - $10,000

  • 4-6 web pages
  • Social media links, blog, galleries, etc.

Mid-size Informational - $11,000 - $20,000

  • Same elements as Simple
  • 10-20 pages

Simple E-Commerce - $8,000 - $15,000

  • Same elements as Simple
  • 4-6 pages
  • 1-100 products for sale

Mid-Size E-Commerce - $16,000 - $40,000

  • Same elements as Simple
  • 10-20 pages
  • 100-500 products for sale

This is just one agency, but it is a good example of the price ranges you could be looking at. Other factors such as dashboards, membership options, extensive company bios or additional optimization could add thousands of dollars to your website cost.

Each website is different, and your requirements are going to vary from those of other businesses. It's important to have a website that reflects your unique brand. But what does that level of individuality cost? 

Before you begin the research process, make a check-list of all the must-have elements of your website. As you see prices for certain aspects of a website, you’ll get a better sense of the final price tag.

Hosting

In addition to the cost of paying someone to create your website, you will probably have to pay for the site's hosting as well. Website hosting is basically a service that allows your site to be posted on the internet. It's how your web pages and website are viewable online. 

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Creating and maintaining a website is only part of the cost, as your website won't be viewable if it's not hosted on a server. You have to pay for the ongoing hosting of your website, which is often a cost that gets overlooked. 

The cost of website hosting varies a little bit, but you can probably expect to pay approximately $10-20/month for hosting. This will be an ongoing cost for as long as you want your website available to the public.

When looking at the price of building a website, regardless of whether or not you have someone create it for you, always factor in the cost of website hosting.

DIY Website

Of course, you could always build your own website. If you know how to write computer code, then you’re all set and can stop reading here. But if you’re like the majority of the population, you’ll need a website creator.

The good news is that website creators typically cost much less than hiring agencies. However, they may involve more effort on your part, as you’ll probably be the one actually building the website. They tend to be subscription based (per month or year), so you pay for however long you need your website to be online.

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You’ll also need to factor in the cost of creating website assets. Your site will need a logo, images, videos and copy, among other pieces of content. These will all have to developed somehow. If you already have your company logo (in a format that’s easy to manipulate), that’s a huge step. And there are plenty of free or low-cost resources for imagery online. So you could develop these assets on a budget, if you’re willing to put in the time.

Although it may take you a little more time up front, creating your own website often provides a much more manageable cost than hiring a third-party to do it for you. It also gives you more control over the content and design of your website, which comes in handy when you need to make small changes.

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There’s no simple way to determine the cost of a website, but there are a number of factors to consider when doing your research. If you’re looking to save money while creating your website, check out our checklist of 10 must-haves for any website design. 

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