A common question for business owners and managers is:
How much does a website cost?
It's a good question to ask.
But it doesn't really come with a good answer. Ask someone that designs and develops websites or even a business owner that's paid to have a site created and you'll probably hear:
That's true, but I know that it's not much help. So in this post I'll do my best, with help from Sarah, to lay out a few more details on what a business website will cost you.
1. $0-500 (WordPress Templates)
I'll lay this out by price or by budget. You could even start by asking yourself if you even need a website.
You could even take the route where your website evolves and grows with your business. That's what I did with my business. I started with a free template. Then I had Sarah create a custom template and then a custom design.
So let's begin with a WordPress template.
WordPress is a content management system. There are two variations that can be a little confusing:
On the .com version you can easily create a website within the WordPress framework. They really setup just about everything for you including the hosting.
You'll get a URL like yourwebsite.wordpress.com.
Or you can pay a fee each month to get a custom domain like yourwebsite.com.
But you also have to buy the domain and pay the annual fee for the domain and pay WordPress.com to be able to use that custom domain.
WordPress.org is the software and you can use it, for free, to create a website on your own. Or you can pay a developer/designer to create your website using the software.
In both cases, you can use WordPress themes or templates. Many are free. Many are paid. Usually they're anywhere from $0 to $500.
It's a great way to launch a new business. You can get a pretty good design and functional website. You can even customize a few things.
But ultimately, you're limited on what you can customized and that might be totally fine depending on what you're looking for.
2. $500-$2,000 (Customized Templates)
The next step up is to pay a designer (and possibly developer) to take an existing template or theme and to customize it.
On your own, you can probably add photos and text and those kinds of things to a template. But if you want to change much more than that you probably need a designer.
This will run you from that $500 level to up in the thousands depending on the theme, how it's coded and how much you want to change.
It takes time for a designer to make these changes so that's where the cost comes in.
Some designers don't like doing this, but many understand that this is a good option for many small businesses.
3. $5,000–$10,000 (Small Business, Custom Design)
The next level, and a level where many small businesses will fall, is a custom design.
A custom design is when you get a website designed for your company completely from scratch. The designer works with you to learn about your business, core values, style, etc.
Usually these websites don't require more than a few of the below pages:
- Case Studies
- And a few more...
It could be several more... It really comes down to how many different page designs does the designer need to create. Can some of the pages share the same design such as case studies.
Many different businesses could fall into this area. It could be a local restaurant. It could be an agency business depending on the size.
Many small businesses will fall into this category depending on the complexity of the website. And by that I mean the number of pages you need, the number of different page designs and what you need the website to accomplish.
That's when we start getting into the next level.
4. $5,000–$20,000 (Custom Business Website)
I would say that even more businesses fall into this category.
If you're looking for more than a one-page website or a five-page website then you're probably looking at a level above $5,000.
You might be able to squeeze it into the previous level, but most likely you should be planning on this level for your custom business website.
We're looking at illustrations, graphics, photos, etc.
We're looking at different contact forms, email forms, etc.
This level includes many small and medium sized businesses.
5. $20,000+ (Ecommerce, etc.)
Now we're getting into the area of more complex business websites and ecommerce.
"Complex" maybe isn't the right word because if you're an ecommerce business then ecommerce capabilities are pretty basic. But it's generally going to cost a bit more.
The same is true if your business requires things like login capability for users. Maybe there's a login forum or area kind of behind-the-scenes where some functionality is required.
The price here is coming from designing and developing a number of different pages. Those pages are usually a little more involved with lots of content and lots of elements and things like that.
Your business could very easily be in this level. The more functionality you need the more likely you are going to find yourself in this level.
The thing to remember with a website is that it's your online salesperson. Your website is online working to sell your products or services 24/7. If you're hiring a salesperson in real life you'd pay more money in a heartbeat for someone that is better at selling and that represents your brand in the right way.
The same is true for your website.
There are other costs that maybe don't fit in with the design of the site, but that you should expect.
The first one is the domain. You have to get a domain and you have to pay for that domain each year. That's usually about $12 or so each year. Not a huge amount, but it's something to prepare for.
A big one is hosting. A small business can probably be fine with some type of shared hosting plan that maybe starts around $10/mo and goes up a little bit. But if you're looking for something fast and dedicated and things like that you're looking at more. Hosting is definitely something worth investing in.
Maintenance is another cost. Most websites need development changes. Sometimes something might go wrong and you'll need someone to help. Your website is never "done" so you'll probably have some needs for a designer to update things. There is always a cost with this.
Hopefully that helps with your planning if you're looking at investing in a new business website. If you're starting from scratch perhaps you can ease into it with a free template the first year, a custom template after that and a custom site after that. It worked well for my business.
But even if you are just starting out it can make sense to go the custom website route. You can get a totally unique site that fits your style 100% and accomplishes what you want. It's a great way to go.
And if you're shopping for an update for your business website and it's a little more involved well hopefully now you know the basic ballpark that you're in. I would say you're probably in the fourth or fifth level in most cases.