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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?

If you're looking to get your website built, one of your biggest concerns is likely the budget. Unfortunately, this question doesn't have one simple answer to it.

While pricing web design services is tricky and depends on a variety of factors, there are some ballpark numbers that are common:

  • A simple 5-10 page website for a small business will typically cost somewhere between $5000-$20000 USD.

  • An e-commerce store usually can cost anywhere from $10000 - $50000 USD.

The prices listed above are about average market rates.

However, you can typically get a lower price if you work with a freelancer or an agency from Eastern Europe or Asia.\ 

Another way to reduce your website costs is to simply build the website yourself.

While I don't recommend this option for most businesses, I do understand that some business owners have very tiny budgets. 

If you're willing to invest time, make mistakes, and have a lot of patience while also being on a budget - then this option is better for you.

 

Alternatively, if you want to get the job done fast and right, I recommend that you find a freelance developer or an agency to work with.

Why Pricing Web Design is so Difficult?

The main reason why it's almost impossible to give a flat price for a website is that every website is different.

Here are some things that typically go into the cost of a website:

  • Website structure. A small 5-page website for a local business is much simpler than a 500+ page website for a news corporation like BBC.

  • A number of languages. Does the website need to be translated into multiple languages?

  • Website complexity. A small blog is going to be much simpler than a car rental site with online payments.

  • Copywriting. A good website shouldn't only look and function well, but should "speak" to your ideal customers and persuade them to buy.

  • Hosting and maintenance costs. A website that has millions of visitors a month requires a more expensive hosting option than a website for a local restaurant.

  • Cost of labor that you pay to a freelancer or an agency.

As you can clearly see, there are a lot of factors that go into pricing a website.

Since PROGMATIQ specializes in small business websites we are going to talk about them in this article.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire Someone To Build A Website?

Good web designers and developers typically charge from $50-150/hour while agencies have an hourly rate of $95 to $300 according to beaconmm.com.

If you're going to be looking for a web developer in your region, a simple Google search like "web developer near me" or "web designer near me" can be handy.

 

There are other ways to find a trusted website developer for your project.

One of them is to simply ask your friends and other business owners in their area who they hired to build their website.

Another option would be to find web designers in your city by browsing trusted web directories like Clutch.co.

Directories like these typically show the testimonials and hourly rates of every company that is listed. This information should be helpful to you if you're looking to hire an agency.

 

If you're looking to hire a freelance developer, one of the best ways to do it is to look for them on websites like Codeable.io.

While there are other similar marketplaces, the advantage of Codeable is that all the developers are pre-vetted for you.

You will only work with qualified experts.

Should You Hire Web Developer vs. Do it Yourself?

There are 3 most common options that you will come across to get your website up and running. 

Each of them has its’ benefits and disadvantages, so let’s cover all of them.

Option 1. Do It Yourself

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your website and you can afford to spend some time, then this options is probably the best one for you. 

You can surely expect some challenges to arise along the way.

This is when Google and YouTube will become your best friends as there are so many tutorials and guides on how to build a website.

So let me just give you some pros and cons of this approach.

 

Pros:

  • You will save money. The only expenses that you’ll probably have are going to be buying a good theme, a domain name, and a hosting service.
    It shouldn’t cost you more than $100 in most cases.

  • You have full control. You’ll be able to modify almost anything on your website yourself at any time.
    This will allow you to test multiple variations of your website and see which one you like the best.
    You won’t need to write an email to your freelancer or an agency and wait until they do it.

Cons:

  • You will spend your time. The biggest disadvantage of this approach is that you will need to invest your time and effort into it.
    If you just want a simple blog, it won’t be that difficult to do.
    With a more complex request like a corporate website, it will take you more time.
    And you’ll likely make more mistakes.
    You’ll need to do a good amount of research and watch a few tutorials before you get things right.

  • Quality. In some instances, the quality of work will suffer.
    This is due to a lack of experience or skills.
    Your website may not look great on mobile or tablet, the loading time might be slow or it will not be optimized for SEO.
    You will either need to learn more and upgrade your skills or ask someone more experienced to help you.

Option 2. Hire a Freelancer

If you don't have time to do it or feel like you don’t have enough skills to build a website on your own, another option for you is to hire a freelancer.

This will probably cost you anywhere from $1000-$5000 per project.

 Freelancers usually charge anywhere from $5-10/ hour up to $150/hour or more. A good WordPress Developer will likely charge you anywhere from $50 to $150 hour.

When choosing a freelancer, make sure you take a look at their ratings and reviews before hiring him. Also, ask them if they’ve done a similar project before.

Once you’ve decided to work with a particular person, get them a call, and tell them all your requirements and expectations. Ask them about their work process and how long will it take to deliver the job.

The more complex the project, the more you’ll have to divide into separate chunks and do it step by step. For a regular website, these might include designing your pages, coding them and then configuring a server to make a website go live.

It does take time to build a good website. You can expect a website like this to be developed in 5-10 days to develop if you have all your content and structure already planned.  If you want a custom web design, it might take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get the job done.

Another important thing to remember is to ask them if they provide any further support. You might need it if you need extra features or even if your website gets hacked (things happen ! ). 

Here are some pros and cons of using this option:

 

Pros:

  • Cost-effective. This option is probably the best one if you don’t want to spend a lot of your time. Hiring a professional freelancer will help you get the job done faster and better in exchange for giving up some money. 

  • Expertise. You will get to work with someone who specializes in one particular area. This increases the likelihood that your project will be done right the first time.

  • Speed. If you hire a good freelancer, he will build you a website much faster than if you were to do it yourself.

Cons:

  • Unavailability. Communication with freelancers can difficult sometimes, especially if they live in a different time zone or continent. It might be a problem if you urgently need them.

  • Work overload. Some freelancers have multiple clients and projects they work on at the same time.
    This kind of work overload can often times result in a bad performance.
    You might have to wait a few days to have a small change done.
    So make sure that you talk about their availability before you decide to choose them.

  • Risk involved. In most cases hiring a professional freelancer is a less risky option than doing project yourself.
    Yet this doesn’t eliminate all the risk.
    Make sure that you get someone that is capable of doing your project and don’t look for the cheapest option out there as it will hurt you in the long run.
    Remember, there is a reason why good people charge more for their work

Option 3. Hire an Agency 

The third option that you have is to hire an agency. 

And it is the most expensive one. 

If you are a small business owner looking for a website for your business, it’s probably not the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get a bigger project done and need constant communication with your service provider, I’d highly recommend you consider this option.

Having a good Wordpress development company as your service provider can save you a lot of time and minimize risks.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring an agency to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your project.

 

Pros:

  • Low risk. Working with a company is going to be the least risky option.
    If you pick the right company, there is a good chance that your project will be delivered on time.

  • Communication. Most of the time you’ll pick someone that is in your local area and it will be easy for you to communicate with them.
    There won’t be any time zone or language barriers.

  • Strategy. Agencies often times take a more strategic approach than just building you a website.
    Very often you count on them doing marketing and advertising for you as well.

Cons:

  • Pricing. An average hourly cost of an agency from $95 to $300 dollars/hour.
    And the overall cost of your project will be somewhere from $5000 for a very simple template-based website to $50 000 for something like an e-commerce store or even more.
    They have a lot of overhead costs that will have to pay for if you want to work with them.

  • Bureaucracy. In most cases, you will have to read a lot of documents and sign a contract which will act as good insurance.
    Yet, this might be an overkill for small projects.

 

So far we’ve taken a look at all the options in terms of who can build a website for you. 

Now let’s quickly overview some of the most popular platforms that you can build your website on.

Website Development Platform: Web Builder vs CMS

If you wanted to build a website back in the days, you’d have to know how to code or hire someone who knows how to do it. 

There were very few content management systems and a lot of websites were static. 

Every time you’d want to make a change, you’d have to do it in code.

But the times have changed. 

These days there are 2 main options - using a Web Builder Software or a CMS.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Web Builders

A web builder is essentially an application that simplifies the process of building a basic website. 

It allows you to drag and drop widgets on a page and build a website. 

It’s very easy to start. 

You simply pick a theme and you’re good to go.

You can easily change images, text, and other content using a powerful WYSIWYG editor.

Web builders also allow you to add and remove pages and menus on your website.

That being said, there are a few disadvantages of using them.

The first one is that you’re limited to the theme that you’ve purchased. 

If you want to add some custom block of content, you would probably get stuck.

One option you have is to buy another theme, but chances are that it won’t fit your needs 100%.

I’ve seen many people get frustrated and waste a lot of time basically “fighting” with a web builder to get things done the way they want them to be done.

If you need help with this approach, there are freelancers that can do Wix or Squarespace job for you.

 

You can find them on services like Upwork.

Upwork.com wix jobs

Upwork.com squarespace jobs

 

Wix.com

Wix is probably the most popular web builder out there. 

As with most builders, you just choose a template and you can start creating your website.

 

wix.com

The most basic version is free. 

 

It does come with a Wix ad at the top of your webpage.

 

wix.com ads

 

The basic free option doesn’t allow you to link your website to your own custom domain either. 

 

Here is the pricing that they offer at this moment.

 

wix.com pricing

Squarespace.com

Squarespace is very similar to WIX and has similar disadvantages.

 

You can get a very basic website running quickly.

Its’ pricing is similar to WIX, however, it has 2 different options for simple websites and online stores.

 

Below are the prices for the websites:

 

squarespace.com pricing

 

And this one is for an online store

 

squarespace.com e-commerce pricing

 

Both Wix and Squarespace allow you to install extra plugins to extend the functionality of your site. A lot of them are not free.

And the downside is that you can’t customize the code of the plugin.

So in case, something doesn’t work as expected, you need to contact customer support or the company that has built that plugin.

 

This issue is usually not the case with CMS solutions.

CMS Platform

Just like web builders, there are multiple CMS platforms out there. 

Most of them come with a visual installer where you’d have to put in your domain name, your database credentials and you desired username and password for the admin user.

After you’ve installed it, you can pick a theme and use it for your website.

They are usually a lot more flexible and allow to extend the functionality of your website.

You can use plugins to extend the functionality of your website.

The downside is that you need coding skills to make a plugin or sometimes even adjust a plugin that you’ve bought.

This means you’d probably need to hire a developer to do the work.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most popular CMS solutions out there.

Wordpress

WordPress is by far the most popular CMS out there. 

It powers around 32% of all websites over the web.

cms systems usage stats

Most small to medium websites are built on top of WordPress. 

Due to its’ popularity, you can find a look of great looking and mobile-friendly themes out there. 

Some of them are free, the others usually cost anywhere from $20 to $100. 

Buying and installing one of them can be a good starting point for your business website.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to do even if you don’t have any coding skills.

 

Plugins are another building block of a WordPress website. 

They help you add additional functionality that you might need.

For example, you can easily add forms to your pages using the Gravity Forms plugin.

Just like themes, they all vary in pricing. 

And similarly, you can install them right from your admin dashboard.

So far everything is great. 

But where’s the catch you might be wondering?

 

Well, there is one. 

You see, all these things look great and in most cases, they work. 

But sometimes you can stumble upon all kinds of problems. 

For example, if you buy a cheap theme, it may not be compatible with other plugins. 

Another case that is popular is that you install too many plugins and they start to interfere with each other. 

Or they might not work well with your theme and you might need to fix the styling.

All those are common problems. 

And they are almost impossible to solve without digging into the code. 

That’s why it might be a good option for you to invest in hiring a pro. 

Another great thing about WordPress is that it offers blogging capabilities out of the box. 

When it comes to SEO, WordPress offers quite basic options. 

But there are many great free plugins that can help you rank #1 on Google like Yoast SEO.

Yoast is highly recommended by a world’s top marketer Neil Patel.

Other Website Creation Costs

After your website is up and running, you’ll have to maintain it. 

Even though they’re not as high as the setup costs, you still need to keep them in mind.

  • Domain/Hosting. No matter which option you choose, whether it’s a website builder or CMS, you’ll have to pay domain and hosting services.
    Hosting is usually paid monthly, while domain you’ll have to renew every year.
    Don’t forget to do it, as someone might be waiting for your domain to expire and buy right after it’s expired.
    Also, make sure to take a look at domain renewal rates that your provider offers.
    It is a common theme where you can get your domain very cheap, but renewing it will cost a whole lot more.
    These are not huge prices in most cases, but you need to be prepared for them.

  • Updates. It’s not uncommon that you’ll have to update the CMS platform that you’re using.
    Updates usually fix bugs, security issues, and add new functionality.
    That being said, they might sometimes be tricky to do if your website uses many plugins or you have some custom functionality in place.
    So be prepared for that. If you’re using an agency/freelancer to build and set up your website, make sure you ask them about their pricing and process that they use for updates.
    Some even might use a recurring model where you pay them a fee to maintain your website. In either case, you need to ask about that upfront before you agree on a project.

  • Images. If you have a blog on your website or even simply like to change images to keep it fresh, chances are that you’d need to find them on the internet.
    There are a lot of photobanks that you can get pictures from. Some of them are free, some are not.
    The most popular free ones are Unsplash and Pexels.
    You can also use iStockPhoto or Adobe’s Stock as well as many others to purchase from.
    Another great tool that is a bit different than photobanks is called Canva.
    You can great posters, cover photos, infographics, and much more using this tool.
    It’s a subscription type service and it comes with a lot of images that you can use and don’t need to pay for extra.

  • SSL certificates. Your website should be using https in order to be secure.
    If you don’t have an https website, it will be much more difficult to rank it in Google as well.
    In order to have the https, you need to have what’s called an SSL certificate.
    They often need to be renewed annually and just with domain names - prices vary a lot. Just keep that in mind when you’re preparing and calculating your website costs.

  • Copywriting. If you want your website to sell, you need to have a good copy. This is definitely something worth investing into. Just like web design costs, copyright costs also vary a lot.
    But let me give you the range. For a corporate website that consists of 5-8 pages, you can expect to pay around $1000 - $3000. If you are doing a website for your company and/or have a blog, your copy also has to be optimized for SEO.
    So pay attention to that when you are choosing your service provider. If you are interested in other forms of writing for your website (blogging, sales pages, etc.) - here is a good guide you can read.

 

Hosting and Domain Costs

If you’re using a CMS system like WordPress or October CMS, then you’d need to host your website on your own.

This means that you’d need to purchase hosting.

You can use Bluehost, Hostgator, or WP Engine for this purpose.

Most of them will cost you anywhere from $3-$20/month.

Bluehost.com hosting pricing

 

The downside is that every time your website grows and brings in more traffic, you’d have to upgrade to a more expensive option.

You’ll also need to buy a custom domain. 

A domain name is the name of your website on the web, like www.mycompany.com.

Most hosting providers allow you to purchase your domain together with buying their hosting service. 

In most cases, I would highly recommend buying hosting and domain from one vendor. 

If you have your domain purchased from another company, you’d need to transfer it. 

This might be a bit tricky if you’ve never done this before. 

Domain prices can vary a lot.  

Starting from $5/year to even $2-3k. 

But in most cases, you shouldn’t spend more than $15-$20 per year.

godaddy.com hosting prices

 

If you decide to go with a website builder like Squarespace or Wix, they will assign you a subdomain by default. 

It might look something like this: yoursiteid.squarespace.com, where yoursiteid will be replaced with the identifier of your website in the squarespace system.

This usually is some kind of random combination of letters and numbers.

These systems also allow you to use your custom domain name, but you’ll have to pay extra for it.

It’s likely that in this case, you’d have to pay more for a domain name.

 

squarespace.com domain pricing

Driving Traffic To Your Website

Once you have a website built, you need to drive traffic to it. 

Otherwise, it’s pointless.  

So you have to take into consideration.

There are many ways you can drive traffic to your website: SEO, social media marketing, PPC, video platforms, and others. 

You can also use organic ways to drive traffic.

 

First of all, you need to decide who your audience is, their demographics and where do they hang out.

After that, you can figure out what platform(s) you’ll be using to get leads to your website.

You can also hire a digital agency to do the marketing for you. 

And those expenses will be high. 

Let’s assume that you will be doing marketing for your business on your own.

Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Content marketing. “Content marketing” is the king as they say. It is one of the best ways you attract people to your business.
    Depending on the platform that you will be using, you might be writing blogs, doing a podcast or shooting videos.
    If you choose the first option you might need someone who will be doing it for you.
    If you’re going to be using podcasting or video you’d most likely need to buy the appropriate equipment to do that.

  • Social media marketing. Paid advertising is another way you can get people to your website.
    If you’re in a B2C business, your best options are probably Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are your best options. YouTube is good for both B2B and B2C.
    All these platforms allow you to promote yourself using paid advertising.
    You would likely also need to use tools like Buffer which costs to schedule your posts and Canva to create great images for your content.
    Buffer costs anywhere from $0 to $399 per month and more if you have a big team. Canva costs $12.95.

  • SEO. SEO is a great high conversion strategy, especially for most local businesses.
    If you’re going to do it on your own, you will need a few tools to do it.
    Some of the free ones are Ubersuggest for keyword research and Google Search Console.
    If at any time you something more advanced, aHrefs is an amazing tool, but it is quite expensive.
    Price starts at $99/month for a single user and quickly goes up to $999 for a team of 5 people.

Web Design Prices: What Are the Averages?

Most agencies determine their price using this simple formula - hours required x hourly rate.

So if your project will take 100 hours to build and their rate is $75/hour, then you can pay them $7500 for your project.

The time required to build your website obviously depends on project complexity.

Simple blogs or corporate websites are usually easier to build than an e-commerce store.

Table below shows how much you can expect to pay for a website (assuming you want a custom website design):

 

Hourly Rate

Type of Website

Hours of Work

Hourly Rate

Total

Landing Page

60

$75

$4500

Blog

120

$75

$9000

Corporate/Business Website

180

$75

$13500

E-Commerce store

200

$75

$15000

Time vs Money

One thing to mention is that if you’re going to do it on your own, be prepared that you’re likely going to spend a lot of time figuring things out on the way. 

You’ll probably make many mistakes as well. 

But it’s ok, it’s a learning curve.

On the other hand, if you want to get it done right the first time and you can afford to spend a few thousand dollars, you should do it.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and nerves this way.

Think of it as an investment in your business.

FAQ

How much does a website cost per month?

Website maintenance costs can vary a lot depending on your website structure, the number of plugins that you're using, and the traffic that your website receives.

Typically, you will have to pay somewhere between $100-$400/month to maintain your small business website.

How long does it take to make a website?

A good website for a small business usually takes anywhere from 20 to 90 days to build and launch.

How to drive traffic to a website?

There are many ways to drive traffic to a website. Some of them are free, others are paid. However, the 2 best ways to drive traffic to your site that will result in direct sales are SEO and PPC advertising like Google Adwords.

Another way that you can get traffic and leads is to list your website in online directories like Yelp, Google My Business, Yellowpages, etc.

They typically have categories for various kinds of businesses and can be a great source of leads, especially for local businesses.

Can you build a website for free?

A short answer to this is NO. While you can reduce your costs by building a website yourself, you will have to invest a lot of your time. On top of that, you will have to pay for hosting, domain name and other services.

You can try to use a free website builder like WIX, but even their free version has a lot of disadvantages like ads on your site, you can't use a custom domain, etc.

 A website like that will not look professional at all and will make your potential clients suspicious.

That's why I don't think that you can build a real website for FREE.

How much do web developers charge hourly?

Good web developers charge $50-150/hour (USD) while agencies charge around $90-300/hour.

How much does it cost to build a website from scratch?

For a small business, a good website will likely cost somewhere between $5000-15000 to build. If you hire an expensive agency, the costs can easily 2x or 3x.

On the other hand, you can hire a cheap developer on websites like Fiverr and pay them $200,  but don't expect anything impressive and they will likely not provide additional support after the project is done.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is very difficult if not impossible to give a flat price for a website.  

It depends on what kind of website you need, who’s going to do it for you, what is your overall marketing strategy and lots of other factors.

I hope that this article was helpful to you. 

If so, feel free to share it with someone that might also need it.


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