How Much Does a Website Cost?

How much does a website cost is one of the questions that is very difficult to give a straight answer to. There are so many factors that can determine the price of a website that it is virtually impossible to give you an immediate answer.

But rest assured, you’ve come to the right website. I have been creating websites for many years and I can explain everything to you in detail.

However, before going on, we must make a premise!

To determine the cost of a website, we must keep in mind that there are websites and websites. In some cases it is also obvious, but in some cases, for those who are not in the business, a website might look professional even when it is not.

This is because, even though technologies have improved, the website is still made from source code.

Ok… I don’t want to get technical, but I just want you to understand that a code randomly generated creates a slow website, redundant and without navigability logic.

A website designed by real professionals, leaves us a sense of pleasure when we navigate it.

Now that you understand this concept, we can start!

how much does a website cost?
Index

Cost of a Website and Basic Features

The cost of a website over the years has changed a lot, this is because in 2020 have changed the technologies and the way to approach the online world.

So any price estimate, we will make it on professional websites that have, in advance, the following features:

The Cost of a Website is Influenced by the Cost of Hosting

Based on these characteristics, right away I can guarantee you all those websites in the $100 / $400 range will hardly have great performance.

They may have a responsive design and dynamic section, but the speed of loading pages predisposes a hosting with certain performances.

A hosting, for those who do not know, is the rental of a space on the web where you can upload the files of our website. This space is provided by web hosts, which provide their own servers (exactly, they are computers).

If this computer, where our website runs, does not have very good performance, the website will be slow in loading pages. Similarly, if our hosting has good performance, but the space is shared between many websites, the performance will not be, of course, the same as a dedicated space.

To give an example, a high performance hosting on a small web project has a cost that goes from $100 up.

how much does a website cost

Website Graphics and User Experience

Another feature that will not be present in a low cost price range will be custom graphics and UX (user experience).

Custom graphics means a customized service.

Nowadays CMS (content management system) are used, that is software that easily allows the construction of a website and at the same time offers high performance both in terms of functionality and flexibility. They are used for the construction of landing pages, as well as a classic site, up to the realization of an ecommerce.

Almost all the agencies that sell at low cost prices, “resell” the same graphic structure used for other websites. So your site has no uniqueness and its structure can hardly meet all the objectives set in the briefing phase.

For custom graphics, I mean having a web designer who designs ad hoc graphics that walk step by step with the marketing objectives of the company.

However, such graphics for how much can be customized, can not only satisfy the tastes of the customer, but must be functional and optimized for the user who navigates the pages of the site.

The user experience is the priority of every site.

This is because the user is the one who has to buy your product or service:

  • 1
    The user when entering your site must understand how to move to find the information he needs
  • 2
    The user must be directed to a small path (funnel) within the website that leads him to buy a product or service of yours.
  • 3
    The more interested the user will be in reading the content on your site, the more the search engine will consider the content on that page to be of value compared to similar pages from your competitors.
how much does a website cost

When a website takes into account these factors, before its design, we can be sure to go in the right direction.

I guess you’ll agree with me that a $500 website, developed in a careless way, can never take into account these factors. This is because these factors require skills, experience and time.

Who has skills and experience has spent years to develop them, both in studies and in practice. This means that it all comes down to time. Time is the only resource that cannot be increased, as opposed to money. If you have the skills, the time you spend doing more research and analysis, you pay for it!

Some may ask, “but what analysis are you talking about?

These are the steps that every professional designing a website should do beforehand:

Step 1

Analysis of the product and its sector

Product analysis involves examining product features, costs, availability, quality, appearance and other aspects. Product analysis is conducted by potential buyers, by product managers attempting to understand competitors and by third party reviewers.

Step 2

Analysis of direct and indirect competitors

Understanding your direct, secondary and indirect competitors and what product or services they offer (or don't) will paint a better picture of who is competing for your customers. The more you know, the more you grow.

Step 3

Identification of the ideal public segment

You need to identify your ideal customer. Find out the profile of your ideal customer — what they want and need and how they behave and operate. This is known as target marketing. Once you know what your target customer needs, you’ll be able to invest time, money, and effort to provide that for them.

A website developer is obliged to take these factors into account so that the company can be competitive on the web.

In addition, a true web design professional is primarily a consultant who must offer advice and answers, not a simple “soldier” who does what he is ordered by the client.

If we have a problem with our car, and we take it to the mechanic, do we listen to what he tells us or do we suggest to the mechanic what to do? The same is true in the world of web design!

Considerations on the Price of a Website

Starting to draw some conclusions, we prefer to have a website that cost us little, but that does not bring new customers or greater profit to our company or have a site that “cost us something more”, but that brings us more profit month by month?

I put the word “cost” in quotes because when you buy something that brings us a monthly return, it is not an expense but an investment.

I repeat: a website is not an expense, but an investment!

Nowadays, to place side by side an online business to an offline activity is the foundation to grow, especially in order to avoid decreasing.

If our goal is to earn money thanks to our website, we should not focus on 500/1000 dollars more, but the only focus should be to find the right person or agency that will help us to grow on the web.

I’m sure as soon as you read “1000 dollars more” you thought: <<and who has it!>>

… well if you want to create a site that works, and therefore sells, you have to find that money, or don’t do it.

Stay where you are, instead of having a mediocre site created that will never bring results!

If you only think about saving money, the only goal you’ll be able to achieve will be just that: saving money to have a site that doesn’t sell, neither products nor services.

The objective of this article is not only to indicate how much it costs to make a site, but, more than anything else, how much it costs a website that really works.

Having a site is online and that’s it, it’s no longer time, nowadays, it’s useless if it doesn’t produce you extra turnover.

How Do I Choose the Best Service for the Creation of a Professional Website?

This is the right question to ask yourself!

Basically you can choose an agency or a freelancer, it is indifferent, because you will have to do, even in the agency, with one person who takes responsibility for the project. 

My advice is to browse their own website (which of course they must have). If the website is well-structured, is pleasant to navigate, is well navigated is a good start.

But what is fundamental is to understand if that website generates turnover thanks to the web.

Only who earns money thanks to the web can really give you a 360° consultancy.

However, I know for sure that this is not easy for those who are not familiar with online.

You’ll have to trust your gut feeling!

Find out about the company or the freelancer: write on Google, search on several social networks…surely you will find interesting clues to think about.

Today the key word in the online world, as in the offline world, is transparency.

Without it, you don’t go anywhere!

On the web, who is not transparent and correct, is discovered very quickly.

How Much Does the Type of a Website Affect the Price?

The type of a website greatly affects the price!
Let’s make 4 broad distinctions of websites based on functionality:

A landing page is usually used to get an email contact (lead) or a sale (of a product or service).

A website that you can’t manage by yourself (unless you know HTML and CSS), that is born as an online business card. I don’t recommend it!

Classic website (made through CMS) with its 5/15 pages, with its blog section (dynamic section) to insert contents autonomously.

Online store for the sale of physical or even virtual products, such as consulting or info-products.

Obviously, there are then all those sites that require special features, which may require extra weeks of work and therefore will greatly affect the price.

Now that we know how to distinguish one site from another, I can show you the table, below, with the relative price ranges.

Websites Prices - Indicative Table

WEBSITE TYPEVOLUME PAGES/PRODUCTSWEBSITE PRICE
Landing PageA standalone web pageFrom $600 and up
Dynamic WebsiteWith 5/15 pagesFrom $1,500 and up
Small E-commerceFrom 10 to 50 productsFrom $2,300 and up
Medium E-commerceFrom 50 to 500 productsFrom $3,500 and up
Dynamic PlatformWith 50/200+ pagesFrom $5,000 and up
Big E-commerceFrom 500 to 10,000 produtcsFrom $10,000 and up

Does a Professional Website Have Annual Maintenance Costs?

A professional website obviously has annual maintenance and support costs.

Every year if you want to keep your site updated you’ll have to pay the costs of renewal of services and assistance (if you want, and I recommend it).

As I said before, the cost of hosting along with the domain is paid annually, because normally the service has an annual cost.

To this you have to add a support cost.

All websites, especially the dynamic ones, for example: landing pages, websites in WordPress (or other CMS) or ecommerce, need updates, like phone software. If they are not updated, they may over time no longer work well.

If you wonder why, think about how often Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox or Safari browsers are updated.

If your site has programs installed that are not updated to the latest versions, in all likelihood over time the site may malfunction, as its software becomes dated. It’s like having your car serviced.

In addition, you may run another type of risk: hacking attacks.

These are rare, but possible, as the system will be more vulnerable.

Nothing might even happen, but you need to know what your risk is. I recommend it dispassionately!

The web designer’s assistance guarantees you, in case of a malfunction, to restore the system and solve the problem.

Assistance has a cost that on average varies from $1,200 to $8,400 per year, then it depends on the project and the type of website.

Now, if you consider that a physical store, between rent and everything else, it will cost you an $800 only the first month. You can understand that if your site does its job (i.e., sell) the annual cost is next to nothing.

Conclusion

Summing it all up, you can therefore understand that the costs of creating a professional website are not low.

My father advice is always to rely on a professional who shows experience in the field.

By this, I do not want to tell you that you have to buy the most expensive website service, but you have to find the right compromise.

Listen to the advice that I’m about to give you and you can’t be wrong: if you realize that the site or the landing page of the company that has to offer you the service is valid and convinced you then proceed, but if you find it anonymous, and you chose it only because it offers an advantageous price, I’d say that you gave yourself the answer.

There is no better business card than your own site. That site must exude emotions related to the company or freelancer. If the site conveys values, emotions and is not the usual “common” site, then it’s okay.

This is because a service is not sold by virtue of the Holy Spirit, but is sold by transmitting emotions, those same emotions that will transfer confidence to the user.

Michel D.

Web Designer & Developer

Writer in his spare time

Geek at full time