Websites today can be quickly made by anyone with a credit card and a few hours of time. Your website design cost could be zero.
Just set aside a quiet morning, grab a coffee, and focus on your screen and create your new web presence using the online tools you see advertised almost everywhere. Some people can get it done. But what’s the cost for a professionally designed website, from a reputable web design company? Many people won’t know the answer, and have no idea where to start. So we’re here to clear up some of the mystery. But first let’s talk about that least expensive way, doing it yourself. We’re big fans of DIY, and for some people who like to dig in and get their hands a little dirty, making your own website can be a fun and rewarding experience. A quick way to get a new website up and running quickly. DIY is not for everyone though, so if you’re not looking forward to that experience, feel free to skip down to a bit further below in this article to Professional Web Design for Businesses and Organizations.
DIY Website Design Cost
The average web design cost to develop, and host a website from scratch, by yourself in 2021 is $100 or less. The price includes hosting, domain name registration, and the cost of a website builder software used to create it, sometimes called a CMS or Content Management System. Hosting will last for at least one year from the day you purchase your domain name, and hosting might go up after the introductory first year. Most likely it will increase annually.
At the very lowest of the costs range, you could create a simple website using HTML, CSS and hand code it using a text editor and then upload it onto an inexpensive website host, that includes domain registrations, and an SSL certificate – this could net you some quick results. For $50 a year or less, you could host the website on Dreamhost (starting at $2.59/month) or GreenGeeks for around the same cost. Both also offer SSL, and Domain Registration at low rates, or included as well.
Some other inexpensive hosts to consider include:
DreamHost – Very cheap hosting but full service – $2.59 – $16.95/mo.
GreenGeeks – Cheap hosting starting – $2.95 – $8.95/mo.
Bluehost – Cheap hosting focused on WordPress sites $3.95 – $13.95/mo.
SiteGround – Good hosting with great support – $4.99 – $14.99/mo.
A2 Hosting – Cheap hosting but fast servers – $3.99 – $14.99/mo.
Keep in mind these are all shared hosting which means you’re renting space in a server that has many hundreds of other websites on them or possibly thousands. Shared hosting is great because it’s affordable, but there is a risk of having a slower website because there are many demands simultaneously being placed on the server’s CPU and RAM by the many visitors to the many sites. Ever had to wait a long time for an elevator in a high-rise apartment building? In this type of hosting model, you are responsible for all website design, and any growth after you’ve established success.
What do you need for a website to run anyway?
• Domain Name – A domain name is the web address of your website. You’ve seen them referred to as URL perhaps? The cost for a domain registration depends on the extension of the domain (.com .org .biz etc. ), and which domain registration company (also called a registrar) you purchase it from. A domain name might cost you $5 to register for one year, and renewal is usually $10-$17 per year. There are discounts if you pay for several years at a time. Google offers a very reasonable domain name ordering service, and doesn’t jack up renewal costs like many registrars do after the initial term expires.
• Hosting – Hosting costs about $30-$200/year depending on what level you start with and eventually upgrade to, and which hosting you purchase. There is free hosting out there. But skip it. This is one case where free usually means very slow, and no support.
• Website builder – There are many website builder tools out there, some better than others. Some are free, and others have costs associated with them. WordPress is the most common one, and is free. Many hosts also offer WordPress pre-installed, taking the technical difficulties out of creating a WordPress website. There are also hundreds of free templates for WordPress, and paid templates (themes) are also readily available and offer a great starting place for DIY web creators.
• Email address – If you’re planning on creating an email list then you’ll need a unique email address for your company that matches your domain. You need an email to go with your domain for many other business needs as well. At least one email is usually included with website hosting. Many hosts include free email accounts with their hosting, and they are usually very easy to set up. Where you may have some additional support needs is in connecting the email servers to your mail client on your computer or phone. But most hosts also provide good instructions.
• SSL certificate – SSL stands for secure sockets layer. But it really just means a person’s connection to your website while visiting it is secure. When you set up your website hosting, many hosts include a free SSL for the domain as part of their hosting package. But you must select it and configure it to install it. If your web hosting does not come with that SSL, it can cost anywhere between free to several hundred dollars for an SSL, and then you may need paid support installing it. So look for hosting that has a free SSL included with the plan.
• Logo – There are a few options when it comes to logo design. Some people might think you need a professional designer to come up with the look and feel of your new company and your new logo. But for the sake of this article let’s assume everyone can do this by themselves.
If you go the DIY route, there are plenty of great resources online for learning how to do web design and programming, and perhaps the best, though the amount of information can be overwhelming as well, is Youtube.com Just be sure to look around, and find some tutorials that are suited to your learning style, and current level. Almost anything you could hope to learn as a new skill is available on youtube, but you have to cut through a lot of clutter there and take into consideration, that not all advice is correct, or best practices. Youtube is also a great resource for learning WordPress.
Professional Website Design Cost for Businesses and Organizations
For those who are budgeting their marketing dollars, and know that they want professional development, there are several levels of web design costs below to consider depending on what is being created, and how extensive the the complexity of the project is.
There are also all-in-one web builders like Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify. These services charge a monthly range from $10 – $50 depending on what features you use, and can go up from there for add-ons like shipping modules, zip code lookups, and other things you might need for eCommerce (like extended parameters for other sizes and colors, kits, or specials). While we’ve found these tools to be pretty usable for getting something up and running fast, we find clients outgrow these tools very quickly, and end up taking on a lot of costs in the future to move away from these cheap, quick tools, or to upgrade their functionality. There’s much to be said for their “package-ability” of features that let a company get something up super fast. The headaches come later, when you realize it cannot scale without great expense.
So How Much Does it Cost to Design a Website?
It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Below are a few scenarios based on different types of website design customers, and types of websites.
Small Business Web Design Cost:
The average cost of website design for small business is between $1,500 to $9,000 for a website made up of between 5 to 12 pages, for a small business website design. We know of some firms who simply start at $5,000 and go up from there. But we always try to stretch the dollar for our small business clients, because we’re a small business too and know every penny counts.
Corporate Web Design Cost:
In this scenario, when creating websites for a company with many departments and products the cost will depend on the size of the company as well as things like the number of services or products that need web presence – either individually or in groups, and the amount of content that’s included on each page. A corporate website might include several pages of related content for different product groups, such as pricing and service fulfillment information. There may be other items that go above small business needs. For a corporate website expect costs to be between $10,000 – $25,000, though it could be more depending on whether a new logo design or branding guide is part of the work. Or if the company also needs video production, and copy writing for the website.
eCommerce Website Design Cost:
Depending on what your goals are for your eCommerce website, you may be in the $20,000 – $75,000 range. The simplest eCommerce sites might have few products on them and can use reliable off the shelf cart software and have an easier initial configuration. A custom service eCommerce website, that is more application driven (think Grubhub or Uber or even Youtube) is going to be more expensive. Those 3 are examples of…
Web Applications and Mobile Application Websites Cost:
A web application is just a fancy way of saying “a website that does things” beyond just showing information. An app in this case, is software. So it’s software that runs on the web. You might be asking why you’d want to use the web as opposed to a desktop or mobile app? That depends on the end user and their needs, as well as what the business plan is for the App company. Some users prefer using the web while others like having native mobile applications for their smartphones and tablets. This world can get complex fast, and require a lot of different talented people to design and develop it. Expect a custom web application type website to run anywhere between $35,000 to $250,000. Some can cost $millions in development however. And in those cases you’re usually starting a separate startup to run the design, programming, testing, release, and debugging, as well as future development, and the business itself. You’re starting a startup software business.
Annual Maintenance Costs
Web maintenance is almost as important as building the website itself! Companies who don’t do any maintenance on their website are risking losing all their online business! Your visitors can’t find the info they need, your website might look dated, and your competitors might be leaping ahead of you. Websites need to be maintained and updated so that they’re found and indexed by search engines. Only up to date websites with safe software are considered safe for search engines to index and list. An old or out of date website can become prey for hackers, and get your domain blacklisted by search engines.
DIY Website Maintenance is the most affordable
You’re only paying the annual hosting, SSL certificate renewal, Domain Renewal, and putting in the blood, sweat and tears yourself to keep your website humming. The renewal fees may total $100-$200 annually. Unless you’re on cheap hosting that includes free amenities.
Small Business Website Maintenance Costs
Typical small business website maintenance: $300 – $1,500/year
Corporate Website Maintenance Costs
Average Corporate website maintenance: $1,500 – $12,000/year
eCommerce Website Maintenance Costs
Average eCommerce website maintenance: $10,000 – $30,000/year
Web Applications Maintenance Costs
Average Web applications maintenance: $20,000 – $100,000/year +
Everything is Custom – Custom is our Strategy
While a person may come with a plan that includes 10 to 12 pages of content, and an initial outline of how they want the website to flow, there’s always more than one way to plan, design and build a website. We discuss your plans, and try to understand your goals and the project in detail so that we can collaborate with you to arrive at the best custom solution.
Sometimes that might be a simple scrolling one page website. Sometimes it’s multiple websites, for multiple products or brands. We work hard with our clients to develop a strategy with them that meets their budget, and then we build them something that exceeds their expectations. Don’t forget that a website does not exist unless there is traffic coming to it, and people making decisions while visiting it (decisions you want them to make of course). The goal may be to sell a product, or attract customers to sign up for more information, or even get them to visit your brick and mortar restaurant or shop in real life. There’s more to a website than just website design. Don’t forget that you need to market it, and drive traffic to it. We are a full service digital marketing agency, designed to support our customers from concept to completion and beyond. Some of our clients have been with us for over 25 years, because we offer everything they need for their marketing success.
A custom web design solution results in many benefits for our clients, including:
• Design and development that is custom fit to the needs of each client, company or brand.
• A website that is fresh and on brand for your business.
• Long term website development support for updates, maintenance, hosting, and upgrades.
• Website optimization based on user behavior (search engine needs).
• Integration of website within a larger marketing universe all maintained by one firm.
Is Custom Web Development for You? Let’s Chat!
We hope you found this article helpful and now have a good idea about how much should a website cost? We’re here to help every step of the way, and we’d love to discuss any upcoming projects with you in more detail. Feel free to call 856 802-9003 to speak with an expert now. Or Contact us.
What's on your mind?
More Articles, Musings and Occasional Rants
How to DIY for Real Estate Agents and Realtors looking to market and brand themselves better, and on a budget. Real estate templates to the rescue!
Hypno recently completed a project for a new client, Waddell Capital Group, launching their new website at Workspace Financing.com Did you know you can...
A knock-out project Hypno created for our commercial print client, Qualprint. Qualprint prints exceptional, beautiful, craftsmanlike work for top...