Do want to know how much it REALLY costs to build a website? It’s one of the first questions we get from people starting their website.
In all honesty, it’s difficult to put a price tag as it depends on your budget and goals you’ve set for your business.
That said, in this article, we’ll show you how much does a website cost to build from scratch and which tools you can use to stay on budget.
We’ve broken the article into the following sections since it’s a lengthy read, so you can jump ahead if you want. Let’s dive right in!
- Which Tools Will You Need to Build a Website?
- Plan and Estimate the Cost of Building a Website
- How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
- How Much Does It Cost to Create an Advanced Website?
- What’s the Cost of Building an eCommerce Store?
- Tips to Avoid Overpaying When Building a Website
Which Tools Will You Need to Build a Website?
When it comes to creating a website, you don’t have to hire a professional developer or need any technical knowledge. There are many tools available on the web through which you can easily build a DIY website.
However, if you don’t select the right tools, you’ll be spending money on things you don’t need.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of tools that will get you up and running. Here are 3 things you’ll need no matter which type of website you’re building:
- Domain name
- Website builder
- Web hosting
A domain name is a web address of your website that users type in their browsers, like www.yourdomain.com or www.MonsterInsights.com. It’s also the URL that appears in search results when people look up your website.
Once you’ve selected a domain name, it’s time to get it registered. By registering your domain, you can use the same name for a year.
When you’re selecting a domain name, it’s important to pick the right extensions as well, such as .com, .org, .co, or .net.
If you’re an organization, then .org is great. But a study found that 52% of websites have a .com extension, which shows they are more popular and relatable with users.
And do remember, since your domain name registration lasts one year, you’ll have to renew it each year. But if you don’t renew your domain name, it will expire and free up the domain name for someone else to use it.
After getting hold of a domain name, its time to use a website builder. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert with tons of experience; a website builder makes it super easy to create a website.
Using a website builder offers many customization options and lets you make a website the way you desire. It also helps to add important features like plugins and SEO tags.
There are different website builders you can use:
- WordPress – You might ask, can you make a website for free? The answer is yes thanks to WordPress. It’s open-source, 100% free, and all you need is a domain and web hosting to get started. We recommend that you use WordPress as its very easy to use, more than 30% of website owners select WordPress, and it gives you complete control of your website.
- Shopify – It’s an excellent option for building an eCommerce website. It offers attractive themes (free and paid), easy interface to set up a storefront, shopping cart, and manage your store.
- Constant Contact – It’s artificial intelligence (A.I) powered website builder that creates a website quickly. It offers customizable themes, lets you select high-quality pictures through Unsplash, and delivers fast performing websites through a CDN.
Next, you need to select a web hosting service for your website. Web hosting is the place where you store all your images, videos, files, and other website content. Imagine it’s a home for your website.
Let’s say a user wants to view your website and types in the domain name in the browser. The user is then directed towards the web hosting server where all your website content is stored.
Plus, it’s through web hosting’s internet connectivity that your website is available to users around the clock and anyone can access it from anywhere.
When you’re building your website, you’ll come across different types of web hosting services. These include shared hosting, managed hosting, cloud hosting, and more.
So which type of web hosting should you choose? Let’s find out.
Shared hosting is where your website shares a web server with many other websites. You can think of it as renting an apartment in a building.
The benefit of using shared hosting is that it’s extremely affordable and very easy to manage your website, domain, and emails.
If you have a small business, personal blog, or a website that has low traffic, then shared hosting is great for you to get started.
On the downside, shared hosting isn’t as fast or secure as managed hosting.
You might experience website downtime with some shared hosting services and slow loading pages due to slow server response time. The security features are also not that strong as a security mistake on another website could cause harm to your website as well.
That said, not all services are bad.
Bluehost is one of the oldest and most popular shared hosting services. Even WordPress officially recommends it. Bluehost is excellent for first-time website creators or small business owners, as it’s inexpensive and filled with exciting features like:
- Offers free domain for one year
- Free SSL certificate
- Free business emails
- Very easy to use with its cPanel interface
- 24/7 customer support
- One-click installation for WordPress websites
Managed hosting is where a managed hosting company takes care of all your web hosting requirements. Think of it as having a house for your website accompanied by a chauffeur, security team, maids, and maintenance crew.
Managed hosting is more powerful and different from shared hosting. The managed hosting company will handle your WordPress website’s security, updates, and backup files and data.
Most companies also provide dedicated or premium customer support, so you can reach out and resolve any problem at any time.
Although managed hosting has its perks, it is very expensive compared to shared hosting. It’s only available for WordPress websites, and some companies can restrict you using plugins which could slow down your website.
That’s why this type of web hosting is more suited for medium to large-scale businesses, websites with a lot of traffic, or companies looking for an enterprise web hosting service.
WP Engine is a popular managed WordPress hosting company. It will keep your WordPress website fast and secure by looking after its health and performance. Some amazing features offered by WP Engine include:
- Free Genesis Framework
- 35+ StudioPress WordPress themes
- Automated SSL certificates
- Daily website backup
- Auto security updates
- 24/7 customer support through live chat, phone, and tickets
Now that you know about the tools you’ll need, let’s look at how to estimate the cost of building a website.
Plan and Estimate the Cost of Building a Website
Before you jump into creating a website, it’s important to plan the process based on your goals, or you’ll risk overspending.
Here are a few questions you should ask before starting so you can estimate the cost:
1. Which features do you need?
It’s important to know the features you would want on your website. We suggest that you write them down because they help you identify the actual cost.
Some features might require a premium plugin, and others may need development. That’s why if you have a list of features ready, you can prioritize those that are important and save cost.
2. Should you hire a professional or use a pre-built theme?
The quickest and easiest way of getting started is to use a pre-built theme. There are many themes offered by different website builders that will help save cost.
But if you want a website to look and work a particular way, do remember that website design cost is extremely high, especially if you go for a custom-built website.
You would need to hire a professional to develop a custom website that works the way you want. The average cost of hiring a developer could vary between $20 to $100 per hour.
3. Do you have enough budget to start?
After listing down the features, deciding which premium plugins you need, and finalizing the website design, it’s time to double-check your budget.
Many website projects fail because they overspend and exceed their planned budget. That’s why it’s important to keep the costs as low as possible at the start.
Once you’ve answered these questions, its time to build a website. To help you out, we’ve broken down the costs into the following sections:
- How much does it cost to build a website for small businesses
- What’s the cost of building an advanced website
- How much does a website cost if it’s an eCommerce store
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
A normal website for a small business can cost you between $100 and $500 to build. But this cost could increase depending on your goals. A custom-built website with lots of features can have a cost as high as $30,000 or more.
To get started with a website for your business, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting. The cost of a domain is usually $14.99 per year, and web hosting is around $7.99 per month. Put them together and you’re looking at $110.87 per year cost to build a website.
Since this cost can be expensive for many people, we’ve made a deal with Bluehost to offer our users free domain, free SSL for extra security and over 60% off on web hosting.
As we mentioned earlier, Bluehost is the best-shared hosting option and also recommended by WordPress. With its amazing features and low prices, you can save cost while creating a website.
To save more website building cost, you can get hold of free WordPress plugins and a free theme. Here are some free plugins available in the WordPress repository.
- MonsterInsights (free): Helps you make data-driven decisions by connecting your website to Google Analytics.
- WPForms Lite: Add contact forms to your website to generate leads.
- SeedProd Lite: Create amazing coming soon pages.
- RafflePress: Create and run giveaways on your website.
- YoastSEO: Improve search engine rankings and optimize your website for SEO.
- W3 Total Cache: Boost your WordPress website’s performance, speed, and user experience.
How Much Does It Cost to Create an Advanced Website?
Over time, your website will grow and to keep up with increasing visitors, you’ll need to add more features. This will increase your cost as advanced features will require premium plugins and may require shifting to a more powerful web hosting service.
SiteGround will cost you a bit more than Bluehost, but their GoGeek plan comes with premium features such as faster performance, 30 GB web space, staging, and it can easily handle up to 100,000 visitors per month.
When building an advanced website, consider using a premium theme for your website. Almost every website builder like WordPress offers paid themes that have extra built-in features, provide priority customer support, and gives your website a more professional look.
As for plugins, here are some premium WordPress plugins you can use to grow your website.
- MonsterInsights Pro: See how visitors use your website and use the data to make informed decisions
- OptinMonster: Helps convert abandoning website visitors into leads.
- WPForms Pro: Create contact forms, polls and surveys, order forms, and more with its simple drag and drop builder.
- Sendinblue: It’s a complete marketing tool kit with advanced features like email marketing, live chat, and CRM.
- Beaver Builder: Customize your website’s layout using its drag and drop builder.
- CSS Hero: Change your website’s entire design without any coding.
- Envira Gallery: Helps you create a responsive gallery of photos and videos.
- Constant Contact: The best email marketing plugin to grow and manage your email subscribers list.
- Drip: One of the best email marketing plugins for WordPress.
- Sucuri: Stop malware and hackers from attacking your website.
- BackupBuddy: Create backups of your website, store data in an offsite location, and restore your website within minutes.
These are just some of the premium plugins you can use, as there are many more. That said, the overall cost of creating an advanced website is between $500 to $1000 per year, depending on how many plugins you use on your website.
What’s the Cost of Building an eCommerce Store?
If you’re planning on running an online store and thinking that it’s going to cost millions of dollars, then you’re wrong. Starting an eCommerce store is very easy, and you don’t have to run your wallet dry.
It’s even easier and cheaper than starting an actual physical store. And by going online, you can reach a much broader and global audience.
To build an eCommerce store, you will need a domain name and web hosting, just like any other website. Since you’ll be starting fresh, we recommend using Bluehost WooCommerce plan.
With Bluehost WooCommerce plan, you get attractive features to start and grow your online store. Here are some of its features:
- Free domain for one year
- Free SSL certificate to secure your online payments
- Storefront themes
- Pre-installed WooCommerce with WordPress
- Dedicated IP address
- 24/7 dedicated customer support
For plugins, you can use free plugins we listed earlier under the section for creating a website for small businesses. You can even add premium WooCommerce plugins for added features and help grow your store.
So, the overall cost of starting an eCommerce store is around $190 per year. However, this could go up as you start using premium plugins and extensions.
Tips to Avoid Overpaying When Building a Website
Overspending while creating a website is very easy, and it could lead to your website’s downfall, even before it starts. That’s why it’s important to stay within your budget. Here are some tips that can help you:
- Start small and then grow your website. Use free themes and plugins to begin and spend on premium stuff later as your website gets bigger.
- Stay within your budget by prioritizing important features. It’s easy to be attracted by a feature you saw on another website and then spend money on its development, only to find out it’s of no use.
- Optimize your website for great user experience. No matter how small your website is, make sure it runs fast and smooth on all types of devices.
And that’s it!
We hope you liked our detailed blueprint on how much does a website cost to build. If you want, you can also check out our guide on why your business needs Google Analytics.