Do you need a new website but you are unsure how much all of this will cost for you?
Small business websites usually feature 10-15 landing pages, a blog, and perhaps some online booking, appointment scheduling, or eCommerce functionality.
That’s a standard set of assets for driving website traffic and building awareness around your products or services.
Let’s find out how much this will cost for you depending on which tools and services you plan to use:
1. Building with WordPress
You can build a small business website on WordPress yourself. It’s reasonably easy. All you need to do is:
- Get a hosting plan
- Buy a domain name
- Download and install WordPress.org
- Choose and customize a website theme
- Add plugins for extra functionality
- Write and upload website content
Voilà, that’s the DIY way of building your small business website.
Starting costs ($50-$100):
To set up a website using WordPress, you need a domain name ($10 per year), web hosting ($30 to $50 for 1 year) and a premium design/theme (0 – $50 one-time) which is optional as WordPress offers great variety of unique templates and themes.
Maintenance costs ($50/year):
Website maintenance costs are only domain name renewal which is around $10/year. Web hosting is usually $30 to $60 per year. That’s all the costs associated with WordPress website.
Pros of using WordPress
- Completely free website building tool
- Highly customizable
- Many experienced developers available ($10-$25/hour)
- Lower annual costs for maintaining your website
- Comes with a slight learning curve
2. Building with Website Builders
Website builders provide out-of-the-box functionality for building a website without any coding. Most have graphic page builders that you use to design your website with pre-made elements and native features.
Starting costs ($50-$600):
Monthly subscription plans for businesses range from $12 to $50, or $144-$600 per year.
Maintenance costs ($150/year):
Website builder plans usually renew at a higher rate, so you’d expect to get billed for something like $10 to $25/mo unlike the intro prices which most of them offer. If you bought a domain name through website builder, you can also expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $25 per year additionally.
- Fast way to build a small website
- Simple and easy to use platform
- Unlike WordPress, not every website builder lets you customize everything. You are forced with the tools/features you provide.
- Vendor lock-in — migrating from one platform to another can be technologically challenging and expensive.
3. Hire a Freelancer/Agency
Hiring a freelancer makes sense if you don’t have anyone in-house to deal with your website (and don’t want to invest your time into that either).
WordPress developers charge around $61-$80 per hour. A small business website will take roughly 50-100 hours to develop, so the total will round up to $3,000-$5,000. That’s without factoring in other costs such as a website theme/template or builder subscription, hosting plan, domain name, and premium plug-ins.
- Get a professional, on-brand website with all the features you need
- No need to hire a new employee or re-train an existing one
- Longer development timeline (2-3 months)
- Whenever you need something changed, you need to pay for your developer
Let’s Sum Up: Typical Website Costs in 2023
You need to factor in different types of website development costs to make an accurate estimate. Here are the most important costs to take into account.
Domain Name Costs ($10-$25/year)
You can register a domain name for as little as $10 for a year, or get one for free from your hosting provider or a website builder.
Mind that domain renewals can be more expensive than the original purchase, especially when obtained via a hosting company.
Website Hosting Costs ($50 to $100/year)
If you are using a website builder, hosting is already included in your plan. For a self-hosted website (e.g. built on WordPress), you’ll have to research and buy a separate hosting plan. On average, you’ll pay around $100/year for a shared hosting plan.
Website Building Platform ($0 to $150/year)
A CMS provides graphical controls for managing your website. These come in-built with online website builders as well as SaaS eCommerce platforms.
Also, you can use one of the popular free content management systems:
- WordPress (free)
- Wix (paid)
- Joomla (free)
- Drupal (free)
For an enterprise website, you might want to build a custom CMS. Depending on your specs, this can cost between $10,000-$35,000 to develop.
Web Design Costs ($0-$5,000 on average)
Design costs will vary a lot depending on your needs. All website builders provide free-for-members templates that can be customized in a couple of clicks.
For a more unique look, you can purchase a premium theme for your website and then hire a designer to customize it.
Finally, you may want to hire a UX/UI designer to create a memorable, on-brand online experience. In this case, the design costs can be anywhere from $5,000-$25,000, depending on your brief.
Content Costs ($20 to $30 per hour)
Content writing is not strictly an upfront website cost, but it is an important one to consider as you do the maths.
In particular, you’ll want to invest in good content. Great content is foundation of content marketing.
If you are not looking to invest much money on a website, feel free to read our step-by-step guide on how to make a website yourself.