Your website is your online business card. It doesn’t matter which industry you are in, having an effective website attracts new customers and compels the existing ones to buy more products. It is what sets you apart from your competitors. You need to create a website that makes an impact with the visitors, that shows professionalism and trustworthiness, and that motivates them to make a purchase. Below, I will give you some useful tips for this.
So, do you want to know how much a website costs? Okay then, let’s dive in!
OPTION 1: Hire A Professional
If you’re super busy running your business and/or tech just isn’t your thing, then you need to hire someone to build your site for you. It’s that simple.
However, if you’ve searched online and visited sites of website designers/developers, you’ve probably encountered:
- No prices listed at all.
- Prices all over the map, from ridiculously cheap to crazy expensive.
The good news is we rolled up our sleeves and did the research for you regarding what it costs to build (or redesign) a small business website in 2021.
For competent, experienced web designers that did list their prices, we found the going rate in 2021 to build a modern, professional small business website was typically $4,000-$10,000 but could be as much as $20,000 (or more) depending on the number of pages on the site and the amount of customization required.
The cost to create a website for a small business depends heavily on whether your company builds your site in-house or with the expertise of a professional web design agency. Typically, do-it-yourself web design with a website builder costs $0 to $300, while professional web design costs $2000 to $10,000.
A website builder can seem like a cost-effective option, but there are some downsides, including:
- You must do all the work, which can delay your site’s launch significantly
- You must learn how to maintain your site and troubleshoot issues
- You must settle for a cookie-cutter website
While you may pay up to $300 to create your site with a website builder, you’re also paying with your time. It’ll take time for you to learn how to use the website builder, as well as read up on critical factors, like basic web design rules and best practices for SEO, which helps people find your site.
The question you must ask is, “Do I have the time?”
If not, think about investing in professional web design services. An expert team of web designers can help your business create a beautiful and functional site that helps your company attract new customers. Over time, your investment in web design services will pay for itself.
Domain name ($0.95 – $12 / domain)
Your domain name is like your online street address. For example, Apple resides at apple.com — apple.com is the tech giant’s domain name. Generally, you’ll purchase a domain name identical to your company name, like Apple did.
A domain name will generally cost $0.95 to $12 per domain name.
You can browse and purchase domain names from companies like GoDaddy, HostGator, and Dreamhost. If your domain name isn’t for sale, you may have to choose an alternative option. While you can approach the existing owner of a domain name, this option will generally cost more.
Website hosting ($24 – $120 / year)
If your domain name is like your online address, website hosting is like your online power company. You need a website hosting plan if you want to turn on your storefront’s lights in the digital world. That’s because web hosting companies power your site and make it available on the Internet.https://www.youtube.com/embed/_DfMrZ4PSjw?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.webfx.com
Website hosting prices range from $24 to $24,000 per year. As a small business, you’ll generally see lower web hosting costs. Most small websites, for example, use shared hosting, which costs around $24 to $120 per year.
With shared hosting, your company will “share” a server with several other websites. That’s why shared hosting costs less. Shared hosting does come with more limited server resources, but it’ll often work well for small sites because they require fewer resources.
If you find you need more server resources, like due to a slow site, you can always upgrade your plan.
SSL certificate ($0 – $1500 / year)
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate protects your website and its visitors’ data.
While optional, most businesses consider an SSL certificate essential. It serves as a trust signal, which can motivate users to complete your contact form or purchase your product. SSL certificates also protect customer data from hackers, which protects your business and brand.
In some cases, your company can receive an SSL certificate for free.
Your web hosting company, for instance, may include an SSL certificate with your subscription. Depending on your needs, however, you may opt to purchase an SSL certificate, which can cost up to $1500 per year to secure your site.
Design ($2000 – $15,000)
When it comes to small business web design costs, design is a cost factor that varies widely. Your company may prefer a no-fuss look while another may want a high-end layout that requires more designer time.
In addition, you’ll likely need multiple designs or templates, like for the following pages:
- Product or service page
- Contact page
That’s why website design costs can range from $2000 to $15,000.
In most cases, small businesses will not reach $15,000 in design costs.
When meeting with web design agencies, ask about their design costs. Request examples, for instance, of what a high-end design looks like and what a basic design looks like so you can build a realistic budget for your business.
Number of pages ($1000 – $5000)
Websites range in size.
While an ecommerce store may feature over 100 pages, a service-based company may have less than 10. From a web design and development perspective, it takes time to design and build those pages, even if the pages use some of the same layouts.
For example, an ecommerce store may have 50 product pages. Those product pages use the same design template. The design and development team, however, needs to upload images, videos, and copy to those pages, as well as test the pages.
These tasks take time, which is why websites with more pages cost more.
Page costs can range from $1000 to $5000 for sites with 1 to 50 pages, which is the average page number for small business websites.
Generally, web design agencies will price pages in tiers, like 1 to 10 pages or 10 to 20 pages. If your business required 8 pages, for example, you would fall into the 1- to 10-page category and pay that tier’s rate.
Functionality ($2000 – $25,000)
When it comes to web design, functionality encompasses a range of features, with most focusing on ecommerce capabilities. If your company wants to accept online payments or orders, plan for functionality expenses in your small business’s web design costs.
Even if you provide services, like landscaping, plumbing, or home maintenance, it’s worthwhile to offer online payments. For many shoppers, online payments deliver convenience. If your business’s site accepts online payments, it can serve as a unique selling point and help you earn more clients.
Web design costs for functionality features range from $2000 to $25,000.
As a smaller business, your functionality costs will likely range towards the lower end versus the higher end. That’s because smaller websites don’t require the robust payment systems that large sites like Amazon do.
For the most accurate estimate of this small business website design costs, talk with a professional web design company, like WebFX. We can help your company determine what kind of ecommerce functionality would work best for your site and business. Just contact us online to chat!27 ecommerce website examples
CMS ($2000 – $25,000)
A CMS, like WordPress, is an invaluable tool.
For reference, a CMS is a type of software that lets your business create, manage, and update website content without coding knowledge. For many users, it’s similar to working in a word processing program like Microsoft Word.
With a CMS, your company can edit and update your website with ease. For example, if you want to change service or product pricing, you could easily log into your CMS and make the change, without contacting your developer.
On average, a CMS costs $2000 to $25,000.
In most cases, how much you invest in a CMS will depend on your preferred CMS and the amount of customization. If your design and development team spends more time customizing your CMS, it makes sense that your CMS will cost more.
Small business website calculator
Small business website costs depend on a range of factors, from design preferences to must-have features. That’s why web design calculators are so useful. They provide you with a price estimate based on your specific needs.
Try our free website design calculator and see how simple it is to calculate your web design costs.
OPTION 2: Attempt To Do It Yourself (DIY)
If you have a basic understanding of web technology and you’re fine doing the work yourself, you can totally build your own website.
The raw materials you’ll need aren’t horribly expensive:
- Domain name: $10-$12/year to register a new domain. There are a zillion registrars to choose from. I prefer NameCheap.com.
- Website hosting: Costs range from about $100/year for standard web hosting from companies like BlueHost or HostGator to $300-$500+/year for more robust web hosting from companies like WPengine or SiteGround — which really isn’t needed until your site is getting gobs of traffic (i.e. more than 100,000 visitors/month), at which time you could upgrade to a web server with more horsepower.
- SSL certificate. Even if you don’t plan to sell things directly from your site, you’ll still want to secure your site with HTTPS protocol. Here’s an article I wrote explaining HTTPS in plain English. You can get an SSL certificate for as little as $10/year or as much as $200-300/year. Shop around, but don’t buy more than you actually need. UPDATE: Some web hosting companies now offer a free SSL certificate as an incentive to host your site with them.
- Premium website theme. $100-$150. There are hundreds if not thousands of themes to choose from. Some free, some paid. I urge you to spend a few bucks and get a quality theme. Don’t skimp here. You’ll thank me later. We’ve experimented with many website themes over the years and the ones we now use exclusively, both for our own site as well as our clients’ sites are from StudioPress — great design + solid coding.
- Premium plugins. $100-$200. As with website themes, you usually get what you pay for. Do yourself a favor and invest a few dollars to get quality plugins. For example, two premium plugins we use on nearly every site we build are Gravity Forms and Envira Gallery. Yes, there are lots of free plugins and many of them are very good. But there are also lots of bad plugins that don’t work as advertised and will waste a bunch of your time. So be careful.
- Stock photos. If you’re a good photographer or you already have high-quality images for your site, then you’re all set. But chances are you’ll need to purchase some images to dress up your site a bit. The two places we recommend are BigStockPhoto.com and iStockPhoto.com. They have lots of high-quality, royalty-free images at reasonable prices. In most cases, you can probably get all that you need (at least initially) for $50-200. After that, you just buy what you need as your website evolves. UPDATE: Here’s an image site we just learned about where you can get free, high-resolution, royalty-free images for your website >> Burst (from Shopify). The only drawback is there’s a limited selection. But the images they do have are very nice. IMPORTANT: Never, ever, ever just copy/paste images from other sources onto your site, unless you’re 1000% certain you have permission. Otherwise you can get sued. Play it safe and just purchase your images — it’s way less expensive than a lawsuit — and you’ll sleep better.
- Education. $25-$300. Unless you work on websites every day, you’re probably going to have to buy a few books or take an online course or two to learn Photoshop, HTML/CSS coding language, etc. to get yourself up to speed in one or more areas of website design and development.
In total, you’re realistically looking at about $300-$600 in expenses to get up and running.
Obviously the main cost with the DIY option is your time.
Even for a “simple” site, don’t be surprised if it takes you 20-40 hours to produce something of decent quality you can be proud of. And that’s assuming you’re already somewhat familiar with how to build a website. If you’re totally new to this, multiply that time estimate by 2x or 3x. I’m not exaggerating.
Building a modern, well-engineered website is way more time-consuming than most people realize. But if you have more time than money right now and you don’t get overwhelmed by web technology, the DIY approach is a perfectly viable option.
Website Design Cost Estimator Consider your budget and goal when you want to build a website. If the website is for advertisements, I would suggest at least $300 per month so you can update your website more frequently and add some new features. But if you only need a static website, you can go with the cheapest option of $20. Most people worry about their website design cost or cost to make a website that they end up paying more than what they should. That is why it is important to set a reasonable budget and goal if you don’t want to spend too much on something unnecessary.