How much does a website cost? If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, you’re not alone. In fact, thousands of people search for the answer on Google every month.
The answer is complicated — the price ranges from free, to thousands of dollars. To provide a more helpful explanation, let’s break down the answer into more detail.
How much a website costs comes down to a few factors: who’s building it, what you want it to achieve, and the technology or tools that are used to create it.
1. Hiring a developer or designer
Hiring a web developer or designer to build your website will make up the largest percentage of the overall cost.
Typically, website creation involves two types of work: design and development. The best approach is to find someone who has experience in both of these areas, and can handle the entire process from start to finish. They will begin by designing your website and then turning it into a functional hub on the web.
Use freelancer databases like Upwork to connect with designers and developers. The average hourly rate for this kind of project on a site like Upwork ranges from $25 to $50. Building a standard website can take up to 15 hours to complete; however, the more complex the website you want to build, the more steadily that number will increase.
Overall, the great thing about hiring someone to help you is that you don’t need to have any experience or technical knowledge. The professional that you hire will take care of everything. Think of it as a hands-off experience from your point of view.
2. Features and technology
No two websites are created alike. Prices will range depending on what you need the website to do.
The simplest “business card” type of website can be completed in about 10 hours. Additional features and added complexity will add to the final bill.
If you’re working with a developer, adding unique features (like a dynamic menu for your restaurant, a table reservation form, a “get a quote” option for a contractor, etc.) might require another five hours of work.
3. Domain and hosting
Apart from the hands-on work involved in building a website, there are recurring costs to keeping a site online after it’s built.
There are two main elements that factor into this: domain name and web hosting.
- A domain name is your unique website address. For example, WordPress.com is a domain name.
- Web hosting is where your website is housed.
Without these components, a website cannot exist. The price for a standard domain name hovers around $10 per year, and hosting often costs around $5 per month. Togehter, this equates to $70 annually (in addition to your other expenses).
How to minimize cost
The best way to make your bill easier to swallow is to build a website yourself rather than hiring outside help.
Don’t have any technical skills? Don’t worry.
In this day and age, website building and publishing has been democratized. There are multiple free building blocks and tools available, and the ones that you pay for come with reasonable price tags. These platforms and tools are designed for the average person to build a site without having web-design knowledge.
Basically, if you don’t require a highly complex website with tons of features, you can build an attractive, functional website by yourself.
The great thing about modern site building tools is that they don’t force you into learning about coding or graphics. Instead, they offer a top-down approach where you’re given a fully functional website out of the box once you sign up. From there, you can gradually add more in-depth customization (without having to learn code) until it meets your needs and expectations.
Most of these tools are so intuitive that you can get your site built and launched in a very short period of time.
So, when asking yourself “how much does a website cost?” the answer is up to you. If you’re imagining a site that is complex and could only be designed by a professional, it will cost you. Alternatively, you can build a website yourself, which doesn’t have to cost anything at all.