A common question we’re asked by business owners entering the digital space – “how much does a website cost?”
As with most things in life, the answer is, “it depends.” The cost of a website can fluctuate based on a number of factors, such as the size and complexity of the website.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the factors that affect the cost of a website and give you some price estimates so that you can plan ahead for 2023.
Right from the size of your website to the features you want to add will determine the cost of your website.
One way to look at the website cost is to break it down into these broad divisions:
Another factor is the route you choose to build your website.
Basically, you can build your website in two ways:
Each of these come with their pros and cons and affect the pricing of your website.
We will look at all these factors that influence the cost of a website in the next sections.
Let’s get started with infrastructure costs.
Website infrastructure-related costs can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of your website.
However, there are some common costs that are associated with website infrastructure, such as hosting fees, domain registration fees, and SSL certificates.
The first factor to consider when trying to figure out how much a website will cost is the domain name.
The cost of a domain name can depend on all these factors:
TLD or extension
The domain name consists of the second-level domain and top-level domain (TLD). The second-level domain is the first part of the domain name, while the TLD is the extension (or suffix).
According to GoDaddy, here are the most expensive TLDs:
Image via GoDaddy
Popular extensions such as .com or .org typically cost more than less established ones such as .club or .me.
For instance, .com can cost $15 per year while .net can cost you $10. Less popular TLDs such as .me or .club can cost between $2 and $4 per year.
You can also find TLDs such as .xyz and .store for as low as 99 cents per year.
Image via Namecheap
Another factor that will influence how much the domain name costs is whether the TLD is generic or specific to your location or type of business.
.com, .org, and .biz are some examples of generic TLDs while .museum, .us, and .travel are some extensions specific to the industry or the country.
If you want premium domain names, however, the cost can go up significantly irrespective of the TLD. Also called aftermarket domains, these premium domain names are those that contain popular keywords or are already owned.
The owners put these names up for sale to make a good profit out of them. Aftermarket domain names are associated with reputable sites with a high traffic and good ranking and the cost of these runs into thousands or even, millions of dollars.
For example, the domain name cars.com was sold for an insane price of $872 million!
The benefit of purchasing a premium domain name can include lowered advertising costs, higher traffic, and ranking. If you’re interested in premium domain names, keep an eye on domain auctions that registrars like GoDaddy put up.
Image via GoDaddy
Much like a retailer, registrars (the companies who sell domain names) offer domain names at various prices. Each one offers different features and packages at different price points.
Some registrars may offer discounts or promotions, so make sure to shop around. For instance, Namecheap is currently offering between 30% to 60% off on TLDs.
Image via Namecheap
GoDaddy is currently offering .com domains at $0.01 for the first year.
Image via GoDaddy
Duration of the contract
The duration of the contract will also have a bearing on the cost of a website. A longer duration (for instance, a 2-year contract) can cost less than a one-year contract.
Registrars offer privacy features for an additional cost to protect a client’s privacy and ensure anonymity.
Many registrars may also offer to include web hosting with the purchase of the domain name.
While this may seem like a good deal, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully as you may be tied into a longer-term agreement and/or be subject to additional fees.
Lastly, keep in mind there are renewal costs involved when you purchase a domain name, where discounts may not be applicable.
Here’s a summary of what a domain name will cost:
|Generic TLDs such as .com /.net/.org||$10 to $15 per year||$14|
|Specific TLDs such as .course or .io||$40 to 50 per year||$40 to 50 per year|
|Aftermarket TLDs||$150 to millions of dollars|
Another factor to consider when talking about how much a website costs is the price of web hosting.
Web hosting is the service that stores your website’s files and makes them available to be viewed on the internet.
How much web hosting costs will depend on the hosting provider, the type of hosting plan you choose, and the duration of the hosting plan.
Shared hosting plans are typically the most cost-effective option, starting at around $2 to $5 per month.
Image via Namecheap
Registries such as Namecheap offer a free domain name with their hosting package. But, note that these free TLDs aren’t the popular ones such as .com or .org.
For example, Namecheap offers free TLDs such as. fun, .shop, .online, .site, .tech, . agency, .website, .digital, and .studio.
If any of these are relevant to your business, you can opt for the hosting package that the registry offers.
Dedicated hosting plans, on the other hand, are more expensive but offer greater flexibility and scalability in addition to optimizing security. Here are HostGator’s pricing plans for dedicated hosting:
Image via HostGator
The pricing for dedicated servers may also depend on the type of processor used.
If you have a small business website, shared hosting should be adequate. However, for a large ecommerce website or data-heavy websites with a lot of traffic, a dedicated hosting plan may be a better option.
If you need something in-between shared and dedicated hosting, you can opt for VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.
This type of server uses virtualization technology to install a virtual layer on the server’s operating system, allowing users to install their own software.
As you can see from the image below, VPS hosting plans are much more affordable and yet offer the flexibility and security of dedicated servers.
Image via HostGator
Now, let’s sum up the minimum costs of web hosting:
|Shared||$2 per month|
|Dedicated||$80 + per month|
|VPS||$20 to $25 per month|
Most web hosting providers typically offer security features in their packages. Even if you have a basic website, it’s important to add extra security measures.
Of course, you can get free security plugins such as Sucuri to scan and remove threats. And if you need advanced features such as more frequent scans, you may need to purchase one of these plans.
Image via Sucuri
As you can see, the cheapest plan is at $199 per year.
Other popular security plugins include:
Wondering what this section is doing in a blog post about website costing?
A content management system (CMS) is a platform that enables you to create, edit, publish, and manage digital content. By providing a central repository for your content, the CMS makes it easy to keep track of all your digital assets in one place.
A CMS is an indispensable part of modern websites. In fact, 73 million + websites that are currently active are built using some type of CMS.
While talking about how much a website costs, we have to factor in the cost of CMS.
There are many different types of CMSes available, ranging from simple applications that allow users to create and edit text-based web pages to complex enterprise-level systems that can be used to manage thousands of pieces of digital content.
Here are some popular CMSes and their pricing models:
|WordPress||WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market, powering over 40% of all websites. |
It's easy to use and has a wide range of themes and plugins.
|WordPress has a free plan and a Starter plan for $5. |
The ‘Pro’ plan with advanced features costs $15 per month.
|Joomla||Joomla is a powerful CMS that offers a lot of features out of the box. |
It allows you to manage hundreds of pages or sub-pages efficiently.
|Joomla offers a free plan. |
To access all the extensions and features, you’ll need either the $99 per year plan or the $199 per year plan.
|Drupal||Drupal is another popular CMS that is versatile. |
It also is quite complex, so it takes some time to learn how to use it effectively.
|Free, open-source software. Maintenance costs, however, can be high.|
|HubSpot CMS Hub||This CMS comes with a lot of features including website builder, Content Delivery Network, and hosting.||Starter plan costs $23 per month. |
Professional plan is priced at $360 per month.
|Shopify||An integrated CMS platform that provides hosting and supports ecommerce.||Ranges from $29 to $299 per month.|
What else should you take into account when looking to find out the cost of a website? The size of the website, of course. The more the number of pages, the higher the designing cost.
Here’s an estimate of the costs based on the number of pages:
Image via Upwork
Keep in mind, though, that even a small website can cost you upwards of $10,000 if you want to add advanced features and unique designs.
When talking about ‘how much does a website cost?’ we’ll have to factor in the cost of website themes, features, and the content that will go into your website.
Let’s start with the themes.
You can opt for free themes that most DIY website builders such as Wix offer. Or, you can explore Wix alternatives such as Squarespace and WordPress to access themes. Here’s a free website template from Wix for an online store:
Image via Wix
However, free templates offer limited customization options and most likely lack advanced features.
Premium themes will give you unlimited features and functions that allow you to create a unique website.
Here’s one of the premium WordPress themes that costs $64.
Image via Themeforest
Depending on the type of premium theme and its features, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $300 (or more) for a premium website theme.
Note that a premium theme may have an upfront cost or a recurring annual cost. Here are some popular WordPress themes and their costs:
Image via Themeforest
With these templates, many CMS platforms and website builders offer a drag-and-drop website builder that you can use to design your website without having to learn coding.
How much do these website builders cost?
There are a lot of options to choose from if you want to build a website on your own with a website builder. Here are the price points per month for different tools:
|WordPress||$0 to $45 per month|
|Squarespace||$16 to $49 per month|
|Wix||$16 to $59 per month|
|GoDaddy||$9.99 to $29.99 per month|
|Shopify||$29 to $299 per month|
|Weebly||$10 to $25|
How much a website costs also depends on the type of website you are looking for and its features.
Are you looking for a static website with a few pages or a dynamic website? Each of these types of websites will require different levels of work and will result in different costs.
Static websites are those that are typically coded in HTML and CSS. They are called static because they don't change—the content on the page is the same every time you load it.
Some examples of dynamic websites are Netflix and Wayfair that show relevant content to specific users based on their previous browsing history.
Image via Wayfair
Because static websites are easy to develop, they are cheaper than dynamic ones.
Again, the total cost will depend on factors such as the number of pages, features, and customization you need apart from the web design agency/freelancer you choose to work with.
The cost of a dynamic web development is difficult to estimate but can start from $1000 and go up to $10,000 or more.
How much does a website cost based on its features? Let’s explore.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, it really depends on the features you want. If you need advanced features such as integration with payment gateways or personalization for visitors, these will add to the cost.
You can find free plugins and extensions on platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento that you can use to build functionality such as live chat and contact forms.
Adobe Commerce, for instance, has a marketplace for extensions where you can find free and paid plugins for various categories. Here’s a sample of the shipping and fulfillment extensions:
Image via Adobe Commerce
If you need social media management features, you may need to purchase a specific plugin for this.
For WordPress sites, there are free social sharing plugins, but you may need to purchase a plugin such as this one for advanced features:
Image via Revive Social
To sum up the costs of features and plugins:
|5 page static website||$399|
|Dynamic website||$1000 to $10,000+|
|Plugins||$0 to $300+|
Content creation and marketing are two important aspects of any website design project.
Content marketing can involve these components:
In the next sections, we’ll delve into how much each of these components cost.
A good content strategy can help you attract and retain visitors, and can even lead to increased sales.
Content strategy is the planning, development, and management of content—written, visual, or audio—to achieve business objectives.
As there’s a lot of research and planning involved, content strategy services are definitely not cheap.
Depending on the nature and the size of your business, the cost of a basic content strategy for small business websites can be $1,000 while a comprehensive strategy for a medium-size business can go up to $25,000.
If you’re looking to build a large, content heavy website, you can expect to pay up to $50,000.
Based on the nature of your business, you may need to create the following content assets:
Unless you excel at content writing, you’ll need to hire professionals to write compelling SEO-based content.
If you’re looking to hire freelance copywriters, you can expect to pay $500 per web page, and an additional $750 per landing page.
According to Upwork, these are the average hourly rates of SEO and website copy writers:
But bear in mind that you may have to hire graphic designers if you want to include images, infographics, and other visuals in your content. This can mean an additional cost of $50 to $75 per hour.
Taking this into account, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for high-quality content and graphics.
Tools and Software
Marketers use various content marketing tools to create, curate, and deliver content.
They range from simple to complex, but all share the common goal of helping you efficiently and effectively create engaging content that drives results.
For instance, HubSpot CMS has a free blog maker that lets you create a blog with pre-built themes and keyword suggestions.
Image via HubSpot
While the features vary between tools, some of the features you can expect include:
How much do these tools cost?
Starting from $0, the cost can go up all the way to $1200 per month depending on the features you want and the size of your business.
Here’s HubSpot’s pricing points and features that include content management:
Image via HubSpot
These tools, while being helpful, do not actually write the content for you. They will only help you come up with ideas, offer keyword suggestions, and help you collaborate with your team.
Writing quality content is not enough. To reach your target audience, you need to distribute your content well on social media and other channels.
This is where the costs of SEO services come in.
Search engine optimization services are focused on boosting your website’s search engine ranking by using tactics like:
Following a comprehensive SEO strategy can help increase your brand authority, allowing you to rank higher and therefore increase your traffic and sales.
To achieve this, you may need to hire an SEO/content marketing expert and a social media manager.
If you hire different professionals for all these tasks, the content marketing costs for your website can look like this:
|Content writer||$15 to $60 per hour|
|Graphic designer||$75 per hour|
|Social media marketing||$35 per hour|
|SEO services||$2,500 to $10,000 per month|
|Content strategy||$1,000 for a basic strategy for small businesses to $50,000 for large enterprises.|
Based on your goals, the size of your business, and budget, marketing costs can range from $5,000 to over $50,000 per month.
One way to save on content writing and marketing costs is to hire a content marketing agency that provides all these services under one roof.
For instance, Attrock offers end-to-end digital marketing services that include:
Here are the different types of content we create:
Image via Attrock
There are many advantages of hiring a content marketing agency that handles all content and SEO services for your website.
You will save a lot of time and effort involved in finding different professionals for graphics, content, and SEO.
A full-fledged digital marketing agency will help you create high-quality content that is optimized for search engines, which will help you attract more visitors to your website.
For instance, our clients have achieved a 150% increase in conversions and 200% increase in referring domains with our content marketing services.
Established agencies can provide you with valuable insights into your target audience and help you develop a custom content strategy that resonates with them.
Now, let’s move on to website maintenance costs.
Why are we talking about maintenance in this post on “how much does a website cost?”
With ongoing maintenance, you can ensure:
It’s important to know the three types of website maintenance before talking about how much it costs:
As you’ve guessed by now, the overall cost of website maintenance will depend on what tasks you choose.
Given the fact that there are so many variables involved in determining a website cost, it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate of website maintenance.
But, they could range anywhere between $400 and $60,000 per year.
The recurring costs you would incur in maintaining your website include renewing your domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting. Costs can add up if you purchase more extensions, strengthen security, update content, or redesign your website.
Here’s another estimate that gives you an idea of what the monthly maintenance costs can look like based on the size of the website:
Image via WPOven
One of the services that you will need on an ongoing basis after you build your website is landing page optimization.
This is a process of constantly testing and improving your landing pages to increase conversion rates. There are a number of reasons why you should optimize your landing pages:
In other words, landing page optimization can help you optimize the returns on your website investment.
That’s why it’s important to pick an agency that not only specializes in optimizing all web pages for conversion but offers landing page audit, design, and content optimization services as well.
We, for instance, offer all these services as a bundle with our landing page optimization services, giving you a cost-effective way to boost leads, conversions, and sales.
Image via Attrock
As we said in the introduction, how much a website costs will also depend on whether you choose to build it yourself or want to hire a professional.
So, the next sections will explore the differences between the two.
Do you want to use a pre-made template and design your own website ?
If you're looking to develop a simple WordPress website with a few pages, you can probably get away with spending a few hundred dollars.
This will cover the cost of hosting and domain registration, as well as any drag-and-drop website builders or WordPress themes you might need.
If you choose a free plan, free plugins, and purchase a single-domain SSL certificate, the cost of a basic WordPress website can come to around $20 per year.
But, the free plan carries disadvantages such as:
This type of website may not serve your purpose if you want to scale your traffic and content or add new services/products.
The other option is to go for a premium plan or WordPress.org and buy a premium theme. The cost here can go to a few hundred dollars.
DIY website building can be an affordable option if you are:
However, a DIY project is not ideal for you, if you
In other words, if you want a unique and polished website, then you may need to hire a professional web developer.
The cost of a website will depend on the complexity and size of the website, the features, and so on.
It’s also important to consider the experience and skill level of the web developer. A web developer with more experience and expertise will charge more than one with less experience.
The median hourly charges of WordPress web developers will also depend on their location. Globally, the average hourly rate is $61 to $80 and in North America, the hourly rate is between $81 and $100.
Image via Arc
Considering that new website development can take between 2 to 5 months to complete, the total cost comes up to $30,000 and $58,000 (if the professional bills for 6 hours per day).
|DIY basic WordPress website||$20|
|DIY WordPress website with premium options||$500 to $1000|
|Custom website designed by professionals||$30,000 to $50,000+|
Q1. What is the normal price for a website?
A. While prices vary based on the number of pages and custom requirements, $50 to $80 is the hourly rate that web designers charge.
Web designers or agencies charge between $5,000 to $10,000+ for designing a standard business website.
Q2. How much does a website cost for a small business?
A. If you are a startup or a small business, you can get started with a free website builder such as WordPress or Wix to build a basic website.
While you can get a free SSL certificate, a custom domain registration can cost you anywhere from $20 to $200+.
If you are looking for a custom website and additional features such as SEO, it can cost you anywhere between $500 to $10,000.
Q3. How much does an expensive website cost?
A. It depends on the size, functionality, and features of the website. Professionals charge between $30,000 and $150,000 for a responsive web design.
Q4. How much does a 5-page website cost?
A. You can build a basic 5-page website using free builders like WordPress.
If you want a professionally designed website with 1 to 10 pages, you can expect to pay between $300 and $1000.
Q5. Is it costly to run a website?
A. It depends on the size and complexity of your website, but typically running a website does not cost a lot of money. You will need to pay for hosting, which is usually around $20 per month with VPS and an additional $20 for domain name per year.
If you have a simple website, you can often get away with just these two expenses. However, if you have a more complex website or one that gets a lot of traffic, you may need to pay for additional features or services, such as security, backup, or storage.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when trying to determine how much a website will cost. The cost of a website depends on the size and complexity of the website, the agency you choose, and many other factors.
A simple website that you want to build using free templates can cost as little as $20 per year. The cost can go up to $30,000+ for a custom website designed by professionals.
The best way to determine the cost of a website is to talk to a web designer and get an accurate estimate based on your specific requirements.
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