In 2018, having a business without a website is the equivalent of not having calling cards some 20 years ago. Unfortunately, many business owners think of websites as money going down the drain. In reality, a properly set up website can bring in tons of leads and increase brand awareness. However, there’s one major worry – how much does a website cost in 2018?
There are lots of factors in play, such as your industry, type of website, the amount of design, the functionalities the website needs to have, as well as the time frame. Here are some of the ways you can tell how much your website will cost once it’s done.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Kind of Website?
- 2 Creating a Website, yourself: $30-50 per Year
- 3 Have a Freelancer Build a Website for you – around $1000 and upwards
- 4 Hiring an Agency – $10,000 and upwards
- 5 What goes into the Price?
- 6 Your Website doesn’t have to be Expensive
What Kind of Website?
Let’s make one thing clear – no two businesses are alike, and no two websites are alike either. The kind of website you need depends on many factors. Here are some of them.
What industry you’re in. Creating a website for a company that sells gardening supplies is not the same as creating one for a B2B enterprise marketing agency. The complexity of the project, as well as site structure and elements will differ greatly.
Do you already have a website? If you already have a website, this can be a great starting point for the development/design team to come up with something new. The images and copy can be repurposed and you can save quite a lot of money and time.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a website, you’re starting from scratch and you have a blank slate to come up with something completely new. However, this will cost more than redesigning an existing website.
How complex the site needs to be. If all you need is a few landing pages and an About page, it will cost significantly less than having an ecommerce website that supports several thousand products.
Maintenance. Once your website goes live, that’s not the end of the road. Every website needs regular maintenance, whether it’s for security, design, content updates or something completely different.
Creating a Website, yourself: $30-50 per Year
If you want a website done but don’t have the funds for it, no worries. Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and many others allow you to create a website, even without any knowledge on development or coding. All you need to know is some basic IT literacy and you’ll be good to go. Many of these website builders have intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces that allow you to create pages with just a few clicks.
The biggest upside to doing things on your own is of course, the cost. Depending on the platform you choose, you can create your own website for as little as $5 per month. However, bear in mind that these costs do not include the hosting and domain, which you have to pay for separately.
The downside to doing things on your own? If it’s cheap, it will probably feel cheap. Although upscale builders such as SquareSpace allow you to create sleek, beautiful websites, they will lack the functionalities and structure of more sophisticated website presentations.
Have a Freelancer Build a Website for you – around $1000 and upwards
So, you’ve decided to shelve out some bigger bucks for your website and having a freelancer build your site. You can hire someone from a freelancing platform (such as Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, TopTal etc.) or go by recommendation and hire someone from your network.
There’s two ways you can pay freelancers – per hour or per project. Not every freelancer will charge the same, and rates vary, depending on the freelancer’s experience and usual rates. It’s best to shop around and take a look at several portfolios in order to make an educated guess on how much to pay.
Note – if all the freelancer does is customize a pre-built WordPress theme, it will be significantly cheaper (and faster) than having a custom website built with unique functionalities. On the other hand, if you need something very unique, built in an obscure coding language, you’ll end up with a large bill.
Hiring an Agency – $10,000 and upwards
When you’re hiring an agency to build your website, it’s a completely different story. Instead of doing all of the work yourself or delegating it to a single freelancer, there is now an entire team at your disposal, ready to tackle different aspects of building up your website.
Once you hire an agency, each part of the website building is covered. This includes development, design, SEO, content, branding, maintenance and many others. Of course, this bumps up the hourly price significantly, going up to $100 and more.
When it comes to the upsides of working with an agency, you get a website that is built by a team of experts, and not a single freelancer tackling all of the aspects.
On the downside – the figure. Agencies charge a pretty penny for building a website. If you’re up and coming in your industry, you probably can’t afford the price tag and you need the cash for more immediate spending.
What goes into the Price?
With such a wide variety of prices going into the cost of a website, it can’t be possible that you get the same experience spending $100 and $10,000. Here are some things that should be included with your website, no matter the price point.
Domain, Hosting, SSL and other Technical Costs
The first starting point of every website is the domain, i.e. the actual address of the website that you type into your browser. Whether it’s .com, .net, .org or anything else, you need a domain. It will set you back anywhere from $10 per year for a basic domain, up to thousands of dollars if you want a highly desirable domain that will help you greatly with marketing. Whichever domain you choose, make sure to renew it every year, as someone else might scoop it up before your eyes and charge a hefty ransom for you to get it back.
Hosting is essentially paying for storing your website’s files so that visitors can fetch them every time they land on your website. Hosting costs start from $2 per month, so it’s not a huge dent in your budget. However, the more visitors you have and the more demanding they are, the more serious the hosting plan needs to be.
Note that you can get the domain and hosting included with the price with some website builders such as Wix – i.e. the site is self-hosted on their servers. Such an option is great for websites with very little traffic, but it is rather limiting if you get a decent amount of views on a monthly basis.
On top of these two, also add an SSL certificate. Another necessary technical cost, an SSL certificate ensures that website browsers and actual visitors consider your site trustworthy. At about $15 per year, it’s really a modest price to pay, but it adds up to the total cost.
Finally, there’s security. No matter how protected you think you are, you may get attacked at any time, which is why it’s crucial to pay for data backups and having a good security system in place. There are plenty of plugins that can take care of this for you, but to be truly secure, you’ll need to pay for a monthly maintenance plan in order to have support at any moment.
Content Management System
Here’s some great news – most content management systems are free! The top 3 choices for websites today are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. All of them have free licenses, so you can just download them, install and get going with your website design.
However, there’s a catch. The system is free, but you have to build the website on your own or have someone else build it. Depending on which of the three you choose, this can either be a piece of cake or incredibly difficult.
For example, there are a bunch of free themes for WordPress that you can set up if you spend a bit of time getting familiar with the back end of the platform. The other two CMS platforms are not so simple, to say the least. In order to tackle Joomla and Drupal, you need quite a lot of experience with writing code and web development. Therefore, them being free is nothing in comparison to the amount you have to pay for a professional to build a website on these platforms.
Adding on top – besides paying someone to tackle design and development, those are not the only costs out there. On top of paying for WordPress themes, you’ll also have to pay for plugins, which you will definitely need to run a functional and attractive website.
Search engine optimization is the real deal. As more companies discover the power of organic traffic, link building and great content. However, SEO doesn’t magically happen and it takes significant investments in time and money.
There are two aspects to SEO – on-page and off-page. While you can do a large part of on-page SEO on your own (thanks to CMS plugins and other tools), technical and off-page SEO will require the help of an expert.
Here’s the kicker – SEO is not that cheap. In fact, experts charge as much as $100 per hour. For an upcoming business, this is one of the hardest pills to swallow, especially since it takes months to see the return on investment.
There’s no SEO without great content. In fact, content is one of the major cornerstones of every good marketing campaign, no matter your industry or niche. Having quality blog articles, infographics, webinars – this is what gets people coming to your site, makes them stick around and return for more.
Not everyone is a natural born writer. In fact, the majority of marketers aren’t really that great with words, and business owners don’t have the time and skills, despite having in-depth industry knowledge. For this reason, it’s best to hire a copywriter and make sure the job is done by a pro. Copywriter hourly wages range from $5 to $200, depending on many factors, such as previous experience and portfolio. Look at previous work, ask for references and choose wisely.
Moreover, there’s more to content than just words. Often times, you’ll need an infographic, call to action, banner, eBook cover design, email design and more. While many business owners resort to stock photos, these can only get you so far and they’re not the ideal solution to build a great online presence. Hiring a designer coupled with a great copywriter is the winning combo to creating excellent content. Designer hourly rates go from $10 per hour to several hundreds of dollars, so do your research and choose wisely.
Social Media Management
Not every website development/agency offers social media management as part of their offer, but if they do, it’s a chance to get everything in one place. After all, if you have a great website and content, why not promote it on social media platforms? On the other hand, if you want to hire a dedicated social media manager, that will set you back anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour.
Your Website doesn’t have to be Expensive
If you’re looking for a solution to build a functional, great-looking website at affordable prices, ADSpirine is the place to go. Our experienced team of web developers, designers and copywriters can turn your ideas into reality. Whether you’re redesigning an old website or building a new one from scratch, we got your back. Reach out to us today to get started!