There are several costs involved in setting up a website. Depending on what type of site you want, the costs can run from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. It helps to make a list of the features you want and use this list to see what is critical and what can be trimmed.
Your domain is your "address," and every site must have one. Domain prices vary based on the type you want.
- A .com or .org will often be more desirable than a .biz or .io address, so they will likely cost more.
- You can pay from $1 to $30 per year, but some domains can be much more.
- If you want a domain that has been purchased and is for sale, you may pay a few hundred to a few thousand for it.
- Some people buy what they believe will be popular domains and "park" them, holding on to them until someone wants it, and then they charge a premium for the desirable domain.
Hosting will vary depending on your site.
- If you have a simple site, then shared hosting is an affordable option from about $2 to $6 per month. Many hosts give you a discount for the first year so make sure you read the fine print to avoid future surprises.
- If you have a bigger site that requires more processing power, such as an eCommerce site, you can easily pay $20 to $2,000 per month or more depending on the size of your site and security needs.
If you decide to hire a designer or an agency, expect to pay $500 to $4,000 for a small site, and $10,000 and up for an enterprise site.
- If you choose the DIY route, you may have to pay for some courses to learn web design, such as Lynda.com for about $25 per month.
- Another option is a website builder, such as Wix, Squarespace, or Duda, or for ecommerce sites like Shopify, Wix, or BigCommerce. With these sites, your cost for hosting, and sometimes domain, is included in the monthly price. The costs for each platform varies depending on the plan and features you choose:
- Wix's plans run from $5 to $25 per month.
- Squarespace is $12 to $40 per month.
- Duda is $9.75 to $14.25 per month with custom pricing for enterprise sites.
- Shopify is $9 to $29 per month, plus credit card fees.
- BigCommerce is $30 to $250 per month as well as special enterprise site pricing.
Theme or Framework
If you decide to use a premium theme or special framework, regardless of whether you hire a person or do the site yourself, the cost can be run from $2 to $1,000, although most themes run around $39 to $129. Keep in mind many themes and frameworks are free, but they may not be as customizable as you wish them to be.
Populating your site with content including copy and images or video will also cost money.
- If you need stock photos, expect to pay $10 and up per photo.
- Custom photography can be several hundred dollars or more.
- Custom videos for your site can run several hundred or thousand dollars as well.
- If you need to hire a copywriter, expect to pay $200 to $1,500 per page.
If photo editing or video editing is necessary for your site and you are doing it yourself, include the cost of software such as Adobe Photoshop which is $10 to $21 per month. Video editing software can run $20 per month for Adobe to $50 to $300 for other software packages.
Plugins may be needed to run different features such as scheduling, membership, or online courses. Most have free versions but if the premium is required, you can pay anywhere from $5 to $300 or more annually. Security plugins, which are recommended for WordPress sites, can cost $100 to $500 per year.
If you have a designer or agency maintain the site, this cost will vary, although some may build it into the overall price of the site. You should factor in the cost of backups, as well, which could just entail buying extra space on a Dropbox for $99 or using a premium service like Backup Buddy for $80 to $200 per year.
You may want to hire a SEO service. The monthly costs for this can run from $500 to $20,000 and up, which of course depends on your site and the level of service. Hiring a consultant to work by the hour can run about $100 to $300 per hour.
The Cost of Building a Website
There are many items on your website budget to consider for a true picture of what a website costs. Make sure to do your research and investigate when free options are a good fit for you and when you should spend for premium options.