One thing every client wants to know is… How much does it cost to build a website?
This can be a tricky question to give a clear answer to at first, and it’s because there are so many different options to consider:
- Will you need to/Do you want to have control to edit the site yourself?
- How many visitors are you expecting to get per month?
- Do you need a customer login system?
- Do you want to accept payments on your site?
- Do you want to take customer bookings?
These are just a few questions that I need answers to before I can even think about coming up with a price for your project, and each ‘add-on’ isn’t just as simple as creating one more page or feature. There are complex functions that go into taking payment online for example and we need to comply with banking and GDPR regulations along the way.
In this post, I’m going to do my best to answer this question and give you a real insight into what you’re really asking when you say, “How much will it cost for my Website?”
1. Ongoing Costs
The simplest cost to explain is around Web Hosting. Once your website is built, it needs to live somewhere. Websites don’t just get released into the wild and are free to travel from computer to computer. They are hosted on a server somewhere. This is just a term for another computer somewhere secure, where there is a guaranteed uninterrupted power supply and multiple fallback internet connections to ensure your website is always online.
This is something you want to choose carefully, your domain name is how your customers will find you, it’s your address on the internet (e.g. google.com) You’ll want to avoid awkward spelling, hyphens and words that sound similar to other words. The last thing you want is to verbally tell someone your web address and they end up on some other companies site by mistake.
Once you’ve decided on what you want your domain to be, you can use a number of companies to register this with. Costs will vary from as little as £6 per year up to £50+ per year. It all depends on how in-demand your domain name is and what top-level domain you choose (.com, .co.uk, .net etc.)
Choosing the right top-level domain (TLD) is also important for your business and plays a factor in Google’s ranking systems. if you offer services to a worldwide audience, your probably better to stick with the classic .com TLD. However, if you only serve local customers in the UK for example, you’ll want to choose .co.uk – These days there are lots to choose from and ones you would never even think about so spend a bit of time deciding which is best for your business before purchasing.
Web hosting can be cheap, however again it depends on your need case. For a small start-up company or personal portfolio website with low traffic, A shared server (meaning more than one site is hosted on the same server) you can pick up web hosting for around £5 – £10 per month. As your business grows, you can always scale your server needs along with it.
Want a custom email address with your site? Email hosting can be really complex if you’re trying to set this up yourself. Every email provider has different spam filtering that is top secret, so if you don’t set this part up properly, you may find your business emails end up in your customer’s spam or junk folders, which not only makes your business look unprofessional but can seriously damage your income as most people don’t regularly check their spam folder. For reliable email hosting, you’re looking at somewhere in the region of another £5 per month, but again this is only a starting point so check this out before proceeding.
Were going to look at some options for building your website in the next section, but depending on what you go for, you really need to think about what support you need for your site and what information you will be handing. For example, a static web page with no customer input or changes throughout the year is unlikely to suddenly break or stop working. But if you plan on regularly updating your site, you may end up accidentally breaking a component and need help from someone to fix it. Or even more so, if you are gathering customer data, taking payments, taking bookings etc. You really must make sure your site is backed up regularly in the event of a system crash or update you do which could break your site and lose all your customer data with it. With the right support plan, we can make sure this never happens.
2. Upfront Costs
This is where we will see the biggest variance in pricing for website design. I’m going to take a dive into 3 main ways you can get your business online today and look at the pros and cons of each, along with how much you should expect them to cost.
DIY Website builders
There are a number of ready to use website builders out there for the DIYer in you. These are by far the cheapest options as you literally do everything yourself. They usually come with pre-designed templates that you can customise with your business name and logo and you can set them up in an hour or two yourselves without the need to get a web designer or developer involved. Examples of this are sites such as:
- Square Online
Prices can range from £0 (with advertisements) all the way up to £200+ per month depending on what you need it to do. But usually, you’ll be looking at around £10 – £15 per month for a site like this. The downside of this is their DIY nature, Chances are if you want to use these tools, you’re not a web developer. Whilst these tools are designed to be drag and drop, They can also be very awkward to get an element to act in the way you want it to and often lead to a lot of frustration. Plus if you ever want to move your website to another platform or add some functionality that isn’t included with your provider, you can’t. So put in some time at the start to decide if this is the right option for you
- The cheapest way to get a website
- Fast to set up yourself
- No need to worry about maintenance
- You need to do this yourself
- Use of templates
- Can have slower load times
- Stuck with the same platform
WordPress is a free and open-source platform made by web developers worldwide to make web development easy for the masses. It has all the easy to use functionally we listed above, but with much more flexibility so is a much more powerful tool to use for websites.
Whilst WordPress is completely free to download and use, you will still have the associated ongoing costs mentioned in the first section. You may be faced with a steep learning curve at the beginning if you’ve never looked at website building before but the plus side of WordPress is it is used across a host of industries and most developers will be familiar with the platform, so you can also hire someone to build your site on WordPress and launch to production for you.
Again, depending on your requirements, you should expect a developer to charge anywhere from £300 – £1,000 to set up your custom WordPress website and launch it to the cloud.
I’d recommend using WordPress as a platform if you want to be in control of your site’s content at all times and be able to upload content yourself such as photos, videos or blog posts as time goes on. However, be aware that if you make changes to the site yourself, it can be easy to break an existing element or make your site run slow if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Another potential cost to look out for with WordPress is the cost of plugins. The platform has some amazing features right out the box which is included for free, however, some advanced features such as a booking system, eCommerce shop or taking payment online could come in at a cost ranging anywhere from £10 – £500 and sometimes come with an ongoing annual or monthly subscription.
- Manage content yourself
- Well known and flexible platform
- Huge Marketplace for plugins
- Completely customisable
- Steep learning curve for beginners
- Can run slow if not set up properly
- Not all plugins are free
Custom Built Website
Having a custom-built website may sound daunting and expensive. But again it really depends on what you’re looking to get from this. The massive upside to this is literally anything is possible. It’s starting with a blank canvas or an idea and building on it from there.
The process involves designing each element and tailoring this to what you’re trying to achieve, and you can really hone in on making everything about your site work for you. We can link in with custom APIs so this gives greater flexibility than the other solutions we’ve covered.
A custom-built website could cost anything from £400 – £5,000+ depending on what exactly you need it to do. Again typically you’re looking at somewhere in the region of £500 for a website built for customer conversion with a few pages.
- Complete hands-off approach
- Concentrate on your business
- You’ll have a completely unique site
- Integrate easily with your existing infrastructure
- Time to launch can be longer
- Your developer manages the content (also a positive)
3. Other Upfront Costs
If you’re a new business, you may not already have your own business logo, or you may want to refresh or re-brand your business with a new logo. This is an important part of your overall brand and it’s very important to get this right from the start.
A good logo will look good when it’s scaled up big and squeezed down small and be instantly recognisable.
Ask us today about our Logo Design packages starting from just £100!
Card Payment Processing
Looking to offer your customers a better, more secure payment method? We can set you up with both an online portal and physical card reader so you can accept Credit and Debit card payments for both one-off or recurring payments.
We have just covered the three main ways you might want to consider launching your website to get your business online. The final verdict – It depends…
This is often the answer you’ll get to this question, but now at least you can see why it depends. There are thousands and thousands of reasons you may want to get a website for your business and the cost of this will really depend on what exactly you want your site to do.
A very good question I often ask at the start of any project is…
What problems are you facing just now that you want your website to solve?
Get in Touch Today for a personalised estimate for your business website.