Great websites capture visitors’ interest and keep them coming back. Standout sites combine text, image and video content to deliver an experience that’s simple, streamlined and ultimately drives sales. But great sites don’t just happen — they require time and effort to create, and that comes with a cost.
In this piece, we’ll tackle some of the biggest questions around site building and budget, including: What’s the average cost of a website? Are you better paying a freelance or design firm to create your site, or building your own with self-service platforms such as Wix to get the features and functions you need without breaking the bank? What factors impact the overall costs of design, development and website maintenance.
Here’s what you need to know.
Key Components That Impact Website Design Costs
Websites are more than the sum of their parts. Well-designed websites combine backend infrastructure and frontend functionality to deliver seamless user experiences.
In practice, however, multiple components are required to create great sites — and each of these components plays a role in the average cost to run a website. Key components that impact the average cost of a website include:
Domain Name Registration
If you have a website, it needs a domain name. Costs depend on the extension of your domain name (.com, .net, .org, etc.) along with the domain name itself. You pay an upfront cost for registration followed by a yearly renewal fee.
Helpful tip: If you opt for a website builder from Name.com, your domain pricing is typically free.
Once you have a name, you also need a hosting provider to supply the backend infrastructure required to ensure your site is available online for users to find. The cost of hosting packages differs based on how services are provided. For example, under a shared service model that sees more than one website using a combined pool of resources, you could pay less than $10 per month. For dedicated hosting, meanwhile, which provides resources for your site alone, you could pay over $100 per month.
With a website builder from Name.com, however, there’s no need to purchase additional hosting.
Next, you need to consider specific website functionality. While not every website needs all these functions, you need at least some, and each comes with an additional cost.
- E-commerce support
- Subscription services
- Membership portals
- Live chat
- Online forms integration
- Booking and reservation features
Pricing for each of these services depends on your provider, but in general the more complicated the function, the more you’ll pay. This means that e-commerce website costs are typically more than email provision prices, since e-commerce sites require product pages, digital shopping carts and secure payment options.
When it comes to site design, you’ve got two choices: DIY website builders or hired design services. DIY options come with lower costs but require more time and effort on your part to build your site, while outsourced services deliver fully-functional websites — for a fee.
Ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure your site always works as intended. Average website maintenance cost varies based on the size of your website and the features it offers. As a result, you could pay anywhere from $5 per month for a simple site to $1,000 per month for an enterprise-level website.
Website security is critical to keep your site and data safe. You could pay anywhere from $100 to $10,000 per year for security depending on your site.
If you’re looking to expand your impact, you may want to pay for website marketing. Options include DIY marketing tools that you can install directly into your site or professional services that help you plan and execute marketing campaigns.
Storage and Bandwidth
Site performance depends on storage and bandwidth. For example, small sites may need minimal storage and bandwidth, while enterprise e-commerce sites may need to scale up to ensure sites can handle hundreds or thousands of visitors simultaneously.
Three Ways to Build Your Website and What You May Spend
When it comes to building your website, there are three common approaches, each with pros and cons.
One option is to build your site yourself using a DIY website builder. Many of these builders now offer drag-and-drop functionality along with multiple templates and themes to help streamline the building process.
Name.com and Wix partnered together to provide you with domains and fast and secure customizable sites, all-in-one place. Wix offers 500+ templates and a suite of built-in digital tools to help grow your business.
Pros: Easy to use, may be free with hosting
Cons: Requires time and effort
Freelance designers and developers can help you build your website for a cost. They may work alone or as part of a small company.
Pros: Websites can be customized to meet your needs
Cons: More costly than DIY options, no standardized time for completion
Website Design Agencies
Design agencies are firms that specialize in website building and provide teams of design and development professionals to help create your site.
Pros: Completely customized and full-featured websites built on a set timeline
Cons: Significant cost investment
How to Plan and Estimate the Cost of Website Development
The average cost of a website can vary significantly depending on your approach. For example, if you choose a full-service design firm to create a complete e-commerce website from scratch, you’ll pay more than if you opt for a free website builder.
On the low end, building a site yourself can cost less than $50, including domain name registration, hosting, security, and maintenance. If you choose a professional design firm, meanwhile, you could spend $30,000 or more for an enterprise-grade site. Freelance development costs tend toward the middle of this range, but it depends on what you want — and how soon you want it.
To help plan and estimate your website costs, ask these three questions:
- What’s your budget?
- What features and functions do you need?
- Which makes more sense: DIY or professional help?
Building a Better Website
Your website is your first impression. If potential customers like what they see — and how it works — they’re more likely to stick around, click through to product and detail pages, and ultimately make a purchase.
To ensure your site lives up to expectations, it’s worth considering what you need, what you want and how much it could cost. While in some cases it makes sense to spend big on buying agency help or enlisting freelancers, the evolution of DIY website tools often makes them a great starting point for businesses looking to build sites that stand out without breaking their budgets.