How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website – 2021 Price Guide

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Having a website for a business is an absolute necessity. However, if you have a small business with a limited budget, building a website might seem like a daunting task.

Keep in mind that the cost of building a website heavily depends on its size and functionality – the more pages and features, the higher the price. 

This means a small business website will be considerably more cost-effective than a highly customized large company site. It all comes down to your needs and requirements.

The price of building a site can range from $300 to $30,000 and more. However, if you work with freelancers and know where to cut expenses, you can significantly lower the website cost.

Let’s see what goes into this price and calculate how much it costs to build a website in 2021.

What Costs Are Involved When Building a Website?

Website creation cost varies highly depending on the final product and the choice for website development.

A huge factor that determines the price is the method you’ll use to build your website. Hiring a professional to do the job for you will automatically cost more than designing and building the business website yourself. 

It’s crucial to have a plan and weight in the costs for every element you’ll need to create a website:

  • Website hosting – web hosting makes your website accessible online and determines some of its functionality factors, like page loading speed.
  • Domain name  domain name registration price varies depending on the extension and the domain name registrar.
  • SSL certificate – this security certificate is crucial for all websites, especially if you’re building an online store. 
  • Web design – the average website development cost depends if your website will be designed from scratch or if the web design will be based on a pre-made template.
  • eCommerce functionality -– if you’re building an online store, you’ll need your website to have eCommerce functions, such as payment gateways and product pages.
  • Plugins and add-ons – plugins and add-ons add extra features to your website. Getting them and their pricing depends on the kind of content management system (CMS) you use.
  • SEO and marketing – ensuring that your website ranks well on search engines is essential if you want to build organic traffic and reach a wider audience. To improve your SEO and marketing, you can either hire a professional or use a specific set of helpful tools.
  • Website maintenance costs – this includes regular backups, updates, and other website upkeep tasks.

Now let’s have a look at how these elements make up the website creation cost.

Website hosting$10 per year to $500 per year
Domain name$10 per year to $30 per year
SSL certificate$0 to $60/year
Website design and development$0 to $10,000
eCommerce functionality$0 to $20,000
Plugins and add-ons$0 to $200
SEO and marketing$0 to $100 per hour
Maintenance fees$100 per year to $1500 per year

As you can see, the prices vary heavily depending on a variety of different factors. To gain a better understanding of how much does it cost to build a website, we have to look deeper into what kind of help you will have to outsource.

There are three methods of creating a professional website. Let’s see how much does it cost to build a website using each one of them.

Method 1: Hire a Freelancer

Hiring a freelance web developer is the easiest way to build a website. You’ll only have to communicate what you need, and they will do all of the work for you. 

Website development costs can go up to $30,000 if you go to an agency. It depends on your website’s size and complexity, the hourly rates of the professional, and the ongoing maintenance and support. 

On the other hand, hiring a freelancer will get you the same results without breaking the bank. At Fiverr, you can find professionals that will get the job done for $40/hour or less.

It’s important to note that higher rates don’t always translate to better results and working with a freelancer will help you save a lot of money.

All in all, hiring a freelance website developer is the best option if you:

  • Need a very complicated website
  • Have no technical knowledge or skills
  • Don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an agency

Website Design 

Web design is crucial when it comes to website development. Not only does it determine the visual aspects of your website, but it also affects the navigation, features, and content.

Website design costs depend if you want it designed from scratch or developed on a pre-made theme. It also relies heavily on the factors below:

  • The number of pages and the complexity of the design 
  • Responsiveness
  • Additional features
  • Customization options
  • Experience and hourly rate of the specialist

The good thing about hiring a freelance professional to make a website is that the prices for plugins, add-ons, and certain features you asked for will be included in their price quote.

If you’re looking to make a small business website and don’t need elaborate features, the website pricing should start around $300. The price might drop if you buy a theme and ask the freelancer to customize its design.

However, designing a large website from scratch can cost up to $800 and possibly more. 

eCommerce Functionality 

Business owners who are after an eCommerce site will need additional eCommerce features. 

You can get these by having your website built for an eCommerce platform, like Shopify or Magento. The cost to create such a website ranges from $100 to $500 or more.

Additional eCommerce features you need to consider are:

  • Integration with payment gateways
  • Inventory management
  • Checkout page
  • Shopping cart tools
  • Interactive product pages

SEO and Marketing

Without good SEO and marketing practices, you won’t get much traffic to your website, no matter how great it is, as people simply won’t be aware of its existence. That’s why SEO and marketing are crucial for any type of site.

Search engine optimization ensures your website gets recognized by the search engines as a reputable source of information. Meaning, your website will be displayed on the first pages of search results when a relevant search term gets entered.

Marketing, on the other hand, actively places your website in front of potential visitors. However, you must know who those potential visitors are and how to find them. You can utilize pay per click ads (PPC), social media marketing, and other digital marketing strategies.

Both SEO and marketing are an essential part of growing a business and need to be approached professionally.

Hiring a freelance SEO specialist to take care of your SEO needs will cost you depending on the results you’re after and their experience and rates. On average, the price ranges from $50/month to $400/month.

Maintenance Costs

Keep in mind that the design and development cost isn’t the final price for your website. Once the site is up and running, it will need maintenance. 

The amount of maintenance and support depends on the size and complexity of your site’s design. However, there’s no denying that it’s an unavoidable part of running a website.

Website maintenance professionals usually charge an hourly rate for additional upkeep and updates once the website is complete.

On top of that, you can expect to pay for security features, web hosting, a domain name,  marketing efforts, and other ongoing website development costs.

For website maintenance, you can expect to pay up from $100 to $600/year. 

Method 2: DIY With WordPress

One of the most popular ways of creating a website is using WordPress. It is a powerful content management system that allows you to make a website of any kind – be it a simple landing page or a complex eCommerce business website.

There are a couple of reasons that account for WordPress’ popularity. First of all, the software is free and open-source, which means you get full control over your site and its content.

On top of that, WordPress is extremely scalable. You can add or remove features, change its design and adapt your custom website as it grows.

There are thousands of themes and plugins available to create any type of website, add any necessary feature, and change up the design.

However, WordPress does have a steep learning curve. While complete beginners shouldn’t have much difficulty in the beginning, it will take more time. On top of that, you have to count in costs for WordPress hosting, a domain name, premium themes and plugins, and most importantly – website maintenance.

WordPress has no customer support, so you will have to either solve them yourself or hire someone if you run into issues.

Let’s see how much does it cost to build a website with WordPress.

Basic Website Features

Because WordPress is a self-hosted platform, to build a website, you need to account for these costs:

  • Web hosting – from $1.59/month to $50/month.
  • Domain name – from $10/month to $20/month.
  • SSL certificate – from $0 to $200.
  • Plugins and integrations – from $0 to $100.
  • Themes – from $0 to $200.

Website Theme

WordPress offers thousands of themes. While some are free, the price can go up to hundreds of dollars if you want a unique design with additional features.

The key to finding the perfect theme is to know what you’re looking for. Recognize your brand, the purpose of your WordPress website, the features you need, navigation, and overall user experience.

Free WordPress themes are perfect for beginners. Even if their design doesn’t have all the functions you need for your site, you can add them with plugins. 

However, if you are looking for a more customizable solution, checking third-party sites like Theme Forest and Template Monster might be the best option. The average cost of pre-made WordPress website templates start at $50 and can go up to $200.

eCommerce Functionality

WordPress on its own doesn’t have eCommerce features. However, it has plenty of amazing plugins that will help you build a website or online store.

The most popular eCommerce options for WordPress are:

  • WooCommerce. One of the most popular eCommerce plugins on the market and the best thing about it is free.
  • BigCommerce. A popular eCommerce platform that offers WordPress integration.
  • Easy Digital Downloads. A free WordPress plugin for clients who want to sell digital goods.

When choosing the best plugin for your eCommerce website, ensure that it has all the necessary functions. It has to have plenty of payment options, an easy to use inventory management system, and offer integration with third-party tools like Google Analytics.

Plugins and Add-Ons

At its core, WordPress is a content management system. So to expand its functionality, you will have to use plugins.

WordPress offers a selection of thousands of various plugins in its library. While some are free, some can cost up to hundreds of dollars. 

When building a website for the first time, it might be overwhelming to choose the right selection of plugins. Here’s a list of the most popular and useful ones:

  • Yoast SEO ($0 to $89). This is the most popular SEO plugin that helps you optimize your content for search engines. If you are planning to utilize content marketing, this plugin is an absolute must.
  • Imagify ($0 to $9.99/month). Large images are one of the main reasons that make a website slow. That’s where Imagify comes in to help quickly optimize the images on your site.
  • Jetpack ($0 to $39/year). This is a great plugin to optimize your website’s performance and ensure its security.
  • W3 Total Cache ($0 to $99/year). An excellent cache plugin to speed up your custom website and improve user experience. 
  • Elementor ($0 to $199/year). Elementor is a website builder plugin for WordPress that significantly simplifies the website design process.
  • Monster Insights ($0 to $99.50/year). This is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It helps you track and manage your site’s data. 

When building your website, ensure to choose the plugins your site needs. The more plugins you have, the bigger your website’s chance of slowing down and having security issues.

Always try out the free version before making any purchases. Chances are, your custom website will do just fine without premium plugins.

SEO and Marketing

Digital marketing costs can pile up if you don’t know how to do it right. However, WordPress offers tools to minimize your costs and maximize your content marketing efforts.

WordPress is very SEO friendly, allowing you to change the URL, manage site visibility settings, categories, easy linking, and of course, to use plugins.

With tools like Yoast, you can optimize your blog posts and pages to rank better on SERP. For the best results, you might want to use the premium Yoast version. 

Other digital marketing plugins to consider:

  • The SEO Framework. A well-rounded SEO tool to improve your website’s rank on search engines.
  • Broken Link Checker. Helps to fix broken links in your content, which improves overall site SEO.
  • Schema. Streamlines the process of snipped creation for SERPs.
  • HubSpot. Offers multiple great features, ranging from live chatbots to email marketing campaign tools.
  • Mailchimp. A plugin for one of the most popular Email Marketing tools.
  • Social Media Share Buttons. This plugin allows you to add custom share buttons to your WordPress site, which will help with social media marketing.

Keep in mind that if you want the best results but don’t know where to start, you can always hire a professional. While marketing agencies are quite costly, you can save money by hiring a freelancer. 

A freelancer’s hourly rates start as low as $8, while working with a marketing agency can surpass $1000 per month.

Maintenance Costs 

The work isn’t done once your custom website is up and running. You will have to spend time and money to ensure the site you built is working smoothly.

WordPress is self-hosted, which means it doesn’t offer customer support. This means that you will have to either hire a professional or solve them yourself if you run into problems. 

Web hosting providers do offer customer support. Depending on the company and their team, you might get answers as quickly as a few minutes.

However, when it comes to the back end of your website, updates, security, errors, plugins, content, or design, your web host won’t be able to offer much help.

While there are plenty of online resources to learn from, beginners might struggle with website maintenance.

It’s crucial to have automated backups, updates, and security checks. This takes time and effort to set up.

Paying for professional WordPress support will take that load off your shoulders, so you can focus on running your business. 

There are WordPress agencies that specialize in paid support. Some of them are:

However, using agencies can be quite pricey. If you are on a budget or prefer to work more closely with a professional, you should consider hiring a freelancer.

You can find professionals offering website maintenance services at Fiverr with prices starting as low as $4/hour.

Of course, the more difficult the task and the more experienced the freelancer, which raises the price. Make sure to choose the right professional to keep the website maintenance cost low.

Method 3: Use a Website Builder

Building a business website can be a challenge both for your skills and your budget. However, if you’re looking for a fast and easy solution, using a website builder might be the answer.

This software offers pre-made templates, user-friendly visual editors, providing users with web hosting, a domain name, customer support, and various helpful app integrations. You can create a business website in mere hours using these tools.

Keep in mind that while website builders have the upper hand in ease of use, it does fall behind when it comes to flexibility and customization of design. Regardless of that, there are plenty of options to choose from for your business website development, all offering different pricing and features.

In this section, we’ll compare three popular website builders and break down how much does it cost to build a website with a builder.

Basic Website Features 

With a website builder, you won’t have to worry about website hosting, security, and other important features, as it’s usually included in the plans.

However, keep in mind that the features you get rely on the plan you pick. Here are the top builders we recommend.

Website builderPriceFeatures
Zyro$1.89/month to $14.99/monthA free SSL certificateDesigner-made templatesFree domain nameAI toolsCustomer support3 GB of bandwidth1 GB of storageSEO toolkit
Wix$4.50/month to $24.50/monthPre-made templatesA custom domain name1 GB of bandwidth500 MB of storage Customer support
Squarespace$12/month to $40/monthFree domain nameFree SSL certificateUnlimited bandwidthUnlimited storagePre-made templatesCustomer support

Website Theme 

Website design is crucial for the success of your site. However, custom website design costs run high. Using website templates is great, as it cuts down the cost of building a site.

Zyro offers designer-made templates with an easy-to-use visual editor. You can pick a template through the user interface for any type of website, be it a landing page or an eCommerce business website. 

Zyro offers great features to edit the site’s design to your liking – a grid layout, AI tools, stock images, and more. 

The grid helps to edit your website layout exactly how you want it. You can drag and drop the elements wherever you want, and they will click into place, making it pixel perfect.

On the other hand, Wix is known for its abundance of templates and a flexible editor. 

On top of that, the editor is very intuitive. You can customize any element on the website. However, due to the vast number of customization options, it can take a little longer to get used to.

Keep in mind that once you choose a Wix template, you can’t change it. So if you want to have a new web design for your website, you’ll have to start from scratch.

Squarespace is famous for its aesthetically pleasing web design templates. While it costs more, it is perfect for visual artists, photographers, and other creatives.

The editor is a tad bit more complicated when compared to Zyro or Wix, but it still offers an easy way to create a website.

eCommerce Functionality

If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website but don’t want to deal with content management systems, using a website builder is a great option, especially for small business owners who wish to keep the website development costs low.

Zyro offers two eCommerce plans – eCommerce for $14.99/month and eCommerce+ for $21.99/month.

This is a 100% commission-free eCommerce solution with multiple online payment options, inventory and order management, shipping and tax management, social media marketing add-ons, localization options, and abandoned cart recovery features.

Wix has three eCommerce plans – Business Basic for $17/month, Business Unlimited for $25/month, and Business VIP for $35/month.

Depending on the plan, this website builder offers secure online payments, recurring payments, customer accounts, unlimited products, automated sales tax, and other eCommerce features.

While Squarespace takes the cake with the web design options, it falls back when it comes to eCommerce plans and pricing.

It offers three options – Business for $12/month, Basic Commerce for $26/month, and Advanced Commerce for $40/month.

You’ll be able to sell unlimited products, accept donations, create gift cards, easily manage inventory and shipping. It also offers powerful eCommerce analytics tools and such helpful features as abandoned cart recovery.

Plugins and Add-Ons 

Builders are not as flexible or customizable as CMS, especially when it comes to add-ons.

Before making a purchase, make sure the website builder offers enough features and integrations for you to run a business successfully.

For example, Zyro offers integrations with Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Messenger Live Chat, Hotjar, and Google Tag Manager.

Wix has an app market, which has over 250 web apps. You will find everything from business tools to social media add-ons.

Similarly, Squarespace offers third-party integrations to add features to your website. Some are free, while others require additional paid subscriptions.

However, most of the additional features for the website builder are free or don’t go over the average cost of $10

SEO and Marketing 

All three website builders mentioned above have the needed tools for an effective marketing strategy. First of all, Zyro, Wix, and Squarespace all offer social media integration and are quite SEO-friendly.

Zyro, for example, even offers an AI Content Generator that can help generate written content for your website, which can definitely help save some website costs. 

On top of that, Zyro allows you to edit meta descriptions, alt text, and other SEO elements, which will help you with your content marketing efforts. 

Wix takes it one step further with advanced SEO tools that help to research keywords and optimize your website for search engines.

Squarespace, on top of on-site SEO, also offers a checklist to help you plan your strategy.

However, keep in mind that creating a truly effective marketing strategy takes more than social media posts and on-site SEO. It has to be planned out and executed carefully.

To make your life easier, you can find freelancers to help with the tasks. At Fiverr, you will find content marketing experts, social media administrators, and other marketing and business professionals.

How to Choose the Right Web Development Method for You?

Answering the questions below will help you understand which web development method is the best for you. It will let you figure out the framework that you’re working within, which will lead you to your next steps.

1. What’s Your Website’s Purpose?

What kind of design do you want for your website? Is it for a personal portfolio or a blog? Will it be an eCommerce store? Or perhaps you’re creating this website for a large business?

Answering these questions will help you determine how complex and big you’ll need the website to be. It’ll also allow you to brainstorm the possible functions this site will have to perform. 

Based on your answers, you’ll know which web development method is likely to be most effective. 

For example, if you’re after a small personal website with only a few pages, a website builder might be a good choice.

If you want a blog or a site with a simple design, you might want to build a website with WordPress.

And if your website will need lots of pages, features, and impressive overall design, perhaps hiring a freelance website designer would be best.

2. What’s Your Budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, hiring a website developer may not be the best idea. This method is slightly more expensive.

Using a website builder or WordPress are more budget-friendly options, but they require a lot more hands-on work.

3. What’s Your Skill Level?

Evaluate your technical knowledge and skills. How confident are you with building a website yourself?  

If you don’t have technical skills and you’re not a very fast learner, you’ll be better off giving this job to a professional. 

If you have some understanding, then consider a website builder. They’re very easy to use and require no coding knowledge. The cost to create a website with such a tool is also slightly lower compared to the other options.

However, it’s pretty limited when it comes to customization options of the design.

If you’re confident in your tech skills, go for WordPress. This method allows you to build a website of any kind while keeping the website development cost low.

4. Who Will Manage Your Website?

If you go with a professional developer, you can expect to pay an ongoing maintenance fee to look after your site. This can range from $100/year to $600/year and possibly more, depending on the specialist.

If you use a website builder, some level of support might be included within your monthly plan. However, you’ll have to do most of the managing yourself. 

Or, you can hire some outside help to lend you a hand, which can cost you from $35/month to $6000/month and more, depending on the service and the size of your site.

The same goes for WordPress – you’ll have to manage your website yourself or hire outside help. The price range will be the same as mentioned above.

What’s the Average Cost For a Small Business Website?

To summarize, here is how much it will cost to create a website. These calculations depend on the size and complexity of your site and how much help you will outsource.

  • $10-50/month if you go for a website builder. This is the most cost-effective choice for a small business website.
  • $50-100/month if you use WordPress. This price also depends on additional elements and add-ons you choose to have for your small business website.
  • Over $100/month if you opt for the expertise of web designers. Of course, the average cost depends on the difficulty of the web design. 

Tips to Reduce the Cost of a Website

No matter which website development method you decide to go for, there are extra steps you can take to make the process more cost-effective.

See if you can apply this advice to your website’s creation:

  • Use a pre-made template. Even if you decide to build a website with professional help, you can ask them to use a pre-made template to customize. This option will save lots of time and work, and potentially lots of money as well. 
  • Hire freelancers. Hiring a specialist doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are lots of skilled professionals that freelance by using online marketplaces, such as Fiverr. 
  • Use freemium themes/plugins. Some amazing themes and plugins come for free and can be upgraded if the need arises. Make sure to check them out before jumping into the “paid” category.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the design. It’s easy to get carried away with the number of pages and features your website can have. Stick to what you actually need, not what you want.

So, How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?

Website BuildersWordPressWeb Designer
Initial Setup$2.95 to $50$2.95 to $50$25 to $100
Web Design$0 to $200$0 to $200$300 to $800
Maintenance$0 to $300$0 to $373$50/month to $400/month
Web Content$0 to $85/hour$0 to $85/hour$0 to 45/hour

As you can see, website development cost varies a lot depending on a number of different factors.

When it comes to finding out how much does it cost to build a website it’s not just about the website building method you choose. This price includes the website itself and how much help you will need with it.

We hope that this article helped you get a better understanding of how much does it cost to build a website.

Make sure to follow our tips to minimize the web design and development price.

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