Thinking of building a website for your company? Wondering how much it is going to cost you? You ask a few people and they all give you a different answer. You are confused. That is to be expected as there is no simple answer. A website can cost you from $500 to $50,000. Let’s get you educated a little so you can talk to a web developer armed with a little better knowledge.
The number 1 thing you need to know is: it really depends on what your site is about, what it does and how it looks. Mobile friendly websites with custom, modern design cost a lot more than the average blog. In this article, we’ll give you an overall idea of the cost, but by all means, we encourage you to double check the cost depending on the site you want with a web developer.
Here are main thing you need to include in your budget:
Domain – not expensive
Hosting – not expensive
Design – could be expensive
Development/ website builder and maintenance – could be expensive
Content & SEO – it’s a long term activity. Keep it separate from web development.
Again, we would like to stress that the cost of building a website boils down to four points:
Which of these resources do you have at your disposal? Lacking one or two does not mean that you cannot have a website. You can either compensate one for the other or in the case of design/tech skills you can outsource the website building to professionals.
You can choose to buy a domain and learn how to design and setup the website yourself, which will probably take quite some time. In most cases, it is much more cost effective to get help from professionals.
You can either build parts of it by yourself, do it all on your own or have developers do all the work. Developers can build the website from scratch without using any particular website building software. Or, you create the site on WordPress but you need to know your way around the platform if you are to customize it to your needs and preferences. Alternately, website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are drag and drop builders so you can assemble a website with minimal technical knowledge. It will still require time though.
The cost of building a website changes according to the website building option you choose.
Professional developers will likely develop your site by using WordPress or if it is going to be an ecommerce site use an ecommerce platform like OpenCart, Magento, Prestashop, Shopify etc. . WordPress is the most popular platform due to its features and flexibility.
Design is the biggest variable as you can either use pre-made templates or a custom design. The pre-made ones cost $50 to $200 USD, custom design can go as high several thousand dollars.
Content creation is anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Of course you can also choose to write content yourself.
Ongoing maintenance costs between $100 to $500 USD per year.
What about the Drag & Drop website builders that are advertised on TV? If you are up to it, you can try them. Some people pick it up quite easily while others get frustrated with it. There is learning curve to everything and that takes time. If you don’t have time, then don’t try to do it yourself.
The popular Drag & Drop website builders are Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. The free plans come with limited features and functionality, but they are a good option for starters. There are plenty of free template designs to choose from, but you do not get access to the code that will enable you to customize the site. Maintaining the site is also hassle free and done in the background by the builder’s support staff. The only costly thing is hiring a designer for your brand and logo if you want to give it a more professional look and populating the site with content.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to everything.
If you have time and you are technically inclined, you can learn to do it yourself
If your time is better spent doing more valuable work, then outsource web development to a professional web development company.