Nowadays there are websites for everything. From corporate business ones, to online chatrooms, to social media, gaming and more. Did you know that around 1.2 billion websites exist? And more than 500,000 web pages are created every single day.
Websites are essential; we use them to find information and help us live our lives. Whether you need your own website to host a blog, promote your business, or for personal use, you probably want to know how much a website costs to build and run.
We’ve put together this complete guide to let you know how much does it cost to set up a website and how much does it cost to run one. And if you want free web design price quotes – we can arrange those as well using our quote form above.
How much does it cost to build a website?
This is a frequently asked question because the answer varies a considerable amount. The good news is that you can build a website for free if you are on a tight budget. Yes, for free.
Website builder platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix will allow you to use a selection of free templates to build a small business website. These templates tend to be very similar to each other and have a limited amount of personalisation, but they do allow you to create your website for free.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are website designers. Web designers are incredibly talented and use their experience and HTML coding to build a bespoke website for you. This means everything from the layout and the styling, to the font and the colours are totally personalised.
Hiring a web designer to create a website means it will be exactly as you imagine it. They take all the hassle and complexities out of your hands and give you back a stunning, super-functional website. Of course, all this personalisation comes with a price tag. That is why you should get several website price quotes.
A decent freelance web designer creating a reasonably simple small business website will charge a minimum of around £300. Unless they are just starting out and practising their skills, you won’t find many good designers for under this price.
Based on the designers’ skill and the complexity of the website, the price goes up from there. Some small businesses have complex websites which cost over £5,000 to build – but the average build cost you can expect to pay is somewhere between £600-800.
The Price Range For Website Design
Depending on the site’s complexity, the number of pages and the functionality of the site, website build costs vary greatly. When we talk about web design prices, it doesn’t just refer to how the website looks; it also refers to how it functions and how easy it is to use. To give you an idea, we’ve broken down some average costs of websites.
For a basic small business website with 5 or 6 pages, including a contact page, you should be looking at a budget of under £500. This amount will rise to between £600-£1,000 for a website including several pages, social media integration, a contact page with location maps and with Google Analytics integration.
The big jump in website costs comes when you add eCommerce functionality. Including items such as order management, tracking shipping, live chat and other eCommerce features can take the initial website costs up to around £2,000.
Anything above £2,000, you are looking at a sector-specific site which may also include a database, bespoke design, and advanced functionality. These websites are the ones that cost £5,000 and above. These are generally used by larger businesses that have special needs, such as legal companies and banks.
In fact, there are some corporate businesses spending over £100k on their website!
When working with a website designer, it is best to get a website quote before starting work. Different designers will charge different amounts based on their skills and specialties. Ask for a quote for the entire project, so you don’t come up against any nasty surprises at a later stage.
Different Types Of Web Designers
If you want to go down the road of hiring a web designer for a personalised website, you have several options:
Web design agency
Agencies are reliable, experienced, and will be able to complete the project in a short amount of time. They may employ several designers to work on a project at once and are perfect if you want a good job done quickly. They will provide a quote for the entire project, making it easy to compare with other web agencies to find the best price.
Freelancers generally charge per hour, so the more complex your website, the more you’ll pay. Freelancers tend to be more niche and focus on specific areas of designs. If your website is relatively basic, any freelancer will be able to do it. If there are complex or particular functionalities, you’ll need to hunt around for the best web designer quote for your site.
Overseas web company
You can find lots of cheap offshore options for web design. If you are on a budget and want a bespoke website, this is a fantastic option as many talented web designers are based abroad. However, they tend to be less reliable, and if something goes wrong in the future, they may not be able to provide support.
How much does a website cost per month?
As well as the website design costs, you’ll also need to consider how much it costs to run a website. Again, it varies greatly. The main costs you will need to consider are hosting, ongoing eCommerce systems (if relevant), and security.
Of course, if you want, you can get a website which has no running costs at all. The same website builder platforms (or content management system) that you used to build your website i.e. Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix, will also offer different hosting packages. Most will offer a free option.
However, if you plan on using your website to promote a business, it’s best to avoid these plans. The drawback with a free hosting plan is that it comes with a sub-domain name that will include the platform name, e.g. www.yourbusiness.squarespace.com.
These platforms will more than likely also display adverts on your site, have limited bandwidth and storage options. They don’t tend to offer ‘backups’, do not allow eCommerce functionality, and the customer support is not great. If you’re serious about your website, you need to pay to run it.
All of these website builder platforms will also have pay-per-month website hosting plans. These plans have great support for your website in case you run into any problems. They will also offer more storage and bandwidth options, so you can add these to the site if needed.
Typically, you can also unlock more personalisation features for the overall design of the website. This means you can make design changes so your website will stand out and look more professional and personalised than others using the same template.
The cost of basic pay-per-month website plans typically start at around £10 per month. Other website hosting providers may cost slightly more at £15 per month or slightly less at £8 per month.
Business plans that include basic SEO, marketing, and eCommerce features start at around £20 per month and can range range up to £100 per month. For most small businesses, the ongoing hosting costs you should expect to pay are around £40 per month for a fairly comprehensive hosting plan.
Make sure you shop around between web providers like Squarespace and Wix to get the plan that’s right for you. Each platform includes different support levels and features in its plans. Compare which plan is right for you before you start building your website. You might be able to build a site for a cheaper initial cost on one CMS, but end up losing money paying for a plan with features you don’t need.
If you use a web designer to create your website, they should be able to provide a hosting and support package as well, most good web designers do, or at least recommend an affordable hosting provider.
How much does an eCommerce website cost?
While pricing varies for design and running costs, the most common type of website is also the most varied price-wise. eCommerce websites can be super affordable, but they can also cost a fortune. If you want to set up your own eCommerce website to sell items online, here are the basic costs you need to factor into your decision.
eCommerce websites don’t have to be expensive. If you only want to list a few products and you don’t need to manage a considerable amount of stock, they will be less expensive. However, the more stock items that are listed, the higher number of customers requiring tracking features, the more expensive it will be.
As discussed above, an eCommerce website has some key features such as built-in order management systems, delivery tracking features, and some even include live chat support functionality. It’s also likely that you will accept payment from different providers i.e. PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay etc.
As consumers will want reassurance that the site is secure, it must have a SSL certificate too. While these features may vary from site to site, they are pretty standard for an eCommerce website.
Setting up and running an effective eCommerce website is an investment in your business. The price of a good website varies greatly as they are so many options available. You will need to do some research (and compare price quotes) before getting started to make sure you get all the features you need at a reasonable price.
Example of an eCommerce websites cost
- Design/Creation – £900 to £2,000
- Domain name – Free to £100 per year
- SSL Certificate – £20 – £200 per year
- Running costs (hosting, upgrades, updates) – £10 to £500 per month
How much does a personalised domain name cost?
The domain name or web address for your website is one of the most essential choices you will make for your site. Like all things, it costs money to get a good one, and the price varies massively.
In-demand domain names can cost several thousand pounds (some even cost £millions) and are highly sought after. Some people make a career out of buying and selling domain names for business websites, so they not only cost money but good ones are also hard to find.
We’ve already pointed out that you can get a sub-domain name for free using a hosting platform like WordPress or Squarespace. However, the domain name will include the hosting platform name, which gives an unprofessional feel to it.
You can pay for a domain name which costs very little. Generally, these are available for around £10-£20 per year and are perfect if you want an unusual name. Domain names which end .co.uk cost slightly less than those that end .com.
An average price to pay would be around £20 for a .com address and about £10 for a .co.uk domain name per year. Popular names start from approximately £30 per year but don’t be surprised if you see domains priced at £500 or even more. Of course you don’t need to buy them at that price.
Additional Web Design Costs
The total cost of a website is generally ongoing. There are always updates, new technologies, and changes to functionality to make. Your website should grow and change to reflect your usage and personal or business developments. However, these things cost money.
The following list contains a few things where you may find yourself spending extra money:
unless you exclusively use your own imagery or stock images, you’ll have to buy the rights to photographs. Depending on the image, this can cost anything from £5 to £200.
Search Engine Optimization is crucial if you want people to actually find your website. You might want to hire an expert to go over your site and make it more attractive to search engines. SEO algorithms are constantly changing, and so this isn’t a one-off cost – it’s ongoing! You can compare SEO prices and receive free quotes here.
Highly associated with SEO is content creation. You’ll need to update your site regularly with new content, so it stays fresh, engaging, and high on search engine search results. This means you’ll either have to create content yourself or work with someone, a writer, to create content for your site.
As your site grows with more web pages which have more content, it will receive more visitors, so you may need to pay for an upgrade to your hosting platform. This means your website will load pages faster and have space for more pages, images and files.
Web Design Cost Conclusion
It is difficult to say precisely how much it costs for a website because there are so many variables. Depending on what you want your site for, the size, and the site’s complexity, it can range from totally free to tens of thousands of pounds.
The critical thing to remember is that your website is an investment, and you should take it seriously. Websites are only growing in importance, and so you should do your research, compare quotes from multiple web designers and be prepared to set aside enough money to get exactly what you need. A good website can make or break a business!
Whatever you want to create, it is possible if you know what you’re doing, or if you work with someone who does!
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