Last update: April 2020
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So you’ve decided to build your own website. But the question is, how much will it cost?
In this guide you find answers to questions such as “how much does a website cost?”, and if you decide to make it yourself “how much does it cost to build a website?”
I’ll also show you how much website design costs, and just as importantly, how much website maintenance costs.
Here’s the TL;DR version; read on for more detail.
OK, let’s get in to some more detail…
How do you want to build your website?
There are literally hundreds of variations in the way you could build your website. However, they all sit within two broad categories:
- Make the website yourself
- Hire a web designer/developer (freelance or agency)
Make the website yourself
When it comes to the cost of building a website yourself, it is likely to be cheaper than you think.
I would recommend using either WordPress or a specialist website builder to create your website.
These will give you the flexibility to create a good looking website relatively quickly and with very little technical knowledge.
All web hosts now offer WordPress as a one-click install app, and you’ll find most have included in their cheapest hosting plans.
- 20i hosting: Shared hosting £4.99 per month + domain name £5.99 = £65.87
- Krystal hosting: Shared hosting £3.99 per month + domain name £7.99 = £55.87
Once you have your hosting and domain name set-up, the next step is to choose your WordPress theme.
There are a lot of free WordPress themes available for any one to use, but finding one that’s perfect for you can be a bit of a grind.
WordPress theme marketplaces like Themeforest have thousands of really high quality themes to choose from, usually prices between £50 to £75.
You may want to buy some premium plug-ins but I’ve found the freely developed WordPress plug-in eco-system will cover 99% off your needs.
If we add the hosting and theme together we are looking at a cost between £110 to £130.
Website builders are template driven and let you create a website with simple click and drag of components and images.
Again, a lot of web host advertise their website builder software, but these tend to be quite limited and in some cases, under-developed.
For an ad-free experience, Wix starts at £6 per month and that comes with a free domain name for the first year as well.
- Wix website builder: Combo plan £6 per month with free domain name = £72 first year (add £11 for a Wix domain name from year two onwards).
Hire a web designer /developer
If you don’t have the time, experience or confidence to make your own website, then the alternative is to bring in a professional.
There are more web designers to choose from than there are stars in the sky. It is important you do your research to ensure you get a good one, at a decent price.
Services such as fiverr.com have a thriving and well vetted marketplace to find a freelance designer. If you want to use an agency, check out:
- YourWebsitePlus: Get matched with an agency based on your criteria
- Clutch: A huge directory of designers with user ratings
- Bark: Get quotes from web designers/agencies
Value for money is relative and does not necessarily mean cheap. A chap designer could produce terrible work, increasing your costs through lost time etc.
A great designer or agency might cost more, but if they deliver your vision, on time, to a high quality, that is good value.
Website design costs
Although there is no hard-fast rule, a simple website with a few pages will likely cost between £500 to £1000.
A larger website, with ecommerce baked in, will set you back around £2,000 to £10,000 depending on its complexity.
Website maintenance cost
Ongoing management and maintenance for a basic website will range from £50 to £300 per month.
For larger websites with more demanding management and development tasks, you’ll be quoted between £1,000 to £2,500 per month.
Cost of different types of websites
The amounts above are very general and don’t apply to every type of website.
Here is a bit more information on how much it costs to build a few common types of websites.
Small brochure website
- DIY: Cresting your own small business website is super-easy with WordPress or a good Website Builder. Approx first year cost = £100 (hosting+domain+theme). Ongoing costs to maintain the website is just your own time and the annual hosting fees.
- Web Designer: This obviously depends on who you choose to use. I would recommend looking for a freelance designer/developer or agency with a good reputation and to not just focus on price. Approx cost = £500 – £1,000. Ongoing costs depend on the hosting and Content Management platform your designer uses. Expect to pay £150 – £300 per month.
- DIY: A blog is insanely easy to set-up and publish with WordPress. You can literally get a blog online in minutes. Approx first year cost = £100 (hosting+domain+theme). Ongoing costs to maintain the website is just your own time and the annual hosting fees.
- Web Designer: I would only go with this option if you are determined to have your own custom WordPress theme. That said, before you commit yourself to using a web designer, have a good look at ThemeForest, there are thousands of high quality themes for around the £50 to £75 mark.
- DIY: The likes of Shopify specialise in ecommerce website builder tools, and makes it very easy to get set up. You can add Shopify to an existing website for $9 per month or use their hosting/site builder tool from $29 per month. They also take a percentage fee for every transaction. The two biggest ecommerce plug-ins for WordPress are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Both are free, but you’ll need to pay for additional extensions to get the most out of them.
- Web Designer: For an ecommerce website you will likely have to pay between £2,000 to £10,000 depending on its complexity.
Hopefully you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.