How much does a website cost?
We get that question a lot.
Our answer: It depends.
In order to determine website cost, we need information.
Information about your business, your industry, and — most importantly — how you want your site to function. It might seem obvious to you that your website needs a portfolio section, or a form that allows visitors to upload files, but unfortunately it may not be obvious to us at all.
That’s why the first step in quoting a website project involves outlining the requirements. This covers everything from the number of pages the site will have to a detailed description of the tools and functionalities that will be needed. The requirements also specify who is responsible for providing which assets (e.g. team headshots and bios, copy for the ‘About’ page, etc.) as the project progresses.
Yep, preparing the requirements is a pretty intensive process.
Luckily, for the purpose of this post, I’m allowed to generalize (you’re off the hook! You don’t have to read a bunch of boring paragraphs about website requirements!)
Here are your options:
It’s true: you don’t have to be a web designer or developer in order to create something that technically qualifies as a website. However, chances are you’re going to end up with a pretty generic site (both visually and functionally).
In addition, managing your own website is going to cost you quite a bit of time, which I’m guessing is something you probably don’t have enough of to begin with.
Here are some additional costs to consider if going the DIY route:
- Training: If you opt to use a website-building platform like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace, you’ll probably need help learning to use it; these platforms offer paid tutorials that will run you about $50/month
- Hosting: Ranges from $5-$250/month
- Template: Pre-made WordPress website templates cost between $35-$200 (depending on their complexity)
- Content: The text and imagery for your site has to come from somewhere! If you’re generating all of it yourself, this represents a significant time cost
Partner with Pros
Maybe it makes sense for you to handle the basic setup yourself, but you want someone with professional design or web experience to iron out the kinks, help you add custom features, and provide ongoing support. Your setup costs should stay the same, but you’re looking at additional spend in order to get your website where you need it to be.
Professional website costs:
- Custom Theme: If you want a completely custom theme, you can expect to spend between $5,000-$10,000
- Custom Functionality: If you purchase a pre-made theme and want to make modifications or add functionalities, you’ll need a developer’s help, which will cost between $100-$180 per hour — the total cost will depend on how extensive the modifications are, but $300-$1,000 is a good baseline
- Graphic Design: A designer can help you customize the look and feel of your website, and will probably charge between $50-$80 per hour
- Maintenance: ongoing SEO, software updates, QA (checking for broken links, maintaining site speed), etc. will run you about $500-$2,500 per year.
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all website budget.
The website cost will be dictated by what you need from your site, as well as how professional, customizable, and user friendly you want it to be.
The important thing is that your website reflects your company’s status, or the status you want to attain. The old “dress for the job you want” adage applies here. A website is an investment. It represents your business and influences the world’s perception of how successful you are. Our advice? Don’t cut corners!
About the Author: Content Creator Sam Calcagno is a creative mind devoted to harmonizing content. From photography and video, to ad copy and blogs, Sam creates content of all kinds. His passion for prose stems from his creative writing background. As a part of the creative team at Macleod & Co., Sam approaches every task with tactics rooted in research, observation, and originality. He is a jack-of-all-trades and dedicates himself to understanding each client’s unique voice and letting it speak through their content. Outside the office, Sam is passionate about eating tamales, songwriting, and traveling.