What does a website cost?

The most frequently asked question in the world of business is probably “How much does a website cost?” The interesting thing is that there is no single-word answer to this because you have to consider a number of aspects. It is almost like asking someone the cost of a house. It all depends on the specifics of the asset you are trying to procure.

In this article, we have to go through these aspects so you will have a rough idea on the budget. If you are looking for a quick answer, a website can start anywhere from 1000 US Dollar and go up to hundreds of thousands of US Dollar depending on how you are planning it. But mind it, it is not the end of it.

Just like everything you see in the market, the cost of designing a website has changed drastically. You can no longer boil down the process to a few static pages, with a contact address at the end of the page. The website itself should have all the features that make an attractive webpage, and often with a shopping cart and a secure payment gateway.

When you look at it broadly, the cost of building your website will centre around 4 main resources. They are:

  • Time
  • Knowledge of all the technicalities involved in building the website
  • Design skills of the developer
  • Budget

You have to get all these four together to get a good website. The cost of designing the website would be largely and heavily dependent on them. Consequently, you have the option of either opting for website templates, or having a custom-made website. Hiring professional services and relying on modern technology will also be a major determinant of the price.

So in short, here are your options:

  • Go for an in-house option, wherein you make use of the talent (designers and developers) in your own office to develop the site
  • You can buy templates and then modify them to suit your requirements. Some amount of technology and skills are required in this
  • You can outsource this work to experts, and get a high-quality website done

Now, that you have made your decision, you need to decide on the hosting services as well. There are several types of hosting services, but three of them are really very important.

a) Shared hosting
b) VPS hosting
c) Dedicated hosting

  • a) Shared hosting is also called virtual hosting where several other websites (other than yours) will be hosted on a single server. There are a number of pros and cons attached to this option. At a ballpark estimate, you will have to pay to $ 3 to $ 50 per month.
  • b) VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server hosting options is more private than shared hosting, and a bit less expensive than Dedicated hosting. And it still does deliver a measure of speed, reliability, security. The cost also depends on whether you need a Windows or Linux Hosting Plan. Windows plan is slightly more expensive, with a ballpark estimate of 25 US Dollar per month, and with Linux plan at 18 US Dollar per month.
  • c) Dedicated hosting services are something large businesses go for, and the pricing would largely dependent on your business requirement. At a ballpark estimate, the cost would come up to 150 US Dollar per month.

Cinching an invincible online presence requires you to have the following:

  • Domain name
  • A fully functioning website
  • Hosting account

It is the approach you take for the website that determines the price. You could go for the all-in- one bundle where have a fixed monthly budget that would consist of a domain name, fixed development tools and a hosting plan. You could also choose the other approach where you can purchase the three differently depending on your needs. This could be a suitable approach, especially when you need to scale from time to time.

If you are really watching your budget, then DIY tools for developing a website would suffice. You could create a site that requires no coding experience or technical acumen.

Hiring a developer depends on the level of experience you need. If you are calculating in dollars, it could start at $ 100 per hour. In India, the developer’s rate is much cheaper, the lowest starting at $ 25 per hour (less is not advisable, because it is not really feasible to develop something at a lesser rate rate). A highly skilled agency could be taking somewhere around $ 30 – $ 50 per hour (in Asia). For a highly skilled agency in Europe or the US it will be around $ 100 to $ 150 per hour.

And then the time taken to build your website is also a major cost determining factor. A basic website used building WordPress or Wix can be completed within a few days or weeks, and it is the cheapest one, with practically no developer charges. You still have to pay the hosting charges though and consider your own time invested.

Types of websites

Different kinds of businesses/ people need different kinds of websites.

a) Small business website – Cost could be around $ 1500 – $ 7999. It needs like customisation and would be around 20 pages.

b) Medium sized website – Cost could be around $ 8000 – $ 20000, with around 30-75 pages. You will need Content Management System, with a bit of unique functionalities.

c) Ecommerce website – Cost would start at around $ 10000. It takes time to create such a website, where your customers can browse and purchase products and pay for them.

d) Large Business Website – Cost can start around $ 20000. The level of customisation is very high, and you have a website that can withstand seasonal spike and surges.

Once the website is ready for launch, you have to consider the post-launch options:

  • Effective marketing strategies
  • Social media marketing
  • Maintenance and updates
  • Multiple screen size check/checking whether it functions on different platforms
  • Security of the website

These are also factors that take up money depending on the quality and extent of services needed.

Closing Thoughts

This proves that the cost of building a website is an ongoing process and you cannot be satisfied with a one-word answer. The above-mentioned factors play a crucial factor, apart from the fine tuning you have to do later. You also need to build your website so it functions seamlessly across various platforms. Responsive websites are in huge demand, adding to the total costs.

Other things to consider:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Who will be writing the texts for the pages? Will it be written by an professional writer who also will take care of SEO? This is also called Onpage Optimization.
  • UI/ UX: User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience Design (UX) are increasingly important. Only professional IT service providers have good designer who can take care of this. They will put a focus on the usability of the pages.
  • App: In some cases, especially in large websites, it can make sense to have separate Apps for Android and iOS. This can significantly increase the price.
  • Product configurators: To make a online platform more interactive and attractive to visitors, many implement “online product configurators”. These are usually custom built and take weeks and months in development efforts and thus increasing the overall budget needed.
  • Pictures: Instead of using stock photos, good online presences use pictures taken by professional photographers. A good photographer might take several hundreds or thousands of US Dollars for their efforts.
  • Integration of ERP systems: In some cases it becomes necessary to integrate ERP systems or CRM programs to the online platform. If pre-built API’s are not available, then this itself can be very expensive. But valuable, because a lot of time can be saved with data entry.

The list can go on and on.

Therefore: Putting a price tag on an online project is not easy.

One approach would be to check your own budget and then ask the development team, what they can built with it.

The other approach is to give a list of requirements and ask the development team to give a cost estimate. And if budget allows for more, then additional requirements can be added. And if the price is too high, then the requirements can be ranked from “Very important” to “Least important” and the lesser important one’s can be taken out from the list.

What’s your opinion? Kindly leave your reply in the comments section.

Interesting Articles:
Current information on cost of a website
Cost of website overview

Picture Source: Flickr.com/ medithIT


About the author: Reema works as Thought Leader at PHPBabu.

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