Website Costs

How much does a Website costs?

We all know a website is critical to business success today, but one thing that’s hard to determine is how much it will cost you to have one built. Find out how to set your budget for a web design project, and what to consider.

Website Design – Hardware and Software Tools You May Need

Before you get started with your new website or editing your current site, you need to consider which hardware and software tools you may need to support your efforts.

When it comes to hardware needed this can be very simple or reasonably complex depending on your particular needs. Of course, if you plan to create a new website (or even view your new website later) you need a computer. Simple enough, right? Not necessarily. We prefer to work with Apple Macintosh (OSX Leopard on MacBook Pro) as we do a lot of intensive graphics work and have previously invested in Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). It is just as easy to create your new website using your Windows PC but we would suggest you stay away from using Windows Vista (any version) and migrate to Windows 7 or stick with Windows XP. These operating systems are just much more stable and reliable.

Another consideration for hardware should be some sort of backup hard drive or removable USB memory stick(s). It is important that you back up all of your website data to a removable drive in the event your computer crashes, is broken or is stolen. When you create website files, most of your data will be stored on the website hosting servers but, in many cases, you will have many other “builder files” that usually never make it to the hosting servers. If you lose this data you will be forced to start from scratch in many cases. Another piece of hardware that many forget about is a HD Video Camcorder. If you plan to include video on your site, you should be investing in something half decent; you can normally pick up a good video camera that also captures “still photos” for under $500.00.

When it comes to software needed, this can be somewhat more complicated, again depending on what your website design goals are. At the very least, you will need some sort of text editing software, FTP (file transfer software), graphics creation software and then a variety of other tools as you progress.

Here are some of the most common subjects you should consider when planning the design of your website product.


Do you currently have a computer that can process large files (i.e. – video files) quickly and efficiently?


Are you planning to host your own website portal? If so, do you know what type of hardware and server software you will need?


Do you currently have some sort of backup hard drive equipment or plan?


Will you be creating custom videos for your website and, if so, do you have a HD video camera ready to go?


Are you planning to make your website “mobile web friendly”? If so, do you have an iPhone and an iPad? Android phone? Blackberry device? These will be needed for testing purposes!


Do you have any website creation software (i.e. – Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Front Page) installed, licensed and ready to use?


Are you planning to create your own website graphics or edit pictures? Do you have the necessary software (i.e. – Adobe Photoshop or Photo Studio)?


Are you planning on creating a database for your website and, if so, do you know which software to use for this purpose?

Domain Name

Every website needs a domain name to be hosted online you can either buy a brand new domain name, or purchase one that’s been registered for a while.


Brand new domains will cost about $10-15 a year, depending on register and TLD.

  • Register a company like GoDaddy, Bluehost etc.
  • TLD refers to : .com, .org, .net etc.



Aged domains can cost hundreds or even millions of dollars.

Price depends on many factors including :

  1. Age of Domain
  2. keywords

Examples : sold for $5 million in 2007 sold for $7 million in 2004 sold for around $11 million in 2001

You will pay a domain fee every year to keep the domain, which varies depending on the registrar.

Web Hosting

Every website needs web hosting to be online. Your web designer/developer can help you secure web hosting, but this is not typically included in the design and development fees.



  • Many websites are hosted on the same server.
  • Think of a server as an apartment building.
  • Each “apartment” gets its own space and web address, but you are stuck with whatever the apartment building gives you.
  • Cost effective way to host a website.
  • Spend as little as $3.95/month.




Virtual Private Server (VPS):

  • More expensive than shared hosting, but gives you more control over the hosting environment.
  • Many websites are hosted on the same server, but each account gets more control, similar to what dedicated servers provide.
  • You’re still sharing the server, so you get an “apartment” but you have the freedom to do what you want with the apartment.
  • Expect to spend at least $29.99/month.
Dedicated Server
Dedicated Server

Dedicated server:

  • Dedicated servers are best for sites that are highly trafficked and need extra security.
  • You are in control of the server.
  • You get your own apartment building and are in complete control of it.
  • You choose what software to run, how many websites to host etc.
  • Dedicated servers are the most expensive way to host a website.
  • Expect to spend at least $99.99/month

Design And Development

Costs can vary significantly depending on the scope of work required.



Will a pre-made theme work?

(Price range: Free to ~$100)

This is more cost-effective than something that will require heavy modification or something that will need to be built from the ground up.

Custom themes : $500 to $3,000

Do you have graphics and imagery, or will the designer need to provide those as well?

If the designer needs to provide that, think about how much they’ll have to provide.

Stock photography/graphics can be costly, depending on the size you need. Expect to pay around $15 to $20 an image, but other images will cost more.

($1.60 to $1.67/credit, images average 6-15 credits depending on the stock library you use).



How many pages of content will your website need?

Are you providing that, or will the designer need to do it?

Will you outsource it to a copywriter, or write it yourself?

If you write it yourself, do you have the time and ability?

Content quality will vary depending on who you hire, and cost varies with quality.

Freelance non-native English speakers will write for around $1/page.

Agencies can charge $100+/page.


Functionality Development-

Do you need more than a simple contact form?

Wil you need a forum?

Do you want to include a blog?

Will your website be membership-based?

Do you want your site to deliver dynamic content?

Content that’s been personalized for each visitor?

Example-’s homepage is personalized based on purchase history.

Will you need an e-commerce platform?

Will your website need to be compatible with any third party platforms?

Additional cost may be incurred for updates and website maintenance.

Average starting prices keeps track of 7,382 web design companies worldwide. Here are the average starting prices for common website development projects.

 UK companies-

Prices start from £610 Brochure website (data from 1452 companies)

Prices start from £1165 Content managed website (data from 1512 companies)

Prices start from £1660 E-Commerce website (data from 1472 companies)

US companies-

Prices start from £1190 Brochure website (data from 237 companies)

Prices start from £2235 Content managed website (data from 226 companies)

Prices start from £2640 E-Commerce website (data from 231 companies)


Brochure Website: $1,190-$3000+

A “Brochure” website refers to a basic informational site about your business.

Creates an “online presence”

Generally includes pages for:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services/Products
  • Contact

CMS Website: $2,235-$10,000+

Generally includes pages for:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services/Products
  • Contact

For membership-based sites, forums, blogs or other sites that use a database and/or dynamic content.

Plus: a CMS-integrated design & programming.

(Popular CMSs: Joomla, Drupal, WordPress)

“Dynamic” functionality gives website owners the ability to “”log-in” and make changes to the content of the site.

e-Commerce website: $2,600-$10,000+

includes the basic “brochure pages”:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services/Products
  • Contact

Plus eCommerce functionality with:

Shopping cart software: Ability to add & update products accept and process payments (credit cards, Paypal etc)

Total Cost

Depending on which decisions you make along the way you can plan on spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Low-end estimates come from shared hosting with pre-made themes and graphics, higher-end amounts come from dedicated hosting and/or completely custom design and coding robust features.

You get what you pay for: Quality matters.



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