Your website is the most important part of your business. More clients will encounter it long before you interact with them. Whether your business operates out of a physical space or is purely online, it’s vital to maintain a strong web presence in today’s mobile and digital world. BUT, how much should that website cost you?

The short answer is, if you’re small and starting out, a website with 5-10 pages may cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 dollars, depending on your business’s specific needs. Annual maintenance should cost anywhere from $500 to $2,400. *The fine print being, it all depends on what your business needs.

Some statistics on Web Design in 2019

Sm. Business Website

$1500-$10,000
  • 5-20 pages

Corporate Website

$10,000-$20,000
  • 20-75 pages

Ecommerce Website

$5,000-$35,000
  • 50-1K products

Web Application

$7,000-$50,000
  • Varies

How does the total cost break down?

If you’re not familiar with the process, designing a website can seem like a two-step process. You hire someone to design it, and they put it on the internet. In reality, a lot more goes into it and each step is associated with a varying degree of cost. A simplified rundown would be:

  1. Buy a Domain, how else are they going to find you?)
  2. Buy an SSL Certificate, Google likes it.
  3. Find someone to design and develop your site; a freelancer, design agency (that’s us), or web builder.
  4. Write or get help writing copy and content for pages; do you have your own content and photos or do you need help from your web design agency to curate that content.
  5. Revise, user test, revise the design till it’s perfect; it takes time to get it right so that it speaks to your customers.
  6. Determine whether your site will be mobile friendly and responsive – a must if you wanna reach your customers because they are on their phones.
  7. Choose whether you need to have an ecommerce component. How will you sell your product online?
  8. Determine how you will edit your website; a content management system is the best and easiest way to edit your site content without opening up the code directly, yuk.
  9. Do you need custom functionality or an app written? What else does your site need to tap into? What problems do you need it to solve?

The total website cost will depend on how many of these things you answered “yes” to. Below are some upfront costs to give you a better idea.

Upfront Website Costs
Domain Name
$13 – $20/year
SSL Certificate
$60+/year
Website Hosting
$240 – $10k/year
Content Management System (CMS)
0 – $40k/year
Ecommerce Functionality
$100 – $400/year
Developing Theme/Branding
$1,000 – $12,000/year
Responsive Design
$1,000 – $10,000/year
System Integrations
$2,500 – $15,000/year
Web Dev Staff/Agency
0 – $10,000/year

I heard about these do-it-yourself website builders…Wee-Wix and square something that are supposed to be really inexpensive?

If you’re someone who has some design experience and perhaps know your way around with HTML and CSS, this could be an option for you. These platforms make it really convenient to pick a theme and edit text and pictures and be rolling with a website in hours. That being said, the reason they do this successfully is because there isn’t too much customization… even if you are a seasoned pro. They offer patterns for themed websites that end up being generic and lack design. This can affect the site’s usability for your customers, which defeats the purpose of having a website. It’s hard to reflect your business as something different when it follows a template.

You have unique strengths and you deserve a website that showcases that. So, while this can be a great fit for some folks, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you don’t have any web design and development experience it can prove to be an uphill battle that might cost you more than just the initial expense of having a professional site built. Building a poorly designed website yourself on a platform like this may not properly communicate your business’s competitive advantage. Sacrificing quality right now could cost you customers over time.

So, you’ve built it…now you gotta maintain it!

You did it! Finally committed to putting yourself out there on the world wide webs. You want your customers to be able to find you and know what you’re all about, and at first, they do. But, then you get busy and forget to update your website as your business grows. 

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is. You look up a business’s address on their website, get to the spot, walk up to the door just to find out that the business is no longer at that location… and has moved. What are you supposed to do? You check again, but they haven’t updated their address on their website or Google business directory. So what do you do? You find a new business with the support that you can actually find. The same goes for booking an appointment and finding out that the service advertised on the website is no longer offered or costs more than what it’s advertised on the website for.

Your website is your billboard, menu, and your best employee. All of those things require attention. As your business changes, sometimes daily, your website needs to reflect that. What I am talking about here are the changes to your site which are on top of the fixed costs you have annually to keep the lights on.

On-going Website Costs
Domain Name
$13 – $20/year
SSL Certificate
$60+/year
Website Hosting
$240 – $10k/year
Content Management System (CMS)
0 – $40k/year
Ecommerce Functionality
$100 – $400/year
Website Maintenance
$100 – $1200/year
Web Dev Staff/Agency
0 – $5000/year

If you build it, they will come. And you did…but they didn’t come!

Read our next post on how to get traffic to your site after you launched it because you can’t rely on organic traffic alone, especially when you are just starting out. We will look at how to get traffic to your site so you can start generating sales. If you have questions about marketing a site in 2019 or how to reach your target market, we have answers.