Having decided that you need a website either for personal use (as a portfolio) or business use (for reaching out to customers or selling products online) the next question that comes to mind is how much does a website cost?
Well, the answer to that varies and depends on stuff like the kind of features you want on the site, your business size, and how much you’re willing to spend.
The cost of designing a website in 2023 on average with a website builder is around $0 to $500 per month, and with a freelancer or web design agency, it can cost up to about $10,000 to $100,000 with the routine maintenance cost of about $400 to $60,000 per year and $0 to $5000 per year for a website builder.
Read on to discover more details about the actual cost of designing a website from scratch. We’ll be looking at the three ways you can build your website, the cost for each method, and things to consider before choosing the best web design option for you based on your budget and preferences.
How Much Does Web Design Cost?
There are three options for you to choose from when designing a website. You can either use a website builder, WordPress, or a professional web designer or web design agency. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks and of course different costs. More importantly, the method you choose is what will determine your overall cost.
Website builders are by far the cheapest, costing as little as $6 per month. WordPress, on the other hand, can be cheap or slightly expensive ranging between $11 to $50 per month while hiring a website designer comes top as the most expensive option with a price tag of over $10,000.
But before we go into details of each method and its costs, let’s take a look at the breakdown of how much a typical website design should cost. Take note that these cost estimates are often one-time expenses you’ll incur when building your website, and you’ll still have to spend extra for ongoing maintenance of your site once it’s launched.
|Website Features||Design Cost|
|Website Domain||$12 – $60|
|Website Hosting||$24- $10,000|
|Website Template or Theme||$0 – $2,000|
|Website Content||$0 – $5,000|
|SSL Certificate||$0 – $1,500|
|SEO Marketing||$250- $15,000|
|E-commerce Functionality||$2,000 – $25,000|
|Apps and Integrations||$2000 – $25,000|
|Responsive Design||$3,000 – $25,000|
|Pages (1-250 pages)||$1,000 – $1000|
Cost Of Web Design With A Website Builder
The cheapest way to design a website is by using a website builder. This option is best for personal websites and portfolios, technical novices, and anyone who needs their website to be live as fast as possible. The cost of using a website builder can fall between completely free to about $500 per month. However, most website builders are within the $6 to $50 range per month.
- Cheap monthly subscription of $6 to $50 per month which covers hosting, free themes, security, and other built-in features.
- Option to install a free or paid app (usually $0 to $30+ ) for your site.
- They’re easy to use so you don’t have to hire a professional developer.
The problem with website builders is that their free plans come with a lot of limitations like
- A free non-custom domain like www.mysite.wix.com
- Adverts displayed on your website
- No e-commerce features which means you can’t sell on your website
- Limited features such as low bandwidth allowance and low storage
- Not much customer support.
To be honest, if you are going to build a website that you want people to see, then you should probably opt for a paid version of the website builder instead of the free plan. The free plan is only suitable for when you’re testing out your design skills or trying to see if a particular website builder is the right one for you. You can test out the free versions of different website builders without the financial pressure to see which one is best for you before you upgrade to the paid plan of the one you prefer.
If you truly want to create a high-quality website using a website builder, you’ll have to choose the right kind of builder. Some of the best website builders you can try today are Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy. Wix comes with a free plan, and a paid version of $16, $27, and $500 respectively. Squarespace comes with a 14-day free trial plan after which you get to subscribe to their paid plan of $16, $27, and $49 if you want to continue on the platform. GoDaddy, on the other hand, has a free 30-day trial plan, and a paid version of $11.99, $24.99, and $44.99.
So how much exactly will it cost to design your website using a website builder? To answer this we’ve divided the website builder plans into four groups.
- Free Plan: If you’re a student building school projects or a private blogger then you don’t need to spend money. Just sign up for a free plan.
- Basic Plan: For people building portfolios, bloggers, and small businesses. This will cost around $12 per month.
- E-commerce Plan: For businesses selling products or online stores. This will cost around $18 to $50 per month.
- Enterprise Plan: For large businesses and large online stores. This will cost around $500 per month.
Cost Of Web Design Using WordPress
Most people would classify WordPress as part of a website builder which is not far from the truth but in reality, using WordPress gives you a lot more control over your website compared to other website builders. If you want to run a blog or an online store and you want full customization of your site but have very little technical confidence, then WordPress is a great choice.
- No monthly subscription fee. WordPress is free
- Options for free and paid plugins with a one-off fee or monthly/annual payment ranging between $0 to $100 per month.
- Options for free and paid themes with a one-off fee rather than a monthly subscription. This costs around $0 to $50+ upfront payment.
- Cheap hosting fees ranging from $2.95 to $50 per month
- Options for free inbuilt security alongside your hosting plan or you can get extra security measures for $200 per year.
The downside of using WordPress is that there are extra costs involved such as
- The need for professional help. If you’re building a custom site, you’ll need to hire a professional developer which can cost around $80 to $180 per hour.
- Domain name. Unlike other website builders, you don’t get a free branded subdomain on WordPress. You’ll need to purchase a custom domain name which will cost around $12 to $60 per year.
- Plugins. These can be free but sometimes cost up to $100 per year. Plugins add functionality to your websites such as testimonials, newsletter subscriptions, contact forms, or any other feature you want on your site.
- Themes. There are free themes to choose from but if you want your site to look professional, then you’ll need to upgrade to premium themes which can cost around $50 per theme.
- Extra security costs: the free built-in security systems that come with WordPress websites are usually vulnerable to online attacks so it’s best to invest in extra security measures which means extra costs of about $200 per year.
Estimating the actual cost of designing a website with WordPress is hard because WordPress itself is free, but when you add up payment for a domain name, hosting,
plugins, security, and hiring a WordPress developer, the price rises quickly. Out of all these we just mentioned, the most important factor that influences the cost of a WordPress website is the hosting platform used.
You easily make use of free themes and plugins but you’ll need to pay to get your website online. So the question here would be how much does it cost to host a WordPress website? To answer this, we’ve divided the hosting costs into four groups.
- Shared WordPress: For small bloggers, people creating a portfolio, students building school projects, and new builders on a budget. This typically costs around $2- $15 per month.
- Managed WordPress: For big bloggers, businesses, and people building large portfolios. The cost for this is around $20 to $60 per month.
- E-commerce: For businesses selling products, and online stores. This costs around $7 to $30 per month.
Some of the best WordPress hosts are:
- Bluehost starts at $2.95 per month
- HostGator starts at $2.99 per month
- A2 Hosting starts at $5.95 per month
- iPage starting at $1.99 per month
- DreamHost starts at $5.29 per month
- InMotion starts at $4.99 per month
- SiteGround starts at $11.95 per month
- WPEngine starts at $25 per month
Cost Of Web Design Using A Freelancer or Web Design Agency
Hiring a web designer to create your website from scratch is the most expensive option compared to using website builders or WordPress. This approach is best for
- Someone who needs a very complex website.
- People with zero technical confidence with no time to spare
- People with big budgets who want custom websites.
If you have the money to spare and you feel your business or company will perform best with a customized website, then hiring a web designer is the right option for you. Not only is this option the most expensive, but it is also the hardest to estimate costs because different web designers charge different rates and these rates fluctuate between freelancers and web design agencies depending on which one you choose.
- Options to pay a one-off fee or an upfront fee with ongoing monthly payments depending on your contract. This could cost around $5000 to $10,000 per year.
- No extra costs for plugins and themes, as these are already included in your first payment.
- Cheap hosting fee, the same as WordPress. Costs around $2.95 to $50 per month.
- Options to use free inbuilt security which comes with a hosting plan or subscribes to other premium security plugins which can cost around $200 per year.
The downside of hiring a web designer for your site is that it can be super expensive. Typically you would have to pay a $5000 to $30,000 upfront fee and if the website is super complex you’ll also need to spend extra on maintenance of the site.
Things To Consider When Hiring a Web Designer
The good part about hiring a web designer to create your website is that you are sure that your project is in the hands of professionals. Although you’ll still need to work together with them, by sharing your ideas so you can achieve the website you love. But before you do so, you need to put some factors into consideration, as these will also determine the overall cost of your website.
- Do you want the web designer to handle everything including hosting, domain name, and plugins, or do you want them to just build and design your site?
- How complex is the website plan?
- Do you have a premade template you want the designer to customize or will they build a template from scratch?
- Do you want the web designer to carry out routine maintenance on the site or do you prefer to do it yourself?
- How many pages is your website going to have?
- What kind of features do you want on your website e.g are you selling online?
Answering these questions gives you a clearer picture of what to expect in terms of cost and the eventual outcome of your website. We recommend that you manage your hosting and domain name as this will give you better control over your site and make it easier to operate once it’s live.
So how much does a website cost with a web designer?
Here’s a full breakdown of what you’ll be paying and the average cost for each.
|Factors||The average cost of hiring a web designer|
|Design and building||$5000|
|Training on how to use the site||$600|
Working out the exact costs of a web design isn’t just about money. You have to consider other factors such as time, your tech skills and design skill, your budget, and the purpose of the website as these will determine which web design option you should go for.
Ideally, we recommend using a website builder if you want to test out your web design skills as a first-time builder without worrying about the technical side or needing to spend a lot. With a website builder, you can run your site without investing too much money or time.
If you have more money to spare, don’t mind handling the technical side of things, and want to have full control over your website. Then WordPress is the best option for you, plus you can decide to hire a developer to help you if you want.
Lastly, we recommend hiring a web designer if you have complex needs that are beyond your basic technical abilities, a big budget and you prefer a professional to handle everything.
Summary Of Web Design Costs
- Cost of using a website builder: $6 – $50 per month
- Cost of using WordPress: $35 – $780 upfront cost and $11 – $50 ongoing cost per month.
- Cost of hiring a web designer: $500 – $10,000+ upfront cost and $500 – $1000 ongoing cost per year