What’s the most crucial aspect of growing a business in 2021? Of course, you need a robust marketing strategy and revenue model. You even have to develop a product or offer a service that addresses your audience’s pain points. Also, you need to outline a strategy to attract your potential customers and stay ahead of your competitors.
But all your brand-building efforts would be futile if your business fails to establish a strong online presence. This is because modern consumers are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and would look up a business online before making a purchase. So, if you’ve been looking for ways to reinforce your brand’s online presence, it’s high time you build your business website.
Importance of a Business Website in 2021
Whether you’re running a small business or a global conglomerate, you can’t attract new customers without a website. It isn’t just a platform to showcase key company information, such as founders’ bio, clients, testimonials, and contact details. You can use it to showcase your products/services and generate revenue as well. When paired with the right lead magnets, it also works as an excellent lead generation tool.
Moreover, a fast, secure, and user-friendly website is the backbone of all your digital marketing campaigns. For instance, if you want to boost visibility in relevant search engine results, you must optimize your website’s content using relevant keywords. Even if you’re promoting your brand on social media platforms, you need a website to bolster trust and credibility.
It won’t be wrong to say that a website is the most prominent part of your brand’s online identity. But building a website isn’t as simple as using a free website builder and theme to design an “About Us” page for your company. If you want your website to help you achieve your business goals, you must use the right tools, themes, apps, and plugins. Also, depending on your needs, you might have to hire a professional web developer or designer to create your website.
So, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about web design and development? If you’re like most people, chances are you’re already wondering how much does it cost to design a website. You’ll likely also face the dilemma of choosing between professional help and building the website on your own.
What Does It Cost to Build a Website?
Here’s the thing – there’s no easy way to determine how much a website is going to cost. This is because the cost to build a website depends on various factors, such as the features and functionalities you want. Also, the price range largely varies based on how you decide to build the website.
Depending on your goals and preferences, the upfront cost of designing your website could range from $200 to $10,000 or even more. This doesn’t mean you should rack your brain to fathom how you’re going to afford the expense of web design. Instead, you should use the right tools and techniques to create your website in a way that fits your budget.
In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into various costs involved in web design and development. We’ll also discuss different ways to build a website and how they influence the final cost. Lastly, we’ll explore a few effective techniques to minimize the overall cost to build your website. Let’s get started.
Creating a Website: A Closer Look
If you’re remotely familiar with web development, you’d know that it’s a complex, multi-step process. This, in turn, means it involves significant investment in terms of time and money. Also, chances are you’ll need a team of designers, developers, and marketers to build and promote your website.
Here’s a brief overview of the different steps involved in building a website:
1. Setting Your Goals & Budget
Before you start exploring ways to build your website, you need to first understand why you’re doing it. Do you want to showcase your portfolio and generate new leads for your business? Or are you looking to position your brand as an authoritative source of content? Would you like to drive product sales on your website as well?
Your answers to these questions will determine the scale and cost of web development. It’s essential to have a deep understanding of your long-term goals as well. It’ll influence your choice of website builder, plugins, themes, hosting provider, etc. Once you have a clear idea of your end goals, define a realistic budget to accommodate various costs associated with web development.
2. Identifying Essential Features
Next, you need to determine the must-have features for your website. For instance, if you’d like to sell products on your website, it should have e-commerce-friendly features, such as:
- Shopping cart
- Payment gateway integration
- Reporting tools
- Live chat support
But if your main goal is content creation and marketing, you’d want your website to be compatible with a content management system (CMS). This is also a good time to identify the security enhancement you’d want on your website. At the very least, you should purchase and install an SSL certificate.
3. Domain Name Registration
Think of the domain name as your website’s unique identity or address. It’s what your target audience is going to use to access your website via search engines. It’s the main component of your website’s URL.
As a ground-rule, you should select a domain name that aptly describes your business. Also, it should be easy to read and remember. Before you build your website, you have to purchase the domain name from a domain name registration service. Popular examples of domain name registrars include Google Domains and Name.com.
Image via Google
4. Web Hosting Selection
In simple terms, a web hosting service lets you store your website’s content, code, media files, and other assets on a web server. In other words, it provides space for your website to live on the internet. When a user wants to access your website, their browser/device connects with the corresponding server to fetch relevant web pages.
Depending on your budget and needs, you’ll find a wide array of web hosting providers, such as:
Also, you can choose different hosting plans, such as shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Apart from storage and bandwidth, most hosting providers offer additional services, including security features, domain name, site migration, etc.
5. Web Design
This is likely the most exciting step of building a website. In this step, you create the user interface of your website. Also, you work on other aspects, such as site navigation and architecture. It involves creating the back end of your website as well. You can hire a professional web designer or design it on your own using a website builder.
6. Web Development
The next step is to implement the desired features and functionalities on your website. If you’re building your website using WordPress, you have to install the right plugins to implement various features. Or you can hire a trained web developer to write the code for each feature. The design and development phases are often carried out simultaneously to ensure that your website looks great and serves its purpose.
7. Content Creation
Building a stunning website is of no use if it doesn’t provide any value to your audience. In other words, you need to fill your website with relevant, useful, and engaging content. This could range from product descriptions and case studies to blog posts and industry reports.
You can also experiment with other content formats, such as infographics, videos, animations, 3D images, etc. Unless you’re a jack of all trades, you’ll need a team of bloggers, copywriters, graphic designers, etc. to create content for your website.
Developing a website with spectacular content isn’t enough. You also need to ensure that your website gets a steady influx of organic traffic. This, in turn, requires you to reach your target audience at the right time on the right platforms. Also, you must monitor your website traffic for a deeper insight into your audience’s pain points and preferences.
From social media marketing and influencer outreach to search engine optimization (SEO) – you can use various techniques to skyrocket website traffic. However, you’ll need to recruit skilled digital marketers, data analysts, and researchers to promote your website.
Now that you’re familiar with the steps involved in building a website, you must be eager to get started. But before you take the plunge, it’s essential to identify the right way to design your website.
3 Ways to Build a Website in 2021
First things first – it isn’t mandatory to hire a professional web designer and developer to create your website. The cost of designing your website depends on how you choose to build it. If you’ve got the right technical skills and time, there are tools that’ll help you design your website.
Here are the most effective ways to design a website:
Use a Website Builder
Website builders, such as Wix and Weebly, provide you with all the tools you need to build an awesome-looking website. You can choose from a wide array of customizable pre-designed website templates. Also, you can add sophisticated features, such as e-commerce functionality, sign-up forms, call-to-action, etc.
Image via Wix
Additionally, new-age website builder provides you with advanced services, including:
- SEO tools
- Website analytics
- Domain registration
- Web hosting
- SSL certificate
The best part is that you don’t have to delve into the intricacies of coding while using a website builder. You can install various apps to implement relevant features on your website. It’s less expensive than hiring a web development agency or freelancer to build your website.
Build a Self-Hosted WordPress Website
WordPress powers more than 40% of all websites on the internet. This makes it the most popular content management system in the world. If you’re looking for a straightforward and cost-effective way to create your website while retaining creative control, WordPress is the way to go.
Image via WordPress
The best part about using WordPress is that it’s suitable for beginners, hobbyists, as well as experienced web developers. Whether you want to start a blog or launch a full-fledged e-commerce store, it offers the right tools. You can choose from an extensive assortment of responsive themes and install various plugins to enhance your website.
Depending on your goals, you can customize the theme using a drag-and-drop builder, such as Elementor. Or you can hire an experienced WordPress developer to modify the source code of the theme according to your requirements.
Seek Professional Help for a Custom-Built Website
This is the approach that most established brands and large businesses take. Instead of managing web design and development in-house, you can outsource it to a third-party agency. They take care of the entire process of building your website from scratch.
A specialized web development agency, such as Hustlr, eliminates all the roadblocks associated with creating a website. From host selection and coding to content creation and SEO – they handle everything. But this doesn’t mean you get to witness the process as a passive bystander. You must chime in with your feedback and inputs to ensure that your end goals are accomplished.
Image via Hustlr
Alternatively, you can hire independent web designers, developers, and content creators to develop your website. It’s often more economical than working with an agency. But you’ll have to coordinate with several professionals to keep them in the loop and ensure that the project finishes on time.
So, how much does it cost to design a website in 2021? It depends on how you go about creating your website. Before delving deeper, let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence the cost of a website.
How to Determine the Cost of Building Your Website?
One of the most crucial steps of website creation is to set a realistic budget for the entire process. That’s why it is essential to have a clear idea of the various costs involved in creating and launching a website. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Domain Name & Hosting
Irrespective of how you decide to create your website, you’ll need to register the domain name and select a paid hosting plan. Depending on the top-level domain you choose, the average cost of domain name registration is around $15 per year. Also, you’ll need to renew the registration every year.
The cost of web hosting depends on the type of hosting you select. Typically, you can choose from the following plans:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- WordPress hosting
While shared hosting is the most affordable, it offers limited storage, bandwidth, and support. Most shared hosting plans, however, include a free SSL certificate and CDN integration. But you’ll likely have to pay extra for other features, such as firewall, DDoS protection, and automatic backups.
This makes shared hosting suitable for basic websites and blogs. The cost of shared hosting plans can be as low as $3.95 per month (on Bluehost). But you’ll have to upgrade to a better plan when your business expands and you start receiving more web traffic.
Dedicated hosting, while being quite expensive, is feature-packed and reliable. If you need top-notch security, speed, and performance for your website, this is the right choice. With prices shooting north of $100 per month, it’s better suited for large enterprises and established brands. Some hosting services also provide domain name registration.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting offers a cost-effective middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. It lets you overcome the limitations of shared hosting while keeping the price range under $60 per month. It’s a great option for growing businesses that are prone to occasional traffic spikes.
WordPress hosting is a special type of hosting plan that’s been designed for WordPress websites. Typically, it includes user-friendly features, such as one-touch WordPress installation and WooCommerce integration. If you’d like better handholding, you can opt for managed WordPress hosting. Its cost starts at around $10 per month (Bluehost) but can go up to $1,500 per month (Kinsta).
Make sure you choose a hosting provider and plan that fits your immediate, as well as long-term goals. Consider how the costs might escalate when your traffic increases and you need to upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting.
This is likely the most critical factor that influences the cost of a website. Of course, a website is going to be more expensive when you pack it with advanced features. This is a good time to consider whether your website needs the following:
- E-commerce integration
- Live chat integration
- Payment gateway integration
- CMS integration
- Media player
- Image sliders
- Opt-in forms
- Pop-up forms
Each of these features can go a long way to amplify the cost of website creation. Even if you’re using WordPress or Wix to design your website, you might have to install premium plugins/apps to implement complex features. If you’re using premium WordPress plugins, you’ll have to pay a recurring subscription fee.
Likewise, you’d have to increase developer/designer fees to add advanced features to your website. This is because they’ll need to invest long hours to design your website. Also, they’ll likely need to use several premium APIs (application programming interfaces) to integrate the desired features.
This is a good time to consider the number of pages your website is going to include. The more features you want on your website, the greater the number of pages. Irrespective of the approach you use, your web design costs will likely increase proportionately with the number of web pages.
3. Website Theme
Your website’s theme will go a long way to impact its appearance and usability. Most website builders let you use pre-designed templates for free. WordPress offers a fine mix of free and premium themes. Most premium WordPress themes also offer a free version. Premium themes offer greater creative freedom and customizability.
Unlike plugins, WordPress themes come with both subscription-based and lifetime access models. For instance, Elegant Themes gives you access to the Divi theme, page builder, and other add-ons for an upfront cost of $249. Or you can choose the subscription plan for $89 per year.
Image via Elegant Themes
Unless you have a clear idea of your website’s long-term goals and purpose, it’s wiser to choose the annual subscription.
Alternatively, you can hire an independent developer or agency to build your website’s theme from scratch. While this is going to be expensive, it’ll ensure that the theme is unique and aligns with your brand image. Also, you’ll have better control over various design elements on the website.
It’s worth mentioning here that you can minimize the cost of customizing the theme by hiring a WordPress developer. You just have to purchase a premium theme and find an experienced developer who will tweak it as per your requirements.
4. E-commerce Platform
Even if you’re launching a blog right now, you might want to sell digital products on your website in the future. Or there could come a point when you’d want to launch your merchandise and sell it on your website. In either case, you’ll need to add e-commerce functionalities to your website.
Modern website builders, such as Wix, let you design and deploy an online store in a few clicks. Upgrading to an e-commerce-friendly plan will cost more than $20 per month on average (Wix eCommerce). Make sure you check for features, such as payment support, dropshipping integration, etc. before choosing an e-commerce plan.
If you’re designing your website on WordPress, you’ll have to use the WooCommerce plugin to create your online store. The good news is that it’s a free plugin and you can use it even if you’re not familiar with web programming. It’s a cost-effective way of generating revenue from your website without spending a fortune.
However, if you’re looking to build a full-fledged e-commerce business, you’d have to consider using a robust e-commerce platform, such as:
You should expect to pay between $29 and $299 per month to use an e-commerce platform. Depending on your requirements, you might need a more expensive plan too. Also, you’ll likely need a developer to build and launch your online store using one of these platforms.
Image via Shopify
5. Website Security
Most web hosting plans include a free SSL certificate. But if you’re designing a website in 2021, you’d have to implement additional security features. These include WAF (web application firewall), as well as DDoS and malware protection. You might have to pay extra to use these security enhancements on your website.
6. Developer & Designer Fee
Irrespective of whether you’re working with freelancers or a web design agency, you’ll have to pay them. Independent website designers and developers will typically quote weekly or hourly rates. On the other hand, a web development and design company will quote an upfront cost for the entire project.
Depending on the scale and complexity of your website, you should expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 to an agency. The costs could go up to $30,000 for more extensive projects, such as e-commerce marketplaces and on-demand video streaming sites.
Average rates for a freelance WordPress developer will vary between $20 and $100 per hour. Full-stack, front-end, and back-end developers can charge you up to $200 per hour depending on their skills and experience. Likewise, website designers typically charge $70 to $150 per hour. These rates often vary depending on the country where the web designer/developer resides.
7. Multimedia Integration
In 2021, it’s become imperative for businesses to incorporate pictures, graphics, animations, videos, and audio into web design. However, you must consider the cost of creating and integrating any form of media. For instance, if you want to add 3D animation to your website, you’ll have to hire an animator. Also, you’ll need to pay for an animation tool, such as Adobe After Effects.
Likewise, if you want to sell products on your website, you’d have to hire a photographer to click eye-catching product photographs. Make sure you factor in all these costs before finalizing your website design and development budget.
8. Website Maintenance
This is one of the most neglected aspects of developing a website. Deploying and launching a website isn’t enough. You must carry out routine maintenance to eliminate any usability issues, security threats, and other drawbacks. The average cost of website maintenance is around $1,000 per year. You can, however, expect to pay less if you perform in-house maintenance or use a website builder/CMS to design your website.
So, how much does a website cost in real life? It’s time for us to explore answers to this pressing question.
How Much Does a Website Cost: Digging Deeper
There isn’t a well-defined formula to determine how much a website is going to cost. Its pricing is going to depend on a plethora of factors, including features, development platform, security, maintenance, marketing, etc. Also, it varies based on how you choose to build your website.
Cost of Designing a Simple Website Using a Website Builder
In this scenario, you’ll only have to pay for the domain, hosting, and website builder. The combined cost of domain registration and web hosting will go slightly north of $200 per year. Depending on the website builder you’re using, you can expect to pay between $14 and $50 per month. Some website builders include domain registration and hosting in their pricing.
The cost will further escalate if you install any premium apps or themes. However, you’ll be able to eliminate the hefty expense of hiring an agency or freelance developer. Make sure you have adequate time and basic design skills to create your website.
Cost of Building a Website Using WordPress
It’s difficult to estimate the price of developing a WordPress website. The major costs involved in this method include domain, hosting, plugins, security, and theme. Also, you might have to hire a WordPress developer to customize the theme and align it with your brand identity.
The cost of a premium plugin can vary between $50 and $200 per year. You should expect to spend roughly $100 per month on WordPress plugins. Likewise, a premium theme can be as expensive as $89 per month. Also, if you hire a developer, expect to spend around $100 per hour.
Cost of Hiring a Web Design & Development Agency
If you’re hiring professional help (agency or freelancer), it’s likely that you want to build a complex website with advanced features and security. Apart from the regular domain and hosting charges, you should expect to pay nearly $200 per year for security enhancements.
Also, the upfront cost of hiring the agency/freelancer will vary between $5,000 and $30,000. The final pricing will depend on the type of website you want to build. Also, you might want to retain professional help on a monthly basis to add new features to your website. This will further escalate the cost.
While recruiting a web design agency will be expensive, it’ll go a long way to eliminate the common hassles of website creation. This is particularly useful when you don’t have the time or knack to experiment with different web development platforms and tools.
Whether you’re designing a simple portfolio website or a feature-rich e-commerce marketplace, you’ll need to allocate a suitable web development budget. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to calculate the cost of designing and developing a website. Instead, you need to assess your needs and goals before you start creating your website.
Your purpose behind designing the website will influence its features, security standards, appearance, and other aspects. This, in turn, will determine the final cost of your website. Also, you should carefully select the right way to create your website.
Treading the DIY route with WordPress or Wix is more affordable than hiring a third-party agency. But if you’re building the website on your own, you should be prepared to hit a few roadblocks before it goes live. Also, you should analyze whether you can dedicate enough time to work on the project.
Can’t wait to start building a website for your company or revamp the existing website? Contact us to get things going today.
Richa describes herself as an avid dreamer and a curious soul! She is a certified Content & Search Marketing Specialist from Digital Marketer, USA. With an experience of 5+ years as a content marketer and researcher, she is in love with Digital Breakthroughs, Content Marketing, Startup Strategies and so much more.