How much does a Website Cost?

Updated:By:Tom Homer

One of the first questions that comes to most people when considering purchasing and item is:

“How much does it cost?”

When dealing with websites the answer is not simple and depends on many factors.

Websites have an initial upfront cost which deals with the designing and building of the website, and then the recurring ongoing cost which deals with the hosting, maintenance, licenses, marketing, and many other expenses.

A third cost most people don’t think about regarding websites is the cost of marketing. A website doesn’t do a business any good if the right kind of visitor can’t find the website. This is where website marketing and search engine optimization comes into play. If you want the investment of money and time put into building the website to give a large return, then ongoing marketing of the website is a must.

It is an Investment not a Cost

The first thing a business owner must realize is that a website should not be considered an expense, but an investment.

A women is watering a bag of money which is then growing.
Your Investment will Increase your Revenue and Profits.

If designed, developed, and managed by an experienced digital agency or freelancer, a website will NOT be taking more resources from your business than it is contributing. In most cases the cost of designing, building, managing, and marketing a website will be recouped in a reasonable amount of time and soon be overshadowed by the increase in revenue your business will receive. Most businesses find that their website becomes their number one salesperson.

No one business is the same, therefore no one website is the same. You cannot arbitrarily assign a cost to designing and building a website. A discovery period is needed. A designer needs to get to know your goals, business, audience, and competition so a marketing strategy can be developed and then an overview of your website can be created, followed by the layout for each page. At this point the building and styling of your website will commence. If you want your website to have the best chance of success and bring in lots of business, there is a lot of work to do before creating the content and styling web pages.

Cheap Websites will do your Business more Harm than Good

A person is sitting at a table using a laptop and getting bad feedback online about their website.
Poor Website Experience Equals Bad Reviews.

There is a lot of strategy and time that goes into designing (or redesigning) a website to make it successful and achieve your business goals. You will find large multinational businesses like GoDaddy, and small local businesses advertising website builds for as low as a few hundred dollars. These businesses do not consider quality and take the absolute fastest approach to building a website. They either are an automated solution, or a prebuilt solution that may have someone spend a couple of hours on the project tweaking a predefined design or selecting your templates from a prebuilt library.

You will have no help with content creation and be expected to fit the content within the basic uninspiring layouts they give you. The design may get tweaked slightly but still will probably not match up very well with your businesses current brand and style.

Even cheaper solutions will forgo any help at all with the expectation that you install the website and handle all changes yourself.

With these solutions there is absolutely zero marketing strategy involved and the themes and templates used, are reused on hundreds of other sites with very little styling changes. You are getting a cookie cutter website that will not standout at all.

These websites also lack search engine optimization (SEO) and accessibility considerations. This means that while your website may be found in search engines like Google, your site will be ranked many pages deep for almost all search terms and phrases related to your business. This means virtually zero traffic to your website.

Your business online presence is such an important part of sales, in today’s technology driven world. You will be doing a great disservice to your business by not taking your website seriously.

Designing and building a successful custom website comes down to a solid process. We have mapped out all Phases, Milestones and Tasks of our process which includes a series of checklists to ensure every step is thought out and completed. This means the website being built has a solid foundation which greatly reduces the chances of problems emerging down the road. This is also important for features like SEO and accessibility since if they are not incorporated into the site in the beginning, it can be much more difficult and time consuming to do it later.

How much does a Custom Business Website Cost?

We find a typical custom business website costs between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the number of pages and custom images included, different layouts required, integrations involved, and the complexity of the functionality. This average is in line with what other reputable agencies charge. To get more of a break down you can check out our Design Pricing Section.

For an actual range based on your specific project, please fill in our Design Inquiry Form as detailed as you can. Once we have this information which gives us some insight to what your goals are and the overall scope of the project, we will contact you to schedule the initial consultation and discovery meeting.

During the meeting we will ask more questions about your project and let you know a starting price range. Likewise, you will ask us any questions you may have. This consultation meeting helps each of us to determine if the other is up for the challenge of the project and to make sure it is successful.

Okay the Website is Built, how much does it Cost to Maintain it?

This depends on several factors including (but not limited to):

  • The complexity of the website.
  • How much traffic the site receives.
  • If there is an ecommerce component (can increase the cost substantially).
  • If any, how many 30-minute monthly tasks are included.

In general, most small business websites will cost between $125 and $275 per month all in. To get a more detailed explanation of what is included you can check out our Manage Pricing Section. There is a lot of value packed into these Website Management Service Plans and ensures your investment will be well taken care of.

If you want a quote for this service, please contact us using our Manage Inquiry Form. After we will setup an initial consulting and discovery meeting to go over a few details and give you an estimated price. Before writing up the proposal we will need to do a full audit of your website to see exactly what is involved with your website and if any work is needed to bring the software up to date and fit within our workflow. In most cases a fee will be charged for this setup.

Please note that our Management Service Plans do not contain any ongoing marketing services. Our ongoing marketing services are done separately.

Let’s Market our Website and bring in more Traffic, how much does that Cost?

Website marketing is usually a recurring cost and can vary widely depending on what strategies are being employed. Online marketing includes different strategies like:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    The process of optimizing a website in order to get traffic from organic search results. SEO can be broken down further including Technical, On Page, Off Page, and Local.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    Marketing strategy that uses paid tactics like paying for ads in search engines (called Pay-Per-Click or PPC) to gain visibility in the search engine result pages.
  • Content Marketing
    Creating relevant content for your target audience. This content answers user questions, builds user trust, and guides users to purchase. Can be brand related and is optimized for SEO. Professional Copywriters can be hired to produce the content, or it can be written in house.
  • Social Media Marketing
    Increasing your company’s brand awareness via platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This can include creating content for your social media accounts as well as paid advertising.
  • Email Marketing
    Directs users via on topic content sent through emails to take action, whether by viewing your website, contacting your company, or visiting your store.

Some larger companies on 1 or more of these strategies can spend over $20,000 a month. For small businesses the scope is far less but can still get expensive depending on the goals you are trying to accomplish. With some marketing strategies like SEM, it is easier to measure the success of the campaign since you have a lot of analytics data which you can use to figure out how many products you sold or services rendered with the ads. Other marketing strategies are more long term and harder to quantify directly. With small business, most marketing campaigns range in price from $100 to $2,000 a month.

Are We a Good Match?

2 women on mega phones with 1 shouting Yes and the other shouting No.

An important thing to consider is if our design agency is a good match for your project. Make sure to take a look at our About Us page which goes into detail on how we got started, what are strengths are, and why other businesses choose us to design and maintain their websites. There are attributes we list as well which defines when a project is a good match or not.

About the Author

Tom Homer

Building custom dynamic websites is my specialty. With over 25 years experience in software design and development I have been helping small businesses invest in their future.

Headshot of Tom Homer.