How much does a website cost?
Websites can be an expensive investment, but often provide businesses with an excellent ROI. Find out more about website costs
Websites are a crucial part of a small business or startup. Current and future customers expect them, and they expect them to work well and intuitively.
However, small businesses are understandably careful about how they spend their money, particularly in the startup phase. Therefore the natural first question is: how much does a website cost? This article aims to answer this.
When considering website costs we need to carefully consider website design cost as well as website development costs, the cost of running a website, website maintenance costs, and more.
Many different elements come together to create the overall website cost. Only by considering all of these website costs do we get an accurate cost of a website.
Average website costs
Different factors will affect the cost of setting up a website. This will include the small business website design cost, whether you’re looking for ecommerce functionality, and the cost of maintaining a website.
Generally it makes sense to consider all of these costs together, from the beginning. This is usually more economical overall.
You particularly need to be careful to compare costs against seemingly enticing ‘cheap website’ costs. In most cases these prove to be inflexible, limited in functionality, and potentially cost you more in the long-run. You will also be without ongoing maintenance support. Look into these options carefully, before deciding if they are right for your small business.
Instead, it makes more sense to consider the cost of a website in terms of the return on investment. Generally speaking, a website will pay for itself, if you’ve done your homework, because it will act as a strategic tool to facilitate the business.
The table below includes brief breakdown of the prices you can expect to encounter when designing your website. Website design costs vary from business to business though, so it is important not to make assumptions about any of the costs included.
|Feature||What is it?||Cost|
|Domain name||Your online label – the URL used to find your site.||£3-£10/year|
|Hosting||Web hosting allows your site to exist, and supports visits.||£10-£60/year|
|Design and programming||Makes your site look and work as it should.||£50-£150/hour|
|Content and images||Content is needed to rank your site and engage users||£10-£50/hour|
|Ecommerce functions||If you are selling online, you will need several essential features.||£300-£2000|
|Responsiveness||To have a site that works on desktop and mobile you will need to pay for it.||£200-£2000|
|Maintenance||Depending on your requirements, you will need maintenance.||£40-£60/month|
|SEO||SEOs are experts in ranking your site in search engines||£100-£500/month|
How much does it cost to build a website?
As you can see, there are multiple elements to building a website. When asking how much does it cost to set up a website, we need to look at each of these variables in more detail.
We also need to consider them in the context of the type of website you need. A complex shopping website with ecommerce functionality will have different costs compared to a very basic tradesperson’s website which is about advertising and contact.
To assess how much it costs to make a website, we can break the different types of websites down into different categories. The table below includes a side-by-side comparison of website design costs based on website type and size.
|Type of site||Features||Price|
|Basic||Limited functionality – good for basic advertising.||£400-£800|
|Advanced||Larger or more complex than a basic site.||£1000-£4000|
|Bespoke||Designed to your exact requirements, with bespoke functions.||£2000-£7000|
|Ecommerce||Designed and developed to allow sales to take place online.||£3000-£10,000|
|Redesign||Dependent on your old site and requirements for redesign.||Dependent|
Basic website costs
In your basic website costs you need to consider the primary function of your site. A basic site has limited functionality, but it can be an excellent platform for showcasing your business and acting as a portal for enquiries. However, you should take care to ensure the basic website can adapt and grow with your business. Try to think of future needs, as well as current ones.
To create a basic website you can opt to use a freelance web designer or an agency. They will work either on an hourly rate, or on a fixed fee. Freelancers vary enormously in cost, so do ask to see examples of their work and a breakdown of what is included. A ballpark figure would be in the region of £50 per hour for a mid-range UK web-designer.
Expect to pay as little as £5-£20 per hour for an overseas freelancer with less experience, or as much as £150 for a top-end website designer. However, for basic websites you should not need to pay at the top end of the range.
On top of this you will need to account for the basic costs of hosting and a domain. All in, a good quality basic small business website cost should be in the region of £400-£800.
Advanced website costs
In advanced websites you need to pay for additional size, and possibly some ecommerce or interactive functionality. These websites typically need to be a bit more flexible than a basic website. Again, try to think of future business development and not just today in your design. Furthermore you want to be sure your website is mobile friendly.
Expect quotations from freelancers and agencies to be highly variable. You will need to look at these in detail to see what is included. To get more accurate quotations make sure you’ve done your homework and have a clear brief to give to web designers to work from.
As well as the standard costs of a basic website, you will additionally be looking at more technical wizardry and programming. An advanced small business website cost should be in the region of £1000-£4000.
Websites with bespoke functionality costs
If you are expecting a much higher degree of traffic, and need your website to perform specific functions, then you will need a highly skilled programmer capable of delivering bespoke functionality. It is recommended to approach such website costs as a long-term and ongoing arrangement. Therefore the same website designer will also provide maintenance, updates, management, and support.
Bespoke functionality websites take longer to create, test, and get up and running. Costs reflect this. It can therefore be most appropriate to establish costs up-front, broken down into the initial cost of setting up a website, and then the ongoing cost of maintaining a website.
Before choosing your web designer, seek out reviews and view a portfolio. The small business website design cost for a bespoke functionality site should be between £2000 and £7000. The ongoing cost of maintaining a website will depend on the nature of the package. For example, some may include social media management, or a certain amount of fresh content, whereas others will be more limited.
Ecommerce website costs
If you need shopping functionality, then you will need to factor in the costs of an ecommerce website. You should select a UK designer who specialises in the intricacies of ecommerce.
To get an online shop up and running you are typically looking in the region of £300-£2000 on top of other website design costs.
Website redesign costs
Unfortunately, many websites are more cost-effective to completely start from scratch rather than redesign. Therefore, always select your website options with a view to scalability. It is also a reason why it can prove worthwhile to have an ongoing maintenance contract following the actual design process.
That way, the designer is responsible for ensuring your website can adapt and change over time. If you want to see if a re-design is possible from your existing site, then ask a few different web designers for their opinion.
How much does it cost to run a website?
Whether you’re opting for a very basic small business website, or need something with both ecommerce and bespoke functionality, there are certain fundamental costs. These answer the basic question ‘how much does it cost to have a website?’
The features below will need to be included in your website running costs:
- Domain renewal – £3-£10/year
- Hosting – £10-£60/year
- Maintenance – £20-£100/month
- Content – £10-£50/hour
- SEO – £100/month+
Domain names vary in cost according to their type. However, domains are generally a very cheap element of your overall website costs. They can cost between £3 and £10 a year. The more popular the name, the more expensive it will be.
Hosting is the process of your site being hosted on a web server. This will typically be charged on a monthly basis, ranging from £10-£60 per month.
The best and most cost-effective websites are those that adapt, change, and grow. Maintenance should therefore be considered invaluable. Website maintenance will depend on the scale of the package you want.
Maintenance can cost between £20 and £100 per month. It is advisable to use the same web designer as you had for the website creation.
Content and images
Content won’t necessarily be included on an ongoing basis, so do check this. You can choose to provide your own content and images, which will keep costs lower.
Alternatively, for content that is search engine optimised, you can expect to pay between £10 and £50 per hour for content generation, through either an agency or freelancer. Quality varies enormously, so do check this first. Image costs are variable, and depend on the source.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO may or may not be included in the overall package – do check this. SEO can be bought on a ‘piecemeal’ basis, but can be worthwhile on an ongoing contract basis. This will usually cost you upwards of £100 per month, but may include both content and images.
SEO usually brings an obvious return on investment.
How much does it cost to develop a website?
Beyond the standard costs of setting up and running a website, there are also other costs that you may need to consider. Not all of these may apply in your individual business case.
The list below includes a quick introduction to the development features that you need to be remembered:
- Software and databases
- Language features
- Shopping cart features
- Custom applications
- Page templates
Responsiveness and mobile-friendly design
More and more customers and clients will be seeking to engage with your website via a smartphone or tablet. If they cannot use your website easily in this way, you may lose them to a competitor. Do not assume that this responsiveness will be included in a basic website design package.
You may also get to the point where it makes sense to have two separate websites depending on how people are accessing your site. For a mobile-friendly site you can expect to pay between £200 and £300 as a one-off cost.
Software and database integration
Although you may initially consider your website as a standalone element of your business, in time you may realise that there are huge benefits to be gained by integrating it with other aspects of your operations.
Integration to databases and other software can make processes more efficient and streamlined. For example, customer details feeding from a website form to other departments can save time re-entering common information.
It can be hard to predict these needs in advance, but do try, and then ask about their additional costs.
As the internet continues to shrink the global marketplace, it may be in your interests to build multi-language features into your web design from the very beginning, as this will be most cost-effective. Ultimately this will boost user-friendliness.
Shopping cart integration
Ecommerce and shopping cart integration is a specialist niche of web design. If ecommerce and payment functionalities are key to your business, then factor this in from the very start of the design process.
The additional costs of making a website an online shop are in the region of £300 and £2000 depending on the size. Choose your designer carefully, and ensure they are an expert in ecommerce platforms such as Magento or Shopify.
Custom website applications
You may wish to include additional features within your website, such as cost savings calculators, or quote generators. These features take a little more complex designing and as such will increase your website costs. However, if you discuss these with your designer at the earliest stages, they will be built into the overall design cost.
New page templates
Even with careful planning, you can be mid-way through developing a new website, or even completed, when you decide you need additional pages. Ascertain with your designer, in advance, how much such pages will be.
Website design cost UK
Fortunately in the UK you have an enormous choice when it comes to website design, and therefore website design costs. It is possible to get a basic site up and running quickly, for minimal cost. However, with websites, investment usually pays off.
The greater the scalability, and the greater the functionality, combined with the more advanced SEO and maintenance, the greater the return on investment.
Websites are integral to small businesses in the UK. It’s imperative to have a website that accurately meets your business needs, both now and in the future. Website costs are just one small part of that.
Compare website design costs
The information on this page should you to understand how much your website might cost to design and develop. For more bespoke information though, you need to speak to experts – we can help with that.
To compare quotes from up to four top-quality UK web designers and developers, you simply need to complete the form at the top of this page. Completing this form is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business time, money and resource.