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How much does a website cost for a small business?

A website is essential for the modern business – no matter how small your operation. But how much should you budget for your business website costs?

Thanks to website builders, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever to design a slick online home for your business.

With a variety of providers and plans, today’s web builder community caters for all needs and budgets.

If you have the resources and the requirements, you could shell out for a bespoke design. But with hundreds of diverse and professional templates to choose from across the board, why bother?

So, how much does a website cost for business? It’s a question that invites comparison to that overused and unhelpful expression, ‘how long is a piece of string?’ – because there really is no finite answer.

That said, in the following article, we’ll try as much as possible to give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay for your business website. We’ll be covering:

Average cost of website design for small business - at a glance

The table below breaks down the expected average costs of bringing your small business website to life.

These prices will vary depending on whether or not they are part of your website package and are liable to change.

FeatureWhat is it?Cost
Domain nameYour online label – the URL used to find your site.£3-£10/year
HostingWeb hosting allows your site to exist, and supports visits from interested users.£10-£60/month
Design and programming Makes your site look and work as it should.£50-£150/hour
Content and imagesContent is needed to rank your site and engage users£10-£50/hour
Ecommerce functionsIf you are selling online, you will need several essential features.£300-£2,000
Responsiveness If you want a site that works on desktop and mobile, you will need to pay for it.£200-£2,000
Maintenance Depending on your requirements, you will need maintenance.£40-£60/month
SEOSEOs are experts in getting your site to rank in search engines£100-£500/month

Website builder costs

Looking at the most popular website builders available, you can expect to pay between £3/month and £10/month for a basic plan, and around £15/month to £30/month for a more advanced or ecommerce plan.

One particular thing you should be aware of is the cost of domain name renewal.

All major builders include a free domain name for your first year – which is great. However, these will renew at the standard rate after the first year.

It can be quite difficult to find out how much that standard rate is, unless you go digging through the depths of the small print or FAQs.

For example, Squarespace’s domain name renewal starts from around £16.50 per year, and can reach up to £57.50 per year depending on the top-level domain you use (e.g. .com, .org, .net, .co.uk etc.). Wix renewals start from around £12, while GoDaddy’s start from around £15 for a dotcom domain.

And another thing…

It’s worth noting that the monthly prices promoted by most website builders are dependent on you paying for a yearly subscription, in full, at the time of purchase.

You can usually opt to pay monthly as well, though at a higher overall cost than if you’d paid annually.

For example, Squarespace’s advanced ecommerce plan costs £30 a month if you pay annually, resulting in an upfront cost of £360.

If you choose to pay monthly, however, you’d end up paying £444!

Read more: How to create a business website.

Buying a domain name

It is possible to transfer a pre-registered domain name to your website builder, so you don’t have to create a new one if you choose to switch to a new website builder.

However, you may still have to pay for the transfer of the domain name.

For example, GoDaddy charges per domain name at a flat fee and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) registration, but nothing beyond that.

In contrast, Wix doesn’t charge anything for you to transfer a domain name, but does require you to purchase a minimum of one additional year of domain name registration.

Start comparing quotes from website builders today by filling in the form at the top of this page


The best website builders for small businesses

Once you’ve pinned down what capabilities your website will need to have and what services you’ll need access to, you can then start looking at the different website builder brands.

Below, we compare four of the most popular builders on the market. Or, for a more in-depth look, read our review of the UK’s best website builders for small businesses here.

To compare these various brands or to receive a free quote, complete the webform at the top of the page.


Wix

Payment model: Freemium

Rating: ★★★★☆

Placing a huge emphasis on simplicity and its user friendly credentials, Wix boasts around 110 million users worldwide across 190 countries.

Offering over 500 free professionally designed business templates to choose from – all categorised into various business sectors, including restaurant and food, fashion and beauty, and portfolio and CV – you can be sure when using Wix that your website will always remain on trend.

With an extensive collection of over 200 apps that can be added to your website, you can easily add numerous features at the touch of a button – such as links to your social media accounts, an option for visitors to sign-up to your mailing list, and the chance to display paid ads on your site via Google Adsense.

Try Wix here.

Its packages include:

PlanFeaturesPrice per month
Connect domain1GB bandwidth
500MB storage
Connect your domain
£3
Combo2GB bandwidth
3GB storage
Remove Wix Ads
Free Domain for 1 Year
30 Video Minutes
£75 Ad Vouchers
£6
Unlimited Unlimited bandwidth
10GB storage
Remove Wix Ads
Free Domain for 1 Year
1 Video Hour
£75 Ad Vouchers
Site Booster App
Visitor Analytics App
£8.50
VIPUnlimited bandwidth
20GB storage
Remove Wix Ads
Free Domain for 1 Year
2 Video Hours
£75 Ad Vouchers
Site Booster App
Visitor Analytics App
Professional Logo
Social Media Logo files
Priority Response
VIP Support
£18

GoDaddy

Payment model: Subscription service with initial one month free trial

Rating: ★★★★☆

GoDaddy is the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small businesses.

GoDaddy is more restrictive than some other website builders, but there’s a good reason for this.

Most small business owners don’t have the time nor coding expertise to build a successful website. By making the process as easy as possible, GoDaddy is perfect for first timers, while their extensive SEO (search engine optimisation) support will give your business website the best possible chance of success.

Try GoDaddy here.

Its package includes:

PlanFeaturesPrice (excludes VAT)
PersonalMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
£4.99 a month/£59.88 a year
BusinessMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
£6.99 a month/£83.88 a year
Business plusMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
Social media integration
Email marketing
Globally-optimized speed
£10.99 a month/£131.88 a year
Online store Mobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
Social media integration
Email marketing
Globally-optimized speed
Built-in shopping cart with fast checkout
Accept credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay
Configure shipping and tax rates
£19.99 a month/£239.88 a year

Weebly

Payment model: Freemium

Rating: ★★★★☆

Aimed at business owners looking to attract a global audience, Weebly’s website builder is one of the easiest to use on the market.

Containing a WYSIWYG editor (an acronym for ‘what you see is what you get’, pronounced wiz-ee-wig), you’ll be able to view what the end result of your website will look while you’re still in the editing process.

If you need to only create the most basic of websites, Weebly has a free plan which allows you to create up to 10 pages via a weebly.com subdomain.

In order to make money off your free website, however, Weebly will advertise its brand across your site. You’ll need to upgrade to the starter plan should you wish to remove these ads.

In contrast to GoDaddy, there are plenty of customisation options thanks to the HTML and CSS code editing options – provided you have some know-how in these areas.

Read our full Weebly review here.

Its packages include:

PlansFeaturesPrice/month (paid on an annual basis)
FreeDrag and drop builder
Display Weebly ads
500MB storage
Weebly.com subdomain
SSL security
Free
StarterDrag and drop builder
Unlimited storage
Connect your own domain
SSL security
Advanced site stats
£5
Pro Drag and drop builder
Unlimited storage
Connect your own domain
SSL security
Advanced site stats
Site search
Password protection
Video backgrounds
HD video and audio
Up to 100 members
£8
Business Drag and drop builder
Unlimited storage
Connect your own domain
SSL security
Advanced site stats
Site search
Password protection
Video backgrounds
HD video and audio
Unlimited members
Membership registration
£17

Squarespace

Payment model: Subscription

Rating: ★★★★☆

Offering the best website templates on the market – with over 90 to choose from – Squarespace’s strength lies in its simplicity and excellent range of import tools, which allow you to import content from other platforms.

Integrating with many well-known and widely-used third party tools, such as Google Apps, Xero accounting software, and Mailchimp, Squarespace’s website builder also features a design app to help you create a simple but professional-looking logo.

Try Squarespace here.

Have a look at what the Squarespace website builder can offer you here:

PlanFeaturesPrice (per month billed annually)
Personal Unlimited bandwidth and storage
Mobile-optimised site
Website metrics
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 customer support
Two contributors limit
£10
BusinessUnlimited bandwidth and storage
Mobile-optimised site
Website metrics
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 customer support
Unlimited contributors
Google Ads credit
Promotional pop-ups
Fully integrated ecommerce
Sell unlimited products
Accept donations
3% transaction fee
Mobile information bar
Premium Blocks
Announcement Bar
£15
Basic (online store)Sell unlimited products
No transaction fees
Mobile-optimised site
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 support
Powerful commerce metrics
Inventory, orders, tax, coupons
Label printing via ShipStation
Integrated accounting via Xero
Checkout on your domain
Customer accounts
Products on Instagram
£20
Advanced (online store)Sell unlimited products
No transaction fees
Mobile-optimised site
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 support
Powerful commerce metrics
Inventory, orders, tax, coupons
Label printing via ShipStation
Integrated accounting via Xero
Checkout on your domain
Customer accounts
Products on Instagram
Abandoned cart autorecovery
Real time carrier shipping
Flexible discounts
Gift cards
Orders API
£30

Keeping business website costs down

Another way to keep costs down is to avoid paying for functionality you don’t need. Don’t let the bells and whistles dazzle you: there are a lot of features on offer that are superfluous for most businesses.

So, what features do you need?

We’d say most businesses can get by with the following:

  • Mobile optimisation – with around half of global website traffic coming from mobile browsers, you need to ensure your website can be optimised for mobile as well as desktop.
  • SEO – you don’t even need to have SEO knowledge; some basic tools will enable you to optimise your website and get it ranking in search results
  • Multiple templates – it’s not necessarily a case of ‘the more templates, the better’ – too many can give you choice paralysis – but a good range gives you the best chance of finding an appropriate theme for your business
  • Analytics – essential for monitoring the performance of your website, analytics help you to discover strengths and weaknesses and make appropriate amends

How to create a website free of cost

Most website builders offer a free trial period, or even a free version. However, we would strongly recommend you go for a paid plan from the off.

While it’s nice to decrease your overheads by not paying for a website, the free versions on offer have a few caveats that make them less appealing. These include:

  • The website builder’s name in your URL
  • Display ads for your website builder are visible on the page
  • Limited features
  • Fewer templates

Overall, this can result in a less professional looking website, which may be off-putting to visitors/potential customers.

Investing in a more full-featured system from the start will pay dividends in the long run.

Ecommerce website costs

If you want to sell stuff through your business website, you’re going to need everything from  payments and checkout to shipping and customer reviews.

But don’t worry – you don’t need to spend £10,000 getting a web designer to build you an ecommerce site. Most website builders offer ecommerce functionality as part of their more advanced plans. These usually include the features you would expect from a basic plan, as well as:

  • Payment options
  • Checkout on your domain
  • Inventory
  • Order tracking
  • Abandoned cart recovery

Setting up an ecommerce website through a website builder, rather than getting a bespoke design, will usually be far more affordable (not to mention easier).

Below are the prices of the ecommerce plans plans offered by the major website builders.

Squarespace

  • Basic ecommerce – £20 (paid annually), £24 (paid monthly)
  • Advanced ecommerce – £30 (paid annually), £37 (paid monthly)

Wix

 

  • Business Basic – £13/month
  • Business Unlimited – £16/month
  • Business VIP – £22/month

GoDaddy

  • Online store – £19.99/month

Weebly

  • Business – £18/month (paid annually)

Costs of running a website

By now, you should have a fair idea of how much it costs to set up a business website. But it doesn’t end there.

Just like a car, your website requires maintenance, the occasional polish, and additional features, and will have to comply with new regulations every now and again.

As well as the ongoing costs of subscription to a web builder and domain name, there are other regular costs you’ll have to budget for.

SSL certificate

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is the https:// that comes before your website address in the URL. Many browsers will also display a padlock symbol and green search bar  to show they’re secured.

SSL encrypts information sent between your website and a visitor’s web browser so it can’t be read by a third party.

As well as proving to visitors that your site is secure, SSL will also increase your ranking in search results.

Ecommerce sites in particular need an SSL certificate in order to take payments – indeed, 84% of online shoppers say they would abandon a purchase if the website wasn’t secure – but really any website where sensitive information is exchanged would do well to have one.

An SSL certificate costs between £15 and £200 a year, depending how complex you need your security to be. Some website builders include free SSL security as part of their packages.

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, so make sure you check. 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. 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 remember:

  • Responsiveness
  • Software and databases
  • Language features
  • Custom applications

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.

Multi-language features

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.

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.


Next steps

Despite the huge variations, we hope you now have a better idea of how much your business website is going to cost you.

The good news is, you can spend as much or as little as you need on your website, and prices are fairly transparent. Don’t be afraid to switch to a different builder or upgrade your plan to find an offering that provides everything your business needs.

If you’re ready to start comparing quotes, then start filling in the form at the top of this page to be matched with a website builder that works for you.