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How much does a website cost for a small business?

No matter how small your operation, a website is essential for any modern business. But how much should you budget for your business website costs?

Thanks to website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy, 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 (or have no idea how to start building), you could shell out for a bespoke design built by an expert. But with hundreds of diverse and professional templates to choose from across the board, why bother?

So, how much does a business website cost? There’s no short answer – it all depends on how many features you need, and which provider you choose.

This article will guide you through the process, comparing four of the UK’s favourite web builders (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy) and giving you a good idea how much you can expect to pay for a great small business website.

We'll cover the following areas:

Website builder comparison


Want the quick version? Here’s our take on four of the best small business website builders out there. Depending on your needs, any of them could be a great, low-cost solution for your small business website.

  • WixBest all-round website builder for startups ✅
  • SquarespaceBest for businesses looking to scale 🚀
  • WeeblyBest value for money £
  • GoDaddyBest for creating a website in under an hour 🕐

Average cost of small business website design - at a glance

To get a good idea of how much your small business website is likely to cost, we’ve broken down the elements you’re likely to need, explained what each of them do, and worked out how much you can expect to pay for each one.

See the table below for all the info.

FeatureWhat is it?Cost
Domain nameYour online address – the URL used to find your site.£3-£10/year
HostingWeb hosting allows your site to exist, and supports visits from interested users – essentially, you're paying for your space on the web.£10-£60/month

Design and programmingMake sure your site looks and works as it should.£50-£150/hour
Content and imagesContent (text, images, video etc.) is needed to rank your site and engage users.£10-£50/hour
Ecommerce functionsIf you are selling online, you will need essential features like a virtual shopping cart, checkout etc.£24-£245/month
ResponsivenessIf you want a site that works on desktop and mobile, you will need to pay for it, although this is now included as standard in many web builders.£200-£2,000
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)SEO specialists are experts in getting your site to rank in search engines.£100-£500/month

These prices will vary depending on whether you use a web builder, such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or GoDaddy, or opt for a professional web design agency.

If you do use a web builder, then prices are also affected by which plan you choose.

If you’ve got specialist requirements, or just want to have an expert take care of everything for you, using a web design agency can be a great option.

To get started, just fill in the form at the top of the page to receive a range of bespoke quotes from top providers, all tailored to the needs of your business.


Website builder costs you need to be aware of

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 plan that includes a fully-featured ecommerce solution.

  • Wix – Basic plan: £3/month, Premium plan: £8.50/month, Ecommerce plan: £13/month
  • Squarespace – Basic plan: £10/month, Premium plan: £15/month, Ecommerce plan: £20/month
  • Weebly – Basic plan: £4/month, Premium plan: £9/month, Ecommerce plan: £18/month
  • GoDaddy – Basic plan: £7/month, Premium plan: £14.99/month, Ecommerce plan: £19.99/month

One cost to watch out for is domain name renewal.

All major web builders include a free domain name for your first year, which is pretty great.

However, these domains 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 .com domain.

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 a flat fee per domain name, plus the standard charge for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) registration.

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.

Save by paying annually

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, but you’ll pay 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!

If all this is making your head spin, or you have extra special requirements, then consider using a professional web design agency.

Just fill in the form at the top of this page to receive bespoke quotes from a range of top companies.

The best website builders for small businesses

We took a glance at four of the UK’s most popular web builders earlier, but now you’ve had the chance to work out what capabilities your website will need to have – and what services you’ll need access to – you’re much better placed to work out which is the right builder for your small business.

To help, we’re going to take an in-depth look at four top web builders so you can see exactly how they compare:


Wix

Website costs - Wix homepage)

Payment model: Freemium

Our rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆

Best for: Best all-round website builder for startups

Placing a huge emphasis on simplicity and its user-friendly credentials, Wix is one of the most popular website builders available, with around 160 million users worldwide.

With over 500 free professionally designed business templates to choose from – all categorised into various business sectors, including restaurants and food, fashion & style, and beauty & hair – you can be sure you’ll find the perfect design for your business.

Wix also has an extensive collection of more than 200 plugins that can be added to your website through the Wix App Market, including 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.

The provider also scored highly for the level of customer support it offers, while a stunning 100% of those surveyed said they’d recommend Wix to a friend.

Wix does have a free plan, but it comes with a few caveats, and seriously limits the number of features you can access.

For example, you won’t be able to add online payments to your site, and you'll have an assigned URL rather than a custom domain – as well as Wix ads on every page.

Try Wix today

PlanFeaturesPrice (excludes VAT, based on annual subscription)
Connect domain1GB bandwidth
500MB storage
Connect your domain
Displays Wix brand ads
£3 a month
Combo2GB bandwidth
3GB storage
Remove Wix Ads
Free Domain for 1 Year
30 Video Minutes
£75 Ad Vouchers
£6 a month
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 amonth
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 a month

Squarespace

Website costs - Squarespace homepage

Payment model: Subscription

Rating: 4.5 ★★★★☆

Best for: Businesses looking to scale

With an overall score of 4.5, Squarespace is a great website builder for small businesses, thanks to its excellent design flexibility and great customer support.

With over 90 stylish templates to choose from (covering everything from restaurants to sleek online stores) and plenty of customisation options, Squarespace gives you the chance to create a website that looks exactly how you want it to.

Squarespace’s strength lies in its simplicity – not to mention its excellent range of import tools, which allow you to easily 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

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

PlanFeaturesPrice (excludes VAT, based on annual subscription)
PersonalUnlimited bandwidth and storage
Mobile-optimised site
Website metrics
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
SEO features
24/7 customer support
Two contributors limit
£10 a month
BusinessUnlimited bandwidth and storage
Mobile-optimised site
Website metrics
Advanced website analytics
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
SEO features
24/7 customer support
Unlimited contributors
Professional email from Google
Google Ads credit
Promotional pop-ups
Fully integrated ecommerce
Sell unlimited products
Accept donations
3% transaction fee
CSS/Javascript customisation
£15 a month
Basic commerceSell unlimited products
No transaction fees
Mobile-optimised site
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 support
SEO features
Inventory, orders, tax, coupons
Label printing via ShipStation
Integrated accounting via Xero
Checkout on your domain
Customer accounts
Products on Instagram
£20 a month
Advanced commerceSell unlimited products
No transaction fees
Mobile-optimised site
Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
SSL security
24/7 support
Inventory, orders, tax, coupons
Label printing via ShipStation
Integrated accounting via Xero
Checkout on your domain
Customer accounts
Products on Instagram
Gift cards
Powerful ecommerce analytics
Abandoned cart autorecovery
Real-time carrier shipping
Flexible discounts
Sell subscriptions
Orders API
£30 a month

Weebly

Website costs - Weebly homepage

Payment model: Freemium

Rating: 4.3 ★★★★☆

Best for: Value for money

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

With an intuitive editor, you’ll be able to see what your final website will look like while you’re still in the editing process.

If you only need to 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 a premium plan should you wish to remove these ads.

We’d recommend doing so straight away if you want to make the most of your Weebly site.

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.

Try Weebly here

Its packages include:

PlansFeaturesPrice (excludes VAT, based on annual subscription)
FreeDrag-and-drop builder
Displays Weebly ads
500MB storage
Weebly.com subdomain
SEO
SSL security
Chat & email support
Free
ConnectDrag-and-drop builder
Displays Weebly ads
500MB storage
Connect your own domain
SEO
SSL security
Chat & email support
£4 a month
ProDrag-and-drop builder
Unlimited storage
Free domain

SSL security
Remove Weebly ads
Advanced site stats
Site search
Phone, chat & email support
Shopping cart/accept payments
£9 a month
BusinessDrag-and-drop builder
Unlimited storage
Free domain
SSL security
Remove Weebly ads
Advanced site stats
Fully featured ecommerce integration
Advanced ecommerce stats
Shipping discounts
Site search
£18 a month

GoDaddy

Website costs - GoDaddy Homepage

Payment model: Subscription service with one month free trial

Rating: 3.8 ★★★★☆

Best for: Creating a website in under an hour

More than 19 million people around the world have a GoDaddy website, while a whopping 78 million customers have a domain name registered with the provider.

GoDaddy is one of the easiest builders to use, and has great design flexibility.

It also has a nice selection of professional-looking templates aimed at different industries.

By making the website-building process as easy as possible, GoDaddy is perfect for first timers, while its extensive SEO (search engine optimisation) support will give your business website the best possible chance of success.

However, GoDaddy isn’t the best when it comes to value for money – it seems that a more limited range of features than other providers doesn’t mean lower costs.

Try GoDaddy here

PlanFeaturesPrice (excludes VAT, based on annual subscription
BasicMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
PayPal integration
Social media integration (1 platform, 5 posts per month)
Email marketing (100 sends per month)
Security (SSL)
£6.99 a month
StandardMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
Social media integration (3 platforms, 20 posts per month)
Email marketing (500 sends per month)
£9.99 a month
PremiumMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
Unlimited social media integration
Email marketing (25,000 sends per month)
Online appointment system
£14.99 a month
EcommerceMobile design
24/7 support
Website hosting
SEO
PayPal integration
Security (SSL)
Unlimited social media integration
Email marketing (25,000 sends per month)
Add and edit product listings
Manage discounts and promotions
Built-in shopping cart with fast checkout
Accept credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay
Configure shipping and tax rates
£19.99 a month

How to keep your 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 aren’t necessary 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. Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and GoDaddy all have a great range of templates, so it should be easy to find the right one for you.
  • Analytics – essential for monitoring the performance of your website, analytics help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses, and make appropriate amends.

Of course, if you’re running an ecommerce business, you’ll need a much wider range of features, and should expect to pay more as a result.


How to create a free website

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 some serious shortcomings that make them unsuitable for most businesses. These include:

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

With a decent paid plan, you’ll instead get:

  • A stylish website, easily created from a huge range of templates
  • A custom domain – think ‘myamazingbusiness.com' instead of ‘myamazingbusiness.provider.com'
  • No ugly ads cluttering up your page (or, better yet, ads that actually make you money)
  • Advanced analytics that will show you exactly how your website is performing
  • Powerful SEO tools that will help you climb the search rankings
  • A hefty amount of storage, so you can add loads of content
  • Advanced features like video and social media integration

Overall, going for a free plan results in a much less professional looking website. This may be off-putting to visitors or potential customers, who may not take your business seriously as a result.

Investing in a more fully-featured website from the start will pay dividends in the long run.


Ecommerce website costs

If you want to sell products through your business website, you’re going to need a wider range of features – everything from payments and checkout to shipping and customer reviews.

But don’t worry – gone are the days when you'd 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 plans 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
  • Integrated shipping
  • Flexible discounts

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

Below are the prices of the ecommerce plans offered by the major website builders discussed above. The majority offer multiple ecommerce plans, with the more expensive options offering more advanced features and more powerful analytics.

Wix

Squarespace

Weebly

  • Pro – £9/month (paid annually)
  • Business – £18/month (paid annually)
  • Business Plus – £28/month (paid annually)

GoDaddy


Website running costs

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, plus the occasional polish – 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.

The SSL certificate

SSL Encryption - Website costs

This gives you extra security, and will increase your ranking in search results.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and having an SSL certificate means that https:// will be displayed before your website address in the URL.

Many browsers will also display a padlock symbol and green search bar to show they’re secured, all of which helps to reassure your potential customers.

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

Ecommerce sites in particular need an SSL certificate in order to take payments – indeed, 85% of online shoppers say they would abandon a purchase if the website wasn’t secure – but really any website where sensitive information (including names, addresses and phone numbers) is exchanged needs to have one.

An SSL certificate costs between £15 and £200 a year, depending on how complex you need your security to be.

Some website builders (including Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy) include free SSL security as part of their packages, so make sure to look out for this.

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 – sites like Unsplash, for example, are a great source of free images.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO - Website Costs

SEO may or may not be included in your overall package, so make sure you check.

SEO can be bought on a ‘piecemeal’ basis, but can be worth paying for on an ongoing contract basis.

This will usually cost you upwards of £100 per month, but may include both content and images, ensuring you get expert help in climbing those search rankings.


Additional features

As your website grows, you may want to also consider the following:

  • Software/database integration
  • Multiple languages
  • Custom applications

Software and database integration

Although you may initially consider your website 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 with databases and other software can make processes more efficient and streamlined.

For example, sharing essential customer information across all platforms and departments will spare you having to re-enter it each time.

Multiple languages

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. This will be the most cost-effective strategy, and make your website attractive to a much larger audience.

Human translation is much more expensive than machine translation, but machines can struggle to adequately translate idiomatic language and humour, so the added expense can make a huge difference.

Additionally, Google does not regard automatic translation as high-quality content, and this could damage your ranking in the results pages.

Custom website applications

You may wish to include additional features within your website, such as cost savings calculators or quote generators, as these can make a real difference to the usability of your website and set you apart from your competitors.

These complex features probably won’t be available through a website builder, and will have to be built by a (human) website designer. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay for a whole bespoke website.

Instead, consult a designer on the practicalities and costs of building these features individually, and discuss how they can be integrated into your existing site.


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 requires.

Depending on your needs, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy are all great options for your small business, so make sure to check them out thoroughly and find the right one for you.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel ready to build a site for yourself, or want the experience of a professional designer, you can complete our form at the top of the page to receive bespoke quotes from trusted suppliers.

Alec Hawley
Alec Hawley

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on mobiles, investment, and politics. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, writing for computer games sites like Gaming Respawn and Gamespew, and taking on a wide variety of freelance roles.