How much does a website cost for a small business in 2024?

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?

Our research

When reviewing website builders, our expert team of writers and independent researchers focuses in on the most important factors for small business owners. We look at the range of templates and designs available to choose from; how easy it is to get started building your site and customising it; the help and support options available; the range of available plugins, apps and extensions; the ability to customise a mobile design, and above all, the value for money – including any hidden pricing, ongoing fees, and initial setup costs.
Written and reviewed by:
Henry Williams headshot
Robyn Summers-Emler Grow Online Editor is reader supported – we may earn a commission from our recommendations, at no extra cost to you and without impacting our editorial impartiality.

Based on our research, you can set up a professional-looking website by accessing website builder subscription from as little as £2.59/month.

Or, if you want something truly unique, advanced, and made to your exact specifications, you could hire a web designer, costing you anything from hundreds to thousands of pounds in upfront costs, or use a CMS like WordPress for around £30-£1,000 a year.

These prices, however, are just estimates. The process of building a website is ripe with hidden and additional costs that we break down and discuss in this article. We’ll explain the average prices of the best value website builders, like the ever-popular Wix, break down the cost of professional web design, and tell you how much you can expect to pay for a WordPress website.

Here’s how the prices for various approaches to building a business site can break down:

Cost of Building a Website Compared

Here are typical costs for our recommended ways of building a website:

How much does a website cost?

The cost of building a website will depend on how you create it, whether that is using a DIY website builder, WordPress, or you hire a website designer. The most common and easiest option is to do it yourself, which can cost on average £425 if you factor in the cost of a domain name, web hosting, template, a website builder subscription, and your SSL certificate.

This estimate is higher if you hire a designer or developer, for which you can expect an upfront charge of around £4,500, with an ongoing cost of £800 per year. If you choose the WordPress route, you can expect to pay £30 to £1,000 per year, considering extra costs like themes, support, apps, and plugins.

  • Domain name = £0-30 upfront
  • Web hosting – £0-500+ upfront
  • Theme or template = £4-25 (one time purchase)
  • Professional web design = £25-80 plus per hour
  • DIY website builder = £2.59-259 per month
  • SSL Certificate = £0-120+ per year
  • Apps and plugins = £0-100
  • Support = £10-150 per hour

Domain name

This is the starting point of your website and the main part that will help your customers identify your site. The price will depend on the URL you’re after as the more coveted .com addresses will be more expensive. Registering usually entails an annual subscription from a domain registrar, ranging from anywhere between £7 to £40 per year. Keep in mind you can pay on the lower end of this range if you target less competitive domain names on accessible sites like GoDaddy, Namecheap, Cloudflare, or Namesilo.

Website builders

Website builders are great DIY solutions as you don’t need to have any technical skills and can use drag-and-drop features to piece together your site. While initially there are plenty of features to wrap your head around, it’s a much more affordable method. Website builders have multiple subscription models, so you can choose to test them out with free plans or cheap subscriptions before committing to more lucrative features. Based on our in-depth in-house research, we found that Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are the best providers if you want to create a professional site. For these providers, you’ll pay anywhere from £5 to £259 per month, depending on the subscription you choose.

Web hosting

Hosting will let visitors see what’s on the site and is a separate fee from the domain. Keep in mind that most website builders will already have the hosting price included in your subscription cost, saving you an extra step. However, if you’re going for WordPress, you will be required to subscribe to a website hosting service provider. Based on our first-hand user testing, the best hosting providers are Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting, and HostGator. For these providers, you’ll pay anything from £2.33 to approximately £10 ($11.95) per month).

Security socket layer (SSL)

An SSL certificate is a digital authentication of your website’s identity and enables an encrypted connection for security purposes. This means your visitors are safeguarded from unwanted cyberattacks. This certificate changes your site from an HTTP to an HTTPS prefix in the web domain, showing web browsers that you have invested in security for the website. In most cases, you’ll be able to get an SSL certificate for free through your web hosting provider. If that’s not the case, you can pay up to £120 per year for it.

How much does it cost to maintain a website monthly?

The cost of maintaining your website month on month will largely depend on how you built your site, but generally can range from £10 to £1,000 per month. This varies depending on your website’s size and complexity, who manages it (i.e if you’re hiring people to monitor the website), and what renewals you have to look after. More specifically, you’ll need to think about:

  • Website hosting: depending on your provider, hosting can cost anywhere from £2.33 to about £10 per month. Think of this as paying rent for your corner of digital space on the internet, where your website lives.
  • Domain name renewal: this usually costs around £10-20 a year to keep a hold off, which means you won’t have to think about this every month unless it’s time to renew.
  • SSL certificate: this costs about £0 to £120+ per year to keep so just as with domain renewal, you will only need to factor this in if it’s time to renew.
  • Content updates: you can either have freelance or in-house writers for this role, but every month you’ll want to think about your content pipeline to keep things fresh. The rates per content piece will be completely up to you, depending on the budget you’re willing to allocate.
  • SEO maintenance: whether Google had a plot-twist algorithm update or you want to get your pages to rank higher on the SERPs, you might consider hiring an SEO specialist or a freelancer to take care of this. This can range anywhere from £150 to £1,200 per month, depending on the amount of SEO maintenance you need.
Want to learn more about website builder costs?

You can check out our dedicated Wix pricing and Shopify pricing pages, which include lots more information on each provider’s features, as well as what’s included in each plan.

Costs: Website builder vs web designer vs WordPress

As you choose between these three options, keep in mind that an important factor mediating the price of your website is whether or not you want to sell online. As you’ll see below, ecommerce website builder plans are generally more expensive than regular ones and, if you do want to hire a web designer, ecommerce web design is always going to cost more than conventional web design.

The cost of using a website builder: £2.59 – £259/month

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Best all-round website builder for small businesses


Design flexibility & businesses looking to scale


Ease of use and simplicity


Best for dedicated sales features when selling online


Cheap builder


Creating a website in under an hour (thanks to its ADI platform)

Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing

£12-£35 per month, billed annually

Use code “SU10” to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans


£6.99-£12.99 per month, billed annually (first term discounts available)


£5-£259 per month, billed annually

£1 for first month


£2.59-£8.99 per month

Up to 81% discounted with code “STARTUPS”


£9-£39 per month

Try Wix
Try Squarespace
Try GoDaddy
Get Shopify
Get Hostinger
Try Jimdo

The table above shows the price ranges from the most basic to the most advanced plans for the top website builders on the market.

As you can see, even for our top ranked builders, you’re not going to spend more than £35 per month for a fully functional site using the likes of Wix or Squarespace. Both offer great value for money, with sophisticated features and professional-looking templates at affordable prices.

Shopify and BigCommerce are ecommerce specific website builders. Their higher tier plans have very advanced sales features for large, scaling online retailers. These are great options to have if you’ve got grand ambitions, but most small businesses won’t need them.

An overview of website builder costs

Website builder plans can range from £2.59 per month for the most basic plans to more than £259 per month for the most advanced ecommerce plans. Website builders cater to lots of different businesses, so if you’re going for this option but don’t know which website builder is the one for you, you can check out our guide to the best website builders for small businesses.

The advertised prices for website builder plans are paid for on an annual subscription basis, so you’ll pay for a year in full when you sign up. You can also choose to pay monthly, but this will cost you more overall. What’s great about website builders from a budgeting perspective is that, in almost all cases, the pricing is very transparent. Unlike, for example, hosting providers, there are no massively discounted introductory prices, which are then ramped up considerably after the first year.

The main thing to watch out for is the cost of domain name renewal. All major web builders include a free domain name for the first year, which then renews at the standard rate. For instance, 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 (.com, .org, .net, Wix renewals start from around £8, while GoDaddy’s start from around £15 for a .com domain.

The downside of using website builders is that you’ll need to invest quite a bit of time playing around on the website builder to get your final version to look exactly the way you want it to. It’s also not the best option for businesses that need more complicated and technical functions in their website, like integrating advanced APIs.

Did you know?

71% of businesses now have a website. This is largely a result of COVID and companies finding ways of selling online. However, it also is a symptom of how important it is in reaching customers and establishing your brand.

The cost of using a website designer: £4,000 – £60,000+ upfront

It’s increasingly rare for small businesses to use a web designer. However, they can be a great option for businesses that have more expansive budgets and are looking for a sophisticated website.

Web design agencies typically charge you on an hourly basis. Chameleon Studios, a Cambridge-based marketing agency, gave us insight on a rough price list for web design depending on what type of agency you use:

  • Offshore company – £10-25 per hour
  • Freelance web designer – £25-£50 per hour
  • Small web agency – £50-£75 per hour
  • Large web agency – £75-£150 per hour

Based on insights from a number of developers, we’re going to accept that an average small business website takes around 12 weeks to build. We’ll also assume the agency is devoting seven hours a day to your project. That means you’re looking at a total price of £4,200 – £63,000 for the development of your business website.

Of course, there are a lot of hypotheticals here, and a number of variables we haven’t factored into our estimates – namely, the size and complexity of the website you’re trying to build. The more pages and functionality your website has, the longer it will take and the more it will cost.

There are also some running costs you’ll need to factor into your website budget. These include:

There are also some running costs you’ll need to factor into your website budget. These include:

Hosting£25-600 per year
Domain£3-100 per year
Security£0-200 per year
Maintenance and support£0-1,000 per year
Total cost£30-2,000 per year

Should I use a web designer?

If you can afford it, working with a web designer to build a website crafted to your exact needs and specifications is a great investment that’s sure to pay dividends in the long run. If you do go down this route, make sure to shop around for quotes from various agencies before choosing one that suits your needs and budget. Don’t just choose the cheapest option, but examine agencies’ previous work, testimonials and think about how well their skills and expertise fit with how you want your website to look and work.

Our guide to finding a web designer includes more tips on locating the web design agency that will create the perfect site for your small business.

The cost of using WordPress: £30 – £1,000/year

A third option is to use a WordPress site. This is ideal for businesses that want something cheaper than hiring a website designer, but gives you more control than using a website builder.

WordPress is an open-source CMS. As with a website builder, you can create a decent website without having to learn code. You can then customise your website using thousands of themes and plugins and add all sorts of additional features like an online store. This is a great option for anyone that doesn’t have the budget to hire an agency but has the time and ability to develop a more advanced and customised website.

As with a website designer, you’ll have to pay for your own hosting and domain name. These are the only guaranteed monthly costs. The others are optional, depending on your requirements. For example, you’ll want to improve the functionality of your website using WordPress’s extensive library of apps and plugins, which includes things like SEO, ecommerce, and social media. Many of these are free, but you might want to fork out for premium add ons if you’re after something more particular.

These are what some of the costs might look like if you use WordPress:

  • Domain – £3-100 per year
  • Hosting – £25-600 per year
  • Apps and plugins – £0-100 per month
  • Themes – £0-50 upfront
  • Support £10-150 per hours
  • Total – £30-1,000 per year
Domain£3 - £100/year
Hosting£25 - £600/year
Apps and plugins£0 - £100/month
Themes£0 - £50 up front
Support£10 - £150/hour
Total£30 - £1,000/year

Can I create a website for free?

You definitely can! There’s plenty of website builders like Wix or Square Online that offer free plans. The reasons we haven’t included it above is because there’s lots of significant drawbacks, which is why we don’t recommend small businesses looking to scale online to go down the fully free path.

Although you cut back on lots of costs, free website builder plans are very limited in terms of the features you can use and usually have watermarks splattered throughout the website. You also might have no choice about where and which ads are displayed on the site and you also can’t customise your domain name. This might make your website look amateur and unprofessional, and most importantly, it won’t allow you to scale as you grow your business.

We recommend only pursuing the free plan if you want to take a website builder for a spin to then take out a subscription.

How much does an ecommerce website cost?

If you choose to use a website builder, an ecommerce site can cost around £7 to £259 to set up and design if you factor in the cost of a website builder subscription. For instance, you can set up your online store using Square Online for free – you don’t need a premium plan and just need to pay the 1.4% + 25p processing fee. This is, If you want to create an online store using an ecommerce website builder – which will grant you access to the best range of sales features.

Overall, you can expect to pay higher rates for selling online than you would for a regular website with no sales features.

What are some additional costs involved with running a website?

Besides the cost we’ve already explained, building a website involves some additional price tags if you want to boost your site’s functionality.

  • Add-ons and plugins: free to £60+ per year
  • SEO features: £150-1,200 per month
  • Images and design: free to £59+ per month

Add-ons and plugins

Whether you’re DIY-ing your website or using WordPress, you will likely need add-ons. These plugins can let you add on-page testimonials, contact forms, or newsletter subscription boxes, amongst many others. The price of these ranges quite a bit as some add-ons are completely free whereas others require you to spend more money – around £60+ per year.

Although having lots of shiny features on your website can be alluring, keep in mind that a long list of add-ons on your website can slow down its load speed, which can hurt user experience and SEO.

SEO features

Google’s search engine rankings aren’t owed to magic – they answer to website designers putting the work into refining a site’s SEO. To rank high, you’ll want to think about hiring an SEO specialist who speaks Google’s algorithmic language. This may cost anywhere between £150 to £1,200 per month, depending on how much help you need with your SEO.

Images and design

Whether it’s your company’s logo or the images that populate your home page, you’ll likely have to pay someone to design parts of your website or have a subscription to sites like Adobe to access royalty free images. Royalty-free images can range from being free to £10, but you can get a subscription from stock libraries like Shutterstock which costs £59 per month, for 50 monthly downloads.

Verdict: Should I use a website builder or a web designer?

Cost is of course an important consideration here, but not the only one. Using a website builder is a quick, easy, and affordable way to get your small business website up and running – plus you can start off with a basic plan and then scale up if you need to.

Using a website designer is the elite bespoke option, the equivalent of paying for a tailored suit instead of buying off the rack. You’ll pay more, maybe even a lot more, but you’ll end up with something crafted to your exact specifications and something that perfectly suits the way your business operates. It’s a substantial investment, but one that could really pay dividends in the long run.

Whatever you decide, make sure you’re being honest with yourself about your budget and how much of a priority a website is for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do you pay a monthly fee for a website?
    You do, particularly if you’re taking out a subscription from a website builder. However, keep in mind that a lot of website builders will push you to take out an annual subscription, which drives down your overall monthly cost. If paid annually, your monthly subscription cost for a website builder will range from £2.59 to £259.
  • How do I start a small business website?
    You can build a small business website by using a platform like Wix or Squarespace. Choose a memorable domain name, pick a website plan, and customise a template. Don’t forget to add your business’s contact details as well as information about your business!
  • Is it worth paying someone to do your website?
    Keep in mind bespoke website design is the priciest way of piecing together your business’s site. However, if you need your website to have complex functionalities and want a very specific and professional-looking design, it can be worth it. It all depends on your budget and the level of quality you’re striving for. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Henry Williams headshot
Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.
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