If you own a business, you know you need a website.  Over 60%  of customers research products and services online before making a purchase, and the best way for them to learn about you is through your website.  But not just any website will do; you want one that is high quality, mobile friendly, and well maintained.

So, what does website design like that cost?  Well, that will vary wildly.

You might get a quote for $1,000 from one designer and $10,000 from another.  To help you understand the pricing, let’s break down website development costs.

Domain and Web Hosting

There are a lot of variables at play when it comes to website design costs.  However, there are three basic items that will be included in any package: the domain name and the website hosting.  These are the building blocks of every website.

Your domain name should cost somewhere between $10 and $40 a year, while website hosting will run $100-$500 annually.

Website Design and Development

Quality website design is both an art and a science.  Creating a website that draws in viewers, makes sales, and ranks in searches takes a lot of planning, and that takes a lot of time.  Depending on the size of your website, the features you want, and the results you desire, a designer could spend 100’s of hours on planning, design, and development.  Because of the time this takes, you can expect this part to make up the bulk of your website development costs.

So, what will website design and development cost?

Generally there are 2 ways to build a website.

1. Using a pre-built theme (ie. a template)

The cost of a pre-designed theme is around $50-$200.  A theme allows for a good starting point in building your website. This approach is cost-effective, but also limited since you are bound by the limitations of the template you’re using. Also – remember to plan for additional customization work to be done by a professional designer. In our experience, every theme needs customization in order to fit your needs fully.

2. Custom-design

Creating a custom website design means that the design is fully customized for your company. This approach is the most flexible because you don’t have any limitations.  Some designers charge by the hour, with rates as low as $20 an hour or as high as $200 an hour. But for most business owners it’s most cost effective to agree on a flat rate website design. Flat rates can range from $500 to over $10,000.

The more features you need, the more it will cost. Features like, – email forms, accepting payments online, photo galleries, member areas – all add to the cost of website development.

Of course, be careful about seeking out the best deal rather than the best designer, as you can expect to get what you pay for.

Website Copywriting

Having an attractive website is important, but if the words do not inform and engage, viewers will leave.  Quality content should run between $150 and $300 per page.  If you need product descriptions written, you can expect to pay between $25 and $50 per description.

Website Photos and Videos

In the interest of branding, it is best to use custom images and graphics for your website.  For each custom graphic, you can expect to pay in the range of $100-$200.  For photos, it is best to pay per shoot and have the photographer take as many different photos as possible.  You can arrange this on your own or have the website designer handle it.

Website Maintenance and Updates

Finally, allocate a budget for website maintenance to be done by the developer. The cost of updates will depend on the type of website you have. At the minimum, every website should be checked and maintained 1 – 2 times a year. Updates are typically paid to the developer by the hour.

Website Marketing

A well designed website is useless if no-one ever looks at it. To get people to visit your website, you need to do some marketing.

There are dozens of ways to do website marketing. Each option typically involves ongoing work done by an expert. The costs for each are $200 and over per month.

The most popular web marketing options are:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Pay Per Click Management (Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc)
  3. Social Media Posting
  4. Blogging & Content Marketing
  5. Email Marketing

As you can see, the costs of creating a website, maintaining a website and marketing a website can add up.

However, when you work with the right website expert, your website costs will turn into an investment that quickly pays for itself with new customers and additional revenues for your business.