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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Small Business Website

Cost to Build Website

The cost to build a website will vary depending on what you need it for.  Do you want a website for your business?  Or are you looking to build a complex web application?

If you’re like most people, you’re just probably looking to build a website for your business.  There are essentially 2 options when building a website – Do It Yourself (DIY) or hire a professional.

The DIY method won’t cost much to design, other than your time.  WordPress and sitebuilders are the most popular ways to build a DIY website.

WordPressWeeblyWix
$3.29 monthly hosting cost$12 – $25 per month$17 – $23 per month

The cost to hire a professional will depend on who you hire.  A freelance web designer can charge anywhere from $100 to $1000 for a small business website, whereas a web design agency can charge several thousands.

FreelancerWeb Design Agency
$100 – $1000
+ hosting cost
$3000 – $10,000
+ hosting cost

 

 

 

BUILDING WEBSITE DIY (Do It Yourself)

Building a DIY website is clearly the cost effective option when you’re on a tight budget.  Sitebuilders like WordPress, Weebly, and Wix make it possible to design a layout by simply using a theme.

Coding isn’t required so all you’d have to do is set up the platform, install a theme, and input the content.  But let’s dig a little deeper into each of these options.

 

1 – BUILDING DIY WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS

WordPress is by far the the most preferred way to build a website.  It is free, doesn’t require any coding knowledge, and has a huge library of themes and plugins.

Plugins allow WordPress websites to add unlimited functions and features making it ideal for small businesses to large corporations.

Note: This article is referencing WordPress.org not WordPress.com.  They are two very different platforms.  WordPress.com is also free but to make your site functional, it can get quite expensive.  Plugins cannot be used on WordPress.com unless you opt for their $300 per year plan.

COST TO BUILD WITH WORDPRESS

The only thing you need to get started with a WordPress site is web hosting.  You can start with a basic plan from a fast web host like NameHero or SiteGround.

NameHero’s plans start at 3.29 per month + free domain but you can check the comparisons of the top 5 web hosts here.  After getting hosting, all you need to do is install a theme.

There are free themes and paid themes available.  Premium themes aren’t required but if you don’t want to design your own website, you can just buy a theme related to your business.

The average price of a premium theme is usually around $50 for a license.  Premium themes typically have better designs with more features out of the box than a free theme would.

You can check out some samples of free and premium themes at myThemeshop.  However, if you don’t want to pay for a premium theme and want to design it yourself, you can do so with a free theme.

Another DIY option would be to use a drag-and-drop editor plugin like Elementor.  This plugin allows you to easily click and drag elements to build your pages.  It is free to use but there are paid features as well which can incur additional costs.

Free themes and plugins should be more than enough to build most small business websites.  With that being said, if you ever need advanced features, the option will always be there with premium themes or plugins.

ADVANTAGES OF BUILDING WITH WORDPRESS

  • Free to use:  WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) and its platform is completely free to use.  Installation is easy and done directly from your web host’s control panel.  Once installed, you can immediately use the built-in dashboard to start building your website.
  • Plugins:  Plugins are what makes WordPress truly unique.  They allow you to easily add functions to your website on the fly.  For instance, if you need an image slider there’s a plugin for that.
  • Most plugins are free and with them you can instantly add professional features to your site without the need of a web programmer.
  • Themes:  After plugins, themes are the next best thing.  They are pre-designed website templates so it’s easy to build a site without starting from a blank canvas.  There are tons of themes to choose from so anyone can have a professional looking website – you just need to add content.
  • Drag and drop site builders:  WordPress by default is not a drag-and-drop site builder – but plugins have made it possible.  Using a plugin like Elementor has really simplified the building process.  It can easily add a drag-and-drop site building function so all you have to do is click and drag.
WordPress
source: wordpress.org

 

2 – BUILDING DIY WEBSITE WITH WEEBLY

Weebly is arguably the easiest way to build a DIY website – the entire platform is based on a simple drag-and-drop WYSIWYG (what you see if what you get) editor.

If you need a basic website and ease of use is the most important factor, Weebly is a great option.  However, customizations can be limited especially when compared to WordPress.

It’s best suited for non-techie amateurs who are okay with a generic look.

COST TO BUILD WITH WEEBLY

Since hosting is included, the only cost to build a website with Weebly is their monthly plans.  Using a premium theme instead of a free one will also add to the total building budget.

In order to get a remotely usable website without Weebly ads and with your own domain name, you’d have to choose their Pro plan at $12 per month, billed annually at $144.

If you need a functional e-commerce site, you would need their Business plan at $25 per month, billed annually at $300.

ADVANTAGES OF BUILDING WITH WEEBLY

  • Simplicity:  WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editors are considered the easiest software to build a website with.  Sections like headers and paragraphs are clicked and dragged into place so it’s easier to visualize the layout.
  • Hosting included with plan:  With Weebly, you don’t need to buy separate web hosting.  All of Weebly’s plans include web hosting as a package when you buy their plans.
  • Relative low cost: Weebly’s plans are cheaper than other non-WordPress website builders like Wix.  They even have a free plan but you’ll be restricted to use Weebly’s subdomain and cannot remove Weebly ads.
  • Themes:  Free themes are available, albeit somewhat limited quantity at under 100.  Their business model is simplicity so it’s more geared towards consumers who just want to build a very basic website.  However, third party premium themes are also available.
Weebly prices
source: weebly

 

3 – BUILDING DIY WEBSITE WITH WIX

Wix is another WISIWYG drag-and-drop site builder similar to Weebly.  Between the two, Wix is the popular choice due to its flexibility in design.

The platform is more intuitive and customizable so it’s easier to drag elements around with fewer restrictions.  There is less of a pre-arranged structure that can limit the look of your website.

If you’ve tried Weebly in the past and have been frustrated by the lack of range in motion, Wix can seem like a breath of fresh air.  Simply put, Wix is an advanced Weebly.

COST TO BUILD WITH WIX

As with most WYSIWYG editors, hosting is included with the plan so the only real cost to build a website with Wix is the plan itself.  With that said, opting for any premium themes will incur additional costs.

Wix has a wide range of plans.  Their Unlimited plan at $17 per month should be the go-to plan for most small businesses.  However, if you need features such as visitor analytics and site booster, the price will inflate to $22 per month with their Pro plan.

Adding e-commerce functionality will further increase the monthly costs.  Their Business Basic plan starts at $23 per month while their Enterprise plan can be as much as $500 per month.

ADVANTAGES OF BUILDING WITH WIX

  • Simplicity:  Drag-and-drop editors will always be the easiest way to build a website with.   Since coding isn’t required, all it takes is time to get accustomed to the editor and time to put everything together.
  • Hosting included with plan:  Like Weebly, Wix is site builder and a hosting company in one.  You won’t be required to purchase separate web hosting.  Each plan is already pre-defined with storage limits and bandwidth.
  • Themes:  Wix has a wider selection of free themes to choose from than Weebly does.  In fact, there selection is over 500.  While it still pales in comparison to what WordPress has, it is still a lot more than Weebly.
  • Customization:  Considering that Wix is a drag-and-drop platform, it is relatively versatile.  It promotes more creativity and freedom to place different elements anywhere on a page because the editor doesn’t limit you with how a page can be structured,
Wix prices
source: wix

 

 

 

BUILDING WEBSITE PROFESSIONALLY

If you don’t want to make a website yourself or you’re just strapped for time, you may just want to hire a professional.  For non-techies and busy people, paying a pro isn’t a bad idea.

Web design prices can range vastly depending on the type of service you use.  Generally speaking, the greater the interaction between the designer and the client, the more expensive it is.

Other than design cost, your only other expense is web hosting.  It’s also important to note that you’d still have to choose a platform to build on.  Most web developers will build websites using HTML or WordPress.

WordPress is the better choice if you don’t want to deal with coding later on.  It’ll also give you a user interface to work with if you want to make edits in the future.

 

1 – BUILDING A WEBSITE WITH A FREELANCER

Using an online freelancer is often the most cost conscious method for professional web design.  They can be found on freelance sites like Fiverr.

Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can hire web designers for custom web development.  Hiring a freelancer on Fiverr is a great option if you’re on a budget and don’t want to build the website yourself.

You just have to provide your web host login information so they can upload the site to your server when it’s done.  I recommend NameHero but you can review more web hosts here.

COSTS TO HIRE A FREELANCE WEB DESIGNER

Fiverr is one of the cheapest resources to find a freelance web developer.  The cost of hiring one can range from $100 to $1000, more or less, but it’s easy to find gigs in the lower range.

You’ll even be given several chances to request revisions after the job is done.  One advice is to err on the side of cautious when a freelancer’s price seems too cheap – their skills may not always be up to par.

ADVANTAGES OF HIRING A FREELANCER

  • Affordable:  Many of the freelancers on Fiverr are located overseas so web design costs are very affordable.  In fact, it is common to see listings that’ll create websites for only a few hundred dollars – sometimes even cheaper.
  • Security:  Your money is secure because Fiverr will hold the money until the job is done.  The funds aren’t released until you review the completed task and approve it.  There is also a resolution center in case a problem arises between the seller and the buyer.
  • Credibility: Freelancers are rated after every gig is done so it’s easy to see their review history from other buyers.  You can pick and choose who you want to work with based on other people’s experiences with the sellers.
  • Dependability: Each project’s timeline is pre-determined before the task begins so you’ll know when it’s due.  Sellers must complete gigs before the due date or they’ll receive a strike on their account.
Fiverr
source: fiverr

 

2 – BUILDING A WEBSITE WITH A WEB DESIGN AGENCY

Hiring a web design agency is usually the most expensive option but has the most customization.

A design agency employs professionals in each aspect of the web development process – from graphic design, coding and copy-writing to digital marketing and search engine optimization.

Using a web design agency is a good option if you need a large website with custom features and unique graphics.  They also provide many other services other than web design.

COSTS TO HIRE A WEB DESIGN AGENCY

Web design agencies can be found both online and locally.  You can expect to pay $3,000 to $10,000 or more for a custom website.

This option isn’t practical if you’re looking for a regular small-business website.  It is best suited for large businesses that need a full featured e-commerce site.

You can save a lot of money by either building the website yourself or hiring a freelancer.

ADVANTAGES OF HIRING A WEB DESIGN AGENCY

  • All inclusive:  Hiring a web design agency means all aspects of building a site is included as a package.  Each part of the building process is individually handled by a specialist so everything is accounted for.
  • Hold your hands approach:  A web design agency will walk you through the entire process of building your your website.  This is an attractive benefit if you have the budget and dealing with tech is not in your comfort zone.
  • Customized:  Working with a team specialized in different areas of the building process can be ideal if you need a large site with custom features.  Each expert can add their own touch for a customized look and feel.

 

 

 

HOW MUCH DOES A WEBSITE COST PER MONTH

The monthly cost of a website depends on the platform your website is built on.  If it is built on a WYSIWYG builder, the monthly cost would be the cost of the plan.

    • Weebly: $12 – $25 per month
    • Wix: $ 17 – $23 per month

If your business website was built with WordPress or HTML, the cost of hosting and a domain name is the only expense.

    • Cost of a website domain: $12.98 per year
    • Cost to host a website: $3.29 per month

You can tack on additional costs for premium themes and plugins but neither is required to get a website up and running.  However, if you do see a nice and functional theme you like, it could be worth your time for such a small investment.

 

 

 

VERDICT

Each different method of building a business website has their pros and cons.  Whether building it DIY or professionally, there’s always a way to stay within budget.

The least expensive way to build a DIY site is with WordPress.  And for professionally built websites, using a freelancer from Fiverr is the cheapest way.

Regardless of who builds your website, choosing WordPress as your platform is your best bet.  It is flexible, fully customizable, and free to use.

The easiest and cheapest way to build a professional website is to hire a freelancer on Fiverr.  All you need is web hosting to get started.  For the DIY weekend warriors, learn how to build a website yourself with this step by step guide.

 

 

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