Introduction

How much does a new website cost to build? this is a common question we come across so we thought we’d pen some thoughts on the subject. Many articles we’ve seen on this topic go into incredible detail on various aspects, so for the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on a very specific business case that we see cropping up most regularly.

  • You need a website that effectively communicates what your business does.
  • You need all the basics setting up (i.e., a domain, hosting, and website).
  • You need it to be responsive (i.e., works seamlessly on mobile).
  • You don’t need eCommerce functionality.

Whether via an agency or freelancer, the price of a website build will typically be calculated based on the number of hours required to complete the project. Rate cards (the cost you pay per hour or day) will differ significantly as of course will the quality of the final product. For the purpose of giving an early indication of the kind of price you could theoretically look for, below is a view of a 10-page website that needs everything set-up from scratch.

Line Item Pricing Model Price
Domain Name Fixed – Annual $20
Website Hosting Fixed – Monthly or Annual $800 [Annual]
CMS System Fixed – Free $0
Base Theme Fixed – One Off $70
Theme Customisation Fixed – One Off $3,000
Copywriting / Content creation Fixed – One Off $3,500
Photography [Optional] Fixed – One Off $1,500
c.$8,890

Domain name purchase and annual renewal

Many businesses we have worked with have a pre-existing domain name (i.e., merlin.com.sg), but in the rare circumstances where this is still a requirement, it will be one of the cheapest aspects of any new website project. The only occasion where the price of a domain should exceed $20 is if you’re purchasing a domain that belongs to another individual or company and they are unwilling to let it go cheaply.

Cost = $10 – $20 per year

Website hosting

Your hosting provider is simply the location where you will create your website and enable access to your prospective customers. There is a huge array of different hosting options available, but finding a good one is very important as it will impact many things, including:

  1. Server response and therefore page load time.
  2. Quality and availability of technical support.
  3. The uptime performance of your website – i.e., a bad hosting provider might have regular outages, which brings your website down as well.
  4. The ability for you to customise important aspects that impact your ability to deploy the website you want.
  5. The ease at which you can migrate or scale up your hosting package depending on the volume of visitors over time.

We always recommend Kinsta hosting to clients, and the majority of our customers are now running on this platform. You can read a more detailed review about Kinsta on our blog here.

Cost = $800 per year

Web platform / Content management system

Your web platform or content management system is what enables you or your employees to create and edit information on your website without needing a developer (most of the time). There are many CMS systems available to choose from, but the most widely used is WordPress. Aside from being an extremely powerful CMS, the actual platform itself will cost nothing to use and its constant development and a wide array of plugins will ensure this platform remains competitive as time goes by.

Cost = $0

Website theme

One of the best things about using WordPress as your CMS system is the selection of pre-created themes, which can be purchased for less than $100 and offer a head start in getting your website up and running. In certain cases it is possible to utilise the pre-existing themes in their entirety, switching out only the text content, but in most cases, you will need to customise it to your specific needs. The utilisation of a pre-existing theme will significantly reduce the cost and time to market.

You could consider popular options such as Jupiter or DIVI.

Cost = $70 – $100

Theme customization

After installing a base WordPress theme such as Jupiter or DIVI, you will most likely want to customize it to your specific brand and needs. The cost of this will vary greatly depending on your requirements and who you to choose to complete the work (i.e., freelancer vs. agency).

Customization of a base theme like Jupiter will typically need a designer and developer, depending on the level to which you want to customise the look and feel. You’ll also need someone capable of being able to give them the right direction to ensure the final output is what you want. The cost of this work will vary greatly depending on the level of customisation.

Cost = $1,000 – $4,000+

Copywriting / Content creation

The total cost of this element will come down to the number of pages your website has and the extent to which you need someone externally to create the content vs. leveraging existing content and repurposing it into a new website.

Generally speaking the more pages you have, the more copywriting required and thus the cost will increase. In our experience most small to medium-sized businesses require content to be created from scratch either because they have little to no existing content or the quality is so poor that it requires a complete re-write.

Cost = $300 – $600 per page

Photography

This is an often forgotten necessity of any good company website. It’s relatively straightforward to create text and image-based content, but that won’t give your website much personality or brand connection with prospective clients.

We would always advise clients to get a set of professional photographs done as part of their website (if not already available). These photographs can be used for many additional means, including LinkedIn profiles, and company social profiles such as Instagram or Facebook. It helps to provide a consistent and professional output of your business to prospective customers.

I’d recommend you hire a professional photographer for best results. Usually, the cost will depend on the number of photos required, so a company seeking many headshots would be a lot more expensive than a company seeking headshots for 2-3 core staff members.

Cost = $800 – $3,500