How Much Does a New Website Cost?

If you’re wondering  How much does a new website cost to build?  you’re certainly not alone, this is an extremely common question that business owners ask me whether they’re looking for a refresh to their existing website or a brand new build.

Many articles I have seen on this topic go into incredible detail on various aspects, so for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on a very specific business case that I 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).

I tend to quote on website builds based upon the number of hours I require to complete the project alongside some additional line items depending on whether the client requires a domain name, hosting, logo creation, photography etc. You can use the rough line items below to get a sense of the estimated cost of a typical content focused website with 10 pages.

Domain Name

Many businesses I work with already have a pre-existing domain name (i.e., digitize.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.

Often you can also remove this cost entirely when setting up a new web hosting package as many of them will include a free domain on account creation.

Cost = $10 - $20 per year

Web 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.

The best hosting provider I have come across for WordPress driven websites is WP Engine. Their technical support is beyond excellent and the quality of hosting and ancillary services provided is all you need. It is premium pricing compared to other options, but well worth the investment for such a foundational necessity.

Cost = $450 - $550 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 is 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 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.

Below is a couple of examples that I have used in the recent past.

Jupiter WordPress Theme [this website currently runs on this theme]

Avada WordPress Theme

Cost = $70 - $100

Theme Customization

After installing a base WordPress theme such as Jupiter, 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 or Avada is not a challenging task, but you will need someone with decent CSS and JavaScript skills as a minimum. 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 can range massively depending on the level of customization, the skills/experience you have in-house and the route you take to produce the work (i.e., agency vs. contractors).

For example, I have skills and experience to do much of the work myself. I also outsource some elements to external freelancers in the Ukraine for the benefit of my clients (because they are cheaper per hour than I am). If you were to use an agency then chances are you will pay their hourly rate card and this element will push the price up significantly.

Cost = $1,000 - $50,000+ per year

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 my 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.

In my experience doing a solid job of content creation and implementation into the WordPress theme will usually take between 4-6 hours per page.

Cost = $400 - $1,000 per page

Photography

This is an often forgotten necessity of any good company website. Its relatively straightforward to create text and image based content, but that won’t give your website much personality or brand connection with prospective clients. In my humble opinion, one of the few elements that can really make the difference to your website is solid photography of key employees and ‘operations’ that show the personality and scale of your business.

I’d recommend you hire a professional photographer for best results.

Cost = $800 - $1,500

Conclusion

The above cost model is based on my experience implementing WordPress driven websites for a number of companies and the pricing referenced is applicable based on the current market rates for 2017/18. There is a couple of key points I want to highlight in relation to the costing.

(1) I am not an agency, which means I have very little operating overheads. This is a large factor in why my pricing will typically be far more competitive than any reliable agency.

(2) Pricing estimates are largely focused around small to medium sized businesses looking for a website that communicates their brand and products/services in a content rich site. Adding on eCommerce functionality however does not necessarily increase the price significantly as this can be done via WooCommerce. The main cost in setting up eCommerce facilities is around creating and adding individual products to the website and customizing some of the back-end settings. It can range from 5 hours of effort up to 50+ depending on the number and complexity of products involved.

Interested in getting a custom quote for your own business?

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