So you’ve decided to start a website – congratulations! Chances are you’ve considered your niche, your ideal target audience, and your website’s content: these are, after all, the most fun parts of creating a website.
You also likely know that there are different costs involved with building and maintaining a website. After all, nothing in life is free.
But how much should you expect to pay for your website? And are these one-time payments or continual costs?
To help you break down the costs and figure out your website’s budget, here’s a complete list of the expenses involved in having your own website.
Summary: How much does a website cost?
- The cost of having a website will depend on what kind of website you want and how you decide to build and manage it.
- Using a DIY website builder tool is the cheapest way to build a website and may also come with web hosting and management features bundled into the monthly subscription cost. Estimated cost: $6 – $50/month after initial setup fees.
- Hiring a web developer to build your site is a great option if you want to build a larger, more unique website. The initial setup fees will cost more, and you’ll likely have to pay separately for web hosting and domain registration, on top of monthly fees for management and maintenance. Estimated cost: $200 – $5,000.
- Hiring a web agency is the most expensive option and can easily cost several thousand dollars.
There are a lot of ways to set up your website, all of which come with different costs.
Let’s take a look at how much you can expect to pay for different ways of building your website.
DIY Website Builders
DIY Website Builder Monthly Cost: $6 – $50
Generally speaking, the cheapest way to build a website is to use a built-it-yourself, or DIY, website builder.
Right now you’re probably thinking, DIY? That sounds like coding to me.
But no need to stress: DIY website builders are actually tools designed to allow people to build their own website without any prior knowledge or experience with coding.
All of these (and indeed most) DIY website building tools allow you to choose from a wide range of pre-designed templates, then customize them to your own needs.
Different website builders will allow for different levels of customization, and many will allow you to experiment with editing different templates before you pay.
So, how much does it cost to start a website with a website builder?
The costs vary depending on which website builder (and which plan) you choose. Costs can range from only a few dollars up to several hundred a month, but the average cost is between $6-$50 a month.
For example, Wix offers plans that range from $16 – $45 a month. In addition to being reasonably priced, all of their plans include a free domain name for 1 year and a free SSL certificate, saving you money upfront.
Squarespace’s plans range from $14 – $45 a month and also include a free domain name and SSL certification.
Shopify, a DIY web builder intended specifically for building eCommerce sites, offers plans starting at $29 and going up to $299 a month.
And Webflow even offers a free plan that allows you to build your website and publish it under their webflow.io domain.
This is an awesome opportunity to try their web builder out for free. If you decide to take your website to the next level, their paid plans start at $12 and go up to $36 a month.
Another great benefit of using a website builder to build a DIY website is that many of the running costs (more on those later), such as web hosting, server maintenance, and updates, are included with the cost of your monthly subscription, saving you money and hassle.
WordPress Cost: $200 upfront, then between $10-$50 monthly
Another way you can build your own website is by using WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that uses free, open-source software to allow you to build and manage websites.
Around the globe, more than 455 million websites are powered by WordPress, making it by far the most popular website building platform.
WordPress requires a bit more technical know-how than most DIY website builders, which generally use drag-and-drop no-code editors to make building a website accessible for even the newest of newbies.
However, that doesn’t mean that WordPress is difficult – far from it. If you’re willing to put in a bit of time, it can be an intuitive, user-friendly way to build your website.
WordPress pricing, on the other hand, can get a bit confusing, therefore it can be hard to determine how much does it cost to own a website using WordPress.
Although their software is free, you’ll likely end up having to pay for plugins, themes, and a subscription plan to access features like customer support, storage, Google Analytics Integration, and a free (for one year) domain name.
These plans range from $5 a month for their personal plan to $45 a month for their eCommerce plan. As with other website builders, your costs will largely depend on the purpose of your website and the features and customizability you want.
WordPress has thousands of customizable lightweight themes that you can choose from to design your website. If you want to buy a premium theme or a theme that isn’t included with your plan, you’ll need to pay extra for it.
WordPress themes run the gamut in terms of prices, from as low as $0 to up to $1700. Fortunately, most WordPress themes won’t cost you more than $50.
This is a one-time purchase (unless you opt to pay a small monthly fee for regular updates, which is generally a good idea).
You also may want to invest in extra security plugins to boost your site’s protection against hacking and malware attacks, which will increase your monthly cost.
Additionally, it should be noted that on top of the monthly cost and the cost of buying a theme, you’ll also have to find and pay for web hosting and domain name registration because WordPress plans don’t include either of these.
We’ll get into the costs of web hosting and domain registration in a bit, but fortunately, there are plenty of great web hosts that offer WordPress-specific hosting plans.
Website Developer Cost: $200 – $5,000
If you don’t want to deal with designing your own website – or if you simply want a more professional touch – then you can hire a web developer to build your website for you.
How much does it cost to have a website built by a professional web developer can vary a lot, and it largely depends on what you want.
A simple landing page or portfolio, for example, would be cheaper to develop than a more complex website with multiple pages and features.
Some web developers will charge a flat fee upfront based on what kind of site you want, whereas others will charge by the hour.
Just make sure that you do your due diligence and check out their reviews, ratings, and portfolio before you agree to work with them.
It’s also worth noting that what you pay for a web developer only covers the cost of building your website. Running costs such as domain registration, web hosting, and maintenance will all be extra.
Agency Cost: $500 – $10,000
Hiring a web agency to build your website is definitely the priciest option, but if it’s within your budget, then it may well be worth the money.
Agencies generally have a wealth of experts and resources that they use to design highly professional-looking websites for their clients.
Most web agencies also offer some site maintenance, updates, technical support, and management services, helping you keep your site running smoothly beyond just the initial design and launch.
If the cost of hiring a web agency isn’t out of reach, it’s a great, effort-free way to get a unique, professionally designed, and managed website.
Your website is all designed and ready to go – now what?
Unfortunately, unless you’ve signed up for an all-inclusive package with a web agency or DIY website builder, you’re probably not done paying for your site.
There are running costs to consider as well, which we’ll take a look at here.
Domain Registration Cost: $10-$20 yearly.
When you’re building a website, it’s important to consider your domain name.
Your website’s domain name is its address on the internet, and it’s likely the first thing that your audience or customers will engage with.
Many web hosting and/or website building plans come with a free domain name (or at least free for the first year).
But if yours does not, then you’ll need to buy a domain name from a registrar.
The cost of registering a domain name can vary, and payment is usually made yearly. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay $10-$20 a year for your domain name.
When choosing a domain registrar, it’s important to make sure that you use one that has ICANN accreditation.
ICANN (the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the international regulatory body that manages most IP and DNS services, and any reputable, trustworthy domain registrar will be certified by ICANN.
Web Hosting Cost: Anywhere from $1.99/month to $1,650/month
Just like domain registration, if you’ve chosen to build your website in a way that doesn’t already include web hosting, then you’ll need to pay for it separately.
It’s hard to make generalizations about the cost of web hosting because it varies drastically depending on the web hosting company and the type of web hosting you choose.
The cheapest type of web hosting is shared hosting, in which your website will be hosted on a server with several other websites and share the server’s resources with them.
Shared hosting (the cheapest type of hosting) generally costs around $2-$12 a month.
Pre-installed WordPress/WooCommerce website
From $2.99 per month
Dedicated hosting, in which your website is hosted on its own server, is a much more expensive option. Monthly costs for dedicated hosting start at around $80 a month.
VPS hosting, which is a sort of hybrid between shared and dedicated hosting, will likely cost you somewhere between $10-$150 a month.
There are other types of hosting as well, and every web hosting company will offer slightly different prices.
When you’re in the market for a web host, make sure you choose a plan from a well-reviewed company that fits both your budget and the needs (be realistic) of your website.
Management & Maintenance
Now that your website is up and running, you’re done, right? Well, not exactly.
Just like anything else, websites require management and regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
Management and maintenance costs will vary a lot depending on how you choose to build your website.
For example, if you build your website using a DIY website builder, then maintenance is generally free and/or included with the cost of your subscription.
(Most website builder plans will run regular updates and maintenance checks, but require that you manage your website yourself.)
Many web hosting companies offer managed WordPress hosting that takes the burden off of you to run regular maintenance on your WordPress site.
Managed WordPress hosting ranges in price but is generally around $20-$60 a month.
If you hire a web designer to build your site, they may offer management and maintenance services as well, which could cost up to $500 a month.
The same goes for agencies, which generally include a monthly fee for site management that could be anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars a month, depending on the size and complexity of your website.
How much does a website cost using WordPress?
Calculating how much does it cost to make a website with WordPress is a bit difficult since there are many individual costs that you could incur.
For a monthly WordPress subscription, you’ll pay anywhere between $5 – $45. On top of that, you can expect to pay around an average of $12 a month for web hosting, plus the cost of registering your domain name ($10-$20 per year).
If you want to pay extra for a premium WordPress theme, that will run you an average of around $50, although it could be more or less.
So, very roughly estimated, setting up a website with WordPress will cost you at the minimum around $50 – but likely closer to $200, depending on the WordPress plan and the web host you choose, and whether you buy a premium WordPress theme.
After the upfront payment, you can expect your monthly costs to be around $50.
How much does it cost to create a website using a website builder?
Depending on the website builder and plan that you choose, how much to create a website will vary. However, you can expect to pay around $12 – $300 monthly for a website builder.
Popular website builders generally offer plans that include the cost of domain name registration (at least for the first year) and even web hosting, making this a great way to build your website on a budget.
How much does a website cost using a web designer?
The cost of hiring a web designer to build your website will vary from person to person, but you should expect to pay at least $200.
Depending on what you want (and whether the web developer you’re working with charges hourly or a flat fee), your web design cost will likely be more than that.
After all, you’re hiring a professional to build you a website from the ground up. You should be prepared to pay fairly and remember that cheaper isn’t always better.
How much does it cost to build an ecommerce store?
Again, this will depend on how you choose to build your eCommerce store, and how complex or simple you want it to be.
Many website builders offer eCommerce plans, and some, such as Shopify, actually specialize in eCommerce. There are even a few that offer free eCommerce website plans.
Of course, your costs will be significantly higher if you decide to go with a web developer or an agency to build your eCommerce site.
Is it possible to build a website for free?
In short, yes, it is possible to build a website for free.
Many website builders offer a free plan, including Wix, Site123, Square Online, and Weebly. These are all excellent DIY website builders with drag-and-drop editing tools that make building your website easy and fun.
Of course, you can’t expect to get everything you want for free, and there are usually a limited number of features or customizations that you can access with a free account.
However, starting with a free account is an excellent way to test out a website builder and see if it’s the right fit for your site.
How much does it cost to run a website?
Running a website entails various costs which contribute to its smooth operation and maintenance. One of the most common questions that arise among website owners and aspiring entrepreneurs is “how much does it cost to run a website?”
The answer depends on several factors, including the website’s complexity, purpose, and desired features. Firstly, there is the initial expense of purchasing a domain name, which typically ranges from $10 to $50 per year depending on its availability and extension, while web hosting services can cost anywhere between $2 and $200 per month, depending on the chosen provider and plan.
Additional costs may arise from purchasing premium themes or plugins, hiring web developers, investing in search engine optimization, and ensuring website security. All in all, the average cost to build a website will depend on your needs, how much does a website cost per month according to your chosen hosting provider, and other details.
All in all, it’s pretty much impossible to narrow the cost of having a website down into one simple, definitive number.
This is because there are many different types of websites and many different ways of building a website, all of which come with different costs.
And, once you’ve built your website, you’ll still have to take into account the costs of running, maintaining, and managing it.
All of these variables mean that only you can calculate exactly how much it will cost for you to have a website.
If you’re trying to start a blog or just looking to create a simple portfolio site, you can expect your costs to be between $10 – $40 a month after the initial setup expenses.
However, your costs could be considerably higher if you’re trying to create a more complex website and/or hiring someone else to build your website for you.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is sit down and carefully plan your budget before you start building your website.
Ideally, you want your site to be earning money for you in the long term, so it’s important to make sure you can truly afford the setup costs in the meantime.