Having a website is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity for businesses nowadays.
Whether you wish to build a website for your business or you’re an individual looking to launch a website/blog, the primary thing to consider is the cost associated to build your website.
How much does it cost to build a website?
The minimum cost to build a website is $50 – $100; this amount can go up to $200 – $1000 depending on your requirements.
|Type of Expense||Minimum Cost||Cost Up to|
|Domain + Hosting||$60||$100|
|Website Building / Setup Costs / Development Costs||$0 (NIL)||$200|
|Website Theme or Design Costs||$0 (NIL)||$100|
|Additional Expenses: Premium Services / Subscriptions / Plugins / Website Maintenance||$0 (NIL)||$100|
In under $100, you can set up a basic website for yourself; and if your business requires a feature-rich website – the cost can go up to $200 or even $1000
The cost associated to build a website depends on a lot of factors, including –
- What hosting plan you choose?
- Sometimes, specific domain names can be expensive that increases costs
- Whom you hire to build the webiste? Are you gonna setup a website on your own or hire a developer. Likewise the cost of a freelancer and agency also vary – depending on the amount & quality of work required
- What Content Management System (Website Building Tool) you choose?
- Would you prefer a premium theme? Hire a designer
While there can be many more factors & the two initial & upfront investments for building your website would be on purchasing Domain & Hosting (discussed below in this article)
Other than that, you can of course cut down the costs by limiting the features & doing some work on your own.
This blog discusses the requirements & costs for building a website & where you can save money & build the website at the minimum possible cost.
Let’s get started:
Minimum Cost to Build a Website
Know your Requirements & Goals
First thing first. Before you start building your website & discover the costs associated with building it, it is important to understand your business requirements very clearly.
As already mentioned, depending on your requirements, your website development cost can vary from $100 to up to $1000.
Within $100, you can get a basic website for yourself that has a Homepage & 5-6 other important business pages (contact us, about us, services, what we do, what we offer, etc)
Similarly, if you are a business that sells physical or digital products & requires an eCommerce website, you can build a basic eCommerce website for under $100.
When your business website needs more features & requires additional work or resources – as compared to building a basic website – the cost goes on the higher side.
When gathering the requirements, you need to be very attentive to details.
As mentioned already, the website development costs can also go up to $500 – $1000 when your business requires more features & preferably – you want a custom-built website.
For example, a freight management business would require specific features in order to operate the business operations. A delivery business that delivers packages would require different features than a basic website – such as orders management, order tracking & much more.
Ideally, If you are a small business & just want to get started with your online presence – a basic website might suffice your needs & there are many areas where you can cut down the costs.
So think about the type of business you have & for what purpose you need a website.
Domain Name & Hosting
The two upfront investments in building a website are 1) domain name & 2) Hosting – costs that you can’t cut off.
Cost Associated: $60 – $100
Let’s understand each of these one by one:
1) Domain Name
By purchasing a domain name, you obtain a URL (or say a registered name) for your website – www.yourwebsite.com
This www.yourwebsite.com is known as the URL & can be used to visit your website. It is unique to you.
In simpler terms, you purchase a business name for yourself on the internet, based on its availability.
Technically, if the website URL that you purchase is www.yourwebsite.com, then
“yourwebsite” is the domain name and “.com” is the extension type.
You have the choice to purchase the extension type, depending on its availability, as shown below:
As I told you, purchasing a domain extension is dependent on its availability with the domain name you choose & below are some of the most common types of domain extensions:
- .com – This should be your first choice if available because it’s the most familiar extension used in the internet & people remember this because we all have been typing .com into our web browsers for a long time
- .net – .net is also a popular extension after .com ; This is preffered as the alternative to .com (if .com extension for your business name is not available) & was originally intended for Networking or Internet Service Providers.
- .org – As the name suggests, .org was originally intented for organizations (especially non profits) but is now available to everyone. .org is also a popular alternative to .com
- .co – This extension was originally intented for the business websites (country code) based in Colombia but now is used as a popular global extension. Since the .co is familiar acronym to Company, many businesses are chooosing this extensions
- Other Country Specific Domains – .us for United States / .in for India / .ca for Canada & more
- .gov – limited for government organizations
- .edu – limited for educational institutions
- .info – Faimiliar acronym to information
- .site – Familiar acronym extension for websites
- .xyz & .ly – Few other extensions for common use
The extensions listed above are some popular ones & in addition to these, there are 1500+ extensions for websites to choose from.
But, at first, you should secure a .com domain for yourself as it is the most used, familiar to remember & popular domain extension.
What is a good domain name?
A good domain name:
- Is preferablly short & clear
- Is easy to pronounce, remember & recall
- Has a .com extension (since it is the most common one & people easily recall this). If not available, you can choose from the popular domain extension types as we discussed above – depending on your business type, industry & availability
- Should not have numbers or hyphens.
Search for a domain name that reflects your business & brand. If the domain name as your primary business name is not available, you can tweak the domain name by including other terms/keywords like the business slogan, industry, etc.
For example, if you have a business or blog that shares information related to search engine optimization & your desired domain name is searchengineguide(dot)com – which isn’t available, you can try variations like – searchenginejournal(dot)com, searchenginetable(dot)com
Now that you’ve known what is a domain name & how to choose a good domain name, let’s understand the second upfront investment in setting up a website
By purchasing a domain name, you obtain a URL address for your website that you can share with others so they can visit the website.
But in order to display something on your website to the World – you need a storage space to store website files & other data.
This space is known as “Hosting” in the internet industry & this space will be then used to install a website building software & host website files.
Generally, the most popular hosting types are:
- Shared Hosting: As the name suggests, Shared Hosting services offers website hosting space that is shared by other websites. In technical terms, there are several other websites on the servers where your website is hosted.
- Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting plan offers you deidcated servers that are used for your website only. This is quite an expensive option
- WordPress Hosting: Shared or Dedicated hosting plan whose server compatibilites are designed to meet the requirement of WordPress websites
- VPS Hosting: Ideal for websites that have outgrown shared hosting.
There are other hosting types as well. While all these hosting types can be used to host your website files, they differ in some aspects like
- The amount of storage capacity
- Server Speed, Performance & Specifications
- Admin Control
- Technical Knowledge Requirements
Ideally, to start with, you can choose a Shared Hosting plan – which is cost-effective & preferred for small/low traffic websites.
Once you start witnessing some traffic or may feel like you need to work on improvising the speed of the website, you can choose other hosting plans based on your requirements.
Website Building Platform & Who Will Build the Website?
After getting a domain name & hosting, the next step is to finalize what Content Management System (CMS) or Website Building Platform you wish to use to build the website – after that – who will build the website?
Costs Associated: $0 to up to $200 or more
A CMS would help you set up your new website & manage the content on it.
Installing a website-building software (content management system) to build your new website is not way too technical & you can do this on your own by following some tutorials around the CMS tool you wish to use.
Currently, WordPress is the most preferred CMS on the Internet & I strongly recommend using WordPress as it is free to use & easy to customize – for basic websites.
While WordPress is free to use – the costs are associated when you’re not technical enough to build the website by yourself or you don’t have the time to do it on your own.
If that’s the case, you can hire a WordPress developer that costs around $5 – $10 per hour to build the WordPress website for you.
All you need to do is go over to the platforms like Fiverr & Upwork, & get the freelancer as per your needs.
On the other hand, if you want to save these website development costs & get the website ready for $0, you can go through some tutorials on WordPress & start building a website on your own.
WordPress is really easy to use & trust me you can build a website without hiring a WordPress freelance developer.
Don’t worry about the features & functionalities as there are tons of applications in WordPress (known as plugins) that you can install on your WordPress website to extend features – this can be too done by following some tutorials & internet guides.
Design & Performance of the Website Theme
Your website theme design, performance & navigation plays an important role in the success of your business website. A good theme offers a good user experience in many aspects & unquestionably – offering a good user experience has numerous advantages for SEO.
You can choose either a free theme or a paid one – depending on your choice, requirements & budget.
Talking about the cost associated, there are various routes to go for:
- You can choose a free theme from WordPress theme repository – Free $0
- You can pick any of the premium theme from Themeforest or other places – Good premium theme starts from $29 & go upto $149 or more
- You can outsource the work to a design & get the theme designed – Costs somewhere upto $100 or depending on your design requirements & the designer (Not recommended route if you’re just starting out)
In most cases, a free theme would suffice your needs.
However, if you’re concerned about the design & performance of your website, & looking for a theme with large customization opportunities – you should lookout for a premium theme.
You can find tons of good themes on Themeforest.
However, if you are low on budget, you can stick to a free theme & cut down the costs. OceanWP & Astra are a great choice – both the theme has free versions that offer tons of customization opportunities, & the themes are also lightning fast.
A few cons of using free themes are:
- No customer support in case when things go wrong with the theme
- Fewer customization opportinities if you’re not much technical with WordPress
- Free themes are less updated
- Free themes are poorly coded as compared to premium themes
A few pros of using paid themes:
- Customer support when you need them or wish to customize the theme a little bit more.
- Paid themes are often considered carefully before purchasing & so you can choose a theme that’s light & fast loading – before you
What theme should you choose?
A theme that has both free as well as paid versions – like OceanWP & Astra – so you could update anytime to the premium version when required.
Also, free themes that also have paid plans are better than themes that are solely free to use.
Remember: When choosing a theme for your website, it is very important to consider a few aspects like the website speed, customization options, cross-device compatibility & more. For better information, you can read this article on How to choose the right theme for your WordPress Website.
Additional Expenses: Third-Party Apps/Plugins, Premium Services or Website Maintenance
Depending on your technical/team expertise, expectations from the Website & business requirements, you might need to invest some more in additional expenses that might include:
- Premium plugin(s) on WordPress to extend features & functionalities
- Subscription for premium services – like GSuite, email marketing tool, CRM etc.
- Website Maintenance Costs – Annual Charges for Hosting & other paid tools like Security plugins, backup plugins etc
There can be a lot more hidden costs, but you can completely cut down these costs if you are low on budget.
The above post is a breakdown of typical various steps for building a website & the cost associated with each aspect.
While purchasing a domain name & hosting are upfront investments you cannot avoid, you can obviously cut down costs on other steps by opting for the free available route.
When it comes to website building & theme design, I’ve already explained how you can use WordPress – a powerful website building tool / CMS – to set up & build your website from scratch, choosing your preferred route – free or paid.
In a nutshell, a basic website can be built within $100, and the cost goes up depending on your requirements, expectations & future plans.
Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below 🙂