How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website? - The Ultimate Question Answered

“How much does it cost to make a new website?” - As a software company, we get this question all the time. Regardless of their size and stature, every single client out there works on a limited budget and is trying to savvily plan their expenses for the best business gains.

Even though we understand the nature of such a query, it is never followed by a simple answer. It never comes in the form of a number. We always say the same: “It depends.”; which drives people crazy.

Estimating work costs with little or no information is never an easy thing to do. There are too many factors that influence the final price. The exact price of a certain website cannot be calculated without an agreement with the client regarding the desired functionalities, expectations, and business plans.

However, even though it is extremely difficult to define prices for the entire website, each and every one of its components has a defined price range on the market.

In this article, we are going to go through all the details, list the industry prices for specific components and discuss all the elements that influence the final price of a certain website.

1. Domain and Website Hosting Costs

Picking a domain name is very important for any type of business. It is the unique name that appears in your website’s URL, somewhat like your own online business ID and the cornerstone of your online presence. Your domain name should match your business name, but it should also be catchy, SEO-friendly, and easy to spell and remember.

There are thousands of domain names you can choose from. New domain extensions are continuously being created, making the Internet a lovely place of diversity and originality. Still, the most popular domain extensions remain .com, .net, .org, and a few others.

The prices of domain names vary greatly: you can find domain names for as little as $0.95, but the prices can reach up to thousands of dollars, which is the case with premium domain names. On average, domain names cost $10-$15, depending on the extension and the registrar you choose.

Website hosting is another thing you need to cover aforehand. A web host ensures your website can be accessed by providing space for your site on its server. Choosing a good and reliable hosting service is important since it influences your page load times and enables your site to function properly.

Price ranges for web hosting go from $0 up to $10,000 per year. Yes, there are free web hosting services, but they are rarely a choice of businesses and serious companies since they don’t come with tech support and have limited features. Make sure you pick the right web hosting service for your business by exploring all the options out there (dedicated server, virtual private server, shared host service).

Pay attention: It’s interesting that you can never actually own a domain name, but you have to renew it annually. Web hosting is also an expense you need to include in your yearly budget.

2. Web Design Costs

First impressions are extremely important in today’s world. Especially on the web. If your website doesn’t appeal to your ideal audience’s aesthetics, they probably won't stick around to find out more about your business.

People are suckers for pretty things, which is why it often happens that the form outweighs the essence. That is why most businesses dedicate a great deal of attention to web design. In addition to making your website easy on the eyes, a great web design solution also significantly influences its overall UX and UI.

For companies that own great online shops or are currently trying to start one, quality website design needs to be high on their priority list.

Decent web design services usually cost somewhere between $2000 and $15,000.

As you probably guessed: the simpler the design, the lower the price. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should cheap out and always go for the simplest solution possible.

Pay attention: If your company sells software development services, you need a website that showcases your experience and professionalism. You need a design that aligns with your brand values, but also helps people see that you’re on top of your game, that you have respectable clients, and that you’re a company that delivers on its promises. For a software development company, it’s of great importance to communicate its expertise in the best way possible.

If your audience perceives your website as cheap, they will probably think that you run a shady operation and that you’re not competent enough to work with them. Trustworthiness is communicated through the visual.


3. UX and Responsive Design Costs

Of course, it’s not enough for a website to be eye-catching and visually pleasing. In order for your website to truly sweep the visitors of their feet and encourage them to keep exploring, it has to provide a good user experience and be responsive across all platforms (desktop, mobile, and tablets). If your website doesn’t feel intuitive, that’s a definite red light.

UX design has become a separate branch of design which covers a lot more than just the graphics and layout catered to the audience’s preferences. UX designer actually participates in building a roadmap for any product development, and they can also take care of branding, design, usability, function; in one word - the entire experience.

UX design goes hand in hand with responsive design. Given the fact mobile visits now exceed desktop visits, having a fully functional website on all devices is a must.

Web design services can include UX and responsive design, but this depends on the company or agency you choose to hire. If you have a more demanding website with interactive media and complex elements, it might not be that simple to ensure great UX and website responsiveness, meaning you should consider hiring professionals specialized in this area.

The costs of UX design and responsive design are usually no higher than $3000, depending on the size and complexity of your website.

Pay attention: If you’re not convinced you need UX design services, we have a piece of statistics that will encourage you to approach the issue differently. According to the comprehensive UX guide, the ROI in UX design is huge - for every $1 invested, you can expect a $100 in return.

Also, keep in mind that - if you want to create a completely separate mobile site, you should be prepared to invest anywhere between $2000 and $25,000.

4. SSL Certificate

The main function of an SSL certificate is to encrypt the information that’s submitted via your website in a way that only the actual recipient of the data can access it. This means that no one except for the person (or persons) who are supposed to receive it, can read it.

SSL certificate is of great importance for companies that sell items and services directly on their website. It protects both the company’s and visitor’s online data, allowing website owners to process credit cards and other personal info safely and securely. SSL certificate allows companies to become PCI compliant, which is also a must for online businesses.

Just like your domain name, your SSL Certificate displays in your URL. It can be seen by the users, so they could immediately know if their personal data is protected on your website on not.

SSL Certificates can be found from $0 and $1,500.

Some web hosting companies provide these certificates for free and so does a globally recognized Certificate Authority called Let’s Encrypt. Some would still suggest to go for a paid SSL certificate because it offers a higher warranty and advanced encryption levels.

Pay attention: If a website has a valid SSL, the URL will begin with “https”. On the right of the URL, a padlock will also appear. If you click on this padlock, a menu appears with information on the certificate.

It is of great importance that users can easily recognize you as a trustworthy business. If they don’t see “https” and a padlock next to your URL, most users will choose not to interact with it.

5. Web Development Costs

Depending on your business needs, building a website can cost anywhere between $100 and $30,000. It really depends on the type of solution you need.

If you’re looking to build a simple website with basic functionalities, then you could probably find something pretty cheap. All you really need is a domain name, a mildly adjusted WordPress theme, and a trustworthy web host. That’s it.

However, if you are in need of a feature-rich, custom-built website that’s also responsive, then this type of solution could set you back roughly around $30,000. Enterprise-level businesses (which make the majority of our clients) usually demand unique and complex solutions that require a lot of work and use of specific technologies and methodologies. At Share IT, there were cases where we used both Agile and Non-Agile methodologies. These are all tailor-made solutions that require unique approaches and involvement of senior developers.

Pay attention: Even though you might have a general idea of what you want and like, make sure that you select the right type of web development company that will actually work hard to find the best possible deal for you.

A good web development company will help you find the best and most cost-effective solutions for your business goals. The idea here isn’t to rob you of your funds but to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

As we already said in one of our previous blog posts, Share IT uses two constructual models:

  • Time & Materials
  • Fixed Price

We are very transparent about the differences between these two models so that our clients can know exactly what they can expect. Given the fact that each project is unique and differs in complexity, we provide our clients with flexibility and help them choose the best option for themselves.


6. Website Maintenance Costs

Building a website is just the first step of the process. It’s not something that you create once and then never look back. If you want to ensure that you’re continually providing a pleasant experience for your visitors and keep your customers, you need to regularly check your website for issues and mistakes, and keep it updated and relevant.

You need to continue to care for your website and run tests that will tell you:

  • How fast are the pages loading?
  • Is the UI still satisfying?
  • Do all the forms and purchase functionalities still work?
  • Are there any broken links?
  • Are your files successfully backed up?
  • Are all the platforms, plug-ins, and scripts on your website up to date?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Website maintenance is a delicate process that requires great attention to many other details as well. That’s why most businesses hire companies that specialize in this kind of work to keep their website’s performance at 100 percent. Most companies offer different monthly and yearly website maintenance packages.

On a monthly basis, your website maintenance can cost anywhere between $35 and $5000 per month. It really depends on how big and complex is the website. And that price can fluctuate from month to month, depending on the level of work a company will need to do for your website.

On a yearly basis, your website maintenance can set you back anywhere between $400 and $60,000 per year.

Pay attention: Even though you pay for a flat packet, it is important to understand that the price may increase if the company needs to do additional work for you that they haven’t listed as part of the package.

7. How to Define What Kind of Website Do You Actually Need?

As said above, it all boils down to desired functionalities, expectations, and your own business plans. If you don’t sell anything directly via your website and you don’t need your site to be anything more than a placeholder for your company and business information - then there’s no real point in investing lots of money into developing something too complex.

However, if you want to sell your products online and process sensitive information about your visitors or your employees, then you really need to sit down with an IT professional and get an expert opinion on what you should really do.

Answering a couple of these questions will certainly help you shape your ideas into something “buildable”:

  • What’s your actual budget? How much money can you allocate on building a new website?
  • What’s the main purpose of your website? How does it help your customers?
  • What features do you need?
  • What do your competitors’ websites look like? Could you work with something similar or are you’re in need of a far better solution?
  • Do you really need a custom-built solution?

The cost of building your ideal website boils down to the following 3 things:

  • Time
  • Technical complexity
  • Design skills

The less time a company needs to allocate on coding and drawing your website, the cheaper it will be for you. Simple as that.

8. Building a Website on Your Own vs. Hiring Professionals to Do It for You

Regardless of the direction in which you decide to go, you should always look at your website as an investment, not a cost.

Website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy provide cost-effective solutions, but they also have their limitations. Sure, you can create a decent looking website relatively easy on these platforms, often without writing a single line of code, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

Even though money is a constant issue, you should always prioritize your business goals and growth over saving a couple of hundred dollars. When building a company website, your focus should be on creating something of lasting value. You need something that will positively influence your business for years to come.

Building your website on your own might seem like a smart financial decision at first, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cost you in some other way. You will need to sacrifice other resources like time and effort, which you could have better spent on developing other segments of your business. More importantly, a cheaper option frequently ends up being a more expensive one in the long run since it is not powerful enough to support your growth.

Enterprise-level businesses shouldn’t even dream about building a website on their own because they don’t really possess the technical know-how to create advanced solutions that will successfully serve their business goals and needs. The lack of technical skills and experience can be a stumbling block on the way to building a more complex project, so it’s better to find a company that specializes in such work. The cost of doing a poor job can be far greater than the amount of money you might save on paying a professional to create your website for you.

Over to You

Thank you for taking the time to read this massive article in its entirety. We hope it helped you understand how much does it cost to build your future website and what kind of details influence its final price.

If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced website development company to help you build your new website from scratch, contact us today and we can arrange a meeting to talk about your project.