X

How Much Does It REALLY Cost to Build a Website? (Expert Answer)

the real cost of building a website

Do you want to know the real cost of building a website?

The amount you spend on making a website depends entirely on your budget, goals, and the type of website you want. It also relies on several other things including your domain name, web hosting, theme, plugins, tools, and so on.

In this article, we’ll show you how much creating your own website will really cost.

To make it easy for you to navigate this post, we’ve created a table of contents below. Feel free to skip ahead to the section that interests you the most.

Different Ways to Make a Website

When you want to create a website, you generally have 3 options:

1. Hire a website developer

There are professional web developers who will build your site and launch it for you.

Website designers don’t have a standard rate that’s applicable to all websites. Across the globe, website designers charge between $30 to $200 per hour.

There are some web developers who charge an upfront fee and determine the total price based on your requirements.

The pricing also depends on the website content and whether you want a one-page website or multiple pages that include a homepage, contact us, about us, and more.

You can find developers and freelancers on sites like Upwork or Fiverr. Keep in mind, a lower price doesn’t mean it’s a better option. It’s important to choose a developer who knows what they’re doing and is worth the price they charge.

2. Hire an agency

Agencies let you tap into a pool of resources because they usually have expert web designers, developers, graphic designers, and marketers working together.

Website design costs can be in a price range of $500 to $10,000 or higher depending on the agency you pick and your requirements.

After your site is built, most agencies offer to manage your site and they’ll charge you website maintenance costs. They’ll take care of backend technical tasks and make sure your website is updated, backed up, and secure.

3. Do it yourself (DIY)

There are plenty of platforms like WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace that let you easily build your own website without any coding knowledge! You don’t need even basic HTML skills.

If you’re starting a small business and don’t want to spend a fortune on your website, you can still make a website within your budget.

By doing it yourself, you get complete control of customizing your site. And though website building seems like a tedious task, it’s actually quite easy and can take just a couple of hours.

In this post, we’ll focus on the cost of making a website on your own. First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to build a site so that we can determine the average cost.

What Do You Need to Build a Website?

Designing a professional website on your own is easier than you think. It’s also budget-friendly which is great for small business owners.

To get started, here are the top 3 requirements for any type of website.

  1. Domain name (e.g. Google.com, IsItWP.com)
  2. Web hosting (depending on your website builder)
  3. Website builder (e.g. WordPress, Wix, Weebly)

1. Domain Name

Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet, like Google.com or IsItWP.com. It’s what your customers type into their browsers to access your website.

Once you register a domain name, you’ll get the right to use that name for your website for a year. You are required to renew your domain from the same domain name registrar as long as you want to keep the name for your site. And if you ever lose interest in a domain name, then you can let it expire so that someone else can purchase it.

If you need help coming up with a great domain name, check out our free tool: Free Website Name Generator. Also, see our post on the best blog name generators.

2. Web Hosting

Web hosting is like the home of your website. This is where you store the content and files of your website.

When a visitor tries to access your website by typing in your web address (domain name), then they’ll be directed to the website files stored on your web hosting server.

Oftentimes, the term web hosting refers to the company that rents out their computer/servers to host your website and provides internet connectivity to ensure your website is available online around the clock.

Some of the popular web hosts include Bluehost, GoDaddy, Hostgator, and SiteGround. These companies offer different types of web hosting services such as:

Shared hosting is the cheapest option but it means you’ll be sharing a server with hundreds, maybe thousands, of other websites. A more secure option would be dedicated hosting but it comes at a higher price.

You can read more about different types of web hosting services.

If you specifically want to build a WordPress site, then we recommend you choose a WordPress hosting service. In most cases, both shared and WordPress hosting costs pretty much the same. The only major difference is that WordPress hosting comes preinstalled with WordPress on your hosting account. This offers great convenience so you don’t have to manually install WordPress on your web hosting account.

If you’re still unsure about which hosting option is best for you, see our comparisons: Shared vs VPS vs Dedicated Hosting and WordPress Hosting (Shared vs Managed).

3. Website Builder

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned designer or developer, you’ll need to use a website builder to make a website. Regardless of your skillset, a website builder makes it easy to create a website the way you desire. Plus, it also enables you to easily add essential features like SEO tags, navigation menu, sidebar, and plugins without any hassle.

There are some builders that serve as an all-in-one platform and take care of the domain name and web hosting for you. But we don’t recommend them because you lose control of your site’s configurations, web development, and customizations.

wordpress

Out of all the website builders in the market, we strongly recommend WordPress.org. It’s the most flexible and easy-to-use web builder. It’s popularly known as a content management system or CMS.

WordPress is #1 not just for us. 40% of all website owners around the world also choose this platform. You get complete control over your website’s configurations, design, and functionality.

There are themes and templates you can use to get started so you won’t have to create a site from scratch. Plus, it gives you endless possibilities to customize and enhance your website the way you want.

As your website grows, WordPress makes it easy to scale. This is something a lot of other builders lack.

WordPress is a free and open-source software. You’ll need to purchase a domain name and web hosting in order to install WordPress and start building a website on top of it.

For more on this, we’ve covered our reasons for choosing WordPress here: Why use WordPress.

Estimating the Cost Based on Your Goals

Before you build your site, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions to understand your goals. This helps you avoid overspending when setting up your WordPress website.

1. What’s the realistic budget for your website?

Building a website that you can’t afford will be a disaster. Double-check your budget before you spend on premium themes or plugins.

We always recommend you keep the costs as low as possible when you’re starting out. At the same time, we don’t recommend depending only on free software. While some free tools are great, they usually have limited features and relying solely on them can stunt your growth.

Spend your budget wisely on what you need in order to build the site and grow it.

Keep in mind, most premium tools, plugins, and themes have free trials and moneyback guarantees so you can try the software before you make an investment.

2. Do you need a custom-built website?

Installing a pre-built WordPress theme is the easiest way to roll out a new website. It also helps you save on costs, so you don’t have to hire a WordPress developer.

However, if you want to give a unique look and feel to your website, then you’ll have to build a custom WordPress theme, either by yourself or by hiring a developer. Rates charged by WordPress developers vary from $30 to $200 an hour.

3. What features will you need?

When starting out, you won’t need all the bells and whistles that you see on other cool websites. Even if you start small, it’s essential to write down the list of features you’ll need down the line.

This helps you streamline the entire development process and focus on features that are of high priority. It also helps you minimize the cost as you grow.

How Much Does Building a Website Cost You?

The cost of a website greatly depends on what kind of website you want. Simple websites are much cheaper than eCommerce sites.

If you’re looking to create a website with advanced features, then you’ll need to be prepared for a higher cost.

To explain this better, we’ve broken this section down into 3 parts:

1. How Much Does Building a Regular Website Cost?

Depending on your website or business needs, website development costs anywhere between $100 and $500.

To build a small website, you’ll need to have a budget for the domain name and web hosting. A domain name usually costs around $14.99 per year and web hosting around $8.99 per month. 

This means you can get started with an initial investment of $122.87. This will include a domain name and hosting plan for 1 year. This can be quite expensive for you, especially if you’re just starting out.

That’s why we’ve worked out a deal with Bluehost to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and 65% off on web hosting.

Bluehost offer

Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer »

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They have been involved in the WordPress community since 2005, and they are an officially recommended hosting provider by WordPress.org.

We’ve done a thorough analysis of what Bluehost has to offer, its performance, and more. See our Bluehost review for more details.

Next, you’ll also need a few tools to help you build and manage your website. To help you save on cost, we’ve picked the top free WordPress themes and plugins from the WordPress repository.

Here are a few essential plugins you can download for free from WordPress.org:

These free plugins make it easier to create and manage your site, and at the same time, they improve user experience as well.

Total Approximate Cost:

The estimated pricing for an entry-level website will be:

  • Web hosting: $33 (at $2.75 for 36 months)
  • Domain name for 1 year: Free
  • SSL certificate: Free
  • WordPress website builder: Free
  • Essential plugins and themes: Free

You’ll need an investment of $33 to get started with building a regular or basic website on your own. This cost is a good estimate for blogging, influencers, coaches, small businesses, or those who want to establish an online presence without any frills.

2. How Much Does Building an Advanced Website Cost?

Installing a free theme and plugins gives you a head start towards building a WordPress website with a minimal budget. As you grow and your needs evolve, you might want to enhance your website with more additional features.

Adding more features also means your custom website cost will start to increase.

If you’re anticipating growth, then it makes sense to switch over to a more powerful hosting service like SiteGround’s GoGeek plan.

Of course, it costs a little more than Bluehost. However, it comes with a lot of premium features like staging, faster performance, and the ability to handle up to 100,000 visitors per month. Read our complete Siteground Review to learn more about this web hosting company.

You can use our SiteGround coupon to get 60% off for the first year of your hosting.

You may also want to find a premium WordPress theme to give your website a professional appearance. The best thing is that premium themes often come with extra features and priority support. See our expert selection of best WordPress themes for some great premium WordPress themes you can install on your site.

Here are some essential premium WordPress plugins we recommend for your growing website:

Essentials

Appearance

Digital Marketing

Security

There are many more WordPress plugins and services that you can add. Each paid service or addon that you add will increase the cost of your WordPress site.

Total Approximate Cost:

Depending on the premium products you choose, your website setup cost can be anywhere between $500 and $2,000 per year. This estimate is good for websites that include large and small business websites, big-time bloggers, and other sites that are growing exponentially.

3. How Much Does Building an Online Store Cost?

The eCommerce industry is booming and research shows that it’s been growing 3X faster than traditional retailers. If you’re looking to step into an eCommerce business, it’s the right time to start an online store.

Creating an online store helps you expand your business around the globe, 24/7. Best of all, compared to offline businesses, it’s easy to start an online store without breaking your bank account.

You can choose hosted platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. They serve as an all-in-one solution for online stores where they take care of website hosting. However, you won’t have as much control as you’d like over your web design and customizations.

You can also create your online store on WordPress using a plugin called WooCommerce. It’s absolutely free and is the most popular and comprehensive eCommerce plugin for WordPress.

You’ll need to buy both a domain name and hosting plan but you’ll get complete control of your website.

While there are many eCommerce hosting companies, we recommend using the Bluehost WooCommerce plan when you’re starting out.

bluehost woocommerce plans

The Bluehost WooCommerce plan comes with all the set of features you’ll need to get your online store up and running on WordPress. A few benefits of the Bluehost WooCommerce plan are:

  • WooCommerce pre-installed: The WooCommerce plan comes pre-installed with WordPress and WooCommerce which makes it easy to start an online store.
  • SSL certificate: To handle payments on your online store, you may need an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is also included in your Bluehost WooCommerce plan.
  • Dedicated support: A team of dedicated WordPress experts is standing by 24/7 to assist you.
  • A free domain name: You can waive off the domain registration fee for a year.

Total Approximate Cost:

If you want to build an entry-level eCommerce website powered by WooCommerce, our estimate for the initial investment for a 3-year period is $466.20. Here’s the breakdown:

  • WooCommerce web hosting: $466.20 (at $12.95 for 36 months)
  • Domain name for 1 year: Free
  • SSL certificate: Free
  • WordPress website builder: Free
  • WooCommerce store: Free
  • Essential plugins and themes: Free

While web hosting will cost around $155.40 per year, you’ll need to pay for your domain name from the second year. Taking that into consideration, we estimate that an eCommerce store will cost approximately $170 per year.

The price may go higher if you’d like to install premium addons and a premium theme for your online store.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Bluehost, then check out these best WooCommerce hosting providers.

Building a Website – How to Avoid Overpaying

Starting small is the best way to avoid overpaying and cut down on spending. To save on costs, you can always explore the free WordPress theme and plugin directories to enhance your website.

Once you start attracting visitors, you can consider adding a premium theme and premium plugins. To stay within your budget, always keep an eye out for WordPress deals and coupons to get huge discounts on your purchases.

A growing business website will also need a more powerful hosting configuration than an entry-level website. You may also need to optimize your WordPress server on a regular basis. To operate your site on a server that’s uniquely optimized for the security configuration of websites, consider hosting your site on dedicated hosting server.

We hope this article helped you understand how much building a website actually costs.

If you’re ready to create your website now, we also have several step-by-step tutorials and informational guides:

These tutorials are packed with everything you need to know while creating a website, blog, or online store.

Comments  Leave a Reply

  1. Nice articles, please I need help. With this guidelines, I want to go into the field for developing website for people. so for a start in advising my services. What plugin should I use? Because I want it to be an online payment.
    Secondly, will there be need for a premium hosting

    1. Hey Victor, thank you for reaching out. You can check out our guide on how to create an online order form to add a custom form on your website and get website development projects. This will also help collect payments online.

      We recommend Bluehost for hosting. For our readers, they offer up to 65% OFF and a free domain. It’ll be good to host your customers’ websites.

  2. I have a question, I am wanting to start a website for a renters blacklist. This will be a statewide list for Alabama and will show if a certain person has been evicted before and how many times, then at some point will be expanded globally. can you give me an idea on what kind of plugins I would use to be able to show this information? I’m a bit experienced with coding (video games) and so forth but have never made a website myself. Also how much would the cost be (estimate, realistically)… Thank you

    1. Hey James, the cost for every website varies depending on the hosting package, theme, plugins, and other tools. About your other question, you should check out our guide on the best WordPress plugins.

  3. Olatunji precious August 25, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I want to create a website that will contain like 4 different admin login base on different advertising like, 1 person will be advertising on music event mixtape business promotion, other on their aspect like how much it will cost me

  4. I would like to know what would be the total cost for a website, with features like synonymous feedback, updating content and data regularly, features to link it to an app. Funds are not an issue. I would like an advanced and a website with features to interact with an audience. N.B. It’s a mental health interactive website. Thanks.
    Kindly, if it is also possible to get a quotation of the same, I will be grateful.

  5. Michael Williams April 26, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    I need information on how to create music website

    1. You can check out this guide on how to make a website, step by step.

  6. Hello, I just want to create a simple website.

    I started in wix free but sadenly I don’t know how to put a members earning .

    I want edit and manage the member site and there earning what sould I do?

    1. Shahzad Saeed April 9, 2020 at 6:58 am

      You can build a membership site with MemberPress + WordPress.

      1. The total cost to get my website running ,I am into wellness and fitness products for now,soon would add up my clothing line so I need some great advice on how to go about this including the cost of a website. Thanks

  7. I prefer to use Weblium website builder for my business. And I like their loyal prising. Now they have a 40% for their Pro annual subscription.

  8. Anthony VanBuren March 16, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I’m a member of a scholarship nonprofit organization and we want to establish and develop a website. The website will host scholarship information with the ability to accept donations via PayPal and credit/debit cards, and complete and submit scholarship applications. What is the estimated cost of establishing and maintaining this type of website?

    1. Read the article and it tells you…

  9. Thank you. Been reading all your answers to questions. Very informative. I am working for the past 4 weeks with some professional Gurus to create a website for me to Shopify online. Paid $11,000. Calls from different marketing agents weekly but no website yet. If you say it takes 6 weeks to build a good website I will have to be a believer for another 2 weeks and pray.

  10. I want to create a website with options that people could pay there, I imagine that should be a secure website for this payments. How much is it cost?

    1. All you need to have is a payment plugin on your WordPress site. It doesn’t cost you extra unless you’re choosing a premium plugin. WooCommerce is a free plugin that you can try.

  11. I am a software programmer, old school software programmer(never programmed for web site side) even thought never programmed a single web site, I am pretty sure I will success making my own professional web store.

    I am considering selling specific circuits for a specific sector tech, PCB’s that I build by my own . The core of this web site store is just sell a numbers of less than 100 products of semiconductors(chips) and custom PCB’s.

    Due this is totally experimental idea, I want to go on the budget side of a web store for one year to see if if it takes off, it will be have a few pages like(About – main – catalog – contact – login) and of course a Shopping cart. I fantasy to make a plain page like in the 90’s era 🙂 of course I will need SSL, Cpanel, security etc.

    Maybe I am willing to put a Publicity just in one side displaying ad’s, nothing invasive to my costumers.

    Abstract:
    What I still don’t have clear is if I have to build my own pages(pure HTML,CSS,JAVASCRIPT,PHP or NODE.js) or use an advanced framework like BootStrap or WordPress or both) for mobile and responsive era.
    Some one here point me the best humble plain looks alike site with responsive compability for a budget price? Paypal sucks! but anyway, what we can do. Please don’t tell me I have to spend $5k for that.

    1. As mentioned here, you can build a website with a shopping cart for as low as $190 per year. Here’s a detailed guide on how to build a web store with ease.

  12. Esther Chukwudi January 1, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    i want to start a blog, make ebook and also market information products. How do i go about it

  13. Wix.com now they provide free website design ,how do you say about this ,,is that good to take an opportunity to create a website or bad?

    1. Wix doesn’t allow you to use your domain name for the free website you create. That means when you create a free website with Wix, your URL will look like this: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress, instead of this: siteaddress.com.

      To create a professional-looking website, you’d be better off starting with WordPress.org.

      1. I’m confused. I’m using wix now and have a domain name. They do allow you to link to your domain name. Is this new since the post.

        1. Yup, you’ll have to subscribe to its premium plan in order to link the site to a domain name. With the free plan, you can’t use a domain name.

  14. I’m a singer/musician/songwriter, so my proposed site would be primarily for displaying my recordings, around seventy of them. Besides a concise bio, I’d also like to include brief commentary about each of them, or at least some of them. From what I’ve said here, is it possible to give a rough range I might expect to pay?

  15. i want to start a medicinal herb blog but i dont know what to even do, , one of the commenters said we should not start small
    what can i do?

    1. Use Elo Pro Solutions for it. Its cheap and you get it done fast.

    2. Eric Feigenblatt November 6, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      I would recommend you elo pro. I have take advantages of their services and for start up it is very recommended.

    3. It really depends on what you want.
      If you’re starting an e-commerce store then going small means you’re going to have less visibility which in return is low sales.

      Going big could mean a lot of things. Here would be my suggesting to where you should start

      1. Get your brand and styles in order, have a brand book or style sheet to make sure your brand image is consistent

      2. Figure out what is working in your market in terms of design

      3. What you want your website to do. If your looking to build a website and want to do 100k in sales and it’s all being done through your website, you will have to spend to make sure your image is up there

      4. Sales funnels. When you get your marketing team to get people to the wevsite. What steps will psychologically guide to a purchase

      5. Feedback loop. Your website needs to tell you what is working and what’s not. Building an abandoned cart (not woo commerce if you’re going for that 100k number) is very powerful

      If you can do all this, you’re good to go. Most people who are not web developers won’t be able to this effectively. Web development is a skillset just like carpentry – not for everyone and results are different based on who the designer is.

      I wish you the best of luck and lots of success

  16. Hi, thank you very much for this article. Being in the website and software development business for 13 years straight, I am going to be honest with you.

    If you just need a website to just display about your company and the services you provide and you don’t care about the other things, you can go cheap, I think some developers will even give you such website with no charge at all.

    But there is a reason why, some business website are so successful, and start ups will never know the secret, because most of them are just looking for cheap or free stuff they can use quickly.

    We have charged companies from as little as free to 150K for a website. Being technical and very strategic when developing, in my own experience, I can tell you in seconds, if a website is not going to make it far.

    Paying People have this believe that, they suppose to get a proper looking website that is more effective and engaging, and most importantly that knows how to rank and all of that. And that is so true.

    The job of a website is to make your business life easy, not the other way round. If you find a real experienced developer that has a passion for helping people and not just after your hard earned money, I believe you can make it in the online world.

    Stop starting small, with website template that are downloaded and used by other millions of other people, start with an awesome website that does things on your behalf and make you money.

    If you don’t have the right budget, partner with a good developer that believes in your story and willing to help you with no charge, knowing that when you make it they will surely make it too.

    Steve Jobs had an idea, and he approach Steve Wozniak to develop apple, Wozniak believed in his story and he didn’t mind, look today Wozniak is also a billionaire.

    GET REAL WEBSITES GUYS, SOMETHING THAT UNIQUELY REPRESENTS YOU.

    Just my opinion.

    1. Agreed!

    2. Any suggestions on who those guys might be?

  17. Hello speaking to Frank sipi falls Uganda
    Am a site guide in sipi but I would love to advance from being a site guide to a safari guide.
    My point of view is that am planing to come up with a safari campany that operates in Uganda
    I would love to here from you how much is it going to take me to build awebsite for my campany and I need some one to help me

    1. I want to know the real cost of static website and dynamic websites…pls give me the suggestions..

  18. A website like a rate my professor, or even Yelp where the user can create entries, reviews etc… What would I be looking at in the price range

  19. Thanks for informative article.

  20. I don’t know how to my account

    1. Usually, the login link is found at /wp-login.php. For example, if the domain is example.com, then the login link would be example.com/wp-login.php. You can often also use example.com/wp-admin, and this will usually redirect to the login link.

  21. By creating a website and a domain name does that give me copyright for my materials

    1. As long as you create your own (non-plagiarized) content on your site, it belongs to you

    2. It does not. If you want to protect your material you need a design patent, copyright and trademark.

      Online things get copies all the time

  22. I’ VE ALREADY MY DOMAIN, THE II NEED TO BUILD A SIMPLE WEBSITE AND PLAN TO ADD AN E COMMERCE LATER HOW MUCH WILL IT COST AND HOW DO I INCLUDE MY EXIATING DOMAIN

    1. Shahzad Saeed July 30, 2019 at 7:48 am

      The cost will be the same… ($110.87 annually). When you sign up for a web host, you’ll be asked whether you need a free domain or need to use an existing domain. You can opt for using an existing one.

      1. Hello i need contact

  23. hi friends, people ask upfront full payment, whether I don’t know them. And even I don’t understand if they understood correctly. They say, full refund if not satisfied! who guarantees ?what is the easy solution, then/:

    1. Shahzad Saeed July 24, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Reputed hosts, like Bluehost, Hostgator, etc. typically provide a full refund if not satisfied. All you have to do is to ping the customer care within your trial period.

  24. Thank you for this article, I’m starting a new Detailing business and have been quoted prices around 2500 design a web page, I think this is way out of line. I’m a small business just getting started.

    1. Depending on what they are doing. It sounds about right.
      A good website takes 6 weeks to build. So 2500 is very reasonable depending on what you’re getting

      1. A good “A Good Website ” takes about 6 weeks – wrong… That is dead wrong… Show me a “good website” that took 6 weeks and cost and tell me why it took 6 weeks and cost – nobody does that… They just say I’m a designer and i charge $xyz per hr and then give you their hrs… But again – show me a site for a baseline and give me a checklist of what a “Good website” has on it and the time it takes to to those things well… I understand your article explains some of the necessities for a “good website” but i would like for you to break it down in line item simple to understand task/asset and dollar / time … Can you do that?

  25. Hi, just wondering how much it would cost me to make a small youth league website, in which it shows the regularly updating league table and a few key stats

    1. Shahzad Saeed June 24, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      I think it will cost the same as any website. You can check whether you can find a plugin or an embed code that displays the league table on your site.

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.

WordPress Launch Checklist

The Ultimate WordPress Launch Checklist

We've compiled all the essential checklist items for your next WordPress website launch into one handy ebook.
Yes, Send Me the Free eBook!
[63% OFF Today!]
[63% OFF Today!]
[50% OFF Today!]
[50% OFF Today!]
[60% OFF Today!]
[60% OFF Today!]
[50% OFF Today!]
[50% OFF Today!]