Church Website Budgets 101: What to Expect and How to Plan for Success
July 13, 2022
Budgeting for website development is a complex process for any business or organization, but churches have even more unique points to consider when developing a church website budget. Churches’ metrics and goals are different than other organizations, and budget dollars must align with ministry priorities. But where do website budgets fit into the scope of ministry?
Each church will have to answer these questions for itself, but there is a case to be made for prioritizing digital outreach and discipleship. But how much? And what are the exact costs involved?
Below, we list every church website budget consideration and guidance on how much you can expect to pay for various services. But first, did you know that this post is one in a series of posts we’ve written on church websites? If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out our previous posts for more helpful resources and information.
- Church Website Design: How to Lay a Foundation for Success!
- Church Website Designers: How to Find the Best Solution for Your Ministry
- Frustrated by Multi-Site Church Websites? These 5 Questions Will Help You Find Clarity
- Thinking of Switching Website Developers? Here Are 5 Things to Do First
How Much Should My Church Budget for a Website?
This is a complicated question with no straightforward answer. The honest answer is that it depends on several factors we’ve covered thoroughly in our previous posts. The big questions you need to answer first are:
- How much does your website need to accomplish, and what specific functionality will you need, e.g. media library, event calendar, etc.?
- Who will design and develop it? Do you have people on staff who can do it, or do you need to outsource the work, either to a volunteer or a trusted website design company?
- Where will you host your website (i.e., where will it live?)?
- Do you need to hire people to maintain it once it’s built, or will that be a volunteer’s job?
When setting your church website budget, here are the basics costs you will need to include:
- Content writing
- Maintenance and upkeep
- Regular redesign
- Livestreaming (if applicable)
Average Cost of Website Design & Development
When talking about website builders, make sure you understand the difference between website designers and website developers. People unfamiliar with the specifics may assume that these are one and the same, but that is not always the case.
You may have a graphic designer who lays out the look and feel of your site and a developer with the coding chops to bring that design to life. Most website design agencies offer both services, but if you’re looking into volunteer or freelance options, you may not find one person who does both well, so you need to plan for and budget for both services separately.
When it comes to website design and development packages that you typically find with an agency, some general guidelines can help you estimate the cost of your website design project.
- Small websites: $2,000 to $5,000
- 5-10 pages
- basic functionality
- Medium websites: $10,000 to $15,000
- 10-20 pages
- intermediate functionality (e.g. third-party integrations)
- Large websites: $15,000 to $20,000+
- 20+ pages
- advanced functionality (e.g. complex multimedia integrations)
Of course, these are just averages, and your particular project may cost less or more depending on its unique requirements. But knowing the general range of costs can help you budget for your project and ensure you get the best possible value for your money.
The averages above are specifically for website design and development. Agencies will often roll in other services such as logo design, branding, content creation, search engine optimization, or marketing strategy into the project, which drives costs up significantly. Additionally, some agencies bill by the project while others bill by the hour, so keep that in mind as you’re gathering quotes.
Website Costs Beyond Design and Development
Most website budgets only account for the cost of design and development. However, there are a number of ongoing costs that are often overlooked.
- Website hosting can cost as low as $10 per month but can vary depending on the size of your site. The average cost for strong, reliable hosting is around $25 a month. Churches with large sermon libraries may pay more for hosting than a comparable small nonprofit.
- Many website owners choose to purchase a domain name, which can cost around $15 per year. If you plan to use your website to collect monetary donations (tithes and offerings), you may also need to pay for a SSL certificate, although most hosting companies will include a basic SSL for free.
- Your website should be designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Not all designers and developers offer this service, so you may need to pay extra to ensure that your church website will appear on page one for your preferred keywords.
- Some website design agencies offer content writing services, but some don’t. Depending on how you’re accomplishing this project, you may need to hire writers who know how to write for websites to complete page content.
- Finally, it is important to budget for website maintenance and updates. Depending on the size and complexity of your website, these costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year.
As you can see, a number of factors can impact the cost of owning a website. By taking all of these factors into account, you can develop a realistic budget for your website.
Website Budgeting Questions? We Can Help!
Asking the internet “How much does a website cost?” is almost the same as asking “How much do shoes cost?” Your answers will vary wildly depending on style, quality, brand, and so forth. The best way to really get the help you need with website budgets is to talk with a website design and development agency.
Our team has decades of experience designing and developing websites for churches, nonprofits, and small businesses around the world. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the best solution to meet your needs.
Please contact us today to set up a free website consultation and discover how to make the most of your website investment!