Want to Know How Much a Website Costs? The Answer May Surprise You

December 8, 2021

5 mins

How much does a website cost? Well, it’s complicated. Websites can be expensive, but they can also be free. This is confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the process.

If you’re just starting out, setting up a free website using a click-and-drag builder may be tempting. On the other hand, if you’re running an established business, an e-commerce site, or if you’re getting a steady increase in website traffic, you may be wondering if you need to be doing more with your website (and how much that will cost you).

If you want to fork out some cash for a site without breaking the bank, you can find a freelancer or small company that can do what you need for somewhere between two and four thousand dollars. But that will only get you so far.

As your business grows, your website will need to grow with it. Regular security and maintenance checks must be performed. Content must be refreshed or kept current. Keywords must be monitored and tweaked as algorithms change. It’s a lot to keep up with, and each part will require a different cost.

Typical Website Costs

Every website has unique goals and priorities that ultimately determine the overall cost of creating and maintaining the site. But there are a few standard expenses that apply across the board.

  1. Design and Development — The award for most significant expense goes to web design and development. These costs can vary widely depending on many factors, including company type, size, demographic, region, etc.
    The good news is that most of this is a one-time fee. You may want to front-end your investment in a high-quality website to ensure that your ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs are minimized.
  2. Hosting — Hosting costs will be determined by the size of your site, what kind of content you’re posting, and how much website traffic your site generates per month. A basic plan may start at $4 per month, however, plans can go up to $179 per month for more storage space and support for features like e-commerce. This is a good topic to discuss with the website vendors you’re considering. The right company should be more than happy to help you price out and identify hosting plans that align with your goals and grow alongside you over time.
  3. Security and Maintenance — There are basic things every website owner should do to keep their website secure. If your website is built on a platform like WordPress, security shouldn’t be a huge issue. But no website is immune to cyberattacks, and it is a best practice to have money set aside to deal with any security issues that might arise. In addition to security, there is ongoing maintenance required to keep your website healthy and strong. As they say, the best defense is usually a good offense and the same is true with websites. Proactive technical upkeep and maintenance will strengthen your site’s overall protection from any security breaches or malware that could cause significant disruption.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — There are three main components of search engine optimization: keyword optimization, technical optimization, and link-building. Each of these can be specialties and costs can skyrocket quickly. In an ideal world, you should hire a website design company that builds SEO into their development process, so you don’t have to source this part separately.

Read More: 10 Questions to Help You Hire a Dedicated WordPress Developer

Consider Writing a Website RFP

Searching the internet for average website costs is probably not going to be that helpful to your individual situation because websites are as unique as the companies they represent. Sure, you can get a rough estimate based on your company size, service areas, and product line, but the best way to understand how much a website is going to cost YOU is to create a request for proposal (RFP).

Website RFPs are guaranteed to give you a fair idea of what it is going to cost you to build or redesign a website. This process can be a bit involved, but at the end of the day, you’ll have a nice variety of vendors to consider for your project. If you’re new to this process, be sure to check out our RFP guide to help you get started.

How Much Do Websites Cost?

High-quality, professional websites are complex and expensive to create. There are some low-cost website builders on the market, like Wix and Squarespace, that make the process easier and more accessible for those who don’t have a lot of money or skills. But ultimately, small business owners will want to trust an expert with the creation, care, and upkeep of the company website.

Figuring out how much you need to spend on your annual website budget is difficult to do. It really depends on what you need. Typically website costs include things like domain name registration, hosting, design, and development; maintenance; search engine optimization (SEO); security certificates, and plugins. You get the picture. There is a lot to keep up with, which is why we urge people to avoid going it alone.

A quick Google search on how much does a website cost reveals basically nothing helpful. You could do it for free. You could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Which will it be? The best way to find out is to speak with a professional.

We’d Love to Help You Build the Best Website for Your Business

We know we have hit you with a ton of information, the best next step is to give us a call. Let’s talk about your needs, and we will answer all of your questions. The bottom line is this: don’t try to navigate all of this alone.

A good web designer will put you in touch with the right people to get the right price for domain name registration, hosting, etc. You’ll also save money down the line with a professional website because they will be able to help you design an SEO-friendly site that is easy to maintain for years without breaking your budget.

The best way to get the most out of any website investment is to find a team you trust to guide you through the process. We would love to serve you in this way. Please get in touch with us today!

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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