A website is a must for any small business. Not only does it give you a professional online presence, but it also allows you to reach new customers and grow your brand.
So how much does it cost to build a website for a small business? In reality, it is not a straightforward answer because it is based on several factors. Mostly being determined by the design, size, and functionality.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the cost of building a website.
What is the average cost to create a website for a small business?
The average cost to create a website for a small business is around $2,000 to $15,000. The amount you pay depends on the complexity of the website. However, don’t let the numbers intimidate you. Creating a website is a business investment in hopes to get a return on investment (ROI).
Typically small businesses in their infancy have very small budgets to work with. That’s not a problem, you can always start small and work your way up. A clean basic website design will cost around $1,000-$3,000. If you hire a professional, that website should last you a few years without having to do any major redesigns.
That being said there are different routes you can take when building a website.
How to build a website?
- Do it yourself (DIY) – This is the most cost-saving but time-consuming option. The learning curve could be steep depending on your technical abilities. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can create your own website for free using content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.
- Website Builder – You can use a website builder like Squarespace and Wix. These services offer pre-built template-made websites that have drag and drop functionality. You will have to pay monthly or annual fees to use the service.
- Hire a freelancer – This is the most optimal for small businesses in their initial stages with a tight budget who don’t have the time to learn how to create a website but are willing to pay a professional. It is best to hire a freelancer that wears multiple hats including web design, web development, and digital marketing skills. A freelancer can provide great results at an affordable price.
- Hire an agency – This is the most expensive option but has a higher chance of success. Also, It is the least hands-off option. Hiring an agency with a team has a quicker turnaround.
1. Domain Name
A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. The average cost for a domain name is about $3 to $15 a year. Expect to pay at least $14 for a dot com domain name. The dot com domain extension is recommended since it is most recognizable. Domain prices can even be as expensive as a few thousand dollars, but these are premium domains. Your domain name must be unique. Generally, you’d want to purchase a domain that is the same as your company name. However, if that is not available you should always incorporate keywords into your domain related to your business. For example, if you’re in a painting company located in Chicago a good domain would be “exteriorpaintingchicago.com”.
You can search and purchase domain names from companies like NameCheap, GoDaddy, and HostGator. You can also buy domain names from an existing owner, usually for a much higher cost.
2. Web Hosting
Web hosting is what allows your website to be visible on the internet. You need web hosting to store all your website files, images, and videos. For an entry-level small business website, web hosting costs can be as low as $3 per month. As your business starts to scale, you may need to upgrade your web hosting plan. But for most small businesses, a basic web hosting plan is more than enough.
The two main types of web hosting are shared and managed.
Shared hosting is when your website shares a server with other websites. Shared hosting is the most popular and cheapest hosting option. It’s good for small websites with low traffic. If your website experiences a lot of traffic, your site will slow down or crash.
Managed hosting is when the hosting company manages your website for you. It is typically used for WordPress websites. The hosting company will take care of the website’s security, speed, and updates. It’s more expensive but worth it if you don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of hosting your website.
The average cost of hosting a website is $2.95 – $5 per month for shared hosting and can be as expensive as $25+ per month for managed hosting. Hosting providers include Bluehost, InMotion Hosting, and WP Engine.
Cloud hosting is a newer type of hosting that is quickly gaining in popularity. Cloud hosting is when your website’s files are stored on multiple servers. This makes your website more reliable because if one server fails, your website will still be up and running. Cloud hosting can be more expensive than shared and dedicated hosting but is becoming more affordable. It’s a scalable option that can handle high traffic.
The average cost for cloud hosting ranges from $9 to $100 per month. Web hosting companies include Namehero, WP Engine, HostGator, and DreamHost.
3. Website Content
Ideally, you want to have your website content prepared before the web design. The content should include your website’s text, images, and videos. This will help the designer understand your vision and create a design that reflects your company. There are plenty of free stock photos available. It is best to showcase original images or premium stock photos to display your uniqueness.
The average cost of premium stock photos, videos, and graphics can range from $5 to $100 plus per media.
Web copy should be keyword rich and informative. Your website’s About Us page is a great place to start. You’ll want to include your company’s story, who you are as a business, what you do, and what makes you different.
Blog posts are also a great way to show your expertise and provide valuable information to your customers. They are optional but recommended to optimize your website for search engines.
Logo design is an important aspect of your brand. Your logo will be displayed on your website and all your marketing materials. A professional logo designer can create a unique logo that reflects your company’s values. The average cost of a logo design is $250 – $1000.
4. Website Design/Layout
Web design is how your website looks. The layout is how your website’s content is organized. You need to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate. A good design will help your website stand out and be more memorable.
If you decide to hire a professional web designer, the cost can range from $1,000 to $10,00. Somewhere around the $1,000 to $3,000 range is a great starting point. With this price range expect a straightforward design or a templated design. Nonetheless, it’s enough to get your foot in the digital door.
Responsive Website Design
RWD is a more advanced design that allows your website to adjust to different screen sizes. This is important because people view websites on all types of devices such as computers, tablets, and phones. A responsive design will make sure your website looks great no matter what device someone is using.
The cost for responsive web design can depend on complexity. Usually, web designers will include the cost of responsive design. However, be sure to ask about responsive design, as half of your website traffic can potentially come from mobile devices.
5. Website Page Volume
The number of website pages will contribute to the overall cost. More pages mean more design work, images, and content. Most small businesses will only need a few pages such as the Home page, About Us page, Services/Products page, Contact Us page, and a Blog page.
Extra pages can be added for an additional fee. As you can imagine, a website with eCommerce can quickly build up pages. Be sure to ask your web designer how much extra it will cost for each page.
6. Website Development and Functionality
What’s the difference between Web Design and Web Development? These terms are often used interchangeably and can become confusing.
Web Design is the visual aspect of your website. This includes the layout, colors, and images. It is the job of a website designer to create a web design that flows well and has a good user experience.
Web Development is the functionality of your website. This includes contact forms, eCommerce, and other features that make your website work. It is the job of a web developer to take your design and turn it into a functioning website.
Some web design companies offer web development services, while others specialize in web design only.
Your website needs to be developed so it can be viewable on the internet. Development is the coding that makes your website work. Functionality is how your website works and what features it has. Fortunately in today’s modern age developing a website is a lot more user-friendly than it used to be. So you don’t need to know how to code to create a website. Platforms such as WordPress and Drupal already have a content management system created. About half of the work is done, what’s left to do is the implementation of a design and adding extra features which will extend the functionality of your website.
What is a CMS? A CMS is a content management system. A CMS allows you to manage your website’s content without knowing how to code.
If you plan on having custom code, the cost for development and functionality can depend on many factors such as the size of your website, what features it has, and how complex the coding is. Usually, web development costs around $500 and $10,000 plus. If you want extra features you can also pay for premium apps and plugins. On the other hand, for more complex features, such as eCommerce, membership portals, subscription services, or a custom CMS, the cost will be higher.
- Apps and plugins are software that can be added to your website. These can add extra functionality or improve the usability of your website. There are free and premium plugins to choose from. The cost for apps and premium plugins can depend on the app or plugin but usually range from $5 to $300
- Membership Portal is a feature that allows users to log in and access restricted content. This can be used for a variety of purposes such as a private members club, or an online course. The cost for a membership portal can depend on how many features it has and how complex the setup is but usually starts at $200 per year plus the setup fee. For a custom membership portal feature expect to pay $500 or more.
- Subscription Services is a feature that allows users to pay a recurring fee to have access to premium content or services. The cost for subscription services can depend on the features it has and how complex the setup is but usually starts at $200 per year plus the setup fee. For a custom subscription service feature expect to pay $500 or more.
- E-commerce or online store is when you sell products or services on your website. An eCommerce website will need a shopping cart, payment gateway, and product catalog. These features can range in price from $1,500 to $15,000.
- Custom CMS is when you have a CMS that is tailor-made for your website. This option is more expensive than using a pre-made CMS. Custom CMSs can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.
7. Security and SSL
Your website needs to be secure so that your customers can trust you. Security is the process of protecting your website from unauthorized access and use. SSL is a security protocol that creates a secure connection between a web server and a browser. You can see the SSL certificate in the form of a padlock next to your website’s URL.
The cost for security and an SSL certificate can depend on the provider you choose. Providers such as Symantec, CloudFlare, and DigiCert offer a range of security options. Many web developers, website builders, or hosting providers will include a free basic SSL certificate that provides one layer of security. If your website is going to include sensitive information or a high volume of e-commerce payment processing, it is recommended that you upgrade to a more advanced SSL certificate with multiple layers of security. The more layers your SSL certificate has the more difficult it is for hackers to crack it.
To further enhance the security of your website you can install plugins and add-ons that provide extra security measures. The cost for plugins and add-ons can depend on the provider but usually start at $5 per month.
8. Website Maintenance and Updates
Your website needs to be maintained so it stays up-to-date and functions properly. Website maintenance is required to ensure your website is running smoothly. Updating is the process of adding new content or features to your website.
Ongoing maintenance costs and updating costs can depend on how often you need it done and what type of updates you want. If you only need occasional maintenance, such as monthly backups and security scans, the cost can be as low as $50 per month. If you need more frequent updates, such as weekly content changes or adding new features, the cost can be $100 to $200 per month.
Some providers offer a maintenance and updating plan that includes all the necessary updates for a fixed monthly price. This can be a more cost-effective option if you need regular updates done.
So you have a website, now what? For your website to be successful, you need to let people know it exists. You can do this through digital marketing. Digital marketing is the process of promoting your website online to drive traffic to your website.
Digital marketing can include many different strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads. The cost for each strategy can depend on the provider you choose and the amount of work that needs to be done.
The most cost-effective way to do digital marketing is through SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a process of optimizing your website so that it appears higher in the search engine results pages (SERP). This can be done through on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page optimization is the process of optimizing your website’s content and structure. Off-page optimization is the process of promoting your website on other websites.
The cost for SEO can depend on the provider you choose and the amount of work that needs to be done. Many providers offer a monthly SEO package that includes both on-page and off-page optimization.
For SEO services expect to pay an average of $500-$3000 per month for a local campaign. The cost depends on various factors such as keyword difficulty, the amount of competition, and the size of your website.
For national or global campaigns, expect to pay an average of $3,000-$10,000 per month.
Social media marketing is the process of promoting your website through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The cost for social media marketing can depend on the provider you choose and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Many providers offer a monthly social media package that includes posting updates, engaging with followers, and running ads. The cost for a social media package typically ranges from $50 to $200 per month.
If you want to do social media marketing yourself, the cost is much lower. You can create a Facebook page and Twitter account for free, and there are many free tools available online that can help you with marketing your website.
Email marketing is the process of sending emails to potential and current customers to promote your website. The cost of email marketing can depend on the provider you choose and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Many providers offer a monthly email marketing package that includes designing and sending emails, managing your contact list, and analyzing your results. The cost for an email marketing package can range from $50 to $500 per month.
If you have a small business with a limited budget, you can use a free email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These services allow you to send out emails to your contact list, but they will include their branding in your emails.
PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads
PPC is a type of digital marketing where you pay to have your website appear on the search engine results pages (SERP). The cost for PPC can depend on the provider you choose and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Many providers offer a monthly PPC ads package that includes setting up and managing your ads, analyzing your results, and optimizing your campaign. The cost for a PPC Google Ads package usually ranges from $500 to $1,000 per month.
If you want to set up your own PPC ads campaign, you can expect to pay around $10 to $50 per day for your ad budget. This will depend on the keywords you choose and how competitive they are.
Overall, PPC ads are a great way to get your website in front of more websites quickly and easily. However, it is important to remember that PPC ads require ongoing maintenance and optimization to be effective.
Pros & Cons of DIY, Website Builders, Professional Freelancer, and Digital Agency Options
Whatever option you decide to go with it will have both advantages and disadvantages.
Build your own website (DIY)
- Save the most amount of money.
- No downtime. You know what you are doing in terms of website design and functionality.
- Flexibility. You get to control every aspect of your own site.
- Self Marketing. You understand the world of digital marketing and can promote your brand.
- Time consumption.
- You have to keep up with web design and development trends.
- You have to invest your time and money into marketing tools.
- Save money in the short term.
- Most of the website is already built. You can select from various pre-designed templates.
- Drag and Drop Functionality.
- Does not require any technical abilities.
- Monthly and annual payments.
- Limited Customization.
- Limited Functionality and Features.
- You are stuck with the platform. If you ever decide to migrate your content to a different platform the process will very cumbersome.
- Least effective marketing capabilities. Finding a marketing specialist will be difficult and costly.
- Save time and money.
- Professional web design.
- They can help manage your website.
- They can help with design, development, and digital marketing.
- An average investment of $1,500 to $3,000 for web design and development.
- An average investment of $50 to $200 per hour for digital marketing.
- Dependent on someone else.
- Maximize your time and money.
- You will have a team of experts all focusing on different areas of your website.
- Professionally designed website following modern standards.
- They will manage your website.
- Excellent digital marketing.
- Quick turnaround.
- An average investment of around $5,000 to $15,000 for web design and development.
- An average cost of $100 to $250 per hour for digital marketing.
- Dependent on a team.
Website Cost: Recap
|Option||Estimate Website Cost||Website Setup||Website Maintenance|
|DIY Website (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.)||$0-$500||$60-$100+ per year||$0-$50+ per month|
|Website Builder||$22-$60 per month||$0-$100+ per year||$0-$50+ per month|
|Freelancer||$1,500-$5,000||$100-$150+ per year||$50-$100+ per month|
|Agency||$5,000-$15,000||$150-$300+ per year||$100-$500+ per month|
What to look for in a professional freelancer or agency
There are many freelancers and creative agencies available to help build your small business website. But how do you know which one is the right fit for your needs?
Here are some things to consider when choosing a professional to help you create your website:
Ask for recommendations:
Ask your friends, family, and business associates if they know of any good freelancers or agencies. Once you have a few names, check out their websites and see if their work is a good fit for your vision.
Review their work:
When looking at a freelancer or agency’s website, be sure to check out their portfolio. This will give you a good idea of their design style and skills.
Ask about their process:
Be sure to ask the freelancer or agency about their process for designing and building websites. They should be able to give you a timeline of when they will have the website completed.
Know what you want:
For you to get the most optimal quote, it’s important to have a good idea of what you want your website to look like. Be ready to articulate your needs and provide examples of websites that you like. This will help the freelancer or agency give you an accurate estimate.
Do your research:
Compare and contrast various freelancer and agency quotes to get an idea of what a fair price is. You can also look at online reviews to see what others have said about their experience working with the professionals you’re considering.
Schedule a consultation:
If you’re still not sure which freelancer or agency to choose, schedule a consultation with them. This will allow you to ask more questions and get a feel for their knowledge and personality.
The answer to the question “How much does it cost to build a website for a small business” will depend on various factors. Regardless of the cost, the key is to start a website for your small business at your earliest convenience. It is a business investment that will pay off in the long term. And don’t forget, the best way to market your website is through digital marketing. So be sure to factor that into your budget as well.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article helped give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to creating a website for your small business.
If you are interested in building a website consider hiring us!
How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
The cost of building a website for small businesses can range from $500 to $5,000. The final price will depend on various factors such as the size of the website, the number of pages, the complexity of the design, and if you want any additional features or functionality.
What is included in the cost of building a website for a small business?
The cost of building a website for small businesses can include design, development, hosting, email, and digital marketing.
Can I get my money back if I’m not happy with the website?
Most freelancers and agencies have a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the first draft of the website. However, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want before starting the project so that you can provide direction to the freelancer or agency.
What are some things to consider when choosing a professional to help build my small business website?
When looking for a professional to help build your small business website, be sure to ask for recommendations, review their work, and ask about their process. You should also know what you want and do your research before making a decision.
What is the best way to market my small business website?
The best way to market your small business website is through digital marketing. This can include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.
How long does it take to build a small business website?
The timeline for building a small business website can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, most freelancers and agencies can have a website completed within 6-9 weeks.
Are there any templates that I can use to build my own website?
Yes, there are many templates that you can use to create a professional website. However, it’s important to note that using a template can limit the customization of your website.
What is the difference between a freelancer and an agency?
A freelancer is an individual who works independently, whereas an agency is a company that employs several professionals. When choosing between a freelancer and an agency, be sure to consider the size of your project and your budget.
How often should I update my small business website?
You should update your small business website as often as needed. If you make changes to your products or services, be sure to update your website accordingly. You should also keep your content fresh by adding new blog posts regularly.
Is a website builder or WordPress better?
Choosing between a website builder and WordPress can be confusing, but the answer depends on your needs. Website builders are good for small businesses that want a simple, professional website without having to learn coding or design. WordPress is more versatile and customizable, but also requires more time and effort to set up and maintain. In the end, it comes down to what you want your website to do. If you need a simple website with no bells and whistles, go with a website builder. If you want more control over how your site looks and functions, use WordPress.