Inside Look: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business

Almost every business, big or small considers creating a website to be an integral step that is needed in order to compete with their competitors, who are also optimizing their digital business appearance.

Having a website sounds nice, but exactly how much does it cost to build a website for a small business?

Most go into this question assuming they will be able to find simple cut n’ dry answers to that question. Typically, the average cost to create a website for your small business can cost anywhere in the range of $200 up to $200,000+.

It’s apparent that only really large enterprises and corporations are at a level to spend the latter amount on a website, however, they have their reasons for it.

A website is a digital version of your business. Just like you have overhead at your physical location in terms of employees, utilities, inventory, and rent; a website also has overhead and your digital office will represent your investment in terms of look, feel, and functionality.

When considering the total cost of a website, there are several items to keep in mind that can range from the size, complexity, technologies used to maintain and whether you’re considering the option to hire a professional web designer. Building a website yourself can definitely save you a lot of money, but what would be the cost of you doing it yourself?

There are several options a business owner can consider when it comes to building a website for a small business. Let’s take a look at a few options to consider when figuring how much a website cost to build:

  • Hosting and domain costs
  • DIY vs professional agency
  • Budgeting for marketing and website maintenance

Website Hosting & Domain: How much does it domain and hosting cost?

Before you ever get started on your website, you need to know where it is going to sit in the digital space. This means understanding what is needed to make an entire website from start to finish. What’s your web space, brand, or website going to be called? Are you expecting huge amounts of traffic and require specific resources? Let’s find out what web hosting and domains are.

Website hosting is where your website’s data is stored and shared and your domain is the actual URL or web address users visit, kind of like your business address on the internet.

Understanding where your data is being stored and shared makes a difference and also knowing how your data and information is protected raises other concerns. This means an SSL certificate is needed to make sure any private data on your site is encrypted and protected.

Most hosting service providers also allow you to purchase and manage your SSL security and domain through their proprietary portals.

These are core essentials that must be taken into account when calculating how much it costs to build a website for a small business.

Choosing a Domain Name: The Reality of Domain Costs

It’s highly advised that when creating your business plan and marketing strategy, you consider your domain name. For the most part, domains are typically inexpensive and hardly a budget, however, there are instances where domain costs can go from the average of $10-$25 up to the tens of thousands. This happens when there are competitive terms used and within certain industries.

The average price of a domain starts in the $10 range.

Buying a domain is pretty cut n’ dry. The complicated part is choosing your website’s hosting service because this is where your data will be housed.

How to Choose a Hosting Service: What are the Different Types of Hosting

A general rule of thumb when determining what type of hosting service fits your business model and future goal requirements will largely depend on your website’s traffic and site complexity. Depending on which type of hosting model you choose, your hosting price can range from a few dollars a month up to hundreds per month.

Here are the common types of hosting:

Shared Hosting

Just as the name suggests, shared hosting is a hosting type that also stores data from other websites on the same server. This is typically the most cost-effective for entry-level businesses.

Since the processing power and memory are being utilized by multiple websites, some spikes in traffic could potentially create UX issues and dampen the overall experience for visitors to your site.

Virtual Private Server

This is a step up from your average shared hosting service. A virtual private server (VPS) is still housed on a shared server, however, it has its own dedicated space within that server. VPS allows for a full range of storage and option customizations to help configure your server space to your website needs.

Even with VPS being a step up from standard shared hosting, it is still a shared server and shares similarities with shared hosting in terms of not being the best fit for sites with large amounts of traffic.

Managed Hosting

When comes to larger companies and businesses expecting coming growth, managed hosting services are the desired choice for businesses that need another company to handle their hardware and software demands.

Some hosting companies offer site update management and server maintenance, while more advanced hosting providers feature dedicated servers and cloud hosting.

Managed hosting runs higher in costs than shared and VPS hosting options, however more and more businesses are opting for managed hosting solutions in order to help them get a handle on their business without having to worry about how many different technologies to learn in order to have your site operate the way you want.

Some managed service hosting options are available when working with high-end agencies and digital firms, usually, this option becomes available during a development project where the agency will also host your site within their own dedicated servers in order to maintain the most security for data storage and cyberattacks.

For instance, iQSAY offers a full website managed service known as WebExpress™.

Web Express™ handles the tough stuff so you don’t have to. From hosting and SSL to integrations and automation, Web Express keeps your site running smoothly so you can focus on growing your business.

Stick to 1 team, or manage 20 services. Which is easier for you?

Again, it’s always best to assess which option is best for your business model.

The Essentials: How much does a website to own a website?

Hosting packages will run you between $8-$100 per month. Domains typically cost $12-$50 (depending on if it is a premium domain or not) per year. Most domains renew annually.

SSL certificates are usually purchased when you purchase your domain and cost roughly $10-$200 per month. Similar to domains, SSLs are usually paid annually. These are costs associated with how much it cost to own a website.

DIY Website VS Hiring a Professional Agency: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?

When comes to building a website one of the first questions you may consider is the average cost of a website design for a small business. There are several routes you can take to get your website up and running, depending on your preference. From DIY solutions like WordPress, Shopify, and Wix, to DFY solutions, to hiring a professional agency to create your website.

DIY: How much does a WordPress Site Cost

You can build a website yourself using WordPress. WordPress does not cost you to actually build a site on their platform, you can choose to use WordPress as your site host as well as purchase domains from WordPress. The initial upfront cost to build a WordPress site yourself will also vary depending on your theme selections which can cost upwards of $200, and plugins or integrations needed which can range between $0-$1000.

There are also other maintenance costs associated with owning a WordPress site. The average business spends $75-$100,000+ to build a website for a small business as an initial investment before paying for the maintenance and other technologies.

Even making a WordPress website yourself can still get very costly, not to mention you also will have to learn how to navigate the technologies required to build your site.

This is the best option for businesses that are on a very tight budget and are not looking to build a large brand.

DFY Website: How much does a website cost?

Sounds almost too good to be true, but there are website builders that help create a website with little to no coding experience. Using these types of Done-For-You site-building options will carry similar costs as doing it yourself if you opt for plugins, premium themes, integrations, etc.

If you are doing a barebones design and will not have much engagement on your site other than users reading a blog or catching up on your business news, then a DFY website is the best option, especially for those who do not wish to foot the initial upfront costs associated with hiring a professional website designer or digital agency.

Website builders range from $15-$50 per month before adding in any premium features or functionalities.

Hiring a Professional: How much does it cost to hire someone to build a website for a small business

This is the last and most flexible option. While it is not the most cost-effective in terms of investment, however, it is the best option to ensure you are getting exactly what you want and your website functions exactly how you expect it to.

You can expect to pay upfront for a web design professional and then a smaller maintenance fee to maintain your website with the appropriate technologies, hosting, domain, SSL, etc.

So how much do web designers charge?

According to a study from Digital.com, the average cost of website design for a small business can vary greatly but usually starts at $2,000 for basic sites with simple functionalities. Most E-commerce sites will start at $5,000a and go up from there depending on the size of their brand and the number of products.

High-end and luxury design agencies that also offer more than website design can start at $8,000 and can usually go way up depending on the business needs. For example, a professional design and branding firm will completely customize your website, its functions, integrations, etc. because flexibility in web design is only really obtainable when you break away from website themes and website builders.

These types of websites from professional agencies are designed to match branding, deliver an exceptional consumer journey, and have built-in funnel capabilities that help bring visitors to the buyer’s phase.

Product-based Website Options for Small Business Owners

While there are lots of E-commerce options, the two biggest names that stand out are WooCommerce and Shopify. Many e-commerce business owners will ask two questions when determining which of these options works best. The first is how much does WooCommerce cost and the second is how much does a Shopify store cost.

The average WooCommerce site costs roughly $1,500+ annually for developer fees, site security, and plugins, while Shopify can cost as little as $29 per month up to $299 per month with a 2.4%-2.9% fee per transaction as well as $0.30 per transaction.

As you can see, these E-commerce options can really get up there in cost.

According to a study from Digital.com, the average cost of website design for a small business can vary greatly but usually starts at $2,000 for basic sites with simple functionalities. Most E-commerce sites will start at $5,000a and go up from there depending on the size of their brand and the number of products.

High-end and luxury design agencies that also offer more than website design can start at $8,000 and can usually go way up depending on the business needs. For example, a professional design and branding firm will completely customize your website, its functions, integrations, etc. because flexibility in web design is only really obtainable when you break away from website themes and website builders.

These types of websites from professional agencies are designed to match branding, deliver an exceptional consumer journey, and have built-in funnel capabilities that help bring visitors to the buyer’s phase.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?

Let’s review the 3 options:

WordPress is a FREE DIY option that has add-ons to choose from based on your needs.

Website builder services price ranges from $15-$50 per month at the most basic levels.

Professional website designers charge between $2,000 for low-end and basic site functionality and upwards of $20,000+ depending on the level of customization that is needed for your business.

All options have ongoing maintenance costs as well as ongoing marketing costs. Does your website need a professional agency to help it reach your vision?

We are iQSAY. Leading modern marketing by allowing businesses to compete on their terms, not their competitors. Connect with us today for a free assessment and discovery call. It’s time to take your business to the next level.