How Much Does a Website Really Cost in 2023?

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Depending on the type and size of website you need, you can expect to pay anywhere from £13 to £10,000 a month for a full site build, depending on whether you use a DIY website builder or outsource the project.

The cost of building a website using a DIY platform typically ranges between £13 and £220 per month. There are some free DIY options out there, but they’re only for creating very basic, restrictive websites.

Outsourcing the work to a web designer can cost anything between £250 and £10,000+ for a project. A large part of this will be for the work of the web designer, which is why we recommend you use our web design agency cost comparison tool for a bespoke quote. It will also include the cost of the service used to host your site, although our top choice of hosting provider, Bluehost, offers plans starting from as little as £2.65 a month.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the cost of a website. But to make things easier for you, in this article we’ve broken down the most common types of websites into four categories: basic, small business, ecommerce (online shop), and database-driven, explaining how much you can expect to pay for each one.

website designer

How much does a website cost?

The cost of your site will depend on the type of website you need, and the number of features you require. However, to give you an idea of how much you'll need to spend, we've provided the average costs of using a web designer for different websites below…

Web designer prices accurate as of November 2022.

Type of website


Designer cost


  • 1-5 mobile responsive pages
  • Contact page
  • Landing page

£250 – £500

Small business

  • Several pages
  • Social media integration
  • ‘Google my Business’ page
  • Google Analytics and Maps

£500 – £1,000


  • Ecommerce tools
  • Order management system
  • Delivery tracking functionality
  • Live chat

£1,000 – £2,500


(banking, architecture sites etc) 

  • Advanced functionality
  • Unlimited sub pages
  • Bespoke design
  • Database population

£3,500 – £10,000+

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How much creating your site costs depends on how you build it, whether that be by outsourcing to a web designer, coding it yourself or using a website builder platform.  The cheapest option for building and maintaining a website is the DIY web builder option.

There are several website builders on the market which allow you to create a website from scratch, for a very affordable price, and with no technical experience. Our top pick is Wix.

Website builders are great for creating a simple site that can fit into a pre-designed template (e.g. restaurant, online shop). However, for a more sophisticated and unique website we would always recommend using an experienced web developer.

So, how much does a website cost?

Website builder and ecommerce platform costs

To avoid the expense of hiring a professional web designer, you should consider using a website builder or ecommerce platform. As a business owner, the best ecommerce platforms also represent one of the most efficient ways to make money online, offering sales-specific features to help you sell products without a fuss.

Ecommerce platforms are tools that allow you to quickly and efficiently create an attractive looking website or online store. With these platforms, all the technicalities are taken care of, such as web hosting and security. Best of all, nearly every platform offers either a free trial or a free plan.

We've tested a wide range of ecommerce platforms and created unique ratings out of five for each one. Our top choice for online selling is Shopify, although Wix is a close second, and is also our top all-around pick of general website builder (both for online stores and other types of websites).

Check out our table below for a quick comparison of our research findings…

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0




Square Online





Best For

Sales-specific features and functionality

Best For

Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features

Best For

Offers you all the functionality you need to scale and succeed

Best For

Value for money

Best For

Selling digital products or portfolios

Best For

Those looking to work on their own

Best For

Operating in a B2B landscape

Best For


Price Range


Price Range
Price Range


Price Range

£9-£54/month (billed annually)

Price Range


10% off with code EM10

Price Range

Average of $21/month

Price Range


Price Range


Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial

*WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store. As an open-source software, it’s free to install but you need to pay for hosting (we recommend Bluehost), amongst other things like a domain, security, and other plugins.

basic website prices icon

How much does each type of website cost?

In this section, we'll explain the costs you can expect to pay for a basic, business, ecommerce, and bespoke websites when using a web designer or website builder platform.

Cost of a basic website

A basic website is made up of one to five pages, and requires only very simple functionality. They are ‘brochure style’ websites. In addition to the core pages, they will have a contact and landing page. They should also be mobile responsive, but it’s always worth checking that this is included in the design price.

Basic websites are great if you’re after a very simple, stripped back online presence. It is a place to showcase your business, and receive enquiries. Think of it kind of like a modern day business card.

You can go down several routes when creating your basic website. Each option has its own pros and cons:

Build your own

Website builders have become more prevalent and sophisticated in recent years. They are now a legitimate option for businesses and individuals alike. Other than a clear cost benefit, website builders also allow you to get a website up and running in just a few hours, with no prior design experience required.

Based on our research, our top-rated ecommerce platform specifically for online selling is Shopify. It's perfect for anyone looking for an all-in-one ecommerce solution, and will suit any type of merchant, from micro-businesses owners to sellers with larger, more complex inventories.

Wix is a close second as our top all-round website builder for both online stores and other types of promotional business site – it offers impressive multi-channel integration and incredible SEO support, at affordable prices.

We've also selected five alternatives in our round-up of the best website builders for small businesses.

Web design agency

Design agencies offer you the chance to work with reliable and experienced website creators. Making slick websites with exceptional user experience is their bread and butter.

This is the perfect option if you want something that's truly unique or that's complex or bespoke in functionality. It's also the ideal choice if you have a decent budget but not much time or desire to create it by yourself.

We've written an in-depth guide on London web design agencies to help you get a better idea of the process of hiring.

Agencies or freelancer designers will provide a quote for the project as a whole based on what you need, so we'd always recommend comparing quotes before selecting a provider.

Our web design service comparison tool can help you do this in just minutes, and for free!  Just click the correct answer below to get started.

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Freelance developer

Using a freelance developer is another option for creating your basic website. Finding a freelancer may take a little more research, but you can typically enjoy a more personalised service. You will find, however, that a freelancer won’t have the broad range of experience that an agency does. They will also typically charge per hour (£25 – £85). This can make it hard to predict the total cost.

Offshore web company

Using an offshore web company is definitely one of the cheapest options (£5 – £20 per hour). However, they are often a lot less reliable than the other options. Always be wary of offers that sound too good, or cheap, to be true.

When creating your website, bear in mind how your needs will change over the next few years. If you are planning to expand your company, or predict future surges in the number of visitors, mention this when requesting quotes to ensure you get a website that is future-proof.

The cost of a basic website will roughly be:

Cost of a Basic Website
Upfront costs
Design£200 to £500
Domain£2.99 to £100 / year
Total Upfront Cost£202.99 to £600
Ongoing costs
Hosting£3 to £45 / month
Content Updates£0 to £25 / month
Total Ongoing Costs£3 to £55 / month

Of course, these prices depend very much on both the size and the complexity of your site. When requesting a web design quote, try to be as specific as possible and ensure that you get the total cost. Transparency in the early stages of the web design process between both you and your designer ensures everyone is on the same page, and will help prevent costly amendments further down the line.

Alternatively, if you want a deeper dive into the differences of these options, you could read our article where we pit a software engineer, web developer, and computer programmer against each other.

cost of a small business website icon

Cost of a small business website

A small business website is the perfect size for a business that requires a little more than just a very basic website, or one which is looking to upgrade from their existing basic website. ‘Small Business Websites’ are also brochure style, but are far more feature-rich.

Such features may include: integrating social media, responsive design, a content management system, Google Analytics and Google maps, ‘Google my business’ capability. They will also have more pages than a basic website, and again will be designed to be mobile responsive.

Small business websites are perfect for businesses that are likely to update their content regularly. This makes them the perfect choice for startups, freelancers or any growing organisation.

The cost of a small business website will roughly be:

Cost of a Small Business Website
Upfront costs
Design£500 to £1,000
Domain£2.99 to £100 / year
Total Upfront Cost£502.99 to £1,100
Ongoing costs
Hosting£3 to £45 / month
Content Updates£0 to £250 / month
Total Ongoing Costs£3 to £75 / month

Paying for a well-designed website isn’t a guaranteed formula for internet success. Once you have your completed website, we recommend that you reinforce your presence with regular marketing and content updates, in order to keep visitors coming back to your site. Allotting a monthly budget of time and money can be a great way to ensure that this doesn’t get forgotten.

When choosing a web design company for small businesses, select one with experience in working with other small businesses. Otherwise, you may find yourself lumbered with fancy features that won’t actually offer you any real benefit.

Again, website builders are a great option for creating your small business website. Wix categorises its templates by industry, making it really easy to find the one that’s right for you.

cost of an ecommerce website icon

Cost of an ecommerce website

The cost of ecommerce websites can vary massively. The price is impacted by the number of items you want to stock, and the number of varieties of each item that are available. It will also, of course, depend on the number of additional features that you want to incorporate. You can expect an ecommerce web design to include an order management system, delivery tracking functionality and a live chat facility, in addition to the features included in a small business website.

When commissioning your ecommerce website, really think about what you want from your new site. Will this website make up most of your brand’s presence – do you want people to hang around, to read blog posts, to engage with your social media? Do you expect people to return to your site? Or will it be more of a stripped back ‘one-stop shop’? Do you expect a lot of your customers to shop on mobile, or mostly on desktop?

Cost of an ecommerce website
Upfront costs
Design£1,000 to £2,500
Domain£2.99 to £100 / year
SSL certificate£15 to £250 / year
Total Upfront Cost£1,017.99 to £2,850
Ongoing costs
Hosting£10 to £350 / month
Content Updates£0 to £300 / month
Total Ongoing Costs£10 to £410 / month

In addition to the usual maintenance, hosting, domain and design costs, we suggest you also factor in the cost of an SSL certificate. This will add another layer of security to your website, and help to reassure customers.

Having a SSL certificate gives your site a ‘https’ prefix, instead of the usual ‘http’. The ‘s’ stands for secure, and it’s something we’re increasingly seeing sites move towards. An SSL certificate also means you have a padlock icon in the address bar. It means your customers will take your website seriously, and so will Google. You should check that your web designer will include this as part of the package.

Again, being as specific as you can about your requirements will help you arrive at an accurate quote early on. It can be hard to guess at the price of an ecommerce website due to the many variables involved.

The easiest way to get the right price for your website is by comparing free quotes. We can help you there. Simply fill in this short form and tell us what you'd like from your website, and we'll match your business with trusted web designers that suit your requirements. They'll then be in touch with non-obligation quotes for you to compare. It's simple!

bespoke website costs icon

Cost of a bespoke website

Bespoke websites are great for larger companies requiring more functionality, with a higher number of visitors or with more information to share. I know what you’re thinking – surely all websites are bespoke? Well, that’s not necessarily true.

For smaller websites without any complex requirements, a web designer can normally repurpose an existing web template for your business. In this case, the website is tailored, but not bespoke. A truly bespoke website is built from scratch to an original and unique set of requirements. Need a bespoke website with ecommerce functionality? Take a look at the section above for a breakdown of ecommerce website costs.

Bespoke websites are database driven. They have advanced functionality and unlimited subpages (pages created within the subcategories of your site). They will almost always be required by businesses in certain industries, including financial services, recruitment or property companies, health and fitness businesses, and architects. This list is by no means exhaustive – any business requiring complex functionality may well find that they fall into the bespoke price bracket.

Bespoke websites will also take mobile responsiveness to the next level, creating a ‘fluid’ design that may look completely different on mobile. As over 50% of searches are conducted on mobile, making this experience as great as possible for your customers should definitely be a priority.

Would you benefit from more precise or bespoke pricing information? Then use our web design quote comparison tool – it's free and takes one minute to use. Just click the right answer below to get started.

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When requesting a bespoke website, it is highly beneficial to work with a dedicated partner.

Unless you have a strong relationship with a talented freelancer, we would definitely recommend looking for an agency to work with. This ensures you are getting the best possible service and that they understand your business and what you are trying to achieve.

It’s even more vital that you get a quote for the project as a whole, rather than a ‘per hour’ rate. This is because larger projects have the potential to produce time consuming problems that are out of your control as a customer.

Cost of a Bespoke Website
Upfront costs
Design£2,500 to £10,000
Domain£2.99 to £100 / year
Total Upfront Cost£2,507.99 to £10,100
Ongoing costs
Hosting£10 to £350 / month
Content Updates£0 to £300 / month
Total Ongoing Costs£10 to £410 / month

In terms of price, a bespoke website is certainly a step up from a small business website that has been built with a template.

If you’re unsure whether you need a small business website or a bespoke website, think not only of the functionality and number of visitors which you are working with at the moment, but what your needs are likely to be in the coming years.

Having a website that is primed and ready to grow as you grow is imperative.

If you’re not sure what kind of website you need, then this short form and we can get in touch to talk through your requirements and match you up with suitable agencies.

Domain Name

Other than design costs, the main upfront cost you will encounter is purchasing a domain name (if you don’t already have one).

A domain name is the unique ‘address’ of a website. For example, the Expert Market domain name is ‘’.

Domain typeMinimum cost£4.99/year

Once you’ve found a domain name which doesn’t already have an associated website, you can pay for it on a website such as 123 Reg or GoDaddy. Prices vary depending on how popular your chosen domain name is: domains cost as little as £4.99 per year, and .com domains will be around £9.99 upwards per year. The most desirable site names cost tens of thousands of pounds per year, so check out a few combinations before settling on one. For this article, we’ve set the upper limit for a domain name at £100 per year.

Unsure where to start with a domain name? Take a look at our list of the top hosting and domain name providers including Bluehost, GoDaddy and Hostgator. 

Ongoing and additional costs

Ongoing costs

Hosting: at a glance

Every website needs to be hosted on a web server. Hosting a website makes it accessible via the web. It basically means renting or buying some ‘space’ on the internet, ie. some bandwidth. Fully understanding what hosting means is not necessary, but you should know that your website will need it in some form and you have a few options for this:

Type of hostingTypical cost
Shared hosting£3 – £10/month
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting£10 – £45/month
Cloud based web hosting£10 – £350/month
Dedicated hosting£65 – £200/month
Choose From Only the Best Web Hosting Services in 2023

Bluehost tops our list. Compare them against GoDaddy, Hostgator and more…

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting. You share your hosting platform with a number of other sites, therefore sharing the cost too. The downside is that you also share the bandwidth. So, in effect, you fight for server space with other sites. Shared hosting can be a great low-cost option for basic or new sites which don’t yet get many visitors.

Prices range from £3 – £10 a month.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting

A VPS server is a good middle ground between shared hosting and having your own dedicated server. A VPS is one physical server but allocates multiple, separate servers to its sites. This way you avoid the problems associated with shared hosting.

Prices range from £10 – £45 a month.

Cloud Based Web Hosting

With cloud based web hosting, your website is hosted on a virtual server. This is a popular option for a number of reasons. Firstly, cloud hosting plans can accommodate unusually large surges in traffic. Secondly, it’s easy to adapt cloud based hosting to your changing needs. And thirdly, with cloud based web hosting plans, you pay only for what you have used. This is a logical next step for a website that might have started on a shared hosting plan but has started see a large volume of traffic.

Prices range from £10 – £350 a month.

Dedicated hosting

With this option, you have your own server dedicated to hosting only your website. Websites that are particularly large or complex, or that require exceptionally high levels of data security will benefit from dedicated hosting. It is also the best option for websites with a high and steady amount of traffic. Not sharing a server with other websites has its advantages, namely that you do not have to compete for bandwidth. This is reflected in the higher price.

Prices range from £65 – £200 a month.

Top Tip: Websites such as 1and1,123reg and GoDaddy regularly offer package deals for domain names and web hosting.

Expert Market Recommends: all of the providers on our top-five hosting services list. You can depend on these to provide reliable, secure, scalable hosting for affordable prices; Bluehost plans start from just £2.65 a month.

Content Updates

In addition to hosting costs, you will need to factor in the cost of content updates. Costs will vary depending on the size of your website, any updates you want to make, and how much you pay the people tasked with making these changes. Remember that your website is never really ‘finished’, even when you are happy with how it looks and works. Make sure that you update it in some form or another on a regular basis, in order to keep your audience interested and to appear on Google searches. We’ve allowed up to £60 a month for content updates.

Additional costs

Aside from the costs we have already mentioned, there are some additional services that you should consider:

1. Content production

Producing written content is something that you can do yourself to keep costs down. However, it can be worth getting a freelancer or agency to help. Expect to pay between £10 and £50 per hour for content generation.

2. Imagery

Hiring a photographer to collect a bank of images for your brand or product is always advisable for creating a strong brand image. You can also buy stock images and graphics from sites like depositphotos, or download free images for commercial use on unsplash.

3. SEO / marketing

Let’s say you own a cupcake shop in Manchester. Googling ‘cupcake Manchester’ produces around four million results. So how do you make sure that your business appears near the top? Well, a lot of it has to do with how relevant your business is, how up-to-date the content on your site is, and how many visitors you get coming in from other areas, eg. social media. However there are also some additional steps you can take to make sure you’re securing the best position possible.

That’s where SEO comes in.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s the process of making a site the best that it can be in terms of search engine visibility. Search engines give preference to sites that load fast and offer the information that people are searching for, amongst other things.

For smaller websites, it's a good idea to ask if your web design and SEO services can come as part of an overall package. For websites with a lot of content, consider getting a freelancer or agency that specialises in SEO to take a look through your site once every couple of months to ensure that it remains well-optimised.

If you want to make sure SEO services are included in your pricing information, use our quote-finding tool below – click on the correct answer to get started.

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How long does it take to build a website?

So now you have a rough idea of how much your site might cost, and it’s on to question number two: How long will it take?

It should come as no surprise that the answer will again depend on the size and complexity of your desired site as well as the agency you’re working with.

Website builders are likely to be the quickest option – you could build yourself a basic website in only a few hours. Working with an agency may take anything from a couple of weeks to a few months.

To get a clearer idea of how your project will progress, it helps to have an idea of the steps involved. We've written an entire guide on how to build a website from scratch that takes you through website creation duration in detail.

Or you can watch this video for more information:

Kieron Woodhouse, head of UX for a major UK tech company, breaks down the web design process.

web designer

10 Questions to ask your web designer

Communication is the key to making the web design process as streamlined as possible. You need to know exactly what you’re getting from your web designer, and they in turn should know exactly what you expect of them. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few questions to ask your designer:

  1. Do you arrange buying the domain name and hosting for the site, and is this included in your quote?
  2. How easy will it be for me to report on and update my website? If it requires specialist knowledge, will you provide training for myself and my staff?
  3. Will there be any ongoing costs for general site maintenance?
  4. Will you optimise the website for search engines?
  5. Will the site be mobile responsive?
  6. If I am unhappy with the finished design of my site, can it be amended and is there a cost associated with this?
  7. Will you provide content and imagery for the site, or should I provide it?
  8. What is the scope for future development of the website? Is it built to grow quickly?
  9. How much will future amendments to the site cost?
  10. How is my website protected if something goes wrong?

Other things to bear in mind

Web design is a service, not a product

Thinking of web design as a service rather than a product will help you to understand why it can be difficult to put an exact price on it.

Quotes are subjective

You could be quoted £1,000 and £50,000 for the same project. This goes back to web design being a service rather than a product. Different agencies will have different ways of doing things, and prioritise different aspects of the site. Being as clear as possible about what is important to you, and what is less so, will help make your quotes more accurate.

Standards vary from agency to agency

As with any industry, the quality of work will vary from one agency to another. It’s a good idea to have a look at customer reviews and examples of previous work when deciding which agency to go with. And remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best one – anything that looks too good to be true probably is!

A Word on WordPress

People often ask how much it costs to build a website using WordPress. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, powering over 26% of the entire web.

Although WordPress is free to download and install, there are some costs involved which can be broken down as follows:

  • Hosting
  • Domain
  • Themes / Custom design
  • Plugins
Expert Market Recommends: Bluehost is a hosting platform designed with WordPress websites in mind. There are shared, cloud-based, VPS and Dedicated. Prices start at £2.65/month.

At the cheapest end of the scale, it’s possible to build a beginner WordPress site using only the 4,000 free templates and plugins, and pay around £3 per month for the domain name and hosting.

As the size and complexity of your WordPress site increases, so does the price. Expect to pay around £1,000 a year for a mid-range WordPress site, with a paid theme and useful plugins.

A unique and custom-built WordPress site will require extensive work from a developer. Costs for this can be in the region of £4,000 – £10,000 depending on the design.

Next steps

Even with a guide to help, trying to work out the exact cost of a website without a background in design is really tricky. We can match you up with web designers that suit your exact website needs, and all you need to do is fill in this short form  and tell us what you need. You'll then receive bespoke quotes for your business from our approved web designers.

Written by:

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.