How Much Does a Website Cost in 2023? The Definitive Guide

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Depending on the type and size of website you need, you can expect to pay anywhere up to £10,000 a month for a full site build.

If you have the time and confidence, you can use a website builder tool such as Squarespace or Wix (which costs £4-£27 per month). You'll create it all yourself, using a drag-and-drop editor. Website builder subscription prices range between £4 and £270 per month.

Or you can hire an expert to do the job for you – at a much higher price. Outsourcing the work to a web designer can cost anything between £650 and £10,000+ for a project. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the cost of a website, which is why we recommend you use our web design quote request tool for a bespoke quote.

At the end we'll explain how to go about hiring a web developer. But for now let's look at a quick overview of website costs.

Website costs at a glance

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 it would cost to hire a web developer, we've provided price ranges for different website types below.

Remember, all of the below are custom designed specifically to your requirements. They are therefore one-off projects to build a unique website (hence the higher price compared with using a website builder).

Type of WebsiteFeaturesCost
  • 1-5 mobile responsive pages
  • Landing page
  • Contact info
£650-£1,100 + VAT
Small business
  • 10-30 pages
  • Book appointments
  • Blog or articles section
  • Monitor web traffic
£1,100-£4,500 + VAT

(Online shop)

  • Sales and payment features
  • Filter by product type
  • Order management system
£1,000 – £5,500 + VAT

(Specialist websites) 

  • Advanced functionality
  • Bespoke design
  • Member log-in areas
  • Lots of memory needed

We've gathered the above price ranges based on talking to industry professionals currently working in the field.

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How much your site costs depends on how you build it. We've made a cheat sheet to weigh up your options here:

Build MethodBenefitsDrawbacks
Website builder tool
  • Affordable
  • Not too difficult
Needs 20hrs+ of your time, and some confidence with technology.
Hire a freelancer or agency
  • Professional result
  • Save time
  • Install advanced features
Costly, and results depend on your ability to communicate well.
Code website from scratch
  • Exactly according to your spec
  • Save money
Results are limited to your skill level and free time. You’re in charge of design, debugging, spam, security, updates, content, and indexing on Google.

Website builders are great for creating a simple site around a pre-designed template (e.g. restaurant, online shop). You might be surprised at the range of design choices you can pick from. Unlike five years ago, website builders are no longer a recipe for a generic-looking website. That said, we've tested a range of website builders and they take some time to get to grips with. You'll sacrificing your time but you will save thousands of pounds.

However, for a more sophisticated and unique website we would recommend using an experienced web developer.

Don't worry if you can't pin-point exactly which option you need right now. First, figure out what kind of website you need. Then you can skip to the relevant section of this page to understand costs.

Website builder and ecommerce platform costs

To avoid the expense of hiring a web developer, you can use website builder software and make the entire thing yourself. With these platforms, all the technicalities are taken care of, such as web hosting and security. All you have to pay for is the domain (your web address).

Wix is our favourite all-around website builder because it has beautiful templates and user-friendly advice guides. Best of all, nearly every platform offers either a free trial or a free plan. So there's nothing to lose if you want to try a few different programmes before making a final choice.

Ecommerce platforms are the technology that powers an online shop. They're a special type of website builder, but the way you use them is really similar and the pricing structure is usually the same (monthly subscription).

Luckily for you, we've already rated and ranked the best website builders and ecommerce platforms to make your decision that much easier. Our top choice for online selling is Shopify, thanks to its advanced sales-specific functions.

Check out our research findings for the best ecommerce platforms…

Swipe right to see more
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Square Online





Best For

Advanced sales features

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

£19-£259/month (paying annually)

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$29 – $299 (around £23 – £240) /month (billed annually)

Price Range

£9-£54/month (billed annually)

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Average of $21/month

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Price Range


Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
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Free Trial
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WordPress website costs

The cost of WordPress depends on which type you're using.

  1. offers specific price packages ranging from £0-£55 per month.
  2. is open-sourced (that means it's free).

Let's look at a summary of the costs involved in each type.
Subscription£0-£55 a yearNone
DomainFree or buy your own

(£0-£44 a year)

Buy your own (£13-£44 a year)
HostingIncludedBuy your own (£108-£276 a year with BlueHost)
TemplatesUse free or paid ones


Design your own (eg Elementor plugin for £47 a year) or upload a free one or premium one
PluginsOnly available on business plans

(£0-£1,000+ a year)

Optional (£0-£1,000+ a year)
Email£33 a year (with WordPress)

£66 a year (for Google via WordPress)

Configure your own based on hosting 

(around £57-£172 a year for Google via BlueHost)

Total:£0-£1,210+ a year£121-£1,539+ a year

As you can see, the costs are variable because most of them are based on your particular needs (and budget). While some of the costs are optional (for example, plugins and email), others are not (you have to pay for hosting in some form, and most people prefer to buy their own domain name).

Working out your WordPress costs

At the cheapest end of the scale, it’s possible to build a beginner WordPress site using the free plan and no plugins. You'll have to use a WordPress subdomain, meaning your website URL contains “WordPress” (and everyone knows you're not paying for your website name).

As the size and complexity of your WordPress site increases, so does the price. You can pay £240 a year for a small business website made with This includes: backups, unlimited bandwidth enhanced security features, and the chance to upload your own templates and install plugins.

wordpress pricing plans screenshot showing price plans at £0, £3, £3, £7, £20 and £36 per month (paying annually)

Of course, plugins cost extra. Top plugin Yoast SEO Premium costs £96 a year, and you may need four or more plugins for your website to work the way you need it to. That's just shy of £400 for four WordPress plugins, and that's only an example.

A custom-built site will require extensive work from a developer and possibly a web designer. Costs for this can be in the region of £4,000-£10,000 depending on the project.

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 basic website

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.

Basic website from a 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.

Freelance developer pricing for a basic website

Using a freelance developer is a convenient option for creating your basic website. Finding a freelancer takes more research than an agency, and you may want to go off a recommendation rather than a Google search. You will find, however, that a freelancer won't be hiding behind glitzy marketing and call centres. Since you're working directly with a skilled professional, you'll enjoy a high level of accountability as well as a personalised service.

A freelancer will typically charge £50 – £100 per hour.

However, it's common to charge per project, too. A basic website will likely cost you £700-£1,500 from a UK-based freelancer.

Offshore web company basic website costs

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 £65 / 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.

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▶ Quick, cheap, high-quality web design: Read our review of DotGO

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 £295 / 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 online shop website

If you decide to hire a freelancer to build your online shop website, they may include one or more of the following elements in one overall price. You may get a cost breakdown also. That's why we've put together this quick reference table to give you an idea of market rates for a typical small to medium-sized online shop.

You may hear this type of website referred to as “ecommerce” which simply refers to online sales.

Cost of an ecommerce website (per year)
SSL certificate£120-£250
Technical maintenance£850-£3,500
Content Updates£1,200-£10,800
Total£2,299 to £15,768

To work out this estimate, we researched prices for and compared domain registrar quotes.

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 specialist website

Bespoke websites are great for larger companies requiring more functionality, with a higher number of visitors or with more information to share.

Such websites are database driven. They have advanced functionality and unlimited subpages (pages created within the subcategories of your site). Businesses in certain industries need these most, including financial services, recruitment, property, and architecture.

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

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.

To benefit from precise pricing information, 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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Ongoing costs explained

Domain Costs

All websites need a web address – the formal name for this is the “domain”. For example, the Expert Market domain name is “”.

Domain names include everything after “www.” so you're paying for the main bit and the “” part afterwards. That final part is called the TLD (or “top-level domain”). Domain costs vary according to:

  • Which registrar you choose
  • Which type of TLD you want
  • Whether someone already owns the domain
  • If you add extra security protection
  • How many years you buy the domain for

Here are some examples of different TLD prices:

TLDCost (per year) from Namecheap

Unsure where to start with a domain name? We're happy to provide quotes from hosting and domain name providers including Bluehost, GoDaddy and Hostgator. Simply enter your details in the form and we'll put you in touch with those companies.

We strongly suggest you purchase a domain for at least five to ten years. If you allow your domain name to expire you will lose access to the web address, and someone else can host their own website at that web address. There's usually a discount on the first year, so you should look beyond that and consider the cost over time. Generally it's less expensive per year to pay for a longer rental.

Even if you decide to close down your business, you should continue to pay for the domain. Why? This protects your professional reputation for customers that try to access your website after it's closed down. Otherwise it's easy for an opportunist to set up a gambling, gaming, spam or scheme website at your old web address to take advantage of your online customers. Here's an example…

homepage of indonesian gambling website
The domain name of former UK charity The Challenge (part of NCS) now redirects to an Indonesian gaming site.

SSL security certificate

Without a security certificate, it's easy for cybercriminals to hack into your website. That could mean website outages, stolen credit card details, reputation damage, and even legal action. It's your responsibility as a website owner to keep your website protected from malware and password theft.

Website visitors can see if you have a valid security certificate – your website comes up with a padlock symbol in the address bar. And browsers may block visitors from entering your website if your security is out of date.

SSL pricing differs according to:

  • The number of websites you have
  • The amount of data you need to protect
  • How tough your security measures need to be

Often you will find a freelancer or website builder tool will include the SSL certificate in an overall price package.

Hosting costs

Every website needs to be hosted on a web server. While your domain is your virtual address, your sever is the physical location of your website. Hosting basically means renting some “space” (well, bandwidth) on the internet. 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 (per month)
Shared hosting£3 – £12
WordPress hosting£3 – £20
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting£17 – £50
Dedicated hosting£60 – £250
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 – £12 a month.

WordPress hosting

You may be familiar with WordPress, an open-source website-building software that includes a content management system (CMS). In fact, is built using WordPress! You can now find WordPress-specific hosting packages that help your site run fast and may come with automatic updates, scheduled data backups and other tools.

Prices range from £3 – £20 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 £17 – £50 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 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. You do not have to compete for bandwidth, so the price is higher.

Prices range from £60 – £250 a month.

Top Tip: Websites such as IONOS, 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.

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 £30 and £100 per hour for web copywriting.

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 18 million results. So how do you make sure that your business appears near the top?

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 every month to ensure 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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What kind of website does your business need?

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. Check out our guide on how to build a website or watch this video to learn more:

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?

What to know when hiring a web developer

Web development is a service, not a product

You'll have ongoing costs because a website always needs updating. When first hiring a web developer – and paying for upkeep and maintenance – you're buying the use of someone's time and skills. It's possible you could negotiate to transfer ownership of the website over to you when it's done being built. But often is makes sense to keep the same web expert on your books to install security patches, and so on.

Support levels vary

You could be quoted £1,000 and £50,000 for the same project. This is because an agency will give you an account manager, and connect you with graphic designers, marketing professionals and possibly social media services too. A freelancer will generally work alone to deliver what you need. You need to work out how you will best communicate about a website project, and if having a range of marketing professionals at hand is preferable over just one point of contact.

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 – your website is an investment in the growth of your business. It goes beyond a good-looking business card, and can be central to the facilitation of your services.

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. And we know that the cost of living is adding extra pressure to your profit margins this year, more than ever before.

To help you get accurate costs and professional results, we can match you up with web designers that suit your exact website needs. All you need to do is fill in this short form and tell us what you need. We'll then put you in touch with our approved web designers.


How much does a website cost per month?
Website costs vary hugely according to their size and function, so there's no simple answer to this question. However, maintaining an ecommerce website (online shop) will likely cost you £192-£1,314 per month, excluding the cost of initial design and development. This includes technical maintenance, security, hosting, domain and content updates.
How much does a basic five page website cost?
In 2023, a basic website will cost £650-£1,100 plus VAT from a UK developer. That'll include between one and five pages, including product or services description, a contact form, and information about the business.
Written by:

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

Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn Summers-Emler Digital Growth Editor

Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy – Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.