How Much Does a Website Cost in 2020?

how much does a website cost

By Dan Barraclough | Updated: 4 March 2020

Can you put a price on website perfection? Read on to find out…


We’ll cut to the chase – the general costs of web design will depend on the size of your project, and whether you choose to hire a web designer or use a website builder. 

Hiring a web designer will usually cost around $6,000 all in, depending on what you want from your website. With this option, you’re paying for an expertly crafted website that ticks all the right boxes, and freeing yourself up to focus on other areas of your business.

On the other hand, website builders like Wix allow you to create a website in a few hours, but your creativity is limited to the platform’s range of tools. These platforms offer a range of premium plans, costing up to $299/month (depending on the builder), which provide access to a wider range of features and functionalities.

We’re here to look at the costs in more detail. Whether you’re going solo or using a web design company, read on for everything you need to know about the costs of creating a website.


Website Costs at a Glance

For a quick overview, we’ve broken down the average costs of hiring a web designer to build a medium-sized website, and a one-page website (suitable for small or local businesses who just need a contact information page), and the costs of using a website builder.

Note that web designer prices vary significantly, so you should take these figures as guidelines, rather than gospel. 

FeatureWeb Designer for a Medium WebsiteWeb Designer for a One-Page WebsiteDIY Website Builder
Domain$0.99 – $39.99$0.99 – $39.99$0.99 – $39.99
Hosting$100/month$0.99-$20/month$0 – $80/month
Design and Programming$5,000$500$0 – $150
Content$500$500$0 – $50
Maintenance$500$300$0 – $60
Average Total Annual Cost$6,000$1,500$0 – $1,500
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1. Domain Costs

website domain costs

When choosing a domain name, pay close attention to the domain registrar’s renewal costs. And when you're building a website for your business, it's important that you pick a unique, memorable domain name. Below, we’ve calculated the average combined price of signing up and the yearly renewal cost from the cheapest domain registrars for each of the most popular domains: ‘.com’, ‘.net’, and ‘.org’.  

‘.com’ Costs

RegistrarAverage cost of registration and renewal after one year
NameSilo$14.98
1&1$15.98
Dynadot$16.00
Crazy Domains$16.20
GoDaddy$16.98

‘.net’ Costs

RegistrarAverage cost of registration and renewal after one year
Espace 2001$15.27
NameSilo$19.78
Crazy Domains$19.80
Above.com$21.80
Dynadot$22.00

‘.org’ Costs

RegistrarAverage cost of registration and renewal after one year
Crazy Domains$17.98
NameSilo$20.58
1&1$20.98
Espace 2001$21.10
Dynadot$22.00

2. Hosting Costs

how much does hosting cost

People often forget about hosting costs when deciding to create a website. But you shouldn't! Because hosting is really important – it's like online rental space for your website.

Now, there are three main types of hosting – Shared, VPS, and Dedicated – each with their own costs and capabilities. But what are the differences between each type of hosting, and which types of website are they best for? 

Shared

Best for one-page sites

Your website will share server space and bandwidth with a number of other websites, making shared hosting suitable only for very small websites.

Prices start from $10/month.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

Best for any SMB website

This solution is a hybrid between a private and shared server. It offers more bandwidth than shared hosting, which will keep your website running quickly and reduce web page loading times. VPS will therefore suit almost any business website.

Prices start from $39.99/month.

Dedicated

Best for enormous websites

Also known as Managed Hosting, Dedicated Hosting means your business won’t have to share any disk space or bandwidth on the server. This type of hosting isn’t necessary for small websites, and should only be used by large business websites or ecommerce empires.

Prices start from $150/month.

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3. Design and Programming Costs

how much does web design cost

Your website now needs to look smart, professional, and engaging. If you’re up to the designing task, then you have plenty of website builders to choose from. 

If you don’t have the time, energy, or artistic flair for all that, then you should hire an expert to handle all of the web design details. Below, we’ve explained the key price differences between hiring a web designer and using a website builder to do it yourself. Which option is best for your business?

Web Designer Costs

As we mentioned earlier, the cost of hiring a web designer will depend on the size of your project. If you’re looking to build a website for your medium-sized business, you can expect to pay up to $5,000 or $6,000, depending on the amount of features, pages, and tools you need.

For example, you’ll pay more if you want to integrate third-party software, add ecommerce functionality, or create multiple web pages. However, if you only need a one-page website, then your overall costs will come down – indeed, prices start from around $500.

It might seem like a lot of money, but it’s a small price to pay for a beautiful brand image. Better still, we can match you or your business with the perfect web design agency to suit your requirements. Just take a minute to tell us about your website desires, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from the nation’s leading web designers.

Website Builder Costs

Website builders are platforms that allow anyone to build a website in a matter of hours, without having to use any code. 

Wix is one of the best value website builders around, thanks its free plan. However, this comes with Wix adverts on each of your web pages, and a ‘.wix.com’ subdomain on your URL, which doesn’t look too professional! To remove these blemishes, we’d suggest upgrading to a Wix premium plan which start from $13/month.

Below, we’ve compared the cheapest and priciest available paid plans from six of the best website builders on the market. It’s worth noting that Shopify and Volusion are ecommerce-specific platforms, meaning they offer much more powerful features. 

Website BuilderCheapest Premium PlanPriciest Premium Plan
Weebly$8/month$38/month
Squarespace$12/month$40/month
Wix$13/month$49/month
GoDaddy$29.99/month$29.99/month
Shopify$29/month$299/month
Volusion$29/month$299/month

4. Content Costs

website content costs

Quality content is what converts your website’s visitors into customers. Sure, you can have some of the coolest web design tricks on each page, but if your content isn’t persuasive or engaging, your business probably won't get very far.

You have two options here – either write everything yourself, or hire a professional copywriter to do it for you. Here’s how much you can expect to pay…

Copywriting Agency Fees
Copywriting ServiceFee Range
Site content audit and report$1,500-$3,000
Keyword research$500-$1,500+
Key message copy platform$3,000-$4,000
Home page content: SEO and Sales-conversion copywriting$500-$1,000/page
Banner ad or text ad$250-$1,000

5. Website Maintenance and Running Costs

website running costs

Success! Your site is now live. There are no more costs to think about, right? 

Wrong! Just like a car, you now need to ensure everything keeps on ticking under the hood. In other words, you need to make sure your website keeps running smoothly, without experiencing any errors, or incurring penalties that may affect your ranking on search engines. Below are two things to think about after publishing your website…

Hire a Web Developer 

Backend web developers are like website mechanics. Their job involves taking care of your ongoing website maintenance: this includes fixing bugs on the server, creating code, and updating product descriptions (if you own an ecommerce site). Freelance web developers usually cost around $30-60/hour.

Supercharge Your SEO 

Search engine optimization is the process of improving your website’s ranking position on search engines like Google, using a variety of methods. The main aim of SEO is to attract as many users from Google as possible to your site, so it’s important that you get it right. 

The services of an SEO agency may cost anywhere from $100-$300/hour to perform audits, and to carry out updates to make sure that Google approves of your website.


Expert Verdict

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the costs of creating a website really do depend on what you want, and whether you hire an expert or use a website builder.

Hiring a professional web designer or agency for your SMB’s website can cost anywhere up to $6,000. It’s more expensive than using a website builder, sure – but you’re paying for convenience, and for an expertly crafted website. Can you really put a price on a beautiful brand image?

However, no two websites are the same. Therefore, the best way to understand the potential costs of your website is through bespoke quotes. All you have to do is share some quick details about your website ambitions, and we’ll match you with some of the nation's leading web design agencies. You can then weigh up the pros, cons, and costs.

The other option is to do it all yourself, using a website builder. These platforms are simple to use, letting you create awesome websites in a matter of hours. 

For any generic business website, we’d recommend using Wix. It’s the best website builder on the market today, providing intuitive design tools and beautifully designed templates. 

And, if you’re looking to build an online store, you should try Shopify – it’s the world’s leading ecommerce platform, and also offers a 14-day free trial.

Whichever route you take to reach your website goals, it’s important to know that you can’t put a price on website perfection.

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Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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