How Much Should a Website Cost? (The Official 2020 Guide)

Joaquina Erdmann

Domain($0.95 to $12) A domain name costs $0.95 to $12, per domain. DOMAIN Your domain is the unique name that appears in your website’s URL What is a domain? It’s kind of like your online fingerprint — it’s specific to you. Although other websites may have domain names like it, […]

Domain($0.95 to $12)

A domain name costs $0.95 to $12, per domain.

Your domain is the unique name that appears in your website’s URL

What is a domain?

It’s kind of like your online fingerprint — it’s specific to you. Although other websites may have domain names like it, your domain name is yours alone. However, to get the rights to your domain name, you must purchase it and register it annually, which factors into your initial and ongoing website costs.

Why does a domain matter?

Your domain name is essential because it creates an online identity for your website.

A domain name also establishes credibility with site visitors and potential customers while helping you grow your brand. It’s also valuable because if you ever change your hosting, your domain name will go with you.

If you’re interested in online advertising — or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising — your domain name also plays a role because it’s where you direct users that click on your ad. Without a domain, you force your business to direct traffic elsewhere, like social media.

How much does a domain name cost?

In most cases, a brand-new domain name costs $0.95 to $12.

Companies, like GoDaddy, HostGator, or Dreamhost, offer new domain names for sale.

If you’re looking to purchase a domain name already in use, your business must contact the domain name owner and arrange a price. A pre-owned domain name can cost thousands of dollars, depending on its age and history.

SSL Certificate($0 to $1500)

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate costs between $0 to $1500 per year.

Protects your company as well as your site’s visitors by safeguarding the transfer of sensitive data

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate protects your company, as well as your site’s visitors, by safeguarding the transfer of sensitive data. Like your domain name, your SSL certificate displays in your URL — it’s also visible to users.

If a website has a valid SSL certificate, your website URL will display with “https” versus “http.” To the right of your URL, you will also see a padlock. If you click on this padlock, a menu appears with information on the certificate.

Why does an SSL certificate matter?

In today’s digital landscape, users share a tremendous amount of sensitive data online. From entering their credit card information when purchasing a product to providing their name and email when signing up for a newsletter.

As a business, you want users to take similar actions on your site.

If your website appears untrustworthy, however, consumers will not interact with it, which doesn’t help your company increase its revenue, build its email subscriber list, or improve its lead generation efforts. Internet browsers, like Chrome, also alert users when they visit a site without a valid certificate.

With an SSL certificate, you can demonstrate the credibility and safety of your website.

How much does an SSL certificate cost?

Your SSL certificate can cost $0 to $1500 per year.

While most vendors offer paid SSL certificates, some companies provide certificates for free. For optimal security, experts recommend investing in a paid SSL certificate. A paid SSL certificate often comes with additional protection, like a higher warranty and advanced encryption levels.

Companies like GoDaddy, Comodo, and Norton are reputable vendors for SSL certificates.

Website Hosting($24 to $24,000 Per Year)

The cost of hosting your website ranges from $24 to $24,000 per year.

Hosting is a service that allows internet users to access your website

What is website hosting?

Hosting is a service that allows Internet users to access your website.

A web host provides space on its server for your site, allowing people around the world to view it. Like your domain name and SSL certificate, website hosting is an upfront and ongoing website cost factor.

Why does website hosting matter?

While essential, website hosting also matters for the following reasons:

  • Impacts page loading times
  • Influences website expansions
  • Affects customer support during site issues or crashes

In short, your hosting provider has a massive impact on how your website functions. While free hosting services exist, it’s rare for companies to use them because these organizations do not offer tech support.

How much does website hosting cost?

For businesses, website hosting costs $24 to $10,000 per year. That’s a massive price range, which is why it’s helpful to separate hosting costs into these categories:

  • Shared host: A shared host service costs $24 to $120 per year. With this service, your provider hosts your website on a server shared by several other clients. Since you’re sharing resources with other customers, your site may experience sluggish performance.
  • Website builder: A hosting service from a website builder, like Wix, costs $60 to $180 per year. While a useful option for startups or small businesses, enterprise and mid-sized businesses often benefit more from another website hosting option.
  • Virtual private server (VPS): A VPS costs $240 to $600 per year. With a VPS, your business shares a server with other clients but has full access to that server’s resources because the server’s allotted into several “virtual” servers.
  • Dedicated server: A dedicated server service costs $1200 to $24,000 per year. With this service, your company receives its own server, with complete use of that server’s resources. For websites that earn more than 100,000 site visitors per month, a dedicated server is a must.

If you’re partnering with a professional web design company, they can advise your team on the best website hosting option. Even if you outsource your website maintenance, your agency can monitor the performance of your website hosting provider and provide suggestions.

Style or theme($2,000 to $15,000)

Companies can expect to spend $2000 to $15,000 on the theme or design of their website.

Design elements that work together to create your website

What is web design?

Web design focuses on not only the visuals of your website but also the usability of your site. As a result, it’s one of the most expensive — and influential — website cost factors, having a direct impact on the performance of your site.

Why does web design matter?

From the perspective of users, as well as search engines, web design is critical.

Studies show that when it comes to users, 94 percent of their first impression relates to web design. If your site appears outdated or makes navigation difficult, users will leave your website. Even worse, their opinion of your brand will drop.

Google and other search engines also care about your site’s functionality, performance, and design. They want to provide users with relevant results and the best online performance, so if you have a slow, unusable website, they won’t display it at the top of search results.

Instead, your site will appear pages back, losing a substantial amount of traffic.

How much does web design cost?

The price of designing a website ranges from $2000 to $15,000.

In most cases, the simpler the design, the lower the price. That doesn’t mean businesses should opt for a laid back, bare bones design. Instead, your company needs to consider its target audience and create a website that captures user expectations for your brand and products.

If your company sells luxury goods, like fine jewelry, for example, you need a site that demonstrates the quality of your products and services. Invest in a simple website, and you’ll miss the mark with your target audience, resulting in lost revenue.

That’s why a web design agency will often ask about your target audience.

Responsive Design($3,000 to $25,000)

A responsive design costs $3000 to $25,000.

Allows users on any device to experience your website in the same way

What is responsive design?

A responsive design adapts your website to a user’s device. If a user visits your site on their desktop, tablet, or mobile device, they have a seamless experience. With more consumers browsing on-the-go, responsive design is essential.

Why does responsive design matter?

With more than half of the world’s Internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s clear that users are changing the way they browse the Internet. That’s why it’s critical for companies to invest in responsive web design.

If your business bypasses responsive design, it can have a noticeable impact on your website’s performance — undoing your investment in a well-designed website. As an example, consider that more than 65 percent of users are more likely to purchase from a company with a mobile-friendly site.

A responsive design ensures your website supports every member of your target audience.

How much does responsive design cost?

Companies can approach responsive design two ways:

  • Responsive design: A responsive design enables your website to automatically adapt to a user’s device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, desktop, or mobile device. This design option costs around $3000.
  • Separate mobile site: This design option allows your company to support tablet and mobile users by creating a mobile version of your site. An independent mobile site, however, costs $5000 to $25,000.

For most businesses, a responsive design offers the best — and most cost-effective — option.

Website Pages($1,000 to $10,000)

Website pages, or content, is crucial to your site and often times will be sold with your website design at an additional cost.

A website needs content, which is why most freelance designers and web design agencies scale their rates by the number of webpages. A few factors, like your products, services, and business, can influence your webpage count.

An ecommerce store with an expansive product line, for example, will probably require more webpages than a local bakery. If you’re investing in web marketing, your company may purchase additional pages to support your content marketing or SEO strategy.

In most cases, web designers and web design agencies will scale their webpage prices as follows:

  • 1 to 10 pages: $1,000 to $2,000
  • 10 to 50 pages: $2,000 to $3,000
  • 50 to 150 pages: $3,000 to $6,500
  • 150 to 250 pages: $6,500 to $10,000

If you’re redesigning your website or launching a brand-new one, your web design team can help your business determine how many webpages your website needs. With an accurate page count, designers can create an intuitive and smart layout for your site.

Content Management System($2,000 to $25,000)

Adding a content management system (CMS) to your site can cost $2000 to $25,000.

Helps provide site visitors with an engaging experience.

What is a CMS?

A CMS allows you and your team to edit information on your website — without having to modify any site code or mess with any files you have in place. With a CMS, you can make minor updates to your website, without the expertise of a developer.

Some examples of CMS platforms include:

  • WordPress
  • Magento
  • Joomla
  • Drupal

Your web design agency can provide recommendations when it comes to choosing a platform.

Why does a CMS matter?

For your team, a CMS offers several advantages.

For example, it’s simple and convenient for your team to update your website with blog posts. A CMS also makes it hassle-free for your company to update essential contact information, like your phone number or store hours, if you’re a business with a physical location.

How much does a CMS cost?

Incorporating a standard or custom CMS into your web design package comes with an average price of $2000 to $25,000. Even if you’re investing in a free CMS, like Magento, your freelance design or web design agency will charge a fee for adding a CMS.

If you’re unsure what kind of CMS your company needs, a web design agency can advise you.

Ecommerce Functionality($2,000 to $25,000)

For ecommerce companies, adding ecommerce functionality to their site costs $2000 to $25,000.

Allows you to easily and effectively sell your products through your website.

What is ecommerce functionality?

Ecommerce functionality encompasses several tasks, including:

  • Adding a payment processing system
  • Installing payment gateways
  • Testing shopping carts, payment options, and shipping systems
  • Launching product pages

One way to look at ecommerce functionality? It not only ensures shoppers can purchase your products but also that your team can process those orders. As an ecommerce business, that’s invaluable to your success.

Why does ecommerce functionality matter?

If an ecommerce business wants to succeed online, it’s critical to have ecommerce functionality. Without a payment gateway, shopping cart, or shipping system, your company cannot accept or process online orders.

For your website, an ecommerce system is essential. As it’s vital to your operations, your team needs to consider the cost of ecommerce functionality in your web design budget. It’s also critical for your company to invest in an ecommerce system that provides the best experience for shoppers.

How much does ecommerce functionality matter?

The price of ecommerce functionality ranges from $2000 to $25,000. What your business pays depends on a few factors, including:

  • Size of the product line
  • Average number of daily, monthly, and annual orders
  • Size of business

For perspective, a small company will pay less than a large retailer for ecommerce functionality. Why? In most cases, a large retailer offers a wide range of products, plus processes far more orders than a small business, which demands a robust ecommerce system.

Database Integration ($2,000 to $25,000)

A database integration can cost $2000 to $25,000.

If you have an internal/third party database, this helps integrate it into your website

What is database integration?

Depending on your business, you may have an internal or third-party database, which stores valuable company and customer information. A database may feature client account information, for example, which users can access by logging into your website.

If you want to make that information accessible to your team or clients, then you need to integrate a database into your website. Whether you’re adding a custom or third-party database to your site, this task requires developer expertise.

Why does database integration matter?

A database integration matters from a user- and company-perspective.

With an integrated database, your team and shoppers can access helpful information via your website. This feature eliminates easy-to-solve questions, like account balances, product orders, or appointment dates, which can save your support team valuable time.

Even better, a database can help your business offer unique perks to shoppers. For example, a database can allow your company to provide a loyalty program to customers or send exclusive offers to repeat shoppers.

For ecommerce businesses — or even offline service providers — database integration is a useful addition to your website. It helps your team, as well as your shoppers. Plus, it serves as a unique selling point (USP) for users that prefer online convenience.

How much does database integration cost?

The cost of a database integration can range from $2000 to $25,000.

A database’s complexity, as well as customization, tends to have the most significant influence on database integration costs. If your company’s looking to develop a one-of-a-kind database, for example, you will pay more than a business using an established, third-party database.

That doesn’t mean your company shouldn’t invest in a custom database. With a custom database, your business can resolve bottlenecks, as well as user inconveniences, in your operations. That kind of database can help your company improve productivity, customer satisfaction, and more.

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