It is surprising that in 2016, with millions of websites online, there is still no established formula for calculating either the cost of a new web site or the cost of a redesign. The question, how much a web site should cost is a frequently asked but rarely answered questions in the web design world of today.
There are many important factors considered by the professional web designers, developers, and SEO specialists when developing a web design quote. These may include historical website development costs, web design costs for different components, requested website features and design costs. It can still be a challenge to nail down a specific professional website cost. This article can help you determine how much you should expect to pay for a site with the functions and features you want.
When it comes to determining website cost a cheaper website will likely have less content and fewer features, while a more expensive site may have lots of additional design features and functionalities. Your overall web site costs, like functionalities and interactive elements, in truth, it completely depends on what you want.
What will my website cost per month?
Monthly, you should expect to pay for your website hosting, SEO, other ongoing optimization, any content creation, link building services, and special design projects. This may cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 a month.
What will a website cost per year?
Yearly website costs depend on the number of ongoing services associated with it, in addition to any special, one-time-only service requests or script upgrade projects. For example, you may factor in the addition of new website functionality, which are typically one-time-only items. If your Internet marketing company performs the same tasks month after month with only one or two special tasks or assignments, your yearly costs will range anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000.
Common website components and costs
The cost of a website can vary dramatically based on the specific components included. As you can probably guess, a website with basic functionality is going to cost much less, both initially and over time, than a site that acts as an online store or integrates with a company database or piece of software.
This section will break down some common website components and how much you should expect to pay for them. Some of the components in this website cost breakdown have initial investments, while others are ongoing. We frequently update this page to ensure that the amounts listed below are current and fit into the average cost of website design for 2016.
The domain name for your website is the unique name that appears in the URL of the browser. It is specific to you. Other websites may have a domain name similar to it, your domain name belongs to you alone. However, to keep the rights to your domain name after receiving it, you have to renew your ownership of it annually, which factors into the cost of website maintenance.
Your domain name is significant feature because it creates an online identity for your branded business website. A unique and professional domain name will establish credibility with site visitors and potential customers, helping you to grow your brand. It is also important because if you ever decide to change your web hosting service provider, your domain name will go with you. Finally, your domain name is important because it expands your opportunities for digital advertising, which has become essential for attracting traffic to a website in the market today.
Cost: $5 to $15 per year
This is simply the service that allows your website to be accessed by other Internet users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Web hosts will provide space on its server for your website and the collection of files that make it function, allowing people around the world to view it anytime. Website hosting is also a factor in your website costs.
Hosting is important because the quality of your web host can affect web page loading time, also, the tech support you receive if your site crashes, and the scalability of website as your business grows. To put it simply, your hosting provider has a huge impact on how your website functions. It is true that free hosting services exist, the unfortunate downfall is that their tech support (if they supply any at all) will not be as good as paid hosting services.
Cost: $75 to $200 a year (depending on traffic and hosting features)
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)
What is a CMS? This will allow you or your employees to edit information on your website without having to edit any of the code or mess with any of the files you already have in place. These systems make it extremely easy for you to adjust the little things here and there just in case you need to add something later or if you want full control of what is shown on your website at any given time.
There are some which are free, while others may have monthly or yearly licensing fees or usage charges associated with them. What you choose depends on what specific functionality you need your website to have. Choosing a free option may limit you, but it’ll also help save.
Cost: $0 to $15,000+ per year (depending on the platform chosen)
This is another aspect of websites that might require a major effort in overall design and development to make it functional. Adding ecommerce functionality to a website requires extensive testing of shopping carts, payment options, and shipping systems, as well as the time spent setting up products with photos, descriptions plus pricing information, and ensuring their individual pages display correctly to shoppers.
Typically, there is no extra cost to add ecommerce functionality. The expense comes from the amount of time it takes to ensure every component is working, the acquisition of a payment gateway, and any additional effort you may require to integrate your store with shipping or tracking systems hosted elsewhere. Usually, it may only require a single payment, including ecommerce features can have a big effect on the cost of a web site.
Cost: $500 to $5,000 (initial investment)
WEBSITE DESIGN OR THEME CREATION
The fees for website design can heavily impact web page price. Obviously, a zero budget style of design will not look as good, and a world class design will certainly be eye catching and perhaps even award winning. It all depends what you would like your website to look like, the desires of your target audience and the restrictions of your budget.
Cost: $250 to $20,000+ (initial investment)
Copywriting costs will be based on the number of pages. The more pages, the more copywriting it will need. Copywriting ties into search engine optimization (SEO), essentially, the content on your website should contain the keywords relevant to your products or services, because if it doesn’t, your site won’t be found in search for those terms. It takes a trained writer with knowledge of SEO to create copy that contains the right mix of keywords and compels your visitors to take action. Some of the more content heavy articles may add more to your website creation costs than you’d like, but content is truely king — and it pays dividends.
Cost: $50 to $500 per page or article
If you would like to attract the most visitors as possible, and you do, your website must be fully optimized for search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services can range from fairly inexpensive to thousands of dollars per month, it all depends on how much effort you want your digital marketing agency to put into the ranking and visibility of your new site. After it’s designed and developed, make sure you include SEO in your costs of a website.
SEO services can typically encompass multiple ongoing methods and tactics. For example, the some SEO packages include optimization of website copy, keyword research, targeted outreach, link building, content creation, and more. The money invested in your professional web site won’t mean much if visitors can’t find your site, and SEO is vital to making your site search engine visible.
Cost: $300 to $1,500 per month
Interactive website design can be very inexpensive, or it can be extremely costly, depending on the functionality of what is being developed. For example, a simple Flash animation may only cost a few hundred dollars, if that, while the creation of an interactive on-site application or tool to visualize colors, patterns, clothing, etc. could cost tens of thousands of dollars to create from scratch. If you want to make a powerful impression on your visitors, it can become a huge part of the cost of website design and development.
Cost: $250 to $10,000+ (depending on level of interactivity required)
Database integration can make your website more robust and customizable, but a portion of your cost depends on how much development is necessary and how much time it will take to fully implement and test the integration. Integration can be a valuable addition to any online presence, which also makes it an essential consideration in the cost of a new website. Websites that have database integration tend to have a lot more things that can go wrong.
Cost: $5,000 to $25,000 per integration
ONGOING WEBSITE MAINTENANCE
Website maintenance involves updating and managing a website once it is online or in the evolution phase of web development. This is were we ensure that your website’s hardware and software are working well and that your site is up to date with the latest products and features.
Site maintenance is important because it affects how interested your visitors are in your site, it assists significantly in maintaining your search engine rankings, and it essentially keeps your website functioning efficiently. You need to be willing to spend the money to maintain your website after it launches, or else your site will likely fall into disarray and lose any chance of ranking on search engine results pages.
Cost: $500 to $1,250 a year (depending on number of updates required)
Website costs over time
Like other goods and services, the costs associated with designing, developing, and building a web site have changed over time. A website’s value is drastically different in 2016 than it was even a couple of years ago. The chart below provides a timeline of historical dates compared to web site cost, including the average cost to build a website.
The basis for the chart was a professional corporate web site for a small to medium sized organisation. As website creation has become more streamlined in recent years, the cost of a website has gone down, making it a more effective investment than ever for new businesses. The average cost of a website, particularly basic websites, is now lower than ever.
Why the cost fluctuation?
Responsive design is now a requirement for web design. Responsive design means that a website is able to function on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices seamlessly. With 232 possible screen sizes in 2016, it is not difficult to comprehend why responsive design has pushed the high end range of website cost upwards. The clear necessity of a businesses having a website with responsive design features is one of the reasons for the widening gap between the highest and lowest possible costs for a website.
Although responsive design has driven the high end of website pricing up about 20%, it is definitely not something that businesses can afford to skimp on. This ensures that their visitors experience their website smoothly and efficiently across different devices, increasing the cost of a professional website, but also increasing their potential for reoccurring customers and perceived brand value.
Websites in the $2,200 range rarely include responsive website design elements, which is why they are less expensive. However, tablet and mobile visitors do not receive a device-specific web visitor experience, so they’re less likely to return to these websites. If you can afford professional website design costs for high end websites, you’re likely to see better results.
When it comes to the lower end of web design pricing, competitive industry pressure and advancements in web design tools has been pushed the price down by about 10% in 2016. First of all, there are substantially more competitors in the web design market today, perhaps as many as ten times more than a decade ago. Job opportunities for web developers and computer network architects are expected to grow 22% by 2020, which is faster than the average for all other occupations in the U.S., mainly due to the fact that so many jobs are being created in this market, competition is driving the low end of website pricing down. If you’re looking for a basic site, your professional website design cost will be more affordable than it has in prior years.