What is the Average Cost of a Website?
One of the most common questions I’ve been asked — and still get asked — involves websites and, in particular, how much does an ‘average’ website design and development project cost? Well, unfortunately, I can’t give you a blanket answer for this, as much as I’d love to. Sorry.
Now, before you think ‘Well this was a waste of time’, this isn’t because of a desperate lack of knowledge in website builds or design (far from it), it’s mainly down to a whole host of factors, such as:
- The needs of the business
- How it’s put together
- Its functionality
- The general design aesthetics
- Hosting needs
In short, depending on what you need a website to do, you can spend almost any sum of money you like, depending on the depth of your pockets.
Whilst I’m not able to give you a definitive, one-size-fits-all cost for your brand spanking new website, we can look at the general costs behind certain types of sites and the reasoning behind the figures.
Small, basic website build
Cost: £10 - £300
If you’re just starting out with your business and just need a simple 5-10 page site to promote your company, providing info about your products/services and acting as a gateway for contact, then there are plenty of online website builders that allow you to use their templates and simply drag & drop images, content and functionality modules (such as eCommerce) into them. Some of these sites include Wix, Wordpress and Weebly.
Whilst they do not offer a great deal of complex functionality, they are easy to use and often come with multiple tools and bolt-on features that can help improve things like basic mobile functionality and SEO.
If you want to have your site hosted on a simple, reliable server, there are plenty of providers out there who offer shared hosting solutions for small to medium-sized sites for as little as 99p-£10 per month, and they often include free domain names (if you haven’t already got one). Many of the online website builders also offer hosting and domain names as part of their subscriptions.
The costs associated with a small site build can be minimal (often just an annual subscription of between £50-£100 depending on the service you use) or even free, but it will often be the case that the cost is measured in your own time should you decide to do it yourself.
If you’re not able to afford a web designer, developer or agency to build a site, or you have very basic requirements, then this option definitely makes sense if you don’t mind spending your own time doing most of the work!
Medium template-based build or small bespoke site build
Cost: £400 - £800
If you don’t fancy doing the design or build yourself, or your business is expanding and you need to upgrade from a basic build, you can perhaps look at hiring an agency or freelancer to do it for you.
Along with close-to-home options, there are also plenty of offshore-based digital agencies that will offer the same service too, and often at reduced rates, but beware — general service and output can sometimes be very hit and miss. In general, UK-based agencies will charge in the region of £50-£80 per hour for website design and £70-£110 for digital development work.
Many good digital development agencies will be able to recommend a platform to best suit your budget and then create designs around that platform (Wix for example), meaning builds will often be fairly quick to complete.
They may also be able to offer a bespoke CMS (content management system) should you need more complex functionality in future — for example eCommerce. Your agency should also be able to take care of domain and hosting packages as part of the build, too.
The one thing to remember when employing an agency or freelancer to build your site is to have all costs agreed (along with a specific breakdown of what this entails) before you proceed with any work and clear project milestones.
Small business site (bespoke design & build)
£1,000 - £7,000
If you’re looking to build a site with certain business-related functionality (the ability to order products, downloads, company-related imagery and galleries, or dedicated mobile functionality) with 20 pages or more, then the design and build of a more bespoke site with it’s own CMS — or enhanced templated platform such as Wordpress or Hubspot — would be the next step on the website ladder.
Whilst the design of the site wouldn’t take up a large proportion of your budget, the development time for the actual build and testing of both the website and its functionality across devices can bump the cost up considerably. You may also need to consider things like the purchasing or creation of imagery, scope for future developments and integration with other platforms in the future, such as eCommerce software.
Depending on what functionality the site has, the cost for a service or maintenance agreement for the site may need to be factored in, too.
Medium-large business site build (bespoke design & build)
£6,500 - £30,000
If your site requires more than 50 pages and lots of functionality then a large website development will most likely be required. The good thing about a large website development is the flexibility to integrate quite complex eCommerce software (such as Shopify) for selling products into a site that can be designed and built from scratch to your exact specifications.
Ensuring a reliable and resilient CMS is in place so that you can keep the content of the site relevant and up-to-date — especially if you are looking to sell products online — is also absolutely essential. However, you may need to take into account the manpower needed to keep the site running effectively, be it internally or outsourced to an agency.
If you’re migrating from an older site, a proportion of the overall cost will need to be set aside for the migration of its content — unless you plan on doing this yourself (I really would not recommend this by the way….)!
The hosting package a large site requires may also be more expensive than typical shared or virtual servers — especially if you are expecting high volumes of traffic, need to store data or require secure connections for making online transactions.
Large-advanced site build
£35,000 - £250,000+
With large and advanced site builds, the sky really is the limit as to potential costs and development times required - it really will depend on the complexity of your needs and if there is specific functionality required; such as integration with stock inventories, specific user interaction, app integration or animations.
Large or advanced builds often come about due to a brand new idea which a client is looking to explore and develop; be it a new way of ordering a cab (Uber) or controlling the energy in your home (Hive). There will often be a lot of research and development required before the site even gets out of the design stage, and this is often where costs can mount up.
Advanced website builds are not for the fainthearted and can not just be expensive, but also time consuming. Their inherent size means that integration with any systems and thorough testing across multiple devices and browsers would be required, often leading to very long development timescales. If you have a timescale in mind, always add in additional time for unexpected development problems that may occur.
If you're currently looking to improve your company's online presence, find out why we feel the traditional web design model is dead and how a systemised model such as Growth-Driven Design can take the headache of project managing a new website project, and provide longterm benefits to your companies digital marketing strategy.