How Much Does a Website Cost?
I often get asked by friends and people I meet "How much does a website cost?" The short answer is that it depends. This blog post will give you the long answer and a better understanding of how to budget for a website project.
Really how much does a website cost? The range can be from $12 per month for a now frills personal level website from Squarespace to more than $50,000 for a bespoke website. Though the average bespoke website is much close to the $10,000 range.
Why the wide range cost? It really comes down to what you want out of your website. it's just like a car. You can buy a brand new Chevy Spark for around $12,000 or you can buy a Bugatti La Voiture Noire for $18,900,000.
Likely the average person buying a brand new car is spending in the $20K to $35K.
The large range in costs for a site is based on the scope of the site requirements. Are you looking for
- a brochure site?
- is it ecommerce?
- do you need members only content?
- will the site be multi-lingual
Other variables to consider include:
- CMS (free, commercial or enterprise)
- Usability testing
- Additional contractors that may be needed
- Opportunity costs
Website Builders Pros and Cons
Using a website builder such as Wix or Squarespace is cheap and affordable. The advantages include:
- Pre-built themes
- drag and drop
- relatively easy
However there are other costs involved that end users often overlook. These include:
- Must learn the system
- Usually no way to extract data should you want to change systems in the future. Wix Help Center.
- Themes can make your site generic looking and hard to differentiate from other websites in your niche
- custom features not available on service cannot be added to your site.
- Privacy concerns about member data being hosted by a service you do not control.
- Opportunity Costs - How much time do you need to learn how to do it all yourself and ensure that everything is best practices and optimized for your end users. All the time you spend doing this could be spent working on building your business.
Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix's servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere.
Wix Help Center
Bespoke Site Pros and Cons
Having a custom built websites has many benefits including:
- Unique design tailored to your business and content
- Long term relationship with developer ensures they know your business and can provide personalized service and advice on all aspects of your website
- Can add in custom features not available out of the box with website builders
There are a few downsides to a bespoke website building including:
- requires regular CMS updates and maintenance
The true cost of your website is your budget. By using your whole budget you will get the best possible website.
However, if you're budget is not big enough to cover everything you want in your website. You will want to prioritize options into must have, would be nice to have, and can live without. Then build the site within your budget and add in the other options when you've got budget for a phase 2 or phase 3.
It depends is still the best answer to how much does a website cost. However now we can see the pros and cons of both using a website builder as well as working with a professional and building a bespoke site.
Website builders are excellent choices for those on a tight budget or just starting out and need a site up quickly that doesn't have any custom requirements.
A custom website build is better for those with a larger budget and wanting a more unique design as well has requiring more custom components and overall control over their entire site.
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