I often get asked “how much does a website cost?”. My aim today is to answer that question and help you decide where you want to invest your money.
Here at WebHostingProf we have 10+ years’ experience researching and reviewing hosting providers, website builders, domain registrars, and lots more.
This experience has helped us to help you. We’ve learned the pros and cons inside out, allowing us to teach you what to do and what not to do when it comes to building a website.
If you’re looking to get a custom-made website, it can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000, and sometimes even more. If you choose to use a website builder or template, you’re looking at spending between $10 to $50. That’s a big difference, right?
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How Much Does A Website Cost Using A Website Builder?
Signing up to a website builder doesn’t have to cost you a penny. In fact, there are plenty of free website builders, or website builders that offer free plans and free trials.
In most cases, free plans don’t allow you to connect a custom domain. Your site will likely include adverts or branding, and you’ll be lumped with a subdomain. Although it won’t look very professional, if you want to build a website on a budget and aren’t fussed who sees it, the option is there.
Who Are Website Builders Best For?
Website builders aren’t for everyone. My job is to provide you with a range of options so that you can decide which one is best for your requirements. Website builders are suitable for:
- People who aren’t very tech-savvy
- If you want to build a website on a budget
- If you want to build a website quickly
- Personal websites, blogs, and portfolios
Are Free Plans Any Good?
I’ve touched on this already. Free plans are great if you want to try a website builder before committing to a subscription. Often when you sign up for a website builder, it’s cheaper to sign up for a full annual term, so you’ll want to be sure you like what you see before you buy.
The main issues with free plans are:
- Adverts are often displayed on your website
- Your website will be branded with the website builder’s name
- Features are limited (e.g. storage, bandwidth, and capabilities)
- You’ll be stuck with a subdomain like www.mysite.wix.com
- Customer support is limited
- No eCommerce features
Best Website Builders
We’ve tried and tested the best website builders, and a lot more of them over the years. Here’s our recommendations for the best website builders available.
Wix and Weebly both offer free plans. Although SquareSpace doesn’t offer a free plan, you can try any of their plans free for 14 days.
Website Builders Value For Money
Website builders can allow you to create professional looking websites in a matter of hours. The question on everyones lips is whether they are good value for money, or not.
If you choose the right website builder, then it’s safe to say they are good value for money. A decent website builder like Wix or SquareSpace can offer the right balance between plentiful features and affordable pricing plans.
In general, the costs involved in using a website builder usually come down to the following:
- Professional designs: $0 (website builder templates are easy to use, look great, and are mobile friendly. You won’t have to pay a designer or a developer to do the work for you as you can easily customize an existing template to make it your own)
- Domain: $0-$15/yr (most website builder plans include a free domain name for 1 year. In any case, if they don’t, they generally cost anywhere between $0 to $15 depending on the domain registrar)
- Hosting: $0 (with a website builder, you won’t have to source your own web host or pay for web hosting costs, these are all included with the price of the plan)
- Security: $0 (security is included for free when you use a website builder. These costs form part of your subscription and don’t require you to do anything to activate them)
- Apps: $3-$50 (if you choose to add apps to your website, these can cost anywhere between $3 to $50 depending on the app you choose. Most of the time the functionality available from your website builder will be enough to create a professional website)
Website Builder Resources
- Wix Pricing – A full 2023 guide to Wix’s pricing plans and features
- SquareSpace SEO – A review of SquareSpace’s SEO tools
- SquareSpace Pricing – A look at SquareSpace’s 2023 pricing plans
How Much Does A Website Cost Using WordPress?
WordPress is a free open-source solution to building a blog or website. WordPress has advanced a lot of the years and now powers almost 40% of all the websites on the internet.
While WordPress is free to use, there are other costs involved that you should consider. It’s a whole different ball game to using a website builder, but feels more like the middle ground between using one and hiring a developer to build your website.
Who Is WordPress Best For?
WordPress is designed for more tech-savvy individuals or those who are ready to take the next step in their website building journey, beyond website builders. WordPress is ideal for:
- Individuals with technical confidence
- Anyone who wants more control and customization options
- Blogs, business websites, online stores
Is WordPress Free?
WordPress is free as it’s open-source. It can be hard to evaluate the cost of a WordPress website because there are many factors to consider. Although WordPress is free, you’ll need to source a web host in order to host your website’s files and data. Depending on which web host you choose can alter the price you expect to pay for monthly hosting.
On top of that, WordPress has a wealth of themes and plugins to choose from to further customize your site. You’ll find lots of free themes and plugins via the WordPress website, but external sources like ThemeForest sell WordPress themes, anywhere from $15 to $50+.
Realistically, you can get away with using free themes and plugins. However, you won’t get very far by using a free web hosting provider. There are cheap hosting alternatives like Hostinger starting from just $0.99 per month, but again it depends on the factors that are important to you.
Best WordPress Hosting Providers
WordPress has recommended web hosts on their website including SiteGround and BlueHost. These hosting providers have met all of WordPress’s stringent requirements and criteria to provide the best WordPress hosting.
After spending years researching and testing the best WordPress hosts, I’ve found that Hostinger, BlueHost, and SiteGround provide the best WordPress hosting services.
These hosts cover shared WordPress hosting, but if you’re looking to grow your WordPress website or you want to scale your resources, you may also want to consider the following types of hosting:
- Managed WordPress hosting
- WooCommerce hosting
- Cloud hosting
Extra Costs To Consider With WordPress
I’ve mentioned some of the extra costs to consider when using WordPress to build your website. We’re going to look at these in more detail so you can assess whether using WordPress is right for you or not.
Domain Name ($1 – $15): Many WordPress hosting companies will offer you a free domain name for the first year of your hosting plan. If this is the case, then you’ll be sorted for the first year. However, when it comes to renewing your domain or purchasing your first domain, you’ll need to find the most cost effective way to do this. Many web hosts will charge more for domains than you can get them if you purchase them via a domain registrar like NameCheap. The average domain costs anywhere between $1 to $15 per year, and can sometimes even exceed this if you want to purchase a domain that’s already taken.
Plugins ($0 – $100): If you want to extend the features of your WordPress website, you’ll want to take a look at the thousands of WordPress plugins on offer. These range from security features to contact forms, sliders to image galleries, and more. Many WordPress plugins are free to use, or are free for limited features. Each plugin will display its pricing if they are premium plugins and these can range anywhere up to $100.
Themes ($0 -$50): There are plenty of free themes available on the WordPress site, as well as premium themes. As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of third-party websites that sell developer’s WordPress themes which they have created. Themes cover all categories including online stores, blogs, forums, and so on. Premium themes generally cost up to $50 for a one-off fee, but can exceed this depending on the features. Premium themes tend to come with expert support and updates and it’s entirely your choice whether you pay for a premium theme or not.
Security ($0 – $200): Hosting providers will have their own security features to cover your WordPress website. However, you shouldn’t just take this for granted and ignore any other security improvements you can make to your website. There are lots of free and paid plugins you can use to enhance the security on your WordPress website including Wordfence, JetPack Security, and lots more.
How Much Does A Website Cost Using A Web Designer?
Hiring a web designer to create your website from scratch can be complex and expensive. You’re paying a large amount because these people are experts in their field and will design your website to your specifications. This will include any features, apps, etc. that you have requested.
Who Is Hiring A Web Designer Best For?
If you’re going to take the plunge and have the funds available to hire a web designer to create your website for you. Hiring a web designer is best for:
- Specific requirements
- Complex website
- Those with no time or technical ability
- Big budgets
Different Factors That Affect The Cost Of Hiring A Web Designer
Hiring a web designer isn’t as black and white as it may seem. You may choose to go directly to an agent to build your website for you, hire a freelancer, or seek another method entirely. As an estimate, this can cost anywhere between $5,000 – $30,000 depending on your requirements.
Factors that can affect the cost of hiring a web designer include:
- How complex your website plan is
- Whether you want the designer to handle your hosting, domains, apps, etc.
- Whether you want or need ongoing maintenance
- If you choose a custom or premade template
- Features you require
- How many pages your website needs to be
Website Content Costs
Once your website has been designed for you, you’ll need to decide whether you want to create the content for your website yourself, or hire someone to do this for you.
Content creators can charge anywhere between $50-$80 per hour for content. There may also be a minimum charge per project, e.g. x amount of pages.
You’ll also need to consider your website’s branding and logo. Do you already have a logo or do you need one to be created for you? Logos can cost anywhere between $100-$1500 depending on the branding requirements you have. You’ll need to take into account whether you need your branding applied to your website or your website and social media accounts.
How Much Does A Website Cost?
There are multiple ways you can build a website including using a website builder, using a WordPress to create your own website, or hiring a website designer.
Working out how much a website costs isn’t just about the price. It’s also about other resources like your time, how much effort you want to put in or can put in, etc. If you have enough time to learn new skills, a website builder could be a great way to keep costs down.
Each website comes with its own set of costs. Here’s an overview of how we estimate how much a website costs.
Using A Website Builder ($6-$50 per month) Ideal if you:
- Are on a tight budget
- Not tech-savvy
- Short on time or resources
- Want to create a website yourself
- Have slightly more budget
- Have more technical skills
- Want control over your website
- Have more time
- Want more customization
- Have a large budget
- Are short on time
- Need a complex or custom website
- Happy to let someone else manage your website