Creating a website is an essential step for almost every business, no matter what size.
But how much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
Unfortunately, there are no straightforward answers to that question. On average, creating a website for your small business can cost anywhere between $200 to upwards of $10,000.
The total cost of a website depends on its size, complexity, and whether or not you hire a professional web designer. If you build your website yourself, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The good news is that it doesn’t take a degree in web design and development to build a small business website anymore. There are several tools out there that make it easy to create your own website and save money.
Here, we’ll break down the average cost of website design for small business, and you’ll learn:
- The average pricing for web hosting and a domain
- The difference in building a website yourself vs. hiring a professional
- How much to budget for website maintenance and marketing
Website Hosting & Domain: How Much Do Website Essentials Cost?
Before you start building your website, you’ll need a place to put it on the internet. That means researching and purchasing the website essentials: hosting and a domain.
Website hosting is the storage and sharing of your website’s data. Your domain is your URL — basically your website’s address on the internet.
Additionally, an SSL certificate makes sure that any private data is encrypted. Many hosting providers also let you purchase and manage your domain and SSL security through them.
These are essential costs to include when determining how much it costs to build a website for your small business.
Choosing a Domain Name
It’s a good idea to consider your domain name when you choose a business name. Most domains are relatively inexpensive, but especially desirable domains can be extremely pricey.
The price of an average domain name usually starts at around $15.
Purchasing a domain is straightforward. However, choosing your website’s hosting service is more complicated.
Hosting Options For Your Website
The right hosting model for your business will depend on your website’s traffic and complexity. Ultimately, your choice can mean the difference between a few bucks or hundreds of dollars a month.
Here are the most common hosting types.
Shared hosting means your website data is stored on a server that also has data for other websites. This is the most cost-effective hosting method, and it’s common for entry-level websites.
However, since memory and processing power are shared, any spike in traffic might cause user experience issues.
Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server (VPS) is the next step up from standard shared hosting. Your website is still on a shared server, but it has its own space. A VPS gives you more customization options and storage.
Similar to shared hosting, a VPS is not the best for sites with very high traffic.
Managed hosting services are best for larger businesses that need another company to handle all of their hardware and software.
Hosting companies also manage updates and server maintenance so you can focus on your business. More advanced hosting options include dedicated servers and cloud hosting.
Managed hosting is typically more expensive than standard shared hosting. But, some businesses need it.
For example, most e-commerce businesses have to process much more data through their website than the standard business website. In that case, managed or dedicated hosting becomes more necessary.
Decide what’s best for your business model. And remember, you can always start with an entry-level option and upgrade your hosting as your needs grow.
Cost-Efficient Options for Website Hosting
Many hosting providers allow you to bundle your domain, SSL certificate, and hosting service together. You can manage your payments all in one place, which is easier for busy small business owners.
Most hosting providers also offer incentives and reduced monthly pricing for services when you pay for three or more years in advance. With incentives, you can save more than 50% on your hosting costs.
So, how much does it cost to build a website for a small business in terms of web hosting? iPage is one of the most cost-effective hosting options, with services starting at $71 for three years of web hosting, including a free domain name.
While the most affordable options are for shared hosting, iPage also offers VPS hosting if you are looking to add an online store to your small business’s website.
How Much Do Website Essentials for a Small Business Cost?
Hosting services range from $7.99 – $99.99 a month. Domains range from $12.99 to $20.00 per year, and they are renewed annually.
An SSL certificate can be purchased with your domain and costs between $10-$200 per month. Like domains, these are usually purchased and paid for annually.
DIY or Hiring a Professional: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
Whether you decide to build your own website or hire a professional, you have several options. Determining how much it costs to create a website for your small business depends the most on how much you do yourself.
Option 1: Do-it-Yourself with WordPress
Creating your own website with WordPress can be the most affordable option available. WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) that you can use to build your website.
A few years ago, the learning process for WordPress was more intensive. However, in 2018, core developers released a content block editor (called Gutenberg) as part of an effort to make their tools more user-friendly.
Since then, it’s been much easier to build a professional-looking website on WordPress, even if you’re a beginner. Creating your own small business website using WordPress can be incredibly easy and cost-effective — as long as you’re willing to learn a bit, or you have a colleague who’s comfortable with technology.
If you choose to build your own website with WordPress, you’ll want to do some due diligence to ensure your design is effective. For example, make sure that your homepage is spectacular and you know how to back up data.
You might wonder how much it costs to build a website for your small business if you do it yourself. Well, while WordPress’s core software is free, there are some additional costs you’ll need to consider. The price of using WordPress will largely depend on which theme and plugins you choose.
Your WordPress theme determines the appearance of your website. There are thousands of free theme options. But, as a small business, you may want to invest in a premium or custom theme to stand out.
Premium themes can cost upwards of $100-$200 per year. These themes are premade and include more advanced functionality and customization options.
If you want a custom theme created by a web developer, you can expect to pay $1,000 or more depending on your needs. Like hosting, you don’t need to have a custom theme right away.
When thinking about how much it costs to create a website for your small business, you can choose a theme that works now and then upgrade to a custom option as your business grows.
Plugins allow you to customize your website and give it extra functionality. Many plugins can benefit your small business’s website, including search engine optimization (SEO), e-commerce, and online form plugins.
Like themes, there are free and premium plugins for just about any need. Most plugins have a free, “lite” version and a paid “premium” version.
Once again, the plugins you select can affect how much it costs to build a website for your small business.
Only pay for plugins when you need the premium features. But, as a small business, you should expect to pay for certain plugins — especially if you want to add an online store to your website.
Option 2: Do-it-Yourself with a Website Builder
For those who are less comfortable learning new technology, website builders are easier to use than WordPress.
Managed platforms like Squarespace and Wix are considered website builders. Like WordPress, they are CMSes that make it easy to build your own website.
So what’s the difference between WordPress and website builders?
Both CMSes allow you to build your own website without much coding. WordPress is more flexible than Squarespace or Wix. However, that flexibility also makes it more complicated.
Website builders have a smaller learning curve. The process is simpler and more user-friendly. That being said, this also means they are less customizable with more limited options.
If you use a website builder, expect to pay between $12-$50 per month. For online stores and e-commerce websites, the cost sits on the higher end of this pricing estimate.
Option 3: Hire a Professional
The final option for building your website is to hire a professional website designer to create it for you.
With this route, you’ll pay upfront for website design and then pay a smaller amount if you want someone to maintain your website.
So, when you use a professional, how much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
According to Digital.com, the average cost of website design for a small business ranges from $2,000-$8,000. E-commerce sites start at $5,000 and can cost upwards of $40,000 if you have a lot of products.
If you want to save money on website maintenance, hire someone to design your website using WordPress. Once it’s built in WordPress, you’ll have the option to do the maintenance yourself.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
- WordPress is a free DIY option, with add-ons available based on your needs.
- Website Builder services like Wix or Squarespace have pricing ranges from $12-$50 per month.
- Professional Website Designers charge $2,000-$8,000 for a small business’s website but can charge as much as $40,000 for especially complicated websites.
Marketing & Maintenance: What are the On-Going Website Costs for a Small Business?
After your website is built, there will be costs associated with storing and sharing the data, as well as any changes that need to be made to your website.
So, how much does a website cost per year?
You’ll have to calculate the price based on the options you’ve already selected and their recurring costs.
Website maintenance costs can include:
- Annual website hosting fees
- Annual cost to renew your domain
- Annual cost for an SSL certificate
- Subscription price for your website builder
- Subscriptions to any WordPress plugins
- Payments to your designer for necessary changes
Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Website for Your Small Business
The cost of creating a website for your small business depends heavily on the choices you make.
So, how do you avoid adding unnecessary spending?
Watch out for the following mistakes.
Paying for Features and Services You Don’t Need
Your website setup can grow with your business. So, when you’re choosing hosting services, themes, and plugins, choose what works for your business today.
The hosting services you select are one of the biggest factors that determine how much it costs to create a website for your small businesses.
Don’t pay extra for services you don’t need yet. Just paying for the wrong hosting service type can cost you hundreds (if not thousands) per year.
If you’re on the fence about paying for more features, let your traffic help you decide. There are many features and services that won’t be necessary or beneficial until your website receives consistently high traffic.
Not Having a Marketing Plan
There’s a common saying that goes, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, that’s not true for your website.
Even if you build your website with SEO in mind, that type of organic traffic can take up to a year to build. That’s because you have to build authority and credibility for your website.
Without a marketing plan, you’ll have spent all this money on your website, but it won’t have any visitors. That’s why it’s important to understand how to reach your audience and convert them to website visitors.
Looking for more information on driving traffic? Research different ways to bring visitors to your website.
Not Capturing Sales and Leads
A small business website should help you drive revenue. Sure, it’s nice to create brand awareness and talk about your company. But, your small business needs sales.
This is true even if your website doesn’t have an online store. You still want to capture sales leads or subscribers.
What’s the point of bringing people to your website if you can’t convert some of them into customers?
It’s important to make sure your website has everything it needs to capture leads. This might be a contact form or a newsletter subscription sign-up. Whatever method you choose, make it easy for your visitors to find.
Final Thoughts: How Much Does it Really Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
Building a website for your small business is no small task. But, it’s definitely easier than it used to be. While you certainly can hire an agency or a professional to create a website for you, it may not be necessary in your business’s early stages.
Using WordPress or a website builder to create your small business website can save you thousands of dollars upfront — when you’re a small business, every penny counts.
Get started on building your website by exploring your hosting options and getting a free domain, with iPage.