Website cost calculator - How much should a website cost?
We're going to demystify the world of web building and fill you in on how much it could cost you.
November 05 · 8 min read
Are you getting ready to build your first website? You’re in for a rewarding and exciting experience! All you need to do before getting started is to create your budget- yay…
If you’re trying to create a budget for your website, and don’t know where to start, this article is for you. We’re going to demystify the world of web building and fill you in on how much it could cost you.
The real cost of building a website:
With a DIY website builder
Whether you’ve used one before or not, you’re probably familiar with DIY website builders, thanks to their aggressive advertising. Their ranks are made up of companies like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Though each one has varying prices, it typically costs $300 or less to build a website with one of these sites.
This makes them one of the most affordable solutions for those in need of a website. They do have recurring costs (typically every month) for things like web hosting, updating your SSL certificate, and so on.
Though the upfront cost is on the cheaper side, the monthly fees are more than you would be paying to manage web hosting and domain name expenses yourself. This makes it a more expensive option in the long term for a pretty limited service.
Who should use a DIY service?
Despite their simplicity, DIY websites are an excellent option for many of their users. In fact, it’s their simplicity that makes them a suitable choice for individuals and businesses that are less tech-savvy. Their all-in-one system makes the process of website building easy and accessible.
However, anyone who needs anything more than the most basic of websites is going to find a DIY website service lacking quickly. These kinds of services really only offer the visual components of a website, with a limited number of interactive integrations. You’re more or less creating a digital portfolio in the shape of a website.
It is possible to do more with these kinds of services, but the cost and effort that requires would be better spent on a more well-rounded solution. Still, if you have minimal needs, DIY website builders can get the job done.
With a freelancer
Freelancers are next up in terms of cost, with prices ranging between $500 and $5,000. Freelance website designers and developers are individuals (sometimes groups of individuals) who have the skills to build a website and work independently of a company.
The rates charged by a freelancer will vary depending on their experience, reputation, and the time the project is expected to take. When choosing a freelancer, it’s essential to balance the price with the freelancer’s experience as best you can.
You likely don’t need to get the most expensive freelancer available (unless you’re trying to build a complicated website). Still, you also don’t want to end up with a website that’s half-built, poorly coded, and unsalvageable. Before agreeing to any work with a freelancer, make sure you’re familiar with their background and other websites that they’ve built.
Who should use a freelancer?
Unlike a DIY builder, where you’re paying for a complete website building package, you’re essentially buying your website from the freelancer. Once the work has been completed, and the website is exactly how you want, the freelancer moves on to the next client, and it’s up to you to maintain the website.
This means that working with a freelancer is a little more hands-on and collaborative. Because of their flexibility, you can get a product that’s close to what you’ve envisioned.
Working with a freelancer is best for those who want to feel like their website is theirs. If you have a clear idea of what you want your website to look like, need a budget-friendly option that does more than standard DIY builders, and don’t mind getting involved with the web building process, hiring a freelancer could be the way to go.
With a design agency
Design agencies are easily the most expensive option and, by extension, are pretty much overkill for 95% of websites. The average cost of working with an agency ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. Prices can go beyond that, depending on your goals.
Website design agencies are businesses made up of web developers. Because you’re working with a team, you generally know that the end product is going to be polished, bug-free, and very close to what you’re looking for - hence the high prices.
Unlike with freelancers, higher prices don’t necessarily mean you’re working with the best agency. Often, prices increase because they have a large staff or a recognizable brand. Those things may benefit them, but they don’t necessarily help you. Try to find an agency that’s a good fit for your needs and your budget.
Who should use a design agency?
Design agencies are a reliable option for bigger businesses or growing small to medium businesses - and that’s about it. Anything less than that and you’d be much better off working with a freelancer. Even though an agency is more likely to build you a perfect website, you could use that same budget to hire a freelancer to develop your website and another one to perfect it.
That said, they do offer valuable experience and reliability and can build a great website faster than a freelancer. If you need a website that’s packed with features - like an online shop, a social media platform, or a web-based app - then a design agency might be the best option.
What do you need to build a website?
There’s more to building a website than just hiring someone else to do it. It’s called website “building” because you are building something. And like building a house, you need to know what it’s going to look like and what components you’re going to need. Once you know these things, you’ll have a better idea of how what it’s going to cost and who you should hire.
To start figuring out what you need, you’ll need to decide what kind of website you want. Is it going to be an online shop? A portfolio of your photography? The next Facebook? A DIY website builder??
Once you’ve decided what you’re website is going to be, you can start making a list of the features it’s going to have (guest commenting, a shopping cart, a chatbot), how many pages it’s going to be (three or thirty?), and how much content you’ll need (all text, images, animations, and videos will need to be created). The shorter your list, the less expensive your site will be, and vice versa.
Choosing a domain name
For so many dreaming of having their website, the first thing they mull over is the domain name. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already invested a healthy amount of time typing your dream domain names into your browser to see if it is taken yet.
Choosing your domain is undoubtedly one of the more fun parts of building a website (until you realize a computer company has already taken the perfect name for your apple shop), but it does add costs to the process. First, you have to buy your domain name (prices can vary wildly, from $5 to $5,000), and then you have to pay to renew it (typically $10-$20 per year).
Finding web hosting
Web hosting starts to get into the less exciting side of building a website. Web hosting is what makes your website available to the rest of the world. It takes that group of files on your computer and puts them on the internet for other people to find.
You can technically host your website; all you need is a computer with an internet connection. However, you are likely vastly unequipped to handle this responsibility. Your computer would need to be on 24/7/365 without fail and capable of managing people from around the world visiting your website.
Instead of trying to do this yourself, you can use a web hosting business that will take care of the technical stuff for you. We highly recommend it, unless you’re a DIY pro. Web hosting can cost anywhere from $20 to $10,000, depending on how many visitors your website attracts.
Getting an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate is an “optional” component of your website, though, in today’s age of privacy concerns, we strongly advise that you obtain one. Essentially, an SSL certificate is a security measure that prevents your visitors’ data from being intercepted or tampered. Data is encrypted on the visitor’s end, sent to you all scrambled up, and (thanks to your SSL certificate) your website can unscramble it.
Without an SSL certificate, the data is never encrypted, making its journey to you, especially perilous. Some internet browsers are even becoming less friendly towards websites without SSL, warning their users not to use your website. Not a good look. Prices for an SSL certificate fall between $5 and $20 a year.
How much does it cost to maintain a website?
When you factor together with the annual costs of a website (domain name renewal, web hosting, and SSL certificate renewal), you end up at around $150 for a small website and approximately $5,000 for a more extensive website. And that’s just for the fixed expenses.
The costs that might not have ever occurred to you are bug fixes, code optimization, periodic updates (stripes won’t be in fashion forever), and changes to keep up with new internet protocols. Maintaining these things will likely require you to rehire freelancers/agencies, adding to your annual expenses substantially.
That’s a lot of cash to drop every year just on maintaining your website. Fortunately, there’s a service that can build your website for you in no time at all, cover all of your maintenance needs, and provide you with extra features you would never have access to otherwise.
The cost of building a website with B12’s AI approach
B12 is a service that builds your website for you using AI, a DIY website builder, and a team of web development experts in a matter of days. For comparison, a design agency typically takes a few months to provide you with the first draft of your website.
By using the latest technology available, we’ve created what we believe is the best way to build a website. It puts the least amount of pressure on you and your wallet, allowing you to focus on your business rather than the nitty-gritty of web design.
- Starter: FREE. Our Starter web building plan is free and gives you direct access to our website-building AI. In a matter of minutes, you can view your complete website with a mobile-friendly version.
- Basic: $26/month. With the Basic plan, you gain access to seven additional features, including a custom domain, unlimited storage, and a contact manager.
- Premium: $53/month. With our Premium plan, you’ll be able to access phone support whenever you need it and integrate third-party services into your website.
- SEO: $89/month. By upgrading to the SEO plan, your website will be bestowed with one of the most valuable resources on the internet - Search Engine Optimization.
- SEO Pro: $224/month. When you choose the SEO Pro plan, you gain access to all of the above features with the bonus of SEO content created specifically for your website every month.
Build a better website for less
Building a fully-featured, robust, and secure website doesn’t have to put you at the mercy of DIY builders or design agencies. With B12, you can get all of the features you need and none of the ones you don’t with a service that does all of the heavy lifting for you.
B12 is backed by industry experts in web development and a dedicated customer support team that’s by your side at all times. We handle all of the updating and maintenance needs for you and can deliver your website to you when you need it.
For more information on what B12 has to offer, reach out!