How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?

With retail headed in an increasingly digital direction, having a website for your business — no matter how “big” or “small” — is just as important as perfecting your product or service. All of a sudden, your audience has expanded beyond the block, and you can theoretically find customers all over the world interested in your business. Being online makes your business accessible to millions, which is a game-changer for your business and a huge boost to your bottom line. Understandably, though, the prospect of building a site can be an overwhelming one if you’ve never had a website before. 

What does building a website mean for you if you’re a small business owner? Below, we’ll break down the cost to build a website — what you’ll need to spend, what can be done at a more affordable cost, and how all these components come together to form a compelling site.

How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?

The price for a website for a small business has an incredibly wide range, from as little as a few dollars for a basic site to a few thousand dollars to work with a developer to $10,000 or more if your site has complicated needs. In general, there is no average cost for a website, and the price varies from a hundred dollars to several thousand.

The reasons for this range are numerous. You’ll pay more for a developer that has more overall development experience, specialized skills you need, or expertise in a particular area. Some sites may need significantly more work to look like your dream website, while others may be fairly straightforward and simple to create. You may need to pay more for special features, such as setting up and maintaining an e-commerce site. Even the fundamentals that you’ll have to pay for can vary. Generally, though, if you turn to a DIY website builder, you’ll save money and get online faster than you would working with a website developer.

Ultimately, examining the different components and their costs can help you decide what’s right for your business. So without further ado, let’s unpack it all. 

What are some essential costs for most websites?

Regardless of your chosen path to website development for your small business, you’re likely to incur some costs. Here are some of the main expenses associated with a business website.

Domain

A domain name can cost roughly $15 per year for something basic, but the costs can vary significantly depending on the above criteria. This is typically the cheapest expense associated with your website.

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Hosting

This is a necessity for all websites because web hosting is what stores a website’s files. It’s the reason that the content on a website can be viewed. However, there are different kinds of hosting, and finding the right one comes down to the expected amount of traffic each month, the main purpose of the site, how much hosting it needs to accommodate that purpose, and your budget. The price point can vary from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a month. While it’s a small percentage of your overall website design, development, and maintenance costs, hosting is still a monthly charge you need to account for in your budget.

The typical hosting options are shared hosting, managed hosting, and virtual private server (VPS). These are in order of most to least cost-effective, and their relevance depends on how much intended traffic you expect your site to receive. With shared hosting, as the name implies, your website is stored on the same server as numerous other sites. 

Security

It’s expected that every business website, especially one that accepts personal information and financial details like credit card payments, has a secure site license (SSL). An SSL certificate safeguards your site and the data of those visiting. Yet again, there’s a wide range of prices for this website factor, so someone could pay as little as a few bucks annually or as much as a couple hundred. This is also a small, yet vital, percentage of your budget.

Content

The words on the page, photos you use, and video embedded onto the site are all components that need to be developed or purchased. There are some entrepreneurs who like to take a hands-on approach to creating this content, in which case it’ll only cost time. But if you need some help in this arena, you may need to pay for a professional to help out. This cost varies greatly, too. For example, stock photos will only cost a few dollars per image, but hiring a photographer will likely cost significantly more. While the cost varies significantly as described here, if you plan to hire professional help, be prepared to set aside a portion of your budget to do so.

Functionality

Depending on your business type and your site’s needs, you may need to include some advanced functionality beyond a few basic pages. For example, if you want a special tool to calculate tax on certain purchases made on your website, you’ll need to purchase and properly configure a specialized plugin that makes that possible. Similarly, some free plugins that allow for a specific functionality will require a purchase to unlock additional customization features. Ensuring your website is designed and developed to fit your needs is by far the largest part of your small business website budget.

4 more factors that influence small business website costs

After breaking down the cost of web design, it’s clear that the cost to create a website for a small business can vary greatly depending on your needs. Yes, there are the basics like a domain name and hosting, but maybe you do need a little extra help. The following factors can influence the total cost required to produce a website for your small business.

  1. Website builder choice. Like most things in life, you can learn how to master all the elements of developing a website so you can spend less money on coding and design. But that type of hands-on approach might not work if your needs are time-sensitive. A DIY website builder is an effective way to cut down on costs by using a service that doesn’t require professional help. Instead, it utilizes intuitive drag-and-drop tools to create the website of your dreams quickly and easily. The cost of each website builder is different, but you can generally expect to spend much less on a builder than you would for professional help. 
  1. Number of pages. A lot of small business websites might not require a ton of pages. It takes less time to create a simple site, so if you only have a few pages with basic information on them, it’ll require much less time, effort, and professional help than if you’re setting up an entire online store.
  2. Design. You may not need the world’s greatest website, but design is necessary for a properly functioning website. The customization of your website is the factor that fluctuates most wildly, depending on your needs, tastes, and budget. You can use a DIY website builder to save significant costs here, hire a junior developer that can help with a more basic site, or pay more for an experienced professional. Factors influencing this cost include the size of your site, how templatized or unique your pages are, and the intricacies of implemented design elements. 
  1. Maintenance. The maintenance of a site is just as important as the inception of the site itself. This is important in two areas: design and security. As design tastes change or you need to add more content to a site, your site may need to be adjusted or updated. Security is a whole other matter: A hacked or compromised site not only undoes your hard work but can be a reputational risk as well. Websites constantly release fixes that need to be installed to ensure that no unwanted hackers or cyber criminals make their way into your files. 

Your small business, your decision 

As you make a decision about whether to use a DIY builder, hire a freelance developer, or use an agency, consider the following:

At the end of the day, knowledge is power, and now you’re armed with the power to make the decision that’s right for your brand. And just like all the other decisions you have to make each day, your website cost will depend on what you need and what you can afford.

  • The goal of your website: Whether you’re looking to manage sales or simply want to offer basic information, it’s important to identify the goal of your site and work backward. Keep in mind that the more complicated the functionality, the more likely you’ll need to put more work — and money — into it. 
  • What your visitors need: Think about the audience you’re trying to reach. Is your goal for them to pick up the phone, fill out a form, sign up for emails, or buy something? Consider those factors before determining which features you’ll need. This will directly influence the cost of building a website. 

After you’ve taken the time to review your budget and needs, it’s time to bring your site to life. Thanks to tools like Namecheap Site Maker, which includes an SSL certificate, secure hosting, and the ability to purchase the right domain at a low cost, your site can go live in minutes at an accessible price. And with simple drag-and-drop features, it won’t take long to get the hang of creating a well-designed website that’s just right for your needs and your customers.


Nick Allen

Nick Allen

Nick Allen is a writer, photographer, and content marketer. He’s also the founder of BrainBoost Media, a boutique content and operations studio. With a wide range of interests, he enjoys reading and writing about sports, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.
More articles written by Nick.

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