This is a great question and there is no one-size fits all answer! There are many factors to consider, and in this article, we will look at some of the elements that make up the cost of creating and maintaining a website.
Usually, the first step to having a website presence is to establish the domain name – this is your website address, i.e: www.yourwebsitenamehere.co.uk.
The domain name will usually be along the same lines as the name of your business – but be aware that your ideal name may already be in use, so you may have to be a little inventive and maybe compromise on what may be available.
The price may vary depending on which domain extension you prefer – i.e. ending in .co.uk, .com, .net or .org – or even one of the many other but lesser known variations.
There are many domain name “registrars” and they all seem to charge a different fee. You can register your chosen domain name for 1 year, 2 years or longer up to 10 years. Usually, 5 years is a good timescale so you can register the name for a modest one off fee, and forget about it for a while until renewal time. Depending on the actual chosen domain name and your preferred extension, you could pay as little as £5 to £6 per year.
It is a good idea to check if your ideal domain name is available as a first step in the website creation process. A good registrar, with reasonable prices is www.namecheap.com though there are many others to chose from.
Website design is the largest cost in the website creation process, and it very much depends on if you want to do it yourself (if you have the time and skills) or whether you want someone to create the design for you. If you want to have a go yourself, and have no coding skills you could try a website builder like www.wix.com or www.squarespace.com – there are many others and they will have various packages and pricing structures, but be aware of hidden costs, tie-ins, future costs (read the small print and terms) and always ensure you have the time and skills to create the site to a standard you will be happy to show to the world!
If you prefer to outsource the work, there are several options:
- Professional web design agency
- Online Freelance web designers – such as can be found on www.fiverr.com
- Self-employed Freelance web designers
- Friend or family who have the know how
The actual cost of your website design will depend on the scale and complexity of your site, and how bespoke you want it to be. If you are happy with generic, templated designs, this reduces the cost. If you want a totally unique design, this will increase the cost. A lot also depends on how much input you want to have in the design, or if you are happy to leave it all to the designer. In short, any designers time costs money, so the formula is simple:
less time = lower cost vs more time = higher cost.
For a single page website presence, you could expect to pay as little as £100 / £150.
For a multi-page site with pages detailing your services, photographs, contact forms, galleries, testimonials etc you are likely to be in the £500 – £1200 bracket, depending on how many pages and how much detail and narrative you need, and how much bespoke work is required.
For a complex site, with maybe many pages, such as an e-commerce site and more functionality, you are likely to be in the £1500 and upwards bracket – £ 4 or £5k would not be unusual, depending on who you use, and what you need. If you need an e-commerce site with hundreds of products, expect the price to reflect the time needed to create all the product listings – so this would be in the higher price brackets.
Whilst the online freelancer type options found on fiverr.com and similar, be aware that you may be dealing with designers in other countries – their rates are therefore often cheaper than in your own country. Be careful to check out their previous work examples and remember, if it’s too cheap to be true, there’s probably a good reason for that. That’s not to say there are not good services to be had out there, just do your homework first. Be aware of language barriers too – even if their English is good, but not their first language, it is easy for things to be misconstrued.
That said, always check out any designer’s previous work, whichever option you chose, and check that their style and way of working will suit your needs. Read previous customers reviews to make sure you are happy with the designer you want to approach.
In some cases, the self-employed freelancer can offer more flexibility as they can be more available when you are – such as at evenings and weekends, as discussions and meetings are often easier to arrange outside of your day job. This can often be helpful for busy clients who have a business to run during the day.
Artwork / logos / photography
Think about how much design work is needed to create your site. You may have some existing artwork and logos, and even some great photos to provide to your designer. Or you may need to outsource this or get it done yourself. Or the designer may be able to provide these services too. You may need to employ a professional photographer, or you may be a good photographer yourself, or you may have a friend who is – so there are options here. Stock images are a good fallback and can range from free images to paid images from £7 each upwards.
Plug-ins /software licences
Depending on what your site needs, and how your designer works, there may be costs associated with software licences and “plug-ins” – software that adds functionality to your site – these may be one off costs or recurring annual fees, so check this with your designer to see what additional fees you may be faced with on a recurring basis.
The next key element of creating a website is somewhere to host it. Again, there are many providers who offer hosting so it can pay to shop around, or your web designer may offer this as part of their services, or they may recommend a preferred provider and set this up for you.
In simple terms, the web host runs a bank of very high specification servers, where your finished website files are stored. Your domain name “points” to your files on the hosting server, so when a user types in your website address, or clicks on a search result in a search engine, it loads your web page into their browser.
There is a huge range of web hosts worldwide, and some good deals to be had. It may pay to keep your provider choice to your own country location, as this can have an impact on the speed the pages will load.
The type of hosting you need will vary depending on the type of website you need.
A simple website of only a few pages with basic functionality will likely only need the entry level / basic hosting package – usually called “shared hosting” – this could be as little as £5 per month.
A more complex website, with say an e-commerce site, may need a more powerful hosting package – likely to start at around £10 per month.
For intensive website demands for high level performance, this could be from £30 upwards per month.
Most websites will likely fall into one of the above categories.
If you plan to be the next Amazon or eBay, and you are planning a site that will receive very high volumes of traffic, a more high-performance dedicated hosting package may be required so will cost more. Expect this to be £130 – £350 per month, or even up to £900 per month for extreme performance – all depending on the package you will need. Most people reading this article will not need this level, so it is included for completeness really.
Most web hosts will also offer domain email hosting – so you can have an email address to match your domain name – say firstname.lastname@example.org – usually this starts at around £5 per month (in addition to the web hosting above).
We use Guru: https://www.guru.co.uk/ and have found their pricing and service very good. The above prices are based on current prices from Guru at the time of writing. There are literally hundreds of providers – just search for “website hosting packages.”
Note – all price for web hosting mentioned above are all +VAT at the prevailing rate.
Maintenance / updates
Most websites will need some form of maintenance and updating over time. You may want to add new content, change, add and remove sections, add new services and so on. So, it may pay to discuss how this might work with your chosen designer.
Some designers may have a minimum fixed fee for all design changes following go live. Others may be happy to do minor tweaks for free, or for an hourly rate.
Typically, you can expect to pay anything from £35 to £50 per hour upwards, depending on the designer’s overheads and the extent of the work required. Sounds expensive? Relate this hourly rate to other trades – how much does your car garage charge for labour per hour? Really – that much?? Ok, now maybe the above rate doesn’t sound so expensive after all…. remember you are paying for their time, expertise and knowledge – just like the car mechanic…
For larger updates or a complete overhaul, it is best to agree a fixed price for the work to avoid a nasty surprise at the end of the updates.
Another factor in the website design cost can be scope creep. A client and designer may discuss and agree the initial design brief, and the designer will quote an estimated cost to complete the website design work. During the project process, various changes or additional work may be requested by the client, which adds time and resource and therefore this equals cost. Check how your designer will handle this – it may be just a matter of agreeing an extra price, or the extra hours and hourly rate that will be charged.
We hope that this article will help with the understanding of “how much does a website cost” – if you have any questions or we can be of any assistance in your website journey, we’d be pleased to hear from you. Please get in touch.