The cost of making a website ranges a lot depending upon the qualifications of a web designer, complexity of a project, tools used to complete the task, unique design nature, modules, hosting, domain name and, of course, the platform a project is based on. The majority of users cannot even imagine the final estimate and start realizing the real budget when receiving the first bills coming from a web designer. The final cost notably exceeds the expected sum.
The prevailing amount of users still consider creation of a website quite expensive. Partially, they are right, of course, but is it necessary to pay thousands of dollars for this service today? Maybe, there is an option that makes it possible to pay less without compromising with the quality of a readymade project?
I will try to have a closer look at this question. Having read an article, you will find out how much money you should really invest into your web project, what options you can make use of and what prices are charged for these services nowadays. Let’s get started now to discuss each point in detail.
Cost of Website Building by Web-Studios and Freelancers
So, what aspects do web studios and freelancers consider when charging their web design fees? To answer this question, you have to realize what makes a good website. Listed below are the major elements:
- Template – the cost ranges from $100 for a simple website and may reach over $1000 depending upon the complexity of work and the fees charged by a web designer;
- Hosting – ranges from $10 and up to $16 per month. The annual cost, correspondingly, constitutes around $150;
- Domain name – costs around $10-30 per year depending upon the provider and domain zone;
- Work with website and content. The most affordable are the services of freelance web designers, who charge around $50 for the website (but the quality often is poor). The cost of services offered by the professionals is around $500-$1000 for the complete work irrespective of what exactly a specialist will do during this time, be it design development, website setup, writing additional modules, settings adjustment etc. Web studios charge twice higher fees ($2000-$4000 per website) for servicing, consultations, name etc. as compared to freelancers;
Considering the above mentioned expenses, you can calculate how much does it cost to build a website. To sum it up, I can conclude that the minimal cost of launching a website is $300 per a standard website developed by a nice freelancer. A more complicated project will cost you around 2 or even 5 times more.
You shouldn’t also forget about the cost of website maintenance. Right after the project is launched, you will have to take care of regular content updates, safety support, SEO etc. This also requires financial investments – starting from $100 per month in case of using freelance services.
All in all, the range of prices is quite wide. You can get the same website designed for $300 or for $1000 (if not even more) when dealing with a professional and popular web studio. In this case, the quality does not proportionally depend upon the cost. An unknown freelancer can make a decent website for a lower price than a renowned web designer. Likewise, such a specialist can spoil everything, which will result in the financial loss.
When selecting a specialist, you have to look through lots of offers, client reviews etc. to make the best choice. Basically, you become dependent upon a web developer when you order a website. You will have to stay in touch with that person, make extra payments etc. This is quite convenient sometimes, but not always. This requires notable investment of time and money.
Generally, it is quite expensive to order the development of your website from a web designer. Unique design, modules, servicing and maintenance, promotion. You will still have to pay more than you’ve initially planned. This is true when it comes to simple websites like blogs, portfolios, landing pages or promo sites. More complicated projects like large online stores or portals will cost you several thousands of dollars when designed by a professional.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Website with CMS (WordPress)?
To find out the cost of creating a website with CMS, I will use WordPress as an example, because it is the most popular platform of this type today. So, if you are a newbie, you will initially have to learn the basics of using this CMS, namely hosting setup, database creation, dashboard use and general system characteristics.
Separate attention should be devoted to working with extra plugins. It’s close to impossible to imagine WordPress without them – the system has poor out-of-the-box functionality. There are lots of free and paid plugins. Each of them is a separate program with individual settings that becomes accessible in the dashboard after the installation. It takes time to understand the efficacy of use of each plugin and this is one of the most difficult issues for the majority of users. Many of them just don’t understand what plugins may be used and should be used.
What’s more, it is desirable that you should have at least the basic HTML/CSS/PHP knowledge. You don’t have to be a pro, but if you don’t have any understanding of the readymade code (not to mention coding in general), you will face lots of problems when working with WordPress. The study of programming also takes time.
Now, let’s proceed to the financial expenditures. Suppose, you have decided to learn all the issues mentioned above. How much will it cost to create a website then? Have a look at the following points:
- Hosting – around $150/year;
- Domain name – around $20/year;
- Template – a nice one costs around $100-150 one time;
- Extra plugins – paid ones cost from $5 and up to $100-150 per one item depending upon their character and complexity. In the majority of cases, though, it’s possible to use free plugins, but that’s not always the best option. Consequently, these expenses are inevitable sometimes.
CMS WordPress is free. You can download the latest version of the software from the official website. There is, however, one nuance related to updating: if your website is already setup and works well, then you’ll be able to update the system right in the dashboard after its release. Unfortunately, this may trigger errors because of the incompatibility of the installed plugins with the new platform version. That’s why, it is recommended to do that carefully. Otherwise, you run a risk of spoiling your website. Don’t forget to create backup copies. This may help avoid lots of unpredictable problems.
You will also find a section with a rich selection of free templates in the dashboard. Yes, they are not unique, but the quality of many of them is above the average. By using them, you will be able to avoid extra expenses related to ordering a unique author template.
So, if you don’t plan to use paid templates and plugins, then a website created with WordPress will cost you around $170/year. This is the cost of hosting and domain name. The price may be higher, of course, but it definitely won’t be less than that. Don’t forget about the necessity to invest your time and, maybe, even money to master this CMS, programming knowledge and other related technical skills. Generally, such approach is a better choice as compared to ordering a readymade website from the financial point of view (you will still need time to learn the basics). However, this is not the best option for a newbie. This is a troublesome variant that will not suit everyone.
How Much Does It Cost to Create a Website with A Website Builder?
Apart from ordering a ready made website or creating it on your own by using CMS, there is one more beneficial option – the use of cloud website builders. The majority of users need technically simple websites – business websites, portfolios, blogs, promo websites etc. That’s why, it makes sense to consider the profitability of the platform based on its convenience and cost of completing these projects.
From this point of view, website builders are beyond any competition, especially in terms of pricing and ease of use. Let’s research all the nuances now. You get hosting, templates and free subdomain you will be able to replace with a second level domain name afterwards (you can get it as a bonus, but not always). It’s up to the service to handle all the database and safety related issues. All the required modules are already in the dashboard. There is no need to install anything, although, this can be possible, especially when it comes to the synchronization with external services. You get the entire functionality required to create different types of projects a website builder is meant for. This is very convenient.
All you have to do is to sign up for the service via email or social network, enter the system, select a template and start working. There is no need to do other things, apart from filling your website with content and setting up its structure/design. This is a practical web design experience devoid of technical nuances – an ideal approach for the majority of people.
The cost of using a website builder (it usually implies the use of the system per one year) varies a lot – just as the quality of these systems. Having tested lots of website builders, I can clearly see all the options these platforms can offer. My experience allows me to point out 2 services that are the best value for the money invested. These are Wix and uKit.
Again, I have to underline that it’s all about creating the most popular website types (promo websites, blogs, landing pages etc.), but not all websites in general. The majority of people don’t need large online stores or portals. Otherwise, it’s better to launch them by using other website builders or CMS. Website builders I will review further work great for the development of standard websites.
Let’s describe the general process of working with website builders now so that you could understand it well. So, the list of actions is as follows:
- Registration with the system of your choice;
- Template selection. All of them are subdivided into topics, so, you have to choose the one that meets your needs. Demo content they include may simplify the completion of your task by providing you with ideas. What you need is to replace the demo content with that of your own;
- Pricing plan choice. Select the one that works great to solve your task (Wix and uKit prices will be provided below);
- Adjusting the website structure to come up to your needs by adding and removing the widgets from the demo version of the template, menu points etc.;
- Filling the site pages with content;
- Setting up general website parameters (name, email, favicon etc.) and writing SEO for each page, image tags, setting up analytics and synchronization with other services you need;
Connecting the second level domain to your website. If it’s not given as a bonus when buying the plan, then you can register it right in the website builder dashboard;
- Publishing your website.
As you see, many steps that are typical for CMS, are unavailable when it comes to working with website builders. Wix and uKit make it possible for you to get the most out of the web creation process with minimum financial investment. Let’s describe the cost of launching a website on these platforms now.
Cost of Creating a Website with Wix
Wix is a great platform to launch small websites with creative design. It will certainly appeal to photographers, artists, sculptors, musicians, designers and other representatives of creative professions. It is also a nice choice for practical businessmen and newbies, who are interested in any other niches. The detailed research of the system is available in my review.
The cost of creating a website with Wix depends upon the pricing plan you will go for. There are five of them available nowadays:
|Connect Domain:||$4.50/mo||✓ 500 Mb Disk Space;
✓ 1 Gb Bandwidth;
✓ Connect own domain.
|Combo:||$8.50/mo||✓ 3 Gb Disk Space;
✓ 2 Gb Bandwidth;
✓ Remove Wix ad-banner.
|Unlimited:||$12.50/mo||✓ 10 Gb Disk Space;
✓ Unlimited Bandwidth;
✓ Custom favicon.
|eCommerce:||$16.50/mo||✓ 20 Gb Disk Space;
✓ 20 Gb Bandwidth;
✓ Online store.
|VIP:||$24.50/mo||✓ 20 Gb Disk Space;
✓ Unlimited Bandwidth;
✓ Online store;
✓ Email Campaigns.
It’s also worth mentioning that each subsequent pricing plan includes the benefits of the previous ones. That’s why, I didn’t mention them in the descriptions. So, what Wix plan is it better to choose and what tasks can it help you solve?
In my opinion, Connect Domain is not interesting at all. It’s better to start with Combo that is a great option to create a business website, a landing page, a portfolio website or a promo page. Unlimited plan works well when it comes to creating a decent blog, because it offers unlimited bandwidth and two powerful paid bonus applications to support it.
If you need to launch an effective small online store (around 100-200 products), E-Commerce will be the best choice. VIP plan, in its turn, should be chosen by those users willing to create bigger online stores, but it’s not quite easy to develop such a project with Wix because of the specifications of a visual editor. That’s why, it makes sense to connect this plan only for those users, who wish to handle client mailout problems and get an expert website audit.
I should also underline that Wix frequently introduces special offers (around 10 times per year) that ensure 50% discounts for all pricing plans. These offers are usually introduced on holidays and special events in the life of the service. They last for 3-7 days and you can easily save big having waited for the right moment (all service subscribers get corresponding emails notifying about the offers). It’s up to you to decide whether it makes sense to use these offers or not.
Thus, the most interesting Wix plans are Combo ($99 annual fee), Unlimited ($149/year) and E-Commerce ($194/year). Each of them grants the right to get a bonus domain, while the last two plans will also add two useful applications to your website. Apart from buying these plans, you won’t have to pay more for using Wix. The annual price for managing one website is reflected in the cost of the plans. The system makes it possible to create a nice website for about $100-200 per year depending upon the web building objectives you pursue.
Cost of Building a Website with uKit
uKit is a great business website builder that comes with a pretty simple and easy-to-use visual editor and modern responsive templates. Yes, it is a bit less functional in terms of design customization options, general creative approach and the range of extra apps than Wix.
However, this does not belittle the benefits of the system. It’s even simpler for practical people to work with uKit. They can quickly avail great result without distracting to other things. You can create a modern promo website for your business in one night only without paying much for the service.
The system currently offers 4 pricing plans with various characteristics, namely:
|Premium:||$4/mo||✓ Unlimited Disk Space;
✓ Unlimited Bandwidth;
✓ 24/7 Support.
|Premium+:||$8/mo||In Addition to previous:
✓ Live Chat Support;
✓ Premium Designs;
✓ Goals in Google Analytics.
|eCommerce:||$9.6/mo||In Addition to previous:
✓ Shopping Cart;
✓ Unlimited Backups;
✓ SMS Notifications.
|Pro:||$12/mo||In Addition to previous:
✓ Custom Code Injection;
✓ Custom Color Schemes.
Again, it’s important to underline that each subsequent pricing plan includes all the benefits of those that are more affordable. Due to the unlimited website bandwidth, storage space on all pricing plans and an opportunity to connect a domain, the majority of people can complete all their projects even on the “Premium” plan.
This is the most suitable option to create business websites and landing pages. If you wish to get more attention-grabbing templates and direct connection with tech support, go for “Premium+” without any hesitations. The rest functionality of these pricing plans is almost identical.
“Online Store” plan is a nice choice for those users, who are going to organize small online stores. There is no sense in connecting “Pro”, because code editing is not what website builders are best known for. This should be done on CMS. Anyway, you are looking for simplicity and profitability, but not for an opportunity to learn the basics of programming, aren’t you?
There is a nice surprise for everyone, who is going to use uKit. Promo codes that make it possible to save up to 25% on all uKit pricing plans are currently available in the global network. You can easily hold back around a quarter of the overall cost of each of the above mentioned plans. It really works. Thus, “Premium” will cost you $36/year. This price is beyond any competition and allows you getting a decent website for the cost of a nice lunch only.
And one more thing. You can order a ready made website in uKit for $50. This is the official offer of web developers working for the system. In this case, a website will cost you 36+50+15= $101 (where $15 is the average cost of the second level domain). It’s simply impossible to find a cheaper option today!
The cost of launching a website is formed individually in each situation and depends upon lots of factors, namely DIY web building or ordering a ready made website, the type of the platform chosen, the cost of hosting, domain name, templates, modules/plugins, temporary expenses, complexity of a project etc. It’s easier to calculate the cost of a website in case of using cloud website builders. It usually equals the cost of the chosen pricing plan and domain name, if it’s not given as a bonus.
Ordering a website from a web studio or a freelancer is quite costly in the prevailing amount of cases. What’s more, you get a project that is quite difficult to edit on your own. You will still have to get in touch with tech support for extra money. Besides, you don’t get any quality guarantee, especially if you work with freelancers. They can shoddily complete the project, get the payment and disappear leaving you face to face with the problems that will eventually emerge in future. This is inconvenient.
The use of website builders seems more beneficial. You know exactly how much you will pay to get the project done, see the result and can manage the website on your own when needed. Apart from that, you won’t face any extra money expenditures. Coding, hosting, databases, safety settings… This won’t be a problem for you as well. The cost of launching a project with a website builder, though, is around 2 times lower as compared to fees charged by an ordinary freelancer. Even hosting will cost you more than an opportunity to use a readymade system with all the required tools and features. So, what option is better? The answer is obvious.
It’s also easier for client website developers to use website builders. This is how they can reduce the cost of work, while boosting its speed and increasing the offer value in the eyes of clients. Apart from that, a client will get a website he/she will be able to master during one night only without any extra effort. This will eliminate the necessity to manage the project and answer the questions that are so obvious to you. This will eventually save the time and effort both for you and your client, which is a benefit in itself.
Even though, the choice of website builders is impressive these days, I have singled out two services, namely Wix and uKit because of their affordability, convenience and great functionality. These systems can perfectly solve typical tasks for the majority of users without any difficulties or extra expenses. The cost of launching a website in this case will range from $50 to $200 depending upon the platform chosen, pricing plan and website type. Just give it a try! This is the best option ever.