The cost of a website can be compared to the cost of a car. Everything depends on what you need. The largest variable in calculating how much your website will cost is whether you create the website yourself or hire a web designer.
In case you’re planning to create an exceptional website offering unusual, unique user experiences to your visitors, it’s better to hire a pro. But if you’re looking for a simple, wallet-friendly solution, DIY website builders are just what you need. They’re easy-to-use, fast and affordable, and what’s most important – give you full control over your website.
Because cost is often one of the defining factors when building a website, I’ve decided to write a post to show our dear readers how much it really costs to build a website using a site builder. In this article we are discussing and comparing different pricing plans offered by the leading site builders.
The freemium model
Most site builders use the freemium (Free+Premium) business model. This approach lets users create free accounts with limited functionality and enjoy the software as long as they need, until they decide to upgrade. While some users might be satisfied with the basic feature set of the free account, others want to get the fully-loaded experience. To get this experience they have to buy a paid package.
uCoz site builder is a great example of a freemium service. You can sign up free, without having to enter your billing information. Your account will never expire, unless you decide to delete it manually or abandon your website*.
All free uCoz websites display a banner ad and system copyright. To get rid of the ad, as well as unlock more features, users need to upgrade their account. Ad-free uCoz websites start at $5.99/mo including hosting.
*In case your free website is considered inactive, you’ll get a notification email with a link to reactivate your website. You have 915 days to do that.
Because maintaining free websites also costs money or for any other reason, some site builders don’t offer any free solutions, except for free trials. Squarespace, for example, offers a free 14-day trial, and Homestead provides a 30-day free trial period.
This model keeps the system and the web clean from spam, malicious and simply abandoned websites.
This is a very rare model, yet it also has its benefits. This approach is used by MotoCMS and some other downloadable site builders. How it works: you need to purchase a downloadable site construction kit or CMS template. If you decide to go with MotoCMS, this will cost you $139. No monthly fees or additional payments.
However, that price doesn’t include hosting. You pay once for the software only. When you receive the template, you need to upload it to the server. The good news is that you can choose any web hosting provider (as opposed to the competition). In other words, you’ll make a one-time payment for the software and then pay your monthly fee for the chosen hosting package.
In addition to the standard plans designed for the end user, some website builders offer Pro packages for developers and agencies. Webydo for instance, offers advanced plans which come with such business-specific features as ‘Bill my client’, white label, site export, team members and more. The ‘Agency’ plan even includes a dedicated account manager.