Short Answer: It Depends
Whether you're just starting out or revamping an old site, there are quite a few considerations in determining the cost of your website. In this article, I'll describe those considerations and give you some rough estimates about what they may cost.
What factors into the cost of a website?
Hiring a Freelancer: $40-80/hour
The biggest question you should ask yourself before diving into a web design project is do you hire or do you DIY?
A professional freelancer, like myself, can get your website up and running quickly and professionally - and meet all your expectations in a custom design. Further, you don't have to worry about messing around with code or learning a new system. However, this service comes at a professional price: for example, my rate is $80 per hour because I guarantee your website will be ready to go on budget and deadline - and you get what you pay for.
If you're trying to save money, doing your website yourself can seem like a good place to start. After all, lots of people use DIY website builders like Wix or SquareSpace, right? This is true - but you'll be getting a packaged deal. Many DIY'ers end up going with a freelancer sooner or later to make changes to templates or themes they've purchased anyway.
Ultimately, it comes down to how much weight you put on quality; if you want a website that's going to last, go with a professional.
Hosting: $2 to $infinity per month
Hosting is one of those things where it reeeeaaalllly depends on your website. A smaller website with few assets (images/videos/etc) can get away with shared hosting most of the time, though I don't recommend it; larger websites should consider the more expensive, but more flexible, virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server hosting plans. DIY websites, as described above, typically include hosting as a part of their monthly plans (about $8 to $50 per month). If you are building a website away from one of those DIY sites, you can purchase your own hosting plan for your website from places like DreamHost or GoDaddy.
I offer hosting solutions for my clients for a flat rate of $8.25 per month ($99 per year). This makes it easy for you, since I maintain, update, and test the servers regularly to avoid any problems.
Sourcing Images & Videos: $0 to $250
Obviously, you don't want your website to be void of color and imagery! You can use your phone or other device to create personalized photos and videos. Hiring a professional photographer can run up hundreds of dollars, but they'll look fantastic. What's left are stock photos or freebies from Google, which can actually be great, too, if you take the time to look.
E-Commerce: Double that of a similar non-ecommerce website
If you plan to sell online, you should also plan to pay a bit more for your website. Whether for development of your online store or just the service of allowing you to sell your products online (through a DIY site, for example), it is usually an undertaking. Online marketplaces have the following, which factor into overall costs of running the marketplace:
- higher traffic;
- large, high-resolution images;
- payment gateways; and
- security features, like two-factor authentication.
Of course, there's more to consider - but generally speaking an e-commerce website will cost more to build and maintain.
Certainly, there are other items that can kick up the cost of your website, though not so much in terms of money as much as in time:
- Content: Writing your own content is something you should seriously do; it takes a little bit of time, but it's well worth it. However, you could hire a professional writer to take care of your content for you.
- Social Media: Your website is just the start. You'll need to get going on blogging, social media, and content marketing.
- Search Engine Optimization: Really, if you can get your content marketing and blogging down, you'll just need to add some good networking links from other websites (and keep adding them), called backlinks, and your SEO should take care of itself.
What Do You Think?
If you have any clarifying questions, don't hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!