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How Much Does It Cost to Make a Website

Every business needs a website. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that every website is successful.

Having a website that's slow to load or offers a poor user experience can negatively affect your marketing efforts. Sadly, you can lose many customers after a single bad experience with your website, so you only have one opportunity to wow your website visitors.

Why you need a website depends on the type of business you operate, but having a quality website is a necessity, no matter your industry. Whether you run an e-commerce business that sells products online, a brick-and-mortar store, or a local service provider, you need a website that sells. As a small business owner, you must always consider the costs of your marketing efforts.

While a website is non-negotiable, you should always understand how much having a website will cost, including the initial upfront costs and the recurring costs that may impact your bottom line.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question, "How much does a website cost?" However, being prepared by knowing the different costs of building a website can help you budget correctly.

Factors that affect the cost of a website

When most people see a business website, they only think of its design and functionality. Website design cost is just one part of a larger equation regarding the total website cost. Factors that affect the cost of building a website include:

Type of website

There are several types of websites businesses can create, but the type you need depends on the different functionalities required to enhance your business. Ultimately, the website cost, including web development costs, depends on what your website needs to function correctly and provide a good user experience.

For example, e-commerce websites need a cart and checkout process that allows customers to browse available products, enter their card information, and place orders. In addition, the website must be able to communicate with other tools to help the business track and ship orders.

Essential functions needed for an e-commerce website include;

  • Payment processing
  • Shopping carts
  • Order fulfillment

Of course, other websites require other functions. For example, a membership website would need membership portals, while subscription websites need to process recurring orders.

In most cases, small business websites shouldn't require too many different elements, but depending on the nature of your business and the type of website, you may need more complex functions.

Website design

Business website development and design can take your website to the next level. You must create website content and organize it on web pages to help you generate sales or leads.

However, poor website design can be detrimental to your business. Websites that are cluttered or take too long to load can lose your business' valuable customers even if you have great products.

Design prices for business websites can range from $2,000 to $75,000, while annual website maintenance can cost $400 to $60,000. These prices do depend on the size and features of your site.

To make a great website, you'll need good web design that follows basic design principles and considers the user experience. The cost of website development varies widely depending on who designs your website. For example, you can create it yourself, work with a freelancer or independent contractor, or hire a design agency.

Remember, bad web development means a bad user experience and fewer sales, so you should invest in making a great website that can offer a good user experience and streamline the sales process.

Don't forget about website development. Some web developers are also web designers, while others are strictly coders who can bring a design to life. Depending on your needs, you may need to hire both a web designer and a web developer.

Business website development costs vary depending on the professional web developer or team. However, using a website builder can prevent the need for hiring a developer.

Domain name and web hosting

Your business website needs a domain name and a powerful web hosting service to help customers easily find it online. You can purchase a domain name in several ways, such as from a domain registrar or someone who already owns the domain name you want.

Depending on your needs, you may also purchase a free domain. Factors that can impact the cost of your domain name include:

  • Top-level domain (TLD): The extension at the end of the domain, including .com, .org, etc. Typically, common extensions like .com are more expensive than lesser-known extensions.
  • Term length: Registrars may offer you a discount for a longer term length.
  • Domain privacy: You can pay for domain privacy to prevent your personal information from being accessible to the public.

Apart from purchasing a domain, you'll also need to learn how to host a website. Essentially, web hosting allows your website to be found on the internet by using space on a web server that stores your website content. Web hosting companies offer the simplest way to host your website, and it doesn't take any technical expertise.

However, you should research a hosting provider to ensure they can offer you all the essential features you need, such as a free SSL certificate. There are several types of hosting to consider, but most small businesses choose dedicated server hosting.

Website builder

A website builder is a tool that enables you to create a simple website. Once you've designed the website, you'll need to transfer your design elements to a website builder that allows it to be shared online.

Website builders are perfect for: Freelancers, Start-ups, Small to midsize businesses

Website builders make it easier for anyone to create websites without the need for web development experience, although it can be helpful. There are several types of website builders, and some may offer more customization options or simplicity than others, so it's important to do your research to find the best one for your needs.

To find the best website builders for your website, consider the needs and functionality of your website. For example, do you need a cart and checkout process, or is your website going to be used to generate leads? Once you have your priorities, you can start researching different options to help you find one that's easiest to use.

Website maintenance

The work isn't over after you build your website; you'll need to maintain it to ensure it continues to function properly and doesn't go down during times of increased traffic. Unfortunately, many small businesses don't maintain their websites, so they can experience issues that affect user experience, such as:

  • Broken links
  • Slow loading speeds
  • Cart issues
  • Security issues

When your website doesn't function properly, it can affect your sales and bottom line because customers will be less likely to use it. But, of course, depending on your skill set, you may be unable to maintain your website on your own, so it will be easier to hire a web developer or agency to do it for you.

Your website maintenance cost will depend on the type of maintenance and services you need. In most cases, you can expect a monthly fee. If you worked with a website developer or agency, they might be able to offer maintenance for an additional fee.

DIY website development vs. hiring a professional

The cost of creating a website ultimately depends on how you create it. You have two options: doing it yourself or hiring a professional, such as a contractor or an agency. You can create your own website from scratch if you're more concerned about costs than design.

website builder cost breakdown

However, if you want a professional-looking website, it may be best to invest in working with a professional. Both options have their pros and cons.

Do it yourself

DIY website development and web development are more affordable, but if you don't have design skills or experience, your website may not look or function as well as you want it to. Designing a website yourself requires several costs, including hosting, domain name registration, premium or free themes, and a website builder.

When you create a website, you'll need to take care of it from start to finish and maintain it for the rest of the time you have it, all of which can be complicated for a business owner. Not only does your website have to be responsive and look good on different screen sizes, but it must function properly at all times.

Unfortunately, most business owners don't have time to check on their website regularly and ensure everything is working properly, but it's a good option if you need to save money. Designing your own site requires a learning curve that can be time-consuming, and if you don't have design experience, it may not look good on various screen sizes.

Hire a professional

Hiring a professional, whether it's a freelancer or an agency, will prevent you from making any mistakes during the web development process and allow you to create a custom website.

Depending on the services offered, they may handle everything from hosting to design, and web development or a freelancer may offer only design or development services to give you a professional website.

When you hire a professional web designer, freelancer web designers, or agencies, you get the benefit of a professional-looking website, and you won't have to worry about anything involved in the process.

However, working with a freelancer or an agency means a higher web development cost. Agencies are typically more expensive than freelancers but can do more in a shorter amount of time and offer additional services. How much does a website cost when you hire a professional? It depends on the services you choose and their rates. Every freelancer and agency is different, so do your due diligence to ensure you understand the costs.

Create a stunning website for free

The exact cost to build a website depends on several factors. There are many ways to create a website for your business, but how much does it cost to make a website? It depends. There's no one size fits all solution for business websites.

Luckily, you have options and can do your research to find the right solution for your budget.

Small business website building doesn't have to be costly. Whether you hire a professional or DIY your website, Mailchimp makes it easy to build a website from scratch with templates or original designs.

Mailchimp's website builder is designed for business owners who want to create their website themselves, whether they're a service provider, B2B, or B2C business. Try our suite of tools today to enhance your marketing efforts and build a better website.

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