The cost of building a website – Everything you need to know

If you are interested in promoting your online presence, having a website is absolutely essential. Websites can be used to promote just about anything— a blog, skincare products, a restaurant, a working database/interface, and anything in between. One can spend up to thousands of dollars on a website depending on how well-versed one maybe with HTML, CSS, open text, or code in general. Other additional factors include how much time one is willing to put into the building and implementation of a new or updated website, and if one is looking to hire a professional developer to build their website.

When short on time, I would always recommend hiring a professional developer to build your website. You will save countless hours of work, not to mention the stress of learning a whole new language. Most developers are trained to deal with the simplest to the most complex of requests for websites. While someone may be building your website, you will still have control of the appearance, content, and more.

A few questions you should answer before hiring your professional developer are:

  1. What is my budget to create and maintain the website?
  2. Do I need a custom-built website or can I use a pre-made template, such as a WordPress template?
  3. What features will be necessary on my website?

For your general knowledge, or if you decide to create your website yourself, there are several different factors that go into building the actual website:

1. Domain name

First, you must decide what you would like to name your website. Once a domain name is selected and then purchased through a service like 101Domain, you will have full rights to what is created for that site, how it is made, and what is posted.

It is necessary to renew your ownership of the domain name periodically, but you can purchase plans to own the name for a period of anywhere from a few months to a number of years. If you decide you are no longer interested in this domain name or would like to transition to a new one, you can let the domain name expire. Bear in mind that someone else may then purchase it in the future.

2. Website builder

If you elect to build your website on your own, without the aid of a developer, you may wish to utilize a third-party website building program. There are a number of productive and proactive website builders that do a lot of the back-end work of creating a website. A few website builders we recommend are WordPress, Gator, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix. All of these programs are extremely powerful, and range in price from $0-$300 per month.

If you opt to build a website through this method, there are a few things you should look for in your website builder’s abilities and functions:

  1. Skillset – How user-friendly is it? Do you have to know code to use it?
  2. Features – Can you utilize photos, calendars, a storefront, etc.?
  3. Accessibility – How accessible is the website builder? Can you edit from both your computer and your phone? How is the background interface of the website editor?

3. Web Hosting

Simply put, a website host is both the brain and organs of the output of the website. The web host is where you can upload photos, files, links, make and manage edits, and much more. A user-friendly web host is essential to have a good experience with your website, for both you as the creator and also for the consumer.

In regard to web hosts, I recommend 101domain, BluehostHostGatoriPageA2 Hosting, and GreenGeeks. All of these hosts have fantastic uptime ( i.e. the amount of time a server has stayed running,) and enable you as the developer and creator to have few worries about a potential host-crash, which would ultimately lead to the temporary shutdown of a website.

While there is no way to give a definite answer on how much a website builder may cost, I have broken down the potential prices per function:

  • Domain names: $5-$15 annually
  • Website hosting: $75-$200 annually
  • UI/UX design: $750-$4,000
    • [UI/UX design is the users’ experience on the website.]
  • Front end development: $1,000-$12,500
    • [Front end development is what the users can both see and interact with.]
  • Back end development: $4,000-$12,500
    • [Back end development contains data storage, data analytics, and data processing. This is necessary for an efficient and powerful website.]
  • CMS (Content Management Systems) Development: $3,000-$9,000
    • [CMS is the software where website holders can create, edit, and manage all of their resources.]
  • Overall website maintenance: $500-$12,000 annually
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Anywhere from $300-$1,500 monthly, totaling up to $18,000 annually.

Every prospective website owner must weigh the pros and cons of purchasing or creating their own website. While each option comes with its own benefits, at the end of the day, time is money.