The cost of building a website depends on how the website is set up. For example, a website costs between $50 and $250 per year with a DIY platform like WordPress or Weebly. Professional designers cost around $500 to $1,000 or more if theyre designing the website from scratch instead of using an existing template or theme. Completely custom website development can cost $2,000 to $10,000 or higher.
A simple personal website like a blog or informational web page.
All business websites. Its the most feature-rich platform but can be harder to use.
Some small business websites. Its easier to use, but not as feature-rich as WordPress.
Free custom domain for 1 year (then $16/year)
Free custom domain for 1 year (then $20/year)
Optional themes and plug-ins ($10 to $100+ extra)
Optional e-commerce upgrades ($48 to $204 extra)
There are three main options when it comes to building your own website:
: WordPress and Weebly and otherfree hosting serviceslet you build a website at no cost. There is always a catch, however, like limited storage or bandwidth, no custom domains or nonremovable ads on the site footer. A free web builder can be suitable for a personal website but is not recommended for professional use.
: WordPress is the most popular and proven website platform. It can accommodate just about any industry or website use-case but can be a little difficult for beginners.
Visual website builders (Weebly, Wix, Squarespace)
: This newer generation of website builders is the easiest to use but costs a little more than WordPress and has limited integrations with other systems.
Now, lets dive into the two best options for professional business websites: WordPress and visual website builders like Weebly.
WordPress is the reliable giant in the business world, accounting for almost 30% of websites on the entire Internet. The reason for its success is mainly three factors:
You dont need to know any programming to set it up.
Theres a huge community of developers adding features for just about every kind of business.
The platform is free to use. You just have to pay for hosting, which costs between $36 and 100 per year.
WordPress Site Editor: Add text, photos and make adjustments on the left menu. (featuringFit Web Themes Restaurant Edition)
The WordPress editor is designed for beginners: You dont need to use any programming or even have that much design experience. Simply enter information in the left column, and your website will automatically update to the right.
The design process starts with choosing a WordPresstheme, which is basically a website template you customize with your own photos and text. As an open source platform, theres a huge range of community-developed themes to choose from as well asplug-insand integrations, which add extra functionality to the site. For example, if your business uses an appointment-booking system or an email marketing program, theres often a way to add these tools to your website.
On the surface, WordPress is the least expensive do-it-yourself option. You only have to pay for hosting, which costs $2.95 per month through our recommended providerBluehost. Additionally, youll need to pay for adomain name, which costs around $12 per year. The first year is included free, however, through Bluehost.
Other potential WordPress costs include the cost of premium themes ($10 to $100) and the cost of plug-ins ($5 to $100). Both of these are optional since many themes and plug-ins are free. For example, we designed three free themes here at FitSmallBusiness specifically for our small business readers, including arestaurant themesalon theme, andbusiness theme. However, in other cases, you may pay to access a particular tool or integration.
Learn more by reading ourfull guide to WordPress pricing.
The first step to set up a WordPress website is to choose a domain name. You can use the tool below to browse for available domains. If you arent sure yet,follow this linkto sign up for hosting on Bluehost and choose your domain later.
The next step is to choose a hosting plan. In particular, pay attention to your allotted bandwidth. This is the amount of data youre allowed to transmit in a given month, so the higher the bandwidth, the more visitors you can accommodate. Fortunately, Bluehost provides unlimited bandwidth on all its plans.
Example of a WordPress Theme:Fit Web Themes Salon Edition
Once youre in WordPress, the next step is to choose a WordPress theme. If you want a fairly simple business website design, I recommend checking out our free business themes:Fit Web Themes Business EditionRestaurant EditionandSalon Edition. We designed these specifically for our readers as a way of creating a slick and modern business website without requiring too much time or technical experience.
Alternatively, you can browse the official WordPress theme databasehere.
The rest of the design process will depend largely on the theme you select, so its best to follow instructions from your theme provider. You can also check out our full guide onhow to set up a WordPress websitefor additional tips and tricks,
Weebly is part of a new class of website builders that are easier to use than WordPress. Just like creating a PowerPoint slideshow presentation, you drag and drop photos, text boxes, photos and shapes to design your site. Then, simply click to edit, resize or reposition them.
Weebly Site Editor: Click to edit text and photos. Drag and drop new elements from the menu on the left.
You dont have to deal with installing themes or plug-ins, which makes it quite a bit easier than WordPress. On the other hand, there arent as many tools or integrations available. If you wanted to add, for example, an appointment-booking system or set up an online store with many different products, youll have a harder time doing this with Weebly.
Weebly is also more expensive than WordPress, starting at $8 per month (or $96 per year) for a basic website or $25 per month ($300 per year) for a professional e-commerce store. However, there is a benefit to Weebly in that you wont pay extra for a website theme or template as WordPress users sometimes do.
Weebly is also less expensive than other visual web builders likeSquarespaceorWix. These competitors are very similar to Weebly but with slight differences to its template styles and editing tools. Generally, weve found Weebly to be the easiest to use, along with it being the best value.
To get started on Weebly,follow the linkto sign up for a free account. The setup process is very easy since Weebly provides everything all-in-one. After choosing a website plan, youll be prompted to select a template, and then begin editing your website. For tips and a visual aid as you work through the process, check out our full guide tosetting up a Weebly website.
The next option is to hire a professional to design the website for you. This can be a big timesaver compared to building a website yourself and allows you to go much further in branding and customizing your website design.
Use DIY platform but have a professional set it up for you
Build a custom website with strong branding & unique tools
Build a custom website; have a closer relationship with the designer
Now, lets explore these three options in more detail:
If youre looking for a pretty straightforward business website but dont have time to set it up yourself, you can hire a professional to build it on WordPress, Weebly or Squarespace. This is much less expensive than building it from scratch, and its easier to log in and make changes yourself down the line.
On Upwork, you can find web design experts starting at $40 per hour. Simplyfollow the linkand enter WordPress or Weebly into the search bar. This should amount to roughly $500 to $1,000 for the whole project, depending on how much back and forth it requires and if you need advanced features like an online store.
Bear in mind, however, that the designer will be using the same tools and templates you would use if you designed the website yourself. While you can absolutely get a slick professional website this way, it wont be quite as unique as a custom-developed site.
If youre concerned about representing your brand in a unique way, you can hire a designer to build a WordPress theme from scratch. A custom theme gives you full control over colors, fonts, shapes and formatting. So, rather than alter an existing template, you can get exactly what you need from the start.
If this sounds like your situation, we recommend checking out 99designs. Its a design platform where many different professionals pitch ideas for your website. As long as you have a good idea what youre looking for and are able to describe it well in the design brief, youll get a number of unique and on-brand submissions to decide between.
The cost of the web design is $600 to $2,500 depending on how many pages you want to be designed and how many graphic designers you want to be able to consider.
After you have chosen the winning design, you will need to find someone to code the design for your website. 99designs has coding partners that will be able to do this for you and who have experience working with templates from 99designs. Typically the cost to code one responsive page (a page that also works on mobile) is $300 and each inner page (all pages other than the homepage) costs around $150.
For those who want something unique but arent sure exactly how to describe it, a traditional web design company can be the best option. There is a bit more hand holding as the agency will set up meetings and get to know your company before pitching examples. You can have a closer one-on-one relationship, potentially even meeting in person to discuss design edits.
Of course, there are many unaccredited individuals out there calling themselves web design experts, so finding a company to work with does take some caution. Ask colleagues or other businesses with good websites who they worked with. Also checkYelp, theBetter Business Bureauand other local search engines for reviews before proceeding.
Also, if you decide to go with this option, we highly recommend that the design company builds your website on WordPress. Because there are thousands of web developers who know the ends and outs of WordPress and you decide to leave the firm that built your site for any reason, you will be able to find someone else to take over its design and be able to update it. You will also have more control over making edits to your site if its built on WordPress.
Websites are essential to your business presence online, but you dont need to pay an outrageous amount for a nice looking website. If youre a small business owner who needs a basic website with information about your company and wants to know how much does a website cost and how to manage those costs, consider using a DIY website builder like WordPress or Weebly.
We designed three free WordPress themes here at FitSmallBusiness specifically for small businesses that want a slick website without a big investment both in time and money. Check out exampleshere, or head to our full guide onhow to set up a WordPress websiteup in less than an hour.
Jeremy Marsan is a business analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business currently specializing in small business healthcare issues and product reviews. When not helping small business owners he enjoys many artistic projects, including music performance/recording, blogging, creative writing and carpentry.
28 Best Small Business Marketing Ideas From the Pros
25 Creative Grassroots Marketing Ideas Examples
Disclaimer:Reviews on are the product of independent research by our writers, researchers, and editorial team. User reviews and comments are contributions from independent users not affiliated with ms editorial team. Banks, issuers, credit card companies, and other product & service providers are not responsible for any content posted on FitSmallBusiness.com. As such, they do not endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.Post Your Comment
Thanks for the 99designs shoutout! This is a great and truly comprehensive article. Wed also like to add that finding a professional designer for your web project doesnt have to be a pain! We put together this humorous flowchart to help readers have fun with the process of finding a designer (and actually offer helpful advice):
This was an amazing article. Nice write
Amazing Article and very important resource. Thank you
Thats a pretty good ballpark cost range for a startup
Often people write a blog about website building but no one says about cost
WordPress is a great CMS for building a website.
Thanks for your comments. Maggie is one of our WordPress experts!
Were glad you enjoyed her article!
I can see paying $2,000 $10,000 for the initial design and setup of a professionally designed website, but is this really the ongoing cost per year? i can see paying $1,200 per year or so for maintenance on the site, but not 10,000. What am I missing?
I develop WordPress websites, and $2-10K it is what you pay initially. Ongoing is your hosting, domain, and any changes that you will make (if you hire someone do it professionally).
Thats a pretty good ballpark cost range for a startup WordPress site, especially for the busy business owner who wants to avoid the up-front learning curve.
Disclaimer:We spend hours researching and writing our articles and strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content. However, our research is meant to aid your own, and we are not acting as licensed professionals. We recommend that you consult with your own lawyer, accountant, or other licensed professional for relevant business decisions.Click here to see our full disclaimer.
Product or company names, logos, and trademarks referred to on this site belong to their respective owners.