If you are currently writing a budget for your startup and wondering how much a website will cost you, here are some honest facts from my own experience in the industry:
Option 1: Hire An Agency ($10000 for basic websites, up to mid six figures for complex ones)
- If you want to go for the expensive option, then what you are really paying a premium for is higher quality and a greater level of originality with the design work, and highly qualified technical staff. So an agency becomes more beneficial only if you have something very unique you are looking to build, whether that’s a very unique design or very complex technical features.
- If you use a web agency, the hourly rate is higher. Often it is in the region of $80-$200 per hour.
- You’ll likely need to pay for other things such as requirements gathering and design work, plus testing. You’ll most likely find a basic website costs upwards of $10000. A complex website might cost in the region of $50000-$100000. The numbers just go up from there. Something incredibly complex could be in the mid six figures or even higher.
- By working with an agency, you might find you have a larger team working on the project rather than a single freelancer. Each team member is likely to have a more specialist role.
Option 2: Hire A Freelancer ($240 to $2000+ for more complex requirements)
- A decent freelancer will typically charge between $30-£60 per hour. How much a total website build will cost depends on how complex your requirements are.
- If you just want a website to show information about your company and products, then a good freelancer can do that in about 1-2 days. So you are looking at a likely cost of somewhere in the region of $240 – $960.
- If you want a basic eCommerce website then this may take a little longer, but nowadays eCommerce sites are easy to build so a good developer should quote somewhere in the region of 2-4 days. So you are looking at a cost anywhere in the region of $480 – $1920
- If you have more complex requirements, then the price will start going up and a freelancer will need to quote on a case-by-case basis depending on the complexity. A good freelancer will spend time listening to your requirements and will give you a breakdown of what their day estimate is for each complex item you’ve spoken about.
Option 3: Do it yourself (free, or minimal cost)
- This isn’t as scary as it seems. If you use a software solution such as WordPress, Squarespare or Shopify you can create a website without any upfront cost, and with Shopify you can build a basic eCommerce website. However, whilst WordPress is free, you do have to pay a monthly fee for Squarespace and Shopify.
- To give you an example, this website is built in WordPress and it hardly cost me anything to build, just my time plus $79 for the lovely template design. It took around a day to set up (I already have some experience in WordPress). The first WordPress website I ever set up took me 3-4 days, so it is pretty straightforward. My Giftizzi blog is also in WordPress, and uses a template which cost me $99. Again, that only took a day to build (my main Giftizzi site is a complex build so I did go through an agency for that).
- WordPress is easy to learn. If you haven’t done so already, sign up to my newsletter so that you can receive my free guide to setting up a website in less than 24 hours. Give it a try, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve with very limited technical knowledge.
As you can see, there is a big variation in website costs so if you are going to budget for your startup then you need to understand what you are building and how complex it is. Is it something you could do on your own with a little preparation work? Or is it something that is truly ground-breaking and complex that requires the knowledge of specialists?
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