How Much Does a Website Cost in 2023? [Tips + Considerations]
It’s no secret that a critical component to the success of most businesses is having an online presence. Today, customers complete 67% of the Buyer’s Journey before they reach out to make a purchase. That means, your website not only has to present the image needed to attract your ideal customer, but must also educate its audience enough that it feels comfortable taking the next step toward making a transaction.
With everything that is needed within a modern website, how much does a website cost? Are there affordable options for small businesses just trying to get started? And what if my company is established and just needs a makeover to stay current?
As a website design agency, we seek to be a transparent and trusted source in digital marketing. The prices found in this article are based on research, our own pricing, and competitor pricing.
There are a multitude of factors that go into what should be expected when it comes to pricing out a website build, and this article will discuss all of them, as well as classify website builds into four categories:
But you also need to consider the following as well:
Note: Pricing represented in this article does not always include hosting plans or the purchase of a domain. These prices represent the cost to design and build.
Do-It-Yourself Website Costs
There are an abundance of website editors available to anyone with the time and creativity needed to use them, and they are reasonably priced for businesses (or bloggers) on a budget.
Website builders of this nature range from $16 – $299/mo., depending on your needs. Keep in mind, the price of this is so low because you are doing all of the work and their options for customization are more limited.
- Budget friendly
- Easy to learn
- Hosting tied to most plans
- Not flexible for designs – stuck to a template or with limited tools
- All design and production of the site is on you
- Time burned that you could be spending developing your business
If you have some technical know-how, there are other site builders you can leverage to create websites that are more creative, flexible, and closer to your overall vision. Elementor, Divi, and Webflow are also drag and drop builders in their own respects that offer more customization options (with Webflow being the most flexible). These website developers have steeper learning curves to them, but can still mostly be used with very basic coding knowledge.
In addition, there are plenty of templates available that cooperate with these tools, so it’s possible to create something that looks custom-coded, without spending the money on something that is custom-coded.
These tools range from $14 – $399/mo. (though, technically all of these plans have a free option that includes a non-custom domain with their logos embedded on your site).
- More flexibility
- Budget friendly
- Hosting isn’t tied to the web developer tool
- Steeper learning curve
- Still paying month-to-month for the tool after your site has been built
Small Website Build Costs (>20 pages)
If you’re a business that needs a more custom experience for its users or you simply don’t have the time to figure out how to properly build a website using a website builder like Webflow or Elementor, reaching out to a digital marketing agency or freelance designer may be the right call for you.
Websites of this scope typically range from $2,000 – $10,000 depending on their size and complexity. Here are some factors that will influence the price for a project like this:
- Size. The number of webpages that are required to complete your website design is the most obvious consideration with price. Typically, the more pages that are required to be created, the more hours that are required to build them.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to save money with a custom build, consider rolling out your site in phases. Ex: Do you need an About page immediately, or can that be served on the homepage for now?
- Complexity. Will your site require a lot of custom features? Customization enhances a site’s user-experience, but it also creates additional development time needed to create it. Are stock images acceptable or will new, custom graphics be preferred? If your website needs an element of programming (meaning if “a” happens” then “b” happens, but not if “c” happens), this could push your project to the next pricing tier.
- Website Copy. Will you provide the content on the website or will the agency create a significant portion of the website copy? A business that understand exactly what it wants and what it wants to say can develop a website much faster than one that needs to workshop.
Medium Website Build Costs (20-50 pages)
Websites of this size are generally requested by established businesses and are almost exclusively built by agencies that have a team of professionals working on it (large or small). Often in this case, there is existing content on an existing website. As a result, the vast majority of these projects (and larger) are website re-designs or original builds backed by well-funded start-ups.
Website redesigns are opportunities to improve the user experience for a brand’s customers and prospective customers online. For original designs of this size, it often involves a product that is complex and needing a significant amount of customization to position itself in the market appropriately.
Either way, medium website builds and larger require more planning to ensure the site is created with the correct tone and vision and often ranges from $10,001 – $50,000.
Considerations for Medium Website Builds
- Time. What is the turnaround time for this project? A website that is needed in three month will cost a lot more than one that is needed in 12.
- Content. Is your content already created? Do you have a clear vision of what you want your audience to feel and do on your website? If you do, then your website will be able to be created more quickly, with fewer resources used.
- Customization. Websites of this size, traditionally from established brands, require some level of customization that may involve eCommerce or support pages, gated content (like employee or customer logins), etc. This level of customization often pushes smaller websites to this tier and medium websites to the higher end of this tier or greater.
Enterprise Website Build Costs (<51 pages)
Large website builds have the largest range because they are the most complex sites and take the most time to develop. These are not quick turnaround projects and often cost north of $100,000 for a custom site.
Website builds of this size typically range from $51,000 – $1 million+ depending on the nature of the build.
If you’re a business owner who needs to migrate a lot of blog pages and has a 40+ page site listing various services or products, you can expect to be in the $50,000 – $99,999 range, assuming there is not too much unique customization.
Large eCommerce sites or major brands that may be found in the Fortune 1000 are likely to be on the higher end of this range due to the extreme custom nature and size of these sites.
It isn’t uncommon that sites reaching this size are created in a custom manner for their users, as well. For instance, looking up the same site in another country will show a version in a different language and with different imagery.
It should be no surprise that projects of this scope should be handled by:
- The most experienced agencies
- Agencies that specialize in your specific industry (or their portfolio demonstrates their experience with similar projects) – ensuring your customization requests can be met
Misc. and Add-on Costs
Whether you choose to build a site yourself or you leverage the expertise of an agency, it’s likely your site will have some monthly recurring costs:
Hosting. There are many popular hosting providers available to you. SiteGround, BlueHost, AWS, and GoDaddy are very popular options with quality customer service and support. Which provider and plan you choose will depend on your needs. Hosting is often the most overlooked part of building a site, and it’s something you can’t afford to get wrong. Haphazardly choosing a provider and plan that doesn’t allow your website to function flawlessly is a recipe for frustrated site visitors and potential lost sales.
Hosting plans range from $5.99 – $600+ per month.
It’s important to note that a hosting provider being the “most popular” doesn’t always translate to being the best for your website needs.
Plug-ins. If you choose to build a website yourself, you will likely use plug-ins to assist you. If you are working with an agency, plug-ins may be used more sparingly, but are likely to still be leveraged. Plug-ins offer important features and tools your website may need, without the need to custom code or program anything (in most cases). By leveraging plug-ins, you can save time, which leads to a lower overall cost to build.
It should be noted, however, that plug-ins should be used sparingly. Anything you can code, should be coded/built on your own, as the more plug-ins that are used, the more likely your site will run slower, need updating, or be vulnerable to malfunctions. Many themes require certain plug-ins to use them, but if a plug-in isn’t being used, it should be deleted to avoid any cyber security risks.
Most plug-ins offer free versions with basic functions, but you will have to pay to receive their full benefits. Prices are often structured in monthly, annual, or lifetime totals, and often include customer support for troubleshooting and updates. Paid plug-ins often range from $5-$15 per month, but more powerful plug-ins can be considerably more expensive.
Before You Speak with an Agency
The most important consideration for a website build is your budget. You may want the website that costs $20,000, but if your budget only allows for $10,000, then it’s important to be realistic.
When speaking with an agency, be upfront with your website budget. They will be able to qualify you more quickly if they know what your resources are, saving you and the agency a great deal of time.
Regardless, of the decision you make have the following considered before entering into a conversation with a website design agency:
- Budget – what is your total spend you are willing to use?
- Time – when do you need the site?
- Vision for the site – what moods match your brand, and do you want it to be clean and minimal, or creative and fun (keeping in mind they can be both!)
- Customization requirements – what does the site need to offer the best customer experience?
- Project manager – have a person on your team in mind (if not you) that will lead the development of this project. The person appointed should have the authority to make decisions regarding the site that will not be significantly altered down the road.