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How much does a website cost in 2018? The definitive guide

Antonio Di Sano
by Antonio Di Sano
Published on 9 May, 2018

blog banner with the copy how much does a website cost in 2018 and a rocket flying out of a desktop screen

 

You’ve just launched your business. Among many new concerns, you may wondering:

Should I get a professional website?

Or maybe you already have a website for your business, but worry that it’s a bit outdated and are considering new options for better results in attracting customers. 

Fortunately, you’re in the right place in both cases. 

In this definitive guide, we’re going to lay out everything you need know about the cost of building a website.

There’s a lot of options. So read on for a complete breakdown of the different approaches and their (respective) costs. 

Basically, if want to know how much a website costs in 2018, you’ve found the right guide. 

 

Table of content:

  1. How much does it cost to build a website in 2018?
  2. Building your own website
  3. Custom made website solutions
  4. A breakdown of other costs
  5. Conclusion

How much does it cost to build a website in 2018?

Perhaps a better question is: “How much should a website cost?”

Assuming you don’t build yours yourself, the average cost of a website for a small business, according to web developers, is in the £2,000 to £8,000 range.

Keep in mind this is just an estimate for a simple website with very limited functionality. Moreover, this is roughly the cost of just building the website — it doesn’t account for the necessary tech maintenance and other subscription fees you’re likely to end up paying for, too.

One reason it’s difficult to specify the cost of a website precisely is that there are so many different types to choose from: you’ve got basic landing pages, E-commerce sites, database-driven sites, etc. 

In this article, we’ll go through all the features that matter for local businesses, so you can approximate what you’d spend to commission a website.

 

infographics detailing the cost for a website

Building your own website (DIY) 

Building your own website is a good way to cut down on costs. 

 

With all the different web-building platforms available today, you don’t need to be massively tech-savvy to build a website. You don’t have to code, or manage hosts or servers or even know what a responsive web design is.

Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose your website builder – Wix, Squarespace or Weebly are popular and it’s free to get started. 

Step 2: Choose your domain (though to get a custom domain, you’ll need to pay for a subscription)

Step 3: Pick your template from the available options 

Step 4: Select images, customise the layout, and add the copy (writing the descriptions of your services, your contact information, etc.)

This process is technically free. But, although you’ll get your website, you won’t necessarily get the maintenance your website will need to perform in the long-term.

Also, be aware: just because you have a website, doesn’t mean your customers can see you!

To get your business in front of customers, you need to plant more than just one seed. Your website is where it starts, but you should also create profiles for your business on social media (such as Facebook), search engines (such as Google Maps), and on directories. Each of these adds both credibility and visibility for your business, meaning it’s easy for customers to find you and win their trust.

Website Builders

Wix

Wix is one of the most popular drag-and-drop website builders out there. The problem with Wix however, is that just building an attractive website isn’t enough to start attracting customers. You need to incorporate strategies such as SEO (search-engine optimisation) to ensure the right keywords, the correct sizing of images, and other technical aspects of your website are all in place to ensure it ranks on the first page of Google. And how Google (the largest search engine) evaluates websites to select which ones appear in the first page of results is always changing, so regular updates are a must.

Wix prices range from £5 to £25 a month for just the creation of a website.

WordPress

Although WordPress is free, it presents the same problems as Wix, but demands more from you in terms of technical know-how. Plus, you’ll have to pay for the web-hosting yourself, which can cost up to £2,500 a month. WordPress offers business owners a short-term solution, but it’s not a good option for businesses without a large budget to spend on developing and managing their website. 

Squarespace

You need to enrol in a paid subscription to paid use and access this service, but you do get a free trial for 14 days. 

Costs of operating your website on SquareSpace range from £10 to 40 a month, depending on the features you choose (an online store, professional email account, etc.).

Many SquareSpace users tout the nice-looking templates available on SquareSpace. Indeed, the options available on SquareSpace are aesthetically focused and they do look very slick and appealing. But once you begin to customise the template of your choice, you may run into problems. You really need a professional to ensure the layout is optimised for all devices (mobile phones as well as computers) and that it’s easy to navigate.

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce website builders out there thanks to the ease with which small business owners can set up an “online shop” for somewhere between £30 to £300 a month. If you’re looking to sell and ship products online, this is definitely a good option with reasonable costs. 

Sitebuilder.com

Like Squarespace, Sitebuilder has loads of quality templates to access and interesting e-commerce features, but again, you have to pay for anything between £30 to £300 a month. Again, the same issues apply: a lack of the “whole-package” should be a turnoff for small business owners.

A valid alternative to Website Builders: UENI

A valid alternative to website builders is offered by UENI.

UENI provides marketing and advertising services to small businesses through tailored websites, social media pages, and managed Google and Facebook ads. UENI-built websites are secure, search-engine optimized, include a free custom domain name and responsive design, and are written by professional copywriters.

How UENI compares to other web designers:

infographics showing UENI websites compared to competitors

UENI may already have pre-built your website, and activating yours costs just £1 a day. You only pay for your subscription on a month-to-month basis. There’s no obligation, and you can cancel anytime.

No, you don’t need your head examined — you read that right.

UENI builds websites for small businesses ahead of time so you can evaluate a finished product before you make a purchase.

With UENI, there’s no fuss, no muss – it’s just click and go.

Here’s the deal: if you’re a small business owner, you do need a website.

But at UENI, our philosophy is that it doesn’t need to be costly or complicated to build a website for your small business. We know running a business is hard enough —getting online should be easy.

We always have small business owners in mind. And, thanks to our ever-improving automation, our tech gurus keep the prices low and performance high.

Custom-made website solutions

Now that you know more about the different options available to build your own website, let’s take a look at the various custom-made website solutions that exist for professionals.

Like with every purchase, you need to be clear about your needs before making a final decision. You can usually start by asking yourself about:

  • The type of content you’re planning to publish (are you looking to only list your services and prices, to regularly publish blog articles, tutorials or contests, or to share media content such as pictures, videos or slide desk?
  • The overall layout of your website (how much content will be hosted on your website and how will you structure it to be as clear as possible?)
  • The role you’re willing to play (are you planning to get involved during the conception phase or would you rather have someone else help you with it?)

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’ll be easier to decide which custom-made website solution is best suited to your professional activity. Here’s a few examples to help you make a decision.

Basic Websites

Basic websites are one-page landing sites that serve a couple of primary functions for the benefit of the user. They’re useful for small businesses who just want to display essential info about their business, such as ‘About Us’ descriptions, contact info, opening hours and Google Maps locations.

Again, you can build your own, or pay a freelancer to design and create one for you, or even a specific company service to do the hard lifting for you. But they don’t come cheap. Even though you’re going for the basic features, you can expect to pay anything between £200-700. These basic websites give a stripped back presence but they do exactly what they say on the tin. And a good, solid website – if basic – is far more beneficial than no website at all. Besides, if you’ve no need to update your content regularly, they’re ideal.

You can create websites using website builders like Wix and WordPress.

Small Business Websites

Specially designated websites for small businesses are more advanced than your basic pages. They are informational websites with employee bios, downloadable content and store locators. They generally consist of a few pages and are feature-rich, integrating factors like Social Media, Google Maps, Google Analytics, so these websites should be more mobile responsive than basic sites.

These can be done by freelance web developers or actual website builders. Although perching on the more expensive spectrum, hiring a freelance developer to build your website for you does offer many benefits, like you being able to have a say on the creation and visual image of your brand.

If you include all the relevant costs, you can be looking at anything between £1,000-£2,000, but more if you hire a developer to do the job for you.

E-commerce Websites

Besides incorporating all the features of a small business website, E-commerce websites are all about the shopping features for customers. This means integrating an order management system, shopping basket features, a login functionality, delivery tracking systems and possibly live chat features for the customer support to assist buyers.

Obviously, this is a much higher scale of website functionality, so will probably be looking at £3,000-£5,000 and that’s being quite generous. Plus, providing something called a SSL certificate will add security to your site and reassure customers that their credit card information remains safe when they make purchases. This can cost anywhere between £15-£250 a year.

Bespoke Websites

A bespoke website is one that is completely built from scratch to tailor to a company’s individual needs – they are not created using or inspired by standard templates. Bespoke websites require complex functionality and although they are better designed for larger companies, anyone that requires this advanced functionality can get a bespoke website designed to match their specialised needs.

Generally, bespoke websites cater to mobile design in a way others simply can’t: their desktop and mobile versions may vary completely when it comes to style and design to favour user-friendly interaction. Because such large companies are in need of bespoke websites, including banking websites and health websites, prices can range anywhere from £3,000-£10,000.

Database-driven Websites

Although technically part of the bespoke website category, database-driven websites are dynamic and update content on an automatic basis as customers interact with it – complicated stuff. All this stores information securely in one place so this fancy programming clearly will use far more setup and maintenance expertise than other websites, meaning the price will be higher, just like bespoke websites which have similar functions. And like bespoke websites, prices range from £3,000-£10,000, depending on the level of advance required.

Choosing your website solution is an important decision. That’s often the first glimpse users will get from your business, so you want to make sure to choose well for your investment to pay off. 

A breakdown of other costs

Within each established cost that we have provided, there are specific costs you should know about before agreeing to pay the total, just so you can be aware of what it is exactly you’re paying for.

1. Design

Template customization is one of the most important parts of your website, as this is the first thing customers will see when landing on your page. It’s a company’s opportunity to display their brand and as such, you should have a large say over your preferred web design. You’re looking at £200 to £5,000 depending on who you’re hiring and what type of website you’re going for.

2. Setting up Costs

This price includes that of the package without including long-term costs like hosting and updating copy. This can range from £200 to £500.

3. Hosting

Web hosting basically allows websites on the internet – All websites need to be hosted on web servers, and this basically means renting space on the internet. Although there are different types of hosting, most prices range from £3 to £200.

4. Content by professional copywriters

Second to visual design, copy is another extremely significant factor in website creation. You can of course, do the written content yourself to keep costs down, but professional copywriters are highly trained in what they do and address the audience in an appealing way. From freelancer agencies to whole-package companies, hiring a professional copywriter is a sure way to boost your website.

Updating regular content helps your website appear more often on google searches and you may need to update content for other reasons, like new services, products or special offers you’re providing as a business. Costs vary, but you can expect to pay between £10 to £60 a month.

5. SEO

SEO works by boosting websites to appear or “rank” as high as possible so that when a business’s potential customers search for their relevant service locally, the business website appears in the first few results. Some web design companies might offer this service as part of their package, but otherwise, you might have to pay for a freelancer. SEO costs can vary from £100 to £1500 a month.

6. Images/visuals

You can buy images from a professional photographer, supply them yourself or buy them from stock websites. Costs range from £15 to £100.

7. Domain Name

Your domain name is another signposting factor towards the nature of your business and can determine exactly what your services involve before a customer lands on your page. Domain names are also extremely important and can cost anywhere between £5 a month to £100 per year.

As you can see, there are a few additional costs to take into accounts when purchasing a professional. Depending on which website builders you choose, these can be included in the initial price or come as extra. Here’s a breakdown of the costs to help you visualise it better.

infographics detailing all the extra costs associated with web design

Conclusion

You should be honest with yourself about exactly what kind of website you and your business need. There is no point spending vast amounts of money on a multi-feature, complex website if all you need is limited functionality that a basic website can provide.

So ask yourself, do you really need all the costs/features that websites offer, or should you just stick to what will get your business, at least in the beginning?

Set your budget so you can scale accordingly, but remember, for the full online package, UENI is affordable, reliable and gets the job done.

Antonio Di Sano
Antonio Di Sano
Antonio is an SEO Manager with a proven track record of driving web traffic and increasing corporate revenue; he expertly identifies emerging trends and evolving strategies and then applies them to improve sites' performance in search results (SEO).
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