How Much Does a Website Cost and Why?

Introduction to How Much Does a Website Cost

“How much does a website cost?” – You will note a large range in terms of pricing if you have ever Googled this question. This article gives you an overview of components that are factored into a website’s overall cost, factors that greatly affect cost, and common website price ranges. I’ve also included an explanation of what you are most likely getting from each price range.

website-design-and-development-cost-1 How Much Does a Website Cost and Why?

What is Factored into Website Pricing?

Domain & Hosting

Most people do not realize that there are unavoidable base fees for having a website. One of my client’s refers to these as ‘rent’ fees, which is the best analogy. You need to pay to have temporary ownership to a domain name and host your website so it can be accessed on the web. A domain (or URL) will need to be purchased in order to provide an address for your website. Hosting is how your website files and content are stored and accessed. These fees are required for any website and cannot be bought flat out as they are recurring fees. The way this cost is factored in depends on how your web designer/developer prefers to handle this. Common options are to have you buy this on your own with guidance, have it lumped into your proposal quote with terms for ongoing ownership payments, or paying a lumped recurring monthly fee for the entire website.

Licensing Fees

Some websites require purchasing licenses for themes or extra functionality. Some websites have a cost associated with a base website framework. This depends on the extent of your website needs and what platform your web designer uses.

Project Management

Time spent on project management can include corresponding with the client, organizing content from the client, and organizing the project in a project management tool.

Meeting Time

Meeting in person takes designated time on its own as well as travel time. If in-person meetings are important to you, make sure it is addressed in your proposal terms.

Designing Mockups

Time spent designing the visual look and feel for your website will be factored into your pricing. This also depends on the number of mockups included in your proposal.

Building the Website

This is the most time-consuming part of the project. This may include time spent purchasing domain and hosting, and installing a CMS platform. It definitely includes time spent designing and building each individual page on your website, integrating special functionality, transferring or uploading important documents or content, and potentially more tasks that fall under a website build.


Revisions are involved for every project – this is to be expected! Some designers specify the number of revision rounds or hours allotted. The number of revisions or hours included are something that affects the overall project cost.


Every website should be tested before launching. This includes any responsive (mobile friendly) testing, cross-browser compatibility, and ensuring custom functionality works properly after revision rounds and prior to launch.

Launching the Website

Time spent launching your website will be factored into your cost. The amount of time varies depending on if the project is transitioned from an old website to a new one, or if it is a brand new website. There may be some final testing that needs to happen after the website launch.

web-design-agency-1 How Much Does a Website Cost and Why?

Options Affecting Website Pricing


This depends if you are working with a freelancer, firm, or agency. If you work with a firm or agency there may be more overhead costs. When you work with an agency, you are most likely having more than one person working on your project. The time taken from all of these different people is factored into your overall cost.


A web designer or agency usually has packages which potential clients can choose from. However, if you have custom functionality that you want the website to be able to handle – this can greatly affect your overall cost. Some examples of additional functionality are:

  • E-commerce or online shopping
  • Any sort of payment processing such as a registration form or subscription.
  • Listing functionality such as job application boards, real estate listings, etc.
  • Membership feature with privately accessed premium content
  • Events Calendar

Website Size

It takes time to design and test each individual page on a website. Usually, this is specified in your package. However, some websites have 50+ pages requiring a longer build time. This can greatly affect the website’s cost.

Extra Features

There are complementary services to a website that may be offered by your web designer or agency. These are additional services and take designated time to accomplish. Some examples are copywriting for the website, search engine optimization (SEO), professional photography for your business to use on the website, and more.

temp How Much Does a Website Cost and Why?

Get What You Pay For: Common Website Pricing Ranges

(Free- $300)

This is the cheapest solution, but you may not be able to accomplish everything you want. This requires your time spent learning how to use the website builder and interface. This also requires you or someone in your business to take time actually designing and building your own website.

Low Level Pricing ($300-$1500)

These packages give you the freedom to handle other business tasks and leave the website to someone else. However, you should be careful of hidden fees or confusing pricing structures with this price range. There are a lot of businesses who advertise cheap websites but aren’t clear about what is included. They are also less likely to customize anything. Websites in this price range are generally a template with little room for revisions, edits, customization or special functionality. They are a copy and paste fill-in kind of framework.

Mid Level Pricing ($2000-$7000)

Here is where you will likely have more customizable options and included functionality. Websites in this price level are more likely to be branded and match your business’s look and feel. You are more likely to have revisions, higher security, use of stock imagery, and a premium framework included in this price range. Specific examples of functionality that may be included are e-commerce, social media integration, more advanced form functionality, a blog or recent news section, filterable portfolio, or other commonly requested features.

High Pricing ($10,000+)

If you are receiving a quote in this range, you are probably hiring an agency, have very unique functionality needs, and/or have a large sized website. Websites in this price range may be completely custom built without using a base framework. This price range may include complimentary services to your website such as SEO, copywriting, a marketing strategy, maintenance plan or other services.