Do you remember a famous quote from Bill Gates, “If your business is not on the Internet then your business will be out of business”? In 2023, it’s an absolute truth. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or the size of your company, without a website, people start questioning your legitimacy as a business. Having your own website is a great opportunity to make an impression on your potential clients, turn them into real ones, and generate more revenue.
Moreover, having a well-designed, high-performing, and SEO-optimized website drastically increases your customer base since you’re more likely to show up in search engine results. We at Yellow have been building sites like this since 2015.
Yet, not every website has such a positive impact. A site with poor web design can damage a company's reputation no matter how clean the code is or how fast its web pages load. If it takes longer than 3 seconds to load the page, the user will leave and it’s unlikely that they will ever return (Think With Google).
Good websites convert, sell, impress, and drive impact. Just look at these statistics that really should be taken very seriously:
Do you think that it takes 3 seconds to form a first impression? Well, people will have a solid impression of who you are within 7 seconds but it takes only 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website (Behaviour & Information Technology Journal).
38% of users will stop interacting with a poorly-planned website and 88% of them are less likely to come back after a bad experience (Adobe).
According to Stanford Web Credibility Research, 75% of people make judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.
50% of users will go to competitors if they interact with a poorly-designed and planned website (Zendesk).
57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poor web design for mobile devices (socPub).
Having a website is an absolute necessity for businesses. However, the purpose of this article is not to stress the importance of having a website but to highlight factors that will influence the cost of a website.
As you’ll see later, the cost of creating a website depends on various factors. But just to give you an overall idea, the price of small website development (up to 7 pages) starts at $1,000 if you go for the DIY option, and $3,000 if you hire a team of freelancers or a professional agency.
We can say that there is no limit to website development cost as there are many stages and nuances at each of them. Let’s dive deeper.
Great web design is as essential as bug-free code since first impressions are 94% design-related (Northumbria University.) However, UX/UI designers will not only work on the visual aspect of future websites but also on usability and functions. Their work consists of identifying the target audience and their preferences, analyzing competitors, defining the entire end-to-end journey of a user's interaction with a website, wireframing to agree on the elements with the client, and prototyping to ensure that the website displays well on different devices.
Given that the hourly rate of UI/UX designers in Central Europe is $15, the average custom website design can be anything between $350 to $2,000 and over, depending on web design complexity.
With the median hourly rate for frontend developers being $40, frontend development can cost you from $2,400 to $24,000, or more.
Backend developers are the experts who build and maintain the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites. They are involved in data storage and processing, security, integration with third parties, and other functions that users can’t see. To put it simply, they build and maintain technologies that enable the user-facing side of the website to exist.
There are different technologies that can be involved in backend development and the number of hours may vary greatly depending on website complexity and the number of features. That said, with the median hourly rate of backend developers at $40, the backend development costs can vary from $3,500 to $30,000, and more.
This is when the website content is created and managed. With a simple admin panel, you won’t have to contact the development team each time you want to make changes to texts, videos, or photos. While there are plenty of out-of-the-box solutions, they might not suit websites containing sensitive data. In this case, a custom-made content management system (CMS) can be a better option because of better performance and security, and the client gets only the needed features.
On average, admin panel development may cost you between $3,500 and $9,000.
That said, the custom website development will cost anything between $6,000 and $100,000.
Even websites in similar industries are different from each other. Design, features, number of pages, and type of content are all factors that affect the website creation cost. To make it all easier for you, we describe each of them and how much you can expect to spend on them.
Website development starts with defining the purpose of the website. Based on a specific purpose, you choose between many types. Let’s observe four main types of websites.
1. Personal website
Are you ready to stand out from the crowd of job applicants? While a CV is rarely a changeable document, a personal website is customizable and helps you showcase your experience, communicate your skills, or even tell a story of your professional life. It’s ideal for all kinds of creators–copywriters, producers, photographs, designers. Here are a couple of cool examples:
2. Landing page
A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for marketing campaigns and with a single goal or focus. It’s where the user “lands” after clicking on an ad in social media (or other channels) and is expected to perform the desired action, like installing the app, making a purchase, signing up for an event, etc.
The landing page is an important step in a marketing funnel, it’s the place where the campaign goal will be reached. Why there? The landing page is not a standard advertising tool, it engages a potential customer and shows all the benefits of a product or service. Here are a few examples for your inspiration:
Mailchimp, a comprehensive email marketing platform
Uber, an independent rideshare company
Simply Chocolate, an all-natural chocolate manufacturer from Copenhagen
Mammut, a clothing brand for extreme cold
3. Corporate website (or business website)
As the name suggests, this type of website, including any small business website, presents a company or organization and communicates what it does and how it can help website visitors. Usually, a corporate website has a structure with a set of pages:
Products or Services
Of course, you’re free to add or remove parts from your business website structure, but the rule of thumb remains the same: it must have simple navigation, strong branding, easy-to-find contact information, and compelling content.
Just look at some more examples that you might want to take inspiration from:
PRCO, a PR agency
Unleashed Company, an alternative to a traditional head hunting agency
NASA, a United States government agency that is responsible for science and technology related to air and space
inside.company, marketing consulting agency
4. E-commerce website
25% of Americans shop online at least once a month. Statista reports that by 2023, there will be 300 million digital buyers, which accounts for 91% of the population of the USA. Want more online shopping stats? Here we go with the average revenue per online shopper by country:
|Country||Average revenue per online shopper|
It was just 1994 when the first online purchase was made. Almost 30 years later, e-commerce has become a multi-trillion dollar industry with the projected revenue of $6,5 trillion in 2023.
You may be thinking, “That’s great but haven’t Amazon, eBay, and Walmart taken over the e-commerce industry?” The answer is "no," because there are nearly 2 million online retailers in the USA and 7,1 million globally.
If you are thinking of getting your small business online, an e-commerce website providing a top-notch user experience is a must. While there are tons of articles, workshops, and webinars about building e-commerce websites, there are two words that we should start from: hierarchy and structure. They play a huge role in the overall user experience, making the site easy-to-navigate and clients want to continue browsing and staying on the page. Moreover, good structure boosts SEO and increases organic traffic to your website.
What else makes a great e-commerce website? Again, when it comes to website development, there is no one single formula. However, some points are fundamental for a website, no matter the demographic profile of potential buyers or country, or the size of a future e-commerce website.
Accessibility. Alt-text for images, descriptive titles for links, and content organization make the website accessible and easy-to-use in every possible scenario.
Product images of high quality. Since customers cannot touch, feel, or try items, the seller must provide them with high-quality product imagery to help them decide if those products are right for them. Quality images matter and directly impact conversion rate. The formula is simple: more high-quality images = greater consumer trust = greater sales.
But don’t forget about website performance because 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. On average, slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year (Adobe).
Trust signals that include contact information, customer reviews and testimonials, information on return policy, security technology, and compliance badges.
Responsiveness. Since more than half (53,9% in 2021, according to Statista) of all digital purchases were made through mobile devices, it’s a point to remember.
Website maintenance. E-commerce websites require constant updates and performance tests.
Here are 4 examples to illustrate what we mean by a well-structured e-commerce website:
Mahabis, footwear brand
Bon Bon Bon, an artisan chocolate company
Ban.do, bright and playful lifestyle stuff
Déplacé Maison, urban trekking shoes and accessories
It’s here where you hear words like frontend, backend, libraries, and frameworks.
Frontend is the so-called client-side of a website and consists of elements that the user sees and interacts with, such as buttons, images, and menus. Two technologies are required to create a frontend:
HTML that ensures that the content is formatted and displayed properly
CSS that defines the style of a webpage
Backend is the so-called “server-side” of a website that stores and processes data and maintains the frontend.
Now let’s talk about programming languages that help us communicate with computers and tell them what to do. There are more than 300 programming languages but only 5 of them are largely used in website development.
PHP. Fun fact about PHP is that WordPress is made of it. It's a very popular programming language that gives you a large pool of developers to choose from.
Java is compatible, versatile, and can be run on multiple platforms which makes it one of the most popular languages for website development.
A custom website can be a combination of different programming languages and approaches. It’s quite obvious that when you expect more functionality from your website, the greater the expenses become. Also, don’t forget about website maintenance like bug-fixing and updates.
Buying a new domain generally costs around $10-$30 per year. The price depends on the registrar and the kind of domain you choose.
There are two types of domains: top-level domains (TLDs), like .com or .net, and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) with country-specific domain name extensions, such as .dk or .fr. While both types of domains are similarly priced, the price may vary greatly from one registrar to another.
Here’s the table with introductory hosting provider prices (which will increase after the first year).
The size of the website refers to the number of pages and page templates. Aside from landing pages that usually consist of 1 page, other types of websites are built of different numbers of pages.
|Type of website||Number of pages|
The more pages you need, the more resources it takes to design and build them.
Why is hosting important? There are two main reasons for it. First is that hosting keeps your clients’ sensitive data safe & secure. The second reason refers to server stability when your website experiences an increase in traffic.
As we continue, we’ll cover five main types of hosting:
Shared hosting. This is the most common type of hosting and the best choice for small companies as it’s cost-effective and doesn’t require many coding skills to get started. As the name implies, different websites with less than 20,000 monthly visits can share one server.
Shared web hosting pros:
Easy to set up
No technical skills required
Great for beginners and small websites
Shared web hosting cons:
Performance issues are out of your control
Slower loading times
VPS hosting. VPS stands for “virtual private server.” It’s a good option for small and medium-sized projects that have overcome the possibilities of shared hosting. Websites with large and complex files perform better on a VPS.
Pros of VPS hosting:
Dedicated server resources
Faster loading speeds
Cons of VPS hosting:
Sharing the main server with other websites
Require technical skills
Dedicated hosting. In case you go for a dedicated hosting, the server belongs to your project only. As a consequence, you get a higher loading speed and level of security. Dedicated hosting is a way to go for enterprise-level companies with 100,000+ monthly visits. And yes, this is the most expensive type of web hosting.
Pros of dedicated hosting:
Complete control over the server
Fast load times, high uptimes, and optimal performance
Cons of dedicated hosting:
Requires coding skills
The most expensive option
Cloud hosting. It represents multiple remote servers, each with different responsibilities. When one of them has a problem, the other takes over its responsibilities and the website continues to perform. As a result, the website has less downtime and server errors. Type of web hosting to consider for medium and large companies or pages with 50,000+ monthly visits.
Pros of cloud hosting:
Cons of cloud hosting:
Pricing isn’t fixed
WordPress hosting. That one is made for WordPress users. There are two types of WP hosting: Shared WP hosting—that works like usual shared hosting—and Managed WP hosting that provides enhanced security and faster loading speed.
The biggest con of WP hosting is that it is optimized for WP sites.
Updates are sometimes difficult to manage
Below is a table with web hosting cost per month:
|Type of hosting||Cost per month|
|Shared||$2.49 – $13.95|
|VPS||$18 – $90|
|Dedicated||$80 – $506|
|Cloud||$4.50 – $24|
|WordPress||$2.95 – $228|
Design is as important as clean code and plays a major role in the success of a custom website. Good design is not only about how cute the images and buttons on your website are. It is about functionality and flawless user flow.
The web design can be categorized into 3 sections:
Graphic design: all about fonts, colors, pics, and buttons
User Interface (UI) design that builds the user’s journey
User Experience (UX) design that ensures that users achieve their goals easily and intuitively
It’s not rocket science that the more complex the design of your website is, the bigger the development cost will be.
When you realize the purpose of your website, you may have an idea of features that you’ll need. If you struggle with this step, you can book a call with us to discuss your project. It’s free and has no obligation.
Of course, the functionality of the landing page and e-commerce website varies greatly, and so does the website price.
You’ve built a well-structured and beautifully designed website. Congratulations! And may the Force be with you as it’s only the beginning of a long path.
Even perfectly-crafted websites need marketing to get noticed. Alongside SEO for organic traffic, you can go for paid marketing tools such as paid search spend, display advertising, affiliate campaigns, email marketing, or social media marketing. Again, the set of tools depends on the type of your website and its purpose.
The price of a website is affected by many choices you make. When you have an idea of the type of website you need, then you should choose how it’ll appear. Basically, there are 3 ways.
In this case, you’re responsible for every aspect of your website–from button design to SEO optimization. You can use a website builder or traditional CMS.
It’s a way-out for projects with a small budget and plenty of time for experiments. We have to make it very clear: deciding to take this option means navigating through challenges, like checking the compatibility of plug-ins and dealing with loading speed and responsiveness.
If you don’t want to dive that deep into website development or you plan on something complex like building an online store or money transfer website development, you can always hire specialists that will turn your ideas into a custom website. It takes a team to create a website that will carry out business website design, development, testing, hosting, and deployment. It saves a lot of time, however, hiring skilled professionals may require more financial resources. If you go for this option, the website development costs are affected greatly by the region of your website development team.
|Specialist||North America||Western Europe||Eastern Europe||Asia||Latin America|
The agency consists of experts that have experience in creating websites for various purposes. But, as you can guess, hiring an agency is the most expensive option. Why? Because the agency has talents within its team to carry on UX/UI design, testing, development, content, search engine optimization, website maintenance, and other functions. They put together all of their expertise to come up with a unique, one-of-a-kind website that will help your business achieve its goals. Moreover, it’s safer than hiring freelancers.
It often occurs that in order to avoid the expense of hiring professional agencies, teams start using website builders. Those can be a good option for small companies and individuals, especially with a limited budget and no coding skills. Sounds very cool until you dive deeper into their limitations. Here we’re briefly sharing pros and cons of the most popular website builders and CMSs.
If you’ve ever worked with website content, we’re 100% sure that you’ve heard about WordPress. This is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) used for over 75 million websites. Why? It’s known for its easy-to-use and do-it-yourself tools for website admins and even those who don’t have much coding experience.
It’s responsive, scalable, customizable, and secure–looks like a perfect CMS for every project.
Unfortunately, it has some disadvantages, too, such as long loading speed and frequent updates. Why are frequent updates a disadvantage? You’ll have to log in to your WordPress dashboard to see what plug-in needs an update.
WP costs start with $11/month, but realistically speaking, you should expect a one-off cost of around $200 without a domain name, hosting, and security fees included.
Joomla is best known for its CMS allowing users to create and integrate many native types of content, like articles, menu items, modules, etc. Among other pros of Joomla, it’s worth mentioning one-click updates that save a lot of working time of website administrators and developers.
However, this CMS is, admittedly, far more complex than WordPress because some of the plug-ins have serious compatibility issues.
The Business subscription costs $199 for 12 months and allows you to run up to 5 Joomla! sites.
Wix might be a good option for a start-up, small business, creatives, and beginners with a small budget and low traffic. It has 800+ customizable templates to choose from and advanced SEO tools. However, it doesn’t let you use Google Analytics until you upgrade to a paid plan.
While pricing plans may look very appealing (VIP plan for $39/month sounds like a good deal, doesn't it?), there are some points that we don’t like about Wix.
Templates are not interchangeable, which means that you should choose your template very carefully.
The website is not transferable and you have to start building it again if you’ve grown out of Wix’s capabilities.
WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source e-commerce platform built on WordPress. There are up to 4 million websites created on WooCommerce. It’s open source which means that everyone can alter its code to create what they need. You can install thousands of plug-ins which can be a positive surprise at first sight, but then later turns into a slow downloading speed.
WooCommerce is free of charge but the installation of extensions requires an upgrade to the annual fee that can be as high as $5,000 depending on your project’s needs.
Contentful is a cloud-based headless CMS created in Germany in 2013. The term headless refers to a single interface for all platforms so that the content can be flexibly personalized for each of them by centralizing and distributing content in a universal format. We wrote two articles about headless CMS and how Contentful works. Check them out if you need more details.
It’s free for individual developers working on personal sites, and $489 per month for the team plan.
It’s an open-source CMS platform that is known for its flexibility and speed of implementation. Small-to-large organizations value it for giving their business website users hyper-personalized experience and omnichannel content publishing. Plus, it makes it easy to integrate third-party tools, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
The software itself is free but implementation can cost you anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000 depending on the types of content supported.
|Cost||CMS: Free; Plugins: up to $200; Themes: up to $250||CMS: Free; Plugins: up to $70; Templates: up to $200||CMS: Free; Plugins: up to $100; Themes: up to $80||CMS: Free; Apps: $3 to $15 a month; Templates: Free||Individuals: Free; Small teams: from $489/month; Entreprises: custom price||CMS: Free; Plugins: $0 to $200; Themes: up to $250|
|Ease of use||Easy (No coding skills required)||Moderate (Some coding skills required)||Hard (Advanced coding skills required)||Easy (No coding skills required)||Moderate (Some coding skills required)||Easy (No coding skills required)|
|Suitable for||Small businesses with simple websites||E-commerce, blogs||Large businesses||Small businesses and startups||Small businesses, startups and enterprises||Small e-commerce stores|
|Number of templates||10,000+||8,000+||2,000+||300+||5,000+||20+|
|Extensions and plugins||50,000+||7,000+||39,000+||200+||200+||100+|
|Popularity||75+ million||2.5+ million||1.5+ million||3.3+million||1+ million||3.8+ million|
As we can see, these are really popular options but beneath all the hype, there are cons that may become a problem in the future. For example, even when it says that building a website is easy, fun, and doesn’t need coding skills, the process might be time-consuming and the website maintenance may be challenging for those who don’t have relevant experience. And the main pitfall of those website builders is that the quality of the website may be far below the professional agency level.
If you’re reading this, then you probably already realize that there’s no 1 single formula to calculate even an average cost to build a website. There are so many options to choose from and trends to keep up with, starting with the design and finishing with search engine optimization that all influence the website performance and final price.
In 2023, you can build a website on your own with drag-and-drop builders. People often think it’s free and easy until they realize that it takes time to get familiar with the builder's interface and that they are the only ones responsible for every single detail on their custom website.
Professional agencies, in their turn, will have a dedicated team of experts with skills and experience in website development. They will help you understand what features, design, and overall complexity you’ll need to create a website for your business. Also, they will ensure constant website maintenance. Of course, it’s the most expensive option but the perks are undeniable—you save time and get access to the large expertise.
We at Yellow have been creating unique websites for companies of all sizes around the globe since 2015. For almost 10 years in a row, we design, code, and optimize websites that impress, convert, and communicate ideas and values. We’d be happy to create a website for you. Feel free to contact us to discuss your idea. Again, it’s free and has no obligation or commitment.
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