Learning the cost of making a website is crucial for effective budget management when developing websites. The average cost of making a website depends on the chosen platform, hosting, and complexity. This article discusses the costs of building a website using WordPress, a website builder, or a professional web developer. Whether you choose a website builder, WordPress, or a web designer affects the overall cost – website builders are the most cost-effective. A clear understanding of the costs ensures that you get the value for money that meets your website’s needs while staying within budget. Let’s dive deeper into each method, providing a comprehensive overview of its costs to make informed decisions.

Who is this article for?
Individuals and businesses interested in understanding website development costs in 2024.
Key takeaways
  • Website development costs vary based on the type of website.
  • Different options for hiring web development services have pros and cons.
  • Additional costs for hosting, SSL, domains, and marketing should be considered.

The Typical Cost of Building a Website

Determining the cost of making a website can be challenging due to various factors. Each website is unique, influencing the average cost to make a website based on specific needs and requirements. Key factors impact how much it costs to make a website, making it essential to consider individual needs and reasons when estimating building expenses.

  • Key Factors That Affect Website Cost

Before breaking down the cost of making a website using different methods, let’s look at the key factors affecting the overall costs.  

  • Three Most Common Methods of Building a Website

There are three main methods for website development: using WordPress, a website builder platform, or hiring a professional web designer or agency. Each of these approaches comes with its own costs and considerations.

  • Using WordPress

When you think about how much it costs to make a website, WordPress is a cost-effective DIY option, with the average cost of making a website ranging from $0 to $1,000 per year. Known for its widespread adoption, WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing users to dictate their spending. Since the software itself is free, the costs come down to the choice of hosting, themes, plugins, and additional features. The rich selection of plugins, from free to paid, with popular options averaging between $49 and $99 per year, expands the possibilities for users. In addition, WordPress offers sophisticated themes available on platforms such as Template Monster and Creative Market, ranging from $19 to $99 per year.

  • Using a Website Builder Platform 

When embarking on building a website, the question of the cost of making a website and using a website-building platform proves to be a do-it-yourself gem, with a typical cost range of $10 to $200 monthly. This method offers an efficient way to manage your website’s design, layout, and functionality. Website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly provide comprehensive online platforms that simplify the website creation process. Monthly fees starting at $10 cover the basic needs of the platform, while additional free and paid add-ons provide consistent website functionality that helps lower the average cost of making a website.

  • Hiring a Professional Web Designer or Agency

For those who prefer high-quality web design, the cost to make a website with a professional web designer or agency typically ranges from $500 to $50,000 or more as a one-time investment. Choosing this approach guarantees a “white glove” service, with experts handling every aspect of your website. While the price may be higher, professionals’ peace of mind and expertise is priceless. Platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr also offer opportunities to find low-cost web designers, which helps lower the average website cost.

Cost of a WordPress Website

WordPress, the leading and free content management system (CMS), powers over 43% of all websites, offering unprecedented flexibility. The average cost of making a WordPress website varies depending on the type, scale, and features. There is a learning curve for beginners, but the freedom of customization is unparalleled. The pros include extreme flexibility and long-term availability, while the cons include a learning curve and a lack of specialized support. To understand how much it costs to create a WordPress website, let’s dive into the main factors that affect costs.

  • Website Essentials

Certain basic things play a key role in the cost of making a website. First, you need to secure a domain name, which usually costs between $10-20 per year. Choosing budget-friendly extensions such as .site or .online may be wise. Next, web hosting, a fundamental aspect, requires costs that depend on the provider and tariff plan you choose. For beginners, shared hosting is a popular choice with an average price of $2-15/month. Advanced alternatives, such as cloud or VPS hosting, can cost from $10 to $80 monthly. In addition, SSL certificates, which ensure secure data exchange, cost from $8 to $1,000 per year, depending on the verification level.

  • Website Design

Considering the average cost of making a website, website design is a key aspect where WordPress excels over other systems by providing complete freedom and control over costs. If users have a good knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, they can create their own code, giving them more control over the cost of making a website. For others, there are thousands of free and paid themes available. Free themes are suitable for simple websites, but premium options, costing an average of $57.54, offer extensive customization options, professional aesthetics, and support. Additional design elements, such as fonts or icons, can be purchased for $3-50 per license, which affects the overall cost of making a website. Hiring a freelance web designer ($30 per hour on average) is an option for custom themes, with project costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to agencies. Utilize freelance platforms like Upwork to find a variety of talented designers, allowing for a thorough portfolio and qualifications evaluation, ultimately shaping the average cost of building a website.

  • eCommerce Functionality

With the rapidly increasing average cost of making a website, WordPress is becoming a reliable platform for e-commerce. Users can easily integrate e-commerce features into their business sites using various WordPress plugins. A powerful e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce turns a website into a fully functional online store by performing tasks such as payments, taxation, shipment tracking, and inventory management. Determining the cost of building an eCommerce website involves choosing the right plugin based on your budget, business needs, and store type. For small businesses, costs are generally lower due to lower resource requirements. WooCommerce with over 5 million active installations, offers numerous extensions for $29-299 per year. Alternatives such as Ecwid (starting at $14.08 per month) and Easy Digital Downloads with free and premium plans starting at $99.50 per year cater to a variety of eCommerce needs, affecting the overall average cost of building an eCommerce website.

  • Plugins and Add-Ons

In the context of determining the average cost of making a website, WordPress plugins play a vital role in allowing users to extend the functionality of a website without delving into the complexities of coding. With over 60,000 plugins in the official catalog, users have many options, from free to premium. Free plugins offer basic features, while premium counterparts, costing $15-200 and more, provide richer functionality. Different categories, including comments, PDF viewing, bookings, real estate, menus, Instagram integration, Google Analytics, reviews, website migration, project management, donations, and pop-ups, cater to the diverse needs of websites, affecting the overall cost of making a website. When choosing premium plugins, pay attention to the pricing structure – some require a one-time payment, while others work on an annual subscription model. WordPress also allows users to download plugins from third-party sources, underscoring the importance of choosing trusted platforms to avoid potential website bugs and security issues in the broader context of the average website cost.

  • Marketing and SEO

Although the WordPress core is inherently SEO-friendly, increasing traffic and sales often requires additional efforts. Various tools allow users to apply optimal marketing and SEO techniques to their WordPress sites. The average cost to make a website SEO-friendly involves deciding between DIY methods or hiring a professional. Professionals charging $50-200 per hour for freelancers and up to $500 per hour for agencies can be more expensive. Alternatively, you can use WordPress SEO plugins and digital tools. Tools like Ahrefs ($99 per month) or Semrush ($119.95 per month) help you plan your SEO, and free plugins like Yoast SEO increase organic traffic. Do-it-yourself email marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising involve using additional tools and plugins, each affecting the overall cost of making a website. Creating a landing page, which is crucial for traffic and conversion, can be achieved with plugins such as SeedProd (from $31.60/year) or Beaver Builder (from $99/year). The DIY approach provides flexibility in terms of budget, making it an ideal choice for small online businesses that initially use free SEO and marketing tools and then upgrade to premium plans with advanced features, building the total cost of making a website with optimized marketing and SEO efforts.

  • Maintenance

Neglecting website maintenance leads to errors and security breaches, negatively affecting the user experience and threatening confidential data. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the functionality and security of a WordPress site. To determine the average cost to make a website through maintenance, decide whether to do it yourself or contact a professional service. Although hiring professionals is more expensive, small websites often choose the challenging but cost-effective route of self-maintenance. WordPress offers built-in features that allow for automatic updates. Backup plugins such as BackWPUp (starting at $69 per year), UpdraftPlus (starting at $70 per year), and Jetpack Backup ($1 for the first month and $5 for each subsequent month) automate backups. Additional maintenance tasks include changing passwords, fixing errors, clearing the cache, and troubleshooting broken links. For those who lack the time or knowledge, professional technical support services cost $50-300 per month or more, depending on the scale and complexity of the website, which affects the overall cost of maintaining a website securely.

Cost of a Website Builder-Created Website

Website builders allow you to create professional websites effortlessly, eliminating the need for coding experience. Equipped with drag-and-drop editors, these platforms are designed for beginners looking for quick and easy customization. Before determining the average cost of making a website with a builder, it is important to choose the right plan. Plans for e-commerce websites tend to be more expensive because they offer features such as payment gateways and multilingual support. Although website builders provide quick setup and user-friendly interfaces, they have certain limitations, such as limited ability to install third-party software and fixed ongoing costs, which affect the overall cost of making a website.

  • Website Essentials

Website builders simplify the cost of making a website by including web hosting in every plan, eliminating the need for separate purchases, unlike WordPress or customized sites. Free plans often provide a branded domain name, such as yourwebsite.webly.com. You can purchase your own domain using the builder or an external registrar, renewing it annually. Premium plans may offer a free domain for the first year, and subsequent renewals will cost an average of $10-20 per year. Concerns about buying and renewing SSL are diminished as website builder prices usually include SSL renewal and web hosting, affecting the overall average cost of making a website with the required features.

  • Website Design

The appeal of website builders lies in the minimal cost of making a website in terms of design. Unlike WordPress or custom websites, many website builders offer a range of pre-made templates for different purposes, such as e-commerce sites, landing pages, and blogs, often for free. Thanks to the user-friendly drag-and-drop editors, a staple in website builders, users can personalize these templates with no coding skills. However, the disadvantage is the limited flexibility in terms of design, as many builders do not support third-party templates, which affects the choice and overall average cost of making a website with design considerations.

  • E-commerce Functionality

You will find special plans designed for small and medium-sized businesses if you research the average cost of making an e-commerce website with e-commerce features using website builders. These plans usually include the basic features needed to support a business website, including multiple payment gateways, order and inventory management, and shipping options. While some website builders integrate e-commerce features into their plans, others offer them as paid add-ons that charge extra on top of the cost of the basic plan. To find out how much it costs to build a website with e-commerce capabilities, you need to estimate these additional costs and consider the overall impact on your budget.

  • Plugins and Add-Ons

Compared to WordPress, website builders offer a more limited selection of additional features because users cannot install third-party add-ons. Their capabilities are limited to what each platform offers in its market. For example, many builders come with marketing integrations such as Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Messenger for live chat, Meta Pixel for Facebook ad tracking, and Hotjar for visual heat maps. While some platforms offer these apps for free, others cost anywhere from $5 to $150 per month. Examining the cost of making a website with plugins and add-ons involves looking at these variations and their impact on the average cost of making a website.

  • Marketing and SEO

The balance between the cost of making a website and effective marketing and SEO strategies involves both manual work and the website’s internal structure. Luckily, many website builders are pre-optimized for search engines, offering built-in configurations and tools that boost SEO performance. Consider the additional costs of third-party marketing and SEO tools, including premium SEO tools for keyword research, email marketing tools, affiliate marketing programs, and pay-per-click advertising. Additionally, hiring a freelance marketer (around $50-200 per hour) or an agency (up to $500 per hour) affects the average cost of making a website by bringing professional expertise to the marketing and SEO equation.

  • Maintenance

Unlike other platforms, website builders often optimize the cost of making a website by including its maintenance in the price of their tariff plan. This comprehensive approach means that users do not need to pay extra or perform additional tasks to maintain their site continuously. The simplified maintenance process aligns with the friendly nature of website builders, offering convenience without the need for users to navigate additional costs or tasks, which contributes to a straightforward average cost of website creation, including maintenance costs.

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Cost of a Website by a Professional Web Developer

Hiring professionals is an attractive option to create a truly unique, custom-built website, although it comes with a higher cost. Web developers and designers play different roles: the former code the functionality, while the latter creates the look and feel. Specialization varies, and some professionals are adept at both. Web developers typically charge $61-80 per hour, resulting in a cost for a customized website ranging from $5,000 to $30,000. Although this approach ensures the creation of a customized website without technical knowledge, it is significantly more expensive than self-development on WordPress or using a website builder. Comparing the average cost of making a website with the project’s specific needs is crucial when considering professional web development.

  • Website Essentials

Although some web developers may include hosting and domain name registration in their services, purchasing these basic services on your own is advisable to have a clear idea of the cost of making a website. Purchasing hosting costs about $2-80 per month, and a domain name, usually $10-20 per year, allows you to better negotiate the total cost of web development. Self-purchasing ensures quick resolution of hosting or domain errors without developer intervention. In addition, retaining ownership of important aspects, such as domain registration in your name, protects against potential problems. Don’t forget about getting an SSL certificate, which can be obtained for free as part of your hosting or for $8-1,000 per year from certification authorities, which will increase the security and trust of your website.

  • Website Design

The cost of making a website with a professional web designer varies depending on your design preferences. A clear concept is crucial unless you hire a generalist who combines design and development. Web designers charge an average of $30 per hour, while agency services can cost $5,000 or more. People on a tight budget can opt for a DIY approach, which will save money but take more time. Use design software such as Figma or Bootstrap Studio for visualization. Detailed documentation, including budget, purpose, pages, and features, helps freelancers or agencies realize your vision, delivering a satisfactory website within your average cost to make website constraints.

  • E-commerce Functionality

Having a customized e-commerce website built by a professional web developer entails additional costs compared to a standard, customized site. The cost of making a website with e-commerce features such as payment gateways, inventory management, tax processing, and email marketing solutions is higher. A custom e-commerce website costs between $500 and $3,000 to develop. Larger, more complex online stores require a higher cost, which reflects the complexity and scale of the e-commerce functionality integrated into the site within the average website development costs you have indicated.

  • Plugins and Add-Ons

When a professional web developer builds your website using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you may need plugins or add-ons to extend the functionality of your website. Whether premium plugins or add-ons are included in the total cost of web development depends on your agreement with the developer. Otherwise, you need to purchase them separately. Premium WordPress plugins usually cost from $15 to $200 each, which increases the total cost of making a website and fits into your estimated average cost of making a website.

  • Marketing and SEO

Developing your website after its launch focusing on traffic and conversion rates becomes crucial. You must master marketing and SEO on your own or seek professional help.

Going it alone is cost-effective but requires significant time and effort. Elements such as SEO tools, email marketing tools, affiliate programs, and pay-per-click advertising increase the costs of building a website. Alternatively, hiring a freelancer or agency, with rates ranging from $50 to $500 per hour, allows you to prioritize other aspects of your business, influencing the average cost of making a website based on experience and expertise.

  • Maintenance

Hiring a website maintenance provider becomes critical without regular support from your web developer. Depending on the project’s complexity, costs usually range from $50-300 per month or more.

Handling some or all of the maintenance tasks for WordPress users is cost-effective. In addition to automatic updates, WordPress extends support with various free and paid security and backup plugins, which further affects the average cost of making a website and ensures its stable functionality.

Tips on How to Reduce Website Development Costs

Creating a website involves managing the costs of building it, and it’s important to minimize unnecessary expenses. Consider these strategies to reduce the average cost of making a website:

  • Do-it-yourself troubleshooting: Unless it’s critical, fix problems yourself before calling in the professionals. Ask for help from tutorials or hosting providers.
  • Prioritize quality: Invest in quality hosting, themes, and plugins for long-term benefits. Avoid cheap products that can lead to complications in the future.
  • Focus on the goal: Align costs with the primary purpose of your website. Prioritize spending on features that directly contribute to your website’s purpose.
  • Estimate the time investment: Take into account personal time and effort. Some people prefer to invest more money for convenience, while others choose a practical, cost-effective approach.

By adopting these measures, you can manage how much it costs to make a website effectively.

Final words

So, understanding how much it will cost to make a website in 2024 is paramount to effective budget management. The average cost of making a website is influenced by factors such as platform choice, hosting, and complexity. Whether you choose WordPress, a website builder, or a professional web developer, each method affects the overall cost. Balancing cost and value ensures that the website meets the needs but stays within budget. Factors such as the basic elements of a website, design, e-commerce functionality, plugins, marketing, SEO, and support all affect the average cost of making a website. To effectively navigate this landscape, turn to Ficus Technologies, which offers customized solutions to optimize website development costs.

At Ficus Technologies, we understand the ins and outs of website development costs. Our experience with WordPress, website builders, and custom web development guarantees customized solutions that fit your budget. We specialize in optimizing the average cost of making a website while delivering high-quality, customized solutions that meet your unique requirements. Work with us to achieve a cost-effective and efficient website development process, ensuring your online presence seamlessly aligns with your budgetary considerations.

What’s the cost of building a small business website?

The cost of building a small business website can vary depending on several factors. A simple, basic website can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, including domain registration, web hosting, and basic features. However, the cost can be affected by factors such as design complexity, additional functionality, and whether you choose a DIY approach or hire a professional. Customization, e-commerce capabilities, and ongoing maintenance can add additional costs. Using a website builder can be cost-effective while hiring a professional web developer can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more. When estimating the cost of a small business website, it’s important to weigh your business needs and budget carefully.

How can I make my website profitable?

To make your website profitable, focus on key strategies. First, optimize the user experience and ensure a responsive design. Implement effective SEO techniques to improve search engine visibility. Monetize through various channels such as display advertising, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content. Create and sell your products/services, or consider a membership model. Use email marketing to attract visitors and promote products. Update content regularly to retain your audience. Use social media to promote and build communities. Analyze user data using analytics tools to improve strategies. Collaborate with influencers or other websites to reach a wider audience. Constantly adapt and innovate to meet changing market demands.

Sergey Miroshnychenko
My company has assisted hundreds of businesses in scaling engineering teams and developing new software solutions from the ground up. Let’s connect.