One of the most common questions I get asked is “How much does it cost to have a website built for a small business?” I have put together some answers for various types of websites, some current average costs and estimated ongoing expenses that I‘ve learned over the course of the last decade. 

Today it’s actually getting very difficult to tell which design costs more just by looking at them; whether or not it’s a template design or it’s a premium WordPress website. Building a website today can start as low as several hundred dollars and go as high as several thousand for a customized WordPress. It’s really all about finding the right type of website that will work within your budget, the simplicity of the hosting and the level of service required for ongoing changes and maintenance.  

A template website is by far the cheapest and quickest way to have a website built, hosted and maintained while an open format website like WordPress requires a long term investment. It can become more expensive if you include premium add-ons and professional services. However, WordPress is preferred by many people with a world-wide market of over 36% and by marketing experts with SEO settings that are much more advanced.  

Template Websites

With the new website builder platforms, marketing experts can create a truly professional website. Most good agencies offer the best of brand, whether WiX, Squarespace or Weebly as they know a good foundation offers better results, flexibility and integrations. Also these platforms are maintenance free, reasonably priced for hosting and have simple mobile user access for edits and changes.     

Summary 

  • Good for startups and sole proprietors
  • Quick and affordable setup and design
  • Reasonable and maintenance free hosting
  • All in one website and marketing services
  • User mobile changes to save ongoing costs
  • Designs about $440- $950 Hosting around $12-$24 month

WordPress Websites

For small businesses that are established or in growth mode, the new premium WordPress websites can be designed to your taste with almost endless options, customizations and integrations. This professional format also allows expansion into ecommerce at any time without changing or rebuilding your website or changing your hosting platform. In terms of SEO settings to get found, WordPress offers the most advanced setup in the industry. However today’s WordPress, even though it started as a CMS (content management system), requires experts to make changes and edits. Hosting needs to be more robust with SSL security, malware scanning and removal and daily back ups. WordPress websites also require updates, maintenance and break and fix efforts..           

Summary 

  • Best for established small businesses 
  • Require professional setups, design and customizations
  • Secure robust hosting with maintenance needed
  • Expandable for ecommerce and many integrations 
  • Content management necessary for content changes, edits and updates
  • Design starting at $1500 and hosting beginning at $18 month 
  • Content management and maintenance as low as $40 per hour

Bottomline and Conclusions

If you are just starting a new business or are a sole proprietor, having a template website will provide a quick setup and design that won’t break your bank. It’s lower ongoing expenses and offers simple mobile user editing to save some money. For those established in business, the WordPress format provides more customizable experience and integration, but requires experts to make ongoing changes and maintenance as well as requiring a more robust hosting platform for security and back up. Either way, whether you’re using a freelancer or agency, great looking websites are the new norm.