Maybe you’re launching a new business and need a website? Or perhaps you’re looking to take your existing business online.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, getting your first business website can feel confusing, especially when talking about development and design costs.
What features will you need? What about a domain name and web hosting? And of course the most important question of all for any business: how much does it cost to build a website?
In this guide, we’ll provide you with an overview of the most important considerations when it comes to getting your business online, and a rough idea of how much you should be paying for your website, so you don’t get ripped off. If you’re just starting out, here is our guide on costs to start a new business.
Let’s get started.
Related: Discover our comprehensive guide on how to start a small business.
How much does it cost to build a website?
A small business website can cost around $120 per year, but development costs can go up to $10,000 and beyond for a very large, complex, ecommerce website.
Read on to learn exactly what you’ll need for your website and how much you should expect to pay.
Looking to get your website online fast? Why not try a one-month free trial of GoDaddy’s Website Builder?
The basic building blocks of your website and their price
Every website is formed of five basic building blocks: domains, hosting, content, website security and marketing. The table below provides a rough guide to pricing for each of them.
Website building blocks and their cost
|Website feature||Cost upfront|
|SEO and marketing||$0-150+|
Buying the right domain name is vital because it will become an important part of your business’s identity.
In terms of price, the cost of your domain name will depend on the domain extension you pick (.com, .info and so on are examples of domain extensions), but you can expect to pay around $20 a year for your domain. Though there are special offers that can bring the cost down, and some domain extensions can cost much more than that per year.
Try the GoDaddy domain generator to find available domain names and choose the right one for your business.
A website consists of several different computer files and all those files need to be stored somewhere, and that place is a web server.
Web hosting involves paying a company such as GoDaddy to host your website on their servers on your behalf.
Good web hosting is important because it’s the service that keeps your website live online.
The cost of hosting varies greatly – currently, at GoDaddy, the costs are between $5.99 and $24.99 per month (excluding virtual private servers and dedicated servers), although there are special offers that can make set-up costs for your site lower.
Web hosting prices vary so much because of the different types of packages on offer, and the package you need will depend on your business requirements. We’ll talk about that later.
Exactly what content you need will vary depending on the kind of business you’re running and the functionality you want for your site.
For simple sites, it’s likely you’ll be able to create all the content yourself. But for more complex sites, you may need to hire someone to write copy for your website, and maybe even create images and video.
It’s a good idea to plan what content you need for your website before you decide what kind of site you’ll be creating, as knowing what you need on your site will help you understand the best option for you.
You need to keep your site safe. You’ll almost certainly want to use an SSL certificate on your site and may want to invest in additional website security software.
SEO and marketing
There may be some upfront costs relating to search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing when setting up your website, particularly if you use a web designer.
Other costs to consider when running a website
Depending on the type of website that you're running, there can be other costs to building a website, including:
- Plugins and Extensions: To add specific functionalities to your website, you may need to buy premium plugins or extensions that aren't available for free.
- Email Hosting: If you want a professional email address that matches your domain name (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), you may need to purchase email hosting.
- Analytics Software: To track your website's performance and user behavior, you might invest in advanced analytics tools beyond the free ones available.
- Legal: Depending on the nature of your business and website, you may need to consider costs relating to copyright, compliance, or consultation with a legal expert, particularly for privacy policies, terms of service, and GDPR compliance.
Website design costs
Website design pricing at a glance: Web Designer vs Website Builder vs WordPress
|Feature||With a web designer||With GoDaddy's Website Builder (Basic)||With WordPress|
|Website Builder annual cost||n/a||$143.88||n/a|
|Cost in first year||$640||$163.88||$233.88|
|Ongoing annual cost||$440||$163.88||$233.88|
A website builder, a web designer, and WordPress can all help you to create a great website. The main advantage of a website builder is that it is cheaper, while a web designer will help you achieve a unique look for your site. WordPress is another excellent DIY option with a much wider range of options versus a website builder.
Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of using a website builder, web designer, or WordPress.
How much does it cost to have a website built for you?
To have a website built for you, expect to pay upwards of $200, depending on the skill and experience of the designer you choose.
Web designers can create websites of any size with any functionality, but they often charge a premium price for their skills.
That means that while it’s possible to ask a web designer to build you a small site (a brochure-type site, for example) it might not be the most cost-effective option.
After all, you’ll have to pay the fee for the site to be designed, then a monthly fee for your web hosting and perhaps even a monthly maintenance fee to your designer so the site stays in good condition.
Web designers and agencies come into their own when it comes to more complex websites, such as large ecommerce websites and complex, bespoke projects.
Overall, hiring a web designer is likely to cost you much more than using a website builder.
If you do need a designer for your project, don’t forget to ask for multiple quotes before agreeing on a price. (And bear in mind that sometimes a low price can be too good to be true.)
How much does it cost to make a website with a Website Builder?
Website builders are a great option if you don’t have a large budget and want complete control over your site, starting at $11.99 per month.
GoDaddy’s Website Builder includes an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to build your own site without having to pay for a designer.
Recent advances in technology mean that website builders are now suitable for all but the largest of websites. If you’re looking to build a basic website, a hospitality sector website or even a small ecommerce website, then you should consider a using website builder tool.
Prices for GoDaddy’s Website Builder start at just $11.99 per month, and since this price includes web hosting, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper option.
Another bonus is that you won’t need to contact your web designer whenever you want to make a change to your site.
On top of this, our Website Builder tool comes with a host of extra online marketing features to help promote your website.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
If you want more control over your website builder, WordPress hosting is an excellent option, beginning at $11.99 per month.
WordPress is a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly platform for building websites. It's suitable for businesses and individuals alike, offering an array of customization options to create unique and functional sites.
One of the main benefits of WordPress is that it doesn't require coding knowledge, making it accessible to beginners. However, it also provides extensions and plugins that allow for advanced customizations if needed. The vast WordPress community offers countless themes and plugins, both free and premium, which can greatly enhance your website's functionality and appearance.
WordPress is also scalable, which means that the website can easily grow along with a business or personal project.
Website costs by business type
The cost for a website depends heavily on the functionality required for the website. This includes ecommerce capabilities, number of pages and content types used (videos, podcasts, image galleries, etc). Check out the table below for very generalized pricing based on business type.
|Business type||With a web designer||With GoDaddy's Website Builder||With WordPress|
|Small business website||$640+||$143.88||$143.88|
|Small to medium ecommerce site||$5000+||$299.88||$203.88|
|Large-scale ecommerce site||$10,000+||$359.88||$359.88|
|Large bespoke business site||$15,000+||$359.88||$359.88|
Small business website cost
Small businesses can expect to pay between $145 and $640+ a year to make and maintain a website, as they don’t need a site with hundreds of pages. Sometimes a few core pages with details about your services, details about you and your happy customers, and your contact details will do. You might want a few added extras, such as a blog or links to your social media accounts, but nothing too fancy.
This kind of small business website tends to be suitable for tradesmen, freelancers and other kinds of business people who will be generating leads from their site, but not looking to attract customers through the door.
A small business website would also work if you’re running a cafe, restaurant, bar or similar business. Unlike service-based businesses we mentioned above, you’ll have a couple of different priorities. Namely, letting people know what you serve and where you serve it.
Including things such as a menu page, photos, comments and reviews, a map and directions, as well as a way to contact and perhaps even book with you will be your highest priority.
You may also want a blog or news section to keep your customers updated about events and special offers.
Small to medium ecommerce site cost
The average cost to build a small to medium ecommerce website is between $230 and $5000 if you want to have a website built for you, so you need to consider this if Maybe you have an existing real-world business that sells products and you’re looking to branch out online. Or perhaps you’re setting up a dedicated ecommerce business.
Either way, it’s clear that the main focus of your website will be on the products you sell. You’ll also need supporting content, such as contact details, a returns policy, a blog, support pages and anything else that fits with your business.
And if you’re also running a real-world business, you’ll want to include a map and directions too.
Large-scale ecommerce site cost
If you’re planning on selling hundreds of different products, then although your needs will be similar to a small-scale ecommerce site, you’ll need a more powerful site. And as you’ve might have guessed, a large ecommerce site will cost you more than $5000.
Large bespoke business website cost
Looking to launch the next Facebook? If you’ve got big plans, you’ll need a big website and the cost will reflect that. Expect to pay more than $15000 in the first year for a large, custom-made website.
You’ll certainly have to hire a web designer, and you may end up employing one (or more) on a full-time basis.
Notes on pricing: Web designer costs are approximate. (Don’t forget to shop around!). Web hosting, SSL and domain name prices are approximate and exclude any special offers that may be available. Website Builder and WordPress prices are correct at time of writing, but do not include offers that may be available. Total cost of creating your website includes the cost of web design (if applicable), and one year of hosting, SSL certificate and domain name registration. See how you can get a free domain with GoDaddy’s Web Design plans.
Conclusions on website costs
Creating a website doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. The advent of modern website builders means that it’s something the average small business owner can do themselves. Keep in mind, though, that adding extra functionality to your website will typically increase your overall costs.
Interested in creating your own business website? Check out GoDaddy’s Website Builder for yourself!
Pricing is correct at the time of publishing and do not include any special promotions or discounts. Be sure to check current prices.
FAQ about website costs
Can you build a website for free?
Yes, a business owner can technically build a website for free using various website building platforms. For instance, WordPress.com offers free plans. However, these free plans come with limitations such as subdomains (e.g., yourwebsite.wordpress.com), lack of customization, limited storage, and often the presence of ads on your website. So while a free plan might suffice for a small or start-up business, as the business grows, using a paid hosting plan would be necessary to provide a more professional appearance and enhanced functionality.
How much does it cost to create a one-page website?
The cost of creating a website can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the platform you use, design complexity, additional functionalities, and whether you hire a professional web developer. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for a one-page website. However, there are a number of ways to reduce the cost, such as:
- Using a website builder
- Hiring a freelancer or small agency
- Doing some or all of the work yourself
Is it worth having a website for a small business?
Absolutely, having a website for a small business is worth it and highly recommended. A website offers several benefits:
- Accessibility: Your potential customers can learn about your business, products or services any time, from anywhere.
- Credibility: A professional-looking website can enhance your business reputation and instill trust in potential customers.
- Marketing: A website is a powerful marketing tool where you can promote your business widely and cost-effectively. It also allows for digital marketing strategies such as SEO, content marketing, and email marketing to attract more customers.
- Sales: With an ecommerce functionality, a website can act as an additional sales channel, allowing customers to purchase directly from you 24/7.
- Customer Service: You can provide improved customer service through a website by offering FAQ sections, chatbots, or forums where customers can get answers to their queries.
- Business Growth: A website helps you reach a wider audience, expand your customer base, and drive business growth.
Remember, your competitors are likely to have a web presence. A well-designed, user-friendly website can give your business a competitive edge.
How much does it cost to run a website for 1 year?
The cost of running a website for 1 year varies widely, depending on several elements. Depending on your business' needs, a paid website can cost anywhere from $170 per year to thousands of dollars.