For practically every business, a website serves as an indispensable marketing platform, and for some, like eCommerce companies, it’s an integral part of operations. When starting a new venture, creating a website is one of the first things a business owner does. It’s best to begin the process with a firm understanding of website costs.
In this article, we’ll answer the question, how much does a website cost? We’ll start with a full budget breakdown that addresses how much it costs to build a small business website. Then we’ll focus on the most expensive line item by examining the average cost of website design for a small business.
Let’s get started!
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
Many new business owners wonder what they can expect to pay to go from zero online presence to having a professional business website. In the 5 sections below, we’ll break it down. There are ongoing costs associated with maintaining a professional online presence, but let’s get a look at the initial monetary outlay you can plan for.
Your website will have an IP address, its official identifier on the internet, but the IP address is a series of numbers, whereas a domain name can be something like yourbusinessname.com. When your website is created, your hosting company will associate the site’s IP address with the domain name you purchase.
Purchasing a domain name involves paying an annual fee to the domain registrar — typically, around $10 to $15 per year, depending on the popularity of the domain name you select. The best web hosting companies pick up the tab for your first year of domain registration.
If you run your site without SSL encryption, web browsers will identify it as insecure, which can scare off potential customers. SSL means Secure Sockets Layer, a technology that allows browsers and servers to use an encrypted connection called HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). To use SSL encryption, you must purchase an SSL certificate, a server file that digitally identifies your website.
An SSL certificate costs between $20 and $100 per year. You can obtain your certificate through your hosting provider, who should handle the actual purchase of the SSL certificate, then apply it to your site.
HostPapa SSL security solutions are provided by GlobalSign, a leading internet trust service provider, and a single certificate is only $19.99 per year.
Counting a domain fee of about $12 and an SSL certificate costing $20, we’re up to $32. Now, let’s look at the cost of email hosting, as that’s a crucial part of maintaining a professional internet presence.
Professional Email Hosting
We don’t automatically associate business email service with web hosting, but the two go hand-in-hand. Hosting companies typically offer email services that allow you to incorporate your domain into your business email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domain email addresses improve the credibility of your business, while a business email address ending in gmail.com, for example, might give prospects doubts about your company. Professional email service also offers increased privacy, accessibility, and portability, and you can enforce greater security than with a generic email service.
HostPapa offers business email services at extremely competitive rates. You can choose between a Basic email plan and an Advanced plan, priced at $1.00/month per mailbox or $2/month per mailbox, respectively. If you opted for the Advanced email plan, that would bring the first-month outlay to $33, but we still need hosting and a website.
A Web hosting provider stores your website’s contents and maintains servers that ensure the website is available on the internet. Web hosting does not have to be expensive if you choose the right plan and provider. The best move for many businesses is to select a provider that has perfected the shared hosting service model.
With shared hosting, 1 computer runs many websites; most well-run hosting companies can offer customers secure, reliable, and scalable hosting for around $10 and $30 per month, with a low or waived setup fee.
There are pricey options like Liquid Web for $19/month. With some companies, new customers can lock in a deeply discounted hosting rate for the first year or more. You can get started with SiteGround for $6.99/month, for example, and Hostwinds charges $5.24/month.
HostPapa offers a Business Hosting Plan that costs just $3.95/month, and when you sign up, you’ll lock in that price for 3 years! If you went with HostPapa, the running total for your initial website expenditure would be around $37.
Your website will be the face of your business. As you build brand awareness, prospects drawn from social media, email engagement, and digital ads will access your landing page. It needs to look great. Your site should be easy to navigate and be designed to encourage visitors to explore your content.
Most small business owners aren’t web design experts, so it’s common to delegate the task of web design. For between $100 and $300 per month, a professional designer will implement a unique website design, create content, and handle SEO. There’s usually a nominal setup fee, but if you need fully managed eCommerce functionality, the setup fee could be between $400 and $600.
HostPapa offers a turnkey site design service at 2 levels. Basic costs just $99/month, with no setup fee. If you need an eCommerce site, there’s a service tier priced at $199/month, with a $499.00 setup fee.
To close out our running total, let’s add $100 to design a basic website. That gives us a grand total of $137.
Since web design is the highest-cost line item by far, let’s take a more in-depth look at the amount you’re most likely to pay for web design.
The Average Cost of Website Design for Small Business
It’s possible to spend a considerable amount on web development, but it’s probably not necessary for your business website. Large and medium-sized businesses may pay $100,000 or more because they have special requirements that justify custom development.
While you should plan to include a line item in your budget for web design, you can expect to get an excellent site for a reasonable price. As you explore how much a website costs your business, be sure to factor in web design.
For a branded website that engages visitors and addresses numerous marketing goals, a small business owner can expect to pay a web designer between $200 and $5,000. The services at the high end of that range typically involve specialized implementations that aren’t necessary for most small businesses.
The best type of web design service for small businesses, and the kind most likely to cost you $200 or less, is one involving WordPress. WordPress web designers can produce a unique custom design while drastically reducing development time. That leads to efficiency and a higher volume of projects, which drives down each project’s cost.
With WordPress, a web designer can take advantage of the platform’s flexibility to create a custom site that’s guaranteed not to be like anyone else’s. A great example of this type of service is HostPapa’s Done-For-You (DFY) web hosting option. It’s a turn-key service in which a designer will create an attractive, functional website with easy navigation, compelling, SEO-focused copy, all needed forms, and more.
Get Bundled Service From a Trustworthy Hosting Provider
How much does a website cost? When answering that question for yourself, you’ll find a wide range of prices associated with what can be a confusing array of plan features. Take advantage of the competitive hosting market by applying strict criteria — there’s no reason to settle for a service that doesn’t meet all your needs at a fair price.
Based on the loose estimates presented here, you can expect to pay just under $150 to go from a business with no online presence to one with an engaging website. You can lower the final number by choosing a provider that gives you everything you need in a bundled deal.
We hope this brief website cost breakdown will help you make the right choice for your business.
Please note that the pricing in this blog post is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change at any time.