How Much Should a Website Cost You? A Definitive Pricing Guide For You

Last updated on February 20, 2019

This is a Part 2 of a 2-part series on understanding the cost to building a website:

Part 1 – We share important lessons from our own trials & experiences, so you won’t repeat some of our mistakes (losing time and money).

Part 2 – [You Are Here] – What to watch out for when costing out your website project – especially if you are new to building websites. Written by an experienced web designer for beginners and includes detailed cost breakdown.

Can you guess which website costs more?

How much should a website cost?

Website A

How much does a website cost?

Website B

(Click on each image to see the actual website)

True, the visual appeal or attractiveness of the design can sometimes give it away, but it’s not always the case.

What if I tell you Website A is a custom made design that looks like it could potentially cost between $5,000 to $10,000, while Website B is a free template from

That’s crazy-talk!!

(Note: By the way, I don’t know how much Website A costs. But it is not uncommon for a custom built website to fall in that cost range.)

Here’s the thing – It’s really hard to judge how much a website cost just by looking at the design.

Consider this — It is indisputable that the Lamborghini Spyder is one hot car. Even so, what most Lambo enthusiasts love about this car is not how it looks, but how it sounds – it is the roar of the v10 engine that takes the Spyder from 0 to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Just like the $250,000 Lambo, what makes up the cost of a website is not only how the website looks on the surface, but rather, what lies “under the hood” that makes a website work.

So, don’t judge a website by its cover — its design is only one slice of a much bigger pie.

After helping hundreds of businesses to create their websites, I’ve done and have seen a lot.

Having experimented with different website building software and tools, I’ve developed strong opinions about…

  • What’s worth your money and what’s not worth it.
  • What to focus on and what to toss out the window.
  • What matters and want doesn’t.

Whenever you are trying something new, having someone in your corner who has experience in the subject can really help.

This is why the value of designers or developers goes beyond just the surface design of the website.

Their experiences, technical skills, and broad product knowledge can help you…

  • Avoid hidden technical and financial pitfalls; and
  • Choose the right solution for your budget level, technical level, and how much time you are prepared to commit.

If you are looking for a pricing chart for everything that has to do with building a website, there are plenty of resources scattered all over the internet (I do have a couple of pricing frameworks below, which we’ll get to later).

But, for those of you that want to dive straight in, I have outlined a brief overview of how much you can expect to pay for a website below.

What I want to give you in this discussion, are advice and recommendations that I would give to paying clients – a sort of free consultation on the true cost of your website.

If you opt go down the route of hiring a website designer then a basic site will cost you around $6,750.

On the other hand, if you use a simple drag and drop website builder it will only cost you $5/month, providing that you only need a basic website.

Website builders also offer advanced functionalities (such as ecommerce) which would cost you from around $17/month.

And the best part is that you don’t need any technical or design skill to use DIY website builders. All the hard stuff is taken care of so it’s easy to get online.

For a basic website you can expect to pay the following in your first year:

Cost of Building a Website:

Factors Hiring a Web Designer Using a Website Builder (e.g. Wix)
Setup $160 $0
Design & Building $5,000 $0
Content Creation $500 $0
Training to Use it $600 $0
Maintenance $500 $60
Total $6,760 $60

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the best website builders that can help you build your website without having to learn how to code or breaking your bank account.

Free* Plan
Paid Plan
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free of Adverts
Personal Domain
Unlimited Bandwidth

*Squarespace is the only builder that doesn’t have a free plan, so to get the features you will have to pay a modest monthly fee. It does, however, offer a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

If you are unsure what each of the features mean, I have explained them for you:

  • Free of Adverts – whether the builder’s ads are display on your site or not
  • Personal Domain – whether you get your own personal website address or not
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – the amount of traffic and data your site can handle

Choose a website builder and make money online today

What type of site do you want to build?

build a website
build an online store

You are asking all the wrong questions!

How much a website should cost is a very generic question – it lacks specifics.

It’s the same as if I were to ask you how much should a car cost?

Uh… well, can you be more specific?

What type of car do you want? – Does it need to be gas efficient? – What do you use it for? – What is your budget?

You can quickly see “how much does a car cost?” is actually quite a pretty complex question after all.

Just like budgeting for a car, the cost of a website is different to different people because everyone values the concept of “cost” in different ways.

For example, if you are a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids under 10 years old. You might value time over money. You would rather pay a little more to get things done right and on time.

To others without kids, they may think you’re overpaying for certain services.  But to you, it’s well worth the cost.

Simply put, the cost of building your website boils down to 4 resources:

  1. Time
  2. Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  3. Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  4. Money


Most people lack 1 or a few of these 4 resources.

Spend a couple of seconds to think about which ones you have (or don’t have).

You don’t need to have all 4 to start a website because you can easily compensate one for another one.

For example, if you don’t have any coding skills but have time, you can always learn to code from various free or paid online coding tutorials.

When estimating the cost of your website, the first question you need to ask is “which of the 4 resources do you lack?”

What resources do you lack?

I get asked about how much does a website costs A LOT – I guess it comes with the job description as a website designer in my previous business.

One thing I’ve noticed time and time again is how much people focus purely on the dollar sign – which is missing the bigger picture.

Out of the 4 resources – money is actually the most flexible one.

Here’s why:

  • You either have time or you don’t
  • You either know / have an interest in coding or you don’t
  • You either know / have an interest in design or you don’t


This is not always the case when it comes to money.

Everybody has a certain level of money. It’s about how you decide where to best spend it.

Why would a person choose to pay $4.50 for a fancy Starbucks latte when an alternative is to spend $0.10 to make a simple coffee at home?

Could it have something to do with the lifestyle? Or maybe something as torturous as waking up earlier to make coffee? Is it the convenience of buying it outside so you don’t have to deal with it at home?

Let’s be honest, generally speaking, we all have some money. We all know someone that doesn’t have a lot of savings but ended up buying a brand new flat screen TV when they really shouldn’t.

The right question is — “is this worth my money.”

The truth of the matter is if you feel something has value to you, you will gladly pay up for it, right? – This is what consumerism is all about.

So, let’s put money (as a resource) aside for now, as if you find real value in building a website (if it’s really worth it to you), you’ll try to make things work.

For now, let’s focus on estimating the cost of your website if you have limited:

  • Time
  • Technical knowledge (or the interest in learning it)
  • Design skills (or the interest in learning it)
Based on what resources you don’t have, the cost of your website will be different.

Let’s keep pushing ahead…

Cost of website if you have limited Resources.

When it comes to building, managing, and operating your website, there are 5 main phases you need to deal with:

  1. Website setup (this is before you even get to design or content creation)
  2. Learn how to use a website builder
  3. Designing the layout
  4. Content creation
  5. Troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance

For each of the phases, you have to determine if you have the time, technical or design skills to accomplish them successfully.

If you are missing any one of them, you may need to hire a professional to help you get the job done, or rely on modern technology to solve your problems:

Option #1:


Pay a professional to do it for you; or

Option #2:


Find a website building software to take over all the technical and design challenges for you, so you don’t need to spend as much time on them.

Get a Quote

If you have heard of website building software like WordPress or, you might think, “Well, both are technology – so how are they different?”

I’ll illustrate the difference here with this example below:

There are a few ways to have high-quality homemade soup:

  1. Method A – make the soup from scratch by yourself. You go to the store, buy the ingredients, chop them all up and make the soup. Nothing is pre-packaged and you have to do everything by yourself – from the beginning to the end.
  2. Method  B – You can use services like BlueApron to speed up the process. They send you the prepared ingredients so you don’t need to leave your house or prepare anything. Just follow the recipe and put the ingredients in the pot. So the process is simplified by the ingredient preparation & delivery service – but there is still some assembly required.
  3. Method  C – There is an even easier way. Cooked food delivery service like handles all the cooking for you. They deliver the finished product directly to your door. So the entire process is fully automated. Everything is done-for-you. Just choose what you want from their online menu and arrange a delivery time. If you can fill in a form, you can get homemade soup with no cooking skills required – pretty awesome, right?


Just like the different ways to have homemade soup,
different website building technologies give you different levels of website building services:

Method  A – Custom Build Your Website From the Ground Up

You can hire a website designer or developer to create your website from scratch without the use of any website building software.

Since the introduction of WordPress, most websites are NOT built from scratch anymore. Only enterprise companies with very specific needs will choose to build a website this way, but this is also happening less and less.

Method  B – Use a Website Building Software like WordPress (Assembly Required)

WordPress is like the cooking ingredient delivery service. They give you everything you need to create a website, but assembly is required.

True you can do this yourself if you have the time to learn or already have the expertise to do it yourself. It can definitely be done since a lot of people have done it before.

If you don’t have time or expertise, you can always hire a professional to put a WordPress website together for you so you can save time and headaches.

Method C – Drag & Drop Website Builders (Automated – No Skills Required)

Finally, we have the fully automated website building service like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Just like the cooked food delivery services that allow you to have homemade soup even if you don’t any cooking skills, these drag & drop, fully managed website builders handle all technical and design issues for you, so you don’t have to.

They’re easy to use and require minimal to no technical knowledge at all.

Note that these fully managed, drag & drop website builders don’t give you a team of designers and developer to build the website for you. You still need to build the website yourself by using their simple drag & drop tools. But they make it really easy for you and you don’t even need to be technical at all.

The key benefit is that drag & drop web builders automate the technical aspects of managing and operating a website – so you don’t have to.

However, there are some limitations here. It’s not like you can have any soup you can imagine because your choices are limited to what’s available on their menu. Even so, the soup selections are still very extensive and 90% of the time you will find the soup you want.

In the same way, drag & drop website builders have limits to their features and designs as well.  Each web builder has their list of tools and pre-made website designs.

While you are limited to what they have, the selection is pretty extensive and 90% of the time you will find what you need.

It is a small sacrifice to make so you can build a website yourself without having to do much technical work (or hire someone to help you).

To put everything into perspective, the cost of websites changes depending on which type of website building software you use (Method A, B or C). Each type of builder calls for different levels of skill or help from professionals.

Now that I’ve explained the two main ways to create a website, let’s put some actual dollar signs in front of them!

Option #1: Cost of building a website if you hire professionals to help you:


When I refer to hiring a professional to create the website for you, most of the time I will be referring to using WordPress.

The reason is because WordPress the most popular website builder for developer and designers, and is currently powering about 26% of all websites.

WordPress’s main advantage is its extreme flexibility. You can create almost any type of website with any type of features you need, as long as you have the coding and design expertise to do so.

If not, you can always hire a pro to do that for you (of course cost will come into play here).

Now, WordPress, in my opinion, is not something I will suggest if you have no technology skills or if you’ve never owned a website before.

Why? Because WordPress has a much higher learning curve and setup costs than any fully managed, drag & drop website builder like Wix,  Squarespace, and Weebly.

I only recommend using WordPress (or other self-hosted website builders) if:

  • This is not your first website – you have experiences managing websites.
  • If you have very specific design or software needs that only WordPress can provide.
  • If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Otherwise, I do not recommend using WordPress if you have limited time, money or patience to learn how to code and to learn the technical ins and outs of using WordPress effectively.

#1 Cost of setting up a WordPress website:

Setting up a website involves finding a hosting provider, learning how to use FTP, linking your website build software with your hosting provider, and finally connecting your domain name to your website.

All these will sound foreign to you if you’ve never owned a website before, so let me explain what they actually mean:

Website Hosting (Cost $5 – $350/month):

A host is where your website content “lives” online.

Imagine a host is like your coat closet and your website is your coat. Whenever you want to get to your coat, you need to go to your closet and retrieve it.

This works the same way as your website. When someone enters your website address into a web browser, the browser will go to your host (your closet) and get your website (your coat) to display it to the visitor.

Generally speaking, there are several types of hosting that handle different volume of visitors to your website:

  • Shared hosting;
  • VPS hosting; and
  • Dedicated hosting.

For most people, you will never need dedicated hosting as it is more suitable for very large or enterprise level websites.

The only thing you need to know is that the more visitors come to your website, the higher your cost of hosting will be:

  • Shared hosting costs $5 – $30
  • VPS hosting costs $50 – $250
  • Dedicated hosting starts in the thousands

If you are looking for good WordPress hosting, Bluehost is a good candidate to get started with.  If you are looking for more advanced, highly-tuned, dedicated WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine is excellent and has top notch customer service.

If you want further information about choosing a web host, have a look at our article on the Best Web Hosting Services on the market today to help you make a decision.


Using FTP (Cost $0 – $50):

FTP is way for you to manage your website files (which are stored in the host).

These website files include your website design, images, features, content – pretty much everything you see in front of you, and also the internal workings of a website (“under the hood” so to speak).

Most website hosting provider will give you technical instructions on how to use FTP to connect to you host so you can manage all those files.

If you a newbie, it may take 1-3 hours to get this up and running.

You can always search for video tutorials on YouTube or pay for tutorials at (around $50).

If you need some handholding / direct support, you can hire a developer or designer to show you the ropes ($30-$80/hr for a designer or $80-$180/hr for a developer).

Of course, you might not even know what to do with the files even once you get the process set up.

Installing WordPress in a Host and Connecting your Domain Name (Cost $0 – $50):

Most hosting providers already have WordPress installed. If you want to skip the installation of WordPress, make sure the hosting provider you choose has WordPress already.

Your hosting provider will have instructions to show you how to connect your domain name to your website.

If you don’t know too much about domain names and how to get one, we have a beginners guide to domain names you can refer to.

If you’ve never connected a domain name to a website before, it may take you a few minutes to an hour to figure things out.

Again, you can always hire a designer or developer to do this for you on an hourly basis ($30-$80/hr for a designer and $80-$180/hr for a developer).

The website setup cost can be as low as $5 (cheap hosting service) if you’re willing to do it all by yourself.

If you need help from a designer or developer to save you hours of figuring things out (if you’re not experienced), expect to spend around $30 – $50 (as it doesn’t take an experienced professional that long to get it done for you).

These are the basic setup costs even before you get to build your website.

(There is a cost summary table below.)


#2 Cost of learning to use WordPress (Cost $0 – $50):

As mentioned before, it takes a few hours to learn the basics of WordPress.

If you want to be highly effective at it, it will take a few weeks to a month to get enough practice.

There are plenty of free tutorials online (but the quality can range from good to bad).

Or, you can use higher quality, paid tutorials from for about $50/month to help you speed up the process.

Within a month, you should be able to learn the basics of how to operate WordPress (note: this does not including how to use codes to customize your website).

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#3 Cost of designing a WordPress website (Cost $50 – $$$$):

Here is where the price of a website has no upper limit.

You can really spend as much as you have or as little as you like when it comes to website design.

Pre-made templates designs (cost $35 – $200):

These are ready-made designs that you can buy off the shelf. There are plenty of options for you to choose from.

The only limitation with a pre-made template is that design customization is pretty limited unless you know how to modify codes.

If not, what you see on the template’s demo site is pretty much what you get.

Basic paid templates cost around $35 to $50 and premium paid templates range from $80 to $200.

CUSTOM BUILT WEBSITE USING PRE-MADE templates (cost $300 – $1,000):

This option is an “in-between” a DIY website and a fully custom built website design.

You can hire a designer to help customize a pre-made template into something unique just for you.

This is a good option if you are not ready for an entirely custom website, and pre-made templates are not exactly what you want.

You can pay by the hour or by the project for design customizations.

Expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for template customization.

The cost varies depending on how much work you want to be done – such as adding a header image, moving the logo location, creating a fixed navigation bar, changing the overall layout design, etc.

CUSTOM WEBSITE DESIGN (cost $5,000 – $10,000+):

If you really want something truly unique, you can go for a custom website design where you can create any design you can imagine.

A custom WordPress design can go for as low as $5,000 if you hire a developer from an emerging country / region such as India or Eastern Europe.

Any capable developers from a developed region (such as North America, Western Europe, etc.) will start at $10,000 and can go all the way up to well over $30,000.

                (There is a cost summary table below.)


#4 Cost of creating content for your WordPress website (Cost $500 – $5,000):

After you’re done with created an overall design for your website, you will need to populate it with content.

The design work (in the section directly above), basically gives your website an overall framework.

The framework may include where the menu bar is located and how it works, where the logo is to be situated, how the slideshow works at the top of your home page, how your sidebar looks like and functions, how your information is to be presented throughout your website, etc.

So the design work basically creates an outline or the skeleton of your webpages.

After the framework is created, you now have to populate it with your own content.

For instance, you will need to upload a background design for your pages, upload header images, create custom graphics for your content area, insert text to describe items, insert your logo to brand your business, etc.

These are all part of the content creation process – so your visitors can understand your business, see what products you have, read your blog posts, so on and so forth.

If you splurge on a custom designed website, your designer may include the creation and population of content for you.

But, what if I don’t have tens of thousands to spend on a custom website, but don’t have time to create the content for my website?

One option is to buy a pre-made template at $35 – $200. Then hire a designer to create your website content for you.

This is a good option to save money and time, but still have a designer help you create content, graphics, and branding of your website.

Keep in mind that the design of your website will still be limited by the design of the website template you choose (as it is not a truly custom design).

Designers can charge content creation by the hour or by project:

  • $50 – $80 per hour
  • $250 – $500 minimum charge per project. This may include a minimum of 3 pages, and additional pages will be a slightly cheaper.
  • Logo or branding design will be about $100 – $1500 depending on the extent of the branding design you need.

You may also want to budget for ongoing maintenance costs. That’s usually about $100 – $500 per year if you don’t make any major alterations to you website design.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

Pro Tip:

If you don’t have the financial luxury of hiring someone to help you edit images and create logos, we have a couple of guides that will walk you through how you can do this yourself, even if you are not technical or born with a good sense of design:


#5 Cost of troubleshooting & maintaining your WordPress website (Cost $500 – $1,000):

The technical skills to operate a website goes beyond the initial website setup (discussed above).

Let’s be realistic, any technology will break down at some point. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

Also, it’s a matter of “who will fix it for you.”

All website builders have software updates, browser compatibility updates, platform updates, security patches and much more.

All those technical updates require the owner of the website to implement and manage.

When you are using a self-hosted website builder like WordPress, you have to handle all the technical issues yourself.

If an update occurs and a plugin that you are using becomes incompatible with other plugins that you are using, or conflicts with the website builder, then you’ll need to either get the creator of the plugin to fix things, or you will need to call on a trusty developer to save you.

  • A good developer costs between $80 and $180 per hour. The good ones are always on the higher end of the range. From our own experiences, it is completely worth the money if you can find a developer that you can count on. Depending on the complexity of your website (the number of plugins you are using, the amount of custom coding you have), your annual maintenance cost will vary.
  • It is very hard to pinpoint the expected cost since every website has different needs. What we can advise on is how much we spent on technical support with a fairly simple website that has very little custom coding and plugins. We spend about $500 to $800 a year. Keep in mind that I’m a fairly skilled website designer and I’m quite proficient with HTML/CSS /jQuery and with working knowledge of PHP codes. This is one of the main reasons why our technical support cost is not as high since we can do most of the things ourselves.


Summary Chart of Hiring a Professional to Help You Build a WordPress Website:

Website Setup Costs Hosting Cost: $5 – $250/month

Hiring Pro to Setup: $50 – $200 (1-time fee)

Time: 1 to 6 hours

Website Builder Software Learning Costs Paid Tutorials: $50/month

Time to Learn Basics: Few hours

Time to Learn WordPress: Weeks

Website Design Costs Basic Templates: $35 – $50

Premium Templates: $80 – $200

Template Alterations: $300 – $1,000

Custom Design: $5,000 – $10,000+

Website Building Costs Free if you do it yourself (but will cost you time)

Hourly Costs of a Designer: $50 – $80/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: $500 – $5,000*

The range is wide as it depends on how much content you have and how many pages.

Website Maintenance Costs Developer Cost: $100 – $180 per hour

Estimated Annual Cost: $500 – $1,000


Option #2: Cost of building website if using fully managed, drag & drop website builder
that takes care of all of your website technical & design challenges


Fully-hosted website builders are the next best thing to hiring a developer to create a website for you.

They are drag & drop website builders that make website building as easy as it can possibly be. No setup or coding is required at all.

You can easily drive down the cost of building a website as you require less time, you don’t need technical or design expertise, and the cost of using the software is quite low.

I would recommend using Wix, Squarespace or Weebly (aka fully-serviced drag & drop website builders) if:

  • This is your first website.
  • You don’t need any custom design or specific software / tools on your website.
  • You have limited time to spend on your website so you don’t want to learn how to code.
  • You have limited money to invest in your website so you prefer not to hire skilled designers or developers to help you.
  • You want more control over your website – so you don’t have to keep paying a designer or developer to make changes. You prefer to manage your website yourself.

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are some of the most popular and reliable drag & drop website builders in the market today.

Of course, there are more web builders out there – I’ve tried most of them already. But these 3 are the best ones I’ve used.  That’s why I’ve referenced them throughout this post.

#1 Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

There is no time or monetary costs involved in setting up a website with either Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or any other fully managed, drag & drop website builder.

You don’t have to worry about hosting, setting up FTP, installing the website builder software or linking your domain name.

All of that setup work is fully automated by the website builder.

This will save you hours (and a lot of frustration if you are a beginner) in setting up your website (keep in mind you are still not building your website yet).

You just need to sign up for an account with your email address and you can start building your website right away.

Both Wix and Weebly have free plans, so all your hosting requirements and the use of the website builder is completely free. There is no time limit to using their free plan either.

While the free plans come with limited features, you can test out the builder first before you commit to any paid plans.

Squarespace gives you a 14-day free trial period.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#2 Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are very easy to use. It’s very intuitive, so it only takes minutes to get a good idea on how to use the drag and drop builder.

If you can use a mouse to drag things around your computer screen, you can use a drag & drop website builder.

So you don’t need to pay for any lessons, nor do you have to spend the time to search for tutorials online.

Of course, if you want to master the ins and outs of how to use the web builder, it will take some time to build up that level of experience.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#3 Cost of designing a website built with a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

All fully hosted website builders give you a broad range of design templates for free.

Now, this may be a pro or a con depending how picky you are with your website design.

Most of these free templates are as good as paid WordPress templates. But the downside is that you are limited to what the website builder gives you as most of them don’t grant you access to the codes of the template to make custom modifications – with the exception with Weebly.

Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

  1. Largest website template library with over 510 professionally designed templates.
  2. Squarespace: Some of the best website design that can rival some custom designed websites.
  3. Weebly: Their templates allow access to the codes so you can make custom changes if you want to – an added design flexibility.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#4 Cost of building content in your drag & drop website (Cost $500 – $2,000):

Drag & drop website builders are designed for DIYers. So hiring a designer to build the website for you is less common.

But of course, if you want to, you can still hire a designer.

If you don’t want to create the content yourself, you can spend a few hundred to low thousand dollars for the designer to create all the graphics, branding and page content for you.

Since the overall cost of using a fully managed website builder is so low, you have extra budget to pay for this little bit of luxury if you want to.

Hiring a designer for a drag & drop website builder is slightly cheaper than for WordPress.

This is not because these designers are less qualified. It is because drag & drop website builders remove the technical barriers previous required to be a website designer.

All of a sudden, any brilliant graphic designer (who don’t know how to code) can become website designers because of the drag & drop builders.

They no longer need to know how to code and can still create beautiful websites.

This gives you a much bigger pool of talented designers to choose from, at a slightly lower cost.

(There is a cost summary table below.)

#5 Cost of troubleshooting and maintaining your drag & drop website (Cost $0):

Fully-hosted website builders handle all the technical issues for you. They have full-time, dedicated support teams that manage all that for you in the background, so you won’t even see any issues at all.

With self-hosted websites like WordPress, it is not just an issue of the cost of paying for someone to fix your website.  The biggest headache could be where to find a trustworthy developer to resolve the issues for you in a timely manner.

This is one of the main reasons why I often recommend fully managed website builders for people with no technical knowledge, or for those who are new to building websites.

It removes a lot of confusion, complication, and frustration so you can focus on building your website and let the drag & drop website builder’s tech team handle all the tech issues.

Summary Chart of Cost of Website using Drag & Drop Website Builder:

Website Setup Costs Automated Setup: $0
Website Builder Software Learning Costs Time: few minutes – 1 hour
Website Design Costs Free Templates: $0
Website Building Costs Free if you do it yourself (but will cost you time)

Hourly Costs of a Designer: $30 – $60/hour

Average Cost of Content Population: $500 – $2,000

Website Maintenance Costs Wix:                 $5.00 | $10.00 | $14.00 | $17.00 | $25.00

Squarespace: $12.0 | $18.0 | $26.0 | $40.0

Weebly:           $8.0 | $12.0 | $25.0 | $49.0

*Monthly fee, based on annual plans*

All plans come with dedicated, 24/7 support.


Conclusion – Action Step

The cost of building a website adds up pretty quickly if you are missing a few key resources:

  1. Time
  2. Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  3. Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  4. Money


But the cost of a website isn’t always related to money. It can be the cost of your time away from your family or business; it can even be the cost of maintaining your sanity when it comes to technology.

So how you budget for your website should take into consideration:

  • How much time you are prepared to commit to the project;
  • How much money you are prepared to invest into hiring professionals; and
  • The missed opportunity costs of being able to use your time on higher valued business or personal things.

To summarize what you should take away from this discussion, here are my suggestions:

Use WordPress (self-hosted website builders) if:

  • This is not your first website – you have experiences managing websites.
  • If you have very specific design or software needs that only WordPress can provide.
  • If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Use Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly (aka fully-hosted website builder) if:

  • This is your first website.
  • You don’t need any custom design or specific software / tools on your website.
  • You have limited time to spend on your website so you don’t want to learn how to code.
  • You have limited money to invest in your website so you prefer not to hire skilled designers or developers to help you.
  • You want more control over your website – so you don’t have to keep paying a designer or developer to make changes. You prefer to manage your website yourself.

Finding out how much your website will cost you doesn’t have to be very complicated – you just need to be asking the right questions.

Once you have a better understanding of what resources you have (time, money, skills, interests in learning new skills), then you will have a much better idea of which path you should head towards (WordPress or a drag & drop website builder).

If you need some guidance in finding the right website builder for you, here are some more resources for you:

Comparison Chart: we break down the differences between each drag & drop website builder for you.

Free Quiz: To find out which drag & drop website builder works best for your needs.

How to Choose a Website Builder: 9 questions to ask yourself to find out which website builder is suitable for you

WordPress Comparison Discussions: In-depth details of how each drag & drop website builder compare to WordPress

Found This Guide Helpful?

Question – Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this guide? Send them this page or click on the share buttons on the left.

You’ll be helping us out by spreading the word about our website, and you’ll be helping them out!



About Connie

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.



About Connie

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

Leave a Reply

161 Responses to How Much Should a Website Cost You? A Definitive Pricing Guide For You

  1. #

    Thank you so much. This is just what I needed to know in getting a website done and saving money as a new author of my first book . Thank you for pointing out the sites for a beginner like weebly, and wix, and squarespace . I had been told by a designer of websites that I didn’t want to use these sites. Because of cost . But I had looked into it and thought that one of those sites is a better choice for me at just starting out. And I don’t want to spend over 2000.00. To get a site and then 100. A month for the certifcate. I am so glad I saw this online. Thank you for taking the time to wrote this post ,

    • Hannah Whitfield

      Hi Deborah,

      Thanks so much for your comment, and congratulations on the book! So glad you found this useful, and were able to save some money by using a website builder.

      All the best,


  2. #

    Excellent post. May require your services in future.

    • Charlie Carmichael

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re glad you enjoyed the article, feel free to check out any of our other articles onsite should you need any further information.


  3. #

    This guide is really helpful.

    I was looking for a resource to guide our decision re: hiring a website developer.

    This helped me to understand all the not so obvious factors.


    • Lucy Carney

      Hi Modupe,
      Thanks so much for your positive comments, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and found it useful! Hopefully the rest of the site will have some useful resources for you too. Thanks for reading,

  4. #

    This was soo good! Thank you very much!

    • Lucy Carney

      Hi Luis,
      Thanks so much for the comment, I’m glad you found it helpful!
      Thanks for reading –

  5. #

    Very nice and knowledgeable content.

  6. #

    Thank you! This was a helpful summary.

  7. #

    Very informative.

  8. #

    Very informative!

    Thank you.

  9. #


    awesome content


  10. #

    This is amazing, looking forward to seeing a more relevant article like this.

  11. #

    Thank you so much for this essential guide. It really explained everything in detail about what a website costs. You helped me to determine what type of website is right for me and its approximate сost.

    • Natasha Willett

      Hey Aleksandra,
      Welcome to the community! Great to hear you enjoy and found are article of use.

  12. #

    awesome article. Very informative.

  13. #

    Valiant, Vantage, Variant, Vaunting, Veering, Veracious, Versatile, Versed, Vivid, Voluble and Vouch.

    I Love It.

  14. #

    I found this article very useful. Thank you for being so precise in your explanation of everything.


  15. #

    Really good article! Useful information.

  16. #

    Thanks for providing the detailed research into features and costs for this article. Website Builder Experts’ comparison chart was what helped me to decide a few years ago to choose Squarespace and Weebly as my preferred website builders for helping new businesses create their first websites. As you say, my clients hire me for my graphic design and copywriting skills as well as SEO and other related technical knowledge, not for my coding skills. I appreciate all the information provided here and will share it with my potential clients too.

  17. #

    I have a question. I work for a organization that is looking into creating a website from either wix or squarespace. We would like the function to be able to donate to our cause via our website. Do you know if either of these websites allow this?


    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Brennon, thank you for getting in touch. I believe both Squarespace and Wix have the functionality to add ‘donate’ buttons, so you should be fine. For ease of use, I’d go with Wix. Hope this helps.

  18. #

    move a logo?

  19. #

    Hello, depend on Website you visit and who do you ask to design your website.
    Cheap Web design you could find them at oxkos website.
    Cost of website here starts from $35+ depend on the work need it.

  20. #


  21. #

    Its one of the best blog I have read on website development, Your content is very original and practically applicable. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

  22. #

    This really puts me in the right direction, thanks so much. However, can drag and drop builders be used for e-commerce websites, where card payments have to be implemented? Thank you.

    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Ferdinand, yes they can! With Wix, for example, you need to integrate the Wix Stores app to add ecommerce functionality. For online stores, though, Shopify is the best on the market at the moment.

  23. #

    I found this article very useful. Thank you for being so precise in your explanation of everything.

    Rick Riggs

  24. #

    Thanks, I found this helpful. Am a web developer

  25. #

    Great article! Very informative.

    I love how you discuss several options for building a website. Most articles only talk about how much it costs when building with an agency. There is typically no consideration for site builders and DIYers.

    • Fred Isaac

      Thanks for the comment Charles, glad you found our piece useful.

  26. #

    Dear Connie, thank you very much for this useful information. It is of so much help to me.
    Keep up the great work and God bless you.

    • Fred Isaac

      Thanks for the comment Njofie!

  27. #

    Your site is excellent! I’m an artist/designer, also, singer/songwriter, and I have time.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Fred Isaac

      Thanks for the comment Gene!

  28. #

    Very helpful information, thanks ! Wow, there’s more than meets the eye and your details inspire me to carefully choose the path to developing my website.

  29. #

    Hello Jeremy

    I refer to your comment –
    • Most Customizable – Wix and Squarespace (If you know how to modify codes, Weebly is best)

    Does Wix new addition of code compare in any way with Weebly and if so how?

    Thank you regards Elle:)

  30. #

    Connie, thank you for this awesome breakdown! Extremely helpful & informative, I share this to many people who inquire my services.

    • Natasha Willett

      Great to hear you’re finding the content helpful! Thank you for the comment.

  31. #

    Connie, this was fantastic. Thank you.

    • Fred Isaac

      Cheers Cayte, hope it helped you get your head around how much a website should cost.

  32. #

    Wow, what a great information! Thank you for a super article.

  33. #

    Thanks the information was very helpful for my assignment, and now i’m even considering setting up a website for myself.

  34. #

    great article…thank you.

  35. #

    thanks for the clear explanations

  36. #

    Super helpful post!! Thanks for all this info. You’ve saved me a lot of time.

    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Hannah,

      Good to hear it helped you!


  37. #

    Thank you for your easy to understand break down. I was having trouble looking for a low cost and the differences between the different methods and so forth for over a year now.

    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Junwei,

      Really pleased we could help clear up any confusion you were having.

      All the best on your website-building journey.


  38. #

    I found this whole episode excellent. As a novice it was very understandable. One of the best that I have ever read on the subject.
    Thank you

    • Fred Isaac

      Hi Paul,

      Great to hear we’ve helped you on your way and that you found our content interesting.


  39. #

    Very helpful. Giving thanks that I have found this website. Saved me time and money!

  40. #

    Great information. What about keeping the company from steeling your idea while using they’re websit building like drag and drop template? Should you and how could you patent your website idea?

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Miranda,

      In all honesty, I’ve never even considered this!

      However, it would be worth looking into who owns what on a platform by platform basis.

      For example, if you have a free account with Wix then Wix owns that website and the content on it.

      However, if you pay for a premium account and register a personal domain and connect this to your website, then you are the legal owner of that website’s content, etc. as outlined here.

      If your idea is really groundbreaking or novel, then it’s best to also look at whether the website building platform can actually accomplish what you hope to achieve. If not, it might require hiring a coder or web developer to help you realize your vision.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  41. Tom Watts

    Hi Chris,

    Glad the discussion has proved useful for you.

    Feel free to share if you like – you never know who else might benefit!

    Thanks for reading,
    – Tom

  42. #

    Awesome! Thanks!

  43. #

    This website will really help everyone in providing the tools and information necessary for the people to develop and improve their website.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the kind feedback – glad you found the discussion so helpful!

      – Tom

  44. #

    Wow! A super helpful article and such kind and thoughtful responses to readers’ questions. You guys are the real deal. Will I share? You bet!!

    I’m starting a self-employment program next week and I’m sure my fellow ‘future entrepreneurs’ will be helped tremendously by your website and expertise.

    So in case I didn’t express it clearly enough …. Thank you!

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Mala,

      Thank you for your kind words -it’s great to know our articles can be so helpful.

      Feel free to give us a share on your social channels if you think friends and family could benefit too!

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  45. #

    Extremely helpful article….!!!!
    I am so glad that I found this article in my search of how to create a website. I am just a beginner, not to mention with no technical skills, who was looking for some helpful tips on how to process this further for small/single individual business. And this article is nothing more that I could have asked for in this process.

    Everything in this article has been articulated in a very layman term for easy to comprehend and it answers so many things for a non-tech savvy person

    Thank you very much….!!!!

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Ssharma,

      It’s great to read such positive feedback and to hear that you found the discussion so helpful!

      Please feel free to share if you think other non-tech savvy individuals might benefit too – it’s a nice way to pay it forward!

      Best of luck with your website building,

      – Tom

    • #

      We created a website on Squarespace. Designed and developed it, Did our own photography. Wrote our own contact. The webhosting company then moved our site from Squarespace to their platform. Then they said it cost them $3500 to design/develop the site using an expensive platform, Magento. However they’re using a Free version of Magento. Is this odd?

  46. #

    Hi Jeremy, i am actually trying to get a hosting … i have some concerns about SEO features offered by the hosting providers.

    things like below:
    – Search Engine Jumpstart
    – SiteLock Security – Find
    – SSL Certificate
    – Malware scan removal

    Do you think for a very starting point of a business, we would need to apply for those features? i think they are some plugins for SEO if im not wrong … do you have any idea please?

    thank you and keep up the good work always.

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Carl,

      Thanks for joining the discussion – you’re definitely asking the right questions! It’s always worth knowing what you’re paying for before committing cash to something.

      Bearing in mind you’re coming from the perspective of a small business, let’s run through each in turn:

      1) Search Engine Jumpstart – It’s supposed to help you rank faster, but I’m too clear on the specifics of how it does this. Not 100% necessary because as long as you are focused on your target audience, create great, relevant content regularly (maybe via a blog!), and add meta tags and descriptions to images and webpages (descriptions used to sort your website by search engines – like a blurb on a book) then you should be ok. Just ensure your products and pages are all tagged up correctly!

      2) SiteLock Security – Can be handy if you are concerned about malware or phishing scams. SiteLock helps to protect you from these sort of attacks and can give your visitors peace of mind, knowing they are safe on your site – doubly important for businesses hoping to make a sale.

      3) SSL Certificate – An SSL Certicate is necessary to secure websites that collect, host and transmit sensitive or personal data (e.g. credit card numbers!), it is essential for any website selling products or taking payments to have. It also helps users trust your website more as they can feel safe that their data is protected.

      4) Malware scan removal – I believe this is similar to SiteLock Security and helps to further protect your website from malicious attacks. Again, it’s worth being a little over-zealous if you are running an ecommerce website just because it not only protects your livelihood, but protects your customers too and ensures their data is safe. Building trust is important and all four of these add-ons can help you to do this, because no-one wants to re-visit a website that gave them a virus (even if it’s by accident!).

      It definitely depends on your budget and situation, but I would say that options 2) and 3) are the more important add-ons to consider.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

      • #

        thank you bro…

  47. #

    This was very interesting and beneficial for the first timer. Thanks for all the information. I’d be spending more time researching all my options now that I know what they are. Thanks again!

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Ingrid,

      It’s really good to know that you found the discussion and information so beneficial, it really justifies the work that goes on behind the scenes!

      Feel free to share on your social channels if you think others might benefit too – it’s a nice way to pay it forward 🙂

      Best of luck with your site building + Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  48. #

    Very helpful tutorial on Website design considerations for the “newbie” like me.

    • Tom Watts

      Hello William,

      Good to know you found the discussion helpful.

      We were newbies once upon a time too and wish we had easy-to-follow guides back then! It’s reassuring to know we can help non-techy individuals with our content 🙂

      Thanks for reading
      – Tom

  49. #

    Great article- super helpful, thank you!

    I am looking to start a community web page in which there will be community resources, events, a blog, video and audio, advertising, several “hubs” in which different sub-groups of the community can network, and more. I have used Weebly to create a practice website and enjoyed the experience very much. My question is, does it seem practical to start off using Weebly for a community website? What would happen if my traffic increased quicker rather than slower? Would it crash bc I’m on a shared hosting plan? Also, I learned about Host Gator this week and like the idea of unlimited domain names and unlimited bandwidth- is this something that can be used in conjunction with Weebly, or would that be only if I chose WordPress?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Kim,

      It’s a very good question and I think it’s good sign that you’re considering this now before jumping straight in!

      Weebly would definitely be an interesting platform to try and grow a community on. You shouldn’t have too much trouble adding forums to develop your sub-communities, while media and content uploading is super simple through Weebly’s editor – which I think you’ll be familiar with having used the platform already.

      Practicality-wise, it does depend on how fast you expect to grow. Unless you’re subscribing to Weebly’s more expensive premium plans then you may struggle for bandwidth if you grow too quickly. Similarly if you intend on introducing membership features, then you’re limited to 100 members unless you subscribe to the most expensive plan, which is something worth considering.

      On the HostGator front, I understand that it is possible to connect Weebly with HostGator, but whether the HostGator unlimited bandwidth is applied on top of the Weebly plan you’re subscribed to – I’m not clear on. The HostGator website has some support documents about connecting a Weebly website to HostGator, so it could be worth having a poke around to see what you find.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  50. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    very good content and clear concepts.
    I actually have a quick question. Let say you have a customer that wants a website, but shows one that is similar to what he wants to have ..

    meaning, client visited a particular website and he liked it. then wants to have his website to look very similar not to say the same.

    Do you know what tools or different ways we can use to figure out or identify what themes and template was used to build that website the client want to use as example? that is a common situation where the client has some preferences some sites they visited before.

    thanks for comment.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Carl,

      Thanks for the feedback – it’s always reassuring to know that our content makes sense to people working in the industry!

      Regarding your question though, I think it’s always going to be hard identifying the exact theme as many sites are built to spec and are heavily customized form the ground up.

      The best thing I can suggest for you to do, would be to pull out the common elements of the sites your client likes and then try to find an template/theme that has all if not most of these elements – it’s not an ideal solution, but should help your recreate something similar to the original if not identical.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

      • #

        thanks for your comment … it’s a common situation some times

  51. #

    I loved this article! Answered most of my novice questions but was wondering what happens when my business grows (if you don’t think it will the you shouldn’t start) and the chosen platform doesn’t embrace some features I need to then incorporate into my website. Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are all proprietary systems so probably can’t “take it with you”. Building a site with WordPress would be transferable and upgradable although involving a steeper learning curve a greater initial input. Completely rebuilding the site would be difficult, expensive and perhaps ruin a site that has been working successfully, which is why your business has grown.
    Wiredelta seems to be a good compromise for this reason but a bit more expensive in the first place, what are your thoughts?

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Peter,

      Thanks for joining the discussion.

      I think you’re on the money with regards to Wix, etc as while they are great platforms to start a small business or a personal website on, they aren’t overly equipped to handle an ecommerce website that experiences rapid growth.

      For this, I would point you towards Shopify or BigCommerce (I’ve linked to our in-depth reviews), which are dedicated ecommerce platforms that are perfectly suited to small, medium or large, enterprise-level businesses. These two specialized platforms are perfect for growing businesses and should negate the need for site redesigns as you expand.

      Hope that gives you some food for thought,
      – Tom

      • #


        Thanks for all the priceless education Team WBE. Your website is like a SWEBOK V3 endorsed compendium.

        I believe building a “drag and drop” website for a business with massive growth potential on shopify’s “free ecommerce template” won’t be exactly as the analysis you have kindly made here with respect to (wix, squarespace & weebly) ?

        I think the process and cost analysis would be different ?
        Because our team is about building a #DIY ecommerce website on Shopify.

        Thanks once more Team WBE a.k.a Team Genius 🙂

        • Tom Watts

          Hi John,

          I think you’re right that different websites would have different costs.

          In this discussion we’ve tried to cover as many bases as possible with our experience.

          It would be a crazy long article if we’d tried to cost out every single type of website possible (plus a nightmare to read!).

          For more information on Shopify and building an ecommerce website I’d suggest having a look at our:
          Shopify pricing guide
          In-depth Shopify review

          Hopefully they provide you some more information about Shopify and its associated prices,

          Thanks for reading,
          – Tom

  52. #

    you gave such a helpful article. thanks for sharing this information with us.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Sofia,

      Good to know you found the discussion helpful, I hope the information proves useful.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  53. #

    Gaad – I wish I had found this before starting down the road of redesigning our high school sports team website. What a PITA it has been! I used an online Design website to narrow my web page design down, chose the winning design and then discovered the designer doesn’t code and I’m at my budget limit. Do the drag and drop website builders you mention above, include the codes to move from one page on the website to another? We would also like to offer online registration – are any of them better for taking payment? I am beyond frustrated with the process – a coding, website building professional I am not. Ugh!

    • Tom Watts

      Hello Jaclyn,

      Sounds like you’ve found yourself in a bit of a sticky situation!

      I believe that the website builder route could be a solution for you as you should be able to create anything you need within the platform’s drag and drop editor, especially a platform like Wix.

      You mentioned the codes to move from page to page, but I’m not too clear on what you’re referring to. Do you mean clickable navigation links that will take a user to the ‘Contact’ page if they click the ‘Contact’ link in a menu? If so, it’s simple enough to create these navigation links in platforms like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.

      Likewise, on each of these platforms you can create membership areas that encourage users to register, but I don’t think you can charge for this (e.g. create a paid membership area) at this exact moment in time.

      Thankfully you dont need to know any coding in order to create a stunning website with a website builder! They are pretty easy to pick up and the simplicity of the design should help to ease your concerns a bit.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  54. #

    What an awesome article! Finally someone to answer all my questions in ONE place in terms that are understandable. Thank you!

    • Tom Watts

      Hi EB,

      Great to know you found the discussion so useful!

      Feel free to give us a social share if you think others might benefit too.

      Thanks for reading,

  55. #

    Great article. One thing I didn’t see mentioned was that wix is limited in functionality. If you want to build something such as a booking app or forms app to accept customer responses, wix has free ad-ons/plugins you can use but you get what you pay for. Upgrading to the paid version can be very expensive, some charging like $20 a month for a basic submission form. So depending on the kind of features you need on your site, using website builders sounds great at first (they are so easy and look great) but in the end could be more expensive in the long run if you have to pay for 3rd party plugins.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Eva,

      Thanks for your feedback and for joining the discussion.

      I think you’re onto something there, as you definitely get what you pay for with Wix and website builders in general. And it does make sense from a business point of view that as you invest more into the company, you’re rewarded with access to more and better tools.

      Sometimes though, it can be as much about the return on investment than it is about the initial cost. Consider the value that you will receive in return for a paid feature (such as Wix’s booking app). If the paid app enables you to power a business, then it just might be well worth it. Building a website that can power your business effectively might take additional financial investment. So in this case, $20 per month for an important tool / plugin to build a business is worth considering.

      It’s worth doing your research before committing to 3rd party apps that may be more expensive than other platform-native plugins. You’ve got to look after yourself out there as it is all too easy to be stung!

      Thanks for contributing,
      – Tom

  56. #

    I found this article extremely helpful, especially as a resource for me to articulate how I might be of service to my clients as well as what I am willing/able to do for them or what they would need to do for themselves.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Miari,

      Great to hear you found the discussion so helpful.

      Feel free to share on your social channels – every mention helps the site and you never know who else may find it handy!

      Thanks for reading
      – Tom

  57. #

    Thank you so much, completely informative!

  58. #

    GREAT ARTICLE!!! How is this model impacted if you’re looking to redeploy an existing site with 146 pages and 18 components ranging from specific entitlement and access to an event registration and management module?

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Yvonne,,

      That’s a very specific situation!

      While I can’t give you an exact figure, I can tell you that the price will be pushed up by including bespoke and custom functionality such as event registration management modules.

      Likewise, cost will also be affected by the complexity of the design you are after and the amount of content this will affect across your site, which at 146 pages isn’t small (but also not huge!).

      Your best bet would be to do some more research online and try to get some competitive quotes that you could compare and weigh up.

      Hope that helps,
      – Tom

  59. #

    Fantastic information! I have been completely enlightened.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Andres,

      Thanks for your feedback, it’s always appreciated!

      Feel free to use the social buttons above to give us a share if you like – we really appreciate it and you never know who else might read and benefit.

      – Tom

  60. #

    Thanks for the informative article, very useful to see it all laid out like that. We’re currently exploring options to update our company website and this article is one of many we’ve given a thorough read through!

    Weighing up the options, I must say that personally when I go on websites I expect a good user experience, I usually visit sites on my mobile first, and I’ve heard that Wix isn’t viewable on mobiles. Lots of builders don’t seem to be very fliexible or let you “think out the box” either so there is that, but then again lots of companies seem to give all sorts of prices for custom websites so it’s important to do research.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi May

      Wix fully supports mobile-friendly websites and even provides a specific mobile editor to help you optimise your site for smaller screens.

      If you’re unsure which website builder to choose, the best place to start would be with our comparison chart where you can compare the essentials of the top website builder brands.

      Hope it helps,
      – Tom

  61. #

    Great points. However I missed the part where you explain the factors such as UI and UX that custom designed websites stand out from the crowd. A good designer would surely create and develop the website to be user centric (create personas) and scope before the mockup. Using drag and drop builders ir WirdPress templates do not constitute great design. They are templates that is it. Potential clients need to be aware that when they get a WP template and modify the template they risk losing their content in the next update. WP is great because it creates repeat work for designers at a $100 hr later. I personally like straight HTML,CSS, JQuery built websites, (PHP) is not easy to deal with (server side) plus server side makes the site slower and prone to security issues. WP is attacked constantly. For a 5 page site go with custom HTML, CSS and add FlatFile blog. Minimize database and have simple blog for articles. Virtually no maintanance required.

    • Tom Watts

      Hi Zengo

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the discussion.

      You make a good point that UX and UI are both super important to modern website design, however I would whole-heartedly disagree that you need to hire a designer or developer to implement a good user-centric flow.

      So long as you have done your research and understand the guiding principles of UX and UI design, then there is no reason why you can’t drag and drop elements into a website in such a way that they conform to UX/UI best principles.

      I appreciate for some websites it may be necessary to develop custom navigation, structures and design, but so long as users can find what they are looking for easily enough without any distractions then that would constitute good UX to me!

      – Tom

  62. #

    very informative, thumbs up

  63. #

    Nice article. As a technologist, I’d like to give a bit of advice. Your media presence speaks VOLUMES about your company. Don’t cheap out on the web / mobile / social media portions of your business. The first thing I always do is check out a company’s web page. If it’s hard to navigate or is unfinished or never has current info on it, I wonder how serious the company actually is about engaging customers. Look at a website like you would look at any other mandatory business expense. Get the real domain name for your company with matching email address. Make everything as professional as possible. It will pay you back in the end.

  64. #

    Thanks for this analysis, Connie! Super helpful for those of us starting businesses without any tech expertise. Cheers!

  65. #

    In your discussion of Wix and other drag and drop websites you did not mention that ‘
    free’ often means their advertising their logo and name on your website which looks unprofessional, and may hurt your image.

    • Jeremy

      Hi there,

      You’re right. Their free plan does come with an advertisement. No such thing as a free lunch, right? We cover that point in our dedicated reviews for each drag and drop website builder.


  66. #

    Just want to say thanks for some great info! Hoping to create a website for our small firm at the lowest cost possible. Now I know where to spend and where not to spend. Thanks again!!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks Linda! Good luck building your website!


    • #

      Hi Linda,
      I can help you with your website

  67. #

    Good article on the options available to small business to create websites.

  68. #

    This information is GOLD! I don’t leave replies often but I am working on a business plan for my MBA and needed information on creating a website for my financial analysis, you have covered everything I need and more! – THANK YOU!!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks, Kyle! Glad our analyses are helpful for your business plan. Please do share our guide with others, if appropriate! I’d really appreciate it.


  69. #

    Thanks for a very helpful article.
    I’m wondering how often the prices change? Last month when I started to look at this the price of one of the Wix plans was $6.25 and now the same plan changed to $8.50, I just went away on holiday for a couple of weeks! Was it a once only sale price or does this sort of thing happen often?

    • Jeremy

      Hi Veronica,

      I suspect that might be the case. Wix does have sales once in a while. The recent one was around Valentines Day in February, so I suspect that’s what you saw.

      Sometimes, some businesses adjust their prices periodically (and temporarily) to test which price points work best for their customers and for their business. So if you just happened to visit the pricing page that day when they are testing lower price points, then you’ll be getting a good deal!


  70. #

    Very helpful site. thank you for your expertise. As a very small business owner (I am it; a one woman jewelry designer just starting) financial expenditures are critical until I can boost revenue and I need an online presence to boost revenue. Catch 22. So your research and information was very helpful to me and for now I may use Wix to get up and running ( I have NO technical expertise) and if need be consider upgrading down the road.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Geraldine,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found this discussion helpful.

      I like your approach, as well. Definitely try to establish that the business model works and can product profits before investing in more sophisticated tools. Too many bells and whistles doesn’t make a business work (most of the time). Just start selling and generating cash flow and the other more advanced items will come later!

      Good luck!


    • #

      Going down the website route might not be the best way for you to generate sales, I would suggest you would do better initially working with facebook, facebook groups and facebook ads for starting some basic pay-per-click you can really drill down into your target market on facebook ads. Something you can’t do with Google ads facebook is great for business to consumer website. One of the things people forget about is traffic, the cost of building the website is going to be high because I assume that you would need a shopping cart solution. Pay for click is the only way you would get traffic to your site, its expensive and a lot of big players out there will keep you off the top spot. Don’t spend any money on a website until you can really afford to.

  71. #

    I like your article in the way that it spells out how to cost a website, but as a professional developer, I find that it is biased toward WordPress, which although it is a popular tool, is not the only, or even necessarily the best tool for every website.

    • Jeremy

      Hey Karen,

      Thanks for your feedback. I actually think it’s a pretty balanced discussion as it covers the costs of custom websites, websites built with WordPress and drag & drop website builders.

      I’ll review the guide again and see how I can improve it. But thank you for commenting and I appreciate your feedback!


  72. #

    Wow! Thanks for this awesome article! This is extremely powerful information. I guess I kinda jumped right into the deepend and believe I am a website designer. I’m currently building a product website for a customer and way undershot the amount of money I should have charged.

    I only charged $300 for this website that currently has over 50 pages with over 200 items so far. I’m using WordPress and have had to modify some of the PHP with a huge emphasis on adding functionality to making quotes and such. This has been a nightmare so far and I will continue to finish this project for chump change as I have already committed.

    I’m in no way an expert yet but am learning everyday. Your information is gold to me and I appreciate you taking the time out of your life to make an article to help people like me. I will learn from this mistake of losing 1000s of dollars and will develop a questionnaire for my next clients. I can’t believe I’m making a website that I should be charging so much for… I guess we live and we learn.

    Thanks again and I know you will be successful with your amazing insights. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks for your comment, Jorge.

      Pricing your design contract is always challenging but hopefully you’ll get better with making a more accurate estimate as you gain more experience!

      Our website cost guide can definitely help you by providing you with some reference points. Glad you’re enjoying our discussions here!


  73. #

    Great Article..
    Thank you!

  74. #

    Great article! I just recently learned the basics of setting up a website and hosting then got an offer to do it for a small business, I’m a newbie though and had no idea how much to charge. So thank you, I’ll be reading your other posts as I still have so much to learn about.

    • Jeremy

      Glad you found this website costing guide helpful, Anna. Good luck with your website!


  75. #

    Thank you so much! you helped me get past a big roadblock standing in the way of launching my business. I really appreciate the way you were open about all the platforms and I was able to make a decision and move forward. Thanks for your thorough assessment!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks for your feedback, Tiffany. I’m glad to hear that you found this cost guide helpful to you. Good luck with building your website!


  76. #

    Thank you for your thorough and descriptive analysis. I feel much more confident in how well I am informed on the subject!

  77. #

    HI to All ,

    thanks for u giving lot of information and please can u provide me the link where i can find the drag and drop tutorials of wix,weebly,sqarespace.

    Thanks a lot


    • Jeremy

      Hi Praveen,

      I know Weebly and Squarespace do have recorded webinars demonstrating how to build a website from scratch. Perhaps you can go to YouTube and do a search. I think you’ll find some examples / case studies there, show you how to use these platforms to build a website.


  78. #

    Very clear and helpful guide. Thanks for making it!

    • Jeremy

      You’re very welcome, Kyle.


  79. #

    Great Article – I’ll refer future clients here to become more familiar with the costs of building a website. Our firm will charge between $600 for a 3 pager WordPress to over $5500 for Multipage WordPress. And unless the customer needs an SSL Certificate for ecommerce, paying more that $60 for a WordPress, or HTML5/BootStrap theme is not warranted. Again, great article.

    • Jeremy

      Thank you Eddie. I appreciate your comment and endorsement!


  80. #

    Very helpful.

    • Jeremy

      Thanks, Don.

  81. #

    This was excellent information. I have created a website in the past and while feature rich it did not meet my audience need so I’m now focusing on what is needed vs want. I am not clear about one item in the cost section. Question:What does “Average Cost of Content Population: $500 – $2,000” entail?

    • Jeremy

      Hey William,

      This includes hiring someone to help you set up your pages, insert your content (text, images, videos, etc.), linking between pages, making sure your layout looks good, etc.

      You can definitely do it yourself if you have a small number of pages. But if you have a lot of content, and you have limited time, hiring someone to help you do that is an option.


  82. #

    Thanks alot, its a great guide.

    • Jeremy

      Thanks, Andrew. Hope you found our cost estimates helpful!


  83. #

    I have a situation that may or may not be unique. I would like to offer e-purchasing, but I need to control how many items are sold. For example, if I only have 3 widgets, I need to stop selling them at that point so that a fourth customer can’t buy one. Is this a common setting in e-purchasing?
    Thanks fro all the great info!

    • Jeremy

      Hello John,

      I’m not sure if I fully understand your question but I’ll try to answer it anyway.

      All capable ecommerce website builders (like these ones here) have the ability for you to set how many units of your product you have in stock. So if you only have say 10 items for a specific product, you can configure that in your setup.

      So on your product page, it can show that you only have 10 items in stock, and once the 10th unit is sold, it will show that your product is “out of stock” so your next customer won’t be able to purchase it.

      Does that answer your question?


  84. #

    Hi Jeremy:

    Your site is loaded with helpful information – much appreciated!

    Question? – For their annual costs, can you build “as many sites as you like” (like XSitePro used to allow) -OR- is it a “new cost” for each site you wish to build?

    Many thanks! / Peter A.

    • Jeremy

      Hey Peter,

      I’m not entirely sure about other website builders, but the ones that I’ve built a lot of websites with (including Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Jimdo, etc), you have to pay on a per website basis.

      So you can sign up to an account with Wix (for instance), and you can build 20 websites with that single account. But you upgrade each website on their own, standalone basis.

      So you can’t put 100 websites on a premium plan for only $10 – $20 per month. However, you can build as many “free” websites as you want to. But these “free” websites, you can’t use your own custom domain name, and you won’t have access to all the tools.

      Hope this clarifies things.


      • #

        Ok, many thanks Jeremy.

        This is what I thought – but before, I couldn’t find a clear answer on this.

        So, as I understand it now (using WIX as an example) …

        — For the FREE Account – as many sites as we wish – but with obvious limitations;

        — For the PREMIUM Accounts – “each site” has a yearly cost – but we get the “bells & whistles” that go with them.

        Much appreciated / Peter A.

        • Jeremy

          You got it!

          So you can log into Wix with your log in credentials, then pick which website you want to edit.


  85. #

    thank you very much for this Information I will be using some for I am new to this but have people thank has some of the skills that’s need
    This is my first time and I was kind d if nervous because I trying to save at this time to build and any part I can do myself at aow cost or no cost will be great thank you very much for sharing this

    • Jeremy

      Hey Morris,

      Not a problem at all. Building a website for the first time can be confusing and nerve-wrecking. Glad our guide here is helpful to you. Good luck!


  86. #

    Jeremy – EXCELLENT article – a ton of great info – much appreciated!

    My situation – As a Business & Financial Consultant, I want anything I create (in the way of Online Sites) to be professional.

    — XSitePro – I used to use the XSP Sitebuilder software (loved its simplicity – but sadly, they went out of business). I built about 150 Web “Pages” (not multi-page “Websites”) using XSP – partly because their (once only) cost of about $200 enabled users to build “as many” single Web Pages (or multi-page Websites) as they wanted (even ‘thousands’), at no additional cost – ever. However, not thast they’re out of business, there’s no more service or support (which for me, is a disaster).

    — Site Sell’s SBI – I also experimented briefly (years ago) with SBI – but found the learning curve to be quite high there (for me) – but they seem to have a huge fan base.

    — WordPress – Then, I moved to WP, but had a Webmaster build my Web Pages there for me. I am not a “technical” person – I don’t understand a cPanel, etc (although I do know some basic HTML coding). However, I am able to do basic “edits” my WP Web Pages (via the Thrive Content Builder he put in there for me). But I find WP (other than doing occasional “edits”) to be far too technical for me – and much too costly to keep hiring a Webmaster to build (and service!) these for me when something goes wrong, with a Plugin, or something else.

    — GoDaddy – Previously, I had also built (5) ‘Website Tonight’ multi-page Websites (by myself :>) using GoDaddy’d Sitebuilder – but it was “tough” for me! I am about to let these sites lapse, despite their recent efforts to improve their (archaic) Sitebuilder (although I do like their 24/7 phone support – and I have all my Domain Names with them [about 175].


    — Wix / Weebly – Then, I came across “your” website (superb material here!) – and now, I’m thinking I should perhaps go with either Wix or Weebly – but …


    1)- With these popular Sitebuilders (Wix / Weebly), can you build simple, “single page” Web Pages (like I had done with XSP – almost like building PDFs, but with much more flexibility on images, hyperlinks, etc) -OR- are they designed more for “multi-page” Websites?

    2)- For their annual costs, can you build “as many sites as you like” (like XSP) -OR- is it a “new cost” for each site you wish to build (or some other option, such as so much “bandwidth” giver per package you buy)?

    I look forward to your answers and/or guidance on this, when your schedule permits..

    Many thanks, Jeremy!

    Peter Arnold, CLU, CFC / Canada

  87. #

    Thanks. This was helpful to organize a presentation. When people ask what does a website cost, many expect a simple numerical answer. Hope you don’t mind a share or two.
    Good job!

  88. #

    Thanks for the great rundown. Can you post ads of different sizes on Wix, Weebly or Squarespace?

    • Jeremy

      Hey Rick,

      You sure can. At a very basic level, you can insert an image / ad banner just like any images, then link these ad images to wherever you want. You can technically insert images of various sizes into your website.

      Hope this helps!


  89. #

    This was so incredibly helpful!! So much good information, and broken down into plain English. The whole idea of creating my own website with WordPress was causing me so much aggravation and anxiety. I thought I “should” go with them. But now I can make a fully informed decision.
    So much gratitude!!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks Rita! Glad our discussion here is helpful to you.


  90. #

    Excellent articles and great discussions guys!

    • Jeremy

      Thanks, Ant!

  91. #

    this is an awesome write up, and I loved the “how much does a car cost” analogy! In terms of my own experience I found plenty of awesome web developers via Odesk for no more than $20/hr – I also did a fixed price job to contain costs, that said, it was still about $1,000 for a custom design.

    • Jeremy

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us.

      For $20 per hour, I’m guessing you are working with developers from developing countries?

      Did you start with a pre-made template and have them alter / customize it to your needs?

      What’s your experience in finding them on oDesk (did you have to sift through a lot of bids)?

      And how was your overall experiences in managing them?

      Would you do anything differently after your experience?

      Sorry for all the questions, but we’re always interested in hearing others’ stories! I think this will also help our readers as well!


      • #

        hi Jeremy,

        Yes, the developer was from a developing country. The chap I used was in Bangladesh, and he was excellent.

        I used a pre-made template, then specified all the changes I wanted in detail. This was put into the oDesk job that I listed. I asked for a fixed price quote.

        I got about 20 bids in less than 2 days.

        As part of evaluating the bids I asked people what they thought would be the hardest part of the job. While I had no idea what would be hardest, the responses I got quickly let me get a feel for who had thought it through and who had not. While I asked for fixed price, I also asked how many hours they were expecting to do the job in – the hourly rates varied from $5/hr to $100/hr (the top end rates where from developers in the UK and US). The job I awarded equated to about $20/hr.

        I then released the job in stages (oDesk has a feature to do this) – the first stage was only about $100 worth. The completion of the first stage let me confirm that the developer was on the right track, it also let him know he was on the right track too! I then released the rest of the job in 2 more stages (so 3 in total). This approach let us both be comfortable on the progress/ quality.

        In terms of managing him: I had to give lots of feedback (which probably drove my developer crazy). I did this by taking screenshots and then annotating where I wasn’t happy. We did the odd Skype IM chat and also Teamviewer session too.

        I wouldn’t do anything differently – its about the 10th job I’ve done like this and I took learnings from the past: describe your job in detail, get fixed price, release in increments, and be prepared to change developers if the first release stage does not workout.

        Oh, perhaps one last thought, I used a CMS that had very low market share (I’ll spare the CMS the bad press). The CMS while it great on paper, had a huge number of bugs. So probably a key learning I had was don’t use a CMS that isn’t mature – and in my book, “number of active users” is directly correlated to a mature CMS (the one I picked has about 0.1% market share of CMS platforms).

        • Jeremy

          Hi Richard,

          Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with all of our readers! I’m sure your data points will be extremely helpful to everybody – especially those who are building websites for the first time.

          We do share similar experiences. One of the key things after a few years and having the benefit of using developers from a developing country and also from a developed country, is the quality and caliber of the work.

          When we used some developers from India, while they were decent and cheaper, we had to do a lot of handholding and provide a lot more guidance on what we want and what we don’t want. We also had to spend a lot more time on testing and “bug hunting”.

          In our own experience, the team we hired were more “do-ers” than “thinkers”. So while they’re definitely cheaper, we had to spend more energy and time to manage the work and push the project forward.

          With our developer from a developed country, it was a lot more hands off as he helped us do a lot of the “thinking”. He made suggestions on how certain things could be better off if we approached them from different angles. So he acted like an advisor and provided a lot of value-adding advice based on his experiences working on other projects.

          The quality of the codes was much higher (we were able to assess this as we learned much more about coding at that point), and he was proactive in driving the project forward instead of “sitting around waiting for instructions”.

          So in our own experiences, it’s a bit of “you pay for what you get” type of situation. When we paid less in monetary terms, we paid more in our own energy and time.

          Anyway, that’s just our own experiences and I’m sure others will have different stories to tell!


          • #

            So what is your cost to build a website? Did I miss it somewhere?

            • Natasha Willett

              Hi Jimiam,

              We are a comparison site rather than developers. The cost of the websites that we review can be found on here on our comparison chart.
              All the best with creating your site.