How Much Should a Website Cost in 2024?

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Are you thinking about building a website? Maybe you’re confused by the hundreds of website builder plans and aren’t sure which is good value for money? Different routes are available to help you set up a website, such as using WordPress or hiring a web designer, but using a website builder is the cheapest option.

Depending on your site or business needs, a website can cost you nothing to build or thousands of dollars. Most website builders start at around $10-$30 per month (billed annually).

We know that cost and affordability can be important factors when deciding how to create a website, so we’ll take a closer look at pricing, value, and hidden fees in our full breakdown.

Website Builder Costs: Which Is the Best Value for Money?

There are three main ways to build a website:

  • Use a website builder – approx. $2.99 to $299 per month
  • Build with WordPress – approx. $11 to $1,000 upfront, with additional ongoing costs
  • Hire a web designer – approx. $1,000-5,000+ upfront, with additional ongoing costs

We recommend using a website builder because of their user-friendly editors, built-in features, and responsive customer support. In most cases, you’ll get web hosting, security, templates, and more, all wrapped up in your website builder plan.

Building with WordPress comes with additional costs, such as plugins, hosting, and premium templates, and choosing to hire a web designer can be a very costly process (which we’ll discuss in more detail later). Because of these factors, website builders will be our primary focus in this guide.

We regularly test website builders to bring our readers up-to-date recommendations – part of our research involves reviewing pricing plans and the costs involved with getting set up online.

So, how much do the best website builders cost? Take a look at our top-performing builders to compare:

Swipe right to see more
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Wix

Squarespace

Shopify

GoDaddy

Hostinger

Overall Rating
4.8
Overall Rating
4.6
Overall Rating
4.4
Overall Rating
4.3
Overall Rating
4.3
Starting from
Starting from
Starting from
Starting from

$10.99

Starting from

$11.99

$2.99 + 3 months free (with the 48-month plan)

Free plan or free trial

Free plan

Free plan or free trial

14-day free trial

Free plan or free trial

3-day free trial

Free plan or free trial

Free plan

Free plan or free trial

30-day free trial

Number of templates

900+

Number of templates

150+

Number of templates

150+

Number of templates

200+

Number of templates

150+

Visit Wix View Squarespace Visit Shopify Visit GoDaddy Visit Hostinger

Our top-rated website builders start from as little as $2.99 per month and go up to $299 per month (billed annually) if you’re looking for more advanced plans. Usually, pricing will be cheaper if you choose an annual subscription instead of month-by-month.

If you’re looking for the most affordable builder, Hostinger offers the cheapest plans on the market right now. That said, GoDaddy is the best value for money, offering affordable plans (including a free plan) and beginner-friendly features to help you get online quickly.

GoDaddy website editor showing the option to move sections up or down
When testing GoDaddy, I got my website up and running in minutes. Source: Website Builder Expert

For a quick summary, you can check out our video breakdown:

Ecommerce Pricing: Starting From $20.99

Standard website builders come equipped with features such as email marketing and SEO to help you showcase your work and promote your website online. However, if you want to sell products or services, you’ll need added ecommerce functionality.

Our top ecommerce website builders for 2024 range from $20.99 to $299 per month (billed annually). These plans are pricier than general website builder plans since you get access to sales features, like abandoned cart recovery, as well as additional support for your online store.

Can You Build a Website for Free?

You can build a website for free which is great for anyone on a tight budget. That said, we recommend upgrading to a premium plan as soon as possible to distance yourself from the limitations of a free plan. The most common of these include:

  • Ads displayed on your website – this can make you look unprofessional or amateurish
  • A preset domain name, such as www.accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress
  • Basic features which usually include low storage and bandwidth allowances
  • No ecommerce functionality so you can’t sell online
Free Wix website for a wedding, showing a free banner ad at the top of the homepage
My free test website with Wix had quite an obvious banner ad at the top of the homepage. Source: Website Builder Expert

Using a free website builder is great for testing, but little else – you can play around in the editor and try the builder’s features to see if it’s the right fit for you. It’s also a great opportunity to improve your building skills without any financial pressure. Still, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan to unlock advanced features and remove ads.

Web Hosting Costs

Hosting is an essential cost that can’t be overlooked. Luckily, website builders are a handy all-in-one solution since they include web hosting with your plan – this means you don’t need to source or manage your site’s hosting. If you use a platform like WordPress, you’ll have to pay for web hosting separately.

Here’s a quick breakdown of web hosting costs:

  • Using a website builder – $0
  • Using WordPress – $2.95+ per month

There’s an overwhelming number of web hosting providers out there, so we’ve tested the very best to help you find a suitable host for your website. Overall, Bluehost is our top-rated option, with pricing starting from $2.95 per month. It’s even recommended by WordPress.

For basic shared hosting, you can expect costs between $1 and $25 per month – most websites start on this type of hosting since it’s the cheapest and often includes a free domain name and SSL certificate. However, it’s also the least reliable and security can be rocky, so if you want better resources for your site, VPS hosting ranges from roughly $2 to $230 per month. Dedicated hosting plans start from around $50-150 per month, but these higher prices will only be necessary if you’re hosting a very large website.

Domain Names

Another key element when building a website is getting a domain name – a custom domain name is a great way to build brand recognition and site awareness. Some website builders include a custom domain name for free (usually for the first year of your plan), but you’ll eventually need to pay to keep your domain name registered.

  • With selected website builder or web host – $0 for the first year
  • Standard domain cost – $10+ per year

Domain names vary in price depending on your registrar, such as GoDaddy or NameCheap, the TLD (meaning the .com part of the address), and how popular the domain name is. For example, short and common word domains, such as ai.com, sold for millions of dollars in 2023! For a general .com domain name, you can expect to pay around $10 to $20, at least for the first year.

GoDaddy domain name check for "wbedomaintest", showing available domains and pricing
I used GoDaddy’s domain name checker to review pricing and availability. Source: Website Builder Expert

Should You Hire a Web Designer?

While website builders make it possible for both beginners and experienced builders to get online, only some have the time or desire to build a website themselves. If you’ve got the budget, you can hire a web designer to do the heavy lifting.

Hire a web designer if:

✔️ You’re building a complex or large website

✔️ You’re short on time – you can prioritize other tasks or work while a web designer handles your website

✔️ You’re looking to build a custom website – website builder customers are using the same designs and resources, so a web designer can craft something unique

✔️ You lack technical or design skills

Don’t hire a web designer if:

❌ You have a limited budget since web designers are very expensive to hire – a website builder is more affordable

❌ You’re building a personal website or run a small online store – there’s no need to shell out for a designer since they’re more suitable for larger projects

❌ You want to get online quickly – a website builder can have your site published within the day but it’ll take time to get the final product from a web designer

❌ You want to be involved in the design or building process – the point of hiring a web designer is to have someone else do the work for you

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Web Designer?

So, how much should a web designer cost? This is the hardest price to estimate because it varies depending on a designer’s rates – it could set you back a few hundred dollars upfront, with additional fees for ongoing maintenance. Typically, web designers charge around $50 to $200 per hour.

GoDaddy revealed its Essential Web Design Service in November 2023, offering small businesses a professionally-made four-page website for a one-time fee of $499.99.

Lots of things can impact the cost of hiring a web designer, such as complexity, the number of pages, and whether or not you want them to build the site from scratch or rework an existing template. And you’ll have to pay more if you want them to maintain your site long-term.

There’s the danger of paying too little with a web designer and getting a poor website as a result, so make sure you have the budget to hire a suitably skilled designer for your needs. If you’re tight for cash, a website builder is the more affordable option.

Additional Website Costs

There are plenty of additional fees to consider when figuring out how much a website should cost. When browsing website builder plans, see if the following features are included or make a note if you’ll have to pay extra:

  • Templates – For example, Wix provides 900+ templates for free but the majority of Shopify’s templates have a one-time fee that can range between $140 and $400
  • Apps – You may want or need to install and pay for third-party integrations, and some features, such as Squarespace’s Acuity Scheduling tool cost extra to use (starting from $16/mo)
  • Security – Most website builders provide security measures for free, such as fraud detection for payments and free SSL certificates, but these will be added costs if you opt to use WordPress
  • Content – If you don’t feel comfortable writing your content or creating imagery and videos yourself, then you’ll need to hire a professional to handle the work
  • SEO – SEO experts can help optimize your website for search engines but this can set you back around $50 to $150 per hour, so we recommend relying on your website builder’s built-in SEO tools and learning resources (such as Wix’s SEO Learning Hub)
  • Maintenance – You’ll want to track your website’s performance with tools like Google Analytics and make improvements where necessary

How To Save Money: Reduce Website Costs

You need to spend your time and money wisely to get the best results – but the good news is you don’t need a huge budget to create a beautiful website. Of course, the bigger your budget, the more you can spend on additional functionality and templates, but this won’t be necessary for smaller or personal sites.

Here are our expert tips to save money when creating a website:

  • Think about present needs first – will you need every feature right away or can you pick a cheaper plan to start with? Can you upgrade down the line when you have a bigger budget to play with?
  • Use a website builder – choosing a cheap website builder is the most cost-effective way to get your website up and running
  • Don’t pay for extra features you don’t need – like Goldilocks, you want to find a website builder and plan that’s just right which means not overpaying for extra features you won’t use and not limiting yourself by choosing a cheap but restrictive plan
  • Choose a free template – there are plenty of beautiful templates available that don’t come with a hefty price tag in addition to your website builder plan
  • Use available resources and guides – make the most of online resources to upskill and improve your building knowledge (plenty of website builders have help centers full of tutorials, video lessons, and courses)

How Much Should a Website Cost: Final Review

By now, you should have a good idea about how much a website should cost.

  • Website builders can cost between $0 and $299 per month, and your plan usually includes extras such as hosting, a domain name, security, and templates – the most affordable and beginner-friendly option
  • WordPress can cost between $11 and $1,000+ upfront depending on the plugins, premium templates, and hosting provider you choose – this option targets users who want advanced creative control and have some prior building experience
  • Web designers will vary in price depending on the desired workload, but you can expect to shell out $1,000 to $5,000+ upfront, and even more for ongoing support – this option is best for complex or large sites, or for people who don’t have the time but do have the budget to spend

This is why we recommend using a website builder to create a website. The costs are minimal, depending on your chosen plan, and everything’s bundled under one price tag to keep things simple.

FAQs

The time it takes to build a website will vary from individual to individual. From our experience testing website builders, you can get a site up and running within a few hours if you have all of the content ready to go.

That said, we don’t recommend rushing the process. It’s best to experiment, try out designs and elements, and make sure you’re successfully bringing your vision to life. If you’re happy with your creation, then you won’t have to make as many changes or improvements later on.

Written by:
emma ryan author bio
Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.
Researched by:
natasha_willett
I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.

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