How much should my website cost?
It’s a great question but it’s not as easy to answer. The truth is it depends on what you really need. There are so many variables that website prices are all over the place. Today we want to help prepare you for what you can expect for website pricing.
Getting Started with Website Cost
The first step should always be about asking the right questions. What do you need and what do you want? You have to start with a reference point in mind in order to get a website design quote. The more questions you answer, the more accurately you can pinpoint your website cost.
- What are your goals and objectives?
- What are some websites that are similar to what you want to do?
- How will you determine whether your website is successful or not?
- What features are required?
- Who will maintain and update the website?
These are some initial questions that we ask at Happy Joe. It gives us an idea of what you expect or envision for your website. It’s critical to nail down as many details as possible before you get started. The more information you can provide the better.
The Basic Website
Let’s assume your company needs a basic marketing website. Most business websites will fall into this category.
A basic website looks professional and allows you to add content, articles, videos, photo galleries, sign up forms, and other important features. Many websites are now being built on WordPress because it’s easy to use. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that offers incredible versatility and features.
The average price range for a basic custom website is between $3,000 and $5,000 USD and includes website design and development. Depending on your needs or requirements, your website cost can be higher but this is a safe average to expect with professional companies.
The Ecommerce Website
If you want to sell digital or physical products online, you will need an Ecommerce website. There can be way more complexities with selling online. It’s critical that you get proper advice or do your research before jumping in. One simple mistake could cost you your business or profits.
In order to get the most accurate website cost for ecommerce websites, you will have to determine all the variables for your products. If you’re selling digital content like an ebook, the process is much easier. Here are just some items you will need to consider.
- Tax rates and VAT
- Product variables
- Payment methods (Stripe, Paypal, Authorize.net, other)
- Transaction fees
- SSL certificate (required to sell online for safety and security reasons)
If you’re building your website with WordPress, then you will likely use WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a free plugin that gives you the ability to sell online, but it requires setup and additional add-ons, depending on your business. If you want to go with a less expensive and less technical route, then Shopify is a great solution. It includes almost everything you need and setup isn’t overwhelming.
The starting average website cost for custom ecommerce sites is $10,000 USD. It will normally include design, development, and ecommerce setup services. However don’t be surprised if the price range is more. Ecommerce sites are more difficult to do and can easily start at $20,000 and escalate from there.
If you’re goal is selling digital content only, you can expect a range between $4,500 – $8,000 USD.
The Membership Website
Membership or subscription based websites have become very popular the past five years. Membership websites usually deliver custom content to a specific audience.
Platform University by best selling author Michael Hyatt is one of the best known membership sites. I had the honor of working with Michael on the launch of his website and he really has the process down. Membership websites can be very lucrative if you know what you’re doing. But they can also be a huge investment depending on your content or what you intend to deliver to your audience.
If you’re building a custom website on WordPress, you will need a membership plugin to run your site. Restrict Content Pro and MemberPress are two industry favorites. If you want to skip the custom website design and development, then go with the Rainmaker Platform. It’s perfect for launching a membership or subscription based website.
The average price for a membership website will be between $10,000 and $20,000 USD. This should include website design, website development, and setup for the membership component. Of course it all depends on what you need or what you want. Rainmaker is $145 per month and worth every penny.
Custom Website or Out of the Box Theme?
If all of this wasn’t confusing enough, there are other options that can save you money and make your website cost fit your budget.
Custom website design and website development will always require more of an investment. Great designers and developers who really know their stuff aren’t cheap.
A strong word of caution should be placed here about cheap services or outsourcing to Upwork. Cheaper usually means you are going to get a horrible product. Saving a thousand dollars now could cost you several thousands of dollars later. It happens all the time.
If you want to save money, we recommend using an out of the box WordPress theme from a reputable theme company.
You can customize the branding, colors, fonts, and sometimes the page layouts of WordPress themes fairly easily. If you have more time than money, this might be the solution for you. If you need help setting up your WordPress site and making it run properly, we can help. There are many professional themes that look amazing out of the box.
There’s also one other great option.
Happy Joe built our own websites with an out of the box WordPress theme (Genesis Sample by StudioPress) and then completely customized it using a WordPress plugin called Beaver Builder. We’ve experienced such incredible freedom using these two together!
Beaver Builder has given us the ability to create custom websites for less money and greater flexibility for our clients. You are no longer locked into static layouts or outdated design elements. You can can do just about anything with this plugin and a theme that a developer would do from scratch. Without coding.
The reality is that there are almost an infinite amount of options that will affect how much your website should cost.
Ask questions and do your research.
The good news is that it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to get online. The bad news is that there are way more people who are taking advantage of clients or doing horrible work for them. Even with DYI options like SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly you have to be cautious. All is not always as it seems.
Ask people you trust for advice. Seek out companies who have proven themselves in the industry. Research what you can online. Reach out to us for free advice.
With a little work and elbow grease, you can find out how much your website cost should be and the best way to get started.