How much does a website cost in 2018?

How much does a website cost? It’s a question that gets asked a lot by people who have minimal internet experience, to those who work in agencies or freelance creating websites. And always, it’s a very difficult question to give an instant, accurate answer to.

In 2018, it is almost business suicide to not have a website. We’re now in a world where people need instant information available at their fingertips, so it’s important to ensure that information is readily available. More and more businesses, both big and small, are quickly catching on, but they all share the same problem. That problem being the difficulty of deciding on how much money needs to be budgeted for the task.

So, in 2018, how much does a website actually cost? There’s never just one price – there are several cost elements to take into account, all of which are detailed below:

Domain Name

Unless you already have a website and you’re just looking to get it updated, you’re going to need a domain name. Without jargon, a domain name is your website address or URL – what you type in to get to your webpage.

Although you can apply to purchase a pre-existing domain name for an owner, this is, in most cases, highly costly. The best route to take is to find a name that is unregistered, therefore it’s better to be searching for more unique ideas.

The prices for domain names not only range in relation to the popularity of a chosen name, but also in connection to the domain type (.com, .co.uk, etc.)

We compared the prices for a completely made-up company’s domain name across four leading registrar sites.

 

Domain123-RegGoDaddy1&1NamescoAverage
.co.uk£9.99£9.99£9.99£6.99£9.24
.com£15.99£13.10£12.99£14.99£14.27
.uk£9.99£9.99£9.99£6.99£9.24
.net£15.99£14.10£15.99£14.99£15.27
.online£29.99£33.10£24.99£29.99£29.52
.info£15.99£16.10£15.99£12.99£15.27
    Average:£15.47

*not including introductory offers. All prices per year.

Hosting

To keep your website online, it will need to be hosted somewhere. There are many companies that provide web hosting, which means your website will be stored on their servers – it’s from here it will be accessed across the world wide web.

Larger companies and web based businesses will have their own dedicated web servers, but this isn’t a cost-effective solution for smaller outlets. Instead, one of the two main types of hosting are recommended.

  • Shared hosting: This is when your website is placed on a server with other sites. Perfect for smaller websites, it’s one of the more economic options, with prices starting at £10 per month. The main negative of this is your site won’t have dedicated bandwidth, so if you’re sharing a server with a site that has a lot more regular traffic, you may see an increase in loading time.
  • Dedicated hosting: The right option for bigger websites, this sees your site get its own dedicated server. This gives you a more reliable, high performance experience, bit is of course a lot more expensive, with packages costing at least £150 per month.

Hosting is one of the more expensive recurring costs of the website building experience, with the cheapest option costing a minimum of £120 for a year.

Web Design

The main cost of a new website is the design and build itself. The cheap option when it comes to this stage is a DIY builder, where you can use a pre-designed template to create your own website, editing elements and adding your own text and imagery.

This is an often very low-cost option, with some of the site builders even offering free packages. These solutions can often present satisfactory results, but overall, there’s a reason why it’s so cheap. It’s difficult to get particular required features when creating your own site on a platform, and it’s also not the best way of producing a website that is going to perform well on search engines.

Despite the negatives, this can still be the right option for some projects. Here’s a look at the average pricing (per month, not including introductory offers) for some of the leading platforms:

 

BuilderBusiness SiteeCommerce Site
WebsiteBuilder£12.29£19.98
GoDaddy£6.99£19.99
Wix£4.99£24.99
1&1£10.00£30.00
Squarespace£10.00£15.00
Weebly£8.00£17.00
Average:£8.71£21.16
Per Year:£104.52£253.92

 

For a more SEO-friendly site, with a bespoke design tailored to your business needs and branding, it’s best to hire a professional web designer, whether an agency or freelancer. Of course, this is a big price increase, but overall, typically proves to be more cost-effective the long term. With a more bespoke, expertly created website, you’re going to drive an increase in traffic, sales and enquiries – you just need to make the website investment to do so.

Hiring someone to create a website means you need to pay them for a potentially large number of hours’ work. The price per hour varies across options, with some freelancers charging as little as £15, while the cheapest agencies will average a cost of £40. Again, it feels like an easy choice to select the cheapest price, but often, the more you pay, the better the end product. Although many freelancers can match (or even better) the quality of agencies, chances are, they’ll have some weaknesses – you can’t be a specialist in everything! Meanwhile, agencies will have a wide variety of employees, covering many more bases when it comes to niche expertise.

Taking this into account, you can expect to pay an average of £1000-1500 for the design and build of a small website, with this increasing with the size of website. A large website, designed for bigger companies, can cost anything from £3000 to £9000, again depending on the exact requirements of your project.

Including the cost of design, build, programming, and mobile responsiveness, the expected average cost of an average sized business website, produced professionally by an agency or freelancer, is approximately £4400.

Add onto this the average cost of hosting and domain registration, and the overall total average becomes: £4535

This cost doesn’t include the extra additional services you may require to make your site reach the quality needed…

Additional Services

For a new business just starting out, it’s likely a logo and brand will need to be created. Some web design agencies add this in to the website design for an extra cost, but it can also be carried out through freelancers, who charge anything from £100 to £600 for their services (an average of £350 for a logo). For something more thorough (not just a logo but also a full set of brand guidelines for marketing use), a brand agency might be required. This is a costly option and is only recommended for larger companies.

When a new website is launched, it can take several weeks until it is properly indexed by Google, meaning it won’t appear in search results during that time. When it eventually does get indexed, there’s still no guarantee of Google search users finding your website on the first few pages that show for their search term. SEO is a recommended service to take on in this instance, a specific type of marketing work that ensures your website is fully optimised to tick all of Google’s boxes, helping you to finally get a strong search visibility. Again, the price can range greatly with this service. A freelancer might do you a low cost, SEO audit of your website, making some important changes as a one-off job. An agency might have you on a rolling contract, ensuring not only the SEO edits are made, but also taking on the ongoing task of increasing your content and high-quality backlinks. According to analysis completed in 2016, the average cost of mid-level SEO for companies with smaller websites and less search engine competition, is around £500 to £1500.

Content isn’t always part of an SEO package. If you’re a new business, you might require a copywriter to fill your website with text, fully detailing your company’s products, services, and selling points. Again, this is another service that doesn’t come cheaply – a less experienced freelancer might charge around £35 an hour for copywriting, while an agency could be asking you for up to £120 a hour. Similarly, you might hire someone to take on your digital marketing – not limited to SEO, this can include email campaigns, social media work, and Google AdWords PPC, amongst other things.

One of the most important packages to have in place is a maintenance plan. This is often agreed with the agency that has created your website, and entitles you to ongoing fixes and edits on your site when needed, usually limited to a set number of hours work per month.

So, how much does a website cost in 2018?

As mentioned at the start of the article, it’s a very difficult question to answer. There’s no set price for any website, because it always depends on the size of the build, the features you require, and the method you choose for getting the job done (freelancer, agency, website building tool, etc). To get a good quality website that will perform efficiently and tick off all your criteria, no matter the size, we recommend a minimum of £3000. There’s always cheaper options, but the money you pay turns into a gamble – maybe you’ve chosen the wrong freelancer, or you’ve discovered the tool you’re using can’t produce exactly what you want. It’s absolutely crucial to make a key investment when it comes to this area, and although £3000 might seem like a lot of money to pay at once for a smaller business, the return you’ll get from having a high functioning, good quality website will make it all worth it.

A summary of the average prices are below, including the costs of additional, optional services. This assumes the average SEO cost to be around £1000 for a monthly service, £77.50 per hour copywriting (of which at least 10 hours are required to populate a medium sized website), and a rolling maintenance cost of £30 per month.

 

Domain£15.47
Hosting£120.00
Web design£3000.00
Total:£3135.47
Average logo design cost£350.00
Average SEO cost for 1 year£12,000.00
Average copywriting cost for 10 hours£775.00
Average maintenance cost for 1 year£300.00
Total with additional optional services:£16,560.47

 

Remember, it’s not all about cost either. It’s key that you choose a web designer that is going to be on the same page as you. Have a proper look through the websites of your prospective designers, and find someone with a backstory and business ethos that matches you and your business, a portfolio of excellent quality websites, and a testimonials section packed with the reviews of satisfied customers. Combined with the right investment, choosing a good web designer will get you on the right road to online success.

Written by Jamie Swain

Jamie Swain is a professional blogger.

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