What Factors Effect Small Business Website Design Cost?
In this article I’ll discuss the following topics:
1. Small business website design cost overview
2. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
3. What is needed to build a WordPress website
4. WordPress website cost considerations
5. Cost of a WordPress DIY site
6. Cost of a Turnkey WordPress website
7. Cost of a Custom WordPress website
8. Cheap website design for small business
9. Small business website design cost summary
1. Small Business Website Design Cost Overview
Size and Complexity will determine where the small business website cost falls …. likely between the range of $1,000 to $10,000. You’ll find that most web designers who list their prices online fall between $3,000 to $6,000, and go as high as $20,000.
These prices include both design and development/building of the sites, which generally occurs simultaneously. For higher budget sites, a business can invest these amounts for discovery and a design wireframe alone, and you’ll still need to pay a developer to build the site according to the specs.
Page Volume. If a web designer offers a website package that includes a certain number of pages, the cost to add additional pages generally runs about $100 each for a basic page. Of course, the size and complexity of a web page can vary considerably as well.
Customization. Every website begins with a theme or template as a starting point. The theme or template will be customized to suit your company brand. Of course, the more customization required, the greater the cost.
Images & Graphics. High quality images and graphics will give your site a unique look, but come at a price. Sophisticated visual effects often require special editing software and services of a custom graphic design specialist.
Custom Programming. Plugins sometimes provide the functionality needed , other times, not so much. It may require some code writing and trial/error and testing.
Number Revisions. Most website projects start with an initial concept design (kind of like a rough draft). It’s then common for website designers to offer 1 or 2 rounds of design revisions to incorporate their client’s change requests to arrive at the final design.
Each design iteration is an extra charge, adding to the overall cost of the project.
Content. Great content is the foundation of any great website. If you have weak content, it’ll need to be improved. Depending on how much information you need to publish, your website might need 5-10 pages or over 50.
PRO TIP # 1: Be careful with “budget pricing”. Low prices often means you’ll get shoddy workmanship, an unpleasant experience or they’ll nickel and dime you for every little thing. You usually get what you pay for.
Before getting into Small Business Website Design Cost, I’ll first cover some basics.
2. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own website, with WordPress.com, you don’t.
Using WordPress.com your domain will, by default, include “WordPress.com”, and can’t upload any custom themes, plugins or modify the PHP code behind your site.
Using a self-hosted version of WordPress with WordPress.org means you can use your own domain name, upload and install themes and plugins, edit the code behind your site and have access to your site’s database (or files). Most of the showcase sites you see on the WordPress site showcase are the self-hosted version of WordPress, since many of them have unique functionality or a custom-made design.
Therefore WordPress.com does not work for me or my clients, and this article is entirely written for self hosted websites using WordPress.org.
3. What Is Needed to Build a Small Business WordPress Website?
WordPress is open source software free for anyone to download and use and the cost of a WordPress site can be broken down into the following categories:
- Website Hosting
- Domain Name
- Design & Development
- Plugins & Theme
Web hosting is needed to store your files.
Domain Name is your website’s address on the internet.
With WordPress, there are many templates available to speed up the process, however if you want something more custom, a premium template / theme may be needed which will raise the cost.
There are 45,000+ free plugins for WordPress. These are applications and extensions for your websites such as a contact form, gallery, etc.
Dramatic Price Range
Small Business websites can cost from $500 to $100,000 +.
On the high end of the spectrum, companies like The Wallstreet Journal, Forbes , LinkedIn, NFL, Mercedes etc use WordPress and have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their websites.
Large companies may have a team of designers and developers working for 6 months or more to a build a single website on WordPress.
On the low end of the spectrum, an individual can put up a page on WordPress.com for free.
5. Cost of a WordPress Website Low Budget –DIY
First, you will need a domain name and web hosting.
Domain name costs about $15 year, and cheap web hosting normally costs $60 -$100 yr.
WordPress Website Hosting Cost
Next, WordPress needs to be installed on the hosting account. There is a cost associated with WordPress website hosting. Once WordPress is installed, a template/theme needs to be chosen and installed.
There are thousands of free and professionally designed templates available for WordPress that you can install.
Once a WordPress template is chosen and installed, plugins needs to be chosen and installed such as a contact form, a photo gallery, a slider, security etc. There are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins to choose from.
Plugins are application or extensions for your WordPress site.
Some examples of popular WordPress plugins are shown below:
Contact Form 7 – Add contact forms to your WordPress site
Yoast SEO – Improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic from Google
WP Super Cache – Improves your website’s speed by adding cache
UpdraftPlus – Free WordPress backup plugin
Don’t forget to maintain your WordPress website, keeping it updated and backed up on a regular basis or it will break and be expensive to repair!
Cost of a DIY WordPress Website
If you can do the work yourself, you can have a self hosted website for as little as $100 per year.
Total Cost of DIY Low Budget WordPress Website: under $100 per year
A More Typical Cost Breakdown
A typical breakdown of expenses required to get up and running might look something like this:
- Domain: $12/year
- Hosting: $10/month – $30/month
- Premium Theme: $50-$200
- Premium Plugins: $15-$200 (each; some are one-time purchases, others are monthly/annual licenses.)
- Rough Totals: $200-$1,000+
6. Cost of a Turnkey WordPress Website
The next step up ….. let an expert setup and design your small business WordPress site.
The typical WordPress basic small business website package might be charged hourly or have a fixed price and might look something like below:
- Hourly: $50-$100 per hour
- Flat Rate: $500-$1000+
- Monthly: $30-$50/month (in addition to the initial hourly or flat rate fees)
- A-la-cart Extras: $100, $200, etc. per strategy document, training course, and so on.
- Rough Totals: $500-$2,500+ (plus possible monthly or a-la-cart services)
For the right person this sort of service package will provide a lot of convenience, peace of mind, and a smoother navigation of the WordPress learning curve.
Expert WordPress web designers, such as Mark Lovett Web Design has developed a specific small business WordPress website niche, with tight constraints (on time, number of edits, tools, add-on services, etc.), and can take a client from an idea to a fully functioning website in a short amount of time, and can deliver a basic, professional site for $1,000 to $3,500.
If the site requires additional functionality such as membership only areas, eCommerce, online payment, multiple pages, extensive content creation, and SEO work, the build time substantially increases as does the cost $3,500 – $7,000.
There are so many website platforms, themes and plugins to choose from that it becomes overwhelming for a small business owner to try and wade through the enormous amount of information that is widely available online and changing fast daily. Since I’m very familiar with them, I’ll do the heavy lifting for you.
The Cheapest Way To Build A Website for Small Business | You Own It
WordPress DIY Build – If you have the skills and the time to design and build your small business WordPress site yourself, this is the cheapest and best option.
The Cheapest Way To Build A Website for Small Business | You’re Renting
Wix Build – If you lack the skill to build your own WordPress website, and can’t afford to pay a professional to do it, I recommend using Wix. Wix has beautiful drag and drop templates, and has affordable pricing. The downside is that you dont own your website and you won’t be able to customize the site.
With Wix you’ll be renting your website, and can’t take anything you build with you when your business grows and you want to change servers. You’ll also be tethered to the template that they provide with little or no capabilities to customize. You’re also subject to Wix’s policies and they could shut your business site down sat any time for any reason.
9. Small Business Website Design Cost Summary
Pricing a Website is difficult, and will be based on several factors such as:
Experience of the web developer
An experienced web developer/designer will cost more but the results will be worth the investment. Do your homework and find a pro to build your site and help you promote it online.
Decide on a Templated Theme or Custom Theme
Most sites in the $5,000 an under price range are using a templated theme with varying degrees of customization. How much customization needed will determine if your site will cost closer to $5k or closer to $1,500. Then it becomes a question of how much time someone will spend setting the site up, instead of developing it. A custom theme will cost a lot more money and time to build.
Determine How Much Content is Needed and Who provides It
If you have good quality content already, it makes the developer’s job a lot easier. If you don’t have content, this would be an added cost. The developer can help determine who your audience is, and craft the perfect message and copy for you.
Create a list of must-have website features
WordPress has a lot of plugins available. An experienced WordPress developer will know what’s good, what isn’t and what needs custom development. If you list the things your site absolutely needs, developers can get a good idea of how long the site will take to make.
Will you need someone to host and manage your website?
This can be another added cost, but good website maintenance worth the investment. If you need someone to update and maintain your website to keep it secure, that will be another up-front cost. It can also save you money in the long run.
What is your timeline for completion?
Rush jobs cost more.
Small Business Website Design Cost Tip
Find an experienced local website designer/developer with great reviews and you will reap the rewards of an amazing lead generating website at an affordable cost.
If you can afford it, pay an experienced web designer/developer to build your site for you. It’ll save you time, money and headaches.
Today’s websites are more complicated than the websites of only 10-15 years ago, and technology is changing rapidly.
However, if funds are tight, and your business is brand new, you may be forced to doing the DIY approach to start. As soon as you are able, hire a pro to take your business to the next level.