In some ways, asking “how much does a website cost?” is similar to asking “how much does a house cost?”
That is, the answer depends a lot on the person asking the question and what they want and need. Where is it? How many are there? What kind? You get it…
But because it’s easier to make a website in 2023 than it was in the past, you might be surprised at how cheap it is to make a website…if you’re willing to get your hands dirty!
How Much Does a Website Cost in 2023: Overview
In this post, we’ll start by answering the question, “How much does a website cost?” for a DIY approach, which you can do even if you aren’t very tech-savvy.
Then, we’ll talk about how much you can expect to pay if you want to hire someone to build your website, based on real survey results from people whose job it is to build websites.
Let’s take a closer look at the question, “How much does a website cost?”
That’s why I’m here – building a website in 2023 is much cheaper than you might expect!
How much does it cost to build a website? Here’s what you’ll have to pay
There are two broad categories of website costs:
- Infrastructure – This is everything that keeps your website running. Software, web hosting, a domain name, and so on.
- Design and functionality – This is everything that people will interact with on your site, like how it looks and how it works.
Aside from that, you also have to decide if you want to pay someone to set all of that up for you or if you’d rather do it yourself.
First, let’s look at the basic costs of a website, or the things you’d have to pay for if you did it yourself. Then, we’ll talk about how much it might cost to have someone else build your site for you.
What is the cost of backend infrastructure for a website
A website’s backend infrastructure costs are divided into three main categories:
- Domain name
- Website software/content management system
1. Domain name – $10 to $15 per year
Your website’s permanent address on the Internet is its domain name. Ours is themeisle.com.
A domain registrar is where you will buy your domain name.
The part that comes after your name, like “.com,” “.net,” etc., affects how much your domain will cost.
A regular “.com” domain, on the other hand, will usually cost you between $10 and $15. Every year, you’ll have to pay about $10 to $15 to keep ownership.
2. Website software – Free OR $16+ per month
These days, almost no websites are coded from scratch. Instead, you’ll use a content management system, which is ready-made software for websites.
For example, WordPress, a piece of software, is used by more than 35% of all websites on the Internet. Yes, that number is as crazy as it sounds: more than one-third of all websites on the Internet do use WordPress.
One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is that the software is free for everyone to use. So if you use WordPress, you won’t have to pay anything for your website software.
As a side note, we are talking about the free open-source software at WordPress.org, not WordPress.com.
If you want to know exactly how much a WordPress site should cost, you can look at our previous article, which talks about all the different ways your budget can be broken down.
A dedicated website builder like Squarespace or Wix is another popular option.
You have to pay a monthly fee to use these tools, and you’ll have to keep doing so as long as you want your website to work. What you should expect to pay:
- Squarespace – Monthly price is $16, or annual price is $144 with the discount for annual payments
- Wix – The most affordable plan is $16 a month with a $150 annual discount (other options are available, but the selection is pretty limited).
One of those website builder tools can be a good option if you want the simplest way to build a website.
3. Hosting – for a legitimate website, it costs $2.75 a month for the first year
A hosting company gives your website space on a computer so it can run and be seen by people from all over the world.
If you use a website builder like Squarespace or Wix, hosting is already included in the price, so you won’t have to pay anything else.
You will, however, eventually need hosting to install and run self-hosted applications like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
When you’re just starting out, you can get free hosting from a number of companies, but it usually comes with a lot of restrictions.
It’s fine for a proof-of-concept project or a personal online journal, but you’re better off putting a small amount of money into a cheap hosting plan for a serious website or one that’s meant to stay online for a long time.
In order to handle the increased traffic, you might need to pay more, but that’s a good “problem.”
Website infrastructure cost summary
Remember that these hosting packages and domains will need to be renewed every year unless you pay for more than one year in advance.
So you’ll need to think about not only the costs of building a website up front, but also the costs of keeping your site up and running.
And as you just saw, WordPress tends to give you more for your money when it comes to both the cost of website design and the cost of website maintenance.
Even after the first year, when the promotional rate is replaced by the regular rate, Bluehost is still cheaper than the website builder options over the course of a year.
How much does a website cost for design and functionality
When you pay for this stuff, you’ll get a working website…but it won’t look or work like you want it to.
Now let’s talk about the cost of adding your own design and functionality.
1. Website theme/design – Free to $60+
One of the best things about using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress is that you don’t have to start from scratch to change the look of your website. Instead, you can use “themes” that have already been made.
A theme will be set up with just a few clicks. Then, you can use an easy-to-use interface to change the theme so that it fits your needs.
WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and the other options all have both free and paid themes.
So, if you’re on a tight budget, you can choose a free option with no worries. For example, the first site above uses the free Zelle Lite theme, and the second site uses the free Hestia Lite theme.
Here’s what you can expect to pay if you choose a premium theme:
- WordPress – An average WordPress theme costs $59, although it varies by theme.
- Squarespace and Wix – usually over $100
- With free drag-and-drop editing, WordPress page builder plugins like Elementor can help you improve your design even more.
- The free, built-in WordPress block editor is also a great way to design your website without having to know how to code. There are also many free block plugins you can use to make it even more useful.
2. Website functionality – Free to ???
This is the category with the most different options, since a lot of it depends on what you need.
Like themes, almost all of the major website builders let you use third-party extensions to add functionality to your site. Most of the time, these are called “apps” or “plugins.”
Again, these come in both free and paid packages, just like themes. For example, the official plugin directory for WordPress.org has more than 60,000 free plugins.
For a very simple site, you might be able to do everything for free.
But most sites, whether they were made with WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix, will need at least a few paid extensions.
You can’t know the exact price “per extension” because it totally depends on the developer. But we can point out a difference in how different platforms handle payment:
- WordPress – Most paid “plugins” are a one-time payment, but you may need to renew after the first year to keep getting updates. Even if you don’t pay for the tool again, you can still use it… It just won’t get any new information.
- Squarespace and Wix – both charge a monthly fee if you want to use them for the foreseeable future.
Summary for Design and functionality of a website – $0 to $100+
The total cost for design and functionality depends on what you need. You wouldn’t have to spend a dime on a simple website. But if you want a lot of advanced features, you’ll have to spend more money.
Most sites that aren’t very complicated will probably spend at least $100 on extensions.
So how much does a website cost if you go DIY? Not that much
Ok, so if you’re willing to do it yourself, the costs of building a website can be surprisingly low. The whole first year will only cost you a couple hundred dollars.
Most websites don’t need custom functionality, so you can do just fine with off-the-shelf solutions. Also, the technical side of making a website has gotten a lot easier, and now anyone can make their own website.
So, if you just want to get your business online with a simple brochure site or start a blog, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or pay someone else to do it.
In fact, you can make something that looks nice and works well in your first year for as little as $40.
Still, a more realistic long-term budget would probably be between $200 and $300 per year as you continue to build your site and add premium extensions.
What is the cost of a website designed by a web designer?
The professionals at a web design company will plan and build your site.
It doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax – you will need to work with your web designer to create a site that you love – but you won’t have to do much heavy lifting.
The best reason to hire a web designer is:
- Anyone who needs a very complex website
- Inexperienced or unconfident individuals
- Websites with large budgets and custom design
This is probably the hardest cost to estimate because different web designers will charge different rates depending on the project and their own experience.
Whether you go with an agency or a freelancer will also affect the price.
Overall, though, it will cost you between $5,000 and $30,000 to have someone make your website for you.
- Wix Website Examples
- Weebly Review
- Websites to Learn Coding on Your Own
- Server Performance Testing Tools to Stress Test Website
- How to Build a Successful (IDX) Real Estate Website
- How to Increase Your Blog Traffic?
- Free Illustrations Websites
- Find Right Mentor For Your Blogging Journey
- Reasons to select Google Cloud Web Hosting
Conclusion: How Much Does a Website Cost in 2023
Website Cost: Recap
- Use a website builder: The cheapest option costs between $0 and $50 per month
- Use WordPress: $35 – $780 for the upfront cost, $11 – $50 per month for ongoing costs – you control the cost (or cost) of your site.
- Hire a web designer: $500 to $10,000+ – the most expensive option, but the least time-consuming
There is a way to build a website for everyone, no matter how much money you have or how little you need. Getting good value for your money is the most important thing.
Here is a brief description of each method to help you decide which one is best for you:
We recommend using a website builder if:
- Your budget is tight
- It’s your first time developing the site
- Time is of the essence
- You want to create your own website
- The technical stuff isn’t what you want to deal with
We recommend using WordPress if:
- Budget-wise, you have a little more wiggle room
- Your site should be completely under your control
- There is plenty of time for you
- Customization is important to you
- Taking care of all the technical details would be fun for you
We recommend using a web designer if:
- Budget is not an issue for you
- You don’t want to be responsible for creating your own site
- There isn’t much time left
- The design needs to be very complex or custom
- Your site would be better managed by a professional
Building a website doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, as long as you use the right method and get good value for your money. Happy building!