Depending on how much work you are willing to do yourself, and how customized you want your website to be, you could spend anywhere from $0 to $10,000+ on a new or revamped website.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different options you have to build your website, and how much each of the options will cost. We have broken the options into two categories:
- Do it yourself – This option will take more time, but you do not need to know how to code or have experience with web design to create a nice looking, professional website. The options in this category range in price from $0-$200 per year. Click here for our full guide on how to get your site up and running in less than an hour.
- Hire professionals – If you don’t have the time, or want a completely customized site, then hiring professionals is the way to go. In this category, prices start at $50 to have a professional set up your website using a WordPress template, to $10,000 or more for a completely customized website.
Now that you understand the two different options, let’s look at the costs in detail.
DIY Website Costs
|Free Website Builder (no custom domain)||WordPress|
|Professional Website Builder (custom domain)|
|Total Website Cost||$0||$41 - $110 per year||$154 - $159 per year|
|Content Management System||$0 for free Weebly website||$0 for WordPress||$144 per year using Weebly|
|Design||$0 - Displays Weebly ads||$0 for free theme|
$69 per year for Divi (our recommended theme)
|$0 - No Weebly ads
|Hosting||$0 - Hosting included with Weebly package||$41.40 per year for hosting on Bluehost||$0 - Hosting included with Weebly package|
|Domain Name||$0 - Weebly.com subdomain |
|$0 - Free custom domain (yourbusiness.com) included in Bluehost cost||$10-$15 per year for custom domain (yourbusiness.com)|
Do it Yourself Options
There are two primary options when it comes to building your own website:
- Website builder – With a website builder, you can easily set up a website without knowing any code. You simply drag the feature you want (such as image, text, or headline) and drop it anywhere on your website. There are a few different builders, but we recommend Weebly for small business owners. While there are limitations in what you can do, basic website builders like Weebly are very easy to use.
- WordPress – If you’re a little more tech-savvy, we recommend setting up a WordPress website. There are fewer limitations on a WordPress website, but not everything comes in an easy to set up package, like it does with a website builder. Click here for our full guide on how to launch a WordPress site in less than an hour.
Let’s look at each option in detail to determine which will be the best fit for your business.
DIY Option # 1: Use a drag-and-drop website builder
Drag and drop website builders make it super easy for the average person to build their own website. It’s a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) platform with features on the left side and your website on the right. You can then simply drag the feature that you want from the left and place it where you want it on the website.
For business owners without any programming experience, we recommend using Weebly. You can build your website from your browser using their simple design tools, so you don’t have to deal with code.
Weebly is an all-in-one DIY website builder. They have both free and paid options, though we recommend going with their $12 per month plan for a custom domain with no Weebly ads displayed. With both the paid and free option, you will have access to a wide array of templates and website hosting, which means you don’t have to deal with coding your design or installing it on a server. Once you pick your template and add your pages, photos, text, and other elements, your site is ready to go.
With the free version, you get a free domain, but it’s not custom (e.g. it will look like yourwebsite.weebly.com). Weebly can also register a custom domain for an additional fee, but it’s much cheaper to purchase one from an external service, like Bluehost. You can connect your domain to your website whether you buy it from Weebly or an external service. Learn how to set up your website using Weebly here.
DIY Option #2: Create a Website using WordPress
For tech savvy business owners who want to minimize monthly fees and are up for learning a new system, we recommend WordPress. Although it takes longer to set up, WordPress is very customizable and has a huge number of free templates. While it certainly helps, you don’t need to know how to program to use WordPress.
WordPress is an open source content management system. It’s free and has a very large community of users and developers, which also means there’s a huge variety of free and premium templates/themes to choose from. Premium templates cost in the $50 to $100 range and feature more unique and customizable designs.
Since WordPress is open source, the sky’s the limit in terms of how much you can customize the platform. This means if you go with WordPress you have a lot more customization options than with Weebly.
The downside is that the backend of WordPress can be intimidating, so it’s a more complex system to use than Weebly. The more complex you get with your formatting (i.e. adding charts, form-submissions, etc.) the more likely you’ll have to deal with some HTML coding. Also, in order to get your website up and running, you have to purchase hosting separately and install WordPress onto the server. The good news is that there is a large network of WordPress experts, so if you can’t figure something out, you can get help on a site like Upwork for cheap.
Now that we have gone through the ways you can build your own website, let’s now discuss all of the options for hiring a professional.
Website Costs When Hiring Professionals
|Install Theme on WordPress||Custom Design for WordPress using 99designs||Web Design Company|
|Total Website Cost||$50 - $300||$1,000 - $4,000||$2,000 - $10,000+|
|Content Management System||$0 for WordPress||$0 for WordPress||Not applicable|
|Design||$0 for free theme|
$69 per year for Divi (our recommended theme)
|$600 - $2,500 using 99designs||$2,000 - $10,000+|
|Installing Design||$50-$200 using Upwork to find freelancer||$300-$1,500 to have design coded (depending on number of pages)||Included in design cost|
|Hosting||$41.40 per year for hosting on Bluehost||$41.40 per year for hosting on Bluehost||$41.40 per year for hosting on Bluehost|
|Domain Name||$0 - Free domain included in Bluehost cost||$0 - Free domain included in Bluehost cost||$0 - Free domain included in Bluehost cost|
What is WordPress?
We will be talking about WordPress throughout the article, so we want to make sure you understand first what it is. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers over 26% of the web (including this website) and is completely free to use. WordPress is the structure of a website and is a platform where you can publish posts and pages.
In order for the posts that are published on WordPress to appear on a nice looking, easy to navigate website, you need to install a theme. There are thousands of both free and paid themes available for WordPress, and you can also pay to have a custom theme made, like we did for this website. The theme modifies the way the site is displayed.
Why we recommend using WordPress
If you decide to hire a professional, we recommend you work with a designer who will build your website on WordPress. There are 2 main reasons for this:
- It’s one of the most popular content management platforms. Aside from being very reliable, there’s a large community of developers around WordPress. This means if something happens with your original designer, hiring another designer to take over the site will be no problem.
- Its dashboard makes it easy for you to edit your website or add blog posts, so you won’t have to rely on your web designer to do this for you once the site is built.
Hiring a Professional Options in Detail
As outlined in the table above there are 3 primary options when working with a professional:
- Hire a web developer to install theme on WordPress
- Use 99designs to get a custom design for WordPress
- Hire a web design company to build your website on WordPress
Let’s look into each of these in detail to determine which will work best for your needs.
Pro Option #1: Hire Web Developer to Install Theme on WordPress
Total Cost Range ($50-$300):
Includes freelance web developer installing theme on WordPress website. Does not include customization of your website.
Who this is right for:
This is the option for you if you want a nice looking website, but don’t need it to be customized to your specific vision. Since WordPress is an open source software, there are hundreds of designers who are working to create themes that are free for anyone to download. Here are the most popular free themes.
There are also premium themes that typically cost between $50-$100 to download. Look here for a bunch of quality premium themes. Though it is tempting to go with a free theme, we suggest paying the extra $100 or so for a premium theme so it will adapt along with WordPress updates and offer quality customer support. Learn more about the differences between premium and free themes here.
After you have chosen the look for your website, you will want to purchase your custom domain and hosting, which you can get from Bluehost for $2.95 or less per month. You can then use sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find freelance web developers that will be able to work with you for around $30-$50 per hour to download the theme that you chose onto a WordPress website.
For around $50, they will be able to simply download the theme you chose onto WordPress. If you are willing to pay for multiple hours, they can also edit the pages of your website with your information. Make sure to check their reviews and previous work to ensure they are the right option for what you need. To learn more, view our article on how to hire a good freelancer.
Pro Option #2: Use 99designs to Get a Custom WordPress Theme
Total Cost Range ($1,000-$4,000):
Includes a custom design from 99designs, a graphic design marketplace, and coding of the website by one of 99designs’ trusted partners.
Who this is right for:
This is the option for you if you are willing to put some effort into the process of creating your website. Although you are hiring professionals, you will need to understand how you want your website laid out, and what you want it to look like, so you can pitch your idea to the designers on 99designs. When pitching your idea, 99designs gives you a design brief to fill out with questions about the look you are going for. The questions are meant to help you better articulate your vision to the designers.
After you make your pitch for how you want your website to look, dozens of designers will submit their creations. Then you can choose your favorite from the options.
The cost for the web design is $600-$2,500 depending on how many pages you want designed, and how many graphic designers you want to be able to choose from.
After you have chosen the winning design, you will need to find someone to code the design for your website. 99designs has coding partners that will be able to do this for you and who have experience working with templates from 99designs. Typically the cost to code 1 responsive page (a page that also works on mobile) is $300, and each inner page (all pages other than the homepage) costs around $150.
Pro Option #3: Hire a Web Design Company
Total Cost Range ($2,000-$10,000+):
Includes custom built website on WordPress using a web design company.
Who this is right for:
If you have a unique vision for your website, you can work with a web design company. You will get the most hand holding with this option, as the company should be experts at website design and able to provide useful insight on how your website should be built. This all comes at a higher cost, as web design companies charge anywhere from $2,000-$10,000+ depending on how complex you need your site to be.
If you do decide to go with this option, we recommend that the design company builds your website on WordPress. Since there are thousands of web developers who know the ends and outs of WordPress, if you leave the firm who built your site for any reason, you will be able to find someone else to take over. You will also have more control over making edits to your site if it’s built on WordPress.
Websites are essential to your business’ presence online, but you don’t need to pay an outrageous amount for a nice looking website. If you’re a small business owner who needs a basic website with information about your company, consider using a drag-and-drop DIY website builder or hiring a web developer to help you install a theme on WordPress.
These options will cost you less than $500, and you will have more control over your website after it’s developed.
If you’re interested in setting up a website using WordPress, check out our free guide on how to get a website up and running in less than an hour.