How Much Does A Website Cost

I work between London, California and BCS, Mexico where I am currently in residence. The following content is derived from an unbiased third party review page in the UK at as a relative guide.

This is to give you a broad overview of the process, your options, potential costs and commitments on your part. The intention is to inform and empower you to ask the right questions, to make the right choices, in order to bring your project to happy fruition.

It’s a general guide and may or may not apply to your specific project, but let’s talk about your ideas to find out what’s right for you. Give me a call to schedule a meet up or chat.

Different web design agencies and professionals will have varying rates, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with the various stages of website design and the associated costs.

Having a website built may be confusing and you may not know where to start, how much it should cost, or what exactly you need. This article breaks down all the variables involved when setting up and maintaining a new website.

Of course, the cheapest choice in building and maintaining a website is the DIY option. Free templates for websites are available but these tend to be basic and lack any individuality. You can purchase a simple website template for around £25, which can incorporate a basic online shop. However, for a complex and unique website, many use a web design company to build and maintain their site.

Initial Costs

Domain Name

Every website needs a domain name, as it is this that needs to be typed into the address bar to gain access to the site.

Domain names need to be unique as two companies cannot share one name. A .com domain name generally costs around £10 a year. (There are numerous alternative domain name suffixes now available however, from .associates to .yoga. For an extensive list see Wiki / List of Internet top-level domains)

Domain names that are popular will cost more due to the greater demand associated with their popularity. If you are keen on a specific name that is already taken, you could potentially apply to buy it from whoever already owns it, but this can cost as much as or more than the cost of developing the site itself.


Every website needs to be hosted on a web server. Again there are free options available, via Google for example, but these are limited and not always reliable.

Hosting on a shared web server (containing other sites) usually costs around £10 a month and this is generally acceptable.  (To have your own server is much more expensive with costs averaging around £60 a month.)

You can get regular promotional hosting packages that also include free domain names if you don’t already have one. Usually you can pay anything from £2.99 – £14.99 per month for a premium package. Other more expensive options are available for larger e-commerce sites that require more demanding packages.

The Cost of Building a Website

An initial website is made up of between one and 10 pages and is great for start-ups or small businesses.

When purchasing a website you should consider the ease with which it could be upgraded or expanded in the future if the business were to grow, or if you were to add other services or products.

Who will you choose to build your first website?

Choices include UK based agencies that can charge between £40 – £130 per hour, freelancer developers who can cost anywhere from £15 – £70 per hour depending on their experience, or off-shore options who are usually the cheapest option at £5 – £20 per hour. You should bear in mind that each choice has its own pros and cons:

Web Design Agency: Disciplined and reliable but potentially slower to respond to requests.

Freelance Developer: More personalised service, but might lack the wide range of skills possessed by an agency.

Off-shore web company: Definitely the cheapest, but a lot less reliable than the other two options. Always be wary of offers that sound too good, or cheap, to be true.

When agreeing on a price for the website ensure that the price quoted up front is the total cost and that there are no hidden extras. A website is a large project and will take time to perfect, so you don’t want to be caught up paying an expensive rate per hour as this will quickly spiral during edits and amendments.

You should think about what exactly you need and want from your website and then look at what is part of the package offered.

Consider the following when researching your first website:

How easy is it to reach and communicate with the designer?

How is your website protected should something go wrong?

To what degree does your designer understand what you are trying to achieve?

The cost of a first website will roughly be:
Domain name and hosting – £0.99-£50
Simple design work – £400-£600
Ongoing costs – £0-£10 per month
Overall cost – £400-£770.

Of course these prices depend on the size and complexity of your site, as well as the number of revisions and amends that are required.

If your site is for eCommerce or for a dedicated online business, then prices can increase due to the cost of the software required.

A natural progression from a first website is a small business website, which is usually between 10-20 pages, has limited functionality and needs very few, if any, plugins. These types of website are suitable for those wishing to redesign or refresh a first website, or are ready to develop a dedicated online presence or eCommerce shop. For online stores, platforms like Shopify or WordPress are recommended.

You should choose an option that allows you to upgrade and add to it in the future. The web’s digital language, HTML5, is now on its fifth version and is updated fairly regularly, so having the ability to quickly tweak your site and keep it accessible is important. It is also imperative to ensure that it is mobile responsive given that this is now where the majority of traffic originates from.

For a small business website you should write down all of your requirements to ensure that your designer can deliver the site you want and need. Consider the following:

How many pages or sections do you need?

What functionality do you need – picture gallery? eCommerce?

What is the scope for future development?

What graphics or stock images do you need?

Will it be mobile responsive?

The cost of a small business website will roughly be:
Domain name and hosting – £0.99-£100
Design work – £600-£1,200
Programming – £900-£2,000
Ongoing costs – £0-£30 per month
Overall cost – £1,000-£3,500
Expect to pay £1,000-£4,000 for the total package.

For this sort of website we would also suggest making a budget for monthly marketing campaigns that keep traffic coming to your site.

This type of site is ideal for eCommerce businesses or companies with more traffic, a wider range of products, more information to impart or who require more functionality.

This could also be a refresher website for a company who are ready for something larger and more dynamic.

When companies start moving onto a larger websites it can be highly beneficial to work with a dedicated partner, one that can offer all of the imminent and ongoing support that such a project will require. Unless you have a strong relationship with a talented freelancer, we would definitely recommend looking for an agency to work with when moving onto medium and large sized websites. This ensures you are getting the best possible service and that they understand your business and what you are trying to achieve.

The larger the site gets, the longer it will take to build. There may be unforeseen problems that are encountered along the way so this is not something that you can expect to be finished in a hurry. For this reason it may prove wise to agree a set fee for the project up front, rather than by the hour. To understand why hourly rates may prove more costly you should read expertmarket’s guide on working with freelancers. Also you should try to ensure that you can supply content or assets for your site – web designers often produce the most amazing looking websites but will insist that the content is provided.

The cost of a medium-sized website will roughly be:
Domain name and hosting – £0.99-£300
Design work – £800-£1,800
Content creation (in-house or freelance) – £100-£1,000
Programming – £1,000-£3,000
Ongoing costs – £0-£60 per month
Overall cost – £1,800-£6,700

Once you move into the upper echelons of web building, the price gets higher so you can expect to pay over £1,000 regardless of size, requirements, functionality, etc. Costs are also inflated by the additional work that goes into ensuring so many pages are mobile responsive. If this is an upgrade to an existing site it may not cost as much as it won’t be such a large job.

Website costs increase considerably as you move up in scale. With multiple sections, 40 to 50 pages and lots of functionality, large websites are ideal for big companies or established online brands. A larger site offers potentially greater flexibility, especially for eCommerce business using software such as Shopify or Magento.

Be aware though that it can take time and patience to build such a large site and costs will go up considerably. If you are looking to develop a larger website, or redesign a smaller one, you will need a reliable and resilient content management system in place so that you or someone that you employ can access and make regular amends to the site. The development and build of such a template or database can be both time-consuming and expensive, but once in place you will have a great launching pad to grow your online presence.

You also need to consider who will host your site, whether a 3rd-party website or on your own internal server. Having your own server can be expensive, but it does add a level of security that you can rely upon, whereas a 3rd-party hosting site might be cheaper, but if they go down then so, potentially, will your website. For larger websites, which are often eCommerce sites, it is imperative that it is mobile-responsive.

In an ideal world, your designers will migrate your existing site into a new and mobile-responsive framework. However if this is not possible, you can expect costs to mount up as a new build is required.

The cost of a large-sized website will roughly be:

Domain name and hosting – £0.99-£300
Design work – £1200-£3,000
Content creation (in-house or freelance) – £100-£1,500
Mobile Responsiveness – £200 – £2,000
Programming – £1000-£4,000
Ongoing costs – £0-£60 per month
Overall cost – £2,500-£11,500

Important Considerations

Web design is a service, not a product

Looking at your website build as a service will help you understand why it is difficult to put a single price to it.

There is a lot of planning and detail involved

Price will depend on the level of detail and time spent on various features.

Quotes are subjective

You could potentially receive a quote from £1,000 all the way up to £50,000 for the same project requirements.

You can pay for your website build in more than one way

For example, you can go with a fixed bid or hourly payments. With fixed bid, you might pay a one-off price of £6,000. With hourly payments, you could pay someone £50 an hour while they work on your website.

Standards vary from agency to agency

Companies differ in the way they go about building your website. The absence of uniformity in standards will affect pricing.

Other Website Costs – Features and Components

As well as domain, hosting and build costs, you may also have to factor in the price of future development or external plug ins

Content production

Cost varies depending on size of site, how much content you need, what the content is and whether you use an agency or a freelancer.

Hourly rates can vary from £10p/h to £50 p/h.

eCommerce plugins

There are many platforms and software available, and you can expect to pay between £300 and £2,000.

Responsive / Mobile site

This can be included as part of the build costs with some agencies, but sometimes it is better to have an individual mobile site and prices can range from £100 upwards. Again this depends on functionality.

License/cost of plugins

This depends upon the individual app or software development costs, or if built from scratch, the rate charged by a freelancer or agency can vary by experience. Plugins can include: News feeds, photo galleries, contact forms and surveys.

On-going Maintenance

This will usually be a monthly cost and will depend on the size of your site and whether an agency or freelancer is being used. Check to see what is included as part of your initial build package.

Website imagery (stock art)

Unless you are a photographer and have your own images, you can usually buy pictures and graphics from sites like depositphotos or Dollar Photo Club.

Marketing / SEO

Some companies will offer a monthly fee of £99 to refine your content, make it more search-friendly and help drive traffic to your site. But with dedicated SEO/Marketing agencies like RocketFish, you can be looking at bespoke solutions that run into hundreds of pounds per month.

Questions? Please give me a call :)