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Sooner or later, to some extent, everything in the business world comes down to cost. Anything you intend to do through your company must be financially justified. The alternative of spending freely is extremely dangerous, and will inevitably lead to trouble. This goes for the office furniture you buy, the staff you hire, the perks you pay for — and even though having a website is almost mandatory for a modern business, it applies just as much for that.

If you spend too much on your website, it can hamper the rest of your business, potentially causing an influx of interest that you can’t hope to convert. That scenario will frustrate your website’s visitors and waste your money as a result. Stable business development involves growing all parts of your business together, as you’d expect.

That’s not the only danger with website spending, though. You can also spend too little on your website, leaving it bland and underwhelming at best and outright discouraging at worst. It won’t matter that you saved money on the design if you’re not picking up any business because no one who visits your website wants to work with you.

To get ahead, then, you need to find the ideal middle ground: spending just the right amount on your website to maximize the return on your investment. To help you manage it, we’re going to run through some information you need to know about the cost of website design. Let’s begin:

How much does it cost to hire a web developer?

How much does it cost to hire a web developer

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Sooner or later, to some extent, everything in the business world comes down to cost. Anything you intend to do through your company must be financially justified. The alternative of spending freely is extremely dangerous, and will inevitably lead to trouble. This goes for the office furniture you buy, the staff you hire, the perks you pay for — and even though having a website is almost mandatory for a modern business, it applies just as much for that.

The cost of hiring a developer to work on your website will depend on your answers to various questions, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • What CMS do you want to use? Some content management systems are easier for developers to work with than others. This depends on the programming languages they’re built on and how popular they are (the more widely they’re used, the more worthwhile it will be for developers to learn how to build websites with them).

For instance, WordPress has countless developers around the world. This gives you a lot of options for finding a developer: you can hire someone with minimal experience and keep the cost down, or pay extra for someone with a proven track record (not necessarily too much — even $15 per hour should get you someone very competent).

  • How quickly do you need the work done? The faster you need your website finished, the more you’ll need to pay the developer. This is because they’ll likely need to drop other projects to meet the tight turnaround, and because it’ll be much harder to achieve the desired level of quality without any time to double-check the work.

Consequently, if you’re thinking about having a website built, aim to get the ball rolling as early as possible to give yourself plenty of time. You’ll end up spending less (also because you’ll have more time to find the most affordable developer), and you’ll likely end up with a better result.

  • Do you need someone nearby? We live in a time of remote working, when you can quickly and easily contract someone from the opposite side of the planet to work on your project — and when you’re dealing with web development, it’s often the most sensible arrangement.

That said, there are advantages to hiring someone nearby: someone you can meet in person. The better you know your developer, the better you’ll be able to communicate your requirements to them, and the better they’ll be able to understand your preferences. It also allows you to vet them more thoroughly beforehand.

  • What features do you want implemented? Do you want a basic website with a few simple pages, a contact form, and perhaps some social media links? If so, you shouldn’t pay much, because a decent developer can build something like that in a matter of hours (of not less) if provided with the necessary content.

If you want something more complex, though, you’ll need to check with developers to find out what they charge for different tasks. Some things will sound tricky but actually be quite easy, while others will sound easy but prove significantly tougher — so don’t make any assumptions. Do get numerous quotes, though, just to ensure that you’re not tricked into paying far too much for something quite easy to achieve.

  • How many revisions will you need? Depending on the arrangement you have with your developer, they might produce one version and wrap up regardless of your concerns, or they might continue to revisit the project until you’re happy with the result. When a developer offers a fixed cost (for instance, $300 to develop the site), they’ll have fixed terms to accompany that cost, and charge extra for anything beyond them.

Other developers, though, will charge more but guarantee customer satisfaction. In principle, this can be expensive for them, but people who are supremely confident in their abilities can wrap up projects quite quickly with no complaints and come out ahead. If you end up trying to choose between developers, pick the one you think is most invested in delivering the best possible result.

All of these questions factor into determining what you could (or should) pay to hire a web developer, so it’s tough to point to a set amount to pay. Anything from $10 to $100 per hour can be justified: unless you’re looking for an enterprise-level site, you shouldn’t pay more than that.

How much does a website cost to build?

how much does a website cost to build

Realistically, the minimum you can spend on a website build without setting for terrible quality is around $500, or about 20 hours of work from a decent low-level developer. From there, the cost can rocket all the way up to the tens of thousands for big projects, and it’s hardly surprising given that some websites can have several thousand pages with complex scripting.

A useful way to get some idea of what you might end up paying is to get in touch with people whose sites you like and ask them what they paid for them. That way, you can settle on a realistic figure that reflects the unique demands of your niche. And if you can’t afford the custom build you want, consider creating a generic site (more on that later) and waiting until you’ve saved enough to invest in a full solution.

What’s the monthly cost of running a website?

Whether you pay to use a hosted CMS, or arrange your hosting manually, the cost breakdown is going to largely be the same: on a monthly basis, you’ll be paying for the hosting, the domain (billed yearly or biannually, but it’s an ongoing cost so you can break it down monthly), any support services you use (often included with hosted packages), any subscription-based plugins you have installed, and any maintenance or update work you need done by the developer.

Hosting will be the biggest cost, so you need to be discerning in the host you choose (or the hosted CMS you use). There’s no sense in paying for more performance than you need, so if you’re quoted a price for a huge amount of bandwidth when you’re just building a small site, push back on it to get a cheaper price.

Is ecommerce site design more expensive?

Is ecommerce site design more expensive

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Ecommerce sites are inherently more demanding on average, because they directly drive revenue and need to adhere to exacting standards for elements such as page speed and payment security. This can make them more expensive, although it’s offset somewhat by the proliferation of great ecommerce templates and plugins.

Investing in a completely custom ecommerce site is a great way to stand out, but it’s expensive, and it can cause major issues with updates and service integrations down the line, so most businesses — even at the enterprise level — use existing systems. For instance, many huge brands run their stores on Magento because it’s renowned for its sheer power, and it could be an option for you if you’re really determined to max out the potential of your store.

Realistically, though, you’re going to be better served building a store with Shopify: it’s intuitive, easy enough to find developers for if you need them, and can scale up to enterprise level if needed. Perhaps most importantly, it offers a huge range of mobile-responsive templates from the outset, making it easy for people without tech skills to cobble together nice layouts.

On the whole, ecommerce design isn’t much more expensive than design for non-ecommerce sites — but the ongoing costs are significantly greater. You need to pay for the level of performance demanded by heavy action-oriented traffic, and be ready to tack on subscription fees for relevant systems (payment processors, SEO services, automation tools, email marketing suites, etc.).

In this guide, we’ve looked at what affects the cost of a web developer, how much websites cost to build and run and how ecommerce demands affect costs. As you can see, it isn’t that expensive to invest in a website, so it’s certainly worth doing. If you are interested in website design and development by my team ans I then check out our page which will give you all the info you need. 

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Lorenzo Gutierrez
Digital Marketing Consultant
Lorenzo Gutierrez is a Digital Marketing Consultant and a certified Google Partner. He helps small businesses and corporations grow their revenue online. He does this by mixing passion, innovation, & expertise.