Aaah… the question dreaded by web designer and client alike: “How much does a website reeeeeally cost?”.
The truth is, there’s really no right answer here. It’s like asking “how long is a piece of string?”. A website could be as little as $250 or as much as $250 000 dollars. It really all comes down to what exactly you need your new website to do for you.
For the sake of this discussion, we’re going to be focusing on websites built on WordPress. You can read our article on 10 questions to ask your web designer to find out why.
The "cheap" website
I vomit a little bit in my mouth every time someone tells me that their nephew or cousin is able to do a website for them for as little as $250.
Yes, you can get a website done for $250 on Fiverr or from your neighbor. Maybe through a recommendation from a friend of yours who had an “awesome” website built for them by a bearded potato wedge, named Stan? But there’s one thing I can bet my left nut on (if I had nuts) – Stan is as far from a qualified web designer as I am from a heart surgeon.
I know where the heart is in a human body,. I know that it’s connected to the aorta and I know that it’s a bad thing if it stops working, but I am definitely not the person you would pick to do an open heart surgery. And if you picked me to perform surgery on you or a loved one, just because I was cheap, then what happens next is really on you.
Let me tell you what Stan is doing for you:
- Stan is 90% likely going to pick out a free WordPress template for your business. This means that hundreds of other businesses are going to have a website that looks just like yours.
- Stan is then going to change the images and copy on the template to make it look and sound like it was built especially for your business. Spoiler alert: you could do this yourself with a few good YouTube tutorials.
- Any custom functionality you’re wanting? Stan is going to find a free plugin to do it for you OR you’re going to have to do without it, because Stan doesn’t actually know how to do custom coding.
- Need to make changes when your website is done? Stan is going to tell you that he has to do them for you and he will continue to bill you, month after month, even though you are not 100% sure what he is doing for you.
- Wondering why your website isn’t showing up in Google searches a year after it has launched? Stan probably didn’t include SEO or Google integration with your website. Sorry!
Sounds crazy, right?
This is exactly why I don’t offer websites for $250. You’re better off doing it yourself and booking a course so you can do it better than Stan ever could.
Templates vs. Custom design
One thing that is going to affect the price of your new website is how it is designed. Free templates are icky pieces of flaming garbage that should be avoided at all costs, but there are a good few premium (paid) templates out there that may be worth your while.
Premium templates may be purchased by your web designer or directly by you. Depending on the template, this could be at a yearly or once off fee. Be sure to read the fine print if you pick this option with your designer.
What is important to note is that these templates can and do often limit the layout and functionality of your website. So, if you are going the website template route to save some money on the project, make sure you pick one that you reeeeally love.
Custom design, while more costly, is going to give your new website a lot more freedom and originality. You pretty much get to make the rules here. Better yet, there aren’t going to be 60 other websites out there that look exactly like yours!
Building an online shop
It’s safe to say that you can add at least $500 to your bill if you are needing an online store. More, if you’re wanting that custom designed too.
On WordPress websites, your online shop will often be built with WooCommerce, a free WordPress plugin. However, getting your store to function as it should is no small feat, and most WordPress developers will charge accordingly.
Payment gateways will need to be connected, shipping costs built in, products uploaded and any additional functionality added.
The cost of your online store will vary according to:
- How many products need to be uploaded.
- Whether or not you will require custom category pages.
- Whether you are using the WooCommerce templates or custom design.
- If your products require variations, such as different colour or size options.
- Any additional storefront functionality.
At the end of the day, if you are hoping to make money with an online shop, you’re going to want to invest in the setup to make sure it runs correctly.
Do you need users to log in or create profiles on your website?
If you’re looking to build a dating website, membership portal or the next big social media platform, get ready to cough up some cash to make it happen. This added functionality can cost you anything from $500 to $50 000 extra. It all depends on what you want your logged in users to be able to do.
💰 Want a social login with Facebook? Caching!
💰 Want Google login functionality? Caching!
💰 Want users to be able to create a visible profile page? Caching!
💰 Want users to be able to send messages across your platform? Caching!
A simple login to view “members only” pages isn’t going to hurt your bank account too badly, but the more complex the functionality, the more complex the quote.
Custom post types
Custom post types are basically like listings. They can be categorized into different taxonomies (searchable topics) and even filtered based on the website users preferences.
You’ll see this on educational websites where you can search for courses and real estate websites where you can search property listings. More commonly, custom post types are used to create portfolios, service pages or team member listings.
More often than not, this functionality is going to need an added budget for custom work. Again, this cost is entirely dependent on how in-depth you want the filters and page info to go.
You’re looking at an additional $600 per custom post type. Though, if you want custom category pages for 20 different topics and a search function that allows you to find that Tinder date that ghosted you 4 years ago, be prepared to pay a lot more for it.
How many pages do you need?
This one is stating the obvious, but a 3 page website is going to cost a lot less than a 30 page website. More pages means more design time, more content and more development, so it makes sense.
I average it out at about $300 a page for custom design and development, but this may vary slightly based on the complexity and size of the pages.
A good web designer and developer are pretty much going to be able to do whatever you want them to. Want the home screen to do a back flip while singing the national anthem and using mind control to deduce what your users favourite food is, while simultaniously placing the order on Uber Eats? Consider it done! But… consider that it’s also going to make one hell of a dent in your bank account.
Basically, if you want your website to do anything utside of the function of how websites generally work, be prepared to pay for it.
So how much is my WordPress website going to cost?
You can use the above information to work out a rough calculation and make sure you are not getting ripped off by another agency. Better yet, you can fill in my inquiry form and I will compile an obligations-free quote and proposal for you, based on your needs.