Cost of an eCommerce Website Guide

eCommerce Development
Cost of an eCommerce Website Guide
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: February 29, 2024

While there are numerous considerations to be had regarding the cost of an eCommerce website, it all boils down to around 10 important points that we’ll discuss in this article.

With 12 to 24 million eCommerce websites visited 119.9 billion times globally, it only makes sense for you to have an online shop in a competitive market. Stick with us to learn how to make more favorable decisions for your brand, budget, and bottom line via eCommerce.

Let’s start with a few considerations before you build your own eCommerce website, and then we’ll move onto costs.

Considerations Before Creating an Online Store

E-Commerce website costs are an essential part of your decision-making process. You should ensure you choose the right solution to meet your business needs.

These are the top factors to take into account when calculating e-Commerce website prices:

  1. Type of Online Shop
  2. Product or Service Offers
  3. Budget Allocation
  4. Shipping Options
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1. Type of Online Shop

Envision the online shop you want for your business and be specific. After all, it’s a significant factor in the design and development process. An eCommerce site selling products will differ from that which offers services.

Figure out the answers to the following questions:

  • Will you sell to individual consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B)?
  • What features and functionalities would you like to integrate into your site?
  • Will your pages be available in multiple languages?
  • Do you prefer for your shop to have independent login capabilities?

2. Product or Service Offers

After you’ve ascertained the type of your online shop, clearly define your products or services.

For example, you may already have a physical storefront and want to expand your reach via an eCommerce website. If that’s the case, you can provide your clients the option to purchase online with in-store pickup. Then, you might need proper inventory and shipment management that works for your brand.

Lastly, define whether you’re selling retail or wholesale. All of these choices may impact the cost of your eCommerce venture one way or another.

If you’re providing services, however, answer the following questions:

  • What services will you offer?
  • What are your service fees?
  • Will your website be the main channel for booking services?
  • What are the payment methods?

3. Budget Allocation

When researching eCommerce website solutions, ensure that you determine a budget for the building and maintenance processes ahead of time.

While it can be easy to get sidetracked by the customization and other design features, you should focus on the essentials:

  • The features mandatory for online order fulfillment
  • Necessary add-ons to guarantee a seamless buying experience for your customers
  • Excellent site interface and easy navigation system

4. Shipping Options

Here are the considerations when deciding on your shipment selection:

  • What is your capacity to handle shipping demands?
  • Will the shipment management be in-house or outsourced?
  • Are you shipping locally or globally?

How Much Does an e-Commerce Website Cost?

Setting up an eCommerce site will cost a few hundred thousand dollars. These are the variables contributing to the overall cost of an eCommerce website design and development:

1. Domain Name

You need to pay for your domain name annually or several years upfront. A domain name typically ranges from $3 to $20 every year, but the price will depend on the provider. Other relevant factors are the keywords in your domain name and the top-level domain (TLD) you get, such as .shop, .co, or .com, also known as domain extension.

If your desired domain name is not available, you might be able to buy it from a private seller or through an auction, but that can be more expensive.

2. Hosting

After registering your domain name, you should find a web hosting solution. There are the four main types of hosting:

  • Shared hosting: Often the most affordable option, but it also means that your site will share server space with many other websites
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting: Your site will still share a server with others, but you're allotted a defined amount of the server's resources.
  • Dedicated hosting: An entire server for your site and is perfect for large eCommerce sites with substantial traffic, although it tends to be the most expensive option.
  • Cloud hosting: Hosting that operates across multiple interconnected servers, allowing for better load balancing, and coping with traffic spikes.

Lastly, there’s the option to self-host your eCommerce shop, but the costs with this solution are usually much higher, as you’ll need your own dedicated hardware, among other things.

3. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate

An SSL certificate can cost anywhere between $5 to $1000 per year depending on the level of security you expect for your website as well as the subscription plan. If this sounds like an investment you aren't willing to make, think again — an SSL certificate:

  • Ensures data sent from a user to your server is encrypted
  • Makes your website appear credible in the eyes of search engines as websites without SSL are considered to be non-secure
  • Decreases the bounce rate as it provides users with a sense of safety

All in all, having an eCommerce store without an SSL certificate — or any website for that matter — simply aren’t perceived as trustworthy and will almost certainly tank your revenue.

4. Payment Processing

Fees associated with payment processing pile up fast and should not be overlooked. These costs will depend on the payment gateways you offer during checkout, the currency you choose to accept, and the regions where you are selling.

Here is a sample breakdown of what you will be charged by the top payment processors for eCommerce:

  • PayPal: 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions of more than $10
  • Stripe: 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction
  • 2.9% + $0.30 for every transaction + $25 fixed monthly fee

Then, there might be bank fees associated with the transactions as well, but these are highly subjective, depending on the region.

Get connected with the right eCommerce development agency for your project.

5. Design Costs

While there are many popular drag-and-drop website builders, for a professional eCommerce solution, you might want to hire a web designer. However, the hourly costs vary wildly, with some web designers charging as little as $15 per hour and others up to $80 per hour.

  • Simply put, the more unique and complex your website’s animations and visual effects, the higher your eCommerce costs will be. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve already covered web design costs in detail.

These are some design costs you must take into consideration:

Front-end Development

Creating a bespoke eCommerce interface costs around $3,000 to $10,000 or higher. The technologies used, i.e., JavaScript, React, Angular, or Vue, will impact the price. However, there are many drag-and-drop, guided eCommerce store builders with functional and optimized templates that you can utilize.

Having said that, for truly professional and successful large-scale eCommerce store, a custom solution is always optimal. Moreover, professional web developments will also be appraised of up-to-date best practices, ensuring a high-quality storefront.

Back-end Development

Back-end refers to the part of the website not visible to end-users. It takes effort and time to build and complete, and it can be more expensive, with prices spanning from $5,000 to $20,000.

Key factors such as site loading speed and other functionalities will entirely depend on the quality of the backend, so it’s a crucial aspect of your eCommerce store.

As with the front-end, you’d have less on your plate if using popular eCommerce website builders like Shopify, but, yet again, a custom website built from scratch by a professional, dedicated team does have its advantages.

6. SEO

If you don’t work on building organic reach for your eCommerce store, all your prior efforts would be wasted, as people will have a much harder time finding your store. Investing in eCommerce SEO will strengthen your site’s position in the SERPs. In turn, you will:

  • Come off as trustworthy
  • Beat the competition
  • Provide better UX
  • Get relevant traffic
  • Generate more leads that can turn into customers

Most businesses pay between $1500 to $5000 a month for SEO services, but depending on the size of your business, scope of the project, the pricing model, your expectations, as well as your budget, you can pay as little as $100 or upwards of $30,000.

7. Content Marketing

Post appealing and informative content on your site, like articles, trivia, insights, and tutorials, and convert interested visitors into satisfied paying customers. These are critical points in marketing and can help boost consumer trust while influencing your brand reputation positively.

Every content piece can be priced from $50 to $200.

8. Ongoing Maintenance

Website maintenance involves these ongoing tasks:

  • Testing
  • Updates
  • Bug fixing

These should be taken care of during the entire lifetime of your website.

Their costs are based on the time spent by your software engineer on product maintenance. It can range from $600 to $12,000 each year.

Tips for Managing E-Commerce Website Costs

Note these pointers when building your online store:

  • Find a host that is appropriately priced for your business type and needs. Otherwise, you can make do with free hosting options.
  • For a content management system (CMS), go with what can provide you with flexibility and versatility. You can choose a basic plan if you only have to add and remove a product sporadically.
  • Maximize database integration and functionality to give end-users control over personalization. If not, just store usernames and passcodes for minimal control.
  • If you only need a few product pages, ensure to downgrade appropriately.
  • Get adequate SEO support to distinguish your enterprise from the global competition. However, basic SEO can suffice if you want to sell and compete practically.

Bottomline: How Much Do E-Commerce Websites Cost?

eCommerce website price should be based on three crucial factors, namely:

  • The development team’s professional fees, location, and expertise
  • Software and tools you will utilize
  • The site's complexity and functionalities


How much does it cost to make an eCommerce website?

A basic eCommerce site can start from around $1,000, while more complex sites with high-end customizations may cost upwards of $50,000. Remember, these figures are rough estimates and actual costs may differ based on your specific needs and the agency or developer you choose.

How much does Shopify cost per month?

Shopify offers several subscription plans, including the main three:

  • Basic Shopify at $32 per month
  • Shopify plan at $92 per month
  • Advanced Shopify plan at $399 per month

Shopify also has alternative solutions for established businesses, along with relevant features. These include:

  • Retail at $89 a month
  • Shopify Plus at $2300 a month
  • Enterprises can get custom pricing depending on their needs.

Lastly, the Starter solution at $5 a month allows you to jump straight to selling, provided you have a product/service image and a short description, but you don’t get the features of a full-fledged eCommerce store.

We’ll find qualified eCommerce agencies for your project, for free.
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