Understanding Small Business Website Costs

Website Development
Understanding Small Business Website Costs
Last Updated: July 03, 2024

Creating a website for a small business is like setting up a digital storefront: it must be appealing, functional, and cost-effective. 77.1% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) owners claimed that having a digital presence helped them with customer acquisition.

However, understanding the costs involved can be a maze of tech jargon and unexpected expenses. Let’s break down the essentials to help you navigate small business website costs and share some tips and tricks to help you save money without affecting quality.

How Much Does It Cost To Make a Website for a Small Business?

The cost of building a small business website can vary significantly depending on the approach you take. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with different methods:

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Using a Website Builder

Website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly offer an affordable and user-friendly way to create a website. The costs typically include subscription plans and any additional features and apps you might need.

  • Cost range: $6 to $40 per month

Basic plans start at around $6/month, while more advanced plans with additional features can go up to $40/month.

Build With WordPress

Building a website with WordPress can be cost-effective, but it requires some technical know-how. You will need to pay for hosting, domain name, and possibly premium themes and plugins.

All things considered, your website could have a high upfront cost of over $2,000, but on a yearly basis, you can expect to spend around $300.

DIY

The do-it-yourself (DIY) approach involves building a website from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This method requires the most technical skill and time but can be the least expensive if you have the expertise.

  • Cost range: $10 to $500+

Costs can include domain registration ($10-$50/year), hosting ($50-$150/year), and any software or tools you might need.

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Hiring an Agency

Hiring a professional web design agency often results in the highest quality and most customized website. Agencies bring a wealth of experience and a team of specialized professionals, ensuring your site is designed to meet your specific business needs and objectives.

Agencies handle everything from initial design concepts to development, testing, and ongoing maintenance, providing a comprehensive service package that takes the burden off your shoulders.

Hiring a Freelancer

Hiring a freelance web developer can be a cost-effective middle ground between DIY solutions and hiring a full-fledged agency. Yet, the downside of choosing the wrong one can be pricey as you may lose money and time.

  • Cost range: $15 to $30+ per hour

The cost of hiring a freelancer varies based on their experience, skillset, and location.

Factors Contributing to Website Cost for Small Business

Several factors may influence the cost of small business website, here are the most common ones:

  • Design: Custom web designs are tailored to your brand and provide a unique user experience, often costing more than premade templates.
  • Development: More complex websites with custom functionalities and integrations require more web development time, and expertise, which increases costs.
  • Platform: Different platforms (e.g., WordPress, Shopify, etc.) have varying costs associated with setup, maintenance, and additional extensions.
  • Content creation: Professional copywriting, photography, and videography services can significantly increase expenses.
  • Content management: Costs may also include ongoing content updates, search engine optimization (SEO), and security measures.
  • Maintenance and updates: Regular updates, security checks, and maintenance fees should also be considered.

Separate Directories: Creative Web Solutions Under Budget Constraints

Sometimes startups and SMEs have small budgets to begin with, let alone splurge on a website. But let’s take a look at a use case where iMiMDesign found a creative solution around a tight budget.

Its client, Das Diagnostic Enterprise, needed an online presence to showcase its products but had strict budget constraints. iMiMDesign built a clean-coded website for its initial launch, which was cost-effective and met its basic needs.

Converting the entire site into an eCommerce platform would have been expensive, but iMiMDesign installed WordPress WooCommerce in a separate directory. This resulted in a separate store to showcase its products without disrupting the existing site, saving both time and money.

"By leveraging WooCommerce within a separate directory, we maintained the integrity of their existing website and provided an affordable eCommerce solution," says Mim Akhtar, CEO and Founder of iMiMDesign.

Small Business Website Cost-Saving Tips

We also reached out to our Agency Directory experts to hear their expert tips on how to save on website development and maintenance costs. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Use free developer tools: "There are plenty of free developer tools available to build business websites," suggests Mim Akhtar. “Using these instead of centralized technology can significantly cut costs.”
  2. Prioritize features: "Proper discussion with clients to understand their actual requirements is crucial," advises Akhtar. “Prioritizing essential features helps save time and money by avoiding unnecessary functionalities."
  3. Development templates: "We use development templates that speed up the process by at least 20%," shares Nikita Sviridenko, CEO and Founder of Voypost. “Universal components like authentication or registration modules can be reused across projects.”
  4. Use established content management systems (CMS): Robert Herbert, President of Robert Herbert Media, advises: “Don’t build a completely custom website without utilizing an established CMS backend like Wix. These platforms offer built-in security, regular updates, support, and a variety of tools, allowing clients to build websites more cost-effectively — even when working with an agency.”
  5. Focus on usability: "A simple, user-friendly website is often more effective than a complex one," recommends Lucky Laxadhish, Manager at Fine Art Design. “Prioritize clear navigation, essential information, and mobile responsiveness before adding fancy features.”

Wrapping Up on Small Business Website Costs

Understanding the cost of building a small business website involves evaluating various factors and making strategic choices to balance quality and budget. By leveraging cost-saving tips and expert insights, you can create an effective online presence without breaking the bank.

SMEs are increasingly recognizing the importance of investing in their online presence. In fact, 57.7% of SME owners planned on investing in a new or improving their current website. This highlights the pivotal role that websites play in modern business strategy, from attracting new customers to enhancing brand credibility.

So, whether you are opting for sleek templates or diving into the world of customizable CMS platforms, remember: your website isn’t just an expense, but an investment in your brand’s future.

Small Business Website Cost FAQs

Can I build a website for free?

Yes, you can build a website for free. However, while free website builders exist, they often come with limitations. Consider the trade-offs between cost and customization; the latter largely depends on your business needs.

What are some hidden costs associated with building a website?

Besides initial development costs, consider ongoing expenses like domain renewals, hosting fees, maintenance, and potential costs for adding new features or scaling your website as your business grows.

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