The Cost of Building a Website: Factors & Analysis

4 November 2021

Introduction

Creating a website isn’t nearly as difficult as it was a couple of years ago. With several autonomous website building platforms and technologies available, anybody with or without coding skills may create a website. The price of developing a website is a variable component influenced by several factors, including the development process, system, language, design specifications, the objective of developing the site, functionality, features, and the amount of effort spent.

Because the design is only one of many aspects, it’s tough to estimate the correct price of developing a website just by glancing at it. A lot is going on behind the scenes, and it all adds up to the value of a website.

A website may be created in three ways:

  • Using a website building platform
  • Using WordPress
  • Employing an expert web designer

The path you take will have an impact on the ultimate cost of developing your site.

Using a website building platform, you may pay as low as $5 a month; however, utilizing WordPress would run you somewhere between $11 and $50 each month. Paying a website designer is the costliest choice, which can cost as much as $1,000 upfront or even more (though this is the best outcome-based choice out of the three).

Why is estimating the exact cost of a website difficult?

Imagine you’re building your ideal home, and you’re wondering, “How much does it take to make a house from scratch?” The price will vary depending on the home style, location, plan, overall floor space, number of rooms, garden space, décor finish, and other criteria. The same is the case with web design.

The costs mentioned in the article might vary depending on the country, the freelancer rates, and many other factors. So instead of writing down exact figures, we would focus on the factors that influence website-building costs, which would give you an idea of what features you could expect when opting for different budget-oriented tiers.

As in most cases, the cost of the website is directly proportional to how much effort it would take. Hence, measuring the action would give you an idea of what you would get for your money.

Scope & Effort

1.) How big is the website?

It depends on how much effort is spent on unique design and content and reused throughout the site. This also includes the number of pages, templates, amount of content required to be published, size of the media files on the website, automation required, etc.

2.) How complex is it?

The number of features and specific business needs that must be included in the website decide its complexity. For example, a Fin-Tech website might need a live stocks/crypto market trend graph on its landing page. Similarly, an eyewear company would need an AR feature to try on the frames before virtually buying them. This means that more time will be required for development and design on more complicated web projects.

Persona targeting, corporate branding, and product branding are all marketing criteria that further add to the complexity of the site. Other ways to run up the complexity are animations, videos, drawings, collages, intricate user interfaces, or page layouts with a lot of content/data. This gets even more complex if it is integrated with an offsite or offline database.

Technical Factors That Govern the Cost

1.) Web platform

Website Builders

What would it cost to create a website with a website building platform? With this method, users usually pay monthly or yearly to construct and design websites without touching code. The one benefit of this is that you wouldn’t have to pay extra for hosting your website.

CMS

How much does a CMS-based website cost? The highly versatile choice for individuals with some expertise, a content management system (CMS), and open-source software is an apt option. One of the examples of this is WordPress.

Custom Code

What would it take to build a website using customized code? Customers may have a customized site with this choice but must expect to pay a significant fee.

Whether you want a fully customized website or prefer to stick to website building platforms, all websites require a host.

2.) Web hosting

Web hosting refers to storing your site’s data on servers – effectively your website’s house – and includes shared, VPS, and specialized hosting options.

You may select a web hosting service that meets your needs, but ensure that they include the essentials, such as an SSL certificate and enough storage space. If you choose a web builder, you might not need a hosting platform, but otherwise, you will. Different hosting platforms charge differently, so you must pay close attention to their plan details. There are many types of hosting, and here are the most popular styles:

• VPS hosting

• WordPress hosting

• Dedicated hosting

• Blog hosting

• Shared hosting

3.) Domain name and extension

Websites, like real locations, require addresses to be discovered. Because your website’s domain name is so vital to your site’s/business’ identification, you should expect to spend on one regardless of whatever path you select. Your team will need to develop a unique domain name and register it with an ICANN-accredited registrar. Because a domain name is effectively rented, you should budget for it yearly.

4.) Website design

You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a product website that is both poorly designed and successful. Most users are influenced visually, and hence, good design grabs their attention and prompts them to take action. Whereas, bad design is a red flag because a business that doesn’t care about their impression on their users doesn’t care about their customers.

To put it another way, UI/UX design services are just as essential as development. As a result, one of the critical factors in determining how much capital it needs to develop a website is the cost of design.

If you choose CMS or a website builder, the chances are that you can choose from existing templates and wireframe designs to pick what suits your website the best. This brings down the cost of design for the website. But you are designing a website from scratch; you would need comparatively more capital.

The price of personalized website design is divided into three phases:

Research: Identifying the target demographic, their tastes, and competitive analysis.

Wireframe: Designing wireframes to demonstrate a logical layout of features and obtain early feedback.

Prototype: Creating the final user interface to demonstrate how the product would appear on different platforms.

The segmentation, as mentioned above, enables you to achieve maximum efficiency and fine-tune every project element. This is why custom websites.

5.) Use Cases

These are the use cases for website functions that are ranked from the least to the most expensive:

Personal blog and website

Personal websites, such as your blog or instructional web pages, could be utilized to offer updates and information to your potential consumers.

Landing Page

A landing page or brochure-page is perfect for small businesses since it includes contact information, an ‘About Us’ tab, and email a query or a CTA (Call ToAction). The website has only a few pages with the goal of attracting new clients and revenue.

Corporate websites

Corporate websites connect with potential customers and communicate the company’s values to consumers over the internet. They are closely related to marketing and must express a firm’s aim and display its products.

Educational websites

This website is for academic institutions or organizations that provide online courses to put up their course materials, lectures, and tests online.

Informational websites

Information-based websites fall into this category since they aggregate online materials and include emails, forums, search engines, and other services. Yahoo and AOL are two well-known examples.

Database or Catalogues

This website is great for visitors looking for specific services or products such as rental properties, job searches, hotels, rental cars, and much more. The website includes a database and a comprehensive search system with location-based elements and review and rating tools. Airbnb and TripAdvisor are two standard website examples for this.

6.) Maintenance and Running Costs

Your job isn’t done after your website is live.

As mentioned before, you’ll need to commit time, work, and funds to maintain it, just like you would with a house, even after you have built it.

Fees

You’ll have yearly hosting and maintenance payments, as well as annual license fees for premium plugins and tools, for instance.

Premium stock image marketplace account

As you enhance and extend your site, you may need to buy fresh photographs from stock image websites (whose subscriptions need to be renewed yearly/monthly).

Media-based freelancing

To improve your marketing strategy, you may recruit more people or engage freelancers to help you create additional personalized site content or media.

Security costs

To prevent your site from being attacked, you’ll need to do regular technical maintenance to apply upgrades and security fixes to WordPress core files and plugins.

Conclusion

A website is like a dish, if you have guests over and are organising an enormous feast, serving bread butter with apple juice will not cut it. Similarly, you don’t need to shell out $20,000 on a personal blog and might be able to run it with the free options available to you. Whereas, if you are running a serious business or a brand, this initial investment might make or break your business, so you need to select your budget accordingly.

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