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How Much Does A Website Cost?

How long is a piece of string...

One of the frequent questions web designers get asked is "How much does a website cost?"

All too often, this question is asked before the designers have a specification from their clients. This customer advice tutorial aims to provide an overview of the costs involved and should provide a rough idea on how to go about getting a fairly accurate quote from your chosen web designer.

What you will have to pay for

For the vast majority of web sites you will need to pay for the following:

  • A domain name (e.g: yourbusinessname.com)
  • Web Hosting (Space on a web server somewhere)
  • Media (e.g: Any royalty free stock photography, video or music that you would like in your website)
  • Your web designer's time

There may way be other costs involved depending on what you want the website to do, but everything in list above has been present in just about every web site I have created for clients to date. Your web designer should be able to tell you where is the best to purchase the above items (if they don't know, then get out quick as these are just the basics).

Domain Name
A domain name is simply the address your users will type to find your website. For UK customers we suggest purchasing ".co.uk" and ".com" domain names. They tend to be quite cheap (usually starting at around £2.99/year). Make sure you ask your web designer where you should purchase the domain from - the cheapest isn't necessarily the best. Searching for available domain names is free and you can do so using tools such as the one on this page: Domain Name Lookup Tool (See the tool under "Domain Names" halfway down the page) Other top level domains (TLDs) may cost more (such as ".mobi" which is roughly £15-20 per year)

Web Hosting
Web Hosting or web space is space on a web server somewhere that is always online (or nearly always). Different web hosts provide different packages. Your web designer will be able to tell you which you will need. You can usually go with the cheapest package to start and then upgrade as and when you need to. Web hosts differ in levels of service and support (some are better than others). Shop around and get advice from your web designer as there may pre-requisites that your web site may need (such as the ability to run certain coding languages and databases). Web hosting is often shown as a monthly price for easy comparison but is usually charged annually/bi-annually. Expect to pay £10/month for a standard size business. Larger business that rely heavily on web services may need to pay extra for dedicated web servers, support and backup. Example:
Web Hosting from IA Computing

A bit ambiguous this one; but you must make sure you have permission to use any items such as videos, pictures and audio. The best option is usually to purchase and download royalty free media from sites such as istockphoto.com or toneparks.co.uk. Whichever you choose you should ensure that you have purchased the appropriate content agreement licence (Meaning that you should make sure that you have permission to use the media in your website - which unfortunately means actually reading all that small print). If you're using your own photos/videos, you should make sure that you don't have to ask permission to photograph/record your subject matter. As a guideline price; expect to pay about £5 for each image you can use on one page of your website. More professional quality images could set you back £100 or more. Your web designer may be able to purchase these on your behalf.

Your web designer's time
This is usually the most expensive part, so it pays to get down on paper exactly what it is you want your web designer to build and agree on a price before development begins. Your web designer will probably expect you to provide the copy (text) for your website in a common format (such as ".docx" or even ".txt" format). Even the most basic 4 page sites could cost £500 to £1000. New businesses may also need a logo designed. This should be given to you in a vector format (Such as ".ai" or ".png"), if possible, for unrestricted, royalty free use in future. A vector image is an image drawn with mathematical curves rather than dots which means it can be resized to any size. You should also reach a written agreement with your designer on:

  • How many pages will need to be created.
  • What will be on those pages.
  • Any media required (and the licences required and who will purchase them).
  • Extra functionality (such as contact forms, shops, blogs).
  • Any extra software required.
  • The language your website will be coded in.
  • The web host and domain registrar you will be using.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (see below).
  • Advertising.
  • Any extra work.
  • Post production support
  • Agree a price

Search Engine Optimisation
An important factor of search engine optimisation involves creating / modifying a web site in a certain way. Such as using special HTML (web page code) that allows search engines to read what your web site is about easier. 99% of the time it is better to have your site created with SEO in mind rather than optimise it at a later date.

Speed Optimisation
You should also consider having your website optimised for speed. Having a website that loads quicker will almost definitely increase your conversion rate.

Other possible costs
Your site could involve the integration of a million and one other services or features depending on your requirements. Shop around for these where possible - as you want to find a solution that fits your needs a the minimum cost. You may even be able to find the services / features at no extra cost. Some examples of features, services and extra work that could incur extra fees include:

  • Post code lookup tool
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Advertising
  • Email Stationery & Signatures

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