Can the cost of a website be defined in advance? The answer is simple: no, because it depends on several factors.
In this article we will go to see what the price of the site depends on, how much it can cost to build a website yourself and how much it is going to cost you if you turn to a professional.
Let’s start with the basics and see what the key points are that will help us estimate the total cost of the project.
How much does a website cost: the factors that the price depends on
The cost of a website depends on several factors.
On the one hand we have the cost of the infrastructure, i.e., the cost of:
- platforms and software.
On the other hand, however, we have the cost of the actual construction.
If the cost of infrastructure can be estimated fairly accurately even in advance, the same cannot be said for the cost of building it.
The cost of a professional website, created by a developer or agency and not in a DIY manner, is extremely varied.
Also keep in mind that the costs of hosting and domain, as well as those of paid platforms or other software that you will use, are recurrent.
You will therefore have to take into consideration these fixed costs on an annual basis which add up to the costs of construction and in some cases of site management.
To better understand what can drive up costs, let’s analyze these elements one by one.
Cost of domain
The internet domain is the name of your website.
Domain name registration may be included in the cost of hosting in some cases for the first year. With SupportHost, you can register the domain when ordering and have it included forever.
However, if you want to buy a premium domain, i.e. a name that is not among the free domains and was purchased to be resold, you will have to make a purchase proposal to the seller.
How much does a domain cost?
€0 if it is included in the hosting service, up to hundreds or a few thousand euros for particular domain extensions (such as .tickets). Furthermore, the cost can also reach much higher sums in the case of the sale of sought-after domains.
Cost of hosting
To create a website and make it accessible to everyone, you need a hosting service.
A hosting service provider hosts your site on their servers.
Depending on the type of site and project you want to create, you will need a different hosting plan.
Each floor, in fact, has resources and services. Based on the specific project you will have to choose a hosting that meets the needs of the site.
In general, if you’re just starting out, you can start with a low-cost hosting plan. For example, you could start with shared hosting and then upgrade when needed. In our case with SupportHost you can upgrade the plan at any time.
What is the cost of hosting?
In the case of our shared hosting 1 the price is €34 per year, i.e. approximately €2.83 per month which can be reduced to €2.41 per month if you order the product for 3 years.
System support and managed hosting
Another factor you need to consider is system support. In a quality hosting service, support is taken into extreme consideration together with security and performance.
In this case, however, I am not referring to the technical support that is guaranteed if you choose a plan such as WordPress hosting or semi-dedicated hosting.
When switching to dedicated solutions like VPS cloud hosting and dedicated servers you can choose between two options. Have an unmanaged service where you take care of server management or choose a managed server.
In the first case, if you choose an unmanaged service, you will have to take care of server management. For this reason, if you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, you will have to consider the costs of hiring a systems analyst who can do it for you.
How much does system support or managed hosting cost?
It depends. If you hire systems analysts you will need to check what service and what level of assistance they offer you and at what monthly cost.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in managed hosting, you can check our cloud cost comparison to see a price comparison for managed plans.
Cost of building a website
Now that we have seen the prices for hosting, domain and any costs for support or management in the case of servers, let’s move on to those for the construction.
Creating a site requires several steps. You have to choose the platform to use, install and configure it. Next, you need to deal with the site’s structure and functions.
Then there are the costs related to the contents, such as graphics, logos and texts.
In addition there may also be extra expenses such as the purchase of an SSL certificate and SEO analysis for site optimization. All expenses that should be considered, if deemed necessary, to be within the budget.
The complexity of the site therefore depends on various factors which in turn affect the final price. Let’s see in detail what affects the costs the most.
What affects the cost of site development?
The greatest variability is given by the functions of the site and therefore by the type of project you want to create.
For example, creating an ecommerce site will require the development of more functions. Among them there may be the configuration of payment methods, integration with warehouse management and so on. Generally, therefore, you can expect a higher cost than that of building a website.
Depending on the platform and system used to create the site, some functions can be handled by ready-made extensions. In these cases you will also have to consider the cost of these extensions in case they are paid.
Then there are projects for which, however, it is necessary to develop customized and therefore specific functions for that site. In these cases it will be necessary to contact a developer and consider the costs for creating ad hoc functions.
Website cost: how much does the creation cost?
In conclusion, also for this aspect, the cost is very variable because it depends on the factors we have indicated.
Keep in mind that the complexity of the site does not depend linearly on the number of pages, but on many other parameters. Starting from the level of customization of the graphics up to the need for integrations and custom functions.
In this case there is too much variability to give an estimate. Also because in addition to depending on the type of project it also depends on the rates of the professional or agency you contact.
In the following sections, however, we will see examples of prices based on the type of realization: do it yourself or hiring a web developer.
Cost of website maintenance
Depending on the type of site you want to create, you also need to keep maintenance costs in mind. Depending on the type of project and your knowledge, you may be able to take care of the routine tasks yourself.
Take for example the case of a WordPress site. You will periodically need to update WordPress and you may need to install new plugins, create WordPress backups or make site changes.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) take care of it yourself, there are also managed WordPress hosting solutions that allow you to entrust the maintenance of the site to a team of professionals.
Updates, troubleshooting and optimization are some of the services that are offered with this type of solution.
How much does site maintenance cost?
Also, in this case the answer depends on the type of request and the service you rely on. For example, a single intervention may cost more than a monthly assistance plan.
For a WordPress site, a subscription support and maintenance service starts at around €30 – €50 per month.
Website cost: how it varies according to how you decide to create it
We have seen what are the main expenses to consider and the price range you can expect from each one.
In reality, however, we must also consider that there are different methods for creating a website.
In this choice you have two main alternatives before you:
- opt for DIY;
- entrust yourself to a professional or an agency.
These two broad categories in turn include other variables, such as the choice of platform to use.
So, let’s see what are the alternatives for those who want to create a website and how the choice between do-it-yourself and professional solutions can affect the cost of a website. But before moving on to the costs, let’s find out how to orient yourself in the choice.
Website: do it yourself or not?
When and why should you choose to go the do-it-yourself route to build a website?
Here are some considerations that will help you understand if this solution is really right for you and when it is better to contact a developer.
Using an open source CMS like WordPress to create a site independently is convenient if:
- you don’t have the budget to hire a web developer;
- do you have the necessary knowledge to get started or the time to learn how to use the platform;
- you are willing to make some expenses if the intervention of others proves necessary.
Using a site builder to create your site is the right choice if:
- you want to keep your budget to a minimum and settle for the free plan;
- you don’t need customizations and you’re satisfied with a site that doesn’t look exactly professional;
- you want to create a personal project without having to deal with technical matters.
Keep in mind that website builders offer limited free plans, when you upgrade to a paid plan you often end up paying more than a self-hosted solution like WordPress.org.
Finally, you may need to contact a web designer or web developer if:
- you have the necessary budget;
- you don’t have the knowledge or time to create a site yourself;
- you need configurations and a high level of customization to get a professional result.
Website and do-it-yourself solutions: what are the costs?
The first alternative is to choose the do-it-yourself route. This allows you to create a website with your own knowledge and thus save on the costs necessary to delegate the work to a developer or an agency.
However, there are some costs to be budgeted for in this case as well and some considerations need to be made.
In fact, the cost will also be influenced by the choice of platform.
You can choose between two solutions:
- build the site with an open source platform like WordPress;
- use a website builder like Wix.
Let’s see how the prices change based on this choice and what are the expenses to be faced in both cases.
Cost of a website with an open source CMS
You must have wondered what the cost of a website with WordPress is. Let’s start by saying that the CMS, as well as others including Joomla, Drupal and PrestaShop is free.
This means that you will not have to incur purchase costs for the platform, either one-off or recurring.
To create a WordPress site, however, you need a hosting service and a domain.
Tip: There are several ways to create a free website with WordPress. An example is using WordPress.com which allows you to create a site at no cost but with restrictions. However, keep in mind that if you want to create a professional site it is better to invest a small amount to be able to create a site without limitations.
To the hosting and domain costs for a site with a CMS, you must add any other costs.
For example, you may want to purchase a paid WordPress plugin or extension. Or you might want to use a paid theme or builder, like Elementor or Oxygen Builder, to change the look of the site.
Let’s take an example of pricing with a WordPress site. Let’s say you want to make money with a blog by creating a members’ area where you can offer paid content.
In this case we could start from a shared hosting on which we assume we want to use: a premium theme, a plugin for SEO optimization and one to create a membership site and provide content or courses.
In this case we will have these initial or recurring expenses:
- shared hosting with pre-installed WordPress for €34 a year with domain included (our shared plan 1);
- premium theme: Avada about €56 ($60), one-time fee;
- premium plugins: Rank Math Pro about €121 ($129) per year, MemberPress about €33 ($35) per month, €396 per year.
The cost of a website with WordPress in this case is initially €607. The cost of the theme must be excluded from this figure because it is a one-off expense and you will have a maintenance cost of €551 per year, equal to approximately €46 per month.
This is a simple example because you have to consider that there are also plugins that have a lifetime license (one-time cost) for which you will have to bear a higher initial cost, but will then reduce recurring costs.
At the same time, the cost also depends on the hosting plan you choose. Let’s consider the shared plan 3, with more resources and suitable for a site with around 40,000 visits, at €89 a year. The total cost for the first year of the blog in the previous example becomes €662 and that of subsequent renewals is €606 per year, equal to €50.5 per month.
Cost of site with a website builder
The other possibility, as we said, is to use a hosted platform. That is to say a solution that offers you the platform to create the site and hosting in one service.
Solutions like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com fall into this category.
In most cases there are free plans with third-level domains, for example Wix allows you to create a site with a domain like this:
To get other features, such as the ability to use a domain like site-name.com, remove platform ads and give the site a professional look, you need to choose a paid plan.
In the case of Wix, the costs start at €5.50 per month in order to connect the domain and have more storage space (up to 500MB).
With SquareSpace, plans start at €11 per month if you subscribe to an annual plan. In this case, the price of the domain is included for one year only.
WordPress.com currently has a Pro plan for $15/month which includes free domain for the first year only and allows you to use the plugins and themes of your choice.
Going back to the previous example, in this case if you wanted to create a blog with WordPress.com and use the premium themes and plugins from the other example you would have these costs:
- WordPress pro plan to remove ads and install plugins for €15 a month, €180 a year;
- domain included only for the first year, from the next around €18 per year for a .it domain.
To these costs we add those for the two premium plugins of the previous example: €121 for Rank Math Pro and €396 for Memberpress (the cost of the plugin for one year). We add the one-time cost of the Avada premium theme to 56€ and we have a cost for the first year of 753€.
The following year we will no longer have the cost of the theme, but we will have the cost of renewing the domain. We will therefore have a maintenance cost of €715 per year which is equivalent to approximately €60 per month.
This example helps to understand that a seemingly cheaper solution such as a site builder may not always be really convenient. The best way to proceed is to compare prices beforehand, especially with a view to a low-cost solution.
Website and professionals or agencies: what are the costs?
The alternative to do-it-yourself solutions is to contact a web designer or an agency to create the site.
In this case the costs will be higher than for do-it-yourself solutions. In fact, you will have to add up to the fixed expenses such as hosting and domain, and to the optional ones such as themes and paid extensions, also the real construction cost.
Generally the payment is by project and as we said at the beginning it depends on the complexity of the site.
Furthermore, the cost of a website also varies according to the professional’s rate. It is therefore not easy to provide an estimate in this case.
First of all because it cannot be generalized and each site requires its own design based on the complexity and level of customization and functions required. Secondly because every professional who is a freelancer or is part of an agency proposes his price.
To give a rough indication, we could say that the cost of a site can start from €1,000 and have a potentially infinite upper limit.
Keep in mind that this range doesn’t mean much, because you may find someone offering you a lower price and figures well beyond what we have indicated as a starting point, for all the reasons we have specified so far.
As we have already clarified at the beginning, the cost of a website depends on several variables. You need to take into consideration the costs for infrastructure, software and the type of site.
Furthermore, what makes the price range vary a lot is how the site is created. If you choose the do-it-yourself route, expenses can be reduced, but if you entrust the project to a professional there will be higher costs.
For do-it -yourself solutions it is possible to be able to make a fairly precise estimate considering the individual expenses: hosting or cost of the hosted platform, domain and optional expenses.
In the event that a professional or an agency is hired, it will be necessary to take into consideration that the rates vary a lot. The only way to get an idea of the price is therefore to illustrate the project you want to carry out and request a quote.
Do you have any other questions or considerations about how much a website costs? Let us know with a comment.