How Much Does a Website Cost? What You Need to Know

January 25, 2020

LLT Group

How much does a website cost?

This is one of the most common questions we hear at LLT—and it makes sense. 

Money is a big factor for many of the decisions you make. 

You only have so much money to pay for:

  • Office expenses
  • Healthcare
  • Salaries
  • Products
  • Marketing

When it comes to building a website for your business, you want to know if you’ll have enough money or if you’ll need to scale back your expectations. 

Now, back to the original question, “How much does it cost to build a website?”

In short: It depends. 

I know this isn’t what you want to hear. 

But there are many factors that influence the cost of a website. 

In this post, I’d like to walk you through the average cost to build a website for a small business, and three questions you need to answer before you build a website. 

The average cost of a website design for small businesses

I’m going to shoot straight with you:

You’re not going to find online the average cost of a website design for a small business. 

Before you search for an average cost in Google, I’m going to save you some time. Here’s a sample of what I found from some of the top results:

  • $2,000—$8,000
  • $3,000—$6,000
  • $8,000—$15,000
  • $1,000—$10,000
  • $20,000+

Honestly, I don’t think any source provided the same range. 

As you can see from these few suggestions, the averages are all over the place. And beyond that, most website costs for established businesses and even moderately complex programming needs are multiples of those ranges, reaching into the six figures. 

Why?

Because there’s no standard industry average. 

The cost of creating a website depends on several factors that influence how much you need to spend. 

For example, if you plan on doing the work yourself, using stock photos, and purchasing a template, then you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars. Now, if you need photography, dozens of pages or more designed, and a customized layout, then plan on paying between $1,000 to $1,500 per page

I know what I’ve shared so far isn’t really helpful. 

But hang tight. 

Here are three questions you need to answer before you build a new website:

  • What does your website need?
  • Who do you want to build your website?
  • What will be your return on investment (ROI)? 

Let’s get started!

What does your website need? 

There are a ton of moving pieces involved with creating a website. 

Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll need to do: 

  • Purchase a domain
  • Set up your website hosting
  • Write copy
  • Find images or take pictures
  • Design your site layout
  • Create third-party integrations
  • Build your site
  • Perform ongoing maintenance

Within these steps, there are also many tasks that need to be accomplished. 

I’m not trying to scare you into working with an agency (well, maybe I am). 

I just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. 

So let me break this down a little bit more. 

Practically speaking, here are the questions you need to answer:

  • Can I handle this myself? Or do I need expert guidance? 
  • Do I need creative direction? Or can my team lead the way? 
  • Do I need custom development? Or can I get by with a template?
  • Do I want to handle ongoing maintenance? 
  • Will I need photography? Or can I use stock photos? 
  • Do I need a custom design? 
  • Do I need help integrating third-party applications? 

As you work through these questions, you’ll start to narrow down the best option for you in building your website, which leads me to the next step. 

Who do you want to build your website?

There’s more than one way you can build a website. 

The approach you take will boil down to a few key questions:

  • Can I do the work myself?
  • Do I have the time to do the work myself?
  • How much can I spend on my website?

There’s a chance you can build your own website. Assuming you have the skills and the time, you can crank out the work yourself. 

Now, let’s assume you have the skills but you don’t have the time. Then it’s probably best to hire someone else to do the work for you. 

Speaking of hiring someone else, who you hire will depend on what you need and your budget. To help you think through this step, let’s explore a few options together. 

Here are some common choices you have:

  • Friend
  • Freelancer
  • Agency

Do you have a friend or family member who offered to help? Since we’re talking about your business and not your blog, it’s best to avoid this choice or tread lightly. 

When it comes to working with someone you know, it can be challenging to speak your mind freely and get what you really want out of the project. Besides, if things don’t work out, you don’t want to create awkward outings with your friends or uncomfortable family holidays. 

For smaller projects, you can get away with hiring a freelancer. With a freelancer, you might be able to save some cash. Be sure to get 2–3 quotes or more. Remember, as I shared above, the quotes you’ll receive may vary widely. 

What is more, working with only one freelance designer or developer for your site will limit what you can accomplish. For sites with fewer requirements, this may be a good option. But expecting only one freelancer to design and develop a complex site is setting him or her up for failure. 

This isn’t a rub against freelancers. 

Far from it. 

I’m just pointing out the reality that large, complex sites or sites with custom design or coding usually require a team of experts, which leads me to another option you can pursue. 

Another option you have to build your website is to work with an agency. When you work with an agency, you can tap into the experience and expertise of a team. Since you’re working with a team, an agency can adapt with you if the goals of your site change or you just need to make adjustments down the road. 

What’s the best option for your business? 

Well, that really depends on what you need and your return on investment. 

What will be your return on investment (ROI)? 

Your website isn’t a place you want to save money. 

Think about it. 

Skimping on your website is like cutting corners on your storefront. 

Sure, you can save money. But if you create a bad experience for customers online or offline, then you’ll lose business. It’s that simple.

You’re still probably thinking: 

How much money do I need to spend on my site?

As I’ve shared above, I’m not sure. 

I’d have to know more about your business and your goals

But here’s the deal:

You need to spend enough money to meet your goals. 

If you desire to increase your brand awareness, generate more leads, or drive more sales, your website is one marketing channel you can’t afford to get wrong. 

You have to consider the return on investment (ROI) your website can provide. 

To make this happen, there are two primary things you need to do: 

  • Finalize your costs
  • Plan your results

The first step you’ll need to take is to finalize your costs. In general, you need to know how much it’ll cost you to build and maintain your website. 

After you know your costs, the second step you need to take is to plan your results. By building a new site or redesigning your current site, how many more customers do you plan on serving? 

If you already have a site with a history of traffic, leads, and conversions, answering this question is easier. However, it can be difficult to identify this metric if you’re starting from scratch. Regardless if you have data or not, it’s best to know how many sales you need to make in order to breakeven or earn a profit. 

How much does it cost to build a website?

Your website is essential for your business. 

It’s the first place most customers visit, and it’s something you don’t want to get wrong. 

Give your website visitors a good experience, and you increase the likelihood of them doing business with you. 

Give your site visitors a bad experience, and you’ll scare them away before they make a purchase.  

Need help building a website to grow your business? 

Hit us up at LLT

We’d love to learn about your business and see if we’re a good fit for your plans. 

Click here to start a project.

Start a Project