A Definitive Pricing Guide To Calculate Website Development Cost

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A Definitive Pricing Guide To Calculate Website Development Cost

This is a Part 2 of a 2-section arrangement on understanding the cost to building a website:

Par 1 – We share important lessons from our own trials and encounters, so you won't rehash some of our missteps (losing time and cash).

Par 2 – [You Are Here] – What to keep an eye out for when costing out your website extend particularly in the event that you are new to building websites. Composed by an accomplished web designer for tenderfoots and incorporates definite cost breakdown.

Would You Be Able To Guess Which Website Costs More?

                               How much should a website cost?                How much does a website cost?

Genuine, the visual interest or allure of the design can now and then give it away, yet it's not generally the situation.

Imagine a scenario where I reveal to you Website A will be a specially designed design that seems as though it could possibly cost between $5,000 to $10,000, while Website B is a free layout.

That’s crazy-talk!!

(Note: By the way, I don't know the amount Website An expenses. In any case, it is normal for a custom manufactured website to fall in that cost run.)

Here's the thing – It's truly difficult to judge how much a website cost just by taking a gander at the design.

Consider this — It is undeniable that the Lamborghini Spyder is one hot auto. All things being equal, what most Lambo fans adore about this auto is not what it would seem that, but rather how it sounds – it is the thunder of the v10 motor that takes the Spyder from 0 to 60mph in only 3.4 seconds.

Much the same as the $250,000 Lambo, what makes up the cost of a website is not just how the website looks at first glance, yet rather, what lies "in the engine" that makes a website work.

Along these lines, don't pass judgment on a website by its cover  its web design is just a single cut of a significantly greater pie.

Subsequent to helping many organizations to make their websites, I've done and have seen a ton.

Having tried different things with various website building programming and devices, I've created solid assessments about…

  • What's justified regardless of your cash and what's not justified, despite any potential benefits.
  • What to concentrate on and what to hurl out the window.
  • What is important and need doesn't.

At whatever point you are taking a stab at something new, having somebody in your corner who has involvement in the subject can truly offer assistance.

This is the reason the estimation of designers or engineers goes past simply the surface design of the website.

Their encounters, specialized aptitudes, and expansive item learning can help you…

  • Maintain a strategic distance from concealed specialized and budgetary traps; and
  • Choose the correct answer for your spending level, specialized level, and how much time you are set up to submit.

If you are searching for an estimating diagram for everything that needs to do with building a website, there are a lot of assets scattered everywhere throughout the web (I do have two or three valuing structures underneath, which we'll get to later).

What I need to give you in this talk, are counsel and suggestions that I would provide for paying customers – a kind of free discussion on the genuine cost of your website.

You Are Asking All The Wrong Questions!

How much a website should cost is an extremely bland inquiry  it needs specifics.

It's the same as though I were to ask you what amount should an auto taken a toll?

Uh… well, would you be able to be more particular?

What kind of auto do you need?  Does it should be gas proficient? What do you utilize it for? What is your financial plan?

You can rapidly observe "what amount does an auto cost?" is very a really complex inquiry all things considered.

Much the same as planning for an auto, the cost of a website is diverse to various individuals in light of the fact that everybody esteems the idea of "cost" in various ways.

For example, in the event that you are a housewife with 4 kids under 10 years of age. You may esteem time over cash. You would rather pay somewhat more to complete things right and on time.

To others without kids, they may believe you're overpaying for specific administrations. Be that as it may, to you, it's definitely justified even despite the cost.

Simply put, the cost of building your website boils down to 4 resources:

  • Time
  • Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  • Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  • Money


A great many people need 1 or a couple of these 4 resources.

Spend a few seconds to consider which ones you have (or don't have).

You don't need each of the 4 to begin a website since you can without much of a stretch repay one for another.

For instance, on the off chance that you don't have any coding abilities yet have time, you can simply figure out how to code from different free or paid web based coding instructional exercises.

While evaluating the cost of your website, the primary inquiry you have to solicit is "which from the 4 assets do you need?"

What Resources Do You Lack?

I get gotten some information about what amount does a website costs A LOT – I get it accompanies the set of working responsibilities as a website designer in my past business.

One thing I've seen over and over is how much individuals concentrate simply on the dollar sign – which is feeling the loss of the master plan.

Out of the 4 assets – cash is really the most adaptable one.

Here's the reason:

  • You either have time or you don't
  • You either know/have an enthusiasm for coding or you don't
  • You either know/have an enthusiasm for design or you don't


This is not generally the situation with regards to cash.

Everyone has a specific level of cash. It's about how you choose where to best spend it.

Why might a man pay $4.50 for a favor Starbucks latte when an option is to burn through $0.10 to make a basic espresso at home?

Would it be able to have something to do with the way of life? Or, then again perhaps something as painful as awakening prior to make espresso? Is it the comfort of getting it outside so you don't need to manage it at home?

Let's be realistic, as a rule, we as a whole have some cash. We as a whole know somebody that doesn't have a great deal of reserve funds however wound up purchasing a fresh out of the plastic new level screen TV when they truly shouldn't.

The correct Questio0n is — "Is This Worth My Money."

The reality of the situation is whether you feel something has an incentive to you, you will happily pay available, isn't that so? – This is what really matters to consumerism.

Along these lines, we should put cash (as an asset) aside for the time being, as though you discover genuine incentive in building a website (if it's truly justified, despite all the trouble to you), you'll attempt to make things work.

Until further notice, how about we concentrate on assessing the cost of your website on the off chance that you have constrained:

  • Time
  • Technical knowledge (or the interest in learning it)
  • Design skills (or the interest in learning it)

We should continue pushing ahead…

Cost Of Website If You Have Limited Resources

When it comes to building, managing, and operating your website, there are 5 main phases you need to deal with:

  1. Website setup (this is before you even get to design or content creation)
  2. Learn how to use a website builder
  3. Designing the layout
  4. Content creation
  5. Troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance

For each of the phases, you have to determine if you have the timetechnical or design skills to accomplish them successfully.

If you are missing any one of them, you may need to hire a professional to help you get the job done, or rely on modern technology to solve your problems:   

Option #1:



Pay a professional to do it for you; or






Option #2:



Find a website building software to take over all the technical and design challenges for you, so you don’t need to spend as much time on them.





If you have heard of website building software like WordPress , you might think, Well, both are technology so how are they different?”

I’ll illustrate the difference here with this example below:

There are a few ways to have high-quality homemade soup:

  1. Method A: Make the soup from scratch by yourself. You go to the store, buy the ingredients, chop them all up and make the soup. Nothing is pre-packaged and you have to do everything by yourself – from the beginning to the end.
  2. Method  B: You can use services like BlueApron to speed up the process. They send you the prepared ingredients so you don’t need to leave your house or prepare anything. Just follow the recipe and put the ingredients in the pot. So the process is simplified by the ingredient preparation & delivery service – but there is still some assembly required.
  3. Method  C: There is an even easier way. Cooked food delivery service like CookFood.net handles all the cooking for you. They deliver the finished product directly to your door. So the entire process is fully automated. Everything is done-for-you. Just choose what you want from their online menu and arrange a delivery time. If you can fill in a form, you can get homemade soup with no cooking skills required – pretty awesome, right?


Just like the different ways to have homemade soup, different website building technologies give you different levels of website building services:

Method  A : Custom Build Your Website From the Ground Up

You can hire a website designer or developer to create your website from scratch without the use of any website building software.

Since the introduction of WordPress, most websites are NOT built from scratch anymore. Only enterprise companies with very specific needs will choose to build a website this way, but this is also happening less and less.

Method  B : Use a Website Building Software like WordPress (Assembly Required)

WordPress is like the cooking ingredient delivery service. They give you everything you need to create a website, but assembly is required.

True you can do this yourself if you have the time to learn or already have the expertise to do it yourself. It can definitely be done since a lot of people have done it before.

If you don’t have time or expertise, you can always hire a professional to put a WordPress website together for you so you can save time and headaches.

Method C : Drag & Drop Website Builders (Automated – No Skills Required)

Finally, we have the fully automated web development building service like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Just like the cooked food delivery services that allow you to have homemade soup even if you don’t any cooking skills, these drag & drop, fully managed website builders handle all technical and design issues for you, so you don’t have to.

They’re easy to use and require minimal to no technical knowledge at all.

Note that these fully managed, drag & drop website builders don’t give you a team of designers and developer to build the website for you. You still need to build the website yourself by using their simple drag & drop tools.  But they make it really easy for you and you don’t even need to be technical at all.

The key benefit is that drag & drop web builders automate the technical aspects of managing and operating a website so you don’t have to.

However, there are some limitations here. It’s not like you can have any soup you can imagine because your choices are limited to what’s available on their menu. Even so, the soup selections are still very extensive and 90% of the time you will find the soup you want.

In the same way, drag & drop website builders have limits to their features and designs as well.  Each web builder has their list of tools and pre-made website designs.

While you are limited to what they have, the selection is pretty extensive and 90% of the time you will find what you need.

It is a small sacrifice to make so you can build a website yourself without having to do much technical work (or hire someone to help you).

To put everything into perspective, the cost of websites changes depending on which type of website building software you use (Method A, B or C). Each type of builder calls for different levels of skill or help from professionals.

Now that I’ve explained the two main ways to create a web development, let’s put some actual dollar signs in front of them!

Option 1 : Cost Of Building A Website If You Hire Professionals To Help You



When I refer to hiring a professional to create the website for you, most of the time I will be referring to using WordPress.

The reason is because WordPress the most popular website builder for developer and designers, and is currently powering about 26% of all websites.

WordPress’s main advantage is its extreme flexibility. You can create almost any type of website with any type of features you need, as long as you have the coding and design expertise to do so.

If not, you can always hire a pro to do that for you (of course cost will come into play here).

Now, WordPress, in my opinion, is not something I will suggest if you have no technology skills or if you’ve never owned a website before.

Why? Because WordPress has a much higher learning curve and setup costs than any fully managed, drag & drop website builder like Wix,  Squarespace, and Weebly.

I only recommend using WordPress (or other self-hosted website builders) if:

  • This is not your first website you have experiences managing websites.
  • If you have very specific design or software needs that only WordPress can provide.
  • If you have both time and money to spend on learning, building and managing a WordPress website.

Otherwise, I do not recommend using WordPress if you have limited time, money or patience to learn how to code and to learn the technical ins and outs of using WordPress effectively.

1. Cost of setting up a WordPress website:

Setting up a website involves finding a hosting provider, learning how to use FTP, linking your website build software with your hosting provider, and finally connecting your domain name to your website.

All these will sound foreign to you if you’ve never owned a website before, so let me explain what they actually mean:

Website Hosting (Cost $5 – $350/Month):

A host is where your website content “lives” online.

Imagine a host is like your coat closet and your website is your coat. Whenever you want to get to your coat, you need to go to your closet and retrieve it.

This works the same way as your website. When someone enters your website address into a web browser, the browser will go to your host (your closet) and get your website (your coat) to display it to the visitor.

Generally speaking, there are several types of hosting that handle different volume of visitors to your website:

  • Shared hosting;
  • VPS hosting; and
  • Dedicated hosting.

For most people, you will never need dedicated hosting as it is more suitable for very large or enterprise level websites.

The only thing you need to know is that the more visitors come to your website, the higher your cost of hosting will be:

  • Shared hosting costs $5 – $30
  • VPS hosting costs $50 – $250
  • Dedicated hosting starts in the thousands
If you are looking for good WordPress hosting, Bluehost is a good candidate to get started with.  If you are looking for more advanced, highly-tuned, dedicated WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine is excellent and has top notch customer service.

Using FTP (Cost $0 – $50):

FTP is way for you to manage your website files (which are stored in the host).

These website files include your website design, images, features, content  pretty much everything you see in front of you, and also the internal workings of a website (under the hood so to speak).

Most website hosting provider will give you technical instructions on how to use FTP to connect to you host so you can manage all those files.

If you a newbie, it may take 1-3 hours to get this up and running.

You can always search for video tutorials on YouTube or pay for tutorials at Lynda.com (around $50).

If you need some handholding / direct support, you can hire a developer or designer to show you the ropes ($30-$80/hr for a designer or $80-$180/hr for a developer).

Of course, you might not even know what to do with the files even once you get the process set up.

Installing WordPress In a Host And Connecting Your Domain Name (Cost $0 – $50):

Most hosting providers already have WordPress installed. If you want to skip the installation of WordPress, make sure the hosting provider you choose has WordPress already.

Your hosting provider will have instructions to show you how to connect your domain name to your website.

If you don’t know too much about domain names and how to get one, we have a beginners guide to domain names you can refer to.

If you’ve never connected a domain name to a website before, it may take you a few minutes to an hour to figure things out.

Again, you can always hire a designer or developer to do this for you on an hourly basis ($30-$80/hr for a designer and $80-$180/hr for a developer).

The website setup cost can be as low as $5 (cheap hosting service) if you’re willing to do it all by yourself.

If you need help from a designer or developer to save you hours of figuring things out (if you’re not experienced), expect to spend around $30 – $50 (as it doesn’t take an experienced professional that long to get it done for you).

These are the basic setup costs even before you get to build your website.


2. Cost of learning to use WordPress (Cost $0 – $50):

As mentioned before, it takes a few hours to learn the basics of WordPress.

If you want to be highly effective at it, it will take a few weeks to a month to get enough practice.

There are plenty of free tutorials online (but the quality can range from good to bad).

Or, you can use higher quality, paid tutorials from Lynda.com for about $50/month to help you speed up the process.

Within a month, you should be able to learn the basics of how to operate WordPress (note: this does not including how to use codes to customize your website). 

3. Cost of designing a WordPress website (Cost $50 – $$$$):

Here is where the price of a website has no upper limit.

You can really spend as much as you have or as little as you like when it comes to website design.

Pre-Made Templates Designs (Cost $35 – $200):

These are ready-made designs that you can buy off the shelf. There are plenty of options for you to choose from.

The only limitation with a pre-made template is that design customization is pretty limited unless you know how to modify codes.

If not, what you see on the template’s demo site is pretty much what you get.

Basic paid templates cost around $35 to $50 and premium paid templates range from $80 to $200.

Custom Built Website Using Pre-Made Templates (Cost $300 – $1,000):

This option is an “in-between” a DIY website and a fully custom built website design.

You can hire a designer to help customize a pre-made template into something unique just for you.

This is a good option if you are not ready for an entirely custom website, and pre-made templates are not exactly what you want.

You can pay by the hour or by the project for design customizations.

Expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for template customization.

The cost varies depending on how much work you want to be done – such as adding a header image, moving the logo location, creating a fixed navigation bar, changing the overall layout design, etc

Custom Website Design (Cost $5,000 – $10,000+):

If you really want something truly unique, you can go for a custom website design where you can create any design you can imagine.

A custom WordPress design can go for as low as $5,000 if you hire a developer from an emerging country / region such as India or Eastern Europe.

Any capable developers from a developed region (such as North America, Western Europe, etc.) will start at $10,000 and can go all the way up to well over $30,000.         

4. Cost of creating content for your WordPress website (Cost $500 –$5,000):

After you’re done with created an overall design for your website, you will need to populate it with content.

The design work (in the section directly above), basically gives your website an overall framework.

The framework may include where the menu bar is located and how it works, where the logo is to be situated, how the slideshow works at the top of your home page, how your sidebar looks like and functions, how your information is to be presented throughout your website, etc.

So the design work basically creates an outline or the skeleton of your webpages.

After the framework is created, you now have to populate it with your own content.

For instance, you will need to upload a background design for your pages, upload header images, create custom graphics for your content area, insert text to describe items, insert your logo to brand your business, etc.

These are all part of the content creation process , so your visitors can understand your business, see what products you have, read your blog posts, so on and so forth.

If you splurge on a custom designed website, your designer may include the creation and population of content for you.

But, what if I don’t have tens of thousands to spend on a custom website, but don’t have time to create the content for my website?

One option is to buy a pre-made template at $35 – $200. Then hire a designer to create your website content for you.

This is a good option to save money and time, but still have a designer help you create content, graphics, and branding of your website.

Keep in mind that the design of your website will still be limited by the design of the website template you choose (as it is not a truly custom design).

Designers can charge content creation by the hour or by project:

  • $50 – $80 per hour
  • $250 – $500 minimum charge per project. This may include a minimum of 3 pages, and additional pages will be a slightly cheaper.
  • Logo or branding design will be about $100 – $1500 depending on the extent of the branding design you need.

You may also want to budget for ongoing maintenance costs. That’s usually about $100 – $500 per year if you don’t make any major alterations to you website design.

Pro Tip:

If you don’t have the financial luxury of hiring someone to help you edit images and create logos, we have a couple of guides that will walk you through how you can do this yourself, even if you are not technical or born with a good sense of design:

  • How to Edit Your Images Like A Pro (Without Being a Pro) – Here are a few easy-to-use image editors that can help you make amazing edits to your pictures.
  • Creating Your Own Professional Logo – check out a few tools (free / paid) to help you create your own logo – without hiring a designer.

5. Cost of troubleshooting & maintaining your WordPress website (Cost $500 – $1,000):

The technical skills to operate a website goes beyond the initial website setup (discussed above).

Let’s be realistic, any technology will break down at some point. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

Also, it’s a matter of “who will fix it for you.”

All website builders have software updates, browser compatibility updates, platform updates, security patches and much more.

All those technical updates require the owner of the website to implement and manage.

When you are using a self-hosted website builder like WordPress, you have to handle all the technical issues yourself.

If an update occurs and a plugin that you are using becomes incompatible with other plugins that you are using, or conflicts with the website builder, then you’ll need to either get the creator of the plugin to fix things, or you will need to call on a trusty developer to save you.

  • A good developer costs between $80 and $180 per hour. The good ones are always on the higher end of the range. From our own experiences, it is completely worth the money if you can find a developer that you can count on. Depending on the complexity of your website (the number of plugins you are using, the amount of custom coding you have), your annual maintenance cost will vary.
  • It is very hard to pinpoint the expected cost since every website has different needs. What we can advise on is how much we spent on technical support with a fairly simple website that has very little custom coding and plugins. We spend about $500 to $800 a year. Keep in mind that I’m a fairly skilled website designer and I’m quite proficient with HTML/CSS /jQuery and with working knowledge of PHP codes. This is one of the main reasons why our technical support cost is not as high since we can do most of the things ourselves.

Option 2: Cost Of Building Website If Using Fully Managed, Drag & Drop Website Builder that takes care of all of your website technical & design challenges


Fully-hosted website builders are the next best thing to hiring a developer to create a website for you.

They are drag & drop website builders that make website building as easy as it can possibly be. No setup or coding is required at all.

You can easily drive down the cost of building a website as you require less time, you don’t need technical or design expertise, and the cost of using the software is quite low.This is your first website.

  • You don’t need any custom design or specific software / tools on your website.
  • You have limited time to spend on your website so you don’t want to learn how to code.
  • You have limited money to invest in your website so you prefer not to hire skilled designers or developers to help you.
  • You want more control over your website design, so you don’t have to keep paying a designer or developer to make changes. You prefer to manage your website yourself.

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are some of the most popular and reliable drag & drop website builders in the market today.

Of course, there are more web builders out there I’ve tried most of them already. But these 3 are the best ones I’ve used.  That’s why I’ve referenced them throughout this post.

1. Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

There is no time or monetary costs involved in setting up a website with either Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or any other fully managed, drag & drop website builder.

You don’t have to worry about hosting, setting up FTP, installing the website builder software or linking your domain name.

All of that setup work is fully automated by the website builder.

This will save you hours (and a lot of frustration if you are a beginner) in setting up your website (keep in mind you are still not building your website yet).

You just need to sign up for an account with your email address and you can start building your website right away.

Both Wix and Weebly have free plans, so all your hosting requirements and the use of the website builder is completely free. There is no time limit to using their free plan either.

While the free plans come with limited features, you can test out the builder first before you commit to any paid plans.

Squarespace gives you a 14-day free trial period.

2. Cost of setting up a website using a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are very easy to use. It’s very intuitive, so it only takes minutes to get a good idea on how to use the drag and drop builder.

If you can use a mouse to drag things around your computer screen, you can use a drag & drop website builder.

So you don’t need to pay for any lessons, nor do you have to spend the time to search for tutorials online.

Of course, if you want to master the ins and outs of how to use the web builder, it will take some time to build up that level of experience.

3. Cost of designing a website built with a drag & drop builder (Cost $0):

All fully hosted website builders give you a broad range of design templates for free.

Now, this may be a pro or a con depending how picky you are with your website design.

Most of these free templates are as good as paid WordPress templates. But the downside is that you are limited to what the website builder gives you as most of them don’t grant you access to the codes of the template to make custom modifications – with the exception with Weebly.

Here is a summary of each website builder’s template design selections:

  1. Wix.com: Largest website template library with over 510 professionally designed templates.
  2. Squarespace: Some of the best website design that can rival some custom designed websites.
  3. Weebly: Their templates allow access to the codes so you can make custom changes if you want to – an added design flexibility.

4. Cost of building content in your drag & drop website (Cost $500 – $2,000):

Drag & drop website builders are designed for DIYers. So hiring a designer to build the website for you is less common.

But of course, if you want to, you can still hire a designer.

If you don’t want to create the content yourself, you can spend a few hundred to low thousand dollars for the designer to create all the graphics, branding and page content for you.

Since the overall cost of using a fully managed website builder is so low, you have extra budget to pay for this little bit of luxury if you want to.

Hiring a designer for a drag & drop website builder is slightly cheaper than for WordPress.

This is not because these designers are less qualified. It is because drag & drop website builders remove the technical barriers previous required to be a website designer.

All of a sudden, any brilliant graphic designer (who don’t know how to code) can become website designers because of the drag & drop builders.

They no longer need to know how to code and can still create beautiful websites.

This gives you a much bigger pool of talented designers to choose from, at a slightly lower cost.

5. Cost of troubleshooting and maintaining your drag & drop website (Cost $0):

Fully-hosted website builders handle all the technical issues for you. They have full-time, dedicated support teams that manage all that for you in the background, so you won’t even see any issues at all.

With self-hosted websites like WordPress, it is not just an issue of the cost of paying for someone to fix your website.  The biggest headache could be where to find a trustworthy developer to resolve the issues for you in a timely manner.

This is one of the main reasons why I often recommend fully managed website builders for people with no technical knowledge, or for those who are new to building websites.

It removes a lot of confusion, complication, and frustration so you can focus on building your website and let the drag & drop website builder’s tech team handle all the tech issues.


The cost of building a website adds up pretty quickly if you are missing a few key resources:

  1. Time
  2. Technical knowledge (or your interest to learn to code)
  3. Design skills (or your willingness to learn design)
  4. Money


But the cost of a website isn’t always related to money. It can be the cost of your time away from your family or business; it can even be the cost of maintaining your sanity when it comes to technology.

So how you budget for your website should take into consideration:

  • How much time you are prepared to commit to the project;
  • How much money you are prepared to invest into hiring professionals; and
  • The missed opportunity costs of being able to use your time on higher valued business or personal things.

Finding out how much your website will cost you doesn’t have to be very complicated – you just need to be asking the right questions.

Once you have a better understanding of what resources you have (time, money, skills, interests in learning new skills), then you will have a much better idea of which path you should head towards (WordPress or a drag & drop website builder).


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