We frequently get asked the question, “How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?” The answer is: it completely depends.
There are so many options for building your website and having a website developed for you. The expense of building a website could be completely free if you do it without a web designer. On the other hand if you decide to hire a web designer you could end up spending countless dollars for a website with huge amounts of necessary functionality.
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LET’S COMPARE SOME DIFFERENT WAYS TO BUILD A WEBSITE
Completely Free Website
This is the same as starting a free blog on a website like Wix or a free website on Weebly. Your URL might be something like www.mysite.weebly.com or www.mybusiness.wix.com, which means you don’t have any expenses associated with this type of website. It also means that you don’t really own the website and you can not design your site, which in end you are stuck with the design they present to you.
Completely free website is perfect for someone who wants to show their resume or have a personal blog. If a business owner wants to be taken seriously, they should at least purchase their own domain name and drop the .wix or .weebly at the end of their site name.
Almost Free Website
There are tons of build your free websites out there. Generally all you need to pay for are web hosting and a domain. However, those expenses are minimal (anywhere from $10/month to $15/month). You can generally pick from a wide range of templates they present you with for free and tweak those with colors you need and include your business logo, and so on. These websites can look perfectly fine if you have a ton of time and you are tech savvy & have a bit of a design eye.
On the other hand, these build your own website don’t look professionally done because, they weren’t built by an expert. It is hard to find an expert web designer or developer who will even work at this sort of site even once you have a little money to use on your website. These types of platforms are made for individuals who don’t have the foggiest idea about any “code”, which additionally implies that you can’t even touch the code behind the layout, so there is just so much an individual can do to change the way the website looks. It is extremely frustrating as a designer to attempt to build these sites into what you need without the ability to get to the code or site documents, so most experts won’t even bother with it.
Huge disadvantage is that you do not own or have access to any code or files, so for instance, if they were to increase web hosting fees, you would either have to pay the extra or start building a website at a new company from scratch. You can’t take the work or the documents you’ve done with you because, well, they are not yours.
Open Source Content Management Site
Open Source Content Management Systems like WordPress are the best way to build a business websites. Open source means that the “code” is free. The code and files can be transferred and no one owns it. The expense of these types of websites depends on “How many pages?” and “What type of functionality you need?” The range is anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Of course, a basic page info website with very little functionality is much easier to build than a website with built-in e-commerce and shopping cart functionality.
Major web hosting companies support open source CMS. Another huge advantage is that the website is scalable, so if you have a $500 site and decide you want to add feature, or just simply add a design you saw elsewhere, you can easily do it without having to start entire website from scratch. Open source CMS provides the ability to get help whenever needed from experts. Once a web designer or developer installs or set up everything, you can easily add and update content to your website using their friendly “Dashboard”
Custom Website with or without Maintenance Plan
A Custom Website has the added advantage of the website being designed solely for your business and your business ONLY. Your website will be completely unique and built exactly the way you want it to be. The expense ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 and again, this all depends on how many pages and the type of functionality necessary for the website.
The main difference between the website with or without the maintenance plan is that the business owner does not want to make changes and updates themselves. They would rather have an expert manage the site for them. This is a good idea if the website is complicated and needs often changes, it may be too difficult for the business owner to handle without knowing how to edit or update the code. Depending on whether you are on an hourly or monthly deal, your expense could be anywhere from $25-100/hour for hourly to $50-$1,000/month for a monthly maintenance. This is still less expensive than having an employee, and with this type of service your website will always function and look exactly how it should.