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How much does it cost to make a website?

website costs

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There really is no definitive answer regarding how much it costs to make a website. However, there is always a range we can work with and that range depends on the requirements of your website. If you hire a developer, you will be paying an hourly rate – the more complex your website needs get, the higher the fee. But if you decide to go solo and make your website with a CMS, the costs are, to say the least, minimal.

Why don’t we have a little breakdown of the costs involved in the two options.

Hiring a developer

Finding a good web design company or freelance isn’t really much of a hassle. The real concern for most business owners or individuals looking for a site design is almost always – you guessed it – cost. A developer is a good option if you have no time on your hands, a good budget, and you never really want to get your hands dirty with some HTML/CSS code or even CMS installation.

According to data that we’ve gathered over some time, the following is a breakdown of the average costs of creating a website at different levels:

Basic website – $900 – $2000

A basic, small business brochure website where you can talk about your services and include a contact page through which your customers can reach you. The website usually does not run on a CMS, making it a little harder to update or manage.

Blogs may also fall into this category. Although not static in nature, the amount of time taken to set up a blog is relatively little while additional resources needed to set it in motion are also minimal.

Small business site with CMS integration – $3500 – $10000

A small to medium business website requires a CMS to run things smoothly. But at a higher cost, though a lot more custom work may go into this e.g. ecommerce integration, social media features, custom design elements etc. Most corporate websites would fall into this category.

Advanced package – $15000 – $100000

Anyone building a website within this price range is likely looking for a custom-coded web system (otherwise known as “web application”) with lots of powerful features. There are many development hours going into such a project, which should involve two or more developers working on it together. Building your own social network app to compete with the likes of Pinterest, for instance, would cost you this much.

Making a website with WordPress

WordPress is just as useful to a beginner as it is to an advanced web developer. See our how to make a website with wordpress guide. If you have zero to minimal coding skills and would rather not re-invent the wheel trying to figure out how websites work so you can code up your and learn how can I make a website on my own, then you’ve found a capable solution in WordPress. Just to be clear, let’s see the kind of websites this software can comfortably build, and those that it would struggle to (or simply can’t):

WordPress is perfect for:

1. Blogs – individual and company blogs

2. Magazine/ Newspaper sites

3. Corporate and portfolio websites

4. Small niche community sites (with built-in social networking)

5. Small to medium ecommerce store fronts (pretty good at this, with plugins)

6. Classified ad sites and city directories

7. Basic-intermediate forums


WordPress is not the best for:

1. Large social networks

2. Advanced or dedicated forums

3. Large ecommerce websites

4. Portals


WordPress can still work to some level of success with the above 4 systems, but the functionality might be a little limited. Take nothing away from it though, because chances are that whatever site you’re looking to build falls in the first category, and can be successfully implemented with the CMS.

“So how much does it cost to make a website with WordPress,” you must be asking.

Well first things first, WordPress is free and open-source, just like its counterparts Drupal and Joomla. You don’t need a course to learn how to work with WordPress, so the development costs = $0. All you need is some basic knowledge on how to install it on your server and how to add plugins, themes and some content. But the best themes, as well as plugins, cost money. And of course there’s a domain name and hosting to pay for. Check out our web hosting reviews.

Let’s break it down:

  • Domain name – $10-15 a year
  • Hosting fees – $50-$100 a year for shared hosting
  • Premium theme (optional) – $50
  • 1 premium plugin (optional) – $20


And that’s all. Looking at it again, the price is going to be just under $200 on the high side, mostly attributable to the hosting fee. Keep in mind that the same hosting fees are still applicable when you hire a developer. So the cost of building your own WordPress website is, well, pretty much nothing.


What skills do I need to make my own WordPress website?

Maybe your primary concern after learning how cheap it is to build a website this way is whether you can really hack it. Cast those doubts aside, because anyone who can use a web browser can build their own website with a CMS; specifically WordPress. The same might not be said for Joomla, Magento, Drupal or other popular open source CMSs, but WordPress just excels at user-friendliness.

The whole process starts with a 3-step installation of WordPress on your domain from your cPanel account (after you purchase hosting). You will then be able to log in to your administration backend where you can add your themes, plugins and content. The task isn’t really daunting as it seems – all thanks to an intuitive dashboard interface – but if you ever get stuck, there’s always the reliable WordPress.org forums to look up to for help.





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Author Picture Written by Pete Zaborszky
Pete runs Make a website and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+