The initial cost of designing and building a website can vary greatly, depending on your goals and the specific features you want. According to 2020 Website Costs from WebFX, a prominent marketing and website design agency, the three price ranges depend on your approach:
- Build it yourself – $0 – $300
- Hire a freelance designer – $500 – $5,000
- Hire an agency – $3,000 – $100,000
Do it Yourself
Building it yourself is clearly the least expensive but comes with significant challenges. Even the most user-friendly providers require you to learn some technology, and just the fact that you can build it doesn’t guarantee it will look good or be effective.
Companies like Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace provide do-it-yourself plans, the simplest of which are free. If you want a site that puts you on the web with limited style options and no special features, this is the way to go. Anything extra, even your own custom web address, requires a monthly charge that ranges from $5 to $30.
Marketing or web design agencies are the preferred route for businesses that depend on their website for sales or referrals. Clearly, the startup price is beyond the budget of many small businesses, and monthly fees for managing the site range from $25 – $100. This buys enterprise-level data security and secure financial transactions, with a wide range of features, design, and customer support. On the other hand, agencies inevitably have a lot of overhead built into their costs and you may pay for many features you never need or use.
Freelance designers offer flexibility and can work closely with their clients at every step of the website process, from determining the best hosting service to architecting your site’s page structure to adding design that makes your site memorable and appealing.
As a freelance designer, I work with businesses and individuals who do not require the sophisticated data-driven sites offered by big agencies. Because so many of my clients are artists, non-profits, or in the helping professions, I keep costs low, while ensuring a professional site at a fair value.
If you want to be involved in your site’s design and development, I can teach you how. The more you do, the less I have to do, whether it is writing the content, finding images, or even creating web pages. I can teach you the tools of website design, and coach you in managing and updating your own site. Several of my clients started as do-it-yourselfers, and now come to me for lessons, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The cost of a website varies according to the complexity of the site. The simpler and more straightforward your site, the less expensive to design, launch, and maintain. As in everything, it is worth paying extra for quality, while avoiding goods and services that you do not need. I can work with you to determine economical ways to create your site. I welcome your questions about websites, and as always, the first consultation is free.