Today, a website is a must-have for all organizations that operate either online or offline. Through their presence on the internet, it allows them to reach a larger audience, provide services online, optimize request processing, and boost sales.
The common questions that we receive from our clients every month are “How much does it cost to make a website from scratch?”, “How do you create a website for business?”, and “How can we reduce website development costs?”. In this article, we will answer them.
You will also learn what is included in the price, as well as what IT service provider you should choose: freelancers, website builders, in-house software experts, or an IT outsourcing company. Let’s get started!
How much does it cost to build a website from scratch?
On average, the website development cost varies between $10,000-$150,000 depending on many factors such as project size, level of complexity, type, and region of an IT service vendor. But, what is included in this price? Take a look at the table below.
What is included
Website design, development, and maintenance costs
Website development services
Website support and maintenance
$400-$60,000 per year
Content management system
How much does a website cost per month?
On a monthly basis—including website support and maintenance—the price can fluctuate between $35-$5000. The cost can vary depending on your business-specific requirements, for instance, you may need to purchase a new plugin provided by a content management system.
Cost per month
What does a website cost per year?
The price of maintaining a website can range from $420 to $60,000 on a yearly basis. The more you extend your web platform, the higher the expenses are. In some cases, the cost can increase due to additional investments, for example, a redesign of the company’s logo or the creation of a couple of web pages.
Cost per year
What is included in the custom website development cost?
1. Custom website design services
There are a few tools that you can use to design a website: InVision, Sketch, Zeplin.
The website design cost varies from $800 to $25,000 depending on the project complexity and salaries. The simpler the product is, the lower budget you will need. To succeed on the market, you should create a responsive design, which means that your website will look great on all devices, including smartphones. Nobody likes when site elements cross the screen or when the content is difficult to perceive.
WebFX, a digital marketing agency, collected the following data on the impact of web design in the company’s success:
- First customer impressions about a website are 94% design-related.
- 74% of consumers say they are more likely to return to a website when it is mobile-friendly.
- 67% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase a product or service when the website is optimized for mobile devices.
- 86% of customers are ready to spend more when they receive a better user experience.
- 38% of online consumers say they are likely to stop interacting with a website if the user interface is unattractive.
Provide intuitive navigation and convenient data search, so that users can quickly find what they're looking for. When cooperating with a custom website development company, UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) experts always ask you about the target audience or help you define it. This is an important issue in designing web solutions that meet customer preferences.
For instance, video streaming platforms with cartoons, e-learning sites for kids, entertainment services, etc. may need plenty of animations, bright colors, and various effects while business and e-commerce websites will almost always require a completely different, corporate style.
Let’s compare the cost of a responsive design and a single mobile website:
- A responsive design. Your website will automatically adjust to the user's device, whether it is a smartphone, PC, laptop, or tablet. The average price for this is $3000.
- A separate mobile website. By developing a mobile website version, you ensure an amazing user experience on tablets and mobile phones. The cost is significantly higher, however, ranging between $5000-$25,000.
While providing a great customer experience and allowing you to reach a larger audience, a responsive website design is the most cost-effective option.
2. Website development and testing
When asking a question “How much does it cost to create a website from scratch?”, you should estimate the price of not only functionality but testing and debugging. By checking the platform for errors and compliance with the requirements, QA (quality assurance) engineers ensure the highest product quality.
An average website development cost is $7,500-$22,500 depending on the number of pages and features you add, as well as their complexity.
Have a look at the table showing an average price of creating website pages (the functionality is not included):
The number of web pages
A 1-page website cost
A 5-page website cost
A 10-page website price
A 50-page site cost
150 to 250 pages
The cost of developing a website increases if you need to add more pages, integrate more third-party services, or incorporate a set of powerful features.
3. Domain name
Generally, the cost of a website domain name is $0.95-$60. A domain name is a unique name, which is included in the URL of your website, for instance, y-sbm.com, reddit.com, or forbes.com. You can purchase it from providers such as GoDaddy or Dreamhost. It is worth noting that this price can reach thousands of dollars if you want to buy a pre-owned domain name of a famous company.
4. Website hosting
On average, the cost of hosting is $25-$10,000 on a yearly basis. Hosting is a service that enables users to access your website on the internet. It affects page load speed and customer support in case of errors or crashes. For example, free hosting services rarely provide companies and individuals with technical support.
Let’s consider the different options you can choose from:
- Shared hosting. The price ranges from $25 to $120 per year. Here your platform is hosted on a server shared by other vendor’s customers. Although this option allows you to reduce the cost of creating a website, it may lead to decreased performance and lower content load speed.
- Website builder. Website builders such as Wix and Weebly provide hosting services with the price varying between $60 and $180 per year. This is a great way to cut the website development price for small businesses while brands and enterprises with a large online audience are likely to take advantage of the following hosting options.
- Virtual private server (VPS). The cost of a VPS is $240-600 per year. A VPS is a virtual machine provided as a hosting service. Clients have full access to the operating system (OS) instance being able to install almost any software that runs on it.
You are charged lower compared to using a physical server. However, since you share the server with other customers, performance may be decreased during peak loads.
- Dedicated hosting service. The price of a dedicated server ranges from $1200 to $24,000 annually. This is a type of internet hosting where the customer owns an entire server instead of sharing it with other companies.
As a result, the flexibility of dedicated hosting is better in comparison with other options. You have full control over the server with the possibility to choose an OS, hardware, etc.
The system performance will also be improved. If you choose this option the final website development cost will be higher but it is a must if you have over 100,000 unique website visitors per month.
If you’re cooperating with a custom website development agency, software experts can provide helpful recommendations on the best hosting option for your business.
5. SSL certificate
As a rule, the price ranges between $0 and $1,500 per year. The main objective of an SSL certificate is to protect your business and customers by securing the transfer of sensitive data. This includes contact information, credit card data, user names, etc. If your website has a valid certificate, the URL will be displayed with “http” or “https”.
While most companies provide paid SSL certificates, some vendors offer them free of charge. To increase data security and user credibility, we recommend you to choose the first, more reliable option. When purchasing an SSL, make sure it comes packed with enhanced protection (i.e., advanced encryption).
GoDaddy, Norton, and Comodo are some of the reliable SSL certificate providers we recommend.
6. Database integration
Depending on your business-specific requirements, you may need to add a third-party database to store user and enterprise data. It will also provide the client/your team with access to this information. Database integration requires developer expertise and a budget of $2,000-$25,000.
The level of complexity and customization are the main factors that affect the final price influencing the overall cost of making a website. Although a custom database is more expensive, it allows the company to resolve various bottlenecks faster and ensure a better user experience.
7. Content management system
When asking the question “How much does it cost to build a website for a business?”, you should consider the issue of adding a CMS. The integration of a content management system (CMS) generally costs between $2,000-$25,000 depending on the provider, functionality, support, etc. Even if you decide to employ a free CMS such as Magento, a web development studio will charge a fee for incorporating it.
A CMS is a platform that enables you and your employees—everyone whom you give access permissions—to easily edit the website information and create new posts, for example, blog articles or client reviews.
Without a CMS, software developers have to modify the code in order to make even minor updates. It is often very inconvenient, especially when you need to replace a business address or add new contact phone numbers. In most cases, you don’t have to teach your team how to use a CMS as it has an intuitive interface.
Take a look at some examples of trustworthy CMS platforms:
If you aim to build a custom website from scratch that will require frequent content updates, say, a blog, video streaming, or an e-commerce platform, we recommend you integrate a CMS.
8. Website maintenance costs
Website support and maintenance generally requires a budget from $200 to $1,250 per year. It involves numerous tasks such as CMS updates, customer ticket management, and error fixing. With ongoing system monitoring, you will be able to instantly resolve arising issues and prevent more severe problems.
This is why you should include it in your website development price. If online customers don’t encounter any glitches, bugs, decreased performance, and service failures, they will be completely satisfied and more loyal to your brand. To reduce the cost of creating a website, you can outsource software maintenance activities to an IT outsourcing company.
How to create a website from scratch
At YSBM Group, the website development process consists of the following stages:
- Analysis of the project goals and requirements;
- Preparation of a technical specification, wireframes, and content;
- Website design, including the development of a clickable prototype;
- Website development;
- Testing and debugging;
- Site deployment;
- Website support and maintenance.
There are 4 options to build a custom website from scratch: website builder, freelancers, an in-house team, a web design, or a software development outsourcing company. Here are 5 easy steps to build your e-commerce website.
1. Website builder
By choosing a website builder, you can significantly cut website development costs. Employing a quality and reliable solution, you can build your own web platform even without a technical background. Site builders provide a variety of templates, image upload functionality, and a wide choice of fonts, icons, and other elements.
However, they generally offer worse SEO (search engine optimization) capabilities, which results in lower Google rankings. Performance is also decreased in comparison with a written site. We recommend you to use this option if you need to make a simple landing page, or a personal blog, or a small web product.
Freelancers can be either one of the cheapest or most expensive options to build a website from scratch. Platforms such as Upwork and Fivver provide access to a pool of IT talents—designers, software engineers, testers—worldwide with a broad range of salaries, from $10 to $150 per hour.
Hiring freelancers, you can obtain skilled specialists at a reasonable price but be sure to check their reputation via client reviews and ratings. Keep in mind that the recruitment and onboarding can take a lot of time while a web development studio will quickly assemble the team tailored to your project requirements.
3. In-house developers
When assembling an in-house website development team, you look for candidates, interview them, recruit, and onboard them on your own. As a result, the final cost will be higher. Additionally, the project can start in a couple of months, which is not convenient when you aim to quickly deploy a website.
However, this option offers advantages such as improved communications—due to face-to-face collaboration in your office—and reduced risks to receive a product of poor quality in comparison with the previous options.
4. A website development outsourcing company
When choosing a custom website development agency located aboard, you can start your project much more quickly as you won't have to recruit and onboard employees on your own. You can also hire a vendor from a region with lower salaries, solid experience, and great reputation.
For instance, if your organization is located in the USA or UK, you can send it to Eastern Europe, which is distinguished by a pool of skilled specialists, quality IT education, and a high level of responsibility.
How to reduce website development costs
1. Create a technical specification
A technical specification is a description of software requirements that allows an IT service vendor to get a clear understanding of how the product should look and behave. This document will help you facilitate communications and make sure you are on the same page with a custom web development agency from the very beginning.
You should include the following points in a technical specification:
- The goal of your website;
- The target audience;
- A color scheme (you can provide a web development studio with examples of websites and color schemes that you enjoy and consider to be inappropriate for your project);
- The number of pages;
- Names of web pages, content for them;
- Your brand style guidelines, which can involve a logo, fonts, etc.;
- The number of users your website is intended to serve.
Certainly, software designers and engineers can prepare it on their own after clarifying your vision, goals, and business-specific needs. However, the more detailed your tech specification is, the faster the project will start. As a result, you will lower the price of building a website.
2. Turn to a website development outsourcing company
IT outsourcing is a practice of delegating software development tasks to a third-party provider located in another country. Since organizations can always contract with a vendor with lower wages, this approach is widely used to reduce the price of making a website.
Recently, it has become very popular due to high competition and great quality. In 2019, the global IT outsourcing market generated $66.5 billion (Statista).
Analysts at Clutch revealed that today companies are employing this method to increase efficiency (24%), receive recommendations and services from experts (18%), relieve the time of their own staff for other activities (15%), and optimize expenses (12%).
3. Start your custom website development with an MVP
An MVP, or a minimum viable product, is a software solution with the key functionality required to solve a certain user problem. Well-known companies such as Uber, Amazon, Uber, and Instagram began their path to success with MVP development.
Building an MVP, you add only the main features, collect user feedback, and analyze it to learn what and how you should improve. This approach will allow you to validate ideas, prove hypotheses, and improve time-to-market.
Say, you want to develop an e-commerce website with over 100 pages, an Artificial Intelligence-based chatbot, search of goods based on reviews and ratings, and a customer web portal. You can begin with incorporating basic functionality—user accounts, a catalog, data search, order status, tracking, shopping cart—and then gradually scale the system.
As a consequence, you:
- Reduce the cost of website development and maintenance.
- Don’t spend time on adding features that online consumers don’t need.
- Will understand how you should improve and extend the existing website.
4. Choose a reputable website development studio
Another way to reduce the final cost is to partner with a trusted provider of custom website development services. When cooperating with inexperienced freelancers or an unreliable IT service vendor, you risk losing money, receiving a product of poor quality, or not meeting deadlines. So, how do you find a reputable company?
Here is what you should do to hire a custom website development agency:
- Check out the portfolio of a potential IT service partner.
- Read client reviews and testimonials.
- Browse a web development studio on B2B platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, The Manifest, AppFutura, etc. Here you can read verified customer reviews and see the overall firm rating, for example, 4.5 out of 5.
- View ratings of the best companies in certain categories, for instance, “Best website development companies in Eastern Europe”, “Best website developers in Poland”.
It is always reasonable to request a consultation from a trusted IT service vendor and ask for project recommendations.
Frequently asked questions
- How much does it cost to develop a website from scratch?
On average, the cost of making a website is $10,000-$150,000.
- What factors affect the price of building your own website?
The final cost of website development depends on various factors, including project size, the complexity of the features, the number of web pages, the number of third-party integrations, and the type and region of an IT service provider.
- How much does website maintenance cost per month?
The price for website support and maintenance ranges between $35 and $5,000 per month.
- How much does a website maintenance cost per year?
As a rule, you need a budget of $420-$60,000 per year to update and enhance your website, conduct software health checkups, fix arising issues, etc.
- Is it possible to lower website development costs without losing quality?
Yes, it is absolutely possible! First, you should prepare a detailed technical specification, clarifying the project goals, the target audience, and software requirements. Second, begin by making a minimum viable product (MVP) to collect user feedback and understand customer needs and expectations.
Third, rely on a trusted IT service vendor. Finally, outsource website development to a region/country with lower salaries, for example, Eastern Europe, largely known for its skilled IT talents, field-specific expertise, and high level of responsibility.