How Much Does it Cost to Make a Website?

How much does a website cost?
Illustration by Noam Weiner
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

If you’re starting your own business, there are lots of upfront costs to think about. Most of them are straightforward—office space, incorporation fees, and insurance, and even paper clips typically come with pretty clear price tags.

But it can be hard to nail down just how much a new website will cost, even though it’s one of the most important tools a small business can have. Design firms and developers rarely advertise a flat rate for a website, because each project is different. If you do your own research online, you’ll see articles estimating the cost at anywhere from a thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars in developer and design fees, not to mention added costs of domains, hosting, SEO consulting, logos and branding, marketing, and more.

It’s pretty amazing that the myth of the multi-thousand dollar website has persisted, since there are so many affordable options out there that will set you back less than $200 a year, and are actually easier and faster to use. In this post, we’ll talk about how much a website should really cost you (hint: it’s much less than you probably think).

Bring your business online with Jimdo.

DIY websites are getting cheaper and easier

Let’s travel back in time 10 years. Or even five years. Back then, it was totally normal to pay an agency big bucks to build even a simple website. Most people don’t know how to code or design themselves, so of course, you’d need a pro to do it for you, right?

Or you could go the cheaper DIY route, but it would be a painstaking process with mediocre results. By the time you were done, you probably wished you hired a professional in the first place.

Fortunately, times have changed. DIY website builders have become easier to use, and they deliver better results than ever. Best of all, they typically cost a low monthly fee that’s less than what you’d pay to go to lunch. Not bad for a service that can single-handedly put your business on the map.

Why are professionally designed websites so expensive?

First, it’s important to note that many web designers and developers do really wonderful work. For some complex websites that require a lot of customization, it helps to have a professional in your corner, and it can be worth the money.

The costs make less and less sense, though, when you start talking about an “average” website. Most small business websites only need a few pages of information. And as we all know, a simple design is actually the most effective. Putting all of these factors together, you can see that in most cases, a DIY website builder is the best and most affordable option.

Yet many small businesses have paid thousands of dollars for a professionally-designed website that isn’t much different from what they could have created themselves with an online website builder.

For example, Digital.com estimates that a basic informational website with very little customization, fewer than 20 pages, a couple of stock photos, and “no unique functionality” will set you back $2,000-$8,000 if done professionally….which is pretty amazing since you can get the exact same thing with a DIY website builder for less than a tenth of that cost.

Why do people keep paying that amount of money when there are cheaper options available? Lots of entrepreneurs think they don’t have the time, or think they might need to learn new coding skills or think the results might not be very professional or trustworthy if they do it themselves. “I don’t know a thing about web design,” you might hear them say. There are also a lot of agencies out there who try to make website building and design sound more complicated than it is, so that you think you can’t do it yourself and that you need to hire a pro.

What does a DIY website cost, and what does it include?

Plans and packages vary by website builder, but you will typically pay $10-$50/mo to use the service. The nice thing is that this cost usually includes a custom domain, hosting, security, support, and other things that would cost extra if you hired a design agency.

For example, Jimdo website plans start at less than $10/mo, with additional premium options for online stores and advanced websites.

Bring your business online with Jimdo.

What kinds of websites are there? What’s the cost and effort?

The kind of website you choose will determine how much it costs and the level of effort involved. You might only need a very simple online presence for your business. With just a few pages, this can be a relatively inexpensive and quick website to put together. An online store that integrates different product pages, shipping and up-to-date legal information is going to require a bit more time to set up. That’s not to say making a website has to be complicated. But knowing what kind of website you want will help you figure out the work that lies ahead of you.

The most important types of websites to know

There are so many different kinds of websites out there it can be hard to know where to start if you are creating one for the first time. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the important. Here are some of the most popular websites for first-time website builders:

Business website 

These days just about every business is expected to have a website. Not only does it help potential customers, partners or investors find your business and learn more about it, it adds an important degree of legitimacy and trust. 

Also known as a corporate website, this is a website that represents your business. It should promote your brand and explain what products or services your business offers. A business website also contains practical information such as your contact details and company history.

Level of effort: Medium

Cost: Jimdo plans for business websites start at $15 per month

Online store

Also known as an eCommerce website, this is a website where people can buy products or services directly from your business. A successful online store will reflect your business brand, be easy to navigate, and simple to use. Customers should be able to filter products by categories, enter payment information and select their preferred shipping method, for example.

When creating an online store, it’s important to consider how you want to set up your product pages (this includes both the product images and product descriptions) and what kind of legal disclaimers you might need.

Level of effort: High

Cost: Jimdo plans for online stores start at $15 per month

Blog

A blog is a website that’s regularly updated with articles, photos and videos. More akin to a magazine, it is often focused on a specific topic and can be simple in design. That’s why the cost is low (in many cases you can create a blog for free). However, the most successful blogs always need new content, so there can be some effort involved in writing fresh posts on a regular basis.

If you run a small business or are self-employed, blogs can also be an important tool for building visibility. Companies large and small use blogs for marketing purposes. A blog that offers useful and interesting content focused on the same topics as your business will help attract new visitors (and even potential customers). It builds credibility and keeps your audience engaged.

Level of effort: Medium

Cost: With Jimdo you can create a blog for free

Landing page

A landing page is a single website page that’s used for marketing purposes. Visitors who “land” on this kind of website will be shown a call to action (CTA) that invites them to do something very specific, e.g. sign up for a newsletter or redeem a coupon. A landing page is supposed to be simple and to the point. It helps “funnel” a user on a very specific customer journey. Oftentimes businesses will have many landing pages, each designed around a specific marketing campaign or product.

Level of effort: Low

Cost: Jimdo’s basic website plans start at $9 per month

Bring your business online with Jimdo.

Other website types that are good to know:

These are some of the other most popular types of websites. They are more specific to a particular industry or topic.

Portfolio website

A portfolio website is designed to show examples of your work. These websites are an important tool for freelancers and creative professionals such as designers to showcase the services they provide. A portfolio website is simpler than a business website because it’s designed specifically for hosting work samples. Because they are visually-focused, there is often less text and fewer pages, which means they are easier for you to create. 

Music website

A music website is a website that features and promotes the work of individual musicians or bands. In addition to promoting the music itself, this kind of website also showcases your brand, helps you book events and provides informative content such as bios or photos. A music website also gives you the option of setting up a store to sell your merchandise (think albums and swag). 

Coaching website

Coaching websites help coaches share their knowledge and expertise. A good coaching website will allow visitors to directly purchase products or book sessions, for example. They also contain important information such as “contact” and “about” sections. These kinds of websites fill an important marketing role as the online “storefront” for your coaching business.

Photography website

Being an expert in photography doesn’t always translate to web design skills. Luckily, setting up a photography website can be pretty straightforward. At its core, a photography website is a demonstration of the work you do–much like a portfolio website. It tells future clients what they can expect and establishes your brand. The photographs are at the forefront, which is why choosing the right images for your website is so important.

Wedding website

Websites are an increasingly important part of the wedding process these days. Wedding websites contain important resources for guests, including schedules, transportation information, dress code, and the registry. They often also include heartwarming details about the bride and groom and spaces for guests to send their well wishes. Wedding websites can serve as a networking resource for attendees, with details about activities in the area for those traveling from out of town. They also allow guests to RSVP to the big day through the contact form.

Resume website

Personal websites for job seekers–often called resume websites–are a vital tool for staying competitive in the job market. These resume websites showcase your strengths, work experience, and career highlights to hiring managers. They can often be as simple as a single web page, containing your resume and contact information. In a more expanded form, resume websites can include your work portfolio, testimonials or press coverage, photographs and other biographical details, and links to your social media profiles. 

But what if I have no technical or design skills? Isn’t it worth it to pay a pro to do this?

Professional designers can build great websites. The problem is after they’re done, you’re on your own. If you don’t know how to do any of the behind-the-scenes stuff on your website, you’ll be at the mercy of an agency or pro with a high hourly rate every time you want to change your hours or update your information. That’s not a sustainable option in the long run.

That’s why the best way to tackle a small business website is to do it yourself. That way you learn the system and you’re empowered to make any changes you need yourself, without anyone else acting as a gatekeeper.

What’s even better is that an AI-driven website builder like Jimdo takes a lot of the guesswork out of the design and building stages. When you sign up, it will guide you through some questions and essentially build the website for you based on what you need and what your industry is—and it will do this all in just a few minutes. No weeks of meetings and back-and-forth with an agency.

Conclusion

Starting and running a small business includes a lot of intimidating up-front costs. But building a website shouldn’t have to be one of those. If you’re considering spending thousands of dollars on a custom-built site, we hope we’ve convinced you to reconsider and explore a DIY option first. A website builder like Jimdo Dolphin will deliver a beautiful, professional-looking design with all the pieces you need, for substantially less money. And you will love the results.

Bring your business online with Jimdo.

FAQs about website costs

How much does a website cost?

An average website with just a few pages of information can be created with a DIY website builder for as little as $10-$20 a month. A professionally designed website can cost as much as $2,000-$8,000.

How do you calculate the cost of a website?

There are a number of factors to consider when calculating the cost of a website. Ultimately it comes down to how complicated it is. A simple design with fewer pages and no customization can cost as little as $10-$20 per month. The cost of a website goes up as you add more design customization and features. If using a professional website designer, a website can cost thousands of dollars.

How much do freelance web developers cost?

Digital.com estimates that a basic informational website with very little customization, fewer than 20 pages, a couple of stock photos, and “no unique functionality” will set you back $2,000-$8,000 if done professionally.

Is it free to have a website?

Yes! You can create a free website using Jimdo’s Dolphin website creator. You can select from a range of website designs and images. You only have to pay when you want to add premium features, such as connecting your own domain or email address.

Can I build my own website?

Yes! Creating your own website is fast and easy with Jimdo’s Dolphin website creator. The AI-driven software takes a lot of the guesswork out of the design and building phases. DIY website builders in general are getting easier to use every year and are delivering better results than ever. Best of all, they only cost a low monthly fee.

Jimdo
The Jimdo blog is made for all entrepreneurs—everyone with their own idea or project. Here you will find interesting information about founders and start-ups, current trends and exciting stories from other Jimdo users as well as great website tips on design, shop, SEO and more.
Matching Product

Jimdo Website