There are hundreds of millions of websites online, and setting up each of them cost money. That initial investment can vary widely, however. Therefore, it’s difficult to know what the ‘right’ price will be (or if there even is one).
There’s no universal set cost for creating a website. However, since we’ve been around the block a few times, we can help you estimate what investment a professional website should require. This will depend on several factors, such as your web host and how you decide to build your site.
In this article, we’re going to start out by talking about how much domain registration and web hosting cost. Then we’ll help you estimate how much you’ll need to spend to build a website versus paying someone else to do it for you. Let’s crunch some numbers!
The Costs of Domain Registration and Web Hosting
The first two things every website needs are a domain and web hosting. The former enables people to find your site on the web more quickly, and the latter provides a ‘home’ for your site. Fortunately, both domain registration and web hosting start off relatively cheap. For example, .com domains can cost as little as $8. In some cases, web hosting providers will give you a domain name for free if you pay for a year of hosting – or more – in advance.
Overall, most domain names are relatively inexpensive, although some specialty Top-Level Domains (TLDs) such as .io can be more costly
As for hosting, shared plans are remarkably affordable. That means if you intend to host a simple personal website, you only need a small budget to get started. However, as your needs grow, so do prices for the plans you might require. For example, Virtual Private Servers (VPSs) and cloud hosting plans tend to be much more expensive than shared tiers. The same goes for dedicated hosting, which can cost hundreds of dollars per month depending on your needs. Most people don’t need anything as powerful as a dedicated server of their own. However, the option is there if your site grows larger or faster than you expect.
With the above information in mind, you can expect to spend as little as $12-20 for your first .com domain and one month of shared hosting. If you’re looking to get a little more value, however, you can find a sweet spot between performance and costs using starter VPS plans, which cost $14.98 per month on average.
The Price of Building Your Website
Once you have your web host and domain ready, the next step is to start creating your site. This is where things can get really expensive. You have two options – build the site yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Let’s break down the pros and cons for each choice:
- Building the website on your own. This is the best option if you want to save money and get the most control. However, it will take time to get everything right. Plus, you may need some experience to pull it off successfully (unless your site is very basic).
- Paying someone else to do the work for you. This is the most efficient option if you have the budget for it, as well as the patience to find the right person for the job. In exchange for a higher initial investment, you get access to more experience and technical know-how.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a developer or a designer to do the work on your own. There are plenty of platforms that make setting up a website remarkably easy, even for newbies. WordPress is an excellent example of such a platform. Setting it up is free, and you can find free and premium themes that provide you with the tools you need to build complex websites quickly.
There are also plenty of ‘page-building’ WordPress plugins that you can use with a lot of modern themes. These tools enable you to build websites by placing pre-built modules and arranging them in any way you want. This means you can create a unique look and add valuable features without any coding knowledge.
In most cases, the only costs to building a website yourself using a platform such as WordPress come from premium themes and plugins. A quick look at ThemeForest reveals that its top ten premium themes average $54.2 for a single-site license, whereas plugins cost much less.
As you can imagine, those costs pale in comparison to hiring a professional to do the work for you. You can often find cheap labor using platforms such as Fiverr. However, those types of marketplaces are akin to rolling the dice. You’re better off investing more money to get better results. To give you an idea of what you can expect to spend, here’s what freelance professional web developer and designers charge on average:
- Web developers: $32.2 per hour.
- Web designers: $29.9 per hour.
Keep in mind that these are just averages. We calculated them by taking a look at the top ten freelancers for both fields using PeoplePerHour. As you can imagine, creating a website takes more than a couple of hours. You might end up spending thousands of dollars, depending on how complex your project is. This is an option for people who have the budget and patience to deal with freelancers, and who are looking for quicker and more professional results.
Creating a professional website costs money. There’s no way around this fact, but it doesn’t mean you need to spend more money than necessary. Knowing what domain registration and web hosting cost on average, for example, can help you save a lot of money over the long term.
For example, $15-20 seems to be a sweet spot between performance and savings when it comes to web hosting for modest websites. Domain registration prices also vary depending on your provider, but you can get quality URLs for cheap using our service. After that, it all comes down to whether you want to create the website yourself, which will keep your costs down, or hire someone else to do it for you, which can cost a lot of money but provide better (and quicker) results.
Do you have any questions about how much it costs to create a website? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.