How Much Should a Website Cost in 2023 (The truth)?

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When you ask the question “how much should a website cost?” It’s like asking “how much should a house cost?”

The answer to that question will vary with each individual needs and preferences.

So for a house, you’ll consider what location to build, what materials to use, how many bedrooms, and so on. Just like you’ll consider on what platform to build your website, what type of website hosting and which hosting provider to use, as well as how many pages your website should have.

However, one thing you have to bear in mind is that the cost of building a website today has become considerably lower than it was years ago.

For businesses, leveraging the web has become a key strategy for growth. Even if you consider your business as primarily a brick and mortar enterprise, you still need to consider building a website.

In the 2020s, a website is one of the most important assets your brand could have, after your domain name. With it, you can build brand awareness and establish your online credibility, never mind the businesses you could generate online.

It is difficult to disagree that every business needs a website, according to this article from Forbes. But in considering whether to build a website or not, one important question business owners are asking is, “how much should a website cost?

Because as a business, cost is a very important consideration in carrying out any project. Business owners need to plan and budget for these things.

Now, speaking of budgeting, there are costs of building a website that you can’t avoid. For example, before you even consider building a website, you must pay for:

After these two, it is important to carefully consider how much you’re willing to spend on other things. These considerations will then determine which approach you’re going to take to build your website.

There are two approaches anyone can take to build a website. For the purpose of this article, I will like to consider building a website from those two different angles;

  1. DIY (Building a website on your own)
  2. Hiring a professional

Of course, the cost of building your website will be significantly lower if you’re doing it yourself, than if you’re hiring someone to do it for you. But don’t let cost be your only consideration.

You must consider the image and reputation you want to create for your business.

If you end up with a poorly built website because you did it yourself, you might just be shooting yourself on the foot without realizing it.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website On Your Own?

If you’re choosing to go the DIY route, there are two ways you can build a website on your own.

Let us examine both options closely.

How Much Does a Website Cost Using a Website Builder?

how much should a website cost using website builders

Using a website builder is one of the most cost-efficient ways to create a website. Even non-techies can create a website in no time with a website builder, and it is recommended if you need to quickly setup a website.

The most common uses for website builders are for creating one-page, simple portfolio or personal websites. I strongly urge you to reconsider if what you’re building is something like an e-commerce shop or something more advanced. If that is the case, you might want to go for a website builder specifically built for ecommerce, like Shopify.

Website BuilderCost
Shopify$39 – $
Hostinger Website Builder$
Jimdo$9 – $
Weebly$9 – $

With the website builders, you will not be needing to pay for hosting and security, as these costs will most likely be part of your monthly subscription.

If you’ll be needing to add extra functionality to your website, you might need to use Apps. There are free and premium ones. These should cost between $0 – $25 or more.

Most website builders come with free themes, but you may be able to buy some premium options too if you can’t find any free theme that fits your style. Premium themes should range from $30 – $70.

There are free website builders like But due to limited features and customization options, these are not the best for any serious business person.

With a free website builder;

  • You will not get a custom domain name
  • You’ll have little to no customer support, and..
  • You might get ads displayed on your website.

It’s best to pay for a higher tier subscription that will give you access to better features and customization. That way, you’ll end up with a more functional and more professional-looking website.

There are a lot more features to consider when choosing a website builder and we can’t talk about all of them here.

Website Builders – Other Costs to Consider

As already mentioned, besides your monthly subscription, other costs to consider in using a website builder are:


Most website builders have great templates for building your dream website. But their best templates are usually paid for. If you’re going to get a great looking site, you might consider buying a premium template. The free options might work for you though.

Custom Domain

Most website builders will usually start you off with a ‘free’ domain name, but this will only be free for 1 year. After the first year, you’re expected to renew your domain name for around $12 – $15 depending on which website builder you’re using.


If you’ll require extra functionality, like marketing solutions or more security features, you’ll get all that using apps/plugins. Apps might just cost you around $10 – $50.

Total cost of using website builders: $200 – $500 per year.

Website Builders – Are They Worth Your Money?

The quality of the final website you build will depend a lot on the website builder you choose. You will create a truly outstanding website if you choose the right website builder.

In the same vein, your website will look shoddy and poorly-made if you choose the wrong website builder. It depends on you.

If you will spend a little extra dime to pay for the best website builders out there, you will be getting good value for your money.

Instead of going for lower-rated options like 1&1 IONOS or SiteBuilder, you will get better value for your money if you go for website builders like Jimdo, Hostinger or Weebly.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website on WordPress?

How much should a website cost using wordpress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS). When a software is open-source, it means you have more freedom to do anything you like with it. I will recommend the use of WordPress only if:

  • You have a bit more technical knowledge
  • You want more flexibility, freedom and customisation options.
  • You’re trying to build a business website, blog or larger websites.

It is really difficult to predict the cost of a WordPress website. For starters, the platform (CMS) itself is free to use. There’s so much liberty in what you can do with WordPress, that the cost really boils down to how complex or simple you want your WordPress website to be.

If you’re looking to go cheap, you can simply download WordPress, use one of it’s many free themes and plugins and only pay for hosting, and security.

But if you require the best of WordPress, you might need to spend a bit more money to buy a premium theme, use paid plugins and apps, pay for better website hosting and security.

Typical Costs Associated With Building A WordPress Website

Installing WordPress/Monthly Subscription

WordPress is free to install and use and there are no monthly subscriptions to pay. So, cost is $0.


If you want your WordPress website to look beautiful, you might require a premium theme. Theme marketplaces like StudioPress, Themeforest and ElegantThemes have a plethora of high quality themes to get you started. Overall, you should expect to pay between $5 – $80 for a premium theme. This is usually a one-time cost.

Plugins (Apps)

Most WordPress plugins are free, but to increase their features and functionality, you might need to pay a premium. The more functions and features you get, the higher the prices, usually.


You can’t get the world to see your website without hosting. For a fee of around $2.95 – $50 per month, you can get your website hosted. Note that many web hosts will require you to pay an annual fee, so make your mind up for that. Hosting can be the difference between the success and failure of your online business, and if you’re looking to succeed, you need the best web hosting that will give you up to 99.9% up-time guarantee. Bluehost, WP Engine, LiquidWeb, InMotion Hosting and Hostinger are some of the best web hosts.


Most hosting plans come built in with security. But you need to install additional security features, like SSL certificates, especially if you’re running an e-commerce store. For additional security, you should expect to pay between $0 – $200 per year.

Professional help

Here, you will not be needing professional help since you decided to go the DIY route. So I will assume that you already know your way around WordPress before deciding to build your website on the platform. But if I must talk about it here, you will be shelling out $70 – $150 per hour to hire a professional, especially if the person is a WordPress developer and if you require some customization.


How Much Should a WordPress Website Cost?

The true cost of a WordPress website will depend on your needs. But is can range from as low as $100 to as high as $500, $2,000 or even $30,000 or more.

It’s important to know what type of website you are building, and what you’ll need for it because that will directly affect your cost.

About building websites on your own, we have covered the cost of building a website using website builders and the cost using WordPress. But what if you want to outsource the whole website building project to a professional website designer?

How Much Does it cost to Hire a Professional Web Designer?

You might be wondering if it is a smart idea to hire a professional web designer for your website design project. Will it cost you too much money? Does your business have enough budget for that? What will be the overall impact on your business? Will this web design project help you achieve your overall business marketing goals?

How much should a web designer charge?

How much a web designer will charge you will depend on some factors like;

  • The designer’s skill-set
  • How much time and effort will go into completing your project

The Designer’s Skill-set:

For starters, a premium web design freelancer or agency will charge you premium price. You should expect to pay any where from $75/hr to $150/hr. Some professional website designers will charge you a one-off fee of around $5000 – $10,000. Web design professionals who command higher prices do so based on their skill-set and experience.

How Much Time And Effort Will Go Into Completing Your Project:

As mentioned earlier, one of the main determinants of how much a web designer will charge you for a design work is how much time and effort he thinks he will expend on your project.

But what determines how much time and effort will go into your project? The list below is an indicator of just how much time and effort might be needed to complete your project;

  • The complexity of your website
  • The features you want included
  • The number of web pages
  • If ecommerce features are included
  • Ongoing maintenance fees
  • Hosting and security
  • Support
  • If you’re using a premade template that the web designer will just customize.
  • If you want your website designed from scratch

This list is not exhaustive in itself. There could be other considerations that each individual web designer will have that is not listed here. But you get the point.

Depending on the complexity of your web design project, hiring a professional website designer or a web design agency could set your business off between $5,000 to $30,000 or more.

If you want to reduce this amount, you can buy a premium WordPress theme and then ask the web designer to customize it for you.  This way, the web designer will not be designing from scratch.

The most expensive websites are those that are built from scratch, with custom themes, features and customization. If you want to keep costs down, you can talk to your web designer to build only the pages you consider as important, including only features you will need over time.

Going to marketplaces like Fiverr or UpWork to hire cheap web designers might end up hurting your project. Most of those designers are not vetted and at the end of the day, you may not get value for your money.

Should I Pay Someone to Design My Website?

Honestly, you’re the only one that can answer that question.

Having considered all the costs outlined above, and your own individual tech skills, the only other question that remains to be asked is, “is hiring a professional web designer worth the cost?” To help you determine whether to go the DIY route or to hire someone to build your website, ask yourself these questions;

  • Do you have the time to design your own website? This is not a trivial task.
  • Do you have the skills required to implement the principles of web design? Your website needs this.
  • Do you have the ability to create all the needed elements of a great website, like content and images that are engaging and appropriate to carry your brand online?
  • What will be the impact on other important tasks you need to accomplish for your business if you design your own website?

Answering these questions will help you determine the best way for you to design your website while also accomplishing your business goals.


The cost of building a website is not a one-size-fits-all, as there are a lot of considerations, and what works for one website, might not work for the other. Deciding to build your website on your own using website builders or WordPress might be cost effective, but counter-productive for your business if you end up with a shoddy website. While hiring a web design professional can offer you a very good website but at a premium.

To balance things, take time to outline all the costs you will incur if you choose to to do it yourself (use my guide above to help you with that). Then get a personalized web design quote (according to your individual needs) from a web design professional or freelancer. As much as possible, try to remove what you don’t need at the moment to bring down the cost. Try to justify the final quote with your business needs and objectives and see if it makes any business sense.

Whatever you choose to do at the end will depend on how much money and time you’re willing to trade for your website design project.

If you have the time and technical skills to build your own website, then by all means, go DIY. But if not, consider outsourcing it to a website design professional.

Disclosure: This article contain some affiliate links and I may be compensated by the vendors when you make a purchase through the links on this page. This is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my Privacy Policy page.

Dienye Diri
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Last Update: September 10, 2023 by Dienye Diri

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