It’s a simple question, so why is it that so many web designers refuse to answer without a full quote process and an hour-long phone call? And why do the estimates vary so widely?
Let’s break it down simply, but first it’s important to know why all the hesitancy.
The average cost of a website in 2022 is around $3000 (or in the range of $3000 – $5000). I’ve also listed costs for typical types of websites further down. But be warned, these are very general averages. Your website’s cost probably won’t be any of these numbers.
Well, let me explain with a quick example from history.
In the early 20th century, an ‘average human figure’ was modelled by French doctor Paul Richer. It was found by measuring the body parts of a large population of subjects, calculating the average for each measurement, and constructing models based on them.
It was used over the next half-century to diagnose health conditions in patients, by comparing their bodies to the model’s measurements. But it wasn’t accurate and many people were misdiagnosed when they were completely healthy.
The reason? We are all very unique – Not one of us is an ‘average’ human.
The same can be said about websites.
To be worth building, every website needs to be designed for a specific audience and situation, and often targets a specific result. Each website therefore has its very own, specific design needs, content and features.
So, to avoid:
(1) ripping you off by charging too much, and:
(2) ripping themselves off by charging to little;
most developers like to have a detailed understanding of the purpose of your website and make a unique quote for your unique website.
But that’s not all to consider. Apart from the cost of a web developer’s time, there are also ongoing costs just to keep your website breathing and live on the web:
Every website on the internet is made of a bunch of files (images, text, videos, etc.) that is stored on a special computer connected to the web, called a web server. Web hosts are businesses that rent out storage space on their servers, and this service is called web hosting.
This is required for your website to be viewable on the web, and costs on average $10 – $20 per month (~$180/year). Better web hosting packages that provide more storage space, and allow your website to load faster, will cost more.
A domain is your website’s address. Mine is powerdigitalweb.com.au, which I think is pretty neat. You can choose your own (as long as it’s not already taken), but you must register it with a business that is a domain registrar.
The cost for registering a domain is usually around $15 – $20 per year.
Some clients may ask for their website to be built on a particular platform so they can look after it themselves in the future, such as Wix, Shopify, Square or SquareSpace. Using these platforms have a monthly cost (usually $15 – $25 per month), although they mean you don’t have to also fork out for web hosting.
There are free platforms such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal as well, so this is something to consider.
It is easy to tell a website that hasn’t had any recent TLC, and visitors will quickly wonder what’s happened to you. Keep your website up-to-date with its content and security, will make sure it’s worthwhile being there.
You can do this yourself, or engage a developer to do it for you regularly. The cost is usually included in support packages and around $100 – $200 a month (depending on how regular you need your content updated).
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of configuring your website to appear as high as possible in relevant search results. Okay, this is probably not strictly relevant to personal sites and blogs.
For everyone else, the first three results on Google get 54.4% of the clicks. Positions 5 – 10 get around 2-5% of clicks each, and for anything lower than that it’s slim pickings. Very best of luck if you’re on Page 2.
Of course, showing up in the non-ad search engine results (called organic results) is not the only way to acquire traffic to your site, but with 53% of traffic coming from organic searches, it’s your best bet to get at least some basic SEO for your website.
The common perception is that SEO is one-off job and then continues working evermore. The issue with that, is that competing websites and businesses are constantly trying to out-optimise you and you will find your website slowly creeping down the search results over time. Google and other search engines also like to shake things up, by routinely realeasing updates to improve their performances (or maybe just to be a pain in the butt, who can tell?).
Regardless, SEO is an ongoing job in order to keep your position in search results, and an average cost between $500 – $1000 per month for a small-medium website (no including Google Ads costs).
Hope for the best and plan for the worst… If you think you might run into strife with anything to do with your website, you can pay for ongoing support from a web developer or agency (it is often a 24 / 7 service). The average is around $300 – $500 a month.
Okay, now for some detailed cost estimates for different types and sizes of websites. These figures are based on my own pricing and research of other web developers, but remember they are averages.
For the aforementioned reasons, you should always get an accurate quote before engaging a professional. Also, you will notice I use the terms informative and e-commerce below. Here’s what they mean:
Informative: A website just containing content (text, images, videos, etc.) about you or your business. They are usually designed to get customers to contact you, ask for a quote or subscribe to a mailing list.
E-Commerce: A website that allows customers to buy items or services through your website.
|Website Type||Avg. Cost|
|One-Page Website Usually a informational personal site (e.g. an online resume) or for a sole trader. It usually has one page split into different sections and a contact form.||$300 – $500|
|Simple Website (the Slap-Bang version) Some developers offer 1-3 page websites that are equivalent to a digital brochure. They are for when you just need an web presence and that’s it. For most customers, I would recommend paying a bit more to get something less rough around the edges.||$300 – $500|
|Simple Website (the Good version) 1 -5 page informative websites that usually have a Home, About, Services/Portfolio and Contact pages. Good for sole traders, individuals and small businesses where the site’s purpose is to get visitors to contact them or subscribe to newsletters.||$900 – $1200|
|Medium-Sized Business Website An informative website usually ~10 pages in size, with several pages explaining products and services. They usually have a Contact Page, interactive forms and videos, but there intent is still for the visitor to send an enquiry.||$3000 – $5000|
|E-Commerce Site (E-Store) Like the above, but includes an online store where customers can select and pay for your products.||$6000 – $8000|
|Custom-Designed Business Website Informative and/or E-Commerce, or website with up to 15 pages. Like above, but usually when a developer designs every detail of the layout from scratch without the help of pre-made website templates. It is designed specifically to maximise the effectiveness of your website for your particular audience.||$10,000 – $15,000|
|Large Custom-Designed Business Website Large Business Websites with features such as E-Commerce, member logins and dashboards, booking systems and other interactive features. Usually contains 30 – 50 pages of content. This is the very cheap end of this scale.||$15,000 – $25,000|
|Very Large Custom-Designed Websites and Applications Most business websites requiring multiple custom features and designs fit in this category. Simpler web applications (fully interactive online software) also fit in here. They may have 100+ pages of content.||$50,000 – $80,000|
Larger sites take more time and cost more to build. Depending on the length and design of the page, a good guide is that each extra webpage added will cost $90 – $100 to build.
Adding E-Commerce to a website usually adds $1000 – $2000 to the design cost. Features such as booking systems, member dashboards and content will add approximately $2000 – $3000.
1-2 revisions of your website are customary when you pay for a web design. This means the developer will give you an opportunity to give feedback changes to the design. After that, each revision can add an extra $200 – $300 to the cost. If you require a significant change, such as adding more pages or features, you may receive a new quote for the additional work.
Note: Developers tend to get their pants in a twist if a client changes the design halfway through, especially if it means undoing work already done. Try not to be that client.
Some features added to your website (e.g. verification code systems, calendar booking systems) have ongoing fees and subscriptions costs, which a developer will include in their fees.
A lot of developers (including yours truly) write content for your website for you, as long as you give them some basic info to work with. Keep in mind that this can double the cost of web design due to the extra time involved.
If you wish to manage your website yourself, website developers can give you simple guides and tutorials sessions on how to do just that. You may be charged an hourly rate ($60 – $100) for the time involved, but some web devs offer it for free.
Although, an average website in 2022 costs around $3000, it is better to get exact quotes from web developers and go with a price and developer you like.
As annoying as that process can be, most developers will get back to you the same day and it you might find your particular website isn’t as expensive as you imagined.