How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
You have a business. You want to promote it online.
The first step to achieving online business success (whether you want to make sales online or attract buyers to your store), is building and maintaining a high-quality website.
The problem? Many business owners do not know what it takes to build a high-quality website that drives sales.
If you spend a little time researching, you will find that there are two major ways you can go about building your site.
The first way is by building a custom site, with a web development company (like Legend Web Works). These sites are unique and tailored to your needs. They can be built to include many features and come with a fixed cost and regular maintenance.
The second way is that you can use an open-source site like WordPress or Wix to build a site. These companies will claim that their sites are free to use, and you can save boatloads of money by building a site on their platform. The issue is that the truly free sites are barebones, are unlikely to appear on search engine results pages, and cost a lot on the back end to design, maintain, and update.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For most business owners, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. How much does it cost for each method of site-building and which option will bring the most money back?
In this post, we will break down the cost of each method of site-building and give you a rough idea of how much you should be budgeting for your business’s website.
How Do I Choose Between a Custom and an Open-Source Site?
Before we go any further, let’s be clear. Legend Web Works is a company that builds custom sites for other businesses. We operate using the first method listed in the section above. You pay a flat rate then we build your website, maintain it, and add any new features you might want.
Platforms like WordPress and Wix have their place (they are great for amateur portfolios for example), but for serious businesses that are trying to make money and want customers to find you on the web, they are lacking.
The biggest problem with open-source site builders is they advertise themselves as free, but the free versions lack visual appeal and are not SEO-friendly (meaning they are difficult to find using Google searches).
That means that with WordPress, you will have to pay for:
- Your domain
- A designer who has experience with WordPress (if you want your site to look good)
- A theme
- A developer or provider to maintain your plug-ins
- Other fees, depending on your specific needs or industry
In addition, your themes will regularly require updates, which will mean your site will experience some downtime and will be prone to crashing. Likewise, you are responsible for adding and updating your domain, SSL, hosting account, plug-ins, and more.
This can be costly and adds a great deal of responsibility to your plate.
Meanwhile, a custom site comes with a flat cost, is easily found online, has a unique theme, helps you grow your business, and is easy to expand on. Not to mention, you have developers on-hand to make any updates and get your website functioning if there is an issue.
Also included with your flat fee are extras like SSLs, plug-ins, domains, hosting, and more.
You can think of your website like a car. You can either lease your car from a company that claims the car is free, then tack on a dozen additional costs for each part, and if anything breaks it is up to you to fix it. Or you can get your car from a company that charges a flat fee, includes all the parts you need to drive and provides maintenance and insurance at no extra cost.
In the next section, we will look at the costs of a website built with an open-source platform, compared to the cost of a site built with a custom developer.
What Should My Business’s Website Budget Be?
Your website is your business’s online presence. Just like you would invest in a brick-and-mortar storefront, you will want to invest in a quality website.
Regardless of which route you take, if you want a high-quality website, it will cost between $2,000 and $10,000 for everything you need.
The specific cost depends on factors like your site’s size, functionality requirements, and how quickly you want to launch your site.
With a custom site builder, you will know the cost of building a site upfront, including your domain cost, SSL, hosting cost, plug-in costs, and more. With an open-source site, you will not know how much your site will cost until you have already spent your money (and you will be unsure of future costs, it depends on how many updates you need, and if your site runs into any bugs).
For both custom sites and open-source sites, the most expensive costs will be design and functionality, or how your site looks and what it can do.
There are many website builders out there that will promise a cheap price tag, but a lower cost will mean that you must invest more time into building and maintaining your site. For many business owners, they simply cannot afford to spend hours per day working on their site, and for that reason alone a custom site is more effective.
How to Decide Between an Open Source and Custom Website Builder
No two businesses' needs are the same. And because of that, no two business websites will look the same.
The most important thing is that you have a website that works for you.
However, if you want a website that goes beyond the barebones, is easily found on search engines, and want your site up and running if it encounters any bugs, a custom website is probably the best choice for you.
One thing is clear, you need a capable website to compete in the modern marketplace. Despite this, just 71% of small businesses have websites according to Zippia, yet 81% of shoppers research a business online before making a purchase.
If your small business needs a website that you can count on, you need to reach out to Legend Web Works.
Our team of seasoned web development professionals knows what it takes to build you a site that will make an impact.
If you want a site that saves you time and a team that never leaves you without support, then it is time to reach out to Legend Web Works today!
Satisfied with the Legend Web Works difference? Leave us a review here!