The Cost to Develop a Website

If you’ve ever considered developing a website, you might have felt overwhelmed by the potential costs. Creating a website can vary a lot in price depending on how you choose to build it. There are two main routes to developing a website. One option is to hire a custom website designer. Unfortunately, these designers can be pretty costly. If you’re not able to spend a lot on creating your website, a website builder may be your best option. These are businesses that provide you with tools to create a website for a monthly fee. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between these two options and the costs associated with each. 

custom website design

Custom Website Design

There are different ways to create a website. If you’re looking to have a unique website and are willing to spend a lot of money on it, hiring a web designer can be a great way to develop your website. 

What Is a Web Designer?

A web designer, also known as a web developer, is a professional with a lot of IT knowledge that they use to create a website from scratch. Since they are starting a website from the ground up, they have a lot of freedom in what your website may look like. Even though they are different, a web designer may also have graphic design knowledge which can enhance the overall look of your website. 

A good web designer will work with you to include all of the features necessary for your website to run efficiently. For example, if you’re developing a website for a business, you will need a very different layout than a website that will serve as a blog or portfolio. The right web designer for you should fit within your budget while still being able to provide a functional website. They should also consider how you might want your website to change over time. Once you know what you’re looking for in a web designer, you can find one through a variety of websites like Upwork or Fiverr. 

Why You Might Want a Custom Web Designer

Hiring a custom web designer can be great for anyone looking for a great, unique website. Since you’re hiring the designer directly to develop your website, you’re also able to have a lot of direct input on their creative process. This means that you can communicate with your web designer to ensure your website has all of the features you’re looking for. Additionally, they can offer more creative freedom for the overall look of your website than website builders. This means that you and your website designer can create a website that is consistent with your or your company’s brand. Hiring a web developer is great for anyone who might not have the technological knowledge to create their own website but wants something more developed than a predesigned website builder. 

website design cost

Additional Costs

A custom website from a web designer might require some maintenance and upkeep that one from a website builder might not. Both routes for creating a website will involve registering a domain name with a domain registrar like Additionally, creating a website from scratch will involve finding a “host” for it. A website host is how your website will be able to exist on the internet. If you think of your website as a physical building, the website host is similar to renting the land it will sit on. They are what allows your website to be accessed by others online by hosting it on the internet. Typically this involves hosting it on servers as well. These can cost between $10 to $100, depending on how much traffic your website receives. 

Once your website is finished being developed, it may require a content management system which is often abbreviated to CMS. A CMS gives you the ability to manage and edit your website without having to contact your original web designer. This gives you, or your employees, control over your website as it grows and changes without having to learn any coding yourself. While these can cost as little as $30 a month, some fancier systems are upwards of $1,000. Be careful not to forget any of these features when hiring a web developer since they are often included with website builders and might be overlooked.

Website Design Cost

The cost of a professional web developer can range greatly based on the needs of your website. On the lower range, some web designers may charge as little as $500 to create your website. Others may charge upwards of $10,000. Depending on how large and complicated you want your website to be, it could cost as much as $40,000 for all the bells and whistles. While many web designers charge a flat fee for a website, it is still possible that they might charge based on an hourly rate. The hourly rate for a web designer is about $60 to $75 on average. While these rates reflect the average website design costs, different types of websites can raise the price significantly.

Costs By Type of Website

The type of website is one of the most important factors affecting the cost of custom website design. Are you looking to create a website for a small business or a large, international e-commerce site? Will you have thousands of daily visitors or one every couple of days? All of these affect how much creating your website will cost when all is said and done. Unsurprisingly, the more complicated your website is, the more features it will require, and the more expensive it will be. 

A typical website for a small business starts at around $2,000 but can cost as much as $8,000. A medium-sized business’s website can range anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. Developing a website for a large business can get pretty expensive, possibly reaching over $100,000. Businesses require certain features to function which raises the prices significantly. Other types of websites like blogs might be more simple. For small or simple websites, it might be more cost-effective to use a website builder rather than a professional web designer.

how much does it cost to develop a website

Small Business Website Builder

A website builder is a company that provides users with the tools to create a website without having to build it entirely from scratch. Many of these websites include everything you could need to get your website started. They are a great resource for anyone looking to start their business as soon as possible. 

Since they aren’t being coded from scratch, sites created through website builders might not take as long to build. Therefore, it won’t cost as much to develop your website. Since many of these subscriptions include a variety of services, they may be faster simply because you can find all of your website’s needs in one location. While a website builder can be used to create different types of websites, their services are typically aimed at small businesses. 

Small businesses may not be able to afford custom website design from a professional, but they still need to be able to run and promote their business online. Luckily, website builders give small businesses the ability to create a website on a budget. 


Small business website builders are a great option without having to break the bank. The price of a website builder varies based on the company as well as what services you choose. Most website builders offer different monthly subscriptions at different tiers. Some, like, are even free. 

Some of the most popular website builders are Squarespace and Wix which start at $12 and $14 respectively. Other builders like GoDaddy or Weebly are a little cheaper. GoDaddy’s cheapest plans start at $10 a month while Weebly’s is only $6 a month. These monthly subscriptions often include the additional costs mentioned earlier like website hosting or content management systems. 

small business website builder

Development Costs

Determining the cost of developing your website starts with deciding how you want to create it. If you choose to hire a professional web designer, your website could get pretty expensive to make. Since a web designer is an IT professional who is creating a custom website from scratch, their knowledge and hands-on approach affect the price of their services. 

That being said, a web designer might be the best option if you’re looking for a unique website. If you’re not looking to spend a lot to get your website up and running, a website builder is a company that makes it easy for you to create your own website. These companies are often aimed at small businesses. Their prices start at $6 a month if they cost anything at all. These subscriptions typically include all of your website’s needs like hosting, CMS, and occasionally even tech support. 


  • What is a web designer?
  • Why would you hire a web designer?
  • What is a website host?
  • How much does it cost to develop a website?
  • What is a CMS?

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