Website cost

How much does a website cost?

By Mark
Last updated
10 June 2022

How long is a piece of string?

It entirely depends on what type of website you want or need and how you choose to build it. 

The quick answer is that you can set up a professional looking website yourself for free, with hosting plans starting from as little a few pounds a month. Or, if you want a unique website, made to your specification, you can spend anywhere from a few thousand pounds to literally hundreds of thousands in build and design costs. 

So how much should you budget for your business website?  

What type of website do you need?

We’ll take you through the different elements that determine how much a website costs appropriate for your business needs and the type of websites available. There are many options to suit different budgets, and numerous ways to create a website, dependent on what you want to achieve and your website objectives.

ip21 website design

Show off your services and generate leads with a brochure website.

Brochure website

Brochure websites are mainly utilised by small to medium businesses. They are often used to advertise services, demonstrate expertise, and display contact information with just a few pages. An example would be a plumbing company who want an online presence so that customers can find them.

The sort of content that a brochure site might include is:

  • A homepage with contact information
  • An “about us” page describing the company
  • Some customers testimonials / reviews
  • Product / service listing
  • News or case studies

These things provide the basics for a company website so they can promote themselves.

A basic brochure website is ideal for DIY web builders using platforms such as Wix, where you can choose from a range of pre-existing themes and templates, and then add your details. This is by far the cheapest website design and build option.

Custom build website


A custom-build website is created from scratch, with a bespoke design, built and coded to your business requirements. There is no template that will limit your wants, and can be linked with CRMs, social media or indeed any custom integration between your website and backend systems.

The benefit of custom build sites is that your website will be unique and designed to your requirements. They are also easy to scale up, giving added flexibility to grow your website as your business grows online.

This type of website does cost more and is dependent on the skill of the designer and the developer, which means choosing the right person or web design agency is vital.

Ecommerce website

One of the biggest factors in determining how much a website will cost is whether you want to sell online. An ecommerce website will significantly increase the costs when working with a web designer. Although it’s essential to understand that the additional costs of adding an ecommerce functionality to your website should be covered by the potential revenue from the increased online sales.

Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento are ecommerce specific website platforms, with advanced sales features for organisations of all sizes, from small businesses up to large online retailers.

Farmers Equipment home page

Sell online with an ecommerce website.

Who should build your website?

A considerable factor affecting the design and build costs of a site, will depend on who creates it. There are pros and cons to taking the DIY route, hiring a freelance web designer or engaging a web design agency.

DIY build

For a quick and easy way to get online, a DIY template website builder is an affordable option to get your small business website up and running.

You can start with a basic plan, and add to this if needed, however, these platforms do have limitations. If you’re not particularly tech savvy, don’t have the time or right skills, you can risk ending up with an unprofessional looking website that can damage your business and brand.

Freelance web designer

If you have a bigger budget and a vision for your website, working with a freelance web designer is worth investing in. Basically, you're paying for the time and expertise of a professional to build a unique website. Hiring a freelancer is typically cheaper than going through an agency, as you’re only hiring a single professional to do all the work.

A good freelance web designer understands all the factors needed for a website, such as the design, usability and functionality. They combine programming skills with design creativity to build websites.

Always ask to see previous examples of their work and speak to their existing customers. And you can find that you get what you pay for when it comes to freelance web design services, so be wary of suspiciously low prices.

Web design agency

Working with a web design agency, ensures you will get a website to match your exact needs and specifications. They can do pretty much whatever you want, but it takes time and money.

When you hire a web design agency, you are paying for a whole team of experts, but this has the advantage of drawing on their vast experience and increased skill set. Specialists within an agency will include copywriters, graphic designers, developers, marketing experts and SEO experts.

However, you should assess agencies on their work and testimonials, and how closely they align with your intentions for your own website. The end result should be a professional website and an investment that will pay dividends in the long run.

Website design

Choose a web design agency to get exactly what you want.

Ongoing support

You also need to consider what ongoing service and support you might need for your website.

  • What if there are issues with the website you cannot fix yourself?
  • How quickly and easy will it be for your freelance web designer or agency to make changes to your website?

If your website is vital to the success of your business, you need to make sure you have reliable support.

What you need to know

It has never been more important to invest in your online presence, no matter how much you are able to spend having a website will help your business prosper.

Having a plan and an understanding about the process of website design is essential if you are taking the first steps toward a website. If you already have a site, understanding the design process can offer you a wealth of useful information to help guide your choices about your new and improved website.

A website design brief helps to focus your thinking on what you really need from your web design, so you do not waste time and resources later on. A brief will also help your web designer understand what you want, resolve any questions, and give you an accurate cost.