Here are a few of the websites I've made...
Website development packages
Great for a low budget site!
Starting at $500
Perfect for authors, artists, and individuals.
Starting at $750
For non-profit services and organizations
Starting at $1000
For businesses who need a website
Starting at $1500
*Prices listed do not include purchasing a URL, hosting, or SSL.
How much does a website cost...
(From Mark Brinker’s site)
If you have a basic understanding of web technology and you’re fine doing the work yourself, you can totally build your own website.
The raw materials you’ll need aren’t horribly expensive:
- Domain name: $10-$12/year to register a new domain. There are lots of domain registrars to choose from. I prefer NameCheap.com.
- Website hosting: Costs range from about $100/year for standard web hosting from companies like BlueHost or HostGator to $300-$500+/year for more robust web hosting from companies like WPengine or SiteGround — which really isn’t needed until your site is getting gobs of traffic (i.e. more than 100,000 visitors/month), at which time you could upgrade to a web server with more horsepower. NOTE: For a much deeper dive on website hosting as well as a thorough comparison of some popular web hosting providers, check out this excellent piece by our friends over at Crazy Egg.
- SSL certificate. Even if you don’t plan to sell things directly from your site, you’ll still want to secure your site with HTTPS protocol. Here’s an article I wrote explaining HTTPS in plain English. You can get an SSL certificate for as little as $10/year or as much as $200-300/year. Shop around, but don’t buy more than you actually need. UPDATE: Most website hosting companies now offer a free SSL certificate as an incentive to host your site with them.
- Premium website theme. $100-$300. There are hundreds if not thousands of themes to choose from. Some free, some paid. I urge you to spend a few bucks and get a quality theme. Don’t skimp here. You’ll thank me later. We’ve experimented with many website themes over the years and the themes we now use exclusively, both for our own site as well as our clients’ sites are from Thrive Themes — great design + solid coding.
- Premium plugins. $100-$300. As with website themes, you usually get what you pay for. Do yourself a favor and invest a few dollars to get quality plugins. For example, two premium plugins we use on nearly every site we build are Gravity Forms and Envira Gallery. Yes, there are lots of free plugins and many of them are very good. But there are also lots of bad plugins that don’t work as advertised and will waste a bunch of your time. So be careful.
- Stock photos. If you’re a good photographer or you already have high-quality images for your site, then you’re all set. But chances are you’ll need to purchase some images to dress up your site a bit. The two places we recommend are BigStockPhoto.com and iStockPhoto.com. They have lots of high-quality, royalty-free images at reasonable prices. In most cases, you can probably get all that you need (at least initially) for $50-200. After that, you just buy what you need as your website evolves. UPDATE: Here’s an image site we just learned about where you can get free, high-resolution, royalty-free images for your website >> Burst (from Shopify). The only drawback is there’s a limited selection. But the images they do have are very nice. CAUTION: Never, ever (ever!) just copy/paste images from other sources onto your site, unless you’re 1000% certain you have permission. Otherwise you can get sued. Play it safe and just purchase your images — it’s way less expensive than a lawsuit — and you’ll sleep better.
- Education. $25-$300. Unless you work on websites every day, you’re probably going to have to buy a few books or take an online course or two to learn Photoshop, HTML/CSS coding language, etc. to get yourself up to speed in one or more areas of website design and development.
In total, you’re realistically looking at about $500-$1000 in expenses to get up and running.
Obviously the main cost with the DIY option is your time.
Even for a “simple” site, don’t be surprised if it takes you 20-40 hours to produce something of decent quality you can be proud of. And that’s assuming you’re already somewhat familiar with how to build a website. If you’re totally new to this, multiply that time estimate by 2x or 3x. I’m not exaggerating.
Building a modern, well-engineered website is way more time-consuming than most people realize. But if you have more time than money right now and you don’t get overwhelmed by web technology, the DIY approach is a perfectly viable option.