It’s a digital world. Everybody’s going online. Especially businesses like yours. You too want an online presence. And, the customers hanging out there online. Therefore, you’ve decided to build a business website. But, you’ve no idea how to go about. What’ll the cost?. Let me get it straight & simple. The cost of building a website for a small business is:
Anything between $ 0 to $ 10,000. It depends. With Wix, you can literally start FREE of cost. Fiverr freelance web designers’ charges start from $ 5. And, Shopify charges start from $ 29 per month. Whereas, website agencies can charge anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000. Last but not least, WordPress involves paying for hosting charges starting from as little as $ 5 per month. So, the options are many & so is the pricing. There isn’t any one-size-fits-all kind of website solution.
You aren’t the only who is confused when it comes to building a website. There’re so many gurus out there talking about one or other approach.
This seems like a huge mess.
I was in a similar situation when I was about to launch my first eCommerce store. (I’m not a technical guy). With so many solutions & products, how to go about?.
Therefore, I decided to help my fellow business owners with this post. Here I’m going to share the top 5 ways to build a website, it’s pros, cons & pricing.
After going through this post, you’ll have a clearer picture of your needs. Based on that analysis, you can select the best solution & have your first website ready.
So, are you ready to acquire more sales & customers?. Let’s get going.
WEBSITE COST FOR A SMALL BUSINESS
Hire A Freelance Website Developer On Fiverr
Fiverr is a marketplace for cheap freelance services for small businesses.
Basically, Fiverr works on the ‘Gig’ business model. Freelancers offer their services (also known as ‘gig’) for a fixed price. For example: If I’m a website designer then I will offer my services by listing “I will create a professional corporate website for $ 100”.
And, I used the word ‘cheap’ because, generally, the fees charged by Fiverr freelancers are dead-low. I mean, literally!
Or else, who on earth makes a “professional website” for $ 5?. No, I’m not joking.
Having said that, it’s not that all freelancers charge such prices. It depends.
When I go to Fiverr & search for website designing, I get the following results:
As you can see, the first fellow offers website designing at $ 5. Didn’t believe so I clicked on the result & went to the offer page. To my surprise, the $ 5 price is only if you want a static 1-page website. For a complete website, you’ll have to opt for ‘standard’ & ‘premium’ packages. The standard package comes at $ 105 & the premium at $ 285.
But, still, $ 5 seems to be too low even for a static 1-page website.
As can be seen in the search results, there’re other freelancers offering their website development services starting at $ 50 & $ 100 respectively.
Surprisingly, these low prices don’t affect the quality of the work. When I went on to check the reviews of some of these gigs, I was taken aback.
Here’s the screenshot of the reviews received the $ 5 fellow we discussed earlier.
Fiverr clients are small businesses & startups who want to get various jobs done at low prices. For them, Fiverr is fast, easy & cheap. Maybe that’s the reason they’re satisfied & give positive reviews.
Instead of hiring website agencies who charge astronomical figures, Fiverr is a great alternative. Of course, quality & deliverable can’t be compared.
If you decide to use Fiverr then here is a quick overview on how Fiverr works:
For website designing, go to the Fiverr website & click on Graphics & Designing category. Then, click on Web & Mobile design sub-category.
Thereafter, browse through the freelancers.
The key on Fiverr is to pick the right freelancer. You need to go through the portfolios carefully & talk to the concerned freelancer if required.
Also, ensure the final deliverable (files) are as per your requirements.
Once you’ve shortlisted the freelancer, checkout by selecting the package & clicking on ‘Continue’ button.
In case of an issue or complaint, the Fiverr support team can come to your rescue.
Pro Tip: Only opt for a responsive website. They look good on all major devices like desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet etc.
The price of freelancers on Fiverr may range from $ 5 to $ 100.
Depending on your requirements, most freelancers offer flexible packages.
Also, there’s something called ‘Pro Verified’ in Fiverr. Freelancers with ‘Pro Verified’ tag charge higher prices & their quality is vetted / verified by Fiverr team.
Those ‘Pro verified’ web designers may charge anything between $ 800 to $ 1000 for building your website.
Note that you may have to pay extra for the domain name. That generally costs around $ 20 per year.
Best Suited For
Fiverr freelancers are best suited for someone who’s looking to build a workable small business website at an affordable price.
Plus, if you’re in a hurry, Fiverr can help. Most Fiverr freelancers deliver a website within 3 to 7 days.
With Fiverr, these are the advantages:
- Affordable price
- Quick delivery
- Good number of freelancers
- Strong community
With Fiverr, following are the disadvantages:
- Risk of low-quality work
Build A Website Using Wix (Per Month Charge)
Want to build a website on your own?. Try Wix.
Wix is a revolutionary drag-and-drop website builder that helps anyone build a website within a matter of minutes.
Gone are the days when you needed to hire a coder to build a website. With Wix, you don’t need coding skills or a coder. Simply by dragging & dropping various web elements, you can set-up your dream business website.
It’s just like playing a video game!
Takeaway: Wix is the quickest way you can build a website.
Wix also helps you to customize your website the way you want. That’s possible with the help of the Wix apps. For example: If you want to add a live chat feature to your website, the same can be done with Wix live chat app.
Also, you can change the various basic elements like colours, fonts & font sizes etc.
Following is the simple process to create a website using Wix:
Step 1: Sign up for a Wix account
Step 2: Choose a website template: Based on your business category or niche, you can select a template.
Step 3: Customize your website: Drag and drop various elements to build your website your way.
Step 4: Add apps: Add apps depending on the extra features that you require
Step 5: Go live: Hit the publish button to make your website live!
You can get started on Wix for FREE. Yes, absolutely. That’s a great way to try & see if Wix fits your needs.
BUT, the free Wix website will have a limit. It won’t allow you to add your own custom domain (like www.[your-business-name].com). Also, the free plan comes with those annoying in-built ads.
So, if you wanna truly build a website that you completely own, then upgrade to other monthly pricing plans.
Wix pricing plans are as follows:
FREE Plan = $ 0 per month (Custom domain not allowed. Wix Ads will be shown.)
Connect Domain Plan = $ 7.50 per month (Allows you to add your custom domain. Ads still exist)
Combo Plan = $ 14.50 per month (Custom domains allowed. Ads removed)
Unlimited = $ 17.50 per month (No bandwidth or storage limits)
Business Basic = $ 25 per month (Supports e-commerce & a few premium apps)
For most of you, the combo plan should just work fine. As & when you scale up, you may opt for the Unlimited plan.
Best Suited For
Wix is best suited for someone who’s looking to build a website on his or her own & take full control.
With Wix, you get the following advantages:
- No coding skills required
- An array of design templates
- Quick & easy
- Perfect for beginners
Following are the disadvantages of Wix:
- Not exactly suited for high-traffic websites
Make A Website Using WordPress (Per Month Charge)
WordPress is the world’s most popular website CMS (Content management system).
And, it’s open source (just like Android). That means the WordPress source code can be modified & redistributed. This is one of the core reasons why WordPress is so popular. Developers can mold it the way they want by developing custom themes or plugins.
Best of all, the WordPress is FREE of cost. BUT, you need to host your WordPress website on a server. That server comes at a price (a fixed monthly charge).
Just like with Wix, you don’t need coding skills to get started with WordPress.
BUT, unlike Wix, WordPress comes with a learning curve. It isn’t easy to set up & maintain a WordPress website. Therefore, beginners should proceed with WordPress by exercising due deligence.
The two main features of WordPress are its themes & plugins.
Themes are like skeletons that decide the structure, shape & look of a WordPress website. WordPress already has got some in-built themes (both FREE & premium ones). Alternatively, you may purchase a WordPress theme from marketplaces like ThemeForest.
Whereas, plugins are like apps that extend the core functionalities of a WordPress website. Most plugins are available FREE of cost. Click here to access the plugin directory page.
As discussed earlier, you need to host your WordPress website on a server. Such server can either be a shared one or a dedicated one.
Shared hosting means your website will be hosted on a server that is shared with other websites.
Whereas, a dedicated hosting means your website will be hosted on a server that is dedicated exclusively to your website.
Shared hosting is comparatively cheaper. You can get it for around $ 5 a month. For dedicated hosting, you’ll have to pay around $ 100 per month.
For beginners, shared hosting is more than enough to handle even a spike in traffic.
There’re numerous hosting providers out there in the market. The big ones are SiteGround, BlueHost & WPEngine.
My favorite is SiteGround & I would recommend the same to you. In fact, this website (the one you’re reading now) of mine is hosted on SiteGround. They’re awesome when it comes to speed, stability & customer support.
Following are the steps to create a website using WordPress:
Step 1: Sign up for a shared hosting plan on Siteground (Domain name included at an extra price)
Step 2: In the dashboard(cPanel), click on WordPress Installer & install the WordPress files.
Step 3: Use username & password generated at Step 3 to log in to your website backend
Step 4: Install the theme & necessary plugins. Your website is live now!
For more detailed instructions, watch the following video.
To build a website with WordPress, all you need to pay for is the monthly hosting charges (the core WordPress is FREE of cost).
If you choose SiteGround, then they’ve the following pricing plans:
StartUp plan = $ 3.95 a month (One website, 10,000 users per month)
GrowBig plan = $ 5.95 a month (Multiple websites, 25,000 users per month)
GoGeek plan = $ 11.95 a month (Multiple websites, 100K uses per month)
Note that these are special pricing applicable only for the first year. From, the second year, you’ll have to pay a regular price which is much higher than the special price.
Extra domain name fees for a year = Around $ 20 per year
Best Suited For
WordPress websites are suited for someone who’s looking to start a customizable website on his or her own. Also, for someone who’s ready to dedicate time to update & maintain the website on regular basis.
Following are the advantages of building a website with WordPress:
- Complete flexibility & control
Following are the disadvantages of building a website with WordPress:
- Comes with a learning curve
- Regular need to maintain & update the website
Start An eCommerce Store Using Shopify (Per Month Charge)
I had made my first eCommerce store using Shopify & I instantly fell in love with it.
Shopify is a drag-and-drop builder that helps anyone build an eCommerce website within a matter of minutes.
Think of it like Wix for eCommerce websites.
To build a website with Shopify, you don’t need to possess any technical or coding skills. And, the best part of Shopify is it’s beautiful user interface or dashboard. With that, you can access any part of your website with a click.
Just like WordPress, Shopify also comes with the concept of themes & apps (plugins).
Shopify themes define the structure & look of your eCommerce website. These themes are available in-built in Shopify as FREE or premium themes. Alternatively, you may purchase a Shopify theme from marketplaces like ThemeForest.
Shopify apps extend the core features of your eCommerce website with added functionalities. Click here to access the Shopify apps directory.
Unlike with WordPress, you don’t need to host your website with a hosting provider. Shopify is an already-hosted eCommerce solution.
A few other key features of Shopify are:
- Multiple channels to sell (Facebook, Amazon etc.)
- Free SSL
- Fast & secure servers
- Payment gateway integration
Building with Shopify is easy. The following video will guide you further:
Shopify comes with the following payment plans:
Basic plan = $ 29 per month + Transaction fees of 2% (Unlimited products & bandwidth supported)
Shopify plan = $ 79 per month + Transaction fees of 1% (Professional reports +Gift cards)
Advanced plan = $ 299 per month + Transaction fees of 0.5% (Advanced report builder + Third party shipping rate calculator)
Of course, the domain name fees per year cost extra.
Best Suited For
Shopify is best suited for someone who is serious about selling stuff online. With Shopify, you get a robust eCommerce platform with unlimited storage & bandwidth limits.
Shopify comes with the following advantages:
- No hosting required
- Multiple selling channels
- Fast & secure
- Easy for beginners
Following are the disadvantages of building your website with Shopify:
- Not so affordable
Hire A Website Development Agency
A website development agency is a team of expert website developers. Since they’re expert professional developers, they’re mostly involved into building custom websites from scratch.
Developing a custom website (without using a CMS) requires being acquainted with various technologies or programming languages. Therefore, a typical website development agency is comprised of people with different skill sets.
How do you select a learned website development agency for your website?. Look for the following traits:
- An experienced team
- Enough full-time resources
- Experience with similar projects in the past
- Process-oriented approach
Google is a great place to search for website development agencies. Additionally, you take references from your business colleagues or industry influencers.
Website development agencies charge anything between $ 1000 to $ 10,000 depending on the complexity of the project.
Best Suited For
Big corporate or businesses who’re willing to shed big money for a high quality website.
- Unbeatable quality
- No need to mess with technical stuff
- Add on services like SEO, social media marketing etc.
It’s a tough call. Not easy to pick a website building solution. After all, there isn’t any magic solution (at least not yet).
To avoid this dilemma, you need to study the 5 solutions listed here. Take note of your needs, business objective & budget. Based on those, figure out a solution that’s a perfect for your business.
Take an objective decision, not an impulsive one.
Following the advice here, I’m sure you’ll have a workable website ready in no time. That website will be your new sales or lead machine. Good luck!
What do you think of the aforesaid pricing for building a website for a small business?. Please share your feedback by commenting below.