What does a website cost

Published 12:20 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

J David Derosier

This is the third installment in a three-part series on small business websites.

The first installment talked about who needs one? Every small business needs a website in order to compete in their marketplace and succeed. There could be some exceptions, so perhaps “virtually” every small business.

The second installment talked about what goes into creating a website – from design to development to deployment.

 This installment will address the cost of a small business website.



Two fundamental components make up the pricing of a website – time and materials. Each of the components for each step has numerous variables. The combinations and permutations of time and materials can be daunting. Like in a home remodeling project, some contractors may charge by the hour plus the cost of materials (software and services) with a markup; others may give you a fixed price up front.

 Because there are SO MANY variables, I cannot tell you directly what a website costs. I can, however, describe the costs that a customer would pay my business to develop one, and then give some examples of other approaches.

In my business, OhainWEB.com, we have chosen to set our prices based on the number of pages in the website and then look at whatever else is added on top of that. That makes it easier for the customer to understand.

We also have fixed prices for things like accessing online credit card payments via PayPal or setting up an online calendar.


Design and Development

We consider three categories of website:  BASIC, PROFESSIONAL, and PRO-PLUS.

BASIC includes static pages stored on a server on the internet and available 24/7. The PROFESSIONAL package uses dynamic webpages that are compiled fresh every time they are accessed (We use WordPress), and the PRO-PLUS adds in a Blog feature (Blog stands for weB-LOG).

A lot of time is spent on the wireframe to get a good UI/UX (installment 2). As a result, when pricing, the Home Page is loaded with some extra cost for that design feature. Then we add for each page after the Home Page. A typical small business website will have 5 pages (Home, About Us, Contact Us, and two pages for products and/or services.

From our webpage on pricing (http://ohainweb.com/websites/website-plans) the costs for those five-page websites would look like this:

         BASIC: $500 + ($200 x 4) or $1300.

         PROFESSIONAL : $1,000 + ($200 x 4) or $1800.

         PRO PLUS: $1,500 + ($200 x 4) or $2,300.


Typically, there could be $200-400 of add-ons on top of this.

Please keep in mind that this is a five-page website, we have produced some very nice single page websites that priced out at only $500.



From the same page on our website, hosting is charged at $25 to $50 per month.

Annual recurring fees, normally just domain name registration, are running $30 per year, with some special domain extensions, like “.DDS” or “.BOSTON” or “.FARM”, costing more.



A simple and typical 5-page website from OhainWEB.com would range from $1,300 up to $2,700 to create. By loading all into a single page, perhaps as low as $500. Operating costs for the year (12 months) will run between $330 and $630, including domain registration.

So now we have what is called a benchmark.


Do It Yourself (DIY)

If you want to DIY and you’re technically inclined, you might be able to build a website from scratch for 10-20% of those costs PLUS YOUR TIME. If you want to DIY but are not technically inclined, figure 20-50% of the costs for OhainWEB.com, PLUS YOUR TIME.

One large digital marketing company (national in scope) will build your website (we call it a “cookie cutter” approach because of the use of standard templates with only a few words changed for you) and host it with a domain name, for very little money up front, but they charge you $100 or more per month to maintain it, with one year minimum. And if you decide to leave them you will find out that you only rented the website and domain name. You do not own them. If you still want one after you leave that marketing company, you have to start from scratch.


Other Professional Firms

There are also many other web design firms that will charge you significantly more than we do; some perhaps less. And if you have complicated stuff to accomplish, that will boost your costs.

Good luck in getting that new website. Facebook is not enough, and even if you can get by on it, it’s not yours. They can change the rules, change what you get, anytime they want and you have no say in the matter.

So many people today are going for the DIY approach that a whole new market has been created for existing DIY websites. For that market, our tagline is “We Fix Ugly Websites”.


 David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through OhainWEB.com, an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at JDAVID@Strategy-Planning.info