How much does a small business website cost?

How much does a website cost?

So, how much does a small business website cost?

You’ve probably landed here because you asked Google one of the following questions: how much does website design cost; how much does it cost to build a website for a small business; how much should a small business website cost; or any number of permutations that focus on website cost.

When it comes to website cost these questions are on the tip of the tongue of many small business owners and understandably so.

The website market place has changed a lot in recent years with the rise of so-called “free”’ website builders and options for Do It Yourself (DIY) design coupled with falling costs of professional design.

So, how much does it cost to build a website for a small business? There are several questions to resolve that will factor into the type of website you might choose and, therefore, the cost of building your website.

  • How complex is the website project – can you manage it yourself?
  • How large will the website be (number of pages)?
  • Do you want your website to stand out against your competition?
  • Will you be selling, taking bookings or managing events online?
  • What ongoing site support do you need?
  • Do you need your website to grow with you?

In this article, we’ll look at the three major ways of approaching the design and development of a small business website. We’ll also consider the costs of these elements including when professional design and delivery is chosen.

There are three main ways to design and build a website. The low budget, low-quality option is to use a website builder such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.

Alternatively, if you have the time and the knowledge you could build and design your small business website using WordPress.

Lastly, if you are looking for a bespoke/custom website to help your business stand out from the competition you can hire a website designer.

Using a free website builder

Using a free website builder is the cheapest way to construct a website. However, in our opinion, it’s also only ever going to be a short term fix due to common web builder issues such as generic design, poor SEO and slow page load.

Sites such as Wix and Weebly are enticing because of the “free” offering but as anyone will tell you who has used one of these sites for this purpose,  it’s anything but free.

If you’re not sure why your small business website needs SEO check out our blog post on the topic.

HOW MUCH DOES A FREE WEBSITE BUILDER COST? Budget around £50 per month for a website builder that will provide basic website functionality for your small business.

Build a WordPress website yourself

Building a website in WordPress can be a great option for many small businesses. In fact, at Confluent Marketing we do all of our website development in WordPress as it’s a very powerful platform.

If you are confident working with WordPress, basic coding and have the time to commit this could be a solution for many small business owners.

When budgeting for a DIY website you will need to take account of the following:

Domain Name

Every website needs a domain name and there are lots of places to purchase domain names online. To keep things simple we’d recommend getting your domain name from your hosting provider. It should cost £15 to £20 per annum

Cheap Hosting

Grab a managed WordPress hosting package from one of the following hosting companies Bluehost, Siteground, HostGator or A2 Hosting. It should set you back £5 to £15 per month depending on the package you select.

WordPress Theme

To design and develop in WordPress you will need a theme. Themes come in all shapes and sizes. For DIY website builds we’d highly recommend a theme that comes with a front end builder. Check out Divi, Elementor, X or Y. A subscription to a good WordPress theme should cost around £100 per year.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins work the same way apps do for your smartphone. They allow you to add new functionality, integrations and features to your website. WordPress plugins can be free and paid. Expect to pay anywhere from £0 to £200 per plugin you use.

Your Time

Time is something that many people won’t and don’t discuss in website DIY blogs and it’s something that needs to be considered.  Be honest with yourself here. How long will it take you to design and build your website? Can you afford to spend that time on your website? Is your time better spent invested elsewhere in your business?

HOW MUCH DOES A DIY WORDPRESS WEBSITE COST? A small business DIY website should come in anywhere between £500 to £1,000 plus time to set up. Ongoing costs of £350 to £800 per year to maintain.

How much does a custom website cost?

Thinking of hiring a professional? Well, we can’t say we aren’t biased when it comes to this particular topic because that’s what we do. Nevertheless, we believe in transparency over the costs involved both for DIY and outsourcing.

We’d recommend almost all small business owners hire a professional to build a new website. But, that doesn’t mean all website design companies or freelancers are built equal and they certainly don’t all charge the same amount.

Let’s get to the heart of the question; how much does a custom website cost. Depending on the project anywhere between £2,000 and £10,000 should cover all small business website needs. On average we’d recommend budgeting £5,000 for a custom-built website.

Pro Tip: Thinking of getting a professional website design make sure you get at least three quotes. Compare the services and costs on offer for each business. Don’t be afraid to ask for a breakdown of the costs so you can make a fair comparison.   

We recognise that this is a rather large cost range so hopefully the following will help break it down and ensure you know what to expect when it comes to building your website with a professional website designer.

Buying website design is the same as purchasing any other service for your business. It’s important to understand what is being bought.

Bear in mind the likelihood of additional costs as your needs develop as well as ongoing maintenance charges. Here are the key cost areas to assess when it comes to hiring a professional to design your small business website.

Website Hosting Services

Most website designers will handle your website hosting services for you as standard, but it’s good to check this is included.

Website hosting comes in all sorts of different flavours including shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, dedicated server hosting, cloud hosting and WordPress hosting. Each has unique features, benefits and associated costs.

Depending upon the type of website you want and the level of traffic you expect, your web designer should be able to source the right hosting for you.

Here’s a quick cost breakdown:

Shared Hosting£3 – £15
Managed Hosting£5 – £50
VPS Hosting£20 – £80
Cloud Hosting£35 – £150
Dedicated Server Hosting£80 – £300

Number of Pages

Many website pricing plans come with a fixed price for a certain number of pages. But what happens if you need to go over the limit. What will it cost you? For the UK market expect to pay around £100 to £200 per page based on a standard website.

Pro Tip: Be aware of unrealistically low prices. These are set to win business often with bare minimum features and deliverables included. Should customers require additional services or more pages these are charged as extras which can turn out to be expensive.  

Website Customisation Services

The good news for small business owners is that pretty much nobody codes a website from scratch anymore which means website costs have fallen considerably over the years. Of course, if you need something unique or a level of additional customisation on your website then this will come with an associated cost.

  1. Custom Website Design: Custom images, graphics and visual effects will set you back around £100 each but it could be more or less depending on your requirements.
  1. Enhanced Website Development: Developing on WordPress we are lucky to have access to thousands of plugins to help customise your website (customer portal, pricing calculator, calendars, forms etc). Lots of plugins are free but many charge a fee. These range from £50 to £200 per annum.

Website Revisions

Most website projects, like most design projects, kick off with an initial concept. At Confluent Marketing this takes the form of providing initial design concepts.

These are then shared with the client and two rounds of design revisions are included to get everything just right before the website is constructed fully.

Some website designers offer more design revisions as standard but the cost of that will be reflected in the project price. A web designer worth their salt who understands your business and design needs shouldn’t need more than 1-2 rounds of design revisions to deliver the website your business needs.

Pro Tip: Make sure you know how many rounds of revisions are included in your project price otherwise the costs could start to escalate quickly.

Website Copywriting Services

As important as your website looks the words you use are just as important. Working alongside you, your web designer should be looking to make your company sound great as well as look great.

Crafting professional website copy tailored to your brand is essential to ensure your visitors pay attention to your message.

Many web designers leave the website copywriting to the client. But there are two problems with this approach.

Firstly writing web copy is time-consuming and secondly, it’s difficult to do well. Many small businesses do not have the prerequisite in-house time, skill or experience to write effectively.

We offer professional website copywriting services as standard to complement our website design. A good rule of thumb for professional copywriting is to expect to pay 25p-50p per word. 

Website Support & Security

Having built your website the lights must remain on. After all, websites are designed to be selling for your business 24/7 and if they’re not performing that most basic function, what’s the point of having a website?

Make sure to ask your web designer if website support/website maintenance is included in your project. This is usually charged annually.

There are many different types of website support packages and at Confluent Marketing we offer our clients regular backups, hot-fixes, plugin updates, WordPress updates, as well as performance optimisation to ensure your website runs smoothly all of the time.

On average expect the cost to range between £300 and £600.

Website designers also might offer an additional layer of detection and protection security which further mitigates the risks of hacking, malware and viruses. Such offers are well worth considering especially if you have a high traffic or e-commerce website. The cost of this extra security ranges from £50 to £200 per annum.

Custom Logo and Social Media Design

Do you need either a company logo to be designed or help to brand your social media profiles? Creating a custom logo for your business helps create a sense of business identity as well as a level of trust and credibility.

A professionally designed logo should cost anywhere between £350 and £1,000.

It’s also important to create visual synergy between your website and your social media profiles so that customers experience a seamless transition. Additionally, it helps to instil confidence, trust and familiarity with your brand.

The cost of branding your social profiles is a little harder to pin down but a sensible estimate would be to budget £150 per profile.

HOW MUCH DOES A PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED WEBSITE COST? A professionally designed and developed small business website should set you back around £5,000 with ongoing costs of £400 to £800 per year to maintain.

How much does a website cost? Conclusion

Whether you choose to use a website builder, DIY option or hire a professional designer we’ve hopefully provided a clearer picture on the best option for you based on your business needs and budget and the costs involved in creating a small business website.

Pro Tip: Figuring out how much a website costs to build isn’t just about money. It’s essential to factor in other skills and resources you may or may not have, such as time, technical ability and design knowledge. Most small business owners we know are time poor but if you have lots of free time, the willingness to learn new skills a DIY option might just be for you. But if you’re pressed for time we’d highly recommend hiring a professional.

So, how much does a website cost? It depends entirely on your business needs. You can spend as much or as little as you want on your website. If you are keen to go down the professional website design route expect to pay between £2,000 to £5,000 for a custom site.

The good news is prices are fairly transparent although not always easily comparable. Don’t be afraid to get some different quotes and weigh up the different options and website costs available to you.

We always find a pros and cons list works a treat!

If you’re not convinced you even need a website we’d recommend checking out our 5 Powerful Reasons Small Businesses Need a Website In 2020 post.

Is Your Small Business Website Falling Short?


As a specialist website design and development agency we offer website design, web development, e-commerce, search engine optimisation, branding and digital marketing. We’re here to help businesses succeed online by designing and developing bespoke WordPress websites that are easy to manage, mobile responsive and search engine friendly. Confluent Marketing is a growing website design and development agency.

We enjoy working with different clients from varied industries so feel free connect with us and learn more about our small business and e-commerce website design and development services. Our team will help you define the right type of website you need now and also for the future.

Written by Richard Walsh

Web Designer and Digital Marketing specialist with over 14 years of experience working for leading technology brands. Launched Confluent Marketing in 2018 to help small businesses maximise their online presence.

September 10, 2020