How Much Should It Cost To Build A Website?

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Are you looking for clear answers about the cost of building a website? Often, the information you find online is either too technical or too generic, leaving you more confused than before. But now that you’re here, you’ll find clear answers to your questions. In this blog, we will cover everything that makes up the cost of building a website. You’ll learn what type of website you need, how much you might spend, and what website-building options you have.  By the end, you’ll know what to do with your money.

What makes up the cost of a website?

There are multiple things that contribute to the cost of a website. Let’s understand what they are:

User Interface/User Experience 

Design has become one of the most important aspects nowadays. It is the first thing a user notices about your website. A well-designed website can easily capture the attention of the user and prompt them to take action; on the other side, poor design frustrates the user and forces them to leave the website. 

Did you know the UI/UX design is typically divided into 3 main stages? Let’s understand what these stages include:


This stage mainly includes user interviews, competitor analysis, and information gathering. Here proper time is invested into understanding the target audience, their needs, preferences, and online behaviour. Competitor analysis is really helpful in understanding these elements. Based on this, designers determine your business goals and figure out how they can design a website to achieve them.


After the research is done, wireframes are prepared, which are like blueprints. They provide ideas about the basic layout of the pages, how they will be arranged and how users will navigate them. While they don’t have the visual design (fancy colours or fonts), they help determine the functionality and user flow before investing time in aesthetics.


Prototypes are interactive mockup versions of a website. They have limited features. They are basically designed to show the experience to the clients and investors and receive their feedback on the design. 

Prototypes can range in complexity from simple clickable wireframes to more advanced versions with some visual design elements.

The cost of UI/UX design depends on these stages, as each stage takes time and effort from the designer(s). Research involves user interviews, competitor analysis, and information gathering. Wireframing and prototyping involve creating visual layouts and interactive elements. The more complex the project, the more time each stage takes, increasing the cost. Each stage often involves revisions based on feedback. More revisions typically mean more time spent, impacting the cost. However, not all projects need all stages equally. 

Frontend Development 

Once the UI/UX design process is completed, front-end development starts. Front-end development is what visitors see on your website. The cost for front-end development services mainly depends upon the skill set of the developers and the number of developers deployed to complete the process. A Senior frontend developer is capable of creating highly complex designs since they have extensive experience working on various projects. The more complex the front end, the higher the cost. On average, you may be charged around $800 to $10,000. 

Backend Development 

The backend brings your website features to life. It allows the users to log in, search for products, add items to a shopping cart, and process payments (for e-commerce sites). Almost anything that is responsive on a website is due to the backend. 

Some websites that handle complex data (like financial transactions or medical records) require more sophisticated backend development compared to simpler websites with static content. The complexity of the backend proportionally increases the cost. Other factors that increase the cost are third-party integration and complex queries. Third-party integrations demand heavy resources and considerable time. Websites that require users to perform complex searches or filter data heavily might require more intricate backend logic, impacting the cost. The cost range lies between $4,000 to $12,500 for moderately complex websites.

Domain Purchase 

A domain name is like your website’s home address on the internet. For instance, in “,” “” is the domain name. It’s what users type into their browser bar to access your website. The domain registrar you choose might offer different pricing depending on the chosen domain extension (like .com, .org, .net) and registration period (usually yearly, with discounts for multi-year purchases). If you want a specific domain name that is already taken, especially a short or memorable one with popular keywords, you may have to buy it from the current owner. These “premium domains” can be significantly more expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

SSL Certification

Many small businesses underestimate the importance of website security. Hackers often target small businesses because they might have weaker security measures compared to larger corporations.

“This Site Might Not Be Secure” warning message displayed by browsers indicates that the website doesn’t have an SSL certificate and the connection is not encrypted. This deters many visitors because it raises security concerns about their data being exposed.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are essential for website security. They make a secure link between the website and the visitor’s browser, keeping sensitive information like login details and credit card numbers safe from hackers.

The average cost for basic to mid-tier SSL certificates is $10 to $300.

The cost can vary depending on the type of certificate (domain validation, organization validation, etc.) and the features offered by the provider.

Search engines like Google favour websites with SSL certificates in search rankings.

Web hosting

Web hosting service hosts websites for clients. Hosting means facilitating the creation and maintenance of a site and making it accessible on WWW (World Wide Web). Reliable hosting is crucial for making sure your website is always accessible to the users. There are various hosting providers offering different levels of uptime guarantee (time percentage for which your site is expected to be operational).

When you choose a robust hosting service provider, your website is less likely to experience crashing or downtime issues. Ecommerce websites must choose service with a good uptime record as downtime can lead to lost sales, and damage to website’s reputation.

The cost of website hosting depends on the type of plan you choose. Shared hosting is an affordable option. In this type of sharing, you share several spaces with other websites. Websites that don’t expect a surge in traffic can choose this option. 

For websites with lot of traffic, a dedicated server hosting plan is crucial for better performance. Dedicated services offer more resources and robust performance that’s why their cost is significantly higher than shared hosting. 

Website Maintenance 

Website maintenance is an ongoing cost that factors into the overall expense of having a website. Maintenance includes various tasks such as keeping the software updated, fixing the bugs, and patching security holes. All these measures are important to ensure your website stays operational and protects it from cyberattacks. Ignoring maintenance can expose your website to downtime or security breach issues. Websites with fresh content tend to do better on search engines, and regularly updating or adding something new falls under website maintenance. 

To maintain the speed and performance of a website optimization is an important step. It includes tasks like optimizing images, minifying the code, and using caching mechanisms. A slow website can make visitors frustrated and cause lost business.

Coming to maintenance cost factors, simpler websites with static content require less maintenance than complex websites with features like highly detailed catalouges or user login functionality, etc. 

The maintenance cost will increase as your website requires more frequent software updates.

Here is the cost range for website maintenance:

  • Simple websites: $500 to $2,000 per year
  • Medium-sized websites: $2,000 to $5,000 per year
  • Complex websites: $5,000 or more per year

What Type of Website Do You Need?

Websites can be built in different ways. You can opt for a simple, static design resembling a flyer or a dynamic one where users can browse through a catalogue. The choice of design depends on the website’s purpose. Understanding your needs is crucial because various aspects, like design, features, maintenance, security, and third-party integrations, dictate how the website is developed. Here are some common types:

E-commerce Website

E-commerce refers to buying and selling products/services online. These websites incorporate third-party payment options and product catalogues.

The total cost of building an e-commerce website will depend on the website’s complexity, features, chosen platform, and resources deployed.
Let’s say you want a simple online store for handpainted scarves. A basic website with product listings, shopping cart functionality, and a secure payment gateway might do the job and it would cost a few thousand dollars to develop. Alternatively, a big fashion store with lots of clothes, personalized suggestions, and detailed search options needs a pricier website, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SaaS Website

SaaS websites are typically developed using a phased approach, which includes:

  • Understand what you want your SaaS application to do and what features it will need.
  • A prototype is a basic version of your SaaS application used to test the concept and functionality.
  • Designing the user interface (UI) of your SaaS application.
  • Developing the server-side code for your SaaS application.
  • Developing the client-side code for your SaaS application, which is the part that users interact with.
  • Testing your SaaS application for bugs and confirming it works as expected.
  • Deploying your SaaS application to a production server.
  • After deploying your SaaS application, you will need to provide ongoing maintenance and support.

The number of pages, features, and integrations that a SaaS website will have will vary depending on the specific application. However, some common features of SaaS websites include:

Landing page: This is the first page that users will see when they visit your website. It should explain what your SaaS application does and why users should sign up for it.

Feature pages: These pages should provide more detail about the specific features of your SaaS application.

Pricing plans: These pages should explain the different pricing plans that you offer for your SaaS application.

Blog: A blog can be a great way to provide valuable information to potential and existing users of your SaaS application.

Contact page: This page should let users contact you for support or questions. SaaS applications can also connect with other services like payment gateways, CRM systems, and marketing automation platforms.

Development resources, time, and cost

The amount of resources, time, and cost required to develop a SaaS website will vary depending on the complexity of the application.

A small SaaS application may be developed by a single engineer in a few months.

A large SaaS application may require a team of developers, designers, and other professionals to develop and may take over a year to complete.

The cost of development will also vary depending on the hourly rate of the developers you hire and the location of the development team. Developers in Canada typically charge between $50 and $150 per hour.

On average, simple SaaS applications can cost between $10,000 and $30,000, medium-sized SaaS applications can cost between $30,000 and $100,000, and complex SaaS applications can cost over $100,000.

Marketplace Website

Marketplace websites are essentially online platforms that connect buyers and sellers. They function as a middleman, facilitating transactions and offering a wider selection of products or services for buyers and increased reach for sellers. Popular examples include Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Marketplace.

A basic marketplace with core functionalities will cost less than a feature-rich platform with advanced features like auctions, social media integration, or complex search filters.

Picking Shopify Marketplace or WooCommerce for your website is cheaper than getting a custom one from a web agency. However, custom development offers more flexibility and scalability.

Here’s a general cost range:

  1. Website Builder: $0 – $500 per month (may require additional investment for upgrades and plugins)
  2. Custom Development: $10,000 – $150,000+ (depending on features and complexity)

Small Business Website

Many small businesses are prioritizing website performance in 2023, highlighting the importance of a strong online presence. The cost of website development varies greatly depending on complexity and features.

For small businesses, custom websites can range from $9,500 to $13,000, but there are also more affordable options like website templates and builders.

Cost Comparison Based on “How Complex the Website is”

As discussed earlier, the cost of website building depends on the resources, time, and ongoing support required. Based on these factors, websites can be categorized into three groups to determine the average cost range for each category.


These websites generally can be built with nearly 15 pages. The main features included in them are custom UI/UX, CMS integration, and a simple backend database. To develop a basic website following resources are required: 

A team of full-stack developers 

A project manager 

QA engineer

UI/UX designer 

A basic website can be developed in 40 to 50 days. It would cost around $10,000 to $20,000 to develop this kind of website. 


A website that has medium complexity is made of about 50 pages or more. These websites are expected to receive millions of traffic per month. Due to their complexity, their content needs to be optimized regularly. Medium-complexity website generally feature like third party integration, database and custom UI/UX design. 

The resources required to build a medium-complexity website are:

  • A team of business analysts
  • QA testers
  • Frontend & Backend developers
  • A project manager
  • UI/UX designers
  • Marketing team

Given the complexity of such projects they can cost around $30,00 to $80,000 and they take significant time to get build nearly 4-5 months.


Complex websites often require multifunctional integrations, robust design, cloud systems, multiple databases, top-notch UI/UX design, and complex front-end interactions. These elements are necessary to handle the intricate functionalities and user experience demanded by such websites. Complex websites may require a larger maintenance team than simpler ones due to the ongoing upkeep of various functionalities and databases. The cost ranges from $80,000 to $200,000 for complex website development and their development time is around 9-12 months.


1. Can I make a website for free? Can a beginner build a website?

Free website builders (Wix, Canva) are easy for beginners but offer limited customization and often have ads. For a unique, competitive website, consider a development agency.

2. How much does it cost to run a website for 1 year?

Running a website for a year can cost anywhere from a few bucks to a significant chunk of change. The main expenses are domain name registration (usually around $10-20 annually) and website hosting, which can range from $3 to over $10 per month (translating to $36-$120+ per year). Complex websites with lots of features or traffic will need pricier hosting plans.

3. Do you pay a monthly fee for a website?

While you don’t necessarily pay a single monthly fee for a website itself, there are ongoing costs to keep it running smoothly. One cost is the domain name, which acts like your website’s address and usually requires a yearly renewal fee of around $10-$20. The bigger expense is often website hosting, which stores your website’s data and makes it accessible online. Hosting providers typically offer monthly plans ranging from $3 to over $10, translating to an annual cost. Websites with more features or heavy traffic will need pricier hosting plans.

4. How much should I charge to build a website?

In Canada, freelance web developer rates typically range from $30 to $180 per hour, depending on experience and project complexity.  Consider a project rate for smaller websites ($3,000-$8,000) or hourly rates for larger projects.

5. How much should a website cost for a small business?

The cost can vary widely depending on your needs but typically ranges from $500 to $30,000. For a simple website, you may be charged around $1,000 to $5,000, and for an e-commerce website, the charges can go up to $40,000.

6. How much should I charge for an ecommerce website?

Generally, eCommerce website development can cost around $60,000 to $100,000, depending on the complexity of the project.

7. How much should I charge for website maintenance?

Website maintenance rates vary depending on the complexity of the site and the services offered.

Here’s a general guide:

Basic Plans (Security updates, backups): $20 – $100/month

Standard Plans (Basic + Plugin updates, performance monitoring): $100 – $500/month

Advanced Plans (Standard + Content updates, additional security measures): $500+ /month

8. How much should a WordPress website cost?

WordPress is a free CMS that allows customization with themes and plugins. If you want to make a unique design for it, here is how much you may have to spend:

Simple website (5-10 pages): $1,000 – $5,000

Informational website (8-16 pages): $3,000 – $8,000

Ecommerce website: $5,000 – $40,000+ (depending on features and product volume)

9. How much should I charge for web design? 

The cost of web design could range between $20 to $50 per hour; however, during development, it can go up to $50 to $150 per hour.


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