Small business owners like you almost always realise that a website is a good investment, but it’s easy to be discouraged by over-inflated quotes & a lack of technical knowledge!

To help you understand what you might expect to pay for a small business website design, I’ve broken down the different costs involved.

Website costs can be broken down into 4 simple areas: domain, hosting, design & maintenance.

Domain

A domain is the web address of your website (e.g: www.lauraaffleck.com). Generally speaking, domains are very reasonably priced, often only £10 a year. I tend to use 123 Reg to find and register my domains and those of my clients, but there are other companies you could choose. When you buy your domain you may also be asked if you want Domain Protection (also sometimes called Domain Privacy or Domain Proxy); my advice is, probably yes! There is an organisation called WHOIS which has access to & manages all data related to your domain. if you don’t buy Domain Protection, anyone can look up your home contact details on the WHOIS website. You could also end up with a lot of email spam if you don’t protect your privacy.

Domain – £10 per year

Privacy – sometimes included with domain costs, if not, between 99p & £10 per year

Hosting

If your website is your home, website hosting is the ‘plot’ on which your home (website!) sits. Unless you use a website builder like Wix or Squarepace (I wouldn’t but that is a post for another day!) you will be responsible for purchasing your hosting ‘plot’. (I do this for my clients but they still pay the costs directly to the hosting provider, not to me). To give you an idea of costs, here is what some of the big hosting companies are currently charging for basic shared WordPress hosting (these prices include VAT, which you have to add to the prices you’ll see on their sites):

  • Siteground (*my absolute favourite & the company I use for my hosting & recommend to all my clients) | £42.50 per year including an SSL certificate (that little padlock symbol you need so customers will trust & buy from you – some browsers & security software won’t even load sites which don’t have one!).
  • Fast Hosts| £36 per year without an SSL certificate.
  • GoDaddy | £43 per year, without an SSL certificate

All these companies offer the quoted price as a special offer which you can lock into by paying for 1, 2 or 3 years in advance; after that your costs will be approximately double the amount per year.

Hosting – Around £40 a year, changing to £80 a year when your special offer runs out.

Website design

Website design costs can vary HUGELY from business to business & country to country. It is pretty much impossible to compare them fairly as each designer or business offers slightly different things & approaches the job in different ways. Instead of trying to compare website design costs, I will offer you a little advice:

  • it is possible to pay anywhere from £99 – £10000 & beyond for a website.
  • do your research, take recommendations & find someone who offers what you need & caters to your market. For example, I only work with start ups & small businesses who have limited budgets, so my template sites & 1-2-1 workshops start at only £195 and go up to around £400; for businesses whose budgets are a bit more flexible, I also offer a custom design service which ranges from around £500 – £2000. I know that small business owners, freelancers & start-ups simply don’t always have the budget they wish they did for a website design. I offer them a way to get a professional, stylish & affordable site which they can build on in the future when they have more money! I don’t expect to be approached by Ikea, the BBC or NatWest about a site design, but Karen who has just started up a florist, Dan whose accountancy firm is in its early sages & Liz who runs a local bar are my perfect clients!
  • the more features you require, the more you’ll pay. If you want a site which basically consists of text & images, that will be much cheaper than a site which includes a booking facility, a shop & a membership area. But it is worth realising that if you start with a text & images site, you can easily add on those extras in future, when funds allow.
  • do not go for a pay monthly option unless you are genuinely convinced and have taken advice that what you are getting is worth paying out each month. Often, pay monthly options are really just a sneaky way of getting loads of money from you because you couldn’t afford a larger lump sum up front.
  • think very carefully about building your own site with a company such as Wix or Squarespace. Yes, it’s free (but with Wix, for example,  you don’t get free support, there will be the odd advert on your site and you’ll have to put up with having their name in your domain – e.g: www.lauraaffleck.wix.com). To be honest, you will want to upgrade from the free version and once you do that you start to pay prices comparable with the hosting & domain costs above; add to that the stress of then trying to design your own site (would you try to teach your own child GCSE French or build your own extension? Probably not!)

Website design – hard to say but probably between £250 & £3000 depending on what you need & which designer you choose.

Website maintenance

You may not need website maintenance initially but it may become invaluable as your business grows and you perhaps add more functionality to your site (like e-commerce).

I offer packages which start at £50 per month and development & support time, secure back-ups & updates. I also work on an hourly rate if clients prefer not to take up a monthly payment plan.

It really is invaluable to have a good relationship with your designer/developer so that when things do go wrong (and they will, because tech does sometimes malfunction!). you have someone you trust on the end of the phone at a price you know you can afford.

Website maintenance – from £50 per month

*Every now & then I include an affiliate link in my posts. If you click on the link & make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.