Create a Website

Website Cost: How Much Does It Cost To Build a Website

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You want to start building a website, but aren't sure about how much it will set you back? Will it cost $100, $1,000, or even $10,000? The exact amount depends on a number of factors, including, the type of website you need, the tools and features you want it to possess or offer, and which site-building method you intend to employ.

In this article, we’ll provide answers to some of the essential questions you should be asking yourself when planning your website, the methods available for doing so, and what each cost. By the end of our guide, we hope that you’ll have the information needed to make an informed decision about how best to accomplish your website creation goals.

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Wix
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Types of Websites

At the outset, it's helpful to determine exactly what type of website it is that you want to create. As a general rule, elaborate projects tend to be more expensive than simpler ones. With that said, there are several different types of websites, each with varying degrees of complexity:

  • Blog
    Should you only want to share your thoughts with the world on a regular or semi-regular basis, a blog will likely suit your needs. Blogs allow their authors to publish entries or posts containing text, pictures, and/or videos. Thanks to dedicated blogging and website-building platforms with blog templates, launching a new blog is a piece of cake. To learn more about how to create a website for your blog, be sure to check out our guide.

    Complexity: Low

  • Portfolio
    Are you a freelancer looking to advertise your work to potential clients? If so, a simple portfolio website showcasing your designs, music, or writing is likely to come in handy. Like blogs, setting up portfolio websites is also a cinch, with most site-building platforms offering ready-made portfolio templates. All you have to do is customize it with your own content. 

    Complexity: Low

  • Company website
    If you're looking to create an online presence for your company or business, half-measures just won't cut it, since your website will likely serve as the first point of reference for any potential customers or clients. Accordingly, it should look and be designed as professionally as possible. Apart from appearance, you'll also want to keep a number of legal aspects in mind before launching your site. The costs for a business website depend largely on the size of your company and what features you want it to include. Simple business pages can be created with site builders, and don’t necessarily require any special skills or knowledge. However, building a website for a larger company with advanced capabilities will require hiring the right professionals.

    Complexity: Moderate - High

  • E-commerce
    If you intend to sell goods and services online, you’ll need access to specific capabilities, such as a place to feature your products, and the ability to integrate payment methods and shipping options. When designing this kind of website, you’ll need to pay closer attention to laws and regulations than you otherwise would when creating a simple business website. Conveniently, a number of e-commerce website builders are available to help in creating your online shop, even if you don't have advanced knowledge of programming.

    Complexity: Moderate - High

  • Forum
    In some sense, forums were the predecessors of social media. Some of them, like Reddit, remain highly popular to this day, since they allow people from all over the world to discuss topics that they share an interest in or knowledge of. Creating a forum, let alone managing one, requires a huge investment of time, effort, and financial resources. 

    Complexity: High

  • Online portal
    Online portals, such as EXPERTE.com, are far more difficult to create than regular websites. Using our site as an example, to facilitate user-friendly software comparisons on the front end, we developed web applications that run on the back end. For these reasons, it’s best to enlist the aid of professionals when building an online portal.

    Complexity: High

Website Building Methods

Website creation costs depend heavily on the type of site you’re building. Generally speaking, expenses rise relative to complexity, with time often being the most-consumed resource. Whether it's your time spent creating a site on a site builder or content management system (CMS), or that of a professional web developer/designer depends largely on your financial resources and motivation.

Below, we've summarized all three methods, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the costs each entails.

1.

Easiest Method: Website Building Platforms

Site builders are extremely popular, not least because they help those lacking in programming or design experience to quickly create unique websites at relatively little cost. They also come with intuitive tools that make it possible to work on the front end of sites visually, without any coding knowledge. Rounding things out, features that you’d normally have to purchase separately if using a classic CMS, such as a domain name and hosting plan, are included in the subscription costs of website builders (these are usually free for the first year).

Site building platforms like MyWebsite by 1&1 IONOS help you to drag and drop your way to your own website.

In general, site builders offer a variety of templates and designs that users can then fill with their own content. These include pre-made content boxes, text fields, and photo galleries, as well as industry-specific features, such as restaurant menus and appointment scheduling.

Which Types of Sites Are Website Builders Made For?

Website builders are useful for creating blogs, portfolio websites, business websites, e-commerce sites, and more. When it comes specifically to e-commerce, you'll find two types of platforms, comprehensive systems which offer e-commerce capabilities as add-ons, and dedicated platforms. Among the former are services such as Wix or Squarespace, while the latter include Shopify or BigCommerce, which cater solely to the needs of online business owners.

E-commerce systems like Shopify can help you create and manage your own online store.

While it isn't impossible to create more complex online portals that include web applications using site-building platforms, you won't be doing yourself any favors by going this route. To start, you'll need to possess the necessary coding skills or be willing to hire someone who does. In the case of the latter, they'll likely suggest the use of a CMS platform, owing to its greater flexibility.

Pros and Cons of Site Builders

  • No programming or design skills required

  • All-in-one packages including domain and hosting

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Come with plenty of ready-made content

  • Provide access e-commerce and marketing features

  • The easier the platform, the less customization it offers

  • Cookie-cutter websites likely

  • Comparably little flexibility

  • Potential limitations in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) or speed

Costs

How much you wind up paying for a site builder depends on the platform you select, as well as which pricing plan you opt for. Some providers offer free versions that include a branded subdomain and ads while limiting access to specific features and settings.

Premium plans can be booked monthly, or for longer, for which you'll typically receive a discount. Beginner rates start at around $5 per month, with access to additional features (such as e-commerce) generally costing between $10 to $30.

In the table below, we've compared the annual costs for all of the providers from our sample based on their most affordable subscription which was ad-free and included a unique domain:

1.
Jimdo
Start
$96.00
yearly price
2.
GoDaddy
Basic
$113.88
yearly price
3.
Wix
Combo
$132.00
yearly price

EXPERTE.com's Choice: Wix

And which site builder is the best? This depends largely on your needs and requirements, however, in our EXPERTE.com assessment, the best all-round platform was Wix. This Israeli site builder combines ease of use with a wide selection of features. Along with its standard editor, Wix also offers a simpler version for beginners (ADI Editor), which practically builds your website for you.

Wix includes a variety of features, offering up numerous content possibilities, as well as an in-house marketing platform. And, should Wix be unable to satisfy your needs, you'll likely find the capability or tool you're looking for in their extensive app market.

As far as we’re concerned, Wix delivers the best combination of user-friendliness and functionality.

Wix can be trialed at no cost thanks to its free version. This lacks a few important features, and ties your website to a Wix domain, however, it will help you determine if the platform is a good fit for your needs. Should you want an ad-free site with a unique domain, subscriptions start at around $10 per month.

All of the above makes Wix EXPERTE.com's top pick.

Best Overall 2024
Wix Website Builder
Wix Website Builder
(92,328 )
Wix beats out the competition with an unmatched variety of features, intuitive editors and a jam-packed app store. Overall, the platform offers the best balance of usability and features on the market today.
800+ versatile templates
lots of features and elements
store with 300+ apps
simple & intuitive interface
free entry-level plan
9.6
excellent
Space
0.5 - 50 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
550+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months