How much does a website cost?

by Christine Collen |  Web Design |  July 23, 2013

Although each site has its own complexity, we can still indicate the likely costs for getting a typical brochure web site built.

A web site basically consists of the following 3 things:

  • A domain name which identifies your site on the internet.
  • A home for your site, called a web host or web server.
  • One or more site pages describing the various aspects of your business, products and/or services being offered to your customers.

Domain Name

You can purchase a domain name from 123-reg from as little as £3.49 plus VAT a year. You would normally purchase a 2-year registration period for your domain.

Web Hosting

Your web site is a collection of associated files and folders and perhaps a database, depending upon the content management system you want to use. These files and folders have to be stored on a computer that is accessible by any web browser from any other computer in the world. Web servers are heavy-duty computers that have in-built security and robustness in order to serve up site pages to any web browser.

You, the web site owner, have to purchase a suitable web hosting package to accommodate your web site.

Our web hosting package costs only £84 per year - that's just £7 per month! And, if you commission us to design and build your web site, you get your 1st year hosting for free!

Site Pages

A typical brochure site would probably consist of between 3 and 5 pages, for example, home, about us, contact us, services and/or products pages.

Each page is interconnected with the other site pages by a set of hyperlinks - this is called site navigation. These links could either be across the top or down the left or right hand side of each page.

Each page has a consistent look in terms of layout, colour scheme, site banner - this is called site styling.

The "contact us" page has a simple contact form to make it easy for your site visitor to send you a message together with their telephone number and email address. The visitor's message is sent by the web server to your designated recipient email address.

There are a few options for building up your site pages, costing either next to nothing (in terms of money) or a few hundred pounds.

Self-build on a shoe-string

There are several open source content management systems freely available that you can use to build your web site. Such as WordPress or CMS Made Simple.  Your web hosting package may even provide you with an easy installation of these or other free open source packages.

But, and its a big but, you will have to configure your site's styling yourself and that will take quite a bit of time, especially if you have little or no knowledge of the coding language used i.e. html or css markup.

You could, of course, teach yourself this using online tutorials such as W3Schools or buy yourself a book on the subject. But this will take time - time to learn the language and time to learn from your design mistakes that you will no doubt make. Believe me, I have been building sites for nearly 10 years, and I am still learning!

You could overcome your lack of design skills using a website template. This is a designed-theme that you install into your web space and you just enter your content. Its a bit more involved than that, but that's the basic meaning.

There are a number of sites selling a variety of templates suitable for WordPress or CMS Made Simple. For example,Themeforest and 4Templates each have a huge selections of themes.  You can search for a theme that has been designed for your business sector or for a particular colour scheme.

The costs are certainly affordable, ranging between £20-£50 and you get a set of theme files that are packed with loads of styling options and functionality such as slideshows, contact forms.

You will still have to spend some time picking through the theme files to choose the bits that you want to use for your site. And that time will amount to a lot of time - particularly if you are a novice.

Get a professionally built web site

Let's face it, unless you are looking for a career change to web designer, there is little point in you building your own web site, even if you have purchased a web template and are using an open source content management system. It would be a waste of your time and therefore money to tackle this yourself. 

But how do you go about hiring a web designer to build your web site.  Well, before you reach for the yellow pages or search the web, you need to do some research first.  You need to ask yourself these questions (and answer them, course):

  • Who are your customers and what do you want them to do on your web site?
  • Who is your competition and what do their web sites include?
  • What do you want your web site to do for your business. Why have a web site?

With these questions answered, you can go about finding a professional web designer to work with you in building your web site.  The design costs can vary dramatically so you need to be careful in choosing the right candidate - more on this in a later article.

The likely costs for having a brochure web site built for you could be between £500 - £700.  Our Brochure Web Package starts at £595 and comes packed with free hosting and uses CMS Made Simple as the web platform.

But if you choose your web designer wisely, that will be money well spent.  Your web site will be up and running far quicker than if you opted for the self-build option. And you will have less headaches - your web designer will have them, instead! All you have to worry about is providing or editing your site content.