How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business
Web Design | 19 min read time
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?
Written by Rachel Mewborn

Whether the company is outsourcing their website creation or building the website themselves, the amount of dedication and effort it takes to do it right doesn’t waver. The price tags of these services, however, do. Follow along to learn more about the different aspects of website creation, the average costs of each, and how they tie into the total cost of building the website! 

For small business owners who are ready to have a digital presence and increase their overall visibility, hop on over to our web design services page to speak to one of our professional website creators today!

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?

It usually costs between $2,000 and $15,000 to have a website built for a small business by a professional website builder. The price will be determined by how many pages the site needs, how much copywriting is required, and the degree of customization the website demands. There are other factors that will play a part in the overall cost of a website but these are the most taxing items.

If an individual just needs to show a professional presence online, a less expensive DIY option may be beneficial for them. Inexperienced web creators can still produce well-designed websites with the necessary capabilities for their business using free platforms such as WordPress or Squarespace. These platforms may allow users to be up and running quickly, and for free, but it’s important for business owners to remember that just having a website doesn’t make it beneficial, it has to be useful to the company and its users. 

Due to the extensive list of platforms, design features, and all their possible combinations, it would be extremely hard for an ethical marketing agency to accurately propose a price for website creation without specifics from the hiring company itself. When hiring a marketing agency to build a website, other things like SEO, company size, UX, marketing budget, target audience, and website capacity can all play a part in the overall website creation costs.

While the range of prices above is wide and the overall costs of outsourcing may sound expensive, in the end, having an authentic, well-built website will be worth it. Building a bespoke website demands extensive amounts of communication, planning, and foresight. Business leaders and entrepreneurs don’t want to invest time and money into building something that they will have to soon rebuild because corners were cut on the front end. Cheap websites turn potential profits into definite deficits.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website for a Small Business?

Building a Website for the Right Reasons

When dreaming of a new business venture, the initial concept can be exciting! The potential benefits and community impact of nuanced ideas can be extremely motivating; the increased income helps the excitement, too! But sometimes the dream itself, the why, can become eclipsed in the questions and details about the how. How is all of this going to come to fruition? This part of the marketing process can bring large amounts of stress and push business owners to shift their perspective of what is an investment and what is an expense. 

To clear up any confusion: well-created, designed, and maintained websites are paramount for success. Ultimately, they are priceless. 

As budding business owners get their fingers dirty with the foundational processes of website creation, the vast range of website design details, services, and price tags can push entrepreneurs to take cheaper, easier routes when creating a website for their brand. Some impatient leaders may choose to build their sites with DIY programs and templates that are easy to use but offer no real design or function support. 

Some cheap agencies, indifferent to the actual end results, produce subpar websites at bargain rates that will actually detract consumers and potential partners alike. An efficient, aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly website is a critical foundational piece of any digital marketing strategy and business owners need to understand the gravity of this asset. 

When time seems to be running away and the moments of confusion and frustration begin to set in, entrepreneurs must be quick to realign their perspective of their marketing investments. There is a huge difference between a website that converts the target audience from visitors to customers at a high rate, an asset, and an active yet inefficient website with little to no interactive capabilities, a liability. If the justification of the website’s worth becomes dependent on the dollar amount, the website’s inherent value is lost. 

Building a website is not just about building another avenue of income, it’s about creating the identity, experience, and reputation of a brand or movement. Websites are a catalyst for business growth and without proper understanding and appreciation, everything else in the marketing plan will suffer. Making hasty marketing decisions based on monetary expense rather than intrinsic value is short-sighted and detrimental to company success overall. When it comes to a company’s website it’s all about quality, and it’s worth every penny. 

Factors That Determine Small Business Website Design Cost

Factors That Determine Small Business Website Design Cost

Akin to determining the cost of a vehicle, the cost of a website involves more than pricing out what the users will be able to see. And like creating the concept for that vehicle, there is a lot of effort that goes into the website vision process prior to beginning any production processes. Creating a custom website requires an ample amount of time dedicated to the extensive research of the hiring company and its target audience(s). 

When hiring a website creator, business owners should anticipate lots of time spent on the front end discussing mission, vision, and intent. Every aspect of the website design and user experience needs to be meticulously thought through; as each element is important. Even the most minute mistakes in code or copy can cause detrimental issues in the long run. 

The following factors can all play part in the overall cost of website building:

Brand Awareness

One of the first things a prospective marketing company will do is interview their new client to find out who they are, what they do, and who their ideal customers are. As a website designer, it would be impossible to create a relevant and efficient website without knowing the type of company they are working for or the type of customer they are trying to attract. Web designers need to know how to help their clients rank in the SERPs, and to do that they need to be one step ahead of their client’s competition as well.

Market / Competition Research

Awareness of competitor strategies allows businesses to play on the shortcomings of their competitors and use their more favorable campaign qualities as ideas for new marketing strategies. Knowing what type of marketing strategy is necessary for that client will give the website creator an idea of the necessary features that need to be available on the site. Once they are aware of the brand’s story, their voice, and their target audience, the designer can begin keyword research for SEO.

SEO

Search engines have become the middleman between companies and online consumers and they speak fluent SEO. Search engine optimization has become a defining factor in the difference between a successful website and a fruitless one. Depending on the marketing agency chosen, they may or may not offer SEO services on the pages they are producing. If the marketing company does not recommend, or require, SEO as part of their web design package, they do not have their client’s best interest in mind. If businesses want their customers to find them they need to impress Google, and they need to do it consistently. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process as search engine algorithms change almost monthly and without notice.

Website Copy

Website copy is an important part of SEO. Depending on the industry, SEO and copywriting may accrue a decent amount of time in the initial creation phases. It includes everything from the page title to the drop-down menus to the media tags and descriptions. Without proper copywriting, a website will become a wasted resource. To have their website rank well in the SERPs, website creators need to understand what Google and other search engines want to see; and that’s niche relevant keywords. If a website’s copy is filled with information that is vague, inconsistent, or irrelevant to its niche, it will not rank well. If the website does not rank well, consumers will have a hard time finding it. No traffic = No customers. 

Website Copy Budget

Page Quantity and Quality

Without fail, websites are commonly charged by the page, but they should not come at a flat rate. The price of each web page should be different depending on the size, content, capabilities, and features. For smaller businesses, the prices may fluctuate for each page more than for that of a corporation. This is due to the fact that there won’t be many pages with similar content. Bigger companies, on the other hand, may need 20 product pages with similar layouts, features, and content. These will probably fall under the same pay scale. 

Prices will also depend on whether the page can be customized from a theme or template, or if it has to be made from scratch. The difference in cost for these pages is normally justified by the drastic difference in the amount of time it takes to create an original web page versus a templated one. 

Third-Party Integrations

Third-party integrations, or application program interfaces (APIs), give web creators the ability to include exterior functions internally. These ingenious website integrations make it easy for companies to streamline things like their customers’ communications, site navigation, and interaction, and payment processes. Integrations can include other items like shipping calculators, payment gateways, and appointment scheduling. Adding these actions to the website is normally accomplished by using platform plugins, but these features are not fool-proof. After configuring the setting and implementing these features extensive testing must be completed to fix any unforeseen issues before it goes live. 

Budget 

While the budget may be an uncomfortable subject for some newly established businesses, these conversations should be anticipated with hope and excitement. Budget conversations will allow the business owner to get a clear idea of what they’re going to be able to get on their website, and what they won’t. The best website builders will encourage actions that provide the greatest ROI. Sometimes for the small business owner, this means letting go of a design idea, for now. If there is trust between the small business and its creators, they will both understand that they are working towards the same goal; a little pushback from a website creator should be seen as welcomed advice. 

Timeline

Timeline conversations might also be a little frustrating due to unrealistic expectations. Timeline discussions will provide the website designers some insight into any subsequent page additions, launches, and maintenance. These tidbits of information will tell the website builders whether the website should be released in phases or at once. Depending on the size of the website and all of its fixings, the realistic launch date might be later than the small business owner expected. Business owners should be skeptical of website builders who promise to deliver whatever they want whenever they want. 

Average Cost of Website Design for Small Business 

Oddly enough, finding a good website-building company online can be harder than most would think. Potential clients searching the phrase ‘website building company’ will not only be met with a slew of SEM and PPC ads for agencies that offer cheap website creation packages, but they will also have to search through pages of web design companies that provide no real pricing information. To small business owners, the task of finding a needle in a haystack can seem like a welcomed activity compared to hiring a website design agency, but in the end, the right choice isn’t always the easiest. 

Today, the available prices for website building range from as low as $145 to upwards of $6,000. Most small businesses will land somewhere in the middle but the price should ultimately depend on the actual components of the website. 

Although it may sound counterproductive, businesses that don’t provide hard numbers are actually doing it right. To new coming small business owners, price bundle deals can seem extremely advantageous but they are marketed that way for a reason. Most website design companies that promote flat rate web building services will try to develop a sense of consumer trust as they ‘transparently’ list what services and features are included at each level. Clients are encouraged to believe in bundle deals because the list of features grows in accordance with the increase in price; but the fact is, the value doesn’t necessarily carry over equally. 

As the prices go up, the list of features may extend; but business owners cannot be distracted by the available options. The catch with price bundles is that the most inexpensive barebone bundles usually don’t include enough features. And even if a company purchases the most expensive package, they probably won’t need all of the available features included in that bundle. Customers that purchase the expensive bundles are merely paying for the opportunity to use the special features; ultimately, their implementation is tentative. 

Business owners who are unaware of the website building process can feel as if they are at the mercy of price bundling bandits, but this just isn’t the case. There are many website building companies out there that are authentic, have integrity, and are ready to help small businesses become successful by fulfilling their vision in the best way they can. 

Business owners should look for website designers and creators that give estimates of the individual services they provide as well as the available content and features they can include. This way, the potential client can browse the website and get ideas of possible additions and components. For the business owners who know what they want for their website, they can do the math themselves and get an idea of what they can expect to pay. If the small business owner isn’t sure of what they want or need, they might have to take the extra step and give the web building company a call. There is no way to give a respectful and honest estimate without meeting with the company and discussing what they are going to need.

Getting (and Understanding) Your Small Business Web Design Proposal

To new business owners, receiving a proposal or quote for a new website can be somewhat overwhelming but line by line is the only way to tackle it. Business owners need to be confident when deciding on who will create the digital face of their business. With unfamiliar vocabulary and confusing price explanations, some fees can seem like splitting hairs, but clear-cut proposals make for great websites and great professional relationships. 

The clients of a website creation company need to trust their builders. If there is any confusion about a price or service, it needs to be discussed as soon as possible. Business leaders should be wary of website builders that say yes to everything they think they want. Builders that give push back or advise against adding certain features do so because they are the experts. Their job is to provide their clients with the best website they can, and sometimes that means providing hard truths about design ideas or content inclusion.

An important part of the proposal is a clear understanding of what is and what is not part of the project. These specifications will help clear up any future discrepancies with the creation process. Knowing what a client wants is just as crucial as knowing what they don’t. The description of the project, its features, and overall vision can also establish a good foundation for expansion in the future.

A sitemap should also be included in the proposal. A site map is a file that provides location information for the components of a website. It lists all the pages that will be built and the hierarchy of those pages. This list helps the customers visualize what their website will look like. There are two types of sitemaps: XML and HTML. An XML sitemap is code and made specifically to help search engine web crawlers navigate the website behind the scenes. The HTML map is an interactive navigational portion of the web page made for the consumers.

Last but not least is the price. The price of the website should be clearly stated in the proposal. Services and their values should be stated without variables unless otherwise discussed. A good proposal doesn’t have to be extremely detailed, it just needs to be clear and concise. Small business owners should have the utmost confidence in their web building agency and this can only happen through honest communication and follow through.

Getting (and Understanding) Your Small Business Web Design Proposal

What About Website Cost per Month after Launch?

While there is a lot of focus placed on the manifestation of the website, there is plenty to consider after launch. Website maintenance services are not provided by all website building companies so small businesses should have a contingency plan for post-launch issues. Companies that provide website maintenance services like daily backups, customer service help, website security certificates, and continuous plugin updates allow the business owner to rest easy knowing that any issues that arise will be taken care of swiftly. 

The following services are commonly found in a monthly website maintenance service package:

Hosting

While there are many hosting companies that will only charge $5 a month, that really is all they’re doing. The investment comes into play when the bad days roll around. Squarespace and Shopify include the ongoing costs with each available plan but the tradeoff is the amount of restriction with what can and can’t be done with the website’s design and components. WordPress has a similar plan set up but it’s also very restrictive. The open-source version of WordPress, on wordpress.org, requires separate hosting and management of the website. We recommend and use WP Engine for our managed plans. If our customers want to do it on their own we recommend that they at least choose a “Managed WordPress Hosting” plan. There are lots of hosting options out there, most are not recommended by us.

Security

Like the ADT home protection services, small businesses need to ensure that they are protecting their digital assets just the same. Security measures should be updated monthly to protect against unwanted bugs and intruders. A Secure Sockets Layer Certificate, or SSL Certificate, is necessary for protecting the information of the company as well as its users from the webserver to the web browser. Daily malware protection and hacker removal are common attributes of monthly website maintenance. 

Back-Ups

After all of the time, money, sweat, and possibly tears spent on this project, it would be devastating to lose it all from a missed backup. Companies that offer monthly maintenance packages should most definitely include backups. The most advantageous plans allow for backups to happen nightly which helps with restoration issues if anything happens to the domain.

Upgrade Maintenance

Plugins and themes are updated without notice and when this happens, the consumers are the first to know. Monthly QA, quality assurance, checks on all plugins and themes are significant to the user’s experience as well as monthly QA tests of website functions. Proactive recovery of website maintenance issues is the best way to ensure higher rankings and happy customers. 

Speed Maintenance

Speed is one of the most detrimental areas of user experience. Without ongoing speed maintenance, load times will increase and consumers will back click within seconds. Companies that offer speed maintenance will most likely offer to cache and minifying the website as well. Both of these processes minimize the code and markups of a website. Content delivery networks, or CDNs, are a great way to provide the fastest load times to consumers. Like little franchises of information, CDNs bring the information closer to the consumers, no matter how far away the original content really is.

Customer Service Maintenance

Customer service is a huge part of the user experience and the quicker the response the better. In fact, Americans will pay 17% more to do business with firms that hold great reputations for customer service efforts. Allowing a third-party company to help handle customer service relations is no small undertaking. These services normally range from answering inquiries to live human interaction. The type of customer service offered on the website and how often it’s provided is important and the standard of care must be identified in the beginning. 

Customer Service

Expert Help

A great addition to any maintenance package is the opportunity to have monthly one-on-one help from a website building expert. As the website becomes active and the processes are tried, some main design features or components may be questioned. And sometimes the website owners need help using their site or just logging in. Many companies provide an allotted amount of time to meet with their clients and discuss any questions or issues that have come up over the last month. Meetings are typically 1 hr a month, but more time is commonly available at a discounted rate.

Monthly Page Additions

Another possible part of a website maintenance plan is the monthly addition of web pages. Some companies are able to put a custom plan together where they build onto the site each month over time. This can be helpful especially for clients who can’t afford to build everything all at once. Creating the base MVP – Minimum Viable Product – of the site will allow the builders to work through a prioritized list of features or pages that need to be added each month. 

Build a Website or Build a Following?

As social media platforms begin to blend identities with eCommerce platforms, it would be insensible to not highlight their role in digital marketing and eCommerce. Although creating social media accounts is comparably inexpensive, and allows for an almost infinite amount of consumer outreach, they cannot replace the overarching benefits of a well-founded website. 

Regardless of the company or industry, social media platforms cannot be the only avenue of visibility in the digital marketing plan. Relying on social media platforms for marketing without a website is a bad move due to the lack of account control and security, as well as the limited types of content and customer interactions for each. Happy customers return to companies time and again because of their unique experience with them. If a company does not have a website to link to from their social media account, their customers will only be able to experience them through what Instagram or Facebook has to offer. 

In addition to inexplicably changing their algorithms, social media platforms can increase their prices without increased accessibility or usage to the consumers. Instead of viewing social media accounts and websites as an either-or scenario, business owners should think of their website and social media following as individual aspects of their marketing plan that will work with each other in unison to boost visibility, UX, and conversion rates.

Website Vs. Social Media

Logo and Web Design for Small Business Owners and Managers

Building a website of any size can become cumbersome with the wrong team members. Here at Flyrise, we strive to bring our customers the best possible website building experience available. After all, we are on the same team. Our website building processes are sincere, comprehensive, and tailored to the unique needs of each client as their website is going to be a direct reflection of them and their mission. We believe in our clients wholeheartedly and hope to accurately show the rest of the world who they are and what they have to offer. Visit our web design services page for small businesses to talk with our website development professionals today! Let’s see how high we can fly together!