And how can you keep the website cost down?
Some web designers display a range of fixed website costs. For instance, they could say a two-page website costs £200, a six-page website costs £400 and a fifteen-page website costs £700. They would also give a list of features each site includes.
Other than these fixed website costs, designers usually price websites on a case-by-case basis.
This article is about WordPress websites, Wix and Squarespace are less popular alternatives. (WordPress training.)
The web designer’s time
Most of the cost involved in building your website is the web designer’s time. A freelancer will have smaller overheads than an agency, which might mean their quote is lower.
If you already know what you want when you speak to your web designer, that might help them come up with a plan that suits you faster. For instance, your web designer might ask you to show them three websites you like and ask if you need any extra features, such as a booking form.
This gives them an idea of the website style and features you’re looking for. If you can make things as easy as possible for the web designer, your website might cost less.
Hosting, maintenance, and updates
Your website has ongoing costs, such as domain name registration and web hosting. Web hosting costs can vary from £5 per month to over £100 per month. £15 per month will buy good enough hosting for most small local business websites. Your website also needs security updates and maintenance. If your web designer does this for you, it’s another expense you must pay.
Writing content and taking photos
You also have the cost of creating your website content, writing your own content, and providing your own photos is another way you might keep the cost down.
Don’t code your website from scratch
The easiest way to reduce costs is to use a good WordPress web design theme. Choose one that has a lot of customisation options. GeneratePress is a good example, it’s very well coded and enables you to build a unique-looking website. The further you get from a simple website that displays text and images, the more your website is likely to cost. Each additional feature you require takes time to configure and could increase the price.
I think of a website as if it was flat pack furniture.
- You look through your Ikea catalogue.
- Choose the stuff you need.
- Assemble the parts.
- Arrange your furniture around your room.
WordPress websites work similarly.
- You browse the WordPress theme repository.
- Find a theme or web design you like.
- Browse the WordPress plugin repository.
- Find plugins that add any extra functionality you need.
- Assemble the theme and plugins into a website.
- Use the theme’s customizer settings to change how the design looks.
- Use the plugin settings to configure your website’s extra features.
Themes and plugins
The WordPress website lists free themes and plugins. You can also buy premium themes and plugins. Only use themes and plugins that you know are secure.
Here are some extra features popular plugins can add to your website.
- Feedback forms and mailing list sign up forms.
- Analytics and information about your site visitors.
- Improved SEO.
- Stronger security.
- Spam protection for blog post comments.
- Disable comments site-wide.
- Membership areas.
- Easy website backups.
- Shopping carts and digital downloads.
- Enhanced image galleries and sliders.
- Enhanced navigation systems.
- Online booking systems.
- Learning management systems (running online courses).
- Making grids and columns in your pages (GenerateBlocks and Genesis Blocks).
- Page builders (Elementor and Beaver builder).
- Calendar of events your business is running.
- Image compression.
There are two types of website customisation.
- Changing how your website looks.
- Adding extra functionality to your website.
Guessing website costs is difficult
Changing how your website looks usually costs less than adding extra functionality. Adding a shopping cart to your website is an example of adding extra functionality. When adding extra functionality to your website, it’s not always obvious which extra features will be cheap, and which will be expensive. That’s because these extra features are readymade plugins that you can add, or plug in, to your website. Some are free, some you buy.
Keep it secure
WordPress themes and plugins are software programs that you install on your web server. So, you must make sure they’re well coded and secure against hackers. Only use plugins from the official WordPress website or bought from businesses that you know are trustworthy.
Adding extra features to your site
If you want to sell digital downloads of an eBook you’ve written. You could go to the WordPress website and search for digital downloads.
Using a readymade plugin to add extra functionality to your website costs a fraction of the amount it would cost if you paid a programmer to write that code just for your website.
There are 58000 WordPress plugins that cover most web design needs.
Web designs are called themes
The same goes for WordPress themes. A theme is a web design you add to WordPress. But because millions of people use WordPress, a theme designer can sell the same theme to thousands of users and split the development cost among all those users.
This has two very important consequences.
- The theme developer can afford to constantly improve their theme and keep it secure from hackers.
- You can buy a license to use the theme that has a lot of configuration options for a tiny fraction of its true cost.