Digital Marketing

How Much Does A Website Cost in 2021?

Businesses and individuals alike create thousands of websites every day. You are probably considering one yourself. One question that rings over and over is, how much does it cost to build a website?

Well, there are plenty of dynamics involved. In this article, we’ll break down the costs.

Let’s get started!

How Much Does Building A Website From The Ground Cost?

Creating a simple blog is relatively easy and doesn’t require much technical knowledge or a large budget. However, most of that comes with disadvantages in terms of functionality and scalability.

Thus, most people nowadays prefer to build websites from the ground up. Still, the cost varies depending on many factors.

Generally speaking, some websites will cost less than $1,000, while others have initial costs totaling more than $100,000.

That includes design, coding, and initial maintenance costs. To help you gauge where the average website cost falls, below is a detailed breakdown of individual prices. 

Domain Name

A domain name marks your address on the internet. If yours will be a personal website, you can have your name as the domain. The type of domain extension can change the price a bit. (.com, .net, .org,, etc).

Once you have chosen your domain name and extension, you pay yearly fees to maintain ownership. The high-level domain extensions cost more to maintain per year. So, costs range from as low as $10 to thousands of dollars annually. 

Some of the common domain registrars charge as follows:

Web Hosting

Think of web hosting as the rent you pay to run your website. Only this time, you’re not paying for living space but space on virtual computers. This is where your website data gets stored.

Just like living space, the more you need, the higher you pay. If your website handles lots of data, you pay higher hosting fees. Like you consider utilities for living space, you need to check server uptime and other factors before choosing a host.

To start with, you can use shared WordPress hosting. It is cheap and reliable. Yet, in the long run, you might need to upgrade to managed WordPress hosting. 

Some of the cheapest shared hosting plans are:

  • $2.15 – $7.45 Monthly or $25.80 – $89.40 Yearly (Save most by paying 4 years upfront)
  • $2.95 – $5.45 Monthly or $35.50 – $65.40 Yearly (Save most by paying 3 years upfront)
  • $6.99 – $15.99 Monthly or $83.88 – $191.88 Yearly (Save most paying 3 years upfront)

Website Platforms/CMS

A content management system (CMS) is the software you will use to manage website content. Other than adding images, the CMS does the coding bit for you too. Fill out content and images as needed, and the software takes care of what happens in the background.

Unless you are savvy with coding and are concerned about compatibility, almost any CMS works. Other than those used for online stores, most come free of charge. All that you need is to pay for hosting and domain names.

Factors to consider when choosing a CMS platform include customer support, user-friendliness, and data migration policies.

Some of the most common CMS platforms are:

  • powers 35% of sites on the internet. Not to be confused with
  • is the commercial version of WordPress. You get an all-in-one package with hosting and domain purchase.
  • Drupal is an open-source CMS trusted by thousands of university websites. It’s highly customizable and suitable for websites that handle a lot of data.
  • Joomla is an easy-to-use open-source CMS in operation since 2005.
  • Ghost is a CMS designed with bloggers in mind.
  • Blogger is another CMS for bloggers created in 1999, currently owned by Google. Comes with the option of a custom domain extension or the default .blogspot.


Most CMS platforms come with plenty of themes. Some are free, with limited functionalities, while the premium ones come with diverse functions. All come grouped per niche, making it easy to choose a suitable one.

The theme dictates how your site layout will look like. Most come as a template that allows drag and drop to replace the stock content. Premium themes come at the cost of about $50 per year.

Have a look at some of these common WordPress themes to better understand what to expect:

  • Astra: Astra is an Elementor theme with a free option and a premium version at $44 per year. It is easy-to-use and suitable for blogs of any niche.
  • Neve: The theme is easily customizable and has a free version. The premium version costs $49 annually and comes with a built-in blog booster.
  • Elementor: Elementor is more of a website builder than a theme, making it easy for beginners. There is a free version, and the premium version costs $49.20 annually.

Web Design

Web design involves sketching the page layouts and coming up with suitable graphics. Many of the packages come with logo design too and advice on color schemes. You can choose to have independent contractors do various parts or choose a team that deals with everything.

A single team will save on costs, and progress is easier to track. However, independent contractors bring on board a diversity of ideas. Either way, they add to the cost of creating a website.

Web design cost depends on:

  • Amount of pages: Plenty of agencies charge around $4,000 for 20 pages. Then, every extra page gets charged approximately $100. The prices are estimated and dependent on the agency of choice plus page functionalities.
  • Custom functionalities: While plugins and themes help achieve various functions, some functions may need custom coding. For instance, a tax calculator may need building from the ground up. Such costs will depend on the complexity of the task.
  • Revisions: Projects come with set timelines, which do not always go as planned. Any extra time and inputs will impact the overall cost.

Web Development

Web development costs depend on how much work you choose to outsource. Thankfully, with website builders, themes, plugins, and many guides online, you might not have to outsource much.

The kind of web development costs incurred break down into two categories:

  • Infrastructural costs: They include domain name purchase, hosting, themes, and plugins. Basically, anything that keeps the website running.
  • Design and functionality costs: This includes content, graphics, and audio/visual content. Generally, everything that visitors see when interacting with your website.

Web Functionality

Unless you opt to code the website from the ground up, you might not need to worry about functionality. Most themes and templates are made to appeal and work well for users. Yet, it does not hurt to know what functionality is all about.

Web functionality is less about beauty and more about how easy it is for users to navigate around. Great functionality is gauged through factors such as:

  • Well defined, easy-to-grasp navigation
  • Great user experience
  • Precise call to actions
  • Responsiveness to multiple devices
  • Consistency in content and branding

Web Contents

Each of the pages you have on your website requires content. Content varies from articles in the blog section, “about us” page, landing pages, terms and conditions, all the way to videos where needed. 

To cover your website considerably, you would need hundreds of hours at the least. Hence, the need for paying professionals to work on most of it. Take articles, for example. On many of the available job boards, you will find great writers at affordable rates.

The same case applies to video and animation content creators. You come up with a concept, communicate it clearly, have someone work on it, and give feedback or ask for revisions where necessary. 


You do not have to use plugins, but they can improve functionality and enhance your use greatly. Some come as performance enhancers, giving you detailed site metrics. Others come in to help users, such as calculators. 

Plugin availability and functions vary depending on the CMS you choose. Most come with a free/trial version with limited functions. Thus, upgrading to premium means an additional cost. Have a look at some standard plugins and their respective functions and expenses.

  • WPForms: This is your go-to solution for online forms. Be it subscription, contact, payment, or online order forms. Costs range from a free version to $39.50 annually.
  • Smash Balloon: If you would like a live feed on your website from the activity on your social media channels, this the plugin of choice. It will cost you between $49-$299 per year, depending on the number of channels, among other factors.
  • Akismet: If you have a comments section, this plugin will help prevent spam. It will cost you zero pennies for limited functionality and $60 per year for all features.
  • YoastSEO: SEO optimization determines how various search engine algorithms rank your site. This plugin gives meaningful SEO-related suggestions for your action. There is a free version, while the premium option costs $89 annually.


Everything that runs daily is bound to break at some point. Websites are no exception, needing maintenance as a result. They also need upgrades to keep them up to date. Tech support also counts as part of maintenance.

Maintenance cost differs depending on your website’s nature and the people you choose to perform maintenance, among other factors. Based on those factors, here is a breakdown of expected costs for various types of websites.

  • Personal Website: $5-$25 per month
  • Professional Blogs: $25-$75 per month
  • Small Business Sites: $35-$100 per month
  • Small and Medium Business Sites: $125-$500 per month
  • Web Application Sites: $300-$2,500 per month
  • Corporate Websites: $200-$3,500 per month
  • Custom Business Sites: $350-$4,500 per month
  • Ecommerce Sites: $1,500-$2,500 per month
  • Custom Ecommerce Sites: $2,000-$5,000 per month

A Website Cost Varies Depending on Your Business Needs

Reading through most of what is shared above, it’s difficult to determine the exact cost of a website.

The short answer: it depends.

Website costs vary depending on your business needs. The more your business needs, the more the tweaks and high costs as a result.

Still, you can save on costs by determining what you need in the initial stages and scale as you go.

Therefore, your creativity and discernment influence actions just as much as overall needs. You can check what competitors are spending to gauge whether you spend too much or too little.

Summary & Takeaways

How much does it cost to make a website? Well, it costs both time and money. The exact amount for each depends on several factors.

While plugins, themes, and other enhancements can help you grow fast, you do not have to use them at first. You can give the free versions a try first and scale once you are certain things work as you want them to. Also, how much you will do on your own influences cost.

If there are components on the website that you can work on yourself, you get to save a lot. Researching solutions influences success considerably, so read as much as you can on the topic. Compare what others in the field are doing and consult widely.

Digging up lots of information helps you avoid pitfalls others went through. Also, take your time before hiring people. You want to choose what to outsource carefully, as it clearly costs quite a bit to outsource.

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By Kevin Frei

Kevin Frei is an entrepreneur, paid media specialist, and intermittent nomad from Arizona. Ethical Digital is his third startup after and an online traffic school company. An avid traveler and economics hobbyist, Kevin's goal is to revolutionize the way service companies are organized so that more people can achieve the dream of professional (and locational) independence.

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