How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website For Small Business?
It costs how much to build a small business website?
People are amazed when you tell them that creating a small business website is relatively inexpensive. Only a few hundred dollars a month... really?
Well... depending on the type of website you build and the tools you use, then yep. (We go over this so you get an idea of what those tools cost).
We also touch on the important things you need to consider when building your website, like search engine optimisation (SEO), page speed and online marketing...
The easy way to build a website
Before we jump into what things cost, know that websites come in all shapes and sizes - some have pages, others do not. Some require a monthly fee to operate while others are free to use.
There are also dozens of different features you can incorporate into your site like blogging, online stores, ecommerce platforms or memberships and so forth.
To help get started we'll go over how much it costs for each website type.
There's a gazillion approaches out there but we bottled it down to...
- DIY (do-it yourself) - somewhat easy.
- Simple and easy - fast and free!
- All-in-one website - easier way (what we use).
- The old school method - way beyond us!
Which website building platform to use?
Many of us think that the cheapest way is the best way for a small business website, but that's not always the case. (Even though it might reduce costs!)
Let's take using a free website builder as an example.
Now, free websites can be excellent and do the job well, but investing in a paid theme or website can really transform the whole look and feel for your business.
Another example is using a free WIX theme. They look great and function well. But if you want a professional business that ranks in search engines then it gets complicated fast.
But you're welcome to prove us wrong. The best way is to start researching and looking into it yourself!
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
~ Author unknown
Invest in the right website builder
If you're running a small business, it's important you use marketing tools that allow you and your business to...
- Rank in search engines like Google (ie; use SEO tools)
- Create content easily (without technical know-how)
- Have a solid website infrastructure (like using a WordPress website)
Of course you don't need to follow those rules to the letter...
But it's often better in the long run, you'll be seen as a professional business, and you might even find your website ranking well in Google too!
Anyways, let's look how these different ways work.
Let's start with the DIY (do-it-yourself) way to build a website:
1. The do-it-yourself website builder
The tools you need to build a small business website are not many, but they're all important. Here's the tools you'll need for the DIY approach:
- Web hosting services (hosting account)
- Custom domain name registration
- Content management system (CMS) like a WordPress site or Shopify
- Graphics editing software (optional)
Plus... the knowledge to use them all!
Of course, if you don't plan to build the website yourself (which can be time-consuming), you can use a website builder like DropFunnels. (We talk about that in the all-in-one section!)
Nevertheless, let's run through what you'll need and what things cost...
I used the 'do-it-yourself' method for years. It works BUT it can be complicated! I call it the 'duct-tape' method because you are endlessly 'sticking' tools together. I recommend the 'all-in-one' method now as it's what I use, and MUCH easier!
Domain name registration
Without sounding like a broken record we always tell everyone to buy their own custom domain. You'll get a domain and hosting anywhere for low cost.
Buying your own domain means you own the asset! And they're inexpensive ($20.00 a year). Serious about your small business? You need to do this.
Unsure what domain name to get?
Think about what domain would best fit / resonate with you and your business...
If you're wondering "should I buy a domain?" then the answer is definitely! (Aim for a .com if it fits).
Choosing a web hosting provider
As for hosting, there's Bluehost and others. Hosting will run you around $5.00 / month or so, depending on what plan you get and for how long.
Hosting is where your website 'lives' on the internet. You need hosting. Unless of course you go the 'free route' or you go the 'all-in-one route.' (We'll get to these!)
The final option is to build a website using Wix or Weebly. These two platforms allow users with little or no coding experience to build a website.
The downside of using a free website is that your website is not really unique, and you don't have full control over the design or functionality of your site.
It is, however, a good way to practise... But do you want a business website that makes an income or is it just a new hobby?
WordPress site or Shopify?
One of the easiest way to build a website is to use a platform like WordPress.org. With WordPress, you can create a website in minutes using pre-made templates and themes.
Plus, there are many plugins available that allow you to add features and functionality to your website.
Something like 34% of the internets run on WordPress too. It's a great structure to build your business on. However we'd definitely use WordPress.org rather than WordPress.com. They are very different animals:
WordPress.org is free to use.
WordPress.com has two versions:
- WordPress Free (has limited functionality and shows ads)
- WordPress Pro is $20 / month (can sell products with ecommerce).
Setting up an online store
Alternatively, if you are moving in the direction of ecommerce, like selling products online, or you want to set up an online store, then use Shopify.
Shopify is probably the best and most popular store builder tool of them all.
So what does Shopify cost?
- $29.00 a month for a new business
- $79.00 a month for a growing business
- $299.00 a month for an advanced business
You can't go too wrong with Shopify. That said, the optional plugins can add up in price quickly. (You can solve that by making more ecommerce sales!)
The downside of using WordPress is that it can be a bit difficult to customise the look and feel of your website.
Additionally, you will need to learn how to use WordPress if you want to make changes to your website.
Website builders - themes and plugins
If you go the do-it-yourself route and use WordPress (.org) then you can get great free WordPress templates here, and most of them are very easy to use.
Or go one step better and invest in paid WordPress templates. These things rock in the design department!
Using the free templates you may find that your website may look a little like everyone else's. BUT it doesn't matter too much in the early days!
Graphic tools / stock photos
Right at the start you may not need all your ducks lined up in a row (as in, you may not need graphic design tools just yet). Having said that, these ones are free and might come in handy.
- Pixabay - great for free images to use for your new website or blog
- Canva - create a multitude of graphic design elements with the free version!
So how much does it cost to build a small business website using the do-it-yourself approach?
Web hosting ($10+) + domain ($10) + paid themes ($70) + your time to learn it!
Note: You can use free WordPress themes and plugins too. In the example below I use the DIVI WordPress theme ($70.00 / year) as an example of a paid theme.
|$10.00-$200.00 / month||$10.00 / year||$70.00 / year|
Or if you decide to use Shopify then..
Shopify ($29) + domain ($10) + store themes ($20+) + plugins ($$) + your time!
|$29.00 / month||$10.00 / year||$20.00+ / month|
2. Simple and easy website builders
Like we said, the tools you'll need to build a website are not many, but they're all important.
This section is called simple and easy because they are all free marketing tools you can use right now.
So if you need to create a minimum viable product / website today then why start learning WordPress or go searching for the best WordPress plugins?
You're going to go with what can be used right now... which is the marketing tools listed below.
So yeah, here's our thoughts on this...
These are probably some of the EASIEST website builders and tools available...
- Carrd is free website you can use immediately
- Canva is a free tool you can use to edit photos and design
- Twitter can help you with your branding (free).
- Gumroad is free to use if you need to sell things
- Need to email your customers? Use Mailchimp or ConvertKit
- Google Docs (free) if you need to write content.
Add SquareUp.com to the list too (recent discovery!) It's a free website builder that allows you to build a one (great looking) page to get your business online quickly.
It's said that everything is difficult before it's easy. And, sure, all these free tools involve a learning curve.
How much does it cost to build a small business website using the 'simple and easy' approach?
Carrd ($0) + Canva ($0) + Twitter ($0) + Gumroad ($0) + your time to learn it!
If you're prepared to invest a little more in your online endeavours then you might be curious in the way we run our business, and the online marketing tools we use!
3. All-in-one website builder
Again, the tools you'll need to build a website are not many, but they're all important.
Here's the marketing tools we use personally and what they cost:
A. DropFunnels (WordPress software, drag and drop website builder) $49.00 /mo
B. Jasper AI (writing tool to create easier content) starts at $29.00 / mo
C. UberSuggest (keyword research at $29.00 / month; free version available)
D. ActiveCampaign (emailing your customers) $10.00 / month
E. Google Workspace (productivity tool) starting at around $5.00 / month
Those five marketing tools are enough to run our small business with a very low monthly cost. (We also use Canva Pro version just because some of us are NUTS about design!)
Let's briefly talk about why these tools make your life EASIER!
A. DropFunnels (website builder, sales funnels, memberships, blog etc)
Like we mentioned, one option for building a website is to use an all-in-one tool.
DropFunnels allow you to build a website without any coding or design experience. In fact you can create a professional website in minutes, and it's very easy to use.
It also saves you lots of unnecessary stress from worrying about your website being online, updated and all. DropFunnels starts at $49.00 / month. Free trial here.
Knowing who you are is the best defense against who they think you are.
B. Jasper AI tool (for creating content easily)
An AI tool as a writing assistant? Really?
Yes... (and it's the best move we ever made!)
The AI tool will get your base content created without fanfare or drama. Other advantages are faster content creation time, and a gazillion other benefits.
You may not need an AI tool at the start but if you plan on creating content regularly then it's the bomb!
It allows you to create blog posts, outlines, summaries, expand sentences, create Facebook ad copy, Youtube topic ideas, email subject lines, conclusions, creative stories and more...
We love using it so much we wrote this post about it!
Jasper AI starts at $29.00 / month. Here's 10,000 free words and a free trial.
C. Email tool (ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit)
Depending where you are with your business, you may (or may not) need to use an email autoresponder just yet.
You might have a list of customers already... In that case, you can always use ConvertKit (free to 300 subscribers) or ActiveCampaign if you are hungry to dive into email automations!
Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
~ Richard Bach
D. UberSuggest (finding your keywords / SEO tools)
Keyword tools are important if you want your own website found in the search engine results pages.
Keyword tools allow you to find out what terms or products your customers are searching for...
You can probably outsource the search engine optimization (SEO) / keyword stuff if it's too much to handle!
We research keywords and write content around these keywords, so we can (hopefully) rank our content in Google.
If that tickles your fancy the free version of UberSuggest does a great job.
E. Google Workspace (not necessary but handy!)
Google Workspace is a game changer. Not only will it help you stay organised and productive, but you can set up a custom domain as well.
A custom domain is where you add your own domain to a gmail type email so you come across as a bit more professional. Like this:
marky @ yourownbusiness.com.
The custom email with your domain thing is really handy, especially if you don't have a web presence yet. (They are also cloud-based, so no installation to worry about).
Google Workspace business starter is around $5.00 / month. Free trial here.
Note: You will still need to purchase your own domain. (Just do it!)
The cost to build a website
For ships and giggles let's quickly add up the 'all-in-one' website builder costs...
- DropFunnels (one website) $49.00 month
- Jasper AI ($59.00 month for Boss Mode which gives you 50,000 words)
- UberSuggest (free version is good to start with)
- ActiveCampaign $10.00 / month (or use ConvertKit free email)
- Namecheap (a fist full of dollars!)
($49.00) + ($59.00) + ($12.00) + ($21.00 paid version of UberSuggest) = $141.00 / month!
Note: You can use the $29.00 / month version of Jasper AI if you want too. (We're partial to the Boss Mode version!)
Compare that to a brick and mortar shop business! LOL.
Or run that against the costs of spending a gazillion precious hours updating your website, fine-tuning corrupted plugins, making sure your website (or web host) is still online...
You can hardly go wrong with < $150.00 a month (and they are great tools too!)
There are also some other bits and bods you may need like design tools, free stock photos, logos etc. I mentioned those above in the 'do-it-yourself' website builder section.
So how much does it cost to build a small business website using the all-in-one approach?
DropFunnels ($49) + Jasper ($59) + ActiveCampaign ($10) + Domain ($9) + UberSuggest ($21) plus your time to learn it!
There you go. A tad under $150.00 / month!
|$49.00 / month||$59.00 / month||$10.00 / month||Free version|
4. The 'old school' way to build a website
There's an easy way and a hard way, but... Each to their own, right?
You can still build a website by coding it from scratch. This option gives you the most control over the design and functionality of your site, but it is also the most time-consuming and difficult.
If you choose this option, you will need to hire someone who knows how to code in order to build your website for you.
Or you can do it yourself, but in that case, you'll already be a coder, and you probably have no use for all our crazy ideas on this page! 🙂
Note: We just migrate towards the easiest and simplest method to get our content out there into the world!
Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest.
~ Author unknown
What else do you need to know about building a website?
What else do you need to know about building a website?
We've roughly covered how much a website will cost on average. (Around $150.00 a month).
We also recommended you go with the all-in-one website builder approach (ie; using a tool like DropFunnels).
On that... DropFunnels 'grandfathers' you in to life pricing... which means if you lock in the current monthly fee then this stays the same forever.
We also recommend you keep an open mind to AI tools like Jasper. It'll fast track your 'content factory' because it's much EASIER to create content.
You won't spend another dollar on outsourcing writers, either!
How much does it cost to maintain a website over time?
DropFunnels doesn't cost any 'maintenance' fees BUT we spend a LOT of all our time creating content and making sure our website is in tune with Google and so forth.
For that we use Ahrefs.com free version for a site audit and content analysis.
So how much does it cost to build a small business website?
Well, after all that... you now have a good idea - and our permission to go ahead and create your online website masterpiece!