One of the many questions we get asked as an agency is: How much will it really cost to build a new website, everything included? In short, the simple answer will depend on your needs and requirements but as you asked the question. A professional designer will normally estimate the cost based on the number of hours it will take to complete the project. A basic template installation can cost as little as £100, simple brochure websites as little as £500 while feature rich, multi-design level, custom-built website can cost upwards of £20,000.
In this article, we aim to dig a little deeper and provide a comprehensive guide on how we would calculate the cost to build your new website and talk about the essential features you will need.
What sort of website do you need?
When you first decide on a new website It is important to consider what you actually want it to do. What functionality is required, how many internal pages, do you want to incorporate a blog, what about an image gallery?
Broadly speaking there are number of different types of websites, the one you choose will ultimately dictate the price. At NETTONIC, the types of websites we build normally fit into a number of categories:
- Simple blog
- Brochure website
- Business Website
- E-commerce website
The Essential Ingredients of all Websites
According to Wikipedia a website or website is a collection of related web resources such as content which are typically identified with a common Domain Name and published on at least one server. Websites can be accessed via public IP (Internet protocol) network such as Internet or private local area network (LAN), by a uniform resource locator (URL) that identifies the site.
Domain Name – What is a Domain Name
The domain name is your websites name. A domain my name is an address where Internet users can access your website rather than using IP address.
Back in 1990 when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee first conceived the World Wide Web, businesses rushed to register Domain names. In those days little did they know that the name itself would today be worth staggering figures:
- com (£31.8 million in 2010)
- com (£22.7 million in 2010
- Vacation rentals.com (£22.4 million in 2007)
- private jet.com (£19.2 million 2012)
- com (£11.5 million in 2009)
In 2015 a British billionaire paid a record breaking fee of £600,000 for gold.co.uk making it the most expensive UK domain name ever sold publicly. The eye watering sum overtook and then highest figure all £560,000 for cruise.co.uk in 2008.
Luckily, Domain Names can be purchased for under £1 using sites like namecheap.com However the list of the available names is often restricted so our advice would be to use a company like 123reg where you can search for your new domain and register.
While we talking about domain names just a quick comment on the name you choose. Exact match domains (EMDs) were once incredibly valuable. EMDs are domain names that precisely Match a search query that will likely drive traffic to your website. Sites with EMDs tended to rank well and therefore a no-brainer to buy.
In 2012, Matt Cutts, then Google’s chief spam fighter, announced an algorithm change that was aimed at reducing the amount of low-quality exact match domains in search results. An example of a low quality spammy EMD would be something like: buycheapnewshoes.co.uk. That said at the time of writing this article in my opinion Google does like exact match domains provided that they are not spammy. A good example of this would be hotels.com.
So, if you can register an exact match domain and it’s not and it’s not spammy then go ahead. A plumber operating into town of Bedford would certainly have an advantage in the search engines if his website was called Bedfordplumbers.co.uk.
Hosting Account – What is a Hosting Account?
A web hosting account is basically a series of large computers called servers where you can store the files and information required to make a website or application. In short, your website will be contained on the server which in turn connects your site to the Internet.
Types of Hosting:
Shared Hosting: The most common type of hosting packages work on the basis of sharing computer resources alongside other websites. The advantage of this type of setup is that you’re able to share the cost. Expect to pay between £5 and £15 per month for sharing a server with potentially hundreds of other websites. The biggest disadvantage of a shared hosting account is that you are at the mercy of other sites on your server. People starting an online business often go for shared hosting planned to minimise costs.
Virtual Private Server (VPS): virtual private service share one physical server but act like multiple separate servers. A VPS sits between a shared server and a dedicated server. A VPS avoids the problem of having your neighbours on your shared server, bring down your website. But the cost is greater, expect to pay between £35 and £200 per month.
Dedicated Web Server: When you have a dedicated server you are basically renting one physical server from a hosting company. A dedicated server is generally the highest level of server you would need if your website is getting a lot of traffic and you want peace of mind and guaranteed uptime. Expect to pay in excess of hundred pounds per month for dedicated server.
Cloud Based Web Hosting: A relatively new technology that lets hundreds of individual servers work together to form one giant server. The advantage of this system is that as your needs grow so can the size of the server. Cloud based hosting packages all you some form of “Pay For What You Use” system.
Self-Service Web Hosting: Not one that we would recommend but if you want to do everything yourself from installing configuring the software and coding then this option may just be for you.
How Much Does Hosting Cost?
The cost of web hosting will depend upon the size of your site and the amount of traffic it receives. Some hosts offer discounts if you pay a year or more advance, expect to pay around £10 per month if your website is new and it doesn’t have much traffic SiteGround is often a good place to start as they readily offer attractive discounts (60%) if you’re willing to sign up three years. For those with a greater need Cloud Hosting offers superfast speeds with the addition being able to effortlessly increase your sites capacity. You Expect to pay around £50 per month for 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of memory.
Nearly all hosting providers offer free SSL Certificates since Google changed their algorithm we would say it is essential for every site to be secure.
What tools do you need to build a website?
So, we have registered a domain name, decided what hosting package you will start with now all we have to do is build the website.
When it comes to websites, we have basically two options. A bespoke site which affectively employees a team of coders who will build your site around a given design. Bespoke sites have the advantage of being unique, but this will come at cost. Sites of this type can often exceed £10,000.
In 2019, the most common type of websites are theme based with WordPress being the most popular. Of the estimated 172 million websites currently online, approximately 75 million of these are using WordPress right now.
In common with all themes will be the integrated content management system (CMS). The CMS is your dashboard from where using a suite of plug-ins together with a page builder you can build your site and incorporate plug-ins to provide functionality.
One of the advantages of WordPress websites is that you don’t necessarily have to hire a developer to build your site. Even if you’re not tech savvy you can still build a website on a budget text of tools available and learning resources like YouTube.
That said, good intentions to build your own site may turn out to be a drain in your time and result in an overspend on budget simply because you don’t know simple cost saving shortcuts.
Website Themes & Page Builders
Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned professional developer your starting point for any build will be your choice of template and page builder.
When you open up WordPress for the first time you will provided with the option to select a theme navigate to appearance then themes to choose from a wide selection of templates and styles.
While a lot of premium WordPress themes come with different page layouts most of them can be a little tricky to customise for anyone who does not have an understanding of HTML/CSS coding.
To get around this WordPress third party developers make available variety of drag-and-drop page builders. These software add-ons allow you to create completely custom website designs in WordPress without writing a single line of code.
Let’s take a look at 6 of the best page builders for WordPress in the market.
WordPress – Gutenberg
With the advent of WordPress 5.0 a powerful Block editor was introduced to build content layouts. Is true that Gutenberg allows you to easily add custom content styles dragon drop elements it’s easy to get confused and not anywhere close to be being a true page builder (yet!). WordPress page builders like Beaver builder, Divi and Visual Composer are far superior and offer far more flexibility. Certainly not one of our favourites, if you wish to use consider the Classic editor plug-in as an add-on.
Its second on our list but this is our favourite, but don’t just listen to us the Elementor community has over 500,000 users. Available as a free plug-in and supported by a pro upgrade this page builder is rapidly becoming the go to essential for anyone building a new website. Expect to pay $49 for single use license while the popular expert license currently costs $199 dollars per year but allows you to use the builder on 1000 sites.
I’m going to place Divi 3rd on my list simply because I have far more experience using Not quite the same number of active installs but based on the level of overall satisfaction then this page builder deserves to rank joint 2nd. That said, Divi is cheaper but it certainly has a steeper learning curve and is harder to master. Expect to pay $89 for a single licence or $249 for lifetime access.
If I am honest, it’s hard for me to critique Beaver Builder as I have only used it a couple of times and didn’t really get to know its full capabilities. Suffice to say, with over 400,000 active installs it is undoubtably another popular page builder. Beaver Builder is available in a free lite version, with a starting price of $99 for the pro version.
Visual Composer Website Builder
Developed by the creators of WPBakery it is one of the most popular page builders sold on CodeCanyon. Packed with features that intermediate and advanced web developers will enjoy it has over 50 premium content elements 100 predefined layouts and comes with an impressive selection of over 200 third-party add-ons. Expect to pay $59 per license.
Over professionally designed themes are included with this builder. Simply important layout and drag-and-drop text or images. Front end edit mode allows you to preview the design live. The call plug-in is free but you will probably need the add-on bundle at cost of about £30
Essential WordPress plug-ins
One of the major advantages of WordPress sites is a huge selection of plug-ins which can be used extend the functionality or add new features to your website. WordPress plug-ins written in PHP program language and integrate seamlessly. As a site administrator you can install plug-ins from your admin. It is important to note that the vast majority of plug-ins are provided free and as such do not come with any technical support. It is also important to ensure that the plug-in you wish to use is compatible with your version of WordPress and has been updated regularly to avoid security risks.
Here are a few of our favourites:
- Wordfence – Security Firewall & Malware Scan
- Yoast SEO: Improve your WordPress SEO (search engine optimisation)
- MonsterInsights: Connect your site to Google Analytics
- W3 Total Cache: Improve WordPress
- Smush – Image Compression and Optimisation
- Swift Performance Lite – site speed and performance
- Google Site Kit – Bringing the best of Google tools to WordPress
Building a Website – How to Avoid Overpaying
Starting small…… is the best way to avoid overpaying and cut down on spending. To save on costs, you can always explore free themes that require little or no additional styling. If you go for a premium theme, try starting with essential pages and then in time as your business grows add additional content and functionality.
Can I build a new website on my own?
Yes! The Internet is full of how-to guides and certainly if your time and inclination then all is possible. They say that “you never get a second chance to make first impression”, your website is your shop window and a such visitors will decide within three seconds whether to stay or leave and look at one of your competitor’s sites.
Looking for somthing special, why not seek professional help from a company like NETTONIC.