This article has been contributed by Vitaly Kuprenko.
Website development cost estimation can be a complicated process. There are many factors that determine the price of the website. A single page may have a vast range of features and can take anywhere from 2 hours to 20 hours of development time.
The cost of the website can also range drastically depending on who is developing the website. Big agencies will charge more than a small agencies and freelancers. The cost of website can vary on many factors including the size and the type of agency, its geographic location, and many other. In this post, we’ll try to approximate the general cost of the website and will calculate the price based on different factors influencing the final cost.
Average Cost to Build a Website
In this section, we’ll break down website development into different stages and take a closer at each one.
The design plays a vital role in the project’s success. The design captures attention and shows visual elements. In addition to visual design, there is also UI/UX or user experience design that explains how to use the product. Poor UI/UX design may confuse users and discourage them from using your product.
The design process has four essential stages:
- Research. Here, you define the target audience, their needs and analyze rivals from your niche.
- Sitemap. How many pages will be necessary is represented using the sitemap.
- Wireframes. Wireframes allow you to plan the layout and organize elements on the webpage.
- Prototyping. A preliminary version of your website that displays the most interactive elements and functionalities of the website.
A simple design for a website created with CMS like WordPress may take from 10 to 50 hours of development time. Sophisticated projects with a custom design may take 100 hours and more.
The interaction with the website’s layout depends on your front-end. Web developers turn everything from the prototype to the working product. Besides, QA engineers also take part in this stage and in all the following. They test the product for bugs and vulnerabilities.
The front-end cost depends on three key factors:
- Responsive or adaptive design
- Animations complexity
- Elements complexity
Depending on the type of website and its features, front-end development may take from 20 to 250 hours and even more.
Back-end development is as important as the front-end. Back-end developers use coding and programming languages to make website work.
Backed is the core of the website and usually takes the most time to develop. There’s a wide variety of factors that influence back-end development time, and it’s difficult to approximate how long this stage will take without knowing project requirements. Still, the most time-consuming aspects are:
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- Integration with third-party services
- Database queries
- Implementation of different algorithms (for example, streaming)
- Compliance with various regulations (for example, HIPAA)
If you use CMS such as WordPress, much of the programming already has been done. If you need something customized, you hire Node.js developers or teams that work with other tech stacks. It will take 80 to 300 hours and over for the development team to complete the back-end module. Obviously, custom development will take more time and will be more expensive.
Admin panels allow website owners to create and edit the webpage content. Without a user-friendly admin panel, the only people who can update the website are programmers or developers, which is not an option for most businesses.
Websites created with CMS engines like WordPress already have an in-built admin page that shortens the development time. However, many businesses might need more complex functionality that will require custom development.
So, if you’ve decided to create an admin panel, it can take anywhere from 60 to 180 hours depending on the complexity.
How to Estimate the Final Cost
Different developers and agencies charge using either fixed or hourly rate for their services. Furthermore, developers in different parts of the world may charge different rates. To keep costs down businesses may be able to find off-shore companies and freelancers to help them with their needs.
Take a look at the rates of different web development vendors charge using this map, courtesy of Clutch.
To approximate the total cost using an hourly rate, all you need to do is to calculate the final development time of your project and multiply it by the rate in the region of your choice. Obviously, there are many other factors, but this will give you a basic idea of how much it will cost.
Web Development Price (By Website Type)
There are many types of websites. Some are simple blogs and brochure type informational websites, while others offer e-commerce solutions and make money by selling products and services.
In this section, you’ll learn how much time developers need to build a website of the most popular types.
Standard Brochure Websites
Business websites often serve as the company’s business card. These websites help customers find information about the company, its services, reviews, portfolio, and more. Some companies run blogs to reach out to their customers and rank higher on search engine pages.
In most cases, business websites include the following pages:
- About company
- Blog (optional)
- Client reviews
- Contact page
In addition to these pages, these website can include other features like SSL certificate, live chats, on-site search, and more. The more features your website has, the more development time it takes.
So, an average website development time may take from 50 to 300 hours and over. You can calculate the final price with the help of the rates mentioned above.
e-Commerce websites are more complicated to developer than brochure type websites. They also contain more pages and require more pgoramming. They require clear navigation, advanced search systems, payment gateways, and integration of 3rd party plugins. All this makes it even more difficult to determing the cost of building the e-commerce website.
The pages found on e-commerce website may include:
- Main page
- Shopping cart
- Check out page
The development time for e-commerce websites varies and can be between 150 and 750 hours.
In addition to the regular website, business also need other types of projects completed. Landing pages is one of these.
There are many examples of landing pages. Unlike a regular website, landing page typically a single page that can be part of the website or reside on its own.
It’s a page with a single goal. Its main purpose is to sell a product or a service or have the user perform a specific action (download e-book, signup for course, etc). It’s used mainly for lead generation and for traffic conversion.
Landing pages usually don’t have a lot of content. Their goal is to describe the product briefly and convert users to customers. Landing pages usually cost less than a full-fledged website, since they take less time to build.
The development time mostly depends on the complexity of animations and the overall design of the page. On average, it takes from 10 to 30 hours to design and build a landing page.
Other Website Expenses
Apart from the cost of the development, there are other factors that contribute to the overall cost of maintaining a website.
A domain name is basically an address of your website. You can register a domain name on dedicated servers. Remember that the domain name should be unique, so you may need to come up with several names to find the one that is available. On average, the domain price varies between $5 to $15 yearly.
There is also a cost to make your website secure. This can be done by purchasing an SSL certificate. You can purchase an SSL certificate license for a year. Some companies like GoDaddy charge you for this, others like BlueHost or HostGator include this price in their hosting plans at no additional cost.
Hosting services make your website visible and accessible on the internet 24/7. The quality of the hosting provider’s hardware affects your website’s performance, so when searching for hosting, conduct detailed research and read reviews. The average price for hosting varies and can range from $10 to $200 a month and even more.
Website is a complicated mechanism, so it should be regularly maintained. Maintenance includes the website’s performance audit, making sure that every feature works. Many companies that build websites also offer maintenance services. There are also companies that only specialize in maintenance. Their services start from $100 for basic upkeep and go up depending on what else you require.
Your website is the first point of contact for potential customers, so it’s crucial to have a website that accurately represents a business. There are many options when it comes to building a professional-looking website. There are many factors that determine the final cost. By understanding the development process and what it takes to build a website, you will be in a better position to decide how to build your website.
Author’s bio: Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad, a mobile and web app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.