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Ultimate Guide to Website Design & Development Costs

Website Costs

You have probably seen all kinds of costs or quotes, but are looking for a no-nonsense guide to show you how much you should be paying, with full breakdowns.

You’re just in luck.

This guide will show you every cost you can expect to pay, from simple brochure-style websites all the way up to bespoke and eCommerce solutions. With powerful tips and other handy info, you’ll be ready to create and deploy your website in no time at all.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started.

What’s in this guide?

Why do you need a Website?

Seeing as your business is competing in a world that is increasingly dominated by technology, you need a website that not only modernises your business but also provides you with the potential to stand out amongst your competitors. In short, your website is an indispensable tool to help your business become more profitable.

What do people do when they want to find a product or service?

They go online.

To be exact, 97% of consumers report that they search online for local businesses.

What this means is that you are expected to have a website.

This will firmly place your business on the map, inform customers about what your business does, and provide essential contact information.

Modern websites possess features known as Calls to Action, such as buttons and links that give customers an accessible method to call, email, buy, request more information, and so forth.

A website gives you the chance to tell your story, and control the narrative of your business.

More importantly, professional website developers are also experts at SEO-friendly content. They know how to design and present your website so that it is more likely to show up in online searches, which means your business will gain more exposure to potential customers.

Costs of a Website

Now let’s move on to the part you came here for, the costs of creating and maintaining a website.

Below you will find the primary components that make up the total cost of your website.

You will see that they vary quite a bit, which is due to the different types of websites (brochure-style, content management, bespoke, and eCommerce) that you choose from.

You’ll find more about these later.

Once you have an idea of which type of website you are looking for, you should be able to use this table to estimate the total costs of building your website easily.

Component Cost Description
Design £200 to £7,000
  • Depends on the functionality level of your website
  • Brochure-style websites cost less, while eCommerce websites cost more to design
Domain £3 to £100/year
  • Cost of using a specific domain name such as or .com
  • Popular domain names will require more
Hosting £3 to £350/month
  • Think of this as paying rent for your website to be hosted on a server
  • The larger and functional your website is, the more expensive it will be to host it
  • The choice between Shared, VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated hosting
Content £0 to £60/month
  • This is the fee for your website developer to perform research to create the best content and images
  • For more SEO-friendly content, it will cost more
  • They will also research your target audience to ensure the content is relevant
  • Also includes the ongoing content updates
SEO £100+/month
  • This includes features that make your website SEO-friendly such as language features, user responsiveness, formatting, and database integration
Content Management System (CMS) £100 to £200 upfront, plus £60+/month
  • Involves integrating the frontend design with your content management system so that nothing changes when you make changes
  • For example, Joomla and WordPress
  • An initial set up fee of £100 – £150, plus a recurring fee of £60+/month to keep it running
Maintenance £10 to £100/month
  • Arguably one of the most critical components of your website costs
  • Your developer will stay on to make sure your website is in the best condition and functions properly

Website Costs – Design

Expect to a large portion of your upfront costs to be spent on the design aspect of your website.

This begins as low as £200 plus VAT for a basic website with only a few pages and a simple email form.

It would only leave room for you to include your most basic and essential information such as contact information and a list of products or services.

The design element of your overall website cost determines how your website looks, theme, style, features, as well as how it runs. Your website developer makes sure that all these elements are consistent and that they come together perfectly with the finished website.

As the basic brochure-style website has the lowest design cost, it is understandably tempting for you to gravitate towards choosing it as your website style.

But keep in mind that only a few businesses would indeed suit the basic brochure-style website.

Ask yourself if you can benefit from the additional exposure that a more advanced website provides.

The types of businesses that would suit the basic brochure-style website are those either on a low budget or that offer a very straightforward product or service, where a flashy website would be an unnecessary purchase.

You will most likely need a website that comes with a Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to freely edit and add content without affecting the overall design and function of your website.

In these cases, the design costs start from £900 as it takes time and skill for a developer to design your website around a CMS system.

Website Costs – Domain

Your domain name is how people can reach your website and is unique. For example, takes you to the Expertsure website and only that.

You don’t purchase the domain name, but instead, pay an annual fee for it to be continued to be registered to your website.

Popular examples of domain names in the UK include: .com,, .net, .co. and .info.

Because these domain names are high in demand, they will typically cost more.

What’s more, domain names play a part in validating your business.

Customers are more likely to trust companies with a common domain name, as opposed to ones that sound somewhat illegitimate such as .biz.

Be sure to check with your developer if they include domain names in their website design packages since some will require that you find and register your domain name on websites such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.

Website Costs – Hosting

For your website to be accessible on the Internet, it needs to be hosted on a server.

This is comparable to paying monthly rent to live in a home, except that you are paying a monthly fee to a provider for your website to be hosted on their server.

Website hosting requires computational and network resources that are provided by your server.

In general, there are four types of hosting: Shared, VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated.

Shared Hosting

  • £3 to £10/month
  • Multiple websites, hundreds or even thousands, are hosted on a single physical server
  • They share and compete for the available computational and network resources
  • As it is the most cost-effective for the provider, they can offer shared hosting at low prices
  • However as you are sharing a server with other websites, you may also be more vulnerable to hackers

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

  • £10 to £45/month
  • A physical server is separated into multiple virtual private servers
  • Each VPS shares the resources of the single physical server, but not with each other
  • This means you don’t have to compete against as many other websites for resources when compared to shared hosting
  • A more significant portion of funds are available

Cloud Server

  • £10 to £350/month
  • Like other cloud services, a cloud server is a software that works as a virtual server
  • Cloud servers run alongside other cloud servers on a physical server that is managed by a dedicated Cloud services provider
  • Technically, a VPS falls under Cloud servers, but not all Cloud servers are VPS
  • The main advantage of cloud servers is that it is affordable and effortless to scale your hosting as your business grows since it is relatively easy to add storage and resources to a cloud server

Dedicated Server

  • £65 to £200/month
  • You receive an entire physical server that is dedicated to only hosting your website
  • Don’t share computational and network resources
  • More control over the server, its operating system, and other components
  • If your website has a large amount of traffic or content, a dedicated server would be ideal to handle the increased volumes

Website Costs – Content

The content element of your overall website costs includes the creation of content for your website, as well as content updates after your website is up and running. SEO-friendly content will undoubtedly cost more than basic information found on a brochure-style website. This is because your website developer has to perform research on aspects such as keywords and consumers trends.

Website Costs – SEO

An SEO-friendly website generally means that you receive more website visits and traffic due to aspects of your website such as language features, format, and database integration that all work towards increasing consumer responsiveness.

Nonetheless, just because your website is SEO-friendly does not necessarily mean that you are guaranteed a ranking on Google, and you’ll find that most developers don’t make this promise in their contracts.

They will be more likely to make this guarantee if you hire them to work on an SEO campaign for your website correctly.

That being said, you will still have an SEO-friendly website that you should be able to add fresh, new content to show up in Google searches.

Website Costs – Content Management System (CMS)

The content management system or CMS is a crucial part of every business website. Firstly, it allows you to easily edit and update your content without corrupting the design or function of your website.

If you have new information on your products and services you want to add or wish to reword some parts of your website, you have complete freedom to do so.

Secondly, a good CMS also helps your website become more SEO-friendly on places such as Google, where your business website would have more chance of showing up in searches.


Because fresh content is always favoured.

When you always have new content on your website, and as a result, your search engine ranking and website traffic increases.

You can run an SEO campaign for a while to increase your website traffic, then quickly remove it once the campaign ends.

In general, your website developer installs a CMS on your websites such as WordPress, Joomla, or Wix.

Website Costs – Maintenance

Another factor that determines the total cost of your website is the experience level of your developer.

New developers who don’t have an extensive portfolio will often charge lower fees to gain more customers and build their reputation.

But at the same time, a lower-cost and inexperienced developer will mean that you won’t receive valuable insight that only veteran website developers will possess.

This is something you will have to consider before choosing a developer for your website.

You will find that website developer always clearly state their prices beforehand, which means that you won’t run into any hidden fees down the line.

They want to keep their customers happy, and so you can expect consistent top quality service from the highly-rated developers.

Types of Websites for Businesses

To understand the costs of creating and running a website, you need to know what kind of site you are looking for.

This is one of the first questions that website developers will ask you, as it will determine the scope of their work and the total cost.

These are the four primary types of websites:

  • Basic Brochure-style Website
  • Advanced Content Management Website
  • Bespoke Website
  • eCommerce Website

Listed in order of capabilities and price, these websites are suited to different kinds of businesses.

Therefore, you should read through what each type offers and consider which is the most in line with your business needs.

Basic Brochure-style Website

Component Cost
Design £200 to £400
Domain £3 to £100/year
Hosting £3 to £45/month
Content £0 to £10/month
SEO £0 to £100+/month
Content Management System (CMS) n/a
Maintenance £0 to £20/month

With overall prices ranging from £250 to £800, the brochure-style website is a simple and straightforward website that advertises your business.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s the most basic package, because you may find that this is just what you need.

Brochure-style websites are professionally designed to look sleek and showcase your business to potential customers.

It presents essential information such as what you offer, your business’ background, and contact information.

You can specify to your developer how you want your website to look, your target audience, and what information needs to be put on.

All in all, the brochure-style website delivers essential information regarding your business, without the hefty price tag.

Advanced Content Management Website

Component Cost
Design £400 to £1,000
Domain £3 to £100/year
Hosting £3 to £45/month
Content £0 – £60/month
SEO £100+/month
Content Management System (CMS) £100 to £200 upfront, plus £60+/month
Maintenance £10 to £30/month

Advanced content management websites allow you to make changes to your site without corrupting the coding or the design.

You are free to improve the content on your website at any time you like without having to waste capital on a website developer.

Primarily, you receive a higher degree of flexibility to control and manage what goes on your website. If you want to make alterations to your content, you’ll be able to easily make the corresponding changes to your website within a short period.

An example of a content management system (CMS) is WordPress or Perch.

Your website developer will charge an initial cost and a recurring monthly fee, which will add up to your total being from £1,000 to £4,000.

Bespoke Website

Component Cost
Design £1,000 to £3,000
Domain £3 to £100/year
Hosting £10 to £350/month
Content £0 – £60/month
SEO £100+/month
Content Management System (CMS) £100 to £200 upfront, plus £60+/month
Maintenance £10 to £100/month

A bespoke website focuses on creating a strong brand image for your business through unique designs, calls to action, and SEO-friendly content.

Altogether, they give your potential customers the best user experience and leaves a lasting impression.

Your website developer dedicates a much more significant portion of their time to design your website, practically doing everything from scratch.

But bespoke websites don’t come cheap. Ranging from £2,000 to £7,000, most of their fees will come from the time and effort on the developer’s part to create a unique website, as well as the higher level of functionality your website receives.

Your website will be able to generate a more significant number of leads via online contact forms, quote requests, and subscription lists.

It is also capable of handling more user traffic without crashing and easily scales with your business.

eCommerce Website

Component Cost
Design £2,000 to £7,000
Domain £3 to £100/year
Hosting £10 to £350/month
Content £0 – £60/month
SEO £100+/month
Content Management System (CMS) £100 to £200 upfront, plus £60+/month
Maintenance £10 to £100/month

eCommerce websites come in at the most expensive, with prices starting at £3,000 up to £10,000.

These websites require the most time and skills from developers because they have to design a website that is user-friendly, secure, and reliable to protect any transactions.

What’s more, eCommerce websites are the highest functioning type of website because they make sales and complete transactions online without you having to monitor everything that is going on.

They give you the most freedom and flexibility by providing another avenue for you to generate sales, while you focus on growing your business.

eCommerce websites require a lot of effort to create and run, which justifies their prices.

Although they are expensive, consider the amount of profit you could earn and the consumers you would reach, if you sell your products online.

Website Developers

One important factor that determines the cost of creating your business website is who you choose to be your developer.

Each developer sets their web design packages and rates, which means that there is often high variability between them.

In general, there are two types of website developers: Firms and Freelancers.

Below you will find all you need to know about choosing between firms and freelancers that offer website development and design services.

This includes how to hire them, their process, as well as their pros and cons. As a bonus, we have added in some recommendations to help you get started.


Companies that offer website design and development services tend to be seasoned professionals with extensive portfolios.

The best web development companies will have worked with all types of businesses, from multinational corporations to small businesses. Therefore, they can offer a variety of packages to suit your needs.

They have a relatively straightforward process that guarantees a professional, functional website for your business.

Firstly, you work with their team to develop a concept for your website that covers aspects including the purpose, function, features, and themes of your website. You get to choose from their range of packages and plans, to decide on the most suitable one for your business.

Next, the company develops a platform based on what you have specified to them, ensuring that the foundations of your website are secure.

This is comprised of essential components such as the access portal and various permissions to content and information on your website.

After completing the website, they make sure that it runs smoothly on the designated server and everything is functioning smoothly.

You can expect an unmatched level of professional service and experienced from veteran web design and development companies.

They have been offering their services for a long time, and have tried-and-tested methods to produce your ideal website.

To get you started, there are some of the top web design and development firms in the UK:

VJG Interactive

  • Based in Manchester, with international offices in USA, Australia, and Canada
  • Internet Marketing Services including Web Development, SEO, Link Building, Social Media, and Website Auditing
  • Creates unique websites that are in line with your brand
  • Allows you to take charge of the direction of the website design and development

Supplier Rating: 5 stars


  • Offices in UK, USA, Canada, Poland, and Ukraine
  • Mobile and Web development company that provides solutions in Web Development, Mobile Development, UI/UX Design,
  • Focuses on long-term relationships with clients
  • Ongoing technical support

Supplier Rating: 4.5 stars


  • Based in London, with international offices in Ukraine and Cyprus
  • Tech experts to provide solutions to create websites that cover frontend development, CMS customisation, bespoke PHP development, and JavaScript UI development
  • Charges on an hourly basis with no hidden costs
  • Allocation of the entire team for your website progress
  • The range of payment plans for different businesses

Supplier Rating: 5 stars

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of working with web design and development firm:

Pro Con
  • Professional service
  • More expensive
  • A large team of seasoned experts
  • More experience
  • Guarantee of satisfaction


Fortunately, the web design and development between freelancers and firms are relatively similar. Except that freelancers can offer a personal touch and open communication to your solution since they are more ready to dedicate a more significant portion of their time to you.

You can expect to stay in constant communication with your freelance developer. As they will often ask many questions to deliver the best website possible.

They heavily depend on satisfied customers and a good track record. Which makes them more willing to tailor a web design package that suits your budget.

Some freelancers also offer comprehensive CMS training and will stay in close contact with you after the deployment of your website to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

To get you started, there are some of the top web design and development firms in the UK:

Sarah Evans Design

  • Based in London
  • Experience with creating tailored websites for small to medium businesses
  • Knowledge in generating leads and sales
  • Consistent, open communication

Supplier Rating: 4.5 stars

Ryan Gittings

  • Services in Web Design and Development, eCommerce, SEO, Website Management, and Digital Strategy
  • Performs in-depth research of UI/UX to make your website memorable
  • Advanced technical skills to create modern designs
  • Ongoing support with management plans

Supplier Rating: 4.5 stars

Steve Sims

  • The range of web development solutions that includes packages for small businesses, eCommerce, and larger projects
  • Inclusive website design services covering Web Development, Web Marketing, Mobile App Development, Logo Design, Domains, Hosting, Website Maintenance, and SEO
  • Expert in WordPress development services
  • Affordable rates

Supplier Rating: 4.5 stars

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of working with web design and development freelancer:



  • Cheaper rates
  • It may take longer as freelancers often have a packed schedule
  • Open communication and personal feedback
  • Experience and familiarity with small businesses

What to keep in mind

Hold on a moment!

Before you leave, here are some essential things that you need to consider to be prepared when you begin discussions with your website developer:

  • The purpose of your website
  • Your target audience
  • The theme of your site
  • Publishing customer reviews and testimonials
  • Your business story
  • How to present your products and services
  • How people can get in touch with you
  • Make sure you own everything (website, domain, copyright, code, analytics data, content) to ensure you get your money’s worth and don’t get any unwelcome surprises in the future


Well done!

You should have a clear idea of what type of website you need, and the costs. There’s not much else to do besides for you to begin the process of creating a website for your business.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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