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How Much Does It Cost To Build a Website

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How Much Does It Cost To Create a Website

Published on August 1, 2013 on WebsiteHomework.com by Greg Sidelnikov

Want to estimate web design costs? Use this web design costs calculator to get an "invoice" for web design and development services. If that's not enough, please use the table below the calculator to see some very basics costs associated with making different types of websites from Wordpress blogs to social networks.

Social Network
Social Buttons
Image Gallery
Video Gallery
Lower Quality
Higher Quality
Visit web design cost calculator via Website Homework.
Total$0 approximates
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My name is Greg, I created this web design costs calculator. If you would like to discuss the costs of your project with me, please send this invoice to me, and I'll get back to you with a design plan and pricing for your project.

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I respond within 1 to 12 hours. If you need faster service, please email me directly at greg.sidelnikov@gmail.com or call my phone: 415-745-0318 Greg (please leave a message if I don't respond right away.) Thank you.

Below is a table of web design costs required for all kinds of web sites. These are the absolute minimum costs to build a site so this pricing may apprear a little low at first sight. Most of these items can be done quickly by an experienced programmer at the budget proposed. However additional fees are likely to be charged for add-ons, upgrades, custom code, and so forth, all of which is also dependent on the web designer or the company you have chosen.

How was this list created? Several years of experience designing websites, working with many people asking to design websites in many different circumstances, for different purposes (art galleries, haircut salons, photographers, churches, typing and memory games for kids, etc.) This list was put together over several months from past experience, memory, and intuition with regard to practical reality.

The type of website you are looking to createCost / Price (USD)
Design website layout in Photoshop
This is the very first stage of creating any new website. The web designer creates the web page layout in Photoshop (or other graphics-editing software) for your site, until it is approved by you. At this point, the layout is just a picture, and it is saved in graphics formats such as "jpg", "png" or "pdf".
Turn graphics layout into HTML code
Now that the design was created in Photoshop, and approved, it's time to translate (transform) the visual layout into computer code. HTML language is what all websites are written in. Your website is no longer an image, but several lines of computer code define its layout. The original mock-up image of the layout is discarded, and any further updates will be applied to the HTML code, not the mock-up picture. As you can see this stage is a little more limiting, now that the programmer is working with code to adjust your web layout (width or height of the layout boundary boxes, placement of images, etc.)
Creating a Simple Website Design For General Purpose
At the very basic, making a website with any designer or company will always consist of at least creating a Photoshop mock-up, and converting it into "HTML code". HTML code is the main web language that makes it possible for your website to be viewed in the web browser (not just a graphics editor program.)

This process is the same for all websites. Whatever you want to add on top will usually increase the costs associated with your site.

Included is a 5, 6, 7 or 10 page website, several images, text, a logo and a "Contact Us" form.

costs to design a simple website $600 - $800 (includes the combination of the two first items on this table, see above)

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BySpirit.Net - Bible Keyword Search
Let's say you have a basic website idea. It contains a few pages with simple text and images. But you want to build something interactive like a full-blown search engine with some custom-designed features. A website such as this bible keyword search could cost extra. Websites that include special features require writing custom computer code and knowledge of PHP, MySQL and JavaScript.
Art Gallery Business
If you are an owner of an art gallery located in the city, your website can work toward building your gallery business and offer the following features:

  • Make announcements (updating the homepage every month.)
  • Attract contracts in the art world: artists, collectors, media and press (PR stories).
  • Upload artist's artwork (photos of paintings) to a separate preview page.

Email newsletter sign up form. This is very important to your online gallery business for many reasons. Announcements may be sent every month to a group of existing (signed up) fans in order to refresh their attention on the site and increase awareness of new gallery showcases or events. Today's art galleries must have a web site, social media accounts and an e-mail newsletter list in order to be successful.

$800 to build the site and extra $100 for newsletter set up. Additional time and effort may be included for maintenance (for example, removing people who never open your newsletter emails.) Running a newsletter is usually done with a newsletter software like Aweber or Mailchimp and the cost to mantain a newsletter list increases when number of subscribers increase.
Mobile Device Website
A website that can adapt to the screen resolution of a mobile device such as iPhone, iPad or Android phones. Each screen is a little different, and this is somewhat increases creativity and the costs associated with building a mobile website. However, such a website should also be built to be properly displayed within a desktop computer screen as well. It's like building two websites, one is a full blown version, the other is reserved for mobile use. Therefore the costs are adjusted according to the amount of work (and knowledge of building "responsive" web layouts that adjust to any screen resolution) being done.
$800 - $1500 note: this may include both sites, the desktop and mobile version, they don't have to be exclusive, unless you really need them to be -- then expect to pay for two versions separately.
Online Art Gallery
Create a picture / image gallery (a set of photos displayed in a grid or as a continuous list) or photographer's website with ability to upload, edit, re-arrange image placement, apply photo effects (adjust brightness and contrast) and. This requires writing custom code or installing custom image gallery to your web host.
$1000-$2000 if it is designed from scratch (developed with PHP and MySQL database), otherwise you can get a gallery app from providers you find online. They charge less, about $200-$500 depending on the developer company, but as with any bundled software there may be limitations.

Wordpress Blog
Install a blog on your "www." domain name to post news updates on your website. Blogs are usually stand-alone websites. Note, that integration of a blog into an existing website is probably not a wise decision, nor is it possible without additional custom programming. Avoid asking the web designer to install Wordpress blog into a custom website, that was already designed by a previous web designer. A Wordpress blog is installed as a fresh website copy, it already includes a web template (which can be changed to thousands of other templates designed by various designers.) Wordpress blogs have limitations. Although they have many add-ons you can customize your blog with, they are limited only to what they are designed to do, and sometimes a minor adjustment, is not a possibility of that add-on does not support exactly how you prefer things to look.

Free to Install (Wordpress)

$300-$600 to modify the blog's template by adding adjustments to the CSS and PHP files, the cornerstone of Wordpress programming.

Email newsletter sign up form.
A form that can retain visitor's email addresses is very important to your online gallery business for many reasons. Announcements may be sent every month to a group of existing (signed up) fans in order to refresh their attention on the site and increase awareness of new gallery showcases or events. Today's art galleries must have a web site, social media accounts and an e-mail newsletter list in order to be successful.

Free to $100 to add to an existing website. Additional fees for running the newsletter may apply (not all online newsletter software is free.)

Online business brochure / Catalog.
Display a number of products to show to your website visitors. A browsable catalog of products that your company is selling.

$500 - $1000 depends on the number of items in your catalog and the visual quality of the web design work.

Social network website.
As with any custom-built website, social networking websites, also known as "community building websites," usually require hours (months, years) of custom programming, unless you are using a prefabricated online social network app. Most of the work is in the following items which are implied by the nature of a website of this type:

  • User registration and login
  • Sending e-mail verifications
  • Ability to "add to", "delete from", and "mute" a user on the friends list
  • Programming the main news feed that only friends can see
  • Ability to post messages into the feed
    • Text messages
    • URLs
    • Images / Photographs
    • Tag people in images
  • Like button, Share button
  • Ability to comment on each posted message
  • Upload, adjust, and edit main profile picture
  • Interest-based groups
    • Group settings
    • Become administrator of the group, and choose other admins
    • Approve group entrance requests
    • Ability to leave the group
  • User profile and group search
  • Bandwidth and Database maintenance
  • Privacy concerns

$50000-$100000 is the average development costs for a well-experienced programmer or a small team of independent web developers.

Photo sharing website. The following features are a part of most picture sharing websites:

  • Upload picture / image / photo
  • Generating a share link to the photo
  • Manage user accounts
  • Managing share privacy settings (public, private albums)

$3000 - $5000

The main concern of a restaurant business owner (be it Mexican, Italian, Spanish or Thai) is the menu. Placing it onto the website is not a big problem. But if the website requires online ordering system, that's what may increase the costs of building a restaurant website by a great degree.

The owner also needs to choose the credit card processing software. All of this requires custom programming, and you're probably better off hiring an on-site, full-time programmer who will work closely with you. Or you can purchase an existing solution or sign up for one of the sites such as Seamless, who already have all the tools your restaurant needs. Just enter all your menu items, and your restaurant open and close hours, and you become searchable within their database.

$800 up to $2000 for building online order page, or sign up at "Seamless" (or similar website) to make your website available for local search.
Google Adsense
A website built for "Google Adsense" is one whose layout is designed to display blocks of ads such as square ads, and banners. This is usually an informational website, similar to a blog. In fact, many blogs templates are designed for Google AdSense in mind.The template itself is not a big challenge to build, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1000, and can fall into any of the website type categories on this table and cost a little less or a little more, depending on the industry of your website.
A simple website including accountant's CPA services and company information. These sites usually have a phone number listed on the homepage, and "Contact Us" page is a must.
Resume Website
A website to display someone's resume and links to past work.
High School
As far as the layout and design of a school website, the same amount of resources and creativity will be required, as with most other websites. The difficult part of putting together a high school or a college website is how strict the information and navigation should be. A school website usually contains links to descriptions of classes and names of teachers, "course schedule" page and other information about the school. For the most part puttng together a school website needs taking extreme care toward managing and organizing the content on the website, making sure it is providing correct information. Sometimes, this task is more difficult than visually designing the website templates.
Designing a website for a hospital or a medical institution is in the same league as designing a website for a high school or college, mainly because of attention to detail, precision of information, organizing the content (such as articles) and developing a site navigation system that can handle medium to large amount of information (choosing navigation menus, submenus, etc).
Carpet cleaing services
A simple website for a van carpet cleaning business can be a great asset to an independent carpenter. A link to the website can be placed on Yelp or advertised on Craigslist. The website is usually locale-aware, it is designed to serve a small area containing a number of towns, zip codes and neighborhoods. The website contains information about the services (deep-cleaning, steam-cleaning, upholstery cleaning, restaurant cleaning, church cleaning, mattress cleaning, etc.), a "contact us" form, and possibly a "pay now" option to submit a credit card payment directly from the website.
Fantasy sports
A fantasy sports website allows the visitors to log in and place bets on sporting events that are currently occurring. The information is pulled from a chosen real-time source. The sports are usually Football, Baseball and Hockey. Building a website of this kind probably requires an in-house, full-time computer programmer who can also design and write HTML code.
Hairdresser / Hair salon
A website displaying haircut styles and hairdressers working at the salon. This is usually a basic website with a custom homepage layout and several more pages describing the business, location on the map, business phone and contact information and mission statement.
$800 - $1000
Website for kids with games (Like "Club Penguin" and "iCarly")
This type of a website cannot be simply developed by an independent designer or programmer. It takes a lot of work. Most of the time will be spent on creating the original graphics and animations for games and the website layout. The games then need to be programmed (the logic of the game.) Developing a set of great simple online games will create a great asset for your business or resume. Sometimes these types of websites can be sold to other companies with modification rights.
$10000 - $50000
Lawyer Website
Custom web design for a small-business or a professional lawyer firm, company or organization. A site such as this usually contain's company's mission statement, fees, and process guidelines for the visitors.
$500 - $1000
Church Website
The same as "simple web design", styled as a church website. Probably includes several images, a blog, an area to view recorded sermons (possibly using mp3 format), a bible study page.
$500 - $800
A high-traffic website, competitive with Facebook requires hiring a team of software engineers. Work includes website programming, holding meetings with developers, server programming. Expenses include: a business plan, advertisement, managing, software engineers ($40,000 to $150,000 per month each) capable of writing code in PHP, ASP, JavaScript, C, Perl, and using various helper utility software.
$1,000,000 or more per month. Funding available from investors only. But some website owners create new projects from their own pocket, which is usually the result of success with previous websites.
Website Maintenance Costs
How much does it cost to maintain (support for a prolonged period of time) a website? It depends: ongoing maintenance may require long-term attendence and recurring payments. However, you can have your website designed in such way, that you can log in and apply admin changes (upload pictures, edit items, update item text and price, etc.) yourself, using a simple web control panel.

Short-term maintenance, such as adjusting minor things on an existing website, depends on the difficulty of each update. But if it is simple text or image updates / uploads, this can be done cheaply through a freelance web designer.

To update your web page or e-commerce products you can pay a web designer $25 - $150 for updates or do it yourself if your website is set up that way.
Web hosting
Website hosting is an ongoing fee that is unrelated to web design costs, it is something you are personally responsible for, regardless of who is designing your website. Some companies, are willing to offer hosting as well for an extra fee. However, it is best to claim ownnership of your web host company. This way you gain more control over the files of your website and who actually owns them. Absolutely all web designers and companies are able to access the hosting company of your choice using an FTP server account. If you already have web hosting, be prepared to share your username and password login information with your web designer, they will ask for that in order to upload the website to your "www." domain name which can only be done through your web host company.
Shared Hosting (slower) is only $5/month. Dedicated (faster) hosting could be between $50 - $100 per month.
Facebook (A close copy with better, smarter features)
A facebook copy with features that make your site look better.
A lot of people ask to build a better Facebook. This is like chasing an illusion. People ask for it but they do not understand the type of resources it requires to build and maintain a website like Facebook. It cannot be done on a small budget, it requires support from investors and passion for computer programming.

Simple Tips On How To Reduce Your Web Design Costs

Do not overpay for your design. Web design companies are often open for cost negotiation because they know that getting you on board as a client is far more important than charging you more as a first-time customer. Be firm and negotiate. The secret is that about 70% of the time they will work with you on pricing, just to keep you as their client.

Tips on How to negotiate the costs of your website in practice, with the freelance web designer or a web design company.

Independent freelance web designer. Be respectful toward independent web designers (single person spending time to work on your website.) They always offer rates that are already cheap because of the massive competition they encounter. For example $400-$700 is an already reasonable price for a small website. But if you were quoted $1500 by a freelance designer, you can probably negotiate it down to $1000-$1100. That's reasonable if you really do not have the funding. If you do, it is important to respect your personal web designer for spending time on your project, don't try to save money in that case. It sounds counter productive, but a personal freelance web designer is doing a lot more than web design companies. They actually listen to what you need done and will work with you on a personal level, considering your every decision. This is impossible to get from a professional company. Professional web design company. By approaching a seasoned web design company you are already asking to spend at least $3000 and no less. Usually the proposal contract would include a quote between $3000-$10000 or more, depending on what you're asking to build (see the web design costs table above for details.) The good thing about negotiating with a professional company is that you can still save at least a thousand dollars. You can probably negotiate the costs down by about $1500 from the original quote, and the company will still accept working with you. Their marketing person may try to squeeze every penny from you (they know how to do that unobtrusively) so if you never say anything, they will never tell you that you could have actually gotten the price down by over a thousand dollars. Do not be afraid to negotiate with a professional design company.

Prepare your visual design and web page content before you approach web designers. Visualize what you want designed ahead of time. Being prepared will save you the most time and in some cases the costs that might arise from the web developer doing the extra work that you could have done yourself.

The website development process. First and foremost, designing a website is a process of creating a visual "web page layout" template. The graphic designer will work with you on a Photoshop mock-up until you like what you're seeing. At this phase, it is the easiest to add major layout adjustments, without adding extra work for the designer.

Once you approve the designer's layout, it must be turned into "HTML code", the computer language that makes it possible to view your site in a web browser. At this point, it is no longer a visual mock-up, but a website programmed in HTML. So make sure you have a solid idea what to tell your designer during the phase when your website is still being visually designed. At this point your visual design becomes more rigid, because it is now being represented by HTML tags written in text, rather than visually in Photoshop. And every time the template needs to be edited, now the HTML text itself is edited by typing it into a text editor. At this point applying major layout changes may take more time, but minor tasks such as adding new text, editing existing text, changing pictures, content layout changes, font type, text or background colors, background images, etc. are still easy to do.

How to create a website for free. Every website that you create yourself is free. Web design is not for everyone. Not everyone likes the idea of writing computer code that becomes a visual design. However, if you believe you have interest, courage and desire to build your own website, but have no HTML knowledge whatsoever, consider learning HTML yourself.

Greg's Free Online HTML Course for Beginners

If you're absolutely sure this isn't for you, move on with the rest of this article. But please remember, in just a few days, you can learn HTML and start making your own websites because it is not as hard as many people think and it will save you money. What's more one day you may even design your own website for others and get paid.

You + Designer = Reduced Costs. You do not have to be a web designer, but if you do a little work yourself, that you can do, this reduces work load for the web designer of your choice, and it also gives you a good reason to ask your web designer for the costs to be reduced. For example, you can design a visual template using Microsoft Powerpoint (PPT) tool, or any other easy to use "drag and drop" computer program that is capable of editing and saving a basic layout visual. Tasks include: rearranging primitive graphics, adjusting text font color and size, and drag boxes around to form a basic representation of your site. By showing your web designer a template you have already made yourself, you have a reason for reducing the time they spend on the labor it takes to design your website.

You can learn HTML yourself in just a few days and start building your own templates. It may not be a work for you, everyone has different abilities, but what if you learn that it is something you really like doing anyway? If you think you want to try that, please visit my online web page HTML course for beginners. There is nothing to do. Its interractive display will guide you through the basics. All you have to do is pay attention.

Don't make the mistake of trying to find "the best web designer company". Instead, understand that website you are looking for is unique to the needs of your business or a personal idea. Find a web designer who is willing to work together with you. A web design company will take your money and run, and they often communicate in an "official" manner which limits your ideas. However, many professional (construction, school, church, etc.) website companies specialize in a certain type of a web site. There is nothing wrong with finding such a designer, because they are already familiar with building the type of sites you're looking for.

Choosing a Web Design Company To Reduce Costs

To save money, you may want to learn HTML yourself. It's simple and you can learn it quickly from online HTML courses such as this: learn from online HTML course. If this is not an option, and you still want to save money, and you know you are somewhat "computer savvy", you can still use a free website template (a pre-designed web template you can install on your site,) use an online website builder such as Wix, or GoDaddy site creator, hire a cheaper freelancer to work with the site builder (or a simple site you already created.) If you hire a professional, more expensive web design company they will do everything on their own from start to finish. But web design companies, as opposed to independent web designer, usually charge more. Some of them do deliver the site faster and produce better results.

Below is a link to a web design cost calculator that calculates the costs with precision. This web design costs tool will calculate the price of the website you want to build. All prices are average and somewhat approximate. Use this design cost calculator to get a "ballpark" cost associated with specifically what you need to build (choose various options by clicking on the buttons.)

Web Design Cost Calculator Simple Web Design Cost Calculator

Are you looking to learn How much does web development cost (Report updated for 2012) Then follow this link to read an entire article I have written.

First and Foremost: Free Websites - Do They Exist?

If you've come to this page you may not know that you can get a basic website up and running quickly by using a free website template generator - knowledge of web design or HTML code is not required. You will thus avoid expenses associated with web design services. Creating a website quick is important when you need to get an online presense for the business you have just started. It doesn't need to be fancy - remember that it's natural for websites to be improved over a longer period of time.

Get Web Hosting Services for your Website

If you are in the process of, or had just started a brand new business, you are likely to want to build a website for it to represent it on the Internet, get more sales, or simply look more professional by being able to post your website on business cards and by forwarding potential customers to a place where they can quickly learn more about your business.

Website Design Costs Depend on the Type of Website You Want to Build

how much does it cost to built a website

Down below this article, I list some of the most common categories generally used to determine how much a website should cost. Please keep in mind that these are general and not definitive prices. But first, consider the general elusiveness of website designers and how they come up with their prices. For the most part anyone can make them up. Be careful not to spend more money than a specific type of website design actually costs. The costs of a website will always depend on the difficulty of work. A dynamic website (vs a simple static website), requires custom software programming (writing computer code). Expect to pay more for websites that contain custom functionality such as log in accounts, categorized product listings, ability to purchase items using PayPal or credit cards, etc.

Every web designer charges at different rates based on his knowledge, skills and perhaps even talent. Before rushing to spend a fair amount of money on developing your website, please make sure to check out free website cost calculator offered on this website. You can then proceed further to find the answers of website design costs. This article will also outline the common mistakes people make when they decide to make a website for no other reason other than "Just because my business needs a website".

You would be surprised to know that most websites, once designed, never receive a substantial amount of traffic because they never become popular. People who have little experience and who are building their first website end up spending too much money on a website thinking that once it is created, people will visit it. That's not true, and without any type of marketing or even basic search engine optimization (SEO for short) it will be difficult to receive more than 1-5 daily visitors, if that.

Without traffic, your website will not fulfill its role in aiding to educate visitors with great content, make more sales or promote products and services in the most efficient way. But you are in luck, I have written another article at Website Homework (this website) that will allow you to Learn How to Build Website Traffic. Mostly it's to do with applying the long-term mindset to your work and avoiding to rush and make a sloppy job with your site.

There are very specific reasons as to why you should not rush to create as many pages for your site as possible to generate web traffic, which may seem counter-productive at first. Remember that the less pages you have, the less money you have to give to your web designer, at least in the beginning stages of your site.

Making websites is not like changing car engine oil, there is simply no holy grail for determining the website construction costs. However, by using the Web Design Cost Calculator located on this website, it is possible to get an insight on general pricing of websites. Keep in mind that depending on the level of experience and the business model, the website designer of your choice will be able to quote your project individually. Some designers will charge 30% to 50% of the total price upfront. Others will not ask for a payment until you are satisfied with what they have built. Some website design companies will even provide you with financing options!

1.1 Simple 5 page website: between $100 and $300

If you are starting a website with a mission to show a small presentation of your skills (e.g. real estate broker, restaurant catering services, an art gallery, and so forth), your website falls into the category of simple websites that can be built relatively quick. Let's say you want to showcase your art gallery or the ideas behind your business and explain why people should contact you. A website like this could contain just 3 to 5 pages with a few images and a contact us form. Websites that cost just a few hundred dollars are usually followed by maintenance fees because you will eventually want to change things like text or pictures.

1.2 Average-size 25 page website: $500 to $1,000

If you are looking to create a website containing 10, 25 or 50 pages, consider the possibility of spending a decent amount of money. The site content is the information about your business, articles or details on the subjects chosen by you. This content must be prepared and presented by you to the person or the company who will design your website. Some common ways to identify the price of a website is by how many pages it contains. In which case, your website designer will tell you how much he or she charges per page in addition to the basic development costs.

1.3 Flash-based website: about $1,500 and up

If you are looking to build something more advanced than the average website, for example: a website that uses Flash graphics, picture galleries, animations, fade-in and fade-out effects applied to pictures to create pretty slideshows, be prepared to spend more money. But keep in mind that Flash design is often less expensive than many Website Development jobs that require writing code in a programming language. Although it is not uncommon for flash-based websites pricing to start around $2,000, it is sometimes possible to negotiate the price with the designer. Of course, the more experience a Flash designer has, the more money they will want to charge for their labor.

Flash-based websites come in at least two flavors. You can have the entire website designed using Flash technologies. But it is also not at all uncommon to have only certain parts of the website contain flash "windows" (usually in a form of a rectangle of a specigic width and height) or areas that are capable of greater graphical sophistication than the rest of the website. If blended with creative precision, it is possible to create fun interactive websites by only using these specialized areas for Flash-based design elements.

With the recent advances (this article was written in 2009) in web technologies it is now possible to create Flash-like websites without using Flash. Other code libraries such as jQuery or Prototype could be used to create sophisticated effects and user interfaces. Fade in, fade out and image sliding effects can also be achieved by using Dynamic HTML in cojunction with jQuery or the Javascript language. If you ever wonder if an element of a website you like is done using flash or DHTML, right click on the area of interest and see if the pop-up menu says anything about Flash Player. If it doesn't, then the area you just clicked with your mouse was not created using Flash.

1.4 Small business website: $1,000 up to $5,000

If your business has a small office and you are seeking help building an affordable website, you are looking at budget of one and up to five thousand dollars. If this is out of your budget, in many cases you can still have someone build a website that will cost less, but this will dependion what exactly you are looking to build. It is probably not worth spending a thousand dollars on a small website that merely outlines your business ideas and services in a simple 10-page format. On the other hand, e-commerce websites usually require more work. If you are not selling any products and your website doesn't have a lot of content, then my advice is to seek solutions from web designers who don't charge an arm and a leg.

If you understand your competition, you will obviously want the best website on the subject of the niche that your small business focuses on. More than often website designers are not aware of the idiosyncrasies that your business entails. As a general rule, if the money being spent is of seriously considerate amount, let your website designer know about the similar websites you had seen on the Internet to avoid having made something you didn't want. After that, ask your website designers to provide you with a few rough sketches of their work before they start to work on the 5-star version of the website. Sometimes delays during the development time are inevitable. But if you give the website designer as many details about your business as possible, if you tell them about the most important information that you want to express with your business, you can definitely avoid the hassle of unnecessary delays in the future.

1.5 Professional Website: Thousands of Dollars

First, let's draw a line between the different types of what is considered a professional website. There are at least two types and it depends on how different people think about websites. Some people consider a professional website to be something like an upgrade to what is called a "small-business website". Other people think that the term Professional Website pertains to the fact that they are serious about the business they own. Established companies such as Nike or Adidas also consider websites that promote their products as professional websites and sometimes require developers well-versed in programming languages such as Java, PHP and Actionscript. The costs of such websites are assumed to be in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 dollars and more.

Professional websites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube are difficult to make because they require not only to be continuously updated with new content but also to be maintained. Unfortunatelly, a website of the same scope such as these giants require an entire team of programmers and often at least one enterpreneur to start. Companies who embark on a mission to create a competitive website are usually refered to as start-up companies, or simply start-ups. The websites they create are usually funded by large-pocketed investors with initial round investment sums such as $1,000.000 (one million dollars!) Social Networking is the new industry trend and everyone wants to make their websites interactive, contain features such as user-profiles, comments, personal photo galleries, messaging and email services.

It is certainly not a great idea to build a website like that by yourself without help of others if you have never created a website before. However, I personally don't consider it completely impossible. If you have enough time on your hands, you can certainly learn how to make a website like Twitter, for example. Many people sometimes think that making another YouTube is a piece of cake and they can simply go to Craig's list to find someone who can make a website like that for them... for $500 dollars! This fantastical thinking is doomed to fail. Dynamically generated pages, advanced scripts like comments, rating systems and photo galleries with tagging capabilities are usually developed by a team of professional software engineers who are paid at least five thousand dollars a month.

2. Is There a Way to Build a Website For Free?

Yes. But again, this depends on the type of a website you are looking to build and whether you are comfortable with ads displayed on your website. Some free hosting companies require placing advertisements on your website to help pay for the free server maintenance and bandwidth.

2.1 Using Free Site Builders

There are several websites that offer free website builders, also known as site creators, that become useful tools in hands of people who are willing to press a few buttons to make a simple website.

2.2 Starting a Blog is Usually Free

Blogs are usually created free of charge, they are provided by the numerous free blog-hosting websites. Some of the most popular ones are Blogger or LiveJournal. Blogs are often associated with expressing personal opinions and recording life's events and experiences. Unfortunatelly, they are also traditionally associated with lack of depth in published content, misinformation or simply useless space-wasters. Plenty-a-men have used blogs to create "free" website only to clutter them with mindless posts on random subjects in hopes of monetizing them with affiliate programs such as Google AdSense. Although it is possible to host a blog on a separate domain name, most of the blogs on the Internet are hosted using subdomain-level names such as thisismyblog.blogger.com. These types of names are hard to remember and are obviously not as effective at building memorable identity as actual domain names.

2.3 Asking Someone Else For Free Hosting

If you have a great website ideas, some people who have access to hosting servers that they own can allow you to host your website using their resources free of charge. The truth is, many hosting accounts never take full advantage of the allocated bandwidth and storage resources because some websites never become popular, and people who have a spare hosting account that was paid for will be willing to help you out. This is not a very common or wide-spread way to get a free hosting account, but it is certainly possible. Keep in mind that you can still use your own domain name. Hosting companies and the domain registration services are often not run by the same companies. You can switch hosting companies while keeping your domain name the same!

3. Final Thoughts on the Cost of Making a Website

The costs associated with website design are dependent on the amount of work involved in making a website that matches your vision. The value of website design can be easily determined by looking at the type of a website you are looking to construct. On the general scale, a simple website can cost anywhere from $100 to a few thousand dollars. The quality of the graphic design will play a role in determining additional website design costs. It is possible to find a website designer who will build a simple website for you containing simple images and some text across 3 or 5 separate web pages. If that's what you are looking for, then this type of job can easily be done in a matter of a few days for just a few hundred dollars. One of the favorite ballpark numbers that website designers ask for a website of that kind are in the range of $300 to $500 or slight variations. Because no website designer is the same, different people will offer various price tags for essentially making the same thing.

Don't forget to ask your website designer for an online portfolio. If they don't have one, that means they haven't been in the business for a long time enough to bother creating a portfolio of their best work. Although it is always a great idea to get a feeling of what a website designer is capable of, don't%20make this a defining factor in deciding whether you want to choose them to construct your website. There are very many talented web designers who are not very good at personal presentation or simply don't feel the need to make online portfolios because they are confident that they can create any kind of website.

4. Additional Tips on Hiring a Freelance Website Designer or a Web Design Company

Like so many things in life, the cost of websites depends on so many different things. It is interesting to note that one of the important factors that plays a role in defining the price of your website is how much you are willing to pay for it. This is because there is no holy grail for figuring out the value of a website in all possible circumstances. What level of experience does the web designer you've hired has? Do they have experience exactly with the type of website you'd like to be developed? If you are looking to develop a website that needs shopping cart functionality, it is best to hire someone who has experience with it and doesn't just offer to use the free Zen Cart website (shopping cart software that is well-known among website deverlopers for being free, but also known for not being very intuitive or user-friendly). Different developers charge different amounts of money for the same type of websites. However, don't be alarmed! This article sheds some light on identifying realistic costs and what's involved.

Deciding how much you are willing to pay for your website development needs is sometimes a negotiation with the person or the website design company you would like to hire. It is true that some companies and individuals underprice, or overprice the amount of money they are willing to work for. This is done in order to accommodate for the living situation of the person who will be working on your project. It is also done in order to accommodate for the costs it takes to produce a website of desired quality and functionality. But what are these costs exactly? When we go out to buy a car, the price of the car we want is pasted to the windshield of the advertised cars in the dealership's parking lot. This is of course just the starting point. Car dealers are tricky beasts, and therefore we will negotiate with them and bring the price a couple of grand down. When we go to a website designer we need to negotiate the price in the same way. The only difficulty is, that there are no visible price tags pasted onto the foreheads of website designers.

Another interesting idea to consider is the mindset duality of people who decide to make a website. There are those who know exactly what they want their website to be, and ones who believe that the website designer should be completely responsible for the vision of the website. Considering that, allow yourself to think this question over. Do you want to be engaged in the creative process of making suggestions to the website developers you are hiring or let them do the job using their own gray matter/ If the latter is your answer, in choosing the right web designer please be aware that website designers will sometimes work for less money once they begin to understand that your website will need updates in the future. Of course they will not tell you this, but once you ask them about what it would costs to change this background color, or that web link color, the "maintenance" fees start to emerge. Keep in mind that maintenance fees are usually charged after the website is complete and the client (you) is satisfied with the website, but later realizes that new changes need to be done. Believe me, after a period of time, you will want to change that logo or rephrase your product or company statement. Even Google changed their logo several times.

Personal preference of both the clients and web developers is one thing. But another important aspect that will define the cost of creating your website is the difficulty level of your vision. What kind of technical sophistication is required for your new website idea? Will the freelancer you've hired be able to pull this of and do it right? Below we will consider a few very common types of websites and the costs associated with them.

4.1 Is it Necessary to Have the Website Designer Register your Domain Name?

It's not very difficult and you absolutely can and should do i yourself. Sometimes website designers rely on the fact that you may not know of the costs of a domain name and monthly hosting fees, and charge more than what it's worth. This practice is best avoided by making a decision to register your own domain name with one of the hosting companies. You see, usually hosting companies provide domain registration services together with your hosting account. I have written reviews of some of these hosting companies and they are listed right here on this website under the web hosting company reviews section. Once on the front page of a hosting company, all you need to do is fill out a form with registration details and choose a payment plan. Once your payment is processed, the company will provide you with your domain name account details, more specifically your username and password which you can use to login to your account. This information is usually sent to you by email.

4.2 How much does a website domain name cost

Domain name pricing is surprisingly cheap and range between as little as $2.99 to $7.99 per year! One of the web hosting companies%20that I really like is GoDaddy for their responsive customer support - these guys really go all out to serve their customers and answer technical questions. Simply follow instructions on their front page where you can get a domain name now, and consequently sign up for a hosting plan. When you get a domain name and hosting, it belongs to you. Web design companies, for example Titanic Web Design will be able to build your website right on top of your domain name, without you having to give up the ownership of it. Simply provide your web design company your GoDaddy login information, and they will be able to install your website on your domain. All website design companies are aware of this and know how to do it, and often you will see hosting login information fields in a web design contract or proposal that would be sent to you.

4.3 How much does web hosting cost

Web hosting will cost you less if you buy it in advance and save money, which means that if you buy hosting services forward for several months, you will end up saving money in the long run. GoDaddy.com web hosting services begin with as little as just 1.99 per month and it's a good start for building your first website. They even have a free website builder, but it is limited to pre-existing web templates (there are limitations to how you can visually customize each web theme they give you to start with) and only 5 pages.

4.4 How much does it cost to run and maintain a website

A lot of people automatically think that their website will need maintenance, because at some point in the past, their web designer charged them monthly maintenance fees. The truth is that sometimes you will want to change text or pictures on your website. A maintenance fee for something like that would be $50 and up, depending on how much actual data-entry work is involved.

Is there a way to avoid maintenance fees? If you need to change a few lines of text on your website, or fix a typo (a typographical error) in your text, you can do it yourself. Just ask your web designer for an FTP login information (or get it directly from your web host, they would be happy to assist you within 24 hours.) Use an FTP access program to log in to the server where your website is hosted. Then download the file in question. Open the file in a regular text editor and find the text in its source code. Change the text and save the file to your hard disk (re-save it to the same location where you downloaded it). Now, drag and drop this file back into the FTP program, into the same location where you downloaded it from. The file will begin the uploading process. Congratulations, you have just spent 10 minutes to edit text on a web page, and you didn't spend a dollar on it. You can also edit some images in the same way.

What if you don't want to do your website maintenance yourself? Web design companies will charge fees for changing the background image, edit the layout, edit text or replace photos, images and other design elements of your web site.

Every web design company will charge you differently. Website maintenance is a service often offered by freelance web designers and small web design companies that will work with your budget. Be prepared to spend as much as $300 to $500 per month on website maintenance. An alternative to website maintenance fees is asking the web design company to develop the website in such way that it would be easy for you to edit. This is called CMS, or Content Management System functionality. Simply ask a favorite web design company to include CMS, and they will do it for extra fees. Having content management control panel at your disposal will save you ongoing maintenance fees. Your website maintenance will be pretty much free of charge, but CMS systems usually cost up to a thousand dollars, or even more expensive.

Wordpress is a blog-like website that allows you to post new articles using a simple control panel for publishing new content. Wordpress websites take much less effort to develop. In fact, they are simply integrated into your domain name from existing, pre-programmed computer code. They are inexpensive solutions to self-maintenance, if you are a "do it yourself" kind of person. However, Wordpress also have limitations. The layout of a Wordpress-based website is limited to blog-like designs, but talented website designers can help you advance your web page's layout if they have enough experience. So, it is a popular solution if you are looking to avoid maintenance fees.

5. Making a Website Yourself

Another option to save a lot of money is to learn how to make a website yourself. Imagine how much money you could save by learning to make your own websites, not just one, but as many as you wish.

5.1 Why Make a Website Yourself?

If you are looking to design your own website by yourself, your web design cost will be significantly reduced. Of course, the amount of time it takes to learn to build a website from scratch requires an enormous amount of patience. But so do many other things. This website is here to help you. The Getting Started series are designed to teach you the basic skills. There you will find website tutorials, and tips for choosing a domain name and hosting companies. Some general uses of common web technologies are also to be found there.

Free Website Template Generator

Click to change parts of your website, type in new text, and generate HTML code to upload to your host. Computer savvy people can make their own website using this tool. It's absolutely free as long as the part of the footer containing a link back to the template generator page is left unchanged.

Point and Click Website Template Generator Free Web-based Website Maker

Website Costs Calculator

Looking to hire a professional website designer? This web design cost calculator can help you get an idea of how many hours of work you can expect to buy based on the maximum amount of money you can spend. Adjust cost per hour slider to dynamically recalculate results.

Web Design Cost Calculator Web Design Cost Calculator

5.2 The Myths About the Difficulty of Making Your Own Website

Many people don't consider the possibility of making a website themeslves because they believe it is a difficult job, and that only people who understand computers can create a website with ease. People begin to learn of the proverbial web languages such as HTML and Javscript. That alone is enough to make many people run in fear and consider hiring a web designer to make the website for them. However, these technologies are pretty simple to learn and understand for just about anyone after spending just a few days studying them. This website offers dozens of articles covering all kinds of different aspects of creating / making websites yourself. Most of the information on this site is for beginners, it is designed to teach the very basics of website design (visual representation) and development (writing computer code).

Copyright 2005-2013 by Greg Sidelnikov. All rights reserved.

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