How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website in 2019?

9 min readMar 26, 2019


The cost build a website depends on a lot of factors. Just compare these two websites and try to guess how much each of them would cost.

What if we told you that the cost of the first website ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, while the other website’s cost is around $50,000? How is that possible?

Continue reading to find out!

Website Cost: Influencing Factors

For starters, the final website pricing can be very different from the initial estimate because it is influenced by factors. Let’s now outline all these aspects one by one.

Website Type & Purpose

Below, the eight main website types are briefly stated.

  1. Personal Website & Blog
  2. Brochure Website (Landing)
  3. Corporate Website
  4. E-Commerce
  5. Educative Website
  6. Catalog Website
  7. Web Portal
  8. Community Building Website (Social, Forums, Sharing Website)

Website Development Approach & Technology

Let’s analyze the following options to find out:

  • Drag & drop web builders- DIY (do it yourself) sites which are mostly used for personal web pages or individual blogs.
  • Website building software- among the most well-known are Wordpress (used by 25% of all websites), Joomla, Shopify, and Drupal.
  • Custom website development

Custom websites, developed from scratch consists of the following parts:

Web frontend -includes all the elements the users interact with, UX/UI design, uses technologies like:

  • Markup languages: HTML5, CSS3
  • Programming languages: JavaScript, TypeScript
  • JavaScript frameworks: Angular (recommended), React, Vue, etc.

Web backend -the server side that works with information with tech stack as follows:

  • Programming languages: Ruby (recommended), Elixir, Python, PHP, Java, etc.
  • Web frameworks: Ruby On Rails (recommended), Phoenix
  • Database servers: PostgreSQL (preferred), MySQL
  • Web servers: nginx (preferred), Apache
  • Cloud server platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS, EC2, S3, etc.)

API (Application Programming Interface) — a set of commands to connect the frontend and backend, as well as integrate other necessary third-party services.

Some of them are as follows:

  • Payment gateways: Braintree, Stripe, PayPal etc.
  • Social media integrations: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • Delivery services: EasyPost, FedEx, etc.
  • Analytical tools: Flurry or Google Analytics; Firebase or MixPanel, etc.
  • Maps & Navigation: Google Maps, etc.
  • Email marketing integration: MailChimp, etc.

Complexity of Website Design

The options that influence website design pricing are as follows:

  • Application of pre-made design templates
  • Development of a custom website design
  • Inclusion of illustrations, animations, and branding

Note: these days, it is vital to consider- website responsiveness, which means adaptability to different device sizes.

Complexity of Website Functionality

For starters, let’s examine the basic features each website has. For this purpose, we use a corporate site, since almost everyone has encountered this website type. Most of these sites include:

  • Informative web pages (e.g. About Us, FAQ)
  • Contact Us forms
  • Blog web pages
  • Portfolio or service pages
  • Simple admin panel — for content management purposes

A more complex website functionality corresponds to the dynamic and editable content on the website. This content is managed from the admin panel (in other words — CMS, back office, admin console). Generally, most of the hard website development work is done behind the scenes by creating a sophisticated backend website infrastructure.

Custom website development is the best way to create a website because it has many benefits:

  • Possibility to scale a website more easily and customize features
  • Easier website support & maintenance
  • Easier bug fixing
  • No need to rely on templates or other services
  • No issues with load times.
  • The functionality choice is not limited
  • Ability to cover specific business needs
  • Website, code, and design are your property
  • Opportunity to be unique and apply interesting interface and design elements
  • Optimize website performance
  • Possibility to go hand-in-hand with appearing technologies

Website Development Costs Based on Vendor Type

  • Hire a freelancer -freelance web design and development rates may range from $5 to $100+/hour depending on tech specialization, location (country), etc.
  • Hire a local software development team -this method of building websites costs more because the software company usually allocates a professional website development team.
  • Hire an offshore software development agency- the most efficient option in terms of price and quality ratio. Development locations in Eastern Europe are well-known for their experienced software engineers. For example, the hourly development rate in Ukraine is around $30, while the quality of work is hardly different than in the US or Europe.

Cost to Build a Website by Yourself

In our digital era, it is possible to develop a simple website on your own by utilizing some open-source website builder.

Actually, anyone can build a website for free if using a free Wordpress template, but we advise against it. These sorts of templates come along with bugs, ads, malware distribution, and other drawbacks.

Thus, think twice!

In terms of building any type of website, it is necessary to keep the following steps in mind:

  • Website design and layout phase
  • Website assembly or coding phase
  • Website setup and launch (web hosting, domain name, security certificates, etc.)
  • Website content creation
  • Website bug fixes
  • Website ongoing support and maintenance

Therefore, in order to start a website, all you need is:

  • Select a web software solution
  • Set up your web design theme and/or additional plugins to correspond to the website needs
  • Register your domain name to reflect your website filling
  • Select and place a proper website host
  • Prepare your content and branding materials (e.g. logo)

The following table presents information about some widely used website building solutions:

By taking into account the presented information, the total cost of a basic website for a small business could range from around $80 to $3,500+. The website pricing may increase based on web hosting, maintenance, customization of a design theme, extra plugins, as well as possible costs for website content, advertisement, etc.

However, this website development approach has some pitfalls, namely:

  • No, or very limited, customization and flexibility (if someone can manage some operation with code for minor adjustments)
  • High dependency on the provided service
  • Possibility of slower load times or freezes (also depends on web hosting)
  • Slower performance
  • Website flow not working smoothly
  • Low security (someone can get into your code easily)
  • Limited scalability (if you plan to expand and add more features)
  • Inability to follow the latest tech trends and modernize your business (e.g. chatbot)

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Custom Website?

Here is a list of services that are included in the custom website development cost:

  • Business Analysis
  • Website Design (UX/UI)
  • Website Development (frontend, backend, admin panel)
  • Project Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Ongoing Support & Maintenance

Business Analysis Expenses

The deliverables performed by the Business Analyst together with the help of a Software Architect (responsible for technical interoperability of a system) include:

The costs on top of web development and design may range from $2,000 to $10,000+ depending on the project’s complexity. For the simplest website configuration, the cost for BA service is up to $1,000.

You may also find lots of relevant business and marketing information about building a digital product in the article: How To Make Your App Successful: A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide.

Website Design Cost

Custom website design consists of 2 sub-stages, UX wireframes and UI mockups. Additionally, consider services like branding, animations, and visual elements.

The main factors to keep in mind to define the range of your web design pricing:

  • Number of web pages
  • Need for specific graphics and pictures
  • Website interactivity
  • Website responsiveness
  • Need for branding

Here is an approximate range of custom website design cost (at $30/hour):

Frontend & Backend Website Development Costs

Here the key elements influencing the website development timeline and, thus, the website cost, are:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Data processing tasks
  • Complex inquiries (e.g. video streaming feature)
  • Complexity of web design

Below you may check out the most common website parts in a basic implementation.

The timeline to develop a small business website without complex functionality lasts around 3 working weeks. The actual website coding costs are around $8,000-$10,000 (please note, BA, QA, PM, and UX/UI design services are not included).

Here are the most general features that might also be included in the frontend and backend website development service.

Check out the e-commerce website development cost breakdown in a separate article — How Much Does it Cost to Build an E-Commerce Website.

Project Management Cost to Build a Website

The cost of project management corresponds to how long the project lasts. Approximately, the project management costs for a small web project account to around $1,000 at the hourly rate of $30.

Quality Assurance Cost to Create a Website

The price mostly derives from the total amount of time required for the development of the features. On average, it accounts for 30% on top of each feature. Thus, for a basic custom website, the quality assurance cost can be anywhere between $1,000 for a simple web project and $4,000+ of greater complexity.

Other Website Development Costs Involved

Let’s now check out additional components involved in a final website cost estimation:

  • Domain name registration- around $10 per year
  • Web hosting set up- from $5 to $250
  • Copywriting expenses (Website content preparation)
  • SSL certificate employment- cost from $10 to $200-$300 annually.
  • Advertising- average CPC is approximately $0.20 on Instagram and $0.27 on Facebook
  • SEO- ranges from $75 to $150

Cost to Maintain a Website

It is possible to support the platform for $1,500+ with the help of a developer in the case of a simple Wordpress website. If you plan to add new functionality while maintaining minor changes and bug fixing, the website maintenance costs could start from $15,000+.

To Sum Things Up: Cost to Build a Website

Here is a summary table revising all the services with the total website costs included.

Thus, in order to build a good, custom website of high quality and necessary functionality, the cost ranges from $13,000 — $18,000 for a small corporate business website, or $30,000 — $40,000 for an e-commerce web platform or social platform of a basic form. A more advanced e-commerce website may cost you around $45,000 — $80,000. As for the more complex, multilevel web portal, the costs may start from $115,000.

As for the timeline necessary to create a website, it can vary from 1 to 7+ months depending on the website size and complexity, as well as process organization.

How much does it cost to build your website, exactly?
The best way to get an answer is to
contact our team to help you estimate and further develop your stunning website.

This is a brief summary of an article published on MLSDev blog. If you would like to learn more about website process development and its cost, read the full article.




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