How much does a professional website cost?

A well-designed and functional website is an important element in the success of a small business. Picture: Shutterstock
A well-designed and functional website is an important element in the success of a small business. Picture: Shutterstock

This is branded content for White Peak Digital.

Courtesy of COVID, more and more Australians are tapping into their entrepreneurial hearts and turning skills and passions into businesses.

Central to success to any venture, new or established, is of course a professional and functional website that captures your brand personality, and is easy for potential customers to use and get the information they need, and, of course, buy.

But how do you go about designing a great website, and, importantly, how much will it cost?

"When it comes to website design, there's simply no one-size-fits-all solution," said web designer Jackson Gartner, the co-founder of award-winning business White Peak Digital.

"There are different costs involved in website design depending on what you want and the different approaches you take to do so."

White Peak founder Jackson Gartner.

White Peak founder Jackson Gartner.

What are the different ways to build a website?

Hire a web design agency

This might be the effortless way to build a website but it doesn't mean you can sit back and relax.

"You'll have to work closely with the website designer to ensure the site meets your specific needs and expectations," said Gartner.

"Depending on your requirements, the average web development cost in Australia with an agency is between $5,000 and $30,000. This all depends on whether you need a simple site, a complex site, or an eCommerce website with several additional functionalities.

"Opting for a cheap website design solution isn't always the best way to go. If you aren't happy with the final product, you'll likely end up spending more money to fix a low-quality website."

Use a website builder

Using a website builder might be the way to go if you're looking for the most affordable option.

"Prices can vary from absolutely free to upwards of $500 per month, depending on what you need," said Gartner. "Typically, a new site created with a website builder will cost between $5 and $50 per month.

Be wary though of the limitations on most free website builder plans that could mean it's not suitable for the needs of serious businesses.

"Limitations might include adverts on your site, non-custom domains, limited features, no eCommerce functionality, and basic customer/technical support," said Gartner.

"With a professional, high-quality website builder you can build an attractive website with a range of added features to get your business online quickly. You'll get much better value for your money by choosing an established website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly than with a cheap builder that offers limited functionality."

WordPress

WordPress is the most popular option when it comes to website design and taking your business online. It's a content management system (CMS website) and website builder that can be used to create a new website blog, small business website, or eCommerce website.

"WordPress is a great option for anyone with little technical expertise and those who want fully customisable cheap website design," said Gartner. "It allows for the most control over features, functionality, and design without having to fork out for an expensive agency.

"Initially, it's free. That means any average Joe can sign up and create a website without spending a cent. However, as you consider the costs of premium themes, paid plugins, and hosting-you'll find the costs can quickly add up.

"You can hire a WordPress developer to take care of the complicated aspects of developing a website with WordPress, which increases costs even further.

"To begin with, you might be able to get away with free themes and plugins, but one thing you'll need to budget for from the get-go is hosting. The hosting cost depends on the provider you choose."

Factors that impact website design cost

Project management

Building a website doesn't simply happen in a matter of hours or even in several days! It requires careful planning, management, and execution.

For that, you'll need to hire a skilled project manager to streamline the process.

"The project manager's job is to keep you in the loop with what's going on and ensure you're involved in key decisions that will impact the quality/development of your site," said Gartner.

Domain names

The domain name of your website refers to the address of your website on the web, the part that comes after "www.".

"This is how people are going to find your website, so it should be synonymous with your brand name, or as close to it as possible," said Gartner.

"The cost of a domain can vary a lot. Typically, domains cost between $10 to $50 per year. However, costs will fluctuate depending on the domain extension or registrar you choose."

Hosting

Website hosting, in layman's terms, refers to where your website "lives" in the big wide world of the internet. It's where people find and connect to your website.

"Most hosting providers charge monthly feeds, which typically cost at least $50 per month," said Gartner. "If you decide to use a website builder like WordPress or Wix, you won't need to worry about forking out for website hosting, as it's included in the monthly subscription fee.

"The cost of hosting depends on the storage and bandwidth you require, so the larger or more complex your website, the more it'll cost to host. You can choose between dedicated and shared hosting. Dedicated hosting is recommended for businesses as it provides better security and performance than shared hosting, where your site will end up competing with other sites for bandwidth."

Search engine optimisation and copywriting services

If you're embarking on a web design project, you'll need to source SEO and copywriting or content writing services to ensure your site is ranking in Google search results and its content is performing.

"SEO is all about designing your website and its content to rank for search engines, with the goal being to attract and convert visitors," said Gartner. "SEO specialists know how to analyse the performance of your online business using Google Analytics and other online marketing tools, which will help to boost your performance."

Contact White Peak Digital to find out more about creating a professional, high-quality website for your business. White Peak Digital will not only design your website, but its comprehensive range of digital marketing and SEO services can help your brand develop an online presence that attracts, converts, and satisfies customers.

This is branded content for White Peak Digital.

This story How much does a professional website cost? first appeared on The Canberra Times.