WEBSITE DESIGN | INTERIOR DESIGN

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Whether you’re starting fresh with a new site or seeking ways to supercharge your existing one, my resources are  here to guide you. You’ll find a wealth of inspiration, tips, and tricks to simplify your website design journey making sure your website becomes the dedicated partner your business truly deserves.

How much does it cost to build a business website in 2024?

Table of Contents

What are the key costs in building a website?
How much does a domain name cost?
How much does website hosting cost?
How much does it cost to have a website built?
How much does it cost to run a website?
What are the associated costs involved in building a website?
How can I save money on my website build?

One question I get asked a lot is:
“How much does it cost for a website?”
Having a website that resonates with your clients and honours your reputation is so important. If your website feels homemade, clunky to navigate or has been added to inconsistently over a period of time, it will be harder to compete with other professionals in your sector. Your website should visually align with your brand and the quality of your work, and it should also make it easy for clients to understand how to take the next step in their journey towards working with you.

But how much is it to build a website? And how do you who to trust with your money?

Several factors will affect the cost of your new website:

  • Do you want to design the site yourself or work with a designer or agency?
  • How many pages do you need for your new site (what size will your website be)?
  • What do you need in terms of features – do you need a blog? Somewhere to host your podcast? custom forms? Booking software? Membership functionality? E-learning courses? Payment gateways?
  • What do you need to host in terms of multimedia (photos, videos etc)?
  • How much traffic do you expect?
  • Do you need e-commerce (sales and payment) features?
  • Do you have copy and content for your website prepared, or will you need support?

The cost of your new website can vary wildly, from as little as £10 to get set up to £50,000 and beyond, depending on who you choose to work with. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the costs, but your website doesn’t have to cost the earth, particularly if you’re happy to build it yourself. Let’s break down and explore the costs a little more:

What are the key costs in building a website?

Let’s consider the basic elements you need to consider when building a website. Every website build will involve:

  1. The domain name (the address visitors will type or click to when visiting your site online – www.domain.com)
  2. The hosting (essentially where all the content and files “live” on the internet)
  3. The cost of designing, creating the content for, and developing the website
  4. The custom email address associated with your domain and any storage (if you choose to have one)
  5. The costs of maintaining and updating your website over time

How much does a domain name cost?

The domain is the address users type to get to your website. It appears in the search bar at the top of the page, and in the search results when people google you. You can choose different extensions depending on your industry and location, for example .org, .com, .co.uk or .net. You need to renew your domain name every year, and if you let it expire someone else could purchase it.

You can get a domain name for free, but they often have unusual extensions which make your brand seem less trustworthy, or you might actually be getting a subdomain, which makes it harder for people to search for you. Watch out for companies that offer a free domain for the first year, and then go on to charge an inflated price going forward.

In general, budget around £14-£30 per year for your domain name from a reputable service provider like GoDaddy. Before you purchase your domain, consider where you’re hosting your site, because there might be a cheaper deal with your hosting company if you buy your domain and hosting together. If you choose to purchase your domain with a third party, write down the details and keep them somewhere safe, because you will need them later when your site is being built.

How much does website hosting cost?

Your hosting is essentially where your website will “live” on the internet. Your hosting company will store the files that make up your website on a secure server. You have a three options when it comes to hosting:

1. Shared hosting involves multiple websites sharing resources on a single server. This is typically more affordable but with limited resources and potential performance impact due to shared server usage.

2. VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting offers a dedicated portion of a server which has been virtually partitioned. This gives you more control, resources, and scalability than shared hosting, but it’s costlier and may require technical expertise for management.

3. Dedicated hosting gives you exclusive use of an entire server, offering maximum control, performance, and security, but it’s the most expensive option and you need technical proficiency for setup and maintenance. Dedicated hosting provides top-notch performance and control but comes with a substantial price tag and technical demands.

You can expect to pay £5-30 per month for shared hosting, £30-120 per month for VPS hosting and £120 and more for your own dedicated servers. It is important to check that the hosting you choose has everything you need – and you should have high expectations for your hosting service.

Make sure you consider:

  • Uptime reliability to ensure your site is consistently accessible
  • Sufficient bandwidth for website traffic and storage space for your content
  • Scalability so you can expand your website as your business grows
  • Security features like regular backups, SSL certificates and robust security and malware
  • Access to reliable support, 24/7
  • Specific support for e-commerce sites if needed
  • Fast loading times and optimised servers
  • An intuitive user dashboard
  • Caching functionality
  • Email hosting

How much does it cost to have a website built?

You have a couple of options here – you could build a website yourself using a builder like Wix.com, Weebly, Squarespace or Shopify, or you could work with a designer who will charge you either a flat fee for the project, or an hourly rate. Let’s explore your choices:

Self Build

This is by far the cheapest option. It costs from around £3.99 per month, and you can use free, prebuilt templates for your site and often have access to free domain names and website hosting. Drag and drop website builders are easy to use, and you don’t need any coding knowledge. You can choose from a range of templates, which can be completely customised, and they have a user-friendly interface, meaning you can add to the content whenever you want. They handle server maintenance, security updates and backups, and they are really quick to deploy.

On the downside, while the templates can be customised, they do have limitations – your website will rarely be completely unique. It can cost more over time than you would expect as you add on features as your business grows. Some builders (particularly Squarespace and Wix) have limitations in terms of SEO, meaning your website won’t perform as well as a manually coded site in terms of search ranking and page speed. You also don’t own your site – if you stop paying the software company, your website will cease to exist, and companies like Wix and Squarespace make it difficult (or impossible) to move your elsewhere, meaning it will need to be completely rebuilt if you want to upgrade your site from its early DIY stages as your business scales.

A website designed using a drag and drop builder will inevitably look home made – it can be easy to create something that looks pretty, but good design is harder to come by, and great visual spacing and a polished finish is hard to achieve.

As mentioned above, it is easy to add content to a drag and drop website, and unless you write yourself a strict set of guidelines, this can lead to a website that feels inconsistent because it was added to in bits and pieces over time with no overarching strategy. Fonts, sizing, spacing, tone of voice and functionality leads to a huge beast of a website with broken links and no overall vision, which looks unprofessional.

Work with an Agency or Developer

You are paying for someone’s time and expertise, which is why this is the more expensive choice. It is a great option if you know you need a more polished looking site that performs well under the hood, and if you don’t have the time or expertise to dedicate to building your own site.

A custom design will be tailored to you in terms of functionality and visuals. It will be underpinned by a solid strategy, and a set of guidelines for future updates to ensure the website is expanded beautifully and intentionally over time as your business grows. Your website will be optimised for better search engine rankings, speed and performance, giving a high quality user experience, and a good agency or designer will give you complete ownership of your site and plugins, as well as training you (or your team) to update it. Alternatively, an agency or developer will be able to offer ongoing support, maintenance or updates for a fee.

It will always be more expensive up front compared with a drag and drop website builder, and it can take time and patience to find the right fit in terms of who you want to work with. For a custom built site with a blog or portfolio, you’re looking at paying around £5-6,000, and for a big e-commerce site expect to pay upwards of £10,000. Website agencies can charge well into the hundreds of thousands (and will generally be more expensive than an independent designer due to their overheads), but will have plenty of expertise to back up the work they do.

How much does it cost to run a website?

This depends very much on the functionality you need and there are various costs that could be involved. Every website (unless its included in a drag and drop website builder service) will involve:

  • Monthly or annual payments for hosting (either direct to the hosting company or via your designer if they host the site for you)
  • You annual domain renewal fees

Additionally, depending on your website functionality, you might also need to allow for:

  • Plugin costs, which could include:
    • Booking software
    • Image optimisation software if you have large videos or photos onsite
    • Membership portals
    • Podcast hosting services
    • Payment gateways
    • Subscription services
    • E-commerce costs and transaction fees if you have a shop on your site
    • Analytics and reporting software and tools
  • The costs of updates or maintenance work done on your website
  • The addition of new functionality and features as your business scales

The cost of plugins depends on your site traffic and the functionality you need – as an example, the image optimisation plugin I recommend costs around £5/month, and high-end subscription software costs start from £300/month.

If you choose a maintenance plan with your designer so she maintains and updates your site for you, expect to pay from £100/month, with billable hours for larger projects and upgrades.

What are the associated costs involved in building a website?

This very much depends on how much time and energy you have to dedicate to your project, and how much support you feel you need. A website design is always quicker and more streamlined with a team of experts on board. Here are some of the options you have to elevate your project:

Copywriting

Copywriting is always the most time consuming part of building a website – it inevitably takes way longer than you expect, and can be really difficult to do for your own brand. You are so close to your work, it is difficult to take a step back, be objective and avoid getting caught in the weeds.

I always recommend working with a copywriter on your website build, and here is why. If you choose to go down this route, you can expect to pay upwards of £1,800 for the project, depending on the size of your website.

Digital Marketing

It’s all well and good having a beautiful website, but we need people to come and visit you! This is where your digital marketing team comes in. From updating your social media profile, to running an organic or paid marketing campaign, to building out your email marketing strategy, a digital marketing team is there to get people headed your way. You can choose to have advice, guidance and regular check-in and analytics sessions and implement the strategy yourself, or a complete done for you strategy, but when you get the team involved from the start and have your marketing and website build work hand-in-hand, it leads to the best result. You can expect to pay upwards of £1200 for support with digital marketing.

SEO Optimisation

This can form the basis of your copy, as well as guiding your website content, blogging and more. SEO consultants will suggest keywords to rank for and build a strategy to bring more organic traffic to your site. You can expect to pay from £1,800 for a great consultant.

How can I save money on my website build?

Think of the project like a see-saw. The more time and energy you have to give, the more cost effective your project will inevitably be. You can save a tonne of money by reading up on user experience, website design, website security and coding and then creating your website yourself, and if you build a list of guidelines to refer to when you maintain, update and work on your site in the future, this will lead to a more professional looking site longterm.

You can work with a designer but write your own copy to save money, and you can save money by hosting and updating your website yourself. To save money on the website design, you could start with fewer pages or more limited functionality, gradually adding to the site over time as your budget allows. A clear vision for your website and a flexible timeline could also save you some money.

Most designers and agencies will offer payment plans, allowing you to spread the cost of the build, and some virtual assistants will build and maintain a more basic site cheaply. There are also website designers who allow you to build your site cheaply by building your site using a pre-made theme rather than creating a custom design.

Summary

Whatever choice you make, it is so important that you feel comfortable with the investment and that it matches where you are right now in terms of your business. A well designed, strategic website with digital marketing guidance should recoup your investment, and will always be a good investment in your business.

About the author

Clare Cahill is a website designer with a passion for creating websites for interior designers. Clare creates classic, strategic websites that stand the test of time, as well as offering software based solutions to streamline your workflow behind the scenes.

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IN MY CLIENT'S WORDS

"Clare took my website from generic and drab, to capturing my brand in every single way."

“If you’re a designer in need of a professional website designer, Clare is absolutely your go to. Clare took my website from generic and drab, to capturing my brand in every single way. Her knowledge around processes, aesthetics, and website functionality are at the highest level in the business. She is quick to respond to feedback and quick to make any changes should you want any. As designers- we are built to focus on creating beautiful spaces for our clients. Let Clare help you with the backend of how to elevate what you do and help target the right clients for your business. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her services.”

– Sarah Williams
Locke Interiors

Your Questions Answered

Choosing the right creative partner feels like a huge step – there are so many designers out there. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the questions I most often receive. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For years, I worked with professionals from a range of industries, including law, investment and finance, sports clubs, hospitality and consulting. I decided to focus on supporting interior designers because I know it is a field I can add extra value to with my eye for visual spacing, balance and typography.

That said, I love to support professionals from other fields – please get in touch to find out whether we’re the right fit.

The best person to ask is my past clients – please take a look at my case studies for a thorough answer! I take a lot of care over the thoughtful experience I put together for my clients – it’s important to me that I demystify and simplify the web design process so that you can enjoy the journey.

I also believe your website should be a powerhouse, working hard for you behind the scenes while you focus on your clients and then enjoy your life behind the scenes. I am passionate about using SEO and intentional design to leverage your site and bring your ideal clients to your door.

It is important to me that my clients receive the service they need within their budget. Your proposal will vary depending on whether you need support with branding, copywriting and digital strategy, and whether you require a blog. As a rough guide, projects usually cost between £3,000 ($3,800) for a simple one page site and £10,000 ($12,000) for a full website and blog. I itemise my proposal to allow you to pick the investment that feels right for you.

You can read more about how much it costs to build a website here.

I take a 50% deposit at the start of the project, with the remainder payable prior to website launch. Alternatively, you can choose to pay in instalments, with the website launch scheduled after the final payment has been received.

My Care Packages start from £100 ($125) per month, which includes hosting, updates, backups and security checks.

If you would like extra design work, including support with adding blog posts and sourcing images, I can handle that too! You can pay monthly, quarterly or annually and schedule your design hours monthly or quarterly depending on what suits your workflow.

This really varies – if you have a clear vision for your site and your content and images ready (or plan to work with a copywriter), your website could be ready for launch within a month from when I receive the final content. I schedule projects as they come in, depending on my workload and yours, and we plan a timeline together at the outset of the project.

You absolutely can, but keep in mind that it is usually the biggest job of the website build. I have a brilliant copywriter who is on hand to support you with your copy if needed, and would be happy to put you in touch. Click here to learn more about copywriting and your website design project.

I have done a lot of branding work for previous clients, including selecting and refining a colour palette and typography and logo design. I can also support you with print design for your business cards, letterheads, invoicing and email templates, as well as social media templates.

I have a sixtypoint SEO checklist that I work through for every client to ensure we give your website the very best possible chance of ranking for SEO. If you wish to get more support on SEO, I have an expert SEO consultant who provide you with a tailor made strategy and content plan for the first three months of your business.