Here we have explained how much does it cost to set up a website for a small business.
The sphere of online retail is becoming more popular by the year. Everything is sold online, and stores of various sizes continuously appear on the web. But what is the budget that you should count on when it comes to getting your own eCommerce website or site for your small business? In this article, we’ll try to break things down and give you some estimates.
What Does the Price Depend on?
Let’s start with the basics, the size of the future store and how complex the “to be” development works ahead are will greatly influence the costs for creating a website for a small business.
Similarly, the more unique your site’s design is and the more customized or intricate the functionality should be, the higher will be the price. The same applies to desired optimization and feature set, for instance, if you’re thinking about building a progressive web application or native app, these are all additional spendings.
To put it simply, a petite eCommerce store that has a standard set of pages, a tweaked but out-of-the-box design, and no complex feature set will cost many times less than a large complicated one with a plethora of customized solutions, modern technology (like virtual try-on), unique design, and a PWA for mobile optimization.
Therefore, it all goes down to your specific needs and whether you plan on hiring someone to create a site for you or if you will do it by yourself. Without further ado, in the minimal scenario, when you just want something simple, your site creation budget has to start from 1-2k if and move up from there.
Getting a Domain, Hosting & SSL Certificate
Regardless of if you’ll create the site on your own or will find a team for the job, you won’t go far without the basic minimum. That said, you’ll need a domain (which is the “www” address of your site), a hosting (that’ll store all of your site’s data), and an SSL certificate (that’s required for your site to have the permission to accept payments made online).
Before you get confused about where to get all of those, fortunately, they don’t have to be obtained separately. Various hosting providers actually have pre-assembled packages on offer that apart from the three points mentioned above also pitch the option of getting access to the platform with a builder on which you can create your site.
Note that domains differ in price, so do hostings. The shorter and cooler the domain name is, the more it can cost. What’s for hostings, there are various types of storages, here are the three main ones:
- Shared hosting (the simplest and cheapest of them all, it’s suitable for small sites and blogs);
- VPS hosting (this is also a shared solution but a more capable and strong one, it is considered better and more sustainable from downfalls that can be caused by the other sites that share the storage with yours);
- Dedicated hosting (the third solution is provided for one owner, this makes sense if you have a very large site that has loads of data).
Let’s go over some options that you have if you’d like to set up a small eCommerce store. Below are some examples of hosting providers with package solutions that you can easily take advantage of:
- Bluehost: to give you some numbers, a full Premium Package for an eCom store that’ll be based on the WooCommerce platform, have an SSL certificate, domain, and many things pre-installed can cost you as little as 240 USD per year (payments go by the month, making things simpler);
- HostGator: the Express Store package for eCommerce stores is at 110 USD per year (also broken down by monthly payments).
Opting for a ready package is, perhaps, the fastest and cheapest way to go if you plan to create the site by yourself. You’ll basically deal with drag and drop site builders, organizing the pages of your website as you wish. What’s for configurations, these site constructors usually have setup wizards.
Of course, there are a couple of things that can add to your price here: design, plugins, other custom functionality, optimization works. We’ll bring these up in the following parts of the article.
Ok, so, let’s assume you used a package solution like the ones we described above. You start building the store and understand that the design of the site is just too plain and you want to boost things up a bit. In this case, you can either get a premium theme or hire a designer who’ll prepare a fully unique solution for you.
In the first scenario (if you’d like a better, more unique, creative, or professional-looking theme that you’d want to tweak by yourself), you can count on a price from 30 USD to 100 USD and up. These site design templates are usually purchased once and can be modified according to your needs.
If you’ll need a designer to create something more custom, then the prices will seriously go up. The absolute average of a designer’s hours is about 20 USD per hour. Meaning that for a full site design you’ll pay no less than 1500 USD, this is the ultimate minimum threshold.
Platform Choice & Development
Okay, so up till now, we’ve only brought up solutions for small businesses, mostly pointing in the eCommerce direction. Great! But which platforms can you base your store on and how will this influence the price?
Well, let’s put it this way, there are about 5 major “players” in terms of eCommerce platform popularity. These include Magento, Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, and even WooCommerce + WordPress.
- Platforms such as Magento are suitable for highly customizable large-scale websites. This is the type of store that’ll turn out to be very big and complex, it can even give you the chance to get a progressive web application. But it’s a platform for sites that need to be created by professionals, no DIY option here, apriori meaning quite high development costs (over 20k to get a store).
- BigCommerce is thought to be a quite affordable alternative to the platform above. It’s also a nice match for those sites that are already rather big and growing. The Plus plan costs around 960 USD per year and the PayPal fees are 2.5% and an additional 0.30 USD for every transaction.
- Shopify is, probably, one of the most popular platforms for medium-sized businesses. It’s most-liked for simple CMS and maintenance and neat themes. But with popularity comes the price, count on something around 360 USD per year for the simplest Basic plan, but you’ll be paying almost 3% and an additional 0.30 USD for each credit card transaction made on the store. The latter really adds to your spendings.
- What’s for Wix, the optimal plan for petite businesses and small stores to use is called Business Basic, it can cost you about 275 USD per year.
- WooCommerce usually goes together with WordPress. While the platform use is free of charge, the rest of the add-ons come at a price. Again, a store on this platform combo can cost you 250 USD per year and up.
Plugins & Extensions
Each of the sites on any of the mentioned above platforms will have their own set of plugins. There are tons of complimentary extensions, but the most vital ones usually also come on a paid basis.
These may include various third-party modules for tying social media shops to the store’s catalog, various security patches, SEO and PPC optimization modules, widgets, etc. The choice here is unlimited.
The more plugins you get, the more you’ll pay for them. The same goes for additional storage that you might need. To give some estimate numbers, a single plugin may cost you from 30 to 80 USD per month. Meaning that if you have about 5 of them, this may cost you an additional 1,800 – 4,800 USD per year. Therefore, this can definitely influence your budget.
Getting a website for your small business isn’t that hard. You can opt for a DIY approach or hire professional developers for the job. Depending on the results that you want to get, the scale of the website, the uniqueness of its design, and the complexity of its functionality, the prices will surely differ. Hopefully, this guide answered your questions, and good luck in getting your own site!
About the Author
Alex Husar, Chief Technology Officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in progressive web application development, Magento migration, and Salesforce development. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.