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Affordable web design: How Much Does It REALLY Cost to Build a Website?

Updated on September 14, 2011

Affordable Web Design - What Are Your Options

If you've been postponing setting up your new website or redesigning your existing website because of the expense, you may be relieved to know that creating a new website does not need to be expensive. Let's look at some options that will look your website truly affordable.

How much does it REALLY cost to build a website?

What I'm going to be talk about here is the absolute bare minimum of what you need to create a website.

The good news for those who are just starting up and have a very limited resources, is that these days you can build a professionally looking website in just a few days without any knowledge of programming, HTML, and such. Of course, I'm assuming that you are somewhat familiar with computers, and are willing to get your hands "dirty" by doing most of the work by yourself. Or, if you have an assistant, you can train her/him to do the work for you.

So, without further ado, here is how much it's going to cost you to create and maintain a decent online presence.

How much does it cost to build your own website?

While it's certainly possible to create a website for free, I don't really recommend it. Building a website these days is very affordable, if you are willing to get some of the work done yourself.

The following are the components that are indispensable:

  1. Domain Name. This is essential. You must have your own domain name registered. The preferred extensions are .com or .net.
    The cost: about $9 per year.
  2. Hosting with Bluehost, Hostgator or another hosting company.
    The cost: About $50-$100 per year
  3. Designing and Setting up the Website. If you want to set up a website quickly without any knowledge of programming,I recommend you use WordPress to build your website and purchase a professionally designed theme for less than $90. The installation is very simple - especially since many hosting companies offer one-click installation - and learning to use WordPress software will take just a few hours of your time. Alternatively, you can find someone to do it for you on or Most of the time, if you are just starting out, having custom graphics on your site is not essential - just use some nice pictures and your logo, if you have one. If you want something different, hire a designer on one of the sites mentioned above for less than $300.
    There are many themes available to choose from - such as Thesis, or Studio Press, as well themes available on but there are many other awesome themes for WordPress available out there - designed, built and optimized by real professionals.
  4. Building a List with Autoresponder. Having an opt-in page set up on your website and an autoresponder account enables you to build one of the greatest assets that any business may have: a list of prospects. The cost is under $20 monthly or $200 yearly (if pre-paid).

So the total cost up till now is under $600 PER YEAR, and you don't have to pay all of this upfront.

Of course, you will also need to build traffic to your website by promoting it online and offline. You will also need to do some website maintenance tasks, such as upgrading WordPress and backing up your WordPress site.

How To Install WordPress With Fantastico

At this point you can be either excited, and ready to go and build your own website, or confused and depressed about all the work that is involved.

If you are in the second group - do not despair.

I definitely do not meant to say that everyone should be building their own websites. That would put all these talented web designers, web programmers, developers and Internet marketing cosultants out of their jobs - and we defintely don't want that!

In fact, I think that for most people...

Hiring a Website Designer or Marketing Consultant is a smart decision and can save you money in the long run...

Seriously, if you don't know what you're doing and are not willing to learn the ropes - you may end up wasting a lot of effort, time and ultimately money.

If you want your website - and your online business - to make you money, there are many pieces that need to fit together, like pieces of a puzzle. If one of them is missing - such as building visitor traffic to the site, or building relationships with your visitors - you will not get the desired results.

So, for most people, hiring someone with skills and experience, even if it will cost you a few thousands dollars initially, will be worthi it in the long run. You'll be able to spend your more efficiently on doing something else - like growing your business.


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    • SuperBrainwave profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from USA

      I have a few websites. I just pay for domains and hosting and use Wordpress.

    • Joanna Verdan profile image

      Joanna Slodownik 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I quite agree with David's comment that not everyone should be building their own websites. However, in my experience, I had at least several potential clients who wanted a new website, but could not afford my fees, so they went and build a WordPress site themselves (following my recommendations).

    • profile image

      uniakap 6 years ago

      Great its really nice article


    • profile image

      pete 6 years ago

      Its really nice to see more and more people offering open source works like joomla, wordpress, oscommerce, drupal and others. People have to realize one no longer has to pay $10000 for a site that can be created for under $1000. The argument you always get is that you get what you pay for, and that supposedly means cheap. This is not so as there are many design shops offering great work for less money. Shop around is all io can say

    • profile image

      David Provost 7 years ago

      Do it yourself web design is fine if you do not need a super size me professionalized website. But keep in mind that time is life, and if your not a professional web designer, you could have much time robbed from you for trying to do it yourself. Thats why people hire professionals any ways, to save time. My conclusion of this is that if you have plenty of extra time to spend on a website instead of pay for one, have fun. But if your reason for building a website is anything more than personal, a professional should be hired. I posted a link to this article from my website at for my clients to read just in case they do want to just do it their self.

      Thanks for the article.