When it comes to parting with hard earned cash for a new website to grow your business, cost can be a primary factor specially for smaller businesses where cash flow can be tight. It's important to consider a new website for your small business an investment rather than a cost too, the right website can drive new traffic and sales for your business.

How much should a small business website cost?

In short, if you're a small business looking for a 5-10 page website for basic content and based on an off the shelf template, you should expect to pay around £50-£60 per page, or about £300-600 for a basic website, without any content production or on-going support.

But like most things in business, there's more to pricing a small business website than meets the eye with key factors including:

But how can these affect the price you pay for a website, we're going to take a look at each of these and help you to figure out just how much you should be paying.

What do you need your website to do?

Before getting in touch with any potential suppliers, it's really important to think about what you need your new website to do. The more detail you can go into here will serve you better when creating a brief for your supplier.

Not every website needs to be complicated, many small businesses simply need to convey key information to customers such as their products and services with a blog to provide an area for regular fresh content.

Take a landscape gardener as an example, it's not really practicle for customers to buy online as each job will be quoted for separately; in time you may want to allow customers to accept quotes online but for the most part showing off what you can do is essential. On the other hand if you're a local salon you might want users to book appointments online, buy gift cards and perform other tasks.

Here's a list of things you might want to consider for your small business website, each will affect the price:

  • E-commerce/online store
  • Blog
  • Image galleries
  • Booking systems

How many pages does your website need?

As you might expect, the more pages a website needs the more it's likely to cost. There's a range of reasons for this, sometimes it's just down to the pricing model of some website builders to makes it easy to calculate charges, other times it due to needing a larger number of page layouts. Most small businesses will need to communicate basic information and this should be achieveable in 5-10 pages.

It might be tempting to reduce the number of pages having all of your products or services listed on a single page, but it's worth considering that this could impact the ability for a website to rank in search engines, making it harder to earn new traffic and customers. Try to ensure that each service has its own page with space for content about that service.

It's important to remember that the volume of pages should not directly correlate with price, any website you ask to be built should use a content management system such as Wordpress or Joomla. In turn these platforms use templates for the layout of different page types such as product categories.

Ultimately this means that each different page should only need to be designed once, with the content management system allowing similar pages to be created quickly, keeping the cost managable. So no matter whether your small business website needed 2 or 20 product centegories, you should only be charged for 1 design, though you may also be charged for the creation of the other categories.

Do you need a bespoke design?

Design time can have a big impact on the final cost for any website, having worked on projects of all sizes it's often the back and forth on design details which take time and cost money. With this in mind it's worth asking yourself if you need a bespoke design or whether you're happy to use an "off the shelf" template as this is often what you'll get when using a fixed fee service or independent developer as this saves time.

Templates aren't always a bad thing of course, they keep costs down and are often well tested across mobile, tablet and desktop devices so you know they work. What may be compromised however is the customer journey, the steps which your current or potential customers need to take to buy from your business.

So the coice here is upfront cost vs potential impact on sales.

Who is creating the content?

Content creation is another large factor in what you'd expect to pay for a small business website. Creating the right content will take time and if a third party is producing the content for your website, you need to be sure that they know your business inside and out.

Of course if you choose to produce your own written, image and video content then you can expect to be quoted less for a new website, but don't underestimate the amount of time it may take to create the content.

Where will your website be hosted?

If you already have a website, then you'll already have hosting (the computers that make your website work) of some sort in place for your website. Regardless of this, the hosting of your website costs money and a website developer may have a preferred partner or supplier who they encourage you to use.

If this is the case, you need to ensure that you ask questions about the performance of the hosting, how quickly will it allow your website to load, how much storage space do you have and what on-going costs will be incurred for keeping your website online. If you've never had a website before, you want to think about asking the same questions too, things like how quickly your website loads are crucial to a great experience for your potential customers and can affect how likely they are to buy from you.

Website maintenance

Once your shiney new website is online it's easy to think that it's "job done" and that you can leave it to it's own devices. The truth is that websites are like kids, they need attention, looking after and support to make sure they reach their potential.

One crucial area which you might not be able to take on yourself is updating the software which runs your website. Depending on how your website is built, the content management system (Wordpress is a common CMS) may need to be updated, the server, databases and plugins may also need updates to be applied.

You should consider carefully if you can do this yourself or require a support contract where someone else will take care of this for you.

DIY or delegate

Perhaps the choice with the biggest impact on cost will be whether you decide to to use one of the many small business website building platforms which are available, these have become much more refined in recent years and you can check our 3 of our favourites here. The pricing of these platforms is often tiered but come with everything you need to get your website up and running, from your own domain to hosting and support if you need it.

Some of these DIY platforms also come with an option to have their team build your website for you and with prices from £249 it might be worth considering if you're on a budget.

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