How much does a website cost?

Posted by
Tess Bullen
Website Development
How much does a website cost?
"How much should your website cost?" is an often-asked question in the web design industry, yet the answer isn’t always straightforward for two key reasons.

The answer isn't always straightforward as websites vary significantly in design, scale and functionality, depending on what's needed for your business or organisation. Also, rates vary from one agency to another, with disparities between New Zealand and international design agencies, but even in cities such as Wellington and Auckland, rates can vary greatly.

website costs can range from a few hundred dollars, to over $100,000. The main  element that determines the cost of your website will be your  requirements. If you aren’t very familiar with the web design industry,  the pricing can appear confusing.

If you focus just on low prices, cheap website builders or freelancers may seem like a good choice to design your website because they charge less. But cheap website designs have many drawbacks. That’s why most business owners choose a web design agency to design their website.

Cost VS investment

Warren Buffet, the famous business investor, said that the key to making good business decisions is understanding Opportunity Cost. Opportunity Cost is not just asking ‘Will I get a good return on my investment’ it is asking the question ‘Of all the things I could do with this money, is this the overall best thing I could do’? So, when choosing a new web designer the question most people ask is ‘How much to design and build a website?’ but that’s not the best question to ask. The real question to ask is ‘Which website is going to produce the most value for my business to succeed online?’ If someone gets a “free” website, they might think they got a better deal or were able to save money than someone who paid $10,000 for their website. But the $10,000 website cost might have generated 200% more site visitors, more leads, and more business than the “free” website. Regarding total dollars, the “free” website might have cost the business $200,000 in lost business it might have otherwise gained.

How do I work out a

This step-by-step guide can provide you with a ballpark figure of how much your website design project will cost if you hire an agency.

Step 1: Determine the type of website you need  

Your business or project website can be simply classed  as one of these four types:

  • Simple, small business website
  • Conversion-focused business site
  • Basic ecommerce site
  • Custom feature-rich site

This classification may provide you with a sense of the website your business might require.

Generally speaking, smaller business and start ups will only require a small, simple website to get found and on the digital map. A small business website package, will save you costs and give you great design options plus the ability to update the content yourself.

If your business is established, and you are trying to drive more conversions on your website, or use your website as a service channel, website packages may still be a really good fit, or you can look at developing some custom features to suit the need of your organisation.

Step 2: Obtain a domain name

Secure a domain name, with prices ranging from $10 to over $70. Additionally, consider an SSL certificate, crucial for security, with costs varying based on the chosen type. Your URL should be short and easy to remember, reflect the name or type of business you offer. If your business or website is targeting an audience predominantly located in New Zealand, then it makes good sense to register and use the '' version of whatever domain name you choose. By using a country specific  top level domain (ccTLD) such as '' you are sending a strong signal to the search engines that your business or website is based in New Zealand,  and therefore your website is more likely to appear in the search results when searched for by users located in New Zealand. If you intend to reach customers in multiple countries, look at getting .com.

Step 3: Choose a web host

Hosting costs can start at around $55 per month for standard small business websites on shared servers, though it can varying a lot based on site type, daily visitors, storage needs, and other factors.

Step 4: Select a package or opt for custom development

The cost of websites vary considerably depending on customisation levels, functions and security, with complex features requiring a larger budget. Website packages utilise existing templates and 'out of the box' features, to minimise costs, while bespoke or custom website enable greater attention to and control of design and functional features.

Step 5: Copywriting and SEO Services

SEO, essential for competitiveness, can cost $300 to $10,000 monthly, often packaged with copywriting and other services.

Step 6: Design and Multimedia Integration

Design costs range from $300 to $20,000+ based on the visual language and usability desired.

Step 7: Ongoing Maintenance

Allocate a monthly maintenance budget, typically ranging from $200t o $4000, depending on site complexity.

Final WebDesign Cost Estimates

- Simple site for small business: Around $2,000 to $5,000

- Conversion-focused business site: $5,000 to $10,000+

- Ecommerce site: $4,000 to $25,000+

- Custom feature-rich site: Above $15,000

Note that these are ball park figures only, and it's worthwhile speaking to an agency about your requirements to be given an estimate. You can check out our website packages for options for small business websites and ecommerce.

Alignment of goals and budget

To make the right decision about what price you should pay for your own website, your goals, budget, as well as how much you and your team can contribute to the project will all need to be factored in together.

First, consider your goals for the project and the value of your time. Next, put together a budget that works for you and that you can afford. Finally, search for a solution that works with your given budget and goals. It may not be the perfect solution, but it could be the perfect solution for your situation right now.

A great web design can make all the difference.