We explore your website costs and budget

Due to the nature of web design and the many options out there, the cost of a website is actually pretty difficult to pinpoint.

But like any new project, budget is one of the most important factors to consider. While we cannot give you a specific price of a website, what we can do is outline your options and give you a ballpark to go from.

First off, who's building your website?

1. Do it yourself

Undoubtedly, DIY is your cheapest option. There are a number of websites that offer templates and DIY web design for free or at very little cost. This is perfect for those of you just starting up with limited funds.

You’ve probably heard of websites like WordPress, Wix or Joomla – DIY web design sites such as these are often free, or cost as little as $5NZD per month or $60NZD per year.

While you may be thinking perfect, decision made, you've got to ask yourself, 'have I thought this through?' There may be hidden costs of a website so before you start building, do your research and weigh up your options.

Before you settle on DIY, consider these points:

  • Time is money. Though you may be saving on literal financial costs, what costs more with DIY web design is time. If you’ve never designed a website before, it is going to take time to learn and navigate your way around the templates (time you'd rather spend on working in or growing your business).
  • It’s not as easy as it looks. As a newbie to web design, figuring out how to create a website is going to be overwhelming and frustrating; as you have to take a number of things into account – such as mobile-friendliness and ease of navigation. Now this isn’t to say it can’t be done, but it’s going to take you a lot longer to create a website yourself than it would be to hire a professional.

2. Freelancers

Another – often overlooked – option for web design is outsourcing freelancers. Freelancers are often less costly than web designer agencies since they are often solo workers.

There are a number of websites that freelance web designers offer their services through – just make sure you do your research and look for a credible portal.

Depending on who you source and where from, the overall cost will vary. However, as a general ballpark; freelance web designers usually charge between $1000-$3000NZD per website.

Considering a freelancer? Take these points into account:

  • Credibility is key. Some of the world’s most valuable talent are people working for themselves. Freelancers are a great way to go, but you need to do your research first and ensure you hire them through a credible freelance portal. 

  • Know what you’re paying for. When it comes to freelancers, business is usually a little more casual than agencies. So make sure you get in writing what you are paying for and compare this website cost with other freelancers before signing.

3. Professional web designers

At the highest level of experience and professionalism, partnering with a web designer agency will usually be your most credible option.

Not only do agencies know how to make your website look good, they also have the knowledge you are looking for when it comes to navigation, content marketing, SEO, and all of the tools that create a good website.

This is evidently the most costly option – expect a ballpark of roughly $2000-$10,000NZD+. The reason for this broad range is because the cost of a website comes down to what you want done.

Before picking an agency, think these points over:

  • Know what you want. Every web designer is different – they each have certain styles and specialties. Make sure you do your research and ensure the designer you choose fits your vision – take a look at their work and compare various styles.

  • Don’t settle. Remember, not every web designer is going to break the bank. Do your research and find out which designers not only fit well with you, but figure out who is most cost-effective – compare costs relative to the services they offer.

Breaking down the costs of web design

Up until now we’ve spoken of these general ballpark figures of website costs. And since we can’t give you a more specific figure, we thought it might be useful to breakdown what exactly it is you’ll be paying for and why.

Buying a domain

Some of you may be thinking, what on earth is a domain?

If you’re new to all this, and you’ve decided that you want to create a website yourself then it’s important to gain a bit of context around what a domain really is.

Essentially, a domain is the web address that helps people find you. While your website in its entirety is your “shop front”, think of your domain as your street address – without it, you won’t be found.

Examples of common domains:

  • www._______.com
  • www._______.co.nz
  • www._______.org

So what are you actually paying for?

When it comes to the internet, in order to be found and differentiate from the millions of others out there, you have to purchase your own domain name. Once you own it it can’t be used by someone else.

For example, google.com and wikipedia.org are domain names that are uniquely owned by those companies.

Of all the costs of web design, purchasing a domain is actually relatively cheap.

There was a lot of variability in price – however, the average cost for a website domain is pretty cheap – just roughly $10-15NZD per year!

Choosing a web host

Something many people often overlook is that costs like domains and web hosting are usually independent of the overall web design cost.

If you have hired a web designer, they may include web hosting – or if not, they will at least help you with it – but for those of you going for the DIY or freelance options, you will probably have to figure this out on your own.

So what is web hosting anyhow? In the most basic sense, your web host or ‘server’ is your websites home – a place for storage and access.

Choose from three server options:

1. Shared: Think of a shared server as an apartment building. You have your own space, but no control over the building. As the most affordable option you could pay as little as $3.95NZD (sometimes less) per month for shared web hosting. This option is most ideal for start-ups.

2. Virtual private: With this server, you still share your host, however you have the freedom to do what you want with your own space. Virtual private servers usually cost around $29.99NZD per month. Usually, this option is used by small companies.

3. Dedicated: If you’re looking for a more exclusive option with full control, a dedicated server is the way to go. While this is the most expensive option, it is also the most secure. Dedicated website hosting costs at least $99.99NZD per month (if not more). If you’re a multi-national corporation like Google for example, you’re likely to use a dedicated server.

Investing in marketing

Other than the ‘home’ for your website, and the actual ‘design’, there are a number of other factors that make up your website.

Marketing is a big part of this.

Many web designer agencies are also marketers so they will cover this area for you (again, another thing you need to consider when choosing a web designer).

But if you’ve chosen to DIY, or your designer doesn’t offer this service then you will probably need to hire a marketing consultant.

Hiring a marketing professional will help with:

Again, cost is subjective of what services you require and who you hire – but as a ballpark; expect to pay anything between $50-$150NZD per hour for a professional marketing consultant.

On the other hand, if you’ve chosen to create a website yourself, we really do stress the importance of understanding and planning for each of these elements.

In the end it all comes back to the important first step: do your research!

Sourcing visuals

It’s often the little things like imagery that people overlook when starting a new website.

Unfortunately, almost everything that is valuable to your website costs money. However, there are ways around this.

Our suggestions for sourcing images:

  • Free stock photos. There are many free images on the internet, but remember you can’t just take any image off Google, there are copyright rules around this.

  • Purchasing exclusive images. As to avoid having the same free images as your competitors, pay between $1-$100NZD per image and purchase quality photos.

  • Hire a photographer. To add a personal element to your business, hire a professional to take photos of your business for you. This could range from as little as $25-$500NZD an hour - it depends how elite your photographer is.

  • Do it yourself. Or, why not take the images yourself? Aside from purchasing or hiring a camera, this will be an almost free and personal option to differentiate from your competitors.

Writing content

Another important element of web design is your content – i.e. the words on your website – and we know all about this; we’re writers.

So what’s so important about content writing anyhow?

Other than the obvious fact that web content describes your business and what products you offer; words capture your audience. And more than this, they drive people to your site – well if used correctly they do anyway.

Many businesses overlook the importance of quality web content – and so they cut costs by writing it themselves.

Now this is totally fine if you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t take the time to learn how to write effective web content, the time you spend writing it will be wasted.

Remember, time is money.

How do word wizards like us help?

  • We get you found on Google. Experienced copywriters know how to write content that incorporates SEO and drives web traffic to your website – what's the point in writing content if no one reads it right?

  • We engage your visitors. By getting to know your company and industry, professional content writers find your voice and write with language that appeals to and engages your target market.

  • We drive sales. With word wizardry, copywriters tie in clever terms and phrases to fit with your web design and excite your web traffic to get in contact or purchase your products and services.

The average copywriter costs roughly $50-$200NZD per hour – depending on experience.

Or, for a full website – including SEO, research and writing – expect a ballpark of roughly $1000-$3000NZD+. But of course this all comes back to what you want with your website and cost is subjective of the length, detail, etc.

The big question: what’s your budget?

When it comes to web design, cost depends on you

Domain names, web servers, marketing, images, content – there’s a lot that goes into web design – therefore, you can't avoid costs.

But in the end, the cost of a website really comes down to you. And there are many questions to ask yourself. Here's just a few:

  • Do I want to create a website myself or pay a professional?
  • Will I choose free images or purchase them?
  • Should I share a web server?
  • Who will I purchase my domain name from?

The quality and effectiveness of your website is going to be what you make it. And whether you choose to DIY or outsource professionals – or a combination of the two – the most important thing to remember when it comes down to web design cost is do your research.


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