How Much Does It Cost to Build A Modern Website?

How Much Does It Cost to Build A Modern Website?

A modern website promotes you 24/7. None of your employees will ever be able to do that.

Plus, you don’t have to make PF contributions, allow paid leaves, or provide insurance for your website. No overhead expenses either. And of course, no fuss about working this way or that. A truly obedient, ongoing, and overachieving asset for your organization.

When you are creating a website for your business, you are hiring a salesman, a customer service executive, and a marketer, all rolled into one.

Now, when a website is saving you so much money, it is only logical that it would require suitable pay. And you should be happy to pay for the exceptional, round-the-clock services.

But how much should you pay? How much does it cost to get a modern website up and running?

Keep reading to find out.

Understanding What’s A Modern Website

When you ask, “how much does it cost to build a website?”you’d get nothing more than estimates. The cost could be under $200, around $2,000, or even over $20,000. That’s because different websites have different costs.

But here, we aren’t talking about any website. We are talking specifically about a *modern* website.

Whether you need a small business website, an online store, or a personal portfolio site, if you want it to fall into the ‘Modern’ category, it should have the following features –

  1. Focus On Visuals – Images, Graphics, Gifs, Videos
  2. Search Engine Optimized
  3. Responsive Design
  4. Flexible and Dynamic
  5. User-friendly Navigation
  6. Quick Load Times
  7. Clean Backend Coding

Now, coming to the real question…

Building A Modern Website – How Much Does It Really Cost?

Well, it depends.

On what?

On who does the website building. If you decide to make your own website, it would cost just the bare minimum plus the value of your efforts. Imagine if you were to make your own lunch. You’d have to pay only for the ingredients, right?

If you hire freelance web developers, they will charge you for their efforts too. Like your house help would charge you for cooking your meals for you. But they also bring to the table more expertise and experience.

You could also hire a website design agency. They would offer end-to-end solutions, better support, long-term aid, and even extend website maintenance and update services in the future. And because they’d be offering so much, they’d cost more too. That’s exactly like when you get a customized, subscription-based meal box.

Of course, you can also hire your own web development team as well. But be told that the fixed and variable cost of an in-house website development team and the time and effort required to build that team would be much more. Think about the expenses like this: you’d be setting up a restaurant in your house to get your meal made. Not too smart, is it?

Now, let’s move on to the costs you’d incur to get your modern website made.

Fixed Costs

No matter who you hire or what tool you use for website building, some costs will remain constant. These include the following –

Domain name

A domain name is the web address of your website. New domains cost $10 to $12 per year. But if you need a single, popular word as your domain, you might have to shell out more. Domains names like and were sold for millions of dollars. Unless you want something like that, you will get a domain name without breaking the bank. The cost of a domain name also varies depending on your top-level domain (.net, .edu, .com, or other country-based options) and the domain registrar you choose.

When you register a domain name, your information gets published on the ICANN WHOIS directory. If domain name owners do something illegal, the directory helps find the wrongdoers. But if you aren’t comfortable sharing your details, you can get domain privacy for $10 to $40 more each year. With domain privacy, your registrar forwards their details for publication instead of yours.

Web Hosting

To park your site on a web server, you need a hosting service provider to provide you with space. That’s called web hosting. Either you can get hosting space on private servers (called dedicated hosting, ideal for simpler, low traffic sites) or go for shared servers (called shared hosting, ideal for high traffic websites).

Shared hosting costs $2.49 – $15/month, and dedicated hosting costs go up to $80 – $730/month. Other options include VPS (virtual private server) hosting, which costs $17.99 to $84.99 per month. Under VPS, you use a shared server, but it looks like you are using a private server.

SSL Certificate

SSL certificates (secure socket layer) show Google and your website’s end users that your website is secured and encrypted. This instills trust. SSL certificates are often offered for no extra cost with web hosting. You can get free SSL certificates as well as paid options starting at $7/month.

The level of security or support you need decides the type of certificate you’d need, and thus, its cost.

Themes and Templates

There are a lot of themes and templates available in the market. No matter which platform you choose for website building, themes and templates are required to build a website. You can go for free themes (if you don’t mind simple, no-fuss, and already used on the web options). Or you can go for paid themes that cost from $20 to $200 for a little uniqueness and more variety.

The cost is a one-time fee for using the theme/template or getting it developed.

For bespoke themes and templates, you can get them custom-developed for your website. This would cost as much as the features and functionality that you want in your theme or template.

eCommerce of Blogging Functionality

If you wish to sell products online or run a blog, you’ll need eCommerce and blogging functionalities. From specific pages like the blog page, cart page, use login page, to the ability to share the blogs on social media, leave comments, accept multiple payment options, delivery and inventory management, and more, you’d need specific features.

Either these features can be added using free or paid plugins. Or you can get the required features custom-made for your website. The cost would range from anywhere between zero to $24,000 per month.

App and Plugins

Depending on what kind of website you are developing, you’d need some specific features. Like an online booking widget, a contact form, a chatbot, or something else. These features can be added using apps or plugins. Like everything else, free and paid options are available. You can also get custom plugins developed for your website.

Most websites don’t require too many of these additions or integrations. (it is not recommended either as it slows down the site.) Thus, the cost under this head remains under $100 per month.


All the money you’d spend on getting your website developed will go waste if your website doesn’t rank in SERPs. Your audience won’t find the site, and your investment in building a modern website would go waste.

Doing on-page and off-page optimizations on your own would be free. But if you hire experts, you’d have to compensate them for their services.

The cost varies depending on multiple factors, including your location, the scope of your website, the competition in your niche, and the level of expertise you require. But be prepared to shell out around $90 for search engine optimization.

Website Content

You cannot publish a website without content. It would be like publishing a book with only images and no words. Depending on how much content you need, the niche in which your website operates, your location, the required writing style, etc., the cost can go up to $5000. Having the content on your website updated or changed would require separate payments.

But if you can write your content, the cost of website content would come down to $0.

Website Builders vs. Website Designer

Now that you know the costs of different components of a modern website, it is time to discuss the final peg.

If you choose a website builder, you’d have to pay a monthly fee ($6 to $50). This includes hosting and an SSL certificate. With free website builders or free plans on any website builder, you can save even more. While you cannot actually build a website for free. The costs would be minimal, though. Thus, with website builders, you can build a website for $10 – $111 per month.

If you hire a freelance website designer to make a website for you, they’d charge between $60 to $80 per hour. The time taken would depend on the complexity of your website.

Web development agencies would charge at least $5,000 upfront payment, plus more charges and costs, taking the total cost to around $10,000. Some web development companies also offer SEO and content creation, and marketing services. This makes life simple for you.

Building A Modern Website Will Cost …

… as much or as little you want. Using a website builder is the cheapest option but requires effort on your part. Web development agencies offer complete solutions, higher expertise, and better web building. But that would set you back by $10,000. There would also be recurring costs of maintenance around $500 to $1000 per year.

Freelancers stand somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, both in terms of cost and quality of results.

Depending on your needs and the depth of your pockets, you can select any of these methods to build a modern website.

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