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How Much Does a Website Cost UK? [Ultimate 2024 Guide]

How much does a website cost UK?

As WordPress Web Designers, ‘How much does a website cost UK?‘ is probably our most asked question.

In this article, we’re going to break down all the costs associated with website cost in the UK, from planning and development to ongoing and maintenance costs in 2024.

Website Costs: What Type of Website are you Looking to Build?

This factor influences the upfront cost of a website the most. The type of website you are looking to build vastly affects how much development time is required and, therefore, how much a website designer will charge you.

Here is a brief outline of the most common website types:

  • Small Business Websites: These are the most common sites that we deal with, and as long as the functionality is relatively standard, they can be very cost-effective.
  • E-Commerce Websites: Having the ability to sell and process sensitive transactions on a website requires additional levels of effort and expertise, so these will always be among the most expensive websites.
  • Large Corporate Websites: These will often encompass additional functionality, knowledge bases, client portals, etc, so they will incur additional costs over a standard brochure website.
  • Portfolio Websites: With the development of content management systems, portfolio websites are now as simple to build as small business websites, so we classify them into the same category.
  • Non-Profit Websites: Most non-profit websites fall between Small Business Websites and large corporate websites. They are normally similar in size to Small Business Websites, but they often require additional functionality such as fundraising and community engagement.

More different types of websites are available, but these are the main ones we deal with at Designers Up North. They cover the most common types you’d use a web design company to build.

Factors Influencing Website Costs

There are many factors that influence the price of a website, and we’ll discuss them in some detail here. Suppose you’re looking to hire a web designer. In that case, it’s worth looking into which of these are included in your package, as you need more than just comparing prices between companies to give you an accurate picture of the value you are receiving.

In this section, we’ll just cover the elements influencing the cost of the website build itself, as opposed to the additional considerations, such as domains and hosting, which we’ll cover in the next section.

selection of web design pages from a project

Type of Website

We’ve covered this above, but the type of website will generally dictate the core objectives and functionality required for the site. As such, many website design companies will put different types of websites into price brackets to indicate an initial idea of cost upfront.

Design

For most web development projects, especially small business and corporate websites, the design requirements don’t tend to have a large impact on the overall cost of the site.

However, suppose you have specific design requirements or want a more high-end, complicated, or bespoke website. In that case, the additional time will have to be factored in.

Functionality

This is where the cost to create a website can change quite dramatically.

The more you need your website to do, the more it will cost.

Here’s a list of the most common functionality elements of a website build that’ll add to your costs:

  • eCommerce
  • Payment Processing
  • Booking Systems
  • Client Portals
  • Social Media Integration
  • Video Integration
  • Live Chat
  • Custom Calculators
  • Maps and Location Tools
  • API Integrations
  • Custom Forms and Surveys
  • Membership Systems
  • Multilingual Support

At one point, we would have added news/blogging to this list, but with Content Management Systems such as WordPress being so ubiquitous, we now consider this a standard feature.

Content and Copywriting

This is one of the elements you, as a business or individual, can influence most. The more you contribute, the less website build costs you will incur.

You can think of the content elements as a giant puzzle.

If you supply your web design company with all the pieces they must put together to complete your site, costs will be lower.

If, however, the web designers have to create some of the elements (i.e. pieces), this will likely add to the build cost. Alternatively, you may have to outsource some aspects. Larger design agencies sometimes have these capabilities in-house. In contrast, smaller companies may outsource to freelancers (some manage this as part of the project).

Let’s take a look at some of the more common elements of content.

Text and Copywriting

The text that visitors read on your website is critical. It tells your story, builds trust with your audience, and sets the tone for how your customers can expect to be treated should they engage with you.

This is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your new website. If you’re starting out or working on a small budget, you may have to rely on your own skills initially to help keep your costs down.

Or, if you want to enlist a professional’s help, you can hire a copywriter to help shape your messaging. Some companies will offer this in-house, whilst others can offer an outsourcing and management service.

Images and Photography

Another essential facet of your website is the images; they help bring life to your wording and should help create the overall look and feel you’re aiming for.

Most web design companies have access to a stock image library, which is incredibly useful if you’re on a tight budget or a service business where imagery is more suggestive than literal.

If, however, you have a business that offers photo-worthy products or services, hiring a professional photographer to enhance your website (and marketing in general) can be a great asset.

Video

Adding video to your website can be a great way to boost interactivity and the time spent on your site (good signals for search engines).

As with the other content types, some larger agencies can offer this in-house. However, most won’t, so you’ll have to look to a professional. This can be costly due to the processes involved, so you’d have to consider what stage your business is at and whether it is a viable option.

Infographics and Custom Graphic Design

Similar to video, infographics and custom graphic design can add value for your website visitors. However, depending on their complexity, they can be fairly costly, so you have to weigh up whether they’ll bring in the returns to be worth it.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

If getting visitors to your site organically through search engines is an important part of your marketing strategy, then you will need to speak to your website designer about SEO.

Whilst SEO is an ongoing effort (which is never truly complete), there is a wide range of tasks that can be built into the website, which will give your new website a great foundation for your efforts.

This requires research, time and expertise to implement, so it is very likely to add additional cost to your overall website build cost.

planning a small business website

Other Website Costs to Consider

Now that we’ve looked at the elements that will make up the costs of building the website, we’ll move on to take a look at the other required and optional costs associated with owning and running a website.

Hosting Costs

Ultimately, you need to have somewhere for your website to live, so this is a necessary cost of owning a website.

We could talk for hours about all the ins and outs of website hosting and the things you should consider. However, that’s for another post. For brevity in this one, we’ll say that between £5 and £20 per month will suit most website requirements.

There’s a big difference across the various price points, so always check with your web design company which will be most suitable for your needs.

Domain Costs

Another necessary website expense is the domain name. That’s the name people type into the browser to visit your site (and it also will form the last part of your email address(es)).

For the most common .co.uk and .com domain endings, you’ll be looking in the region of £10 to £15 per year. For some of the newer and less common domain endings, you’ll be looking at a bit more.

SSL Certificates

SSL Certificates allow secure communication between your website and its visitors. It will enable your website to be served over HTTPS, which gives a website the padlock or green tick next to a web address at the top of a browser.

Whilst strictly speaking, you don’t need one to run your website, it is necessary due to its benefits and the issues caused by not having one. One caveat we’ll add to this is that if your website is an eCommerce website or you handle sensitive data, it really isn’t optional.

Some browsers are now flagging websites that don’t have an SSL Certificate, warning visitors that the connection to the website is not secure. You do not want your visitors to experience this as their first impression.

Some web hosting companies offer a free SSL certificate as part of the packages, whilst others offer them for around £30 to £60 per year.

Website Maintenance

You can think of website maintenance like servicing your car. Whilst not strictly necessary, having something in place ensures everything keeps ticking over smoothly and maintaining the user experience.

Web design companies sometimes offer their own website maintenance packages, or you can look to companies that provide this service. We’d recommend considering the offering of your web designer’s service first, as they built your website and, therefore, will have a better handle on how it was built and how best to keep it running.

Typical maintenance services cost between £50 and £100 per month. The level of support you need will mostly depend on the size of your business and/or the complexity of your website.

Website Update Costs

Another factor to consider is updating the website when you need to make changes.

Most websites are built on Content Management Systems, which means you can update them yourself. However, having the ability to and having the technical knowledge and inclination are two very different things, so you’ll want to bear that in mind.

Most web companies have a flat rate for ongoing work, so find out what that is and build it into your future plans if you’re not going to update the website yourself.

Building Your Website: DIY vs Professional Development

Most of the things we’ve discussed in this article assume that you are going to use a web design company to develop and build your website. There is also the self-build option, which you could consider, using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, etc.

Whilst we won’t go into detail here, as it’s worthy of an article of its own, building your own website can negate the cost of having a company build one for you, potentially saving 4 or 5 figures.

We will point out, though, that, as with most things in life, you very much get what you pay for when it comes to web design. If you’re at all unsure about what you’re doing, aren’t technically inclined, or forge ahead without professional consultation, you may be at risk of making your business look rushed or unprofessional—one of the fastest ways to turn potential clients off.

How Much Does a Website Cost UK? Conclusion

Every website is different and unique to your business, so it’s difficult for web designers to give exact, upfront costings without gathering further information. In this article, we’ve covered as many areas as possible that may affect your website’s cost, as well as pointed out where you can save money by only opting for the things you absolutely need.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a website is never truly finished; there are always ways to improve it or offer more value to your clients. Businesses and clients change over time, and you’ll want to update your website to reflect this.

Author – Matt Parker

Matt Parker - Designers Up North

Matt Parker is a web designer and SEO consultant with over 15 years of experience. He has also handled the more technical and project management aspects of Designers Up North for over 10 years.

Matt has a bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He has been messing around with computers since he was a kid, starting on a Commodore 64 and swiftly moving on to spend too many hours on an Amiga 500!

His biggest passion is helping small businesses thrive through elegant web design, SEO strategy, and digital and print marketing. He takes great pleasure in taking complex ideas and distilling them into simple, actionable advice to move businesses forward.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn or contact Designers Up North.