Estimating web development cost is not as easy a task as you might think. Truth be told, there is no straightforward answer to this question.
Why is that?
Every single feature depends on a variety of criteria. Thus, it’s necessary to ask questions about what features and help you will need in the development process.
There are calculators created to estimate the time needed to build a mobile or web application based on the features they want to include.
We have a calculator ourselves to provide clients with approximate numbers before they approach us. However, calculators should be used for a rough idea of what a project will cost rather than an accurate estimate.
As you might imagine, an accurate estimate is not quite possible without direct contact with a web development agency and a deep dive into project details.
Still, it’s possible to give you rough numbers based on web projects my company has delivered.
In this article, I’ll shed some light on the following points:
- Cost by types of websites
- How long different stages of web development take
- Additional costs that you may have during web development
How Much Different Types of Web Development Cost
The cost of web development services depends on the number of time developers dedicate to working on a project, which depends on the complexity of the project.
The longer it takes to build a website, the more expensive it will be.
I’m going to clarify an approximate development cost for three types of a website: business, e-commerce, and landing page.
Prices you’ll see below are based on the following hourly rates for mid-level developers (according to Accelerance):
- North America: $132-$140 per hour
- Western Europe: $61-$80 per hour
- Eastern Europe: $35-$56 per hour
As you can see, the per-hour rate can vary dramatically based on a region of the world. This is one of the major reasons why companies and entrepreneur refer to offshore software development companies.
How Much Does Creating a Business Website Cost?
Business websites are generally created to generate leads and increase the loyalty of customers.
A standard business website should include a few mandatory pages such as:
- About the company
- Blog or press page
Besides the pages themselves, business websites are expected to serve the client first. Here are some of the features that our clients frequently request:
- GDPR compliance
- Social media integration
- Security (e.g., SSL certificate)
- Mobile-ready layout
- Contact form
- Integration with third-party services (e.g., live chats)
- Newsletter form
- Search bar
- Admin panel
You should also include a live messaging platform where customers can directly ask questions on your site. Considering all of these pages and features, it’s possible to estimate the range of hours required to build a website: between 190 and 260 hours.
Respectively, the price for the average development company would be as follows (based on a minimum average hourly rate):
- North America: $25,090 - $34,320
- Western Europe: $11,590 - $15,860
- Eastern Europe: $6,650 - $9,100
In general, the cost of the business website depends on three factors: the number of features, the complexity, and the region where you hire web developers to build the website.
How Much Does an E-Commerce Site Cost to Build?
The majority of internet users prefer purchasing items online these days.
The number of pages on e-commerce websites may be enormous. For instance, there are around 14 million product pages on Walmart’s website, according to Google Index.
Correspondingly, the more pages a website consists of, the more complex and costly it will be.
Here are several examples of successful marketplace platforms:
- Amazon: The world’s largest marketplace that offers clients the ability to buy and sell a diverse array of goods
- Folksy: A marketplace for selling and buying handmade goods and craft supplies
- Zillow: A real estate and rental marketplace
E-commerce websites are also typically much more complex in terms of features than any others. In our experience, the creation of an e-commerce website with the above features may take between 350 to 1,800 hours to create.
As such, the development price may be as follows:
- North America: $46,200 - $237,600
- Western Europe: $21,350 - $109,800
- Eastern Europe: $12,250 - $63,000
An e-commerce site requires a large amount of time and money to build. Investing in an e-commerce site will be a huge undertaking, but it can be worth the initial investment if executed correctly.
How to Evaluate Website Cost in Stages
Website development usually consists of several phases, which form the final cost. Below are the different stages of cost and development.
Developing the UI/UX Design
The process of design creation is typically divided into several stages to achieve the best results. These stages are:
- UI and UX design
Keeping up with each stage allows designers to create a product that meets all the initial requirements (e.g. mobile devices layout).
The timeline for UI/UX design depends on its complexity, number of pages, adaptiveness/responsiveness, and amount of animations. It may take between 15 to 180 hours.
If good design is your priority and you want to find a vendor creating worthy interfaces, then check out their Dribbble or Behance profiles.
Front-end is a user-facing part of the website, everything users can see and interact with. For instance, a button’s shape, color, animation and other visual are referred to the front-end.
Everything is simple here. Time depends on whether a website is responsive or adaptive, the number of complex animations, and so on.
Like front-end development, the price of back-end development will depend on the complexity of the site’s services.
If a website offers non-standard data processing task or uses some third-party services, the site will take much more time to build. Back-end development may require between 50 and 500 hours of development.
Below, is a diagram explaining how back-end and front-end parts of a website interact with each other as well as what processes they perform.
Back-end development is essential for the success of the site and takes a significant number of development hours to build correctly.
An admin panel is needed to effectively manage your website’s content without editing its code and the admin panel provides access to other related activities (e.g. analytics, goods orders list, mailbox) through the graphic user interface.
An admin panel is usually part of your content management system (CMS).
There are a lot of options for creating a CMS, like WordPress, Drupal, Shopify, and Joomla that come with their own admin panels.
These platforms are a good fit for simple websites while bigger projects may be faced with some functional limitations when using these options.
Remember the Technology Your Developer Is Using
It’s worth mentioning that the tech stack your developers will use to build a website also matters a lot.
Though it’s possible to use any programming language and framework to create a website, some of these languages and frameworks work better for certain types of sites.
Thus, React or Angular can be a perfect fit for e-commerce marketplaces due to their speed, flexibility, and scalability.
React has been utilized to build Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and Dropbox. At the same time, Google, Forbes, Upwork, and HBO have utilized Angular for their products.
Technologies like HTML5/CSS3 along with PHP, Ruby, .NET are more frequently used to build landing pages and business websites.
Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages making them more or less appropriate for handling specific tasks.
One more aspect to consider is the use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make your website highly available and performative for end users from all over the world.
Put simply, CDNs allow users to reach and interact with your content faster (e.g. text, media, documents).
CDNs are needed in three cases:
- Your website gets a lot of traffic. When a website is globally accessible and generates a lot of traffic, users on the other end of the world have to wait longer for page loading.
- Your website loads large media slowly. CDNs help to deliver a large amount of content like images and videos faster and more efficiently.
- You care about page speed. Page speed is one of the top website ranking factors, so if you care about your SEO and target several countries (or continents), CDN is a must.
In general, CDNs help to decrease latency by 73% on average.
Here are some of CDN providers:
- Amazon CloudFront
- Microsoft Azure CDN
The use of CDN is a great way to optimize your website’s load time and decrease latency for users from different geographical regions.
Additional Costs for Website Creation
It is unlikely that you will be able to avoid increasing your costs since there are a few important points you should spend money on.
.com, .net, .org, .info – these are domain names and it is impossible to create a website without a domain. There are many services you can find to buy a domain name you want.
Several popular domain name registers are:
These websites' domain name price vary from $15 to $25 per year.
Simply put, hosting makes it possible for users to access your website round the clock. It is very important not to save on hosting since low quality will have a direct influence on the trust of users to your website.
Here is the list of some of well-proven hosting providers:
Hosting expenses may cost you from $75 to $200 every year.
If you’re looking for full-fledged cloud infrastructure, you should consider Amazon AWS.
It has many useful services to meet any requirements as well as offers a flexible pricing policy.
Website maintenance cost is very hard to estimate since bugs and problems differ.
Respectively, there may be a huge time difference in troubleshooting these problems.
Build a Website Wisely
It can be difficult to estimate how much a website will cost in 2019. Still, businesses and web development companies must communicate effectively to analyze how much time and money it will take to build a website.
Use this article to evaluate the steps developers undertake to make your website real, what expenses you may have, and pitfalls you should avoid in the development process.
About the Author
Evgeniy Altynpara is CEO and Founder at Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile app development company with headquarter in Ukraine. We help medium, enterprise-scale businesses and startups to build their ideas
Nataliia Kharchenko is a Technical Writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. We are focused on helping startups, small, and medium businesses create competitive and winning software. I enjoy bringing a digital world closer to people and writing about technology, mobile apps, innovations, and progressive management models.