Do you have a brilliant idea and are thinking of creating your own website? Good, because then you’ve come to the right place! We will show you how to calculate correctly in order to get an idea of the budget. We will also show you what options you have to achieve your goal – no matter whether you are a beginner or advanced.
What kind of website do you want to build?
There are a few general types of websites that we would like to briefly outline here. In increasing order you will also see the difficulty. We will come to that in the next point.
A blog is interesting if you write articles on a really regular basis . Visitors to your blog can subscribe to an RSS feed and will be informed as soon as a new article is published. There are numerous blog systems , many of them free of charge.
You have no commercial interest and want to create a portfolio , for example , to put a few pictures that you have painted online. Or maybe you just want to record your family history online. The possibilities are numerous.
Professional appearance is very important here, because the business website will be the first point of contact with your company for many. Visitors should become customers and should be able to contact you as easily as possible.
Do you want to sell something online? The right choice of the shop platform is crucial here, because not all shops always meet the necessary criteria. In addition to the basic functions (payment methods, shipping options, etc.), a legally compliant appearance is absolutely essential.
Difficulty: medium to difficult
There are several variants here: the simplest would be to protect the page with a password . In the next stage, every visitor has their own login. It gets complicated when registered users have to pay for exclusive content (e.g. video courses) or membership. This can be one-time or work with a subscription payment model.
Difficulty: medium to difficult
Web application (comparison page, directory, travel portal, …)
Visitors to your site have the option of using an application. That simply means that you can search for flights or compare them with each other. With a web application, a lot happens in the background of the website: algorithms calculate and filter search results. Other examples of highly complex web apps would be Facebook or Airbnb.
It also communicates with other applications, e.g. via an API. Sounds complicated? It is!
How do I correctly estimate the cost of my website?
There are essentially three things you need to consider in order to get a website project off the ground: time, money and know-how.
All three resources are equally available. The circle diagram in the middle of Fig. 2 shows an acute lack of time. You will need more money and know-how to make up for this deficit. In the diagram in Fig. 3 there is less know-how and less money, but this can be compensated for over time (e.g. taking courses, comparing offers from service providers, etc.).
What does that mean in concrete terms?
Let’s start with the simplest point: money . The more of it, the better. There are no limits to you. Grab a developer and tell them what to do. But you wouldn’t be here if you had an inexhaustible source of money. One thing can still be said at this point: Money can be the easiest way to make up for the shortcomings of technical know-how and time.
If you have little time available, you can solve this problem with a development team, for example. This will work faster than a part-time programmer, but it also costs accordingly. The other option is for you to contribute yourself (know-how required) and thus accelerate the project. Also important, the longer it takes you to create the page, the more opportunities you will miss to do business. This is particularly important in the e-commerce sector.
The technical know-how is the greatest challenge for many. Believe it or not, you can create a website without any programming knowledge. But the crux is the type of project. There are no push-button solutions and, depending on the project type, the requirements can increase enormously.
Which system should i use?
The technical requirements of a project determine which system is suitable for you. Of course, you have the greatest freedom if you can program yourself. However, if this is not possible for reasons of knowledge, time or effort, you can also fall back on ready-made solutions. They were designed in such a way that you do not need any programming knowledge to operate.
Website builder – simple and cheap, but limited
The easiest way to get started is with a website builder. You can already implement blogs, small online shops, private and business pages with it. Almost all of them allow the website or certain areas to be protected with a password. Register, choose a design, let’s go!
You can test most of them completely without obligation and free of charge . This enables you to find out whether the website builder is actually suitable for your project.
The price includes hosting, designs, updates (security, further development, etc.) and support. Some providers even include the domain with SSL certificate and email hosting. You can find more detailed information on this in our test reports .
Providers: Jimdo , Weebly , Wix , Squarespace , Shopify etc.
Cost factor: 0 – 35 € / month.
|Saving money and time||Price ties to the manufacturer|
|No technical know-how necessary||More intended for “simple” projects|
|Non-binding testing possible|
Content Management System (CMS) – for medium-complex projects
A CMS is used if you do not want to work directly in the code when setting the content. Strictly speaking, website builders are no different, but they are much simpler than many “classic” CMS.
The world’s most popular CMS is WordPress . It was originally used for blogging, but can now also be used for many other web projects without any problems (e.g. membership page with payment function). WordPress is a so-called open source system. That means it’s completely free (even for commercial purposes). What do you actually pay for then? Web hosting, email hosting, domain, SSL certificate, theme, plugins, support.
Depending on what you need, the price curve goes up. The price difference to a website builder is that there can be many additional costs that are not obvious at first glance. This is especially true for commercial pages, which are usually customized by a programmer. Since security and professional appearance should have absolute priority here, free themes, plugins, etc. are often not enough.
A note from personal experience:
After we started webdesignagencia with a website builder, we had to switch to a more flexible system. Our choice fell on WordPress. Since we needed a few features, such as our direct comparison , an off-the-shelf design was out of the question. We had picked up various offers from developers. The cost estimates varied between € 2000 and € 8,000. The graphic artist’s theme design wasn’t even included here.
|System very adaptable||Operation not particularly beginner-friendly|
|Flexible user access control||Technical know-how required|
|Free choice of hosting||No support included|
|Manageable costs||Costs can fluctuate widely|
Provider: WordPress , Joomla !, Magento, etc.
Cost factor: Initial creation: approx. 1000 € for very simple WordPress websites, but this can also increase very quickly, depending on individual requirements. Hosting 8 – 40 € per month, domain 8-20 € per year, SSL certificate, premium theme $ 40-100, premium plugins $ 5 – 200.
Individual solution – for large plans with equally large budgets
If a website builder or open source CMS are not suitable, you need an individual solution. Without programming knowledge or the necessary change, nothing works here.
When you have an idea, you have to create it visually. To do this, you usually need a designer. Here it is not enough to just record what the product looks like, the behavior of the website (menus, scrolling, mobile view) must also be documented.
Without this information, a programmer cannot deliver satisfactory results. The result must of course be tested after completion. You will easily incur costs in the five to six figure range if you start from scratch without any knowledge. In this case, we would also recommend consulting an experienced project manager.
Before you embark on such a costly adventure, we advise you to conduct a thorough market analysis. Is there enough demand? How is the competition positioned? What is the added value of your product.
We keep getting emails in which users want to copy Facebook, ebay or Airbnb and dream of getting rich with click advertising. Basically, it’s something that already exists, but with annoying advertising. What is the advantage here for the customer? Nobody likes annoying advertising and is rarely really lucrative as a business model.
Such projects could not be accomplished with a handful of developers either. You need a well-coordinated team with a lot of knowledge.
Provider: Freelancers, agencies
Cost factor: from € 10,000 without any upper limits. In addition, there are costs for hosting, which will be somewhere between 50-500 €.
Where can I find suitable service providers?
First of all, it can be worthwhile to ask around in your circle of friends. But here, too, you shouldn’t trust blindly! We are aware of a few cases where relatives or friends have been hired to part ways later in an argument.
Another possibility is Xing , there are groups there where you can offer projects. For us, however, it has always worked best with freelancer portals like Upwork . There you advertise your project and then receive offers from all over the world. A comparable portal in Germany is Twago . There are also 99Designs for designers .
Dribbble is particularly suitable for the designer search . There graphic designers put their portfolios on display. You can use this to address suitable people and invite them to your project.
Here is a short checklist for the selection of service providers:
- Check portfolio and references
- Obtain at least three offers
- Check reviews (if available)
- Get to know each other personally (also possible by phone or Skype) to check whether the chemistry is right
- Check availability and time frame
What other website costs are there?
If you want to make a professional impression as a company, you should use a style guide when designing your website. Among other things, the use of the logo , fonts, colors and imagery is specified here.
You may also need help with creating your texts. A good text does not write itself and with regard to the topic of search engine optimization (SEO) there are a few things to consider. No matter which system you choose, but if you don’t invest enough time in SEO, you won’t achieve great success in Google & Co. in the long term.
In the area of eCommerce, you may need legal assistance. Solutions from the US market in particular are often not in line with e-commerce law in Germany and the EU.
Sending newsletters is also often a popular topic. In a certain sense, this is part of the website, but it is a completely separate area. This applies to all marketing measures (social media, Google AdWords, display advertising, etc.).
Cost factor: individually very different
So what does a website cost now? Unfortunately, this cannot be said in general terms, but with the overview that we have given you, you can already estimate what kind of system you need.
Homepage builders are the most transparent here. The costs are manageable and easy to allocate. You will hardly have to pay more than € 30 per month. Online shops can increase in price a little. That mostly depends on the number of products. As a rule, prices here range between € 30 and € 300 per month.
If you want to work with a CMS like WordPress , you can start with cheap hosting and a domain for around € 5 a month. From development to the use of plugins, there are no upper limits. Especially with WordPress, it can be worthwhile to acquire knowledge yourself, provided you are interested in the topic anyway.
The same applies to the creation of a web application. Since there are no standard solutions for this, a project can easily reach the six-figure range. Expert knowledge is essential here.
Do you have a question about your project? Leave us a comment. We’re here to help!