TL;DR – $100 a year if you are willing to learn it. ~$1000 or more if not. (Plus annual server fees $5-$40 monthly)
First, let’s break down costs.
Domain (this is your whatever.com or .net or whatever you choose) – $12 annually.
Hosting (this is where your files will sit)
Build (Actual Labor)
Misc (images, text, etc)
That’s it! Now let’s detail this a bit. It’s not supposed to be confusing, but because of the vast amount of difference one site can have to another, it may seem that way. Hopefully you will brave it.
A website’s cost will vary on a few factors. What purpose does it serve? How much time is going to go into it? How much is the owner of the website familiar with basic customizations? Are you willing to learn how to do some things yourself? Depending on these and a few other answers, your website can cost anywhere from $75 a year to $25,000 + $500+ yearly. It all depends!
What purpose does it serve?
A pizza place, may only need a menu page, and the normal 4 pages (Home, About Us, Contact, Services, etc) would take a web developer anywhere from 4-40 hours depending on details and methods used. Web Designer typically charge based on skill, so assume $20 an hour minimum for good results.
This puts the average 4 page website at about 20 hours or $400 for the build of the site. Then because websites exist on a server, server fees would have to be paid, and these range from $5-25 monthly for a regular 4 page site. Updates may cost more as well. So with all these numbers on the high average, about $800 for a 4 page site, and then $100 a year thereafter.
Now if the pizza place wanted to add online ordering, a store, or other features, that may require more money, and possibly a more skilled web designer. This puts the site at about double for the build ($2,000) and still around $150 a year thereafter.
How much time is going into it?
Web designers charge by the hour, job, or contract depending on how many different aspects are needed. The average charge for a web designer is $20 an hour, and the average time per page is 8 hours. $160 per page for basic websites is a nice rule of thumb. If you’re paying less or more for 3 pages and a contact form, you may want to consider giving the designer your own graphics, text, logo to ensure it is done timely.
How willing or able is the person who needs the website?
If I told a pizza place that they would be able to update their own website, and that didn’t make them nervous, then a website would cost them significantly less than if it has to be managed by someone else. You can technically, with zero knowledge build your own website a few different ways, but some people prefer to have a professional at least get them started. However if you are willing to do some of the work yourself, the costs would be significantly cheaper.
The website you are currently reading I could teach an intelligent monkey to do in about 3 hours. It’s not easy, and the learning curve is not steep.
So to cap off, the cheapest hosting you can get is $2.50 and comes wiyh nothing requiring you to build from scratch (which isn’t very hard, requires having a few tabs open and copy and paste). The most expensive server for a regular website (unless you need 1000 pages) is about $40 a month. So from $30 a year in server costs to $480 depending on how serious the site is.
And then in terms of construction, $10 an hour for a college student, $50 for a graduate with full knowledge of more than just basic web design. Basic sites are 10 hours. Normally serious ones that have no content would be 40 hours.
So from $100 to $2000 for the actual site build, depending on how is doing it, and what is being done.
Stay tuned for the next update, which is actually getting the site noticed. Also soon to be published is my guide to build a website in an hour with no prior knowledge for less than $75 a YEAR.