How Much Does It Cost To Build a Website For A Small Business?

Often one of the first questions we get asked is how much does a small business website cost. While several factors can influence price, we’ve provided a thorough and detailed overview of the costs of building a small business website below.

We know there are skimmers, and there are detailed readers.

For the Skimmers

  • About 85% of the websites we build for small businesses have a website cost between $8,500 and $15,000
  • Typical development time is between 12-18 weeks.
  • Hosting for our websites start at $1100/year
  • Catalog, shopping carts, photography, travel, and custom functionality increase the cost.
  • We’ll give you a quote, and we won’t exceed it without your approval.
  • We have a defined process that is outlined here.

For Those Who Like to Read All the Details

Over the past fifteen years, we’ve been fortunate enough to build over 500 websites. Whether the client is large or small, the website cost is an important component of the initial conversation.

As you can imagine, the way we built sites a decade or two ago is remarkably different than how we build them now. If we’re honest, the way we build sites now is much different than we did just two years ago.

The reason? Along with new technology and tools, we have an office culture that is constantly evaluating the time, value, effort, processes, and options. We’re continually asking how we can do better for our company’s bottom line and our clients’ collective concerns.

Like many businesses, we’ve battled with delivering a fair website cost and how to price our services. We’ve low bid projects to try and win–or not lose–opportunities as they came our way. We’ve felt guilty and discounted pricing to make ourselves feel better. However, we find ourselves doing the same amount of work and trying to get the most value for the client.

In short, discounting is not the right thing to do for us or the client.

What Keeps The Price Down When Developing A Website?

The better prepared you are to gather and organize this content – or the more willing you are to create it – the less labor our team bills for the project.  Don’t worry if you don’t have it all ready before we start. Our team is here to coach and guide.

The biggest delay in most website projects is the development of copy and general content for the website.  As we work through the web development process, we’ll create the page and content blueprint for the website project. This blueprint will provide a roadmap for the content we’ll need for the website.

Content can include:

  • Words
  • Pictures
  • PDF’s
  • Videos
  • Graphics

What Factors Drives Pricing Up When Developing A Website?

There are a few main instances where sites are typically more than $15,000:

  • Content development
  • Marketing strategy
  • Advanced search optimization
  • eCommerce needs
  • Custom functionality

Content Development

The more copy that is developed, the more time gets billed to a project. As we outline in our website development process overview, each website project goes through seven key phases. One of the most important is the content development phase. our team includes copywriters, graphic designers, and video professionals. All are available to help make your website the most effective it can be.

Marketing Strategy

Often a website serves as an excellent way for a business owner to take a deeper and more analytical look at their business. It’s very common to spend time working ‘in’ the business and not enough working ‘on’ the business. Therefore taking time to reflect on company growth, goals, and future strategies often can be difficult.

We find that following the website development process can help businesses review their business, their goals, and how they present themselves to new customers and referral sources. We’ll often build marketing strategy services into our website cost.

We’ve had companies change their entire focus on how they market and communicate based on the conversations, meetings, and strategic focus sessions we’ve led during the website process.

Advanced Search Engine Optimization / Content Marketing

The consumer buying experience now relies heavily on internet research. While having your business website found online using keywords was once a primary marketing tactic, that strategy is no longer effective. Search algorithms have advanced to the point of reading page content as a human would. These algorithms categorize pages and websites are based on value to specific consumer questions and needs.

Developing content marketing plans to address trends in an industry is a tactical approach that can increase the website quote. It can also add tremendous value to the marketing power of the website. We’ll often add advanced SEO services to our website costs.


Developing a professional catalog and shopping cart will typically involve many elements that add cost to a project. Factors such as enhanced product details, photography, and specialized account creation can better serve website shoppers.

Many modules, software systems, and plug-ins make work easier than ever to have robust functionality. Making everything work together and ensuring quality for the final product takes time, focus, and expertise. All of these elements have an impact on the website cost.

Photography is often a key component of an eCommerce website. Taking photos and making them all look the way they need certainly can be a time-consuming task that will add costs to a website project.

The last topic that traditionally will add time and cost to a website is advanced shipping needs. Configuring the details to ensure all products are being calculated correctly takes time, focus, and expertise.

Custom Programming / Customer Functionality

Custom projects vary from the norm and require a deep understanding of the end goal, the target audience, features, functions, and many advanced who, what, where, why, when, and what-if questions.

Typically customer programming engagements will require specification development to plan out the details fully. Specifications will run from $2,000–$5,000 to develop, and custom programming can start at $25,000 and go up from there. These special custom requests can increase website costs.