14 min

How much does a website cost in 2024?

By David Lee

The total cost of a website project with a reputable strategy, content and web development agencies is between $75,000 and $165,000 depending on the type of website you are looking to build. Read to learn why.

How much does a website cost?

Here is a quick summary of how much it costs to build a website plus the maintenance and marketing investment that should be made to get the most out of your website.

Type I

The Company Website

Type II

The Customer-Facing Website

Type III

The Customer-Centered Website

Strategic Goal

Most of the content is internally focused on what products or service your company offers.

Educate visitors on the products and services your company offers.


Demonstrate that you understand your customers’ problems.

Provide educational content to guide them through their buyers journey of  Awareness, Consideration and Decision.

Demonstrate why your company is uniquely positioned to help them solve their problems.

Give them a clear conversion path to either purchase your product (e-commerce) or get in touch with your sales team.

Educate visitors on the products and services your company offers.


Demonstrate that you understand your customers’ problems.

Provide educational content to guide them through their buyers journey of  Awareness, Consideration and Decision.

Demonstrate why your company is uniquely positioned to help them solve their problems.

Give them a clear conversion path to either purchase your product (e-commerce) or get in touch with your sales team.


Provided integrated sales, marketing and customer support services on the web.
Web Platforms / Tech Stack

Wordpress / WooCommerce




Hubspot CMS


Expression Engine 

Website Strategy and Requirements
No Yes
Content and Messaging Framework
Commodity Content that is focused on the company’s products and services.

Content based on buyer personas and solving the customer’s problems

Closely tied with answering questions with the sales, technical and support teams.

Website Design and Build

Quick design and build process that typically involves choosing from 2-3 design templates and styles.



Custom website build that is tailored to the target audience and messaging.

Usually involves the full development cycle of:

  • Wireframe
  • Mockup
  • Build
  • Test
  • Post Launch fixes
Total Website Project Cost
Design and build: $5k-$20k Strategy & Scoping: $15k to $25k
Messaging & Content: $10k to $40k
Design & Build: $50k to $100k
Total: $75k to $165k
Annual Maintenance Costs and Technical SEO



Plug-in and application costs

Minor break fix

5% to 10% of marketing budget


CMS Subscription

Technical SEO

Break fix

Website Improvement and Enhancements

 Redesign every 3-5 years

After site launch, monthly updates based on user behavior, sales and support input.

Updates for additional functionality

Updates/improvements based on visitor behavior

Additional educational content 

20%-30% of the website project costs

Annual Marketing Budget
<5% of annual revenue 5% to 15% of annual revenue

Strategic Goal of your Website

This is probably the largest factor in determining the cost of a website and should be have buy-in from the business users, executive management and sales team.

Type I - Company Websites

These are usually small business websites that are great for companies just starting out, do not rely on web traffic to drive sales or do not have need advanced features such as e commerce or content marketing.

The goal of the website is to really prove confirmation of your online identity and require only a few pages such as products, services and about us.

The majority of the content and messaging for these basic websites are internally focused on what products and services that the company provides and is really not focusing on guiding the visitor through their buyers journey.

Type II - Customer Focused Websites

Any company who relies on inbound or internet marketing should have a Type II website especially if the product or service they are offering is a considered purchase. These companies understand that their customers research before they buy and it's critical to have content on the site that helps potential customers navigate through their buyers journey.

The goal of a Type II website is to provide content that answers their questions through the Awareness, Consideration and Decision buying stage.

A good Customer Focused website also has a clear marketing message that explains why their company is the best solution for a potential customers problems and provides a clear conversion path to purchasing a product or getting in touch with your sales team.

Type III - Customer Centered Websites

A Type III website is the natural extension of a Customer Focused Website because it is not just focused on answering a prospects questions, but it puts the customer at the center of all teams that "touch" a customer including: Sales, Marketing and Support.

The goal of a Customer Centered Website is to make sure that the internal processes and communication between the company and the customer all work seamlessly to provide an exceptional experience for the customer.

The cost of the website is much higher not just because of the technology stack required (i.e. Hubspot or Salesforce), but there is a lot of process-engineering that needs to happen internally to make sure that Sales, Marketing and Support are aligned.


Web Platforms and Technology Stack

Type I - Company Focused Websites

Because these websites are really designed for the small business, there are several tech stack and web platforms to choose from.

Small Business who need a basic website can usually go with a website builder such as Squarespace or Wix. The web hosting costs for these platforms run between $20 to $500 a month depending on the subscription. Quite often these platforms are chosen because they are a very affordable solution that includes: free domain registration, shared ssl certificate, several website templates to choose from.

Quite often I see even larger companies run on a Wordpress site. These are usually custom websites that require a professional web developer for the build and support. In addition, these larger Wordpress sites use paid versions of plug-ins to enable to enable features such as ecommerce, search engine optimization, filters, search, or calendar booking. There are also dedicated hosting costs, theme costs and private ssl certificate costs to consider as well.

Interesting note: I also seeing a trend for companies to migrate off of wordpress because of these costs, security, uptime and maintenance costs to enterprise content management system like Hubspot which starts at $23/month for their CMS Hub Starter.


Type II and Type II - Customer Websites

Usually when companies reach a certain size ($5M in gross sales), they tend to select a technology stack that is stable, scalable and has a dedicated support team.

These include platforms such as Hubspot, Shopify (for e-commerce websites) and Expression Engine.

I personally recommend moving to these enterprise level platforms, even if you are a mid-sized company or have an ecommerce website. The peace of mind knowing that you have a large company who has a stable IT infrastructure, security systems, and a team of engineers working to make sure that your site does not go down is well worth the additional cost.


Cost Components of a Website project

As a former web design agency owner, this is what most people are referring to when asking the question how much does a website cost: they want to know the cost of a website project.

For a basic business website, the cost can run between $5k and $20K. The main reason is that the requirements are straight forward, the business owner can write the content on their own, and hiring freelance web designers helps keep the cost low.

However, if you are looking to launch a Customer Focused website, then the cost components become more complex and needs to be carefully considered. These three cost components are:

  1. Website Strategy & Requirements

  2. Content & Messaging

  3. Design & Build

One of the common mistakes I see companies do when its time to redesign their website is skip the first two components and jump right into hiring a professional website designer for the design and build. However, skipping the Requirements and Content steps all too often results in:

a) Expensive scope creep because requirements were not defined at a detailed level for content writers and web developers to correctly estimate the costs correctly.

b) Expectations between the company and the web developer are not aligned. More importantly managing the expectations of executive management on what the new website will deliver becomes very challenging, especially right before the website is scheduled to launch.

c) Features and requirements that were either de-scoped due to budget or time constrains do not get implemented at all.

The best way to avoid the perception that the website project was a failure is to make sure that the strategy & requirements are defined and documented.


Web Strategy and Requirements

A well-defined website strategy acts as your compass, navigating you and your team towards achieving business goals through your new website. In addition, documenting the website requirements will allow you to get a firm fixed bid from your content writers and web development agency.

The critical components include:

  1. Buyer Personas - I usually see two to four customer profiles created.

  2. Agreement and buy-in from executive management, marketing and sales that the the website strategy requires either a Customer Focused or Customer Centered website.

  3. Content & Messaging Strategy which includes a detailed page list of the new website

  4. Data Model - if you are building an ecommerce website

  5. Site Map to understand how the pages will be organized

  6. Business requirements that lists everything that the new website must be able to do

  7. Business case that clearly defines the cost and benefits of undertaking a website design project

This process typically takes about 6 weeks and costs about $15k to $25k depending on the complexity of the current site.


Content and Messaging

I have yet to meet a website development agency who disagrees with this statement: Content before design.

Not only does it make it far easier and more efficient (translation: lower cost) during the development process, the web designer can usually create more visually appealing pages that encourages the visitor to read the content.

But there is a more important reason why content must be done before design. It's because words sell. The beautiful design and pictures don't convince a prospect to buy from you.

Its the messaging that convinces a visitor that you understand their problem and have the product or service that helps them solve their problem.

Clear, compelling and unique content can't be written by ChatGPT or Gemini. You need to find a good content writer who will ask probing questions, write compelling sales copy for your website and optimize for keywords and search engine optimization.

The cost for this skill set usually runs between $10k and $40k.


Design and Build

This is where things start to get exciting because you can see all of the hard work and prep come to life.

A good design and build process usually follows the "measure twice and cut once" mindset.

Wireframe: shows how each website page type will be laid out. Usually this is done without any styling such as color, fonts or pictures. A signoff is usually required before moving on to the next step.

Mockups: is about 90% of what the actual webpage will look like. Colors, fonts, pictures and content are usually included in the mockup so that the business user can understand what the pages will look like before the actual build. Again a signoff is usually required before handing the content and mockups to the build team.

Build: Once the first two "measurements" (wireframe and mockup) are approved, the process really accelerates here as the developers can get to work on actually coding and formatting the website pages.

The costs for this stage run between $50k and $100k depending on the requirements.

Understanding these three cost components will help you plan and budget the ENTIRE cost of a website development project. Read this article if you are looking to understand the entire web design process in detail.


Website Improvement and Enhancements

The good old days of launching a website and then forgetting about it for five years till its time for the next redesign is over. You need to continue to invest in the asset you just created.

I am not just talking about the typical website "maintenance costs" such as Domain name, Hosting & Subscription Costs or Technical SEO. (These costs typically run about 5%-10% of the website budget.)

I talking about monitoring how your visitors are using your site. Use Google Analytics to determine what pages your visitors are engaging with and then use heat mapping software such as Hot Jar or Crazy Egg to find out how those visitors are acting on those pages. Look for opportunities to reduce friction, make the page more engaging and funnel visitors to your product or lead generation pages.

If you have followed the above process, there are also requirements that didn't make it into the website launch. Schedule quarterly sprints to implement those additional functionally and features.

Probably the biggest activity you need to invest in is creating educational content. And here is why:

There is an order of operations to digital marketing. It's important to understand that marketing is really traffic generation and when you run a linkedin, social media, paid advertising, or account based marketing, they all should point to content on your website.

The last thing you want to do is spend money on generating traffic to your website and when they get to your website, there is no high value content to consume.

Here is how I recommend thinking about content and messaging:

Create content to drive traffic generation campaigns

Once you create the content, you can then figure out which customer acquisition channel to use and drive qualified traffic to your website.

Check out this article to figure out what do do after you launch your website.

I typically see website marketing costs run around 20%-40% of the website development costs in order to keep improving the website and creating educational content.



After owning and running a Web Design agency for almost 10 years, I've been companies try different methods to wave on web design costs. However, when it comes to building a Customer Focused or a Customer Centered website, here is my list of do's and don't when you try to save on the initial costs.

Don't try and save money at the expense of scalability & flexibility

  • Website builders like Squarespace or Wordpress may save money in the short run, but the costs of scalability, maintenance and security are too high if you have a website that is part of your sales process.

  • Hiring a freelance web developer are ok for small business website development but to create a high perforce customer focused website, you need a team that has a strategist, content writer, web designer, and developer.

  • Hiring a "full service marketing agency" to execute your strategy, content and web design - most of the time these agencies are expert in only one of these disciplines and the rest are done my generalists. (now of course there are exceptions, but I've run into more than my fair share of full service marketing agencies who are best described as "jack of all trades, master of none."

Do build your website for the future

  • Use an enterprise technology platform like Hubspot and Shopify. It may cost more, but it will also save you time and headaches in the future.

  • Hire specialized agencies who are specialized in business consulting, content writing and professional website development. You need specialized experts


In the end, the cost of building your website comes down to five questions:

  1. Is the strategic goal of your website to be a brochure site or to be a customer focused website that attracts, educates and helps them make the right purchasing decision?

  2. What will be your technology stack? Will it be a low cost website builder or an enterprise level platform that offers scalability, flexibility and has the support team to make sure the site does not go down?

  3. Who is the website targeting and what are the business requirements?

  4. How much content needs to be written?

  5. What are the design and development costs



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David Lee

David Lee

Leveraging 20+ years of experience with Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Beckman Coulter, and Deloitte, I craft data-driven website and content strategies to help companies compete and win in the digital age. Explore my insight articles to learn what works and how to craft winning strategies and tactics to move the revenue needle for your company.