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How much does it cost to create a website for a small business?

Are you a small business owner looking to create a website but unsure how much it will cost?

Building a website can be daunting, especially if you have no experience in web design and development.

This blog post will discuss the various components of web design and development and how they can impact the cost of creating a website for your small business.

We’ll also discuss the feasibility of building a website yourself if you are on a tight budget.

Whether you hire a professional or take on the challenge yourself, this post will provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision.

How much does it cost to create a website for a small business featured image

The cost of building a website varies significantly

The complexity of the site and the specific features and functionality you want to include are significant factors that can affect the overall cost of your website.

A simple website with just a few pages and basic features, such as a contact form, will typically cost less to build than a more complex site with multiple pages, multiple layers of navigation, and advanced features, such as:

  • eCommerce capabilities allowing customers to purchase directly on the website
  • User sign-up and login functionality
  • and interactive elements like forums or online polls.

The more complex and feature-rich your website is, the more it will cost to build.

The cost of a 5-page website

A simple 5-page website will cost anywhere between R1500 – R5000.

The cost of larger, more complex websites

Larger, more complex websites can cost anywhere between R5000 to over R30,000.


Now that you know how much pricing can vary, let’s look at a breakdown of the costs associated with building a website. Starting with your domain registration.


Domain registration

One of the first things you’ll need to do is register a domain name.

This is the address that people will type into their web browser to access your site, such as “”.

You’ll need to choose a domain registrar to register a domain name. These are companies that manage the reservation of domain names.

Some popular domain registrars include:

  • GoDaddy
  • Namecheap
  • and Dynadot.

Here in South Africa, the most popular registrars are Frikkadel and

Each registrar will have its own pricing for domain name registration, so you’ll need to compare the costs and choose the one that works best for your budget.

The cost of registering a domain name varies depending on factors such as:

  • The domain extension (eg. .com,, .org)
  • And the length of time you want to register the domain (eg. 1 year, 2 years, 5 years).

Many registrars offer discounts for longer registration periods, so it can be more cost-effective to register your domain name for multiple years.

Once you’ve chosen a domain registrar and registered your domain name, you’ll need to set up hosting for your website.

This is where your website’s files and data will be stored, and it allows people to access your site from the internet. The cost of hosting can also vary depending on the type of hosting plan you choose, and the features and resources included.

Some hosting plans include a free domain name registration, so check with your hosting provider to see if this is an option.


Website hosting costs

The cost of web hosting is an ongoing fee that is charged monthly or annually.

Hosting costs vary depending on factors such as the type of hosting plan you choose, and the features and resources included.

A basic hosting plan may only include the essentials, such as limited bandwidth and storage space for your website files. These plans may be more affordable and suitable for small businesses or personal websites.

On the other hand, bigger hosting plans may include more advanced features and resources, such as support for multiple websites, additional storage and bandwidth, and tools for managing and optimizing your website.

These plans may be more expensive, but they provide more flexibility and power for growing businesses or websites with high traffic. See my updated list of the best web hosting options in South Africa for more information.

In general, web hosting costs range from R40 – R50 per month for basic plans to several hundred Rands per month for more advanced tiers.

The exact cost will depend on the hosting provider and the specific plan you choose, so it’s a good idea to compare the options and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.


Design and development costs

Design and development is typically the largest component of the cost of building a website because it involves creating the site’s look, feel, and functionality.

This can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires a high level of expertise and creativity.

Here are a few of the main factors that affect the cost.

The scope of the project, for example, can have a significant impact on the cost.

A simple website with just a few pages and basic features may be more affordable to design and develop than a large, complex website with many pages, multimedia content, and advanced features.

The level of expertise of the designer or development team will also affect the cost.

More experienced designers and developers may charge higher rates for their services. However, they will create a higher-quality, more professional website.

On the other hand, less experienced designers and developers may charge lower rates. Still, they may not have the same level of skill and knowledge.

Additionally, the specific tools and technologies used to build the website will impact the cost. Some designers and developers use specialized software and tools that can add to the price. In contrast, others may use more basic or open-source tools that are less expensive.

Overall, the cost of design and development for a website can vary greatly depending on the following:

  • scope of the project
  • level of expertise of the designer or development team
  • the tools and technologies used

When budgeting for your website and choosing a design and development team, it’s essential to carefully consider these factors.


Maintenance costs

Once your website is live and running, it’s essential to keep it up-to-date and maintained to ensure that it continues to function correctly and meet the needs of your visitors.

This can involve a variety of tasks, such as

  • updating the website’s content
  • fixing any broken links or errors
  • installing security patches to protect against cyber attacks

The cost of ongoing maintenance and updates depends on:

  • the size and complexity of the website
  • the frequency of updates and maintenance
  • the level of expertise of the team or individual performing the work

In general, the cost of ongoing maintenance and updates may be included in your web hosting plan or offered as a separate service by your web design and development team.

Some hosting providers and design and development teams may provide maintenance and update packages that include a set number of work hours per month or year. In contrast, others may charge an hourly rate for these services.

Ensure you budget for ongoing maintenance and updates when planning the cost of building your website. These costs help ensure that your website stays up-to-date, secure, and functioning efficiently, which helps improve the user experience and support your business goals.


The scope of an average small local service-based business

In general, a small local service-based business will have a website with the following:

  • A homepage that introduces the business and its services. Providing an overview of what the company does and why it’s unique.
  • Service pages that describe the business’s specific services, including any pricing or packages.
  • An about us page that provides more information about the business, such as its history, mission, and team members.
  • A contact us page that provides the business’s address, phone number, email, and a contact form for visitors to get in touch with the company.
  • A blog or resources section that provides helpful information and updates related to the business and its services.

In addition to these core pages, a small local service-based business website may include other features, such as a portfolio or gallery of past work, customer testimonials, and social media links.

These additional features provide more information about the business and its services and help improve the user experience for visitors.

Overall, the scope of a website for a small local service-based business can vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the company but typically includes the core pages and features mentioned above.


Should you build your website yourself?

Building your own website is possible, but it may not always be the best option.

Building a website requires a certain level of technical knowledge and expertise.

Creating a professional-looking, functional website without web design and development experience may be challenging. And it’s a time-consuming process.

Keep in mind the time, effort, and resources required.

You’ll need to familiarize yourself with web design and development tools and technologies, and you’ll need to invest time and effort into creating and testing your website.

Additionally, if you build your own website, you’ll be responsible for managing and maintaining it. This can involve updating the website’s content, fixing errors or bugs, and installing security patches to protect against cyber attacks.

It can be a viable option if you have the knowledge and expertise to build and maintain your own website.

However, hiring a professional web design and development team to handle these tasks may be more cost-effective and efficient.

This can help ensure that your website is professional, functional, and secure, supporting your business goals and helping you succeed online.

My recommendation for a DIY website

For those without web design and development experience, WordPress with a page builder theme like Divi is a good option.

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that makes creating and managing a website easy.

Divi is a popular page builder theme that provides a visual, drag-and-drop interface for designing and customizing your website.

With WordPress and Divi, you can create a professional-looking website without needing to write any code or have advanced technical skills.

Divi includes a wide range of pre-designed page templates and elements you can use to create your website. You can easily customize these templates to match your business’s branding and style.

They are also both user-friendly and easy to learn, so even if you have limited experience with web design and development, you can still create a functional, professional-looking website.

Plus, many online resources and tutorials are available to help you get started with WordPress and Divi, so you can learn as you go.

Here are some of the pros and cons of building a website yourself vs hiring a web designer:

Building a Website Yourself

Hiring a Web Designer



Can be a cost-effective option

Can result in a professional, high-quality website

Can be a rewarding learning experience

Can save time and effort

Can give you complete control over the design and development process

Can provide expert advice and guidance

Can allow you to customize and tweak your website to your exact specifications

Can ensure that your website is functional, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines



Can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for those without web design and development experience

Can be more expensive than building a website yourself

Can result in a less professional-looking or functional website

Can limit your control over the design and development process

Can require ongoing maintenance and updates to keep the website running smoothly

Can require you to rely on the expertise and availability of the web designer

As you can see, both building a website yourself and hiring a web designer have pros and cons.

The best option for you will depend on your specific needs, goals, budget, and level of expertise. It may be worth considering both options and weighing the pros and cons to determine the best fit for you and your business.


A website for your small business is vital


In conclusion, investing in a professional website for your small business can be worthwhile.

A well-designed website can help establish your brand and improve your credibility, making it easier for potential customers to find and trust your business.

While hiring a professional to build your website can be expensive, the benefits of having a high-quality website can far outweigh the cost.

Additionally, a professional website can save you time and hassle in the long run, allowing you to focus on running your business.

Whether you hire a professional or take on the challenge yourself, a professional-looking website can be a valuable asset for your small business.