How much does it cost to build a website in the UK?
How much does it cost to build a website in the UK is not straightforward to answer.
The whole process of costing a website is confusing and in this (long) guide, I intend to explain what a website should cost from domain purchase to Google sitemap submission and launch.
Firstly, don’t always believe the maxim “you get what you pay for”. I’ve seen quotes for similar simple brochure websites range from £200 to £4000 with all points in between. When you look at the website portfolio of the £200 and £4000 quote, you can see a difference but when you compare a £600 website with a £3000 one, the differences are often harder to distinguish.
Let’s start with absolute basics – getting a domain name. This is your first step and you should register it in your name. Don’t allow a freelancer or website design agency to buy it for you – if they go tits up, getting control of the domain can be difficult. You wouldn’t let someone have your birth or marriage certificates, would you? So don’t let them have control of your domain name.
Where to buy a domain name
You can buy a domain name from a quick Google search – I tend to stick to tsohost as they don’t have the habit of others of increasing prices after a year. Admittedly they start from £5.99 plus VAT and you can get 99p ones elsewhere, but, trust me, you’ll pay £10 plus in subsequent years and that saving is quickly wiped out.
How to pick a domain name
You need the same approach here as naming a kid, in my opinion. It needs to be easy to spell, easy to find online and not go out of fashion. Kylie and Jason were common names a few decades but would you call your kids that now? Apologies if you have. I’m called Stuart and for someone with a lisp from birth, it’s always annoyed me.
My business domain name is simple: Get Pro Copy Ltd and no one has yet to ask how to spell those three words.
If you’re planning to restrict your products and services to the disunited kingdom, go for .co.uk – but if you can get the .com version without a second mortgage go for it. If one you really want is already registered, you can ask the owner to sell it to you or find an alternative. I’ve just bought 5G Websites as a nod to the future when that network is rolled out and one day I’ll get round to building that domain for those search terms.
How many years should you buy it for?
If you’re planning to grow a business long term, splash £70 plus on 10 years. It will increase your domain authority which you can check here. Don’t get too obsessed with DA, or Domain Authority, as it is something that you can work on with rich content, backlinks and social media snippets.
If you’re confident you’re going to be successful, hit 10 years; if not just buy one year. This is a 10 year domain but others I own are not.
To get your purchased domain online, you need “hosting“. Put simply this is a fee that allows you to be online – a TV licence if you like when you buy a new Gogglebox. You can buy your own and if you’ve got employees with multiple email address requirements, it’s wise.
Then you can delete or add staff as they leave or arrive without pestering a web designer. You get access to a hosting dashboard, where you can encrypt the site (make it https://) and do other things. You’re in control. If you are a one man band, you may be better off paying a web company to host it. I charge £40 in year 2 and it’s free in Year One when I design your website.
When you ask an agency How much does it cost to build a website in the UK, include questions about hosting and emails.
Additionally I have other email addresses for personal use with MSN and Gmail but they’re not on this website or my business cards – neither should yours be.
You can read my tome to Email Copywriting here.
I set these up as a matter of course and give you clear instructions on how to add them to desktop, tablet and smartphone with a mailbox limit so you don’t hog my hosting allowances.
The beauty of setting up an email signature is that you can acquire social media followers and relay key information quickly in emails. I have Enhanced DBS Clearance as I mark exams for schools and occasionally do educational consultancy, that’s why that’s in there.
Where to host
Having designed 200 websites in the past 20 months, I recommend one hosting company and one only: Siteground. Their support is incredible with tickets, live chat and over the phone. They are affordable in year one though leap in year 2, but if I hit any problems, I know Siteground will help 24/7. Trust me, they’re great. All my websites are hosted with them and I cannot fault any aspect of them.
WordPress or Wix or Squarespace or Shopify or Joomla?
Each one has their own positive qualities – but I design on WordPress with WooCommerce for shop sites. Shopify is quite straightforward, Wix is drag and drop, Joomla and Squarespace are not something I’ve used.
I pick WordPress because it has endless possibilities in terms of templates and plugins. WordPress is simply an app that a Norwich web design agency or a freelance web designer installs within hosting.
The real work then comes in the wp-login dashboard where you create pages, add menus, insert a logo and customise colours, fonts and layouts. I love doing the dashboard bit.
Can you install WordPress yourself?
Yes, course you can.
You can buy a domain, hosting and install WordPress and design it yourself. I did with this website.
A word of warning though – it’s an incredibly long journey to develop competence in and your time may be better spent on sales, growing your social media and networking, than spending a month or more on a website that will take me under 5 days to design and launch. It’s a process, a simple one when mastered, but if you’re not time rich, or into research, best throw £500 plus VAT my way for an excellent brochure website that is hosted and maintained by me.
Themes and templates
Some web design agencies and freelancers like to say they “code” from the ground up. What that can mean is that you have to pay them to make changes as the “backend” is like hieroglyphics. I use themes or templates and Divi or Elementor to build. It keeps costs down for you and each one can be customised as you like. Because I’ve designed so many, I’m adept at sorting out any glitches quickly.
I would advise you to allow a web designer to build your website from a theme – if it’s £50 plus, it will look great, trust me, as mine do on premium templates.
What about content?
This is where many web design agencies and freelance web designers differ from me. They need copy. They ask you to write it in full. I like it when an individual or company does that too, but if you turn round and say this is what I do, write the content, I will. Now obviously, there’s a price hike when all the content is created from scratch. That £500 website may well become £1000 plus VAT if you want blogs creating, services adding, search engine optimisation and social media links creating and embedding.
The typical cost of a freelance web designer is between £15 to £80 per hour. I sit mid range for web design and copywriting at £40 per hour. If a website will take me 13 hours to create, it will be charged at £520. If you want a Facebook page, an Instagram feed creating and 2000 words of optimised content, you’re looking at 8 hours extra usually – so £320.
There’s more to content on websites than just writing it. Keywords and meta descriptions need to be added to pages and posts; alt tags to images etc. This comes standard with all my websites.
How many pages would I get for £500?
Again, there’s no fixed formula for page prices. You may want Home | About | Services | Blog | Contact and that would be covered in that cost. But if you wanted to omit Services, but make About longer there’s not a price reduction.
When we first chat about your needs, I send you a quote to accept or decline laying out what has been agreed.
However, any good freelance web designer or agency should do estimates that detail what is and what is not included.
Why do e-commerce sites cost so much more?
Simply put, it’s a time thing. Adding products, payment channels, invoicing and a dashboard for orders with secure login for admin and customers takes much longer than a brochure website. Some web designers don’t do them for this reason. Check out rivals and see if they do. I’ve done a few with payment channels like this one and I enjoy the challenges of creating them.
Do bear in mind though that a website to sell products and services starts from £1000 because they take twice as long to do. The testing is also time consuming. Adding dummy products and pricing, and seeing if credit card, BACs and PayPal all work seamlessly, takes time.
What about bespoke websites?
Like a handcrafted suit, you will pay more for a bespoke website than one off the coat hanger, so to speak. If you want intricate functionalities, you probably need a web developer in that niche, but expect to pay for these as a team will be working on the project.
To sum up, how much does it cost to build a website in the UK?
Firstly, getting a website designed for you is one of the best investments you can make. The days of being found in the local newspaper or on a One Stop For Sale board are dying. Most marketing now is digital on phones and if you don’t embrace the internet, your business will suffer and eventually perhaps close.
You shouldn’t have to rob a bank to get online. A website should cost £500 for a brochure one, with everything included. You’ll find cheaper and you’ll find more expensive I know. But do look at reviews as an indicator of reputation on social media and Google Maps.
Research and buy a domain name. Make sure it is easy to say and spell and memorable. Use Tsohost to buy one and consider a longer term purchase if you’re committed to it.
Hosting is free for one year with all websites I design but other freelancers and agencies are not so generous. Include this in your calculation. If someone quotes £300 for a website and £80 for hosting annually, that will quickly exceed a website costing £500 with £30 hosting in Years 2, 3, 4 etc.
Ask the web design team if email set up is included – is there a limit? Will they offer one to one support to put it on your smartphone or tablet? Or is it an extra?
Choose a web design company or freelancer who specialises in WordPress as it is so adaptable.
Who is writing the content? Is it you or the company you’re paying? Bear in mind that photos and PDFs etc with text eat up time and it’s always best to provide copy in word documents clearly labelled: HOME ABOUT etc. Who is optimising the content? Does the web designer have premium access to tools like SEM Rush and understand the importance of rich content, writing for humans and search, the use of keywords and backlinks. SEO is a specialism of many companies and no doubt you’ll be pestered (as I am daily) from SEO companies.
Again I can recommend specialists.
How much does it cost to build a website in the UK?
It costs upwards of £300 usually to get a website designed and built in the UK. A great one, that will look good for years, costs £500 + VAT from me.
Not all freelance web designers and web design agencies are born equal – so do your homework and choose someone not necessarily who’s cheapest, but who will assist you in growing your business.
I do hope that this answered the title: How much does it cost to build a website in the UK?
Above all, feel free to ask me questions on my active social media channels, via email or by calling or messaging me on 07462923476 – WhatsApp and iMessage always get read quickly.