This is a common question and not one that’s easy to answer. In effect, you are asking: How long is a piece of string? When looking to build a website, you need to remember that it’s a service as well as a product and as such, its cost will vary depending on what you want and who does the work. Leaving aside the technology used which alone leads to price disparities of several thousand dollars, there are four other factors that can decide the cost of a website:

1.    Your Requirements: What level of work do you want done and what do you need?
2.    Server/Hosting: Every website needs a server and host or else it won’t be seen by search engines and will thus be invisible. Issues with hosting take up dozens of hours each year as you struggle with a frustrating problem.
3.    Your Demeanour: If you are easy to work with, the cost is almost certain to be low when compared to a client who is a nightmare to work with. The project could be fixed price or hourly, it’s up to you to decide.
4.    Your Knowledge: The less you know about the technical aspects of the project, the longer it will take the website creator to build the site thus increasing the cost. A tip here is to educate yourself on the basics of IT.

Ballpark Pricelist
The Basics
It is possible to get website packages for as little as $500 but you need to be careful when it comes to quality. In general, you can expect to pay in the $1,200-$1,800 region for a basic website which resembles a brochure made from a boilerplate template which allows visitors to review what you’re offering. Many companies also offer website content which may consist of a homepage, about us page, contact us and a page of product pictures and descriptions perhaps. It won’t be stunning in aesthetic terms but it could provide your company with a welcome sales boost.

Custom Website
These are simply websites designed to your specific needs. Building these sites involves custom XHTML and CSS coding to ensure the site is visible on all interfaces. It will take longer to build than the basic offering but it will look really good! You’re unlikely to find such a site for less than $2,500 and it may cost as much as $8,000+.

Content Management System (CMS)
These sites are all about style and functionality with all content updated via the CMS interface. You can change photos, videos and text content as much as you like with an infinite number of pages. Add a blog section to really get your site noticed on social media pages. Sites like this begin at around $3,000 and rise to $10,000.

The Ultimate Website
These sites have everything: Social networking, blogging and web application development. Sites like this are coded from scratch and take an incredible amount of time to create due to the level of skills and research required. You’ll need a professional team to get this done. $15,000 is usually the bottom figure with some companies charging $100,000 for their work.

As you can see, the cost of your website depends entirely on what you need and what you’re prepared to pay for. Small businesses can get by with a basic design but creating a custom website is recommended for best results.