Average Cost of Web Site

Does anyone know the average cost of a Web site for a small business and/or nonprofit organization. I am trying to do some research but am finding trouble finding stats. If you know of any online resources with this type of information, I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks.

A “small business” site and a “non-profit organization” are two entirely different things, and to be honest, prices will vary greatly, IMO. The basic costs include yearly domain fees and monthly hosting fees, then you move into whether you want to hire a webmaster or do it yourself, or what kind of promotion you want to do.

I would say the minimum for a high quality top of the line static content site with about 10-20 pages would be $1000. Probably less for the non-profit.

$1000 That’s it?

One thing I’ve learned in business…Don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t forget about billing for graphics creation, purchase of graphics/photos, and your time researching them. Also, who’s writing the content, is it provided by client? You need to make sure you include everything, because someone has to do the work.

I generally base my prices according to the client - what type of company (small mom&pop shop, big corp, etc.), if they have any type of budget, and if they’re going to be a long term client.
Example: I’m just finishing up a site for a small company, family business (see link below). A very basic site, no fancy programming, some roll-overs, some framed pages, ans some writting. This site cost my client $7500. I created another site for a client, more complex, more graphics and some special programming - price=$3500 (because they’re a long term client.)

Non-Profit… don’t let that term fool you. Non-profit doesn’t mean no money. And it doesn’t mean you have to give your services away. I did a site for a non-profit that had 9 pages, very basic, a form and a guest book. The cost $2500.

If you are also a graphic designer, I would sell more than just a web site. Sell a complete package - re-do their brochure to coordinate with the site look and feel, create some direct mail pieces (to help promote their new or updated site), or design the site so that you need to be the webmaster so you can do daily, weekly or monthly updates.

Just my two cents.



Thanks. Excellent suggestions. BTW: I visited your site–very nice.

I’m not sure how some define quality, but I do develop quality websites. (Take a look at my design site in my sig). And you wouldn’t need $1000 for a 10 page site. I would say more around $175-$200. At least thats what I’d charge.

Like people have been saying above, the price will vary according to the complexity/bredth/etc of the site.

I prefer billing by the hour, with a set minimum (usually 8 hours). That way the client can change their minds (and they will) about what they want as many times as they want, as they are paying for it.

I do alot of work for Non-Profits as a web designer, usually static sites (brochure ware). I offer them a 10-20% discount off my regular rates, but there is a condition: I get the difference credited to me as a donation. That really helps come tax time (and you are helpong the non-profit/charity, etc).

Also non-profits are a great source of advertising and may result in businesses coming to you that use the non-profit.


Hey that’s a great idea. The government takes enough of our hard earned money, I’ll try anything to keep some of it.

Thanks for the tip.


Non-Profit… don’t let that term fool you. Non-profit doesn’t mean no money. And it doesn’t mean you have to give your services away. I did a site for a non-profit that had 9 pages, very basic, a form and a guest book. The cost $2500

hey cschneider, i would really like to see this site that cost 2500 bucks to build.

I think the problem is everyone thinks that a non-profit organization is a charity organization! There’s a ton of business non-profit organizations out there. They have mebership dues to cover the cost of the day-to-day.

The other thing to keep in mind is, geographical fees range drastically from region to region. I wouldn’t be able to come down by you and try to charge that much.

It all goes back to looking at the client, assessing their financial budget, current needs/wants, and future needs/wants.

I don’t know what your situations are (students, single, married, children), but when you’re in business for yourself supporting a family, you’ll open your eyes.

Hello All

Just had to jump into this discussion! I’m often amazed at the variances in pricing structure. Chris does a 9 page site for $2,500 and some people think it’s too expensive.

We generally charge $1,000 for the first page, and $200 for each subsequent pages, add $210 for a form, $100 for any graphics manipulation, $90 per hour for any editing…all up we would normally charge at least $3000-3,500 for a 9 page basic site.

And I still think we’re cheap.

And on most sites I generally assess how much I think the client will pay and base the final quote on that.

Let’s take a look at the overheads. $40,000 invested in software and machines, rents at $1,200 a month, electricity, telephone (3 mobiles, 2 phones lines, fax line, modems, etc), stationary, office furniture, superannuation, sick pay, the lsit goes on and on and on. At an average billiable rate of $120 per hour we make a little profit, but so we should for all of our intellectual property, experience, training, skill, investment, etc.

You have to take a look at the value of what you are offering. We altered a client’s web site competition a few months back. They now get 800 entries a month, as opposed to 15. They e-mail these same people a special offer every month (with permission) and will generate (on the figures based on just the response for 2 months) an additional $184,000 revenue for what is an additional 2 hours work tops for the entire year.

The changes we made were done after an hours consulting ($180 ph) and 1 hours work ($120), plus licensing a script from us ($195 pa). $500 for an additional $184,000 pa basically for as long as they do about 2 hours work a year. Should have charged $2,000 and next time we probably will.

And I know that if we charged $20 per hour then they wouldn’t take any suggestion we make seriously. In fact they wouldn’t even employ us.

And non-profit organisations…what they want is donations. Show them you’ll design a web site that will generate them income and they’ll pay you the earth for it. They’re just another business trying to make a buck.

$2,500 for 9 pages isn’t highway robbery. I’m sure Chris has provided an exceptional quality site, has given cheerful and professional service and will continue to service them very well. They got a bargain.

Funny thing with our clients, the ones we make the most profit on are also the ones ranked as happiest with the quality of our work.

I go on and on about charging clients and if you’re not bored yet, check out this thread for more of my rantings on this subject.


BTW Steelsun, excellent suggestion about the tax thing. Good thinking 99.

Hope this contributes.


Chris has some good ideas - here’s my take on this:

First of all we know that HTML is quite simple these days, and darned near foolproof. You can do some pretty fancy WYSIWYG stuff. I think the reason many Web designers must charge so much is because most client’s dont’ know what they want, and their inexpereince can run into time and money.

To get a good site done cost-effectively, find one you like and make it like that one. I don’t mean steal their source code, but if a designer has an example to go by, it makes his job so much easier (and faster).

Secondly, accumulate the graphics yourself and figure out what goes where - just be sure you don’t grab stuff off the 'Net - it can come back to haunt you.

Third, get a copywriter in your industry to write up the text. People that write for the industry magazines sometimes freelance.

I don’t know the first thing about HTML (and don’t give a hoot about learning :)), but I do sites all the time for a few hundred $$ by gathering up all the stuff and hiring a ‘mechanic’ for $15 - $20 \ hr to do the job.


charging $1000 for the first page and $200 per additionnal pages is non-sense when you know how fast this can be done. i think many web design businesses around here are just profiting from the client’s ignorance regarding the internet. besides a lot of web designers don’t have any real web design skills, just know how to put together a page with frontpage or bought an HTML book.

personnaly i don’t feel like riping off my clients thousands of dollars for a few hours of work but i guess everyone make their choice. in my opinions, people ripping off clients won’t go far, they are here for “quick money” but the one who are professionnal and charge actual costs are going to last longer.


I agree, there are a lot of designers out there that don’t know squat about web design, except that they can make a page look pretty, and sacrafice functionality. And shouldn’t be charging what they charge. You can go anywhere on the net and see examples of these sites, that look great - but take forever to load, navigational design sucks, scripting errors, etc.

But to go back to what Jackman was saying, some of us have overhead to pay for, other than the electricity that runs your system at home in the spare bedroom. The client’s not only are paying for my experience, knowledge and raw talent. But the cost of computer usage, maintenance, rent, utilities, cost associated with continuing education (html/web classes, certifications, etc.), medical insurance, employees/contractors, and so on.

I think we can go on forever debating (justifying) what we all charge our clients. And if someone wants to charge $200 for a site or if someone wants to charge $20,000 - more power to them. If they’re happy with what they’re doing and they’re making their clients happy… that’s the greatest result.

So lets get back to jglasspoole’s original question.

A company had an expensive machine go down costing them thousands of dollars an hour in lost production time. They felt justified in paying a technician to fly there for repairs. The technician was in the factory for about a half hour. He then came out with a invoice for $10,000.

The President of the company was floored. “You’re charging me $10,000 for a half-hours work? I want an itemized receipt.” The technician shrugged and took the invoice back. On it he wrote:

Replacement part: $1500
Knowing where to put the part, and how to install it: $8500

Total Bill: $10,000

Just remember, we are not just designers (or should not be). We are strategists, consultants, designer, coders and tech support. Our clients pay us to do work because we know what we are doing.

There are some services that I would RATHER pay more for. For example, I might be wary of a mechanic would only charged me $10/hour. I might be wary of a doctor who did his work for free, or a dentist who said “Tell you what, I’ll do this root canal for $100”.

Like Jackman said, there are inherent costs related to our field. Some of us have more than others, but once you get into high-end design/hosting/coding you are paying out a good bit of cash just to do your job. Why shouldn’t the clietn pay for it? Within reason of course…

There is a huge difference here between two different types of designers.

One type is working full time, renting offices and buying equipment, employing employees and living off the earnings.

Another is single, maybe doing this as a second job or a hobby, working from home.

The difference in quality is probably the resources that a professional has access to - a $2000 budget help pay for more photography, more software development - valuable interlectual properties which will be assets for the design company’s future.

For a $200 budget on the other hand, the designer can produce an impressive and sharp website design. Look at the sitepoint logo - it is very clever but it requires no photography, it is an original design, and it could have been developed by someone working at home on their own. This doesn’t mean it isn’t good, though. It is a fantastic design, and looks professional.

With such a huge difference in these two types of markets it can be hard for any serious business to get professional work - but clients are willing to pay top dollars if you have your own office, employees, equipment, etc.

Good designs can be extremely cheap - the real currency in some designs is creativity. For other designs experience, resources and larger budgets are needed.

Sorry, this post is kind of long but I have more to add.

I wasn’t in any way degrading the sitepoint site. It is now my favourite site, and looks more professional than Yahoo, the most visited site on the net. I was just pointing out that with enough creativity, a person on his own can create an effective logo, while other aspects of website development require far more resources.

I just wanted to compare it with hifi equipment.

I own $3500 of audio equipment in my hifi system. When people find out I paid for that, they are amazed. “My 1000 watt system with Xtra BASS was $290.” they tell me. However, I care so much about specific performances of audio, that I spent good money to get a good system. I know that “1000 Watts PMPO” means less than “earn $100,000 by forwarding this email to 8 people”. I know that a $290 system sounds pathetic, to me.

But I would be perfectly happy to sell, make or recommended cheap consumer equipment, because it suits many people.

I guess you can draw your own metaphoric conclusion.