How much do websites cost?
May 1, 2010 11:33 AM   Subscribe

How much does it cost to have a full website designed? What are some specific figures for popular websites? I seem to recall that was made by a freelancer for $5,000, and I'm interested in finding out the "price" of other websites.
posted by matkline to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Head on over to and and see what the going rates are for the projects they have listed.
posted by MesoFilter at 11:42 AM on May 1, 2010

Different type of sites have different budgets. It would probably help people if you explain what you mean by a "full" website.
posted by dfriedman at 11:46 AM on May 1, 2010

Response by poster: I guess I'm looking more for anecdotes, to get a general idea for the market.
posted by matkline at 11:49 AM on May 1, 2010

Thing is that the market is segmented, especially if you want an all-inclusive number. It's like asking how much a car costs. Personally, I base my rates on features, so a company site with news and a catalog is going to be cheaper than one where users can register and do other things.
posted by rhizome at 11:54 AM on May 1, 2010

Best answer: Every website is unique. If you just want one page to advertise your location, price and phone number, there's a number of costs in labor and hardware. If you want a dozen pages for each of your products, there's a lot more labor involved. If you want a website where your customers can comment to each other and review products and blog about their relationships with your company, well, that's a lot more labor, and a bit more hardware.

The first 5k invested in reddit was used to buy hardware. The founders retained rights and 95 percent of the company following that 5k investment from the Y combinator. If reddit were a freelance job it probably would have been substantially higher.
posted by pwnguin at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2010

Best answer: HappyCog's design fee starts at $100,000, so it's safe to assume that any of these sites cost more than that.
posted by Jairus at 12:01 PM on May 1, 2010

One big difference is if you want a site built from scratch as opposed to one made with a customized template.
posted by mollyC at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2010

Also, that first $5K for reddit was just to get started. The have most certainly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more) building that site out since its founding.
posted by mmascolino at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2010

Also: look at the accepted project prices, not asks. Elance is full of "make me A clone, budget $500," which is unlikely to be accepted, and if it is... Caveat emptor.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:37 PM on May 1, 2010

There are a lot of very small websites about that promote such things as a band's latest release, or National Sausage Week, or a small restaurant. Such site have certain things in common - the content is basically static, there are relatively few pages (5, 10 maybe) and the site doesn't 'do' anything much beyond what a paper brochure would do.

For such a site there's a typical price if you want it done by one of the many small web development companies (a couple of people working from a shed or a tiny office) in the area where I live; that price usually lies in the $3,000 to $6,000 range.

Take the same job to one of the more prestigious companies (there are fewer of those) and you'll pay three or four times as much. If you're lucky enough to have a relationship with a competent freelancer in the same area, you'll pay maybe half.

On the other hand, sites that 'do stuff' can cost any figure you can imagine. I work for a small company in the UK. I do pretty much all the web development work (multiple web applications) - all 100% bespoke - and the cost is whatever it has cost to employ me for the past three years, plus other people's time, plus all the overheads, equipment, meetings, train travel, etc., etc. At a guess, the site I spend my days working on has so far cost the UK equivalent of $300,000.

I've worked on a website where the budget was close to $1,000,000. And sites that cost $100.

How long is a piece of string?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think the OP is asking for specific examples of existing sites with ballpark numbers of how much they cost, so that he'll be able to, for example, see what might be possible for $1K or $5k or $25K or $60K, and not just features, but relative quality of visuals and interactive design. I think he realizes that each site is unique.

Clarifying because I'm interested, too.
posted by amtho at 1:43 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most of these numbers are not publicly available. I work for a web application development company. We've built sites between $50,000 to $4.5 million. But for every site we build, we're bound by confidentiality with regard to budget (and everything else, really). This will probably be the rule - most companies that build products don't want the competition to know how much they're investing.

Start up budgets for companies like Reddit can be deceiving. A friend of mine is just about to release an interesting web application that he and a friend built themselves. They're investing $10K in marketing and some ancillary technology costs to get it off the ground and running. And about 500 hours of labor so far. Somebody who wanted to hire them would pay north of $75K for the same product.
posted by centerweight at 7:05 PM on May 1, 2010

Pricing a web site is like pricing a suit. Are you happy with something off the rack? Do you just need a blazer or do you need a 3-piece? Can you operate a sewing machine? All of these things will factor into your cost.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:15 PM on May 1, 2010

Go look at sortfolio - they include price ranges for each design firm, and you can look at portfolios.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:35 PM on May 1, 2010

Here are some anecdotes about

In the fall of 2004, Rose withdrew $1,000 -- nearly one-tenth of his life savings -- and paid a freelance coder $12 an hour to mock up a Web page.


When Rose was starting Digg, he invested $6000 into the site, which was supposed to be for a deposit on a house for him and his girlfriend.

Via Wikipedia
posted by Redmond Cooper at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2010

Yup, I've done basic custom templates on wordpress for $200, not including hosting (I do not provide content). I just wrapped up a conversion to wordpress for $700 (again, content provided in advance). I've got a fully accessible joomla in the works for $1700, and a database heavy HUD site that will go off for $1000, each of those will include name and server and implementation of google apps.

Full disclosure, we are a new company and our primary focus is non-profits, the $1700 is probably fair but the $1000 is a complete and total gift.
posted by TomMelee at 7:00 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

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