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What Affects the Cost of ecommerce website design?
There are various elements to an ecommerce website and you may hear “tailored” and “template” affecting the prices but for now here are some rough figures for website development cost.
So how much does a website cost UK?
Basic ecommerce web design: £2500 (we charge £1000)
- Website creation
- Website design
- Tailored setup for your ecommerce website(making the dashboard easy for you to upload and edit products)
- Website copywriting (professional writing for your pages, company description and a few blog posts for maximum exposure to your audience)
- Six months complimentary hosting and care plan
- (This means web hosting, speed, security, search engine optimisation audits, backups and two hours per month of us performing any work requests you have)
- Google maps to compliment your ecommerce website
Advanced ecommerce web design: £5000(we charge £2000)
This is all of the above: website creation, professional design, the works plus:
- Four months of search engine optimisation efforts
- This means technical SEO, internal linking audits throughout, off-page linking, monitoring competitors and efforts to overtake them, weekly blog posts optimised for competitiveness
- Faster web hosting
Professional online store: £9500(we charge £4000)
This is for established small businesses
It includes all of the above plus:
- Conversion rate optimisation
- Branding strategy session
- Faster web hosting
Other factors affecting ecommerce website cost
- Is it a wordpress website, framework or fresh code? Sometimes the use of a website builder tool can lower the price. Page builders are particularly well suited for an ecommerce website, hence why the most popular ecommerce platforms use them.
- Coaching calls
- Email marketing
- A promised number of hours worked per month for any reason
- Number of core pages
- The list could go on obviously
Should I Hire a Professional or Do It Myself?
You could and by all means try and have a bash at making your own website, however it will soon become apparent why you need a website developer.
Especially for an ecommerce website, an online store has plenty of unique quirks that you probably won’t be aware of. Even for standard ecommerce functionality for selling online.
We have had people come to us with half finished ecommerce websites wanting us to finish them because they’ve had enough. Only twice have we agreed to take on such tasks as they didn’t do too bad of a job however more often than not we will refuse because the site thus far won’t be suitable and insist on a new site altogether.
Website builders are not great, but they’re good. What that means is that whilst the ideal will always be an option to do it yourself, the complexity of web design for even basic ecommerce websites can take days and weeks for the uninitiated to do with a builder tool.
We sometimes use a website builder tool because they are that fast and indiscernible from a fresh code that it wouldn’t make sense to disregard them, they save us time and thus save the client money. There are also advantages after the launch of the site that we won’t get into.
Shopify is probably the best option if you want to try this but be warned it has it’s own pitfalls and you won’t get something “bespoke”. You will also likely overlook and completely miss certain aspects of it such as responsive design, in-depth research, professional copy and UI/UX amongst other things.
We would highly recommend you avoid trying to set up a woocommerce application yourself and forget about magento entirely unless you’re a programmer.
You can try to do it yourself just like you can do your plumbing yourself or replace a car part yourself. That is, you soon see why it’s easier to have someone do it right.
Even the average small business can need more complex functionality and can start to entail an impressive list of additional features. What’s that? You don’t know what a facebook pixel is? It’s in your content management system which uses the application programming interface. That’s connected to the dooferdangle which is part of the flux capacitor…..
I used to love the idea of “empowering” our clients to take control of the websites themselves as much as possible. However it becomes obvious that even the most adept client won’t get too far when they have a business to run as well. A complex website may not just be a case of how many pages you have.
What goes on behind the scenes can baffle you. An ecommerce website has the most potential for hairline damage.
Setting up such technicalities can suck the energy out of you that you should rather be focusing into your business.
One thing I’ve come to cringe at is selling a “bespoke website” when I’m leering at my competition who create websites. Every website is bespoke! Even the templated websites are as bespoke as they need to be.
How many times have you seen a templated website? You don’t know, do you? That’s because sites are a little two-dimensional (as I immediately dive for cover from all the projectiles web design companies throw at me).
I could throw together an ecommerce website on any ecommerce platform using template parts and you wouldn’t tell, neither would google or your website visitors for that matter.
The skill and nuance is in how the page experience is set up and no trusted web designers I know or use would simply throw some colours into photoshop and do a chef’s kiss. Photoshop does not make a bespoke website.
Google analytics, the hosting service, seo services and a host of other things are a couple of the things that make an ecommerce website a bespoke website or tailored to your needs as I would rather say.
The cost of using a DIY website builder
Website builders like Wix or Squarespace let you build websites without writing code. You could use predefined templates and edit parts with a user interface. It’s a quick and cheap solution for creating websites, but the options you have are limited and the costs are hidden.
So for example a solution in WooCommerce or magento could be a simple install whereas in Shopify you are paying for a solution for a need you didn’t know you would have until you had the website built and so you’re already committed. A web designer would be able to spy in even a basic website potential for complications and requirements.
Are you a consultancy? Maybe a calendar plugin and sales funnel will require some complex solutions
Does your ecommerce website sell some configurable products? A web design agency will know to suggest a wordpress site.
Using builders for an ecommerce website
I have fixed more than a few Shopify sites that have had issued I’m surprised were there to begin with. That’s the thing with a website builder: they are great and helpful right up until the point they impede the web design.
A basic website could easily use a website builder but a more complicated site – as an ecommerce website is destined to be eventually – will easily run into obstacles introduced by a website builder. Best to let a web designer decide what tools are best for the web design.
Using a website builder in WordPress
The only time a website builder would be best for a web designer would be in WordPress as they still allow for all the extra functionality and shorten the time needed to create websites.
Here’s an insight into web design agencies: when it comes to website builders even we aren’t sure which is best and it mostly doesn’t matter. If the web designer can manipulate the website builder and create the desired site and it doesn’t make the page load slow, then it doesn’t really matter which of the website builders they use.
Some website builders in WordPress include
- Beaver Builder
Any of the above are more than capable of making bespoke websites and any web designer would be hard pushed to tell if a site was made using a WordPress website builder tool.
How much does it cost for these tools? They vary and some even have subscriptions to get software updates. We don’t use those, even for small business websites. Not when you can build a website with other tools like Divi or Gutenberg which have no recurring payments. I have yet to see an advanced website that could not be built with Divi or Gutenberg.
Hosting and Domain Costs involved
Domain/website addresses £3 – £30/year
A domain name is your website address. The higher the value of a domain name the higher its cost but you shouldn’t be paying more than £20 per year. Sometimes you can get a domain through the host but it’s not ideal as it complicates things when migrating your website to another host (which you may need to do, don’t dismiss the idea).
Should I buy it or let my web design agency do it?
Always buy it yourself, it means you have full control. This isn’t just a website, it’s your online business and we have heard of web design agencies and digital marketing agencies pretending not to see your angry emails because they’re not pulling their weight. What can you do if they have the domain name AND your website?
Nothing, they own it all effectively and you will be held on their web server and paying their website costs. If you own the domain name and they are messing about, you can move your site elsewhere and redirect the domain name to the new host/server.
Hosting costs: £20 – £900/year
Your website is “hosted” in order to be live. You hire the use of a hosting service and pay annually or monthly. The larger your website is, the more you pay and the more visitors you have, the more bandwidth you’ll need to pay for.
A small business website won’t have much requirement for massive performance but an online store does typically use higher performing servers. Best case would be a dedicated server, you can save money through a shared hosting package but it could cost you traffic, customers and ultimately any existing business you have.
Best to let your web designer advise you on this. We offer dedicated packages for ecommerce websites and advise you in simple English what the choices mean. If it’s a wordpress site then there are plenty of dedicated options and we provide these at affordable prices for both your basic website or a larger website project.
Why does it cost this much?
There can be a surprising amount of coding involved in even the simplest applications built with a website builder tool and the troubleshooting can take up a surprising percentage of a developer’s time. Programmers seldom just blast out code and smirk, there’s a lot of skill and nuances involved in web dev.
You have professionally designed imagery such as backgrounds, layouts and even the wording of your website is a talent of it’s own field. Simple things like these all roll in to one package and one small part overlooked can be the pitfall of your business while you think it’s your product.
We had one client come to us for a new site once. Upon holding a consultation session with him we reviewed his website and found it to be pretty damn good.
We asked “why do you want a whole new website?”
He complained “This one won’t attract customers and I’m mostly convinced my products are good”
We audited the entire site and did a market review to ascertain the viability of his endeavour before we built him a more advanced website. We talked him round to investing in a website “re-write” and search engine optimisation campaign instead. He now has a booming business(last time we checked)
The point is that a competent web designer or website agency will know more about what influences and impacts a website than you will. This extends to considering what may actually be best for your online presence beside which fancy button you can’t decide between.
So yes it can be costly but this truly is an investment, and not just in the sense that people online everywhere try to convince you with your cash. All aspects of a website professionally constructed and cared for can multiply your sales. Missing even one thing let alone not even being aware of the others (SEO, CRM, PPC, UI/UX, CMS, copy, design, security, speed, responsiveness and a host of other scary words) can prevent your business not even making it on to google.
Also involved in the price is the size of the team. It’s often not just the developer and in our “advanced” package alone we would be spending thousands on a team. This reaps dividends in the sales the website and it’s campaign produces.
Could I do it myself?
You could and by all means try and have a bash at it, however it will soon become apparent why you need a web developer.
We have had people come to us with half finished websites wanting us to finish them because they’ve had enough. Only twice have we agreed to take on such tasks as they didn’t do too bad of a job however more often than not we will refuse because the site thus far won’t be suitable and insist on a new site altogether.
Shopify is probably the best option if you want to try this but be warned it has it’s own pitfalls and you won’t get something “bespoke”. You will also likely overlook and completely miss certain aspects of it such as search engine optimisation, professional copy and UI/UX amongst other things.
Common problems with websites people have built themselves
- Quite plain web design(not always a bad thing, mind you)
- Ridiculously “extra” web design that just puts people off when they’re looking for a “purchase”/”book now” button
- Website costs are beyond what they expected and sometimes more than if they used the easy option of a web designer to begin with
- Filled with generic, boring wording
- Images not optimised
- Little or no security
- No SEO
- Responsiveness issues
- Speed optimisation is almost never considered
- Lead capture not optimised or incorrectly implemented
- Customer funnel doesn’t exist
- Bugs not identified
- Blacklisted by search engines
- GA not set up
- I’m just rambling at this point but you get the idea. I could rattle of plenty more…..
We would highly recommend you avoid trying to set up a WooCommerce application yourself and forget about magento entirely unless you’re a programmer.
You can try to do it yourself just like you can do your plumbing yourself or replace a car part yourself. That is, you soon see why it’s easier to have someone do it right. For some unknown reason that I suspect on Jordan Peterson would know, people get embarrassed and apologise for not knowing about web design and even for not knowing which website builder to use.
Save yourself the trouble of googling how to dig through and understand the code for fixing your site.
It’s painful how many web designers don’t introduce maintenance plans for even the most basic website. This is especially important if a website builder was used and improper maintenance can result in search engines giving you the cold shoulder as you are flung mercilessly to the bottom of the results.
Yes a care plan is another of many possible website costs but it will save money in the long run for your online store.
Our care plans which we include in our packages fix and more importantly prevent these stresses. There will more often than not be an issue arising in a site, one that could have been prevented.
These are not healthy for your sleep pattern…… Do yourself a favour and just hire someone for a monthly care plan which can optimise and improve your profits in ways you may not realise, even simple things such as giving you the time to think about your product or clients.
For example speed optimisation may increase your google rankings one or two places at least, which can easily multiply your customers.
We have special plans for small business website needs to protect your ecommerce website.
If you want a no-obligation ecommerce website quote, get in touch and let us see if we can help you or refer you to someone who can
For a wordpress care plan to let you enjoy more sleep knowing your online business is safe, fast and under the eyes of professionals check out our wordpress care plans.