Why Are Websites So Expensive?

October 20, 2022

Ever stop and wonder why a website build or redesign costs more than it did a decade ago? If so, ask yourself this: 

Do websites in 2022 look the same as they did in 2012? 

Definitely not! 

The reason? We need websites to do much more than simply display our brand’s logo, contact info, or services. Consider an eCommerce website as an example. 

The expectation is that a digital storefront should function like a brick-and-mortar location (i.e., allow you to easily browse products, add items to cart, checkout, etc.) while simultaneously providing a personalized shopping experience tailored to each shopper.

Simply put, we need websites—whether or not it’s eCommerce—to educate, qualify, disqualify, pre-sell, and even assist in lead nurturing. And it doesn’t stop there. We also expect websites and content to be shared and generate referrals while streamlining the process and partially automating business operations.

Let’s face it. How we use websites has matured, so it shouldn’t surprise us that expectations of how it “should” look and function have evolved to such an extensive degree. 

Let’s dive into this a bit deeper:

Changes in Users’ Behaviors

When building a business website, remember you’re trying to connect with two different audiences:

  1. Your target customers
  2. Search engines

And each year, users and search engines raise the bar on the features, design, content, and functionalities required to choose your website over competitors. 

If that’s the case, does it surprise us that an easy-to-navigate, aesthetically pleasing website that guides users on a journey to find creative solutions to real-world challenges will consistently outperform an outdated website? One that’s slow to load, cluttered with images, and doesn’t engage users with compelling content?

5 Components of a Website for a Better ROI

It’s easy to get distracted by the high price tag of a website. But remember that your site is an investment—and perhaps, the most essential marketing channel you own.

Depending on your industry, you might not need to bog down your site with crazy VR capabilities or 3D visuals, but there are a few essential components you’ll need to include in the build, which will influence the cost.

DID YOU KNOW, for example, that as of May 2022, 58.26% of all web traffic came through mobile phones? Just 10 years ago, this figure was at only 10.4%. So this means you’re no longer building a website for desktop only—but for mobile, too. And that requires a responsive website across all devices and web browsers!

Aside from website responsiveness, let’s review 5 other important factors that can influence the cost of building a business website:


When users enter your website, they “trust” it’s built on a secure CMS platform. They also assume you’re implementing best practices regarding online security, such as 

  • Installing an SSL certification and security plug-ins
  • Using anti-malware software
  • Running regular backups
  • Keeping your website up to date

Sure, website security can feel like a full-time job, but it’s one of the most critical tasks, primarily if you collect customer information, such as email addresses, or run an eCommerce store that requires credit card numbers, addresses, dates of birth, etc. 

To protect your business and customers from potential hackers or cyberattacks, you need to use the right tools and maintain a website security plan. Yes, this is a significant investment, but one you can’t afford to ignore.

For tips on protecting your business website, check out this article!


Before you get started on the foundation of your website, you first need a strategy that allows you to showcase your capabilities and connect with your two audiences (remember, target customers and search engines).

Building a website requires different subject matter experts (SMEs) who work together to create a comprehensive marketing plan. One that allows you to launch your business forward successfully. You’ll need a web designer, developer, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, and copywriter, at the very least.

Together, this team of experts will build a strategy that helps you draw in customers organically and guide them along the sales journey—based on their unique behaviors and likes.


Content has always been a major contender in digital marketing. But when you’re creating a site to engage and convert users into customers, you need to hire the right content team.

Quality comes at a price, but it’s well worth the investment. If your website costs include content writing, understand that you’re getting more than words on a page. 

You’re paying for a content strategy that aims to:

  1. Tell your brand story
  2. Establish a unique brand voice/messaging
  3. Build trust with your customers

Content that’s not engaging, has grammatical errors, or doesn’t reflect your brand’s core values won’t allow you to connect with new and returning users—or differentiate you from competitors. 


The design of a website is detrimental to its success and ability to connect with audiences. After all, users see this the moment they land on a page. It encompasses the look and feels of the site, but most importantly, it’s often the customer’s first impression of your brand.

Therefore, web design should meet industry standards, represent (and complement) your brand’s image, and help guide the user on a journey to find the solutions they need to live well and be happy.

Think of it another way: a poorly designed website could negatively impact a customer’s first interaction with your company. And if they think your website looks sloppy, they might assume that’s how you run your business, too.

With all this in mind, good design takes time to create. But when done correctly, it generates significant value for your brand. 


You’ve probably seen your favorite websites increase their use of design features like micro animation. 

  • For instance, if you’re using Amazon, you may notice the little avatar at the top of the screen waving its hand to greet you after signing into your account. 
  • Maybe you prefer the subtle way brands like Mailchimp or Chobani float up each section of a web page after scrolling.
  • Or perhaps you like the constant movement, flow, and transition of sites like handwrytten that take the animation game to the next level.

Aside from animation, you may also see interactive cost calculators, which are great features to show how you can instantly save customers money; live chats; Augmented Reality (AR) shopping features, etc.

Different functionalities offer users more meaningful opportunities for engagement. Using innovative features that align with your brand encourages them to keep exploring the site—and enjoy a little playtime in-between. This means they’ll stay on longer, giving you more opportunities to tell your brand story and connect with them.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?

Well, it depends on what you need! But here is a basic outline of what you can expect to get for your budget:

    • Less than $15,000 For this budget, you’ll most likely want to use a simplified site builder like Squarespace or a pre-made template in WordPress. These sites are best for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses that want something to get them going.
    • Between $20,000 and $45,000These websites are perfect for established businesses that know the website can be a source of business growth. From website copy, design, and SEO, a team can help you build a site that will meet your goals.
    • Between $50,000 and $85,000Here is where your custom site dreams come to life! If your site needs lots of organization, advanced features, or just the “wow” factor to impress your audience, we’d recommend planning for a budget in this range.
    • $90,000+If only the best will do for you and your company, then you’ll need a budget to match. For this, you’ll see advanced development, SEO, and design tactics that will support your substantial website presence. Generally, sites in this range will have many pages and require custom integrations, request-a-quote features, an advanced checkout process, and more!

So, Are Websites More Expensive? 

The short answer is yes. But with privacy updates, a 5G network, and changes in user behaviors, it’s no secret that websites are getting smarter, faster, and more in tune with what customers want—thus requiring more strategy, SMEs, and security measures, which do come at a higher price. 

However, the sole purpose of a website is to help you attract and engage the right customers. So, in the end, a quality website is an investment but one that can boost your brand equity and value over time.

Is Your Website Up to Par? 

Thinking it’s time to update your website? Our team can help you choose the best design, messaging, and marketing strategy to boost your brand’s awareness. To get started, request a consultation today! 

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