How Much Does it Cost to Develop an eCommerce Website?

As a business owner, there are numerous costs to consider throughout the first year of launching your business. Some might be expected, and others could come as a surprise. One that you should take your time to look into is an eCommerce site.

This provides a space for your customers to visit beyond social media platforms, and can help you gain valuable insights into details about your products, the demographics of people buying them, and improve your brand recognition.

Your eCommerce website cost could be anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 for the first year, depending on the kind of investment you are willing to make. Realistically, there are so many factors that impact the price of an eCommerce store. Most business owners might not know where to begin and wonder if they’ll even get a proper return on their initial investment. This guide reviews what you need to be aware of if you are new to developing a website and covers all bases so you can decide how best to get started.

Getting Started

Your eCommerce website development cost depends on many factors. Before determining your eCommerce website price, you should consider your needs. Prices vary significantly between small businesses and enterprise sites due to the volume of traffic and infrastructure required to serve many people simultaneously.

Launching your site requires some upfront costs and regular maintenance fees to keep it running. The first steps include obtaining a domain, deciding on a hosting service and then determining what maintenance budget is available to keep your website functioning properly.

Domain Name

A domain is a place where your website lives on the internet and the starting portion of every page on the site. In most cases, your domain name has a minimal impact on your eCommerce website cost because you can purchase them for under $20 per year. Many hosting services or web developers eliminate this expense entirely by packing it into the price of other services.

You may need to pay more for a domain if the specific name you want is claimed by someone else or in high demand. For example, some people make a business of purchasing domain names only to resell them later to the highest bidder. If the one you choose is an aftermarket domain, your best option is to pick a different one. Some strategies are to use acronyms instead of your full business name or use .net or .biz instead of .com.

Hosting

Hosting is another cost of an eCommerce site to consider. A web host owns the computer hardware that stores your data and charges you to make it accessible to the internet. There are several types of hosting that you can choose from with their own advantages. Shared hosting is best for small businesses because it’s inexpensive, and the other websites hosted alongside yours don’t require a lot of bandwidth.

When you scale a business, you should consider virtual private and dedicated servers for more control over how server resources are allocated. How much does it cost to host an eCommerce website? Expect to pay approximately $500 per year as a small business for web hosting and up to $10,000 if you’re an enterprise business.

Maintenance

Maintenance costs can vary greatly based on your eCommerce site’s complexity and how much work you outsource to other people. It’s a good idea to have an agreement with an IT service to maintain your site so that it’s patched whenever new vulnerabilities are discovered, and you’re protecting your data. In addition, you’ll have to worry about keeping your customers’ information safe, which is why you should hire an IT service that offers cybersecurity.

Website Design

Web developers bring business owners’ visions to life on the Internet, and hiring one of them can greatly impact your budget. Once you know exactly how you want your website to work, they can create a theme, install apps and make changes to the user experience. They can also help you drive traffic to your new website.

With a developer in your corner, you might wonder how much it costs to build an online store. That depends on the following factors:

Platform

Web platforms allow you to use existing programs, themes and technology to build your website. They save a ton of time and money because you can choose the applications that you need to grow your business and adjust how your site works to stand out among your competitors.

Examples of platforms include Shopify, Wix, Weebly and WordPress. The right option for your business depends on your needs, how much customization you’d like and whether you want to conform to existing templates. WordPress offers many themes, applications and widgets, for example, but gives you many options for writing your own code and developing unique themes.

Custom Details

Telling a unique story for your business may require you to create your own graphics and media. For example, you may need to hire someone to produce a company logo and reaching potential customers is much easier if you’re able to display videos on your website that showcase your products. Integrating with social media keeps you in touch with your client base and lets you see what advertising campaigns are most effective.

Custom web design costs money and what you pay depends on the complexity of what you’re asking for. You don’t need to create the most advanced website on the planet to start, so focus on what you can afford and upgrade when your budget allows it.

Optimizing for Mobile

Most people use their mobile devices to research products and services at some point. Your site might turn them away if they cannot interact with it on their cell phone. Optimizing a webpage for mobile involves making sure that the text and images appear visible, the user interface is easy to navigate, and your SEO strategy draws in those users.

eCommerce Platform

Your decision to pay for an eCommerce platform can impact the final cost of your website. One of the advantages of choosing WordPress is that it integrates with WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform that hosts about one out of every four online stores worldwide. It’s free to install, so your primary cost is hiring a developer who knows how to use the platform. It has plenty of plugins and themes to help you find settings that work for your business.

Content Management System

A content management system allows you to create a content strategy for your business, upload articles, pictures and videos, make modifications and track how well your content works. Using an interface such as WordPress gives you a built-in content management system because this software is included on the platform.

You’re able to schedule future posts, view analytics for your past posts and manage all other aspects of your site in one place. Depending on your chosen system, it may cost up to $2,500 per year if you’re a small business but over $50,000 for enterprise businesses.

Functionality

One way to manage functionality on your website is to use plugins. A plugin is a program that performs a specific task on your website. eCommerce platforms have thousands of plugins to choose from that add functionality to your site and change the user experience. You can choose from free, premium and custom options.

If you decide to develop your own plugin or pay for a plugin, this adds to your expense. When considering add-ons, ensure that you know whether you need to pay a single fee or a regular maintenance cost to keep the plugin.

SEO Services

Without constant traffic, there’s almost no point in creating a website. Search engine optimization uses a content strategy that drives traffic to your site by ranking it well on Google and other search engines. SEO services have experience helping their clients rank higher on search results, and many businesses have budgets set aside just for SEO.

In addition to creating engaging content that ranks well on web searches, SEO specialists can help you with social media campaigns and conversion strategies to turn the traffic you receive into actual sales. SEO services may cost a small business a few thousand dollars annually, but an enterprise business can easily spend over $100,000.

Copywriting

Copywriters craft content for your website both to drive traffic and convert hits into sales or inquiries. You may want to create several types of content for your site, including product descriptions, guides, blogs, landing pages and press releases. Most copywriters know how to incorporate organic keywords into content to increase your search ranking and can persuade your audience to contact you or complete a sale.

Widgets

Widgets are a form of application you can add to your website that adds functionality. For example, you could have a widget that encourages visitors to leave feedback for your company, sign up for your newsletter, or complete their sale when they have items in their cart. The primary advantage of widgets is that they don’t require any coding knowledge to add to your site and are included in most eCommerce platforms.

Working with an Experienced Developer

One way to manage your costs is to work with experienced freelance developers. You can find the right people for the job with Goodie Websites. We connect small and large businesses with freelancers with the relevant skills needed for their tasks. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your business.