You might be wondering, how much does it cost to build a website?
There are many answers to this question depending on your budget and business goals. But the answer is almost always ‘not as much as you might think’.
Anyone can start a blog on the cheap. In fact, in the beginning, you don’t need anything else other than a good web host.
Most successful bloggers have started making money (often even $10,000 a month from home) without increasing their costs too much. That changes once your traffic grows, of course, and you need more professional services and have additional blogging expenses.
In this article, I’ll share how much it might cost you to start a website and show you why that doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive.
I’ll also share my blog business expenses so you can have an example of what a blogger earning a few thousand dollars a month spends money on in their online business.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
This article contains affiliate links.
The cost of a new website hasn’t changed much over the decades. It’s people’s desires and expectations that vary.
At the end of the day, you need nothing more than to have your site up and running. For that, you need a hosting company, a domain name, and to install WordPress (the best content management system, which is also absolutely free).
Anything else is about design, additional features, advertisement, product creation, etc. But when you’re just setting up your website, none of it is necessary.
You can easily start making money blogging without any additional blogging expenses other than a host.
I believe in a simple solution to creating the ideal lifestyle – starting a blog, growing it, monetizing it strategically, and allowing it to earn passive income for years to come while you move onto other business ideas. That’s why I created a free online course showing you how to turn your blog into a passive income stream.
But still, to find out ‘How much does it cost to build a website?’, we should go through all the elements of a good blog that you might need to pay for.
1. How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?
You can go for a company like Bluehost, whose package starts from less than $4 a month. They offer a free domain name for the first year, are a WordPress trusted and recommended partner, and power more than 2 million websites across the world.
They are reliable and have secure servers. Also, they are one of the most affordable web hosts.
I also started with them for Let’s Reach Success and it was okay for a start. After that, I had to switch to a more professional hosting.
I then chose WPX Hosting for a number of reasons. Their monthly price for Optimized WordPress Hosting is $24.99. When paid yearly, that’s around $20 per month. Which is worth the price if you want a site that’s up 24/7, gets great support from the hosting company, and uses servers made for WordPress users.
These 2 examples are my experience with hosting companies. But they are also a pretty good way to understand how the whole industry works.
When trying to find out how much it costs to host a website, you’ll see similar prices.
If you’re just starting out and on a budget, sign up with Bluehost and pay as little as possible while still having your WordPress site live, making it secure and growing it.
2. How Much Does a Domain Cost?
The next aspect of understanding ‘How much does it cost to build a website?’ is the cost of domain registration.
As mentioned above, with Bluehost you get a free domain name for the first year, which is great and saves you money.
From then on, purchasing a domain name from them or any other provider would be around $10.
With WPX Hosting, a .com domain costs $10.99 per year while a .org one is $13.99
3. How Much Does It Cost to Design a Website?
If you want to know how much it costs to set up a website, you might also be asking yourself how much it is to design one.
With WordPress and the free Themes and Plugins in its directory, you can do almost anything.
For the first year, most bloggers don’t spend anything on design. You don’t need that to become one of your blogging expenses just yet.
It’s worth testing your business idea first and seeing how it goes.
That’s what I did too. I stuck with a free theme until I decided to get a Premium one as I needed a faster website. And a cleaner and a more professional theme is one of the many factors contributing to speed and performance.
I used it for a year or so, after which I purchased another one. Both are from ThemeForest and cost between $35-$50.
Once your business grows, you might decide to create a professional logo for your brand. Then, you can also hire a designer that will tackle some elements on your blog pages to make your website stunning.
Some bloggers like to purchase stock photography. However, that’s not necessary as the royalty-free images you can find on sites like Pexels and Pixabay are more than enough. I’m using pictures from there for my blog posts on Let’s Reach Success.
To create social media banners, blog headers, book covers, or featured images with text, you can use the tool Canva that will make you feel like a designer, all for free.
4. How Much Does Email Marketing Cost?
To answer ‘how much does it cost to build a website’, we should also talk about having a newsletter on your blog.
Email marketing should be part of your blogging strategy. It’s a great way to form relationships with readers and monetize your website.
Getting people on your email list and then sending emails (automated ones or not) requires the use of an email marketing tool.
There’s probably no such thing as a free email marketing software. So when you decide to grow your email list with the desire to then offer your product to these people, for instance, it’s worth investing in a good email marketing solution.
Here are 2 of the most popular ones and their pricing:
With MailChimp (the one I’m using), you don’t pay for the first 2000 subscribers and can send up to 12000 emails per month. I’m still using them for free as growing my email list isn’t something I’m focusing on too much.
Still, though, their software allows me to create opt-in forms, use automation, create campaigns, and see reports and data.
However, with a quick research online you might notice that many bloggers switched from MailChimp to more professional email marketing tools such as ConvertKit and exploded their traffic.
So let’s talk about the other option you have in terms of email marketing and blogging expenses:
ConvertKit is famous for its focus on creators who cherish their email list and consider it their biggest asset. So the tool offers a simple way to create powerful automations, organize your subscribers, understand their behavior better, set up rules, send targeted content to different individuals and thus increase your click-through rate, and much more.
Pricing is based on the number of your subscribers. So the bigger the email list size, the more it will cost you.
Once your blog becomes a real online business that’s registered, you will have to pay taxes.
As I state in each of my monthly income reports, a big chunk of what I’m earning will go for taxes at the end of the year.
That’s one of the choices you make when you become self-employed. But it’s nothing compared to the many advantages.
Also, you take care of your own health insurance, pension plan, and anything else that would otherwise be covered by an employer.
Of course, many bloggers just hustle on the side and only become their own bosses when they earn more than at their current job.
Still, however, taxes are usually over 30% of your blogging income, so it’s worth adding it as one of the aspects when answering the question ‘How much does it cost to build a website?’
Now, let me share my blogging expenses.
A List of My Blogging Expenses
Web Hosting: $24.99
I currently pay $24.99 each month for WPX Hosting.
I’m creating online courses and have plans for more. While Teachable is a fantastic platform and allows you to create and launch courses for free, I decided to sign up for their paid plan in order to take advantage of additional features.
After I moved my online business to the Netherlands, I also found an accountant to take care of VAT returns and annual statements.
Some Additional Blogging Expenses I’ve Had Lately
ShortPixel – $20
Domain Renewal – $18 (WordPress.com)
So that’s how much it costs to create a website. Are you ready to start yours? Head to my free guide on how to start a profitable blog.
How much does it cost to build a website in your case? Any different blogging expenses?