How much does a website cost to run? | Strafe Creative

How much does a website cost to run in 2023?

DesignE-CommerceFAQsFrom the Strafe Studio
A laptop browsing Shopify's website

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your current site, you’ll want to know how much your website costs, both upfront and each month.

As you’ll find out throughout this blog, prices really do range depending on the functionality required for your site, how much traffic you have and what your business does. If you want to just see the numbers, then head straight to the end of the blog to see the range of prices.

So let’s get into it, how much does a website cost to run…


Initial Design and Build

The first thing to consider is the initial design and build. Two options, do you want to work with a specialist or do it yourself?


Website DIY

There are plenty of website builders out there, allowing you to easily design and build your own site. Out-of-the-box options like Squarespace, Wix and GoDaddy allow novice users to create their own sites with a drag-and-drop functionality. Alternatively, install a pre-purchased theme on WordPress to create a more personalised website experience.

If you’re just starting out on your e-commerce journey, Shopify enables users to easily start their own online store with great UX and an easy-to-manage backend.

Each of these sites comes with a monthly fee, which varies depending on the functionality and support you receive.

  • Shopify: £19 – 259 /month
  • Wix: £4.00 – 27.00
  • Squarespace: £12 – 35.00
  • GoDaddy: £7.99 – 19.99/month
  • WordPress: free (however you’ll need to pay for hosting and a theme)

It’s important to consider that even if you build your own site, some of the costs we’re going to discuss further down will also apply to you.

Shopify Pricing


Work with an agency or freelancer

Hiring an expert, whether that’s a freelancer or an agency, helps you build a website that’s truly personalised to your business goals. However depending on who you choose to work with, your requirements and the size of your business the price really varies.

In fact, working with an expert can cost anywhere between £1000 – 100,000. We explored in detail what goes into the price of a website built by us here at Strafe Creative for a transparent overview of our pricing and what’s included.



Once your site is designed and built, whether that’s by you or an agency team, there are monthly infrastructure costs to consider.


Domain (Annual Cost)

This is your online identity, your URL. It’s pretty easy to get your hands on all sorts of domain names these days, you don’t have to stick with .com or you can use .co, .world, .io, and .site – there are a lot to choose from.

Sign up for a domain with sites like GoDaddy or 123 Reg and purchase the rights for years at a time. These sites often do great deals for your first purchase so make the most of that. Depending on the popularity of your domain, prices can really range, from literal pennies to thousands per year. Typically our clients pay around £10 – 30 a year.


Website Builder (£5.50 – 259 /Month)

As mentioned earlier, these are the monthly costs that your website builder site charges. These often include hosting and plugins too so if you’re doing it solo things become a bit simpler. Check what your provider offers included in the price so you don’t get caught out.


Hosting (£20 – 2000 /Month)

This refers to where your website in effect, ‘lives’. These servers are always online and the price of this is aligned with the amount of traffic that comes to your site, the more traffic, the more expensive your hosting will be.

If your site has more visitors you’ll need a more robust server to handle the power required to process their time on the site. As your business grows you’ll want to ensure your hosting meets these needs – you don’t want your site to fall over as people are trying to sign up or purchase.

If you’ve got 10,000 visitors per month or less you can expect to pay £20 – 50 per month. Scale up your traffic and hosting can be £1500 – 2000 per month. It sounds like a lot but with more visitors and more sales, it all balances out.

Our favourite hosting provider is Digital Ocean* – we use this hosting regularly with our clients for a reliable and quality service.


Maintenance (£150 – 2000 /Month) 

Just like your car, your site needs regular maintenance – an MOT if you will. Automatic updates are often available however here at Strafe, we prefer to take a more thorough and careful approach to maintenance to ensure nothing breaks along the way.

To avoid any downtime, we download a copy of your site, pop it on a development portal and make updates in a live environment to check everything is still working as it should. When we’re happy we re-upload this to your site and voila – your website MOT is complete.

We always recommend this to clients to ensure they have the best version of their site running at all times. The price of this varies depending on the service available, for example adding additional hours or weekend coverage costs more.

Other agencies will have different pricing structures but ours are between £150 – 2000 per month.


SSL (Annual Cost)

This is an online security certificate to demonstrate to users and the likes of Google that your site is secure and well-maintained – you can spot a site with its SSL because you’ll see a little lock icon in the URL bar.

Website builders sometimes include this as part of the pricing but otherwise expect to pay around £20 – 50 per year.



Another variable that can impact your monthly costs are plugins. Shopify charges a monthly fee which includes regular maintenance on the plugin, usually around £5 – 25 per month.

WordPress usually charge a one-time upfront payment for access to Plugins, however, the maintenance typically lasts around one year – these prices range from £70 – 250.

When working on Shopify sites here at Strafe, we always discuss these costs with our clients during the project for full transparency.


Design and Functionality


New Functionality (Annual Cost)

As your business evolves your website will too and whilst you can add new pages and make small updates yourself, any new functionality likely will require development.

Examples of new functionality include

  • E-Commerce: adding a new payment portal, multi-language or additional currencies, and offering wholesale purchase options.
  • Marketing: designing and building a dedicated landing page for a marketing campaign
  • Content: reworking blog content into a members area and online course

Look to budget £2000 – 5000 per year to support the evolution of your website.



With so many disciplines, marketing can cover a huge range of elements when it comes to your website. This will depend on your marketing budget and investment priorities, however, consider PPC and SEO optimisation, social media marketing and email.

We’ve not included this in the price as there are so many variables to consider here it’s not a true reflection of the cost of just running the website.


Content & Copy (£1000 – 5000 /Month)

If your team is busy, outsourcing your content and copywriting can help you keep your site up-to-date. Writing articles, blogs and case studies regularly helps to engage your target audience with expertise and valuable insights. This helps build trust with the user and guides them towards a purchase.

Agencies and freelancers offer content and copywriting services at a variety of prices depending on your content strategy and the approach you want to take. Expect to pay between £1000 – 5000 per month depending on who you work with and what they deliver.


Photography (Annual Cost)

For service businesses, getting great head and team shots does add another layer of personality to your site – shows the ‘real people’ behind the business. A photoshoot for the team can set you back around £1000 but only needs to be done once every few years.

For e-commerce businesses that really want to grow, beautiful photography that showcases your products is essential. In some cases, booking a photographer, model, stylist, makeup artist and studio and sourcing props can set you back £2000 – 10,000 for just one shoot.

It all depends on your products. This likely would be an annual or seasonal cost, not something you’d pay each month. Plan to shoot as much as you can to get the most out of the day.


Read more: A-Z of important web design terms (2022 guide)


How much does a website cost to run: The Running Total

As disclaimed previously, everyone’s site is different and requires different updates, functionality and infrastructure.

With these calculations in mind, however, organisations with a personalised site, great traffic and good sales can expect to pay between £1,000 right up to £9,000 monthly if they’re running a huge business.

Adding in the annual costs does add up but they’re worthwhile investments when considering user experience and conversion rates on your site.

This chart shows the ranges from the lower end through to the higher end. As we said, it’s all down to the size of your business, the traffic you have and how much you want to invest in your website.

Website total running costs


*We have affiliate links for products and services we love. By clicking on any of our affiliate links and purchasing, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.



FAQs: How much does a website cost to run


What are the factors that influence the cost of a website?

Key factors that influence the cost of a website include design, maintenance and ongoing content updates. When building your website, the initial price varies depending on whether you use a website builder or work with a designer or agency.

Specific monthly or annual costs include domain names, SSL certificate, hosting, functionality and plugins, content production and general maintenance.


How much does a website cost?

A website can cost anywhere from £50 – £50,000 depending on the approach you take. Buy a cheap theme and install it on WordPress for a very cost-effective solution, or alternatively work with a developer or agency to design and build a bespoke solution that will help you build a stronger brand and drive more conversions.


How much does it cost to run a website for 1 year?

As disclaimed previously, everyone’s site is different and requires different updates, functionality and infrastructure.

With these calculations in mind, however, organisations with a personalised site, great traffic and good sales can expect to pay between £12,000 right up to £120,000 annually if they’re running a huge business.


How much does it cost to hire someone to build a website?

Hiring someone can cost between £500 – £100,000. Freelance website designers are a cheaper option, prices usually start from £500 to £5000. Working with an agency costs more like £3000 – £100,000, however, all these prices are depending on the design and functionality.


Should I hire someone or use a website builder like Wix?

There are a few important factors to consider here, money, time and expertise. If you have a lot of time but not much expertise you can learn how to build your own website using a website builder like Wix, Squarespace or GoDaddy. There are a lot of online tutorials that can guide you through the process. This is especially useful if you’re just starting out and want to save costs.

If you don’t have the time but do have the money,  then hiring an expert to build your website for you is a great solution. They have the skills to bring your site to life, ensure it meets your objectives and helps you increase sales and conversions.

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