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  • Writer's pictureJudith Davison

The True Cost of a Website for a Small Business

This is the final blog in a 3-part series about websites for small businesses. From my previous 2 blogs, the benefits of having a website are clear however many business owners are put off by the perceived cost and the building process. In this blog, we get down to the nitty gritty of how much it costs to get a website up and running and also the ongoing maintenance.

Laptop on a wooden table by ocean shore

For the purpose of this discussion, I am referring to a basic website (home page, 3 content pages & a contact page) for a small to medium business.

Wix Website Builder

My go-to for designing, building and hosting my clients' websites is Wix Website Builder. My reasons for using Wix are:

  1. Affordable

  2. Easy to maintain

  3. User friendly interface

I have found that if I use other platforms (such as WordPress) the client is then locked into needing an external party to handle their maintenance and updating. WordPress and similar platforms are not intuitive to use. They require some understanding of website coding and previous training which 99% of my clients do not have (and have no interested in getting). Wix has a user friendly interface and offers enough functionality for my type of clients. Tried and tested with more than 15 clients.

Start-up Costs

Let’s break down the various components and expenses associated with building and maintaining a website for a small business using Wix.

Animated close up of search bar of the internet

Domain Name

A domain name is your web address (e.g., www.yourbusiness.com). Typically, domain registration costs range from $10 to $20 per year. However, premium domain names or those with specific extensions can be more expensive. When purchased through Wix, the cost of a domain is including in the web hosting fee - read on...

Web Hosting

Web hosting is the service that allows your website to be accessible on the internet. Hosting costs vary depending on the provider, the type of hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated), and the features included. On average, small businesses can expect to pay between $3 and $30 per month for hosting services. When using Wix, they package the domain name and hosting into one cost between AU$15-30 a month for a basic website and name.

Website Design and Development

We charge a flat fee of $500 to design a basic website. This includes three design options, a basic website build (home page, content pages x 3, contact page) and training on website maintenance. This assumes you have the content ready to go. If not, don’t worry, we also provide wireframe design service, copy writing and image sourcing (fee varies but as a ball park you would expect to pay additional $200-$300 for copywritining).

Other Possible Costs

Ongoing maintenance and Updates

Websites require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance, relevance and security. By using Wix, small businesses may choose to handle these tasks themselves or can continue to engage us to run the site updates ($50 a hour).

A small model of a shopping trolley with boxes sitting on a laptop

Added Functionality (e.g. e-commerce)

If you require more than a basic website, a wide range of functional apps can be added on at extra cost. Examples include an online shop, events calendar, booking service and client registration forms. Wix would increase your monthly hosting charge - for example, an online shop with up to 50,000 products starts at AU$41 up to $AU179 for more complicated shops (such as a drop shipping service) and there would be an additional design charge to build the pages.

Search Engine Optimisation

We build a Wix website with a basic level of SEO as part of the start up cost meaning that you will be found on google searches. However, if you want to appear consistently as number 1, that would require additional investment with more advanced strategies and would require hiring an SEO specialist or investing in SEO tools and services to improve your website’s visibility on search engines.

Image Copyright Fees

We have access to a number of image libraries with thousands and thousands of images that we have permission to use on our clients’ websites. 99% of the time we find the image we need without extra cost. However, if you are after a specific image (e.g. an artist's impression of your product), you may need to factor in purchasing the rights to that image.

Email Address

If you would like an email address matching your domain name (e.g. judith@thejonescreativestudio.com), you can buy an email service through Wix starting at approx AU$100 a year for one email box.

Website Under Construction sign


In summary, a ball park figure for a basic website for your small business would be a starting point of AU$680 for a domain name, one year of hosting, design and build. Ongoing, if you handle the maintenance and updates yourself, you will be looking at a yearly charge starting at AU$180 for hosting.

Here are some examples of sites we built on Wix:

This concludes the blog series on websites for small business. Please reach out if you have any questions about getting online - it’s not that daunting, honestly.

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