How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost?

What is the cost to build an eCommerce website? If you have ever asked yourself this question, you have definitely come to the right place!

In today’s article, we’re looking at several of the factors that influence the end cost of an eCommerce website, depending on the design and functionality, and also its infrastructure. 

We will also be delving into the continuous costs that you will have to manage throughout the life of your eCommerce business; unfortunately, it doesn’t all end once you’ve set everything up. 

How much does an eCommerce website cost?

If what you are looking for is a quick answer, we’ll give you one off the bat. The cost to develop eCommerce website can range from several thousands of dollars to $200,000 and more. 

The limits to the cost to build a shop are so ‘generous’ because there are roughly two ways of getting the job done. 

You can either use an eCommerce website builder or you can seek out the services offered by a web development company or a team of freelancers. The first is the obvious option for people who want to manage their own shop with as little hassle as possible and who might also not have a huge budget for doing so. 

Most eCommerce website builders are priced fairly, in that you can pay anything from $30 to $300 per month depending on the features you can benefit from. 

Besides the store itself, you also have to look at a number of functionalities, such as how people will pay for the products they order, what you’ll use for updating the inventory, and what you can do in terms of SEO and marketing once you have everything set up. 

There are some more aspects that can influence an online store cost, all of which we are tackling in the sections below. 

Factors that influence the average cost of an eCommerce website

Hosting and domain name

The hosting can depend on the amount of traffic you estimate you will get in the first half a year of your web shop’s existence. We recommend starting with a small to medium package and once you start improving your SEO and everything else and acquire lots of organic traffic, too, you can opt for a more expensive plan.

In terms of the average that you can pay for hosting, it all depends on what you are using. For the WordPress business plan, for example, you’ll have to fork out around $250 a year, but that will also give you access to non-stop support and the ability to install whatever you want on your site. 

If you intend on using Shopify or some other alternative, you do not have to worry about any hosting costs as they will be effectively included in your monthly subscription. 

shopify ecommerce website costs

There are lots of options when it comes to hosting companies, and they range from HostGator and NameCheap to SiteGround and Bluehost. If you are not that seasoned in terms of building a site and managing its backend, we do not suggest going for this option. 

The domain name is pretty cheap regardless of the one you pick. There are some that are more affordable depending on their TLD, but if you want to go global and ship everywhere in the world, a ‘com’ domain should be right up your alley. 

In that case, you can expect anything from $18 to $30 for a domain (and sometimes even less). 

SSL certificate 

An SSL certificate is basically a must for any eCommerce store, and the reason for this is that it ensures that all of the payments processed through your website are secure. 

If you didn’t know, you can get an SSL certificate for free these days, although you will probably have to talk to your SEO about it. 

Of course, there are other, better options, such as paying for an OV or an EV, these two being certificates that call for a verification process and that make your website even more secure in that sense. 

As for how much an SSL certificate tends to cost, it can range from twenty dollars a year to seventy or more. 

eCommerce software

The sky’s the limit nowadays when it comes to eCommerce platforms, but the two most commonly utilized ones are WooCommerce and Shopify. Each one has both advantages and disadvantages.

The first is free, so you will only pay for the rest of things, meaning hosting, domain, theme, and everything, without worrying about your eCommerce functionality. 

woocommerce how much does an ecommerce website cost

But even though WooCommerce doesn’t cost a cent, it tends to be more advanced for some people. 

On the other hand, Shopify is much easier to use, but it costs at least $29 per month (the price of a basic plan). The biggest advantage of choosing Shopify is that you get to benefit from non-stop support.

Besides, the platform comes with plenty of themes and even includes an SSL certificate with most plans (which means you don’t have to get it separately). 

Shopify might not be as good for SEO as a regular WordPress site, so do keep that in mind. There are lots of challenges that online shop owners have encountered in this sense. 

Design and development

Here, too, the matter is whether you want to use a platform and rely on the themes it comes with (with several tweaks here and there so that your store looks unique) or you want to go with individual design and development. 

eCommerce platforms are much easier to work with in this sense as many come with hundreds of premium themes that can be customized based on the types of products you sell, your inventory, or your personal preferences in terms of design. 

web design ecommerce website price

Most of the templates you will come across on these platforms will already include pages for Home, the Shopping Cart, the actual product pages, About, and anything else you might need. 

As previously discussed, you get all of these perks for less than $300 per month, if you go down this way. If you have no one on your team to handle all of this hassle, you’ll have to do it yourself, but you will be able to save a consistent part of your budget in the beginning. 

So, besides the theme and the commerce plugin and add-ons, you are not going to have to pay a single cent. 

If you choose to go down the other route, meaning that you want a fully customized online shop, you can expect a significant increase of your eCommerce website development cost. 

The reason for this is that there are lots of things that your designers and developers are going to have to do from scratch, from front-end and back-end development and design to UI/UX design, eCommerce services, and a mobile responsive or mobile app design, too. 

This means that you will certainly spend dozens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, since these people will have to be paid for the job they do. Even if you outsource web development, you are not going to be able to save too much of your budget — not in this case. 

99designs

Branding and logos

It goes without saying that you can use a variety of themes that can be found on the platform you pick for your eCommerce site, but we always suggest opting for a premium one, even if it might be used by other shops. 

However, when it comes to your store logo, you really have to go for something customized. Your logo is important because you want people to be able to remember your brand. It doesn’t necessarily have to contain the name of your site, but it should be visually appealing enough. 

You will also use your logo in the newsletters you send out to your customers. You can create your own logo using Canva or a variety of other such services, but if you want something better (that is, unless you are a skilled designer), you will have to resort to outsourcing it to a freelancer. 

There’s also the option of you making an order on a site like 99designs.com. What we would like to advise against, at least in this case, would be to use Fiverr and a pretty shady logo creator — you might accidentally purchase one that’s already being used by other stores. 

There are lots of such freelancers across the world and they might do a couple of tweaks on an already existing design and have you pay the full price as if they did it from scratch. 

Other costs 

Once you have everything set up and you’re perfectly happy with your site in eCommerce using WordPress or some other platform, you have to consider that there are other costs involved. 

First of all, how are you going to attract visitors to your site? If you want to get selling your products right away (supposedly you’re in B2C, not B2B), you can obviously organize ad campaigns across a variety of different social media networks. 

But those ad campaigns cost money. And if you’d also like to use PPC campaigns on Google and other search engines, those will almost certainly cost even more. 

The point that we are trying to make is that you will have to analyze all of these details right from the beginning, right after you have decided that you do want to build an online shop. 

The true eCommerce website development cost doesn’t even compare to what you will spend in the future on things from digital marketing, strategies, and SEO, to even more modifications in terms of design and development. 

So while you can start out thinking that you’ll spend $5,000 and then you’ll be done with it, there’s much more work and money involved in the entire process. 

Read more: How to outsource data entry services

Payments

This is perhaps one of the most challenging things that eCommerce business owners have to handle when setting up their shops. Depending on the platform that they choose, they can expect different costs. 

There are several gateways available. Some people might not have Paypal accounts, so you do have to keep that in mind. Depending on how secure your website is, people can also use their credit or debit cards to complete purchases. 

paypal pro

The fees depend on the gateways used. From what we have gathered, it seems that the platform 2checkout.com has some of the best ones, where the transaction fees are 2.4% of the transaction to which there’s an added fee of $.30.

Whether you use Braintree, Stripe, Paypal Pro, or Authorize.net, you can expect pretty much the same fees on various platforms. Shopify and WooCommerce have pretty much the same taxes on these gateways, so you can expect to pay 2.9% of the transaction value and an additional $0.30 on top of that. 

Continuous technical costs

As we have previously noted, someone building an eCommerce website needs to take into account other things, too, such as advertising, email marketing, and product marketing. 

But there are some technical things that have to be paid for, too, and they’ll add up in the end. For example, you have to consider inventory management as this is perhaps one of the most important aspects of running a successful online store. There are a variety of third parties involved and you can work with any of the ones you find during your research, or you can have someone on your team to handle the inventory hassle.

The SSL certificate that we mentioned has to be updated and paid for every year or every month, depending on whichever option you choose. 

Another aspect that calls for several more expenses are data backups. These are important both in terms of protecting the information that you collect using your website (and people have to be aware that they are sharing potentially sensitive information whenever they make a purchase) and in terms of your site’s actual data. 

You can set up a schedule where you backup everything once a month, although in some cases, this might not be enough. The costs of data backups can vary depending on how large your website is, the number of files you have on the server, and even the amount of traffic that you’re getting and the info that you are collecting. 

Final thoughts

As you might have seen, there are many factors that influence the end cost of an eCommerce website. There’s always the option of you creating a basic one in the beginning and upgrading as you start to make some profit off the products or services you sell. 

If you’re in the education niche, meaning that you sell courses, you’ll have fewer headaches. At least you will not have to worry about any inventory costs or having someone managing that part of your business. 

Before you decide on a specific platform, we strongly suggest considering its pros and cons (also in terms of marketing and what you can do with it later on and what limitations it has). 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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