How To Calculate Your Web Project Budget? The Real eCommerce Website Cost

Edgars Kebbe

Updated September 9, 2022

Do you want to start your web project but are worried about how much you will invest? One of the most frequent concerns of entrepreneurs is how much money they will spend to start their eCommerce business. The truth is that there is not an easy or quick answer.

But don’t worry, in this complete pricing guide, I help you compare prices of eCommerce platforms so you can calculate the costs to build your eCommerce website from scratch based on the basic needs of your online store.

Let’s get into action!  

What Is a Web Project Budget?

Before you dust off the calculator and start doing the math to know how much an eCommerce website costs. Let’s see what I mean by “your web project budget” this is nothing more than the total amount of money you estimate to build your site within the given time frame. It includes every eCommerce website cost derived from activities, equipment, developer fees, materials, and other direct costs. 

What Should You Keep in Mind Before Building Your eCommerce Website?

Establishing the actual eCommerce website cost is essential to streamline efficient decision-making during the execution of your project. Why? It helps you choose the eCommerce platforms and solutions that truly fit your store requirements to prevent additional expenses. 

Think About the Type of Online Store You Want To Create

Yes, the kind of store you aspire to have is crucial when defining eCommerce website pricing. Why? The different products and services you offer, the size, the catalog, and the site’s functionalities will influence your total eCommerce website cost. 

At this point, I suggest you have defined the goals and objectives you aspire to achieve with your eCommerce website and be as specific as possible. So point out your target audience, if you are a B2C or B2B company, if you need an eCommerce set in different languages, etc.

What Do You Expect from Your Web Developers?

Before starting your project, you must define precisely the final product you expect to obtain once you finish. Some examples of eCommerce websites’ results to consider:

  • A web framework.
  • An SEO-friendly eCommerce website.
  • A responsive design.
  • An SEO Content marketing.

Are You Starting from Zero? Or Do You Have a Physical Store?

If you already have a physical store and want to leap online to reach more people, you should consider the management systems you already have that work for you. 

If you already use a CRM, order management system, ERP system, etc., look for eCommerce platforms that integrate with them to reduce time and money by familiarizing yourself with new solutions. 

What Are the Critical Factors in Defining Your eCommerce Website Development Cost?

  1. A Domain: this is the name of your eCommerce store. 
  2. Web Hosting is the space on a server where to store your web data.
  3. Web Design: you must choose between a template or hiring a designer to get a custom design.
  4. Responsive or Mobile design: If you want your customers to be able to access your store from different devices (computers, cell phones, tablets, smartwatches), you should choose a responsive design. However, if you focus on improving the browsing and shopping experience for visitors accessing their smartphones, you should be more specific and select a mobile design.
  5. eCommerce Platform: get eCommerce software to build your site. 
  6. Functionalities: the set of features your eCommerce site needs.
  7. Content: you must decide if you will create it yourself or need the support of a content creator.
  8. Third-party integration: Including additional tools for data migration and centralizing your communication channels, such as CRM software, ERP, order management, etc., implies additional eCommerce website costs.
  9. Additional functions: include configuring and installing different features and functions to make your site ready to implement SEO actions.
  10. Payment gateways: you need to add software to process different forms of payment. 
  11. Shipping Methods: In your eCommerce business, you must configure the different delivery options of your products to your customers (pick up from the store, free shipping, door-to-door, etc.)
  12. Choose an agency or freelancer: to take care of the web development phase. 

Now that we have a list of your store’s possible expenses let’s see by one the estimated eCommerce website costs. 

Domain Name

The estimated cost is $0.95 to $12 per year. 

For your eCommerce website, you need to buy and find a unique name that will differentiate it from your competitors and will be the one user will enter in the search engine. 

If you want to compare prices, here are the five most popular domain registers that I recommend to my clients: 

  • GoDaddy.
  • Namecheap.
  • Domain.com.
  • HostGator.
  • Bluehost.

Remember that the general price I mentioned above may vary depending on the domain extension (TLD) you choose for your site.

For example, if you want a domain with the “.com” extension, which is the one I recommend for its broad scope, you can pay around $15 per year.

However, if you aim to register a “.net” domain, the estimated cost is about $10 per year.

If you finally choose a smaller TLD such as “.club,” it could cost you as little as $2 to $3 per year.

Pro Tip:

Select a domain name that is easy to remember, short, clear, and linked to what you offer in the market to succeed.

If you want to learn more about all the process behind good domain name check this article.

Web Hosting

The estimated cost is $75 to $2,000 per year.

For your site, you need to hire a provider that offers you a space on a server to store all the information on your eCommerce website. Keep in mind that if your site is huge, the cost could be as high as $10,000 per year.

Some of the providers that I recommend that offer a package that includes domain and hosting are: 

Make sure you hire a hosting provider that allows you to not only build an eCommerce site with standardized features but also allows you to customize it later.  

eCommerce Website Design Costs

The first thing to remember when making a cost estimate for your web is that the price may vary depending on the design you want for your eCommerce business, whether a template or a custom design. 

Design is a crucial element for the success of your eCommerce store. According to WebFX; first impressions of a website are 94% design-related. 

A Template Theme eCommerce Website 

The estimated cost is $55 to $160.

Using a template is an excellent option if you take the first steps in online sales and want to test the market. Rely on the free templates offered by eCommerce website builders, where you can add the elements add and drop to build your eCommerce store, which allows you to access premium themes later.

Check out some of the plans and pricing options.

WooCommerce: 

  • Free.
  • Premium: $99.

Shopify: 

  • Free. 
  • Premium: $160. 

BigCommerce

  • Free. 
  • Premium: $160. 

Do you want custom development? Check next how much it cost!

Choosing A Customized Theme for an eCommerce Website

The estimated cost is $5,000

The costs will rise if your existing eCommerce site needs custom design elements, such as more color options, extensive graphics, and 3D models. In 3 of the most used eCommerce website builders, Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, the cost of a custom theme is $5,000.

Selecting A Fully Custom Design 

The estimated cost is 15 to 100$ per hour.

If, because of the type of products and services your store offers, you need a fully custom design, then you should hire the services of a web developer or web designer. 

Keep in mind that if you choose a fully custom design, the estimated price for your eCommerce website design will vary depending on how many layouts you ask your designer to develop for your website. Often start-up entrepreneurs think of just the custom design for the home page, but the work extends to all pages, categories, and subcategories you wish to include, such as:

  • Home. 
  • Product category.
  • Product list.
  • Product detail. 
  • Cart.
  • Check out.
  • Thank you page.
  • Search result.
  • Error 404.
  • Registration.
  • Sign in. 
  • CMS pages (services pages)
  • Contact.
  • etc.

Please note that the price per design will increase if you want to configure a responsive design on your website.

The benefits of hiring a web designer for custom development:

  • You get a unique design. 
  • It favors brand identity. 
  • You can add special features for your customers.
  • You will have an SEO-Friendly site.

What will the web designer do for you?

  1. Website layout.
  2. Create a unique design.
  3. Create an easy-to-navigate site.
  4. Create the pages, categories, and subcategories.
  5. Add the graphic elements.
  6. Organize the information on your eCommerce website.
  7. Keep the site updated.
  8. Place the content of your site.

Remember that design costs may vary depending on the web designer you choose, be sure to check their portfolio and the eCommerce sites they have worked on before you hire them.

eCommerce Platform Costs

The estimated cost is $17 to $300 per month. 

These are specialized platforms for building an eCommerce site, offering essential functions such as product page creation, inventory management, shopping cart, and checkout pages. Choosing one will depend on the items you have listed for your eCommerce business.

Pro Tip:

Select the platform that also offers advanced customization options, so as your business expands, you don’t need to switch to another one.

Some of the eCommerce platforms options that stand out in the market are:

Wix: 

  • Basic Plan (domain and SSL certificate): $17 per month.
  • VIP Business Plan: $35 per month.

Shopify:

  • Basic Plan (domain, hosting, and SSL certificate): $29 per month.
  • Advanced: $299 per month.

BigCommerce: 

  • Basic Plan (hosting and certificate and SSL certificate): $29.95 per month.
  • Pro plan: $299.95 per month.

WooCommerce:

  • The free plan (theme): if you wish to build the site yourself.
  • For eCommerce (domain. Hosting, themes, payments, more): $45 per month.

 Adobe Commerce:

  • Adobe commerce cloud (B2B functionality, drag and drop builder, marketing tools, product recommendations, etc.): $50,000 up to $190,000 per year.
  • Magento open source (checkout, payment, mobile shipping): Free option 

Functionality

The estimated cost is $2,000 to $25,000.

Functionalities are one of the most significant cost factors in your budget, but without them, you will not be able to get started. 

Your site needs features such as:

  • User registration.
  • Product Filters.
  • Advanced Search Functionality.
  • B2B functionality.
  • Adding items to shopping carts.
  • Invoice processing.
  • Tax calculation.
  • Payment verification.
  • Shipment management.
  • Blog.
  • Multilingual Support.
  • Loyalty Program
  • Data security mechanisms.

In addition to them, to improve the customer experience and motivate purchases. So you will need to include different images or videos of your products, as well as descriptions and other complementary information that allows the customer to understand what you offer. All this will add some zeros to your web project. 

Content Creation

The estimated cost is $14 to $50 per hour.

The amount you can expect to pay for this concept links to the number of pages, the length of the text, and the number of images and videos you want to include in your eCommerce website.

If you are not going to dedicate your time and effort to create content, or you prefer to leave the job to professionals, you will need the help of:

  • Copywriter: make sure they have experience in SEO content creation. 
  • Graphic designers: they help you create images and infographics to generate impact.
  • Photographer: to get high-quality images to make your products stand out. 
  • Content creator: to be able to create audiovisual content that highlights how to use your products, their benefits, etc. 

Content Publishing

The estimated cost is $22 to $29 per hour.

This concept includes much more than just clicking the publish button but creating a strategy for posting content in a way that drives your business in one direction. The content publisher tells you the angles, format, and type of content, as well as the frequency of publication, to stimulate the interest of your audience. So, if you want to implement SEO practice, the price goes up!

Third-Party Integrations

The estimated cost is $5,000 to $50,000.

Today’s marketplace features software focused on a single functionality, so integration with third parties and data exchange are fundamentals. Including these tools helps create a better shopping experience for each customer since you will have their preferences, purchase records, and comments, even if you want to save the card numbers, users, and passwords, to make their experience memorable. 

Here are some of the integrations you may need:

  • CRM (customer relationship management) software: gathers information from each sales process, from customer acquisition to satisfaction analysis. Some options are Monday, Pipedrive, Salesforce, Salesmate, Zoho, and HubSpot.
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software: they offer detailed and up-to-date knowledge of the company’s state to analyze and improve internal organization, production, marketing, and sales processes. Some examples are NetSuite, Oracle, and Unti4. 
  • PIM (Product Information Management) software: is a system to organize and plan all the information related to company product catalogs. Akeneo or Pimcore are two good examples. 
  • OMS (Order Management System): usually stored in the cloud, optimizing stock availability, delivery times, logistics costs, and order processing and tracking. Such as Bigcommerce, Brightpearl, or Skubbana.
  • WMS (Warehouse Management System): This allows you to organize each stock order. You can customize different categories of each object, such as date of entry and expiration, concept, shelf, etc. Sortly, 3PL, and NetSuite offer this type of solution.
  • Email marketing systems: to attract potential customers and send them informative or sales emails. Examples: MailChimp, Zoho, and Drip.  

Responsive Design Implementation

The estimated cost is $3000 to $25,000.

A compatible design that automatically adjusts to different devices is a basic need for every eCommerce website. According to Statista, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones.

That’s what you achieve with a responsive design; your customers will be able to access and, better yet, process a purchase regardless of the access device, which generates more traffic, and more chances of conversion. 

Payment Processing Costs

The estimated cost is 2.4%- 2,9% + $0,30 per transaction. 

I recommend you include in your web project the cost generated from the integration of a payment processing tool, which will be crucial to completing the purchase process.

Here are some of the most used options and the eCommerce software with they work:  

  • PayPal: integrates with WooCommerce and BigCommerce sites.
  • Stripe: works on WooCommerce and BigCommerce platforms.
  • Shopify payments: this varies the transaction fee cost to %2 when integrating other payment gateways. 

Pro Tip:

Ensure your option is compatible with multiple payment gateways, currencies, and e-wallets to expand your customer’s options. Also, it allows you to customize invoices and manage recurring payments.

Selecting The Best Option for Web Development 

The final cost of your project will vary depending on the company or person you choose to carry out the development phase; let’s see what each one offers:

Hiring A Freelancer Web Developer

The estimated cost is $25 – $100 per hour.

Some very talented web developers offer their services on different freelancer platforms. Choosing this option has the advantage you pay a lower fee to get a custom eCommerce. The freelancers get hourly pay, and they are easy to hire. However, you should carefully decide to trust someone with experience in project management.

Let’s look at what factors can impact the cost:

  • Project extension: if you need their services continuously, they can offer a special price for the client.
  • The complexity of your website: it will increase the price if you need to add multiple functionalities.
  • Size of the website: the number of pages and products in your catalog will affect the price.

Let’s see how the cost of building your eCommerce by hiring a freelancer varies depending on the eCommerce platforms:

  • If you choose Shopify, I tell you that your eCommerce could cost you between $400 to $1200.
  • If you prefer WooCommerce: a freelancer web developer could cost between $400 to $3000.
  • If you want to use the Magento platform, the cost is around $8000 or more.

Outsourcing To a Small Web Development Agency

The estimated cost is $3,000 to $15,000.

Suppose you are thinking of entrusting the building of your custom eCommerce to an agency. In that case, I tell you that this has the advantage that you will have at your disposal a professional team for the development phase, which communicates and cooperate to deliver a website according to your specifications, and whose progress you can know in meetings or progress presentations.

Take a look at the cost of hiring a small agency depending on the platform:

  • If your choice is Shopify, the price varies between $3,000 to $10,000. 
  • If you prefer an eCommerce builder like WooCommerce, the amount varies between $4,000 to $15,000.
  • In the case of Magneto, the estimated price is $10,000 or more.

Choosing A Web Development Agency

The estimated cost is $20,000 to $150,000.

Suppose you want custom development to create your website from scratch using CSS, HTML, JS coding, and programming languages. In that case, you will need a more prominent specialized agency to build the user interface of your website.

What kind of services does a web development agency offer: 

  1. Back-end design.
  2. Front-end design.
  3. User interface.
  4. E-commerce functionalities.
  5. Application creation, 
  6. Digital marketing.

Estimated cost for the development of your website by a specialized agency depending on the platform: 

  • If you choose Shopify, you should spend between $20,000 to $50,000.
  • If you prefer WooCommerce, the cost can be around $40,000 to $80,000. 
  • If your favorite option is Magento, its prices can be between $50,000 and $200,000.

How Much Are Project Management Costs?

The estimated cost is 15% -25% of the total web project cost.

It includes all those expenses from the project’s life cycle management activities. 

This management includes estimating, budgeting, and sticking to the defined eCommerce website cost once you start. 

Website Testing

The estimated cost is $2,000 to $5,000.

You should set a small margin of the budget for the development of your website to the testing of the site; these are elementary to implementing a fully functional website. You need to make sure that your site:

  • It has a good web structure
  • It has a good load time; this is crucial as 83% of consumers expect websites to load in less than 3 seconds, explains WebFx.
  • It is easy to navigate.
  • Allows customer registration.
  • It has images and videos with good resolution.
  • Process payments.
  • Calculate taxes automatically.

How Much Does It Cost to Implement an SEO Marketing Strategy?

The estimated cost is $2,500 to $10,000 per month.

The expenses derived from implementing SEO marketing campaigns are crucial to helping users find your site easily. Having the most beautiful and impactful design is useless if no one can see it. 

Remember that in the eCommerce world, being in the first position of the SERP is the goal to achieve the highest number of conversions.

SEO strategies help your eCommerce business climb up the rankings, whether you rely on a digital marketing agency or create the content yourself.  

If your store is small, the costs could be around $500 to $2000 per month. You could invest between $4,000 to $5,000 per month if you have a big website.

How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost at A Minimum? 

The estimated minimum cost for a basic eCommerce website is $800 to $1,000.

Keep in mind that there is no set eCommerce website development cost; it depends on your store’s features, size, and complexity. If you are going to choose a template design or you want a custom design. Entrusting the development to specialized agencies or freelancer developers will increase your web project budget. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours does it take to build an eCommerce website?

Building your eCommerce website with basic functionality and design takes 20 hours, at least.

How do I build an eCommerce website from scratch?

You need to choose a domain name and register it. 
Choose an eCommerce platform.
Select a theme.
Create your product catalog with photos and descriptions. 
Finally, you need to include a payment gateway and set up shipping. 

What do I need to build an eCommerce website?

Register a domain name for your website. 
A hosting.
A payment processing software. 
An eCommerce platform.
Select a shipping method. 

What is the best software for eCommerce?

Wix.
Shopify.
WooCommerce.
Squarespace.
Square Online.
BigCommerce.
Web.com.
Yo! Kart.
Volusion.
Prestashop.
Magneto.
Zyro. 

So far, so good!

As you can see, there’s not one answer to the question: How much does an eCommerce website cost? 

But I hope this guide helps you know your eCommerce website pricing estimation to plan your web project efficiently; you need to be selective in the elements that your eCommerce business requires and those that it does not. 

Remember that it is essential to be as specific as you can when characterizing the store, you want so you can stick to the limit of your budget and complete a project successfully. 

Do you know now how much an eCommerce website costs? Did I leave out any costs you want to know about?

Let me know in the comments! 

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