Web Development

The Cost of a Website: Are you paying too much?

4 Mins read

Just like a $300,000 Lamborghini, the pricing of a website is not based on what is on the surface but rather on whatever is under the hood. Any experienced freelance website designer in Dubai would confirm to you never to judge a website by its cover. This is because many other factors determine whether a site is good, or it is just okay.

If you have ever tried getting precise quotes from the many web developers in the UAE on their websitesyou will probably end up disappointed. Very few web designing firms also post their rates online. But why is this the norm?

This is primarily because creating a website depends on the project itself and what your needs are. What you seek to achieve is not the same as what another person wants. In most cases, if you reach out to a freelancer or web designing company in Dubai, they will most likely schedule a meeting with you (physically or virtually) as they would want to know your exact needs.

In this case, you should have already thought about what your website will focus on, and this is how they will come up with a quotation for you. The total cost will also cover the services agreed upon by you, including the build, the maintenance, and the marketing.

How Much Should You Pay for a Website in 2020? 

Businesses pay differently to have their websites done for them, mostly depending on how big they are and what services they offer. So how much do companies pay for a website in 2020?

Well, essentially, the type of business website is set up matters a lot. For instance:

  • Small Business Websites are just used for basic informational purposes. They rarely possess any unique functionalities and usually take up less than 20 pages. Stock photos are mainly used for such websites too, making them quite inexpensive. The basic cost of such sites should range between $200 and $1,000.
  • Medium-sized Business Websites mostly have custom design layouts, content management systems (CMS) enabled, and some unique functionalities. These too, should not cost you much as they range between $750 and $3,000.
  • E-commerce websites are much more complex as they should support customers browsing through hundreds or thousands of products. It should have an integration for a payment gateway, a CMS, and of course, beta testing. Such websites cost from $5,000 to $40,000 or even more.
  • Large Business Websites have hundreds of pages, with everything customized from the layout, functionality, images, content, etc. These businesses are mostly deep-pocketed and may not really sweat over giving out cash amounting to $30,000 or more.

As mentioned previously, the cost implications of building a website vary. However, two broad fields help break down the cost of the website. These are:

  • The infrastructure – this is the stuff that powers your site, such as the software used, hosting, domain name, etc.
  • Design and functionality – this implies the things that make up what and how your site visitors will interact with it.

Beyond all that, the underlying question is whether you are outsourcing the services of a professional freelance website designer in Dubaior you are willing to do it by yourself.

It is quite easy for someone to make their own basic website without much experience. All one needs to be ready is to take up some of the best web development courses of 2020, and they will be ready with a little more training. That said, here is a breakdown of the essential costs of the website if you wish to build it yourself:

Backend Infrastructure

There are three significant backend infrastructure costs that you need to consider when getting your new website. These are:

  • Domain name
    This is the permanent address your website will have on the internet. The exact cost of the domain name you get depends on the TLD you are using. However, the price is mostly about $10 annually.
  • Website software
    Many websites are currently not coded from scratch, and instead, premade website software is used. Today, more than 35% of all sites on the internet use WordPress, which is one of the best content management systems in the world. One of the reasons why this system is popular, as shown in those numbers, is because it is absolutely free.

    Another route you can follow is that of dedicated website builders such as Wix (better plans start at $16 per month or $150 annually) and Squarespace (pricing starts at $16 monthly or $144 annually).  
  • Hosting
    All websites need a host. This is like renting out some space on some computers so that your website can remain visible to the world. Some of the best hosting companies, such as Bluehost, cost as little as $2.75 per month when you take a three-year subscription or $4.5 monthly if you opt for annual payments.
    The pricing even goes lower if you use dedicated website builders such as Wix as they have their own hosting services.

Design and functionality

Once you have paid for all three things mentioned above, you will have a website. However, it will not function the way you want it to as you are only halfway there. To add the design and functionality on your own, here are some of the cost implications you need to consider:

  • Website theme and design
    The theme of the website is basically what your visitors will see when they first load your site. Again, the good thing about using some CMS such as WordPress is that they have thousands of pre-installed themes you can use. If you are on a budget, you can still use the free versions, which are surprisingly very good.

    If you find any premium WordPress themes that you love, you should be ready to pay at least $59.
  • Website functionality
    Depending on your needs, you can add functionality to your website through certain third-party plugins and applications. WordPress, for instance, has about 55,000 plugins readily available for both basic and premium packages. 

    The paid plugins have different price tags, but if you need a few of them, it can take you up to $100.

A Summary of the Cost of Websites

Lastly, it should be understood that the prices indicated for the breakdown above only applies to the individual, assuming you are building the website by yourself. However, you can involve a freelance website designer in Dubai or an agency to help you with a better, more professional website.

In summary, for a good website, be ready to part away with about $1,000 to $3,000 to pay a freelancer. An agency costs more hence you will pay between $5,000 and $50,000. Before outsourcing the services, ensure they have the skills every good web designer should know so that they don’t just waste your time. 


While there is no exact cost of a website in the UAE, using this information will get you prepared adequately. If you need a professional website, you can seek the services of some of the best freelance web designers in Dubai at affordable rates.

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