Ecommerce websites are some of the best ways to make money online. But in order to get one up and running, you’ll need to invest in a professional ecommerce website design, web hosting, and more.
Curious what an ecommerce digital marketing agency can do for you? Get the answers in our short video.
How much does an ecommerce website cost, though?
The average cost of an ecommerce website with 100 to 1000 products is $5000 to $55,000, which includes design, development, and any other upfront costs. In comparison, the average cost of maintaining an ecommerce website with 100 to 1000 products is $15,000 to $30,000 per year.
But why is there such a wide range of ecommerce website costs? Not all ecommerce sites are the same. If you want one with minimal functionality, it’ll be more affordable than a world-class website.
Related video: What does an ecommerce site need to succeed?
If you want to learn more about ecommerce website pricing, keep reading, or calculate your ecommerce website costs for free (and instantly) with our web design cost calculator!
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Your breakdown to ecommerce website costs
If you’re interested in a breakdown of ecommerce website costs, from design to development to maintenance, check out the table below! For a more in-depth explanation of these costs to build an ecommerce website and maintain it, keep reading!
|ECOMMERCE COST FACTOR||AVERAGE PRICE|
|Number of pages||$1000-$2,000 / 10 pages|
|–Freelance web designer||$500-$5,000|
|–Web design agency||$3000-$100,000|
|Content management system (CMS)||$2000-$25,000|
|Website copy||$50-$500 / page|
|Ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO)||$750-$5000 / month|
|Website copy||$50-$500 / page|
|Ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO)||$750-$5000 / month|
|Domain name||$0.95-$12 / year|
|Hosting||$75-$10,000 / year|
|Website maintenance||$15,000-$30,000 / year|
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What determines ecommerce website prices?
Now that we’ve taken a look at the total cost to build an ecommerce website, as well as maintain one, let’s look at each ecommerce website pricing factor in-depth.
Number of pages for your ecommerce website
Cost: $1000 – $2000 / 10 pages
The first major pricing factor for ecommerce web design is the number of pages that you want on your site. For ecommerce websites, that answer is almost always 250+.
That means your cost for pages will be significantly higher than websites that generate business leads from a handful of pages.
But at the same time, each page will pay for itself quickly with how many products you sell.
With that in mind, it’s smart for your ecommerce site to have a unique page for each of your products. You could even get more than that once your business starts to pick up and you expand.
You’ll also need category pages to show off all of your products. You may even decide to add personalized profile pages for customers who make accounts.
The choice is ultimately up to you — but your ecommerce website will have a lot of pages.
This means more of an up-front investment and higher ecommerce website design cost, but with more potential for revenue in the long run.
Ecommerce web design pricing
Cost: $0 – $100,000
The overall design of your website is another critical cost of setting up an ecommerce website, but it’s a factor that’s vital to your success.
The design of your site is the first impression that you make on new visitors. If your design looks sloppy or outdated, potential customers will think that your company is the same way.
That means you’ll lose customers left and right. So to make sure that doesn’t happen, you need a web design style that fits your brand.
Web design styles are frequently broken into four categories: Simple, moderately stylized, high end, and world class.
Simple websites look fine and function the way you’d expect. There aren’t many surprises, but it’s a solid start to a website.
Moderately stylized sites take a few more liberties and do more with the space they have available. That could mean extra graphics, a more robust color scheme, or other additional design elements.
High-end websites are characterized by a professional and distinguished appearance. They’re clean-cut with high-resolution images and color schemes that are appropriate for the website’s primary demographic.
Finally, there are world-class websites. These sites are designed to go above and beyond the competition by utilizing interactive elements, high-resolution images, videos, and a whole range of intuitive features.
A world-class website not only gives users a perfect shopping experience — it also earns awards.
In other words, if you’re looking to be the next Amazon, a world-class website is for you. Prepare for higher ecommerce website design pricing, though.
On the other hand, if you simply want to serve your customer base, you can get by with a simple or moderately stylized website.
Website copy for ecommerce websites
Cost: $50 to $500 / page
Copywriting is an essential for any website, and that includes ecommerce.
Fortunately, ecommerce companies don’t need as many text-only pages as other websites.
The main pages you have to worry about are terms and conditions, privacy conditions, and other technicalities like that.
If you want, you can also create pages that let you target specific parts of your market. For example, if you wanted to get more traffic from Seattle, you could create a page called “Buying [your products] in Seattle” or something along those lines.
Copywriting costs are based on what you want on your pages and how much you want to add.
Still, the money you spend is worthwhile. Shorter pages are great for conveying information in a few seconds, and longer pages are better at succeeding in search engines.
Using a strategic mix of both pages can earn lots of new traffic — and new customers — for your ecommerce site.
Cost: $750 to $5000 / month
Ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it shows up better in Google search results.
It’s also a major factor in the success of your ecommerce site over the long haul. If you want to earn more revenue, then you have to be able to attract customers that use search engines.
Otherwise, you won’t have the steady stream of new and repeat customers that you need to survive.
However, ecommerce SEO will require a monthly investment. Ranking well in search engines requires a lot of ongoing work so that your competitors don’t bump you out of Google results.
That means SEO isn’t a once-and-done endeavor. You have to continually work on your site so that you earn new customers.
If you don’t, you’ll simply fall behind your competition. So, plan for this ongoing ecommerce website cost.
Ecommerce responsive website design pricing
Cost: $3000 to $25,000
Today, responsive design is a necessity for any ecommerce website. No matter what you sell, you’ll have shoppers that are looking at your site from their phones, tablets, or even watches.
You need to accommodate them, especially since they make up about half of all Internet traffic today.
Responsive design does that. With responsive design, your ecommerce website will automatically fit and conform to whatever device a person is using to shop.
So if someone’s looking at your site on a smartphone, they’ll get a great shopping experience with large buttons, perfect layout, and full functionality.
If someone’s shopping on your site via laptop, they’ll get a great shopping experience that’s designed for them too.
Responsive design is the win-win that the Internet has always needed — especially ecommerce sites.
If you don’t have a responsive site, you risk losing up to half of your potential customer base.
That’s a big loss for any company, and it makes it that much harder to grow your site, which is why responsive design is a non-negotiable ecommerce website development cost.
Database integration pricing for ecommerce
Cost: $20,000 to $25,000 / integration
Database integration is typically optional for a website — but it’s mandatory for ecommerce sites.
Database integration allows your company to store information about your products, employees, and customers all in one area.
So if you want your whole company to have access to a universal hard drive that stores corporate information, you need database integration.
But you also need database integration for customers. A database lets your customers create accounts, set preferences, and enjoy a more personalized experience on your site.
If you want, you can also use database integration to store credit card numbers so customers don’t have to re-enter them.
Or, if you don’t want to bark up that tree, you could simply use it to store your customers’ usernames and passwords.
Whether you want to streamline company communication or simplify your customers’ shopping experience, database integration is an ecommerce website development cost to include in your budget.
Ecommerce functionality pricing
Cost: $2000 to $25,000
Since you’re creating an ecommerce site, you’ll naturally need all of the functionality that goes along with that.
Some of that functionality includes shopping carts, checkout processes, customer identity protection, and personalization.
You may also want to show multiple images of the same product or even videos that demonstrate how certain products should be used. Some items may also come with supplemental information like specification sheets, MSDS sheets, and other literature that — by law — must accompany the product listing.
Determining all of that can take some time, and it’s best to consult a web designer or developer for the best way to proceed for your specific website.
But it’s still smart to think about these ideas ahead of time. There’s a lot of work that goes into making an ecommerce site that’s effortless for your customers.
Ecommerce CMS pricing
Cost: $2000 to $25,000
A content management system (CMS) is a user-friendly interface that lets you make changes to your website without directly changing your website’s code.
Some CMS programs are free, like Drupal or Magento. Others can cost a little money every year, and even more are downright expensive.
But while cost is important, it shouldn’t be your deciding factor. The biggest factor you need to consider is what kind of functionality you need for your ecommerce site.
Since you’re going to add new categories and product pages, you want all of them to look consistent. That lets you reinforce your brand and create a familiar, convenient experience for your users.
With that in mind, your CMS is an important decision that you should consider carefully. Look through what every company offers, consider your future plans, and go with the option that makes the most sense — even if it costs a little more than you’d like.
5 ongoing ecommerce website costs to budget for
While the earlier ecommerce website pricing factors help you estimate the cost to build an ecommerce website, you also have to think about the ongoing costs of owning a website.
We’ll dive into these costs below so you can be sure you’re 100% prepared for how much an ecommerce website costs.
1. Domain name
Cost: $0.95 – $12 / year
A memorable domain name is key to creating a successful ecommerce website. Your domain name is your company’s home online. It’s a part of your overall brand, and without it, you simply can’t make a website.
When you’re buying a domain name, you can find them for as little as $5 per year. You can usually buy a domain for up to 10 consecutive years to keep it in your control as well.
But if you want a short domain name with “.com” at the end, you could wind up paying a little more, like $15 per year.
In very rare instances, domain names can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. But most of the time, they’ll sell between $0.95 and $12 per year.
It’s also important that you set up your domain to automatically renew. That way, you at least get an email telling you that you need to re-up your purchase before your domain expires — even if you’re using a credit card with an upcoming expiration date.
Some domain name services also allow you to use your bank account information so you don’t have to worry about expiration dates.
But the method of payment you choose doesn’t make a difference in the price — it’s purely convenience.
2. Web hosting
Cost: $75 – $10,000 / year
Once you have a domain, you need someone to host it.
Hosting services let Internet users access your website. They provide space on their servers for your website so that you can develop it.
Some companies sell domain names and hosting in a package deal, like WordPress or SquareSpace. But most companies that sell both often also make use of templated websites, which make your website look like everybody else’s.
The best thing to do is to find a host that lets you build your own customized website from the ground up. That way, your brand has a unique web presence that distinguishes it from your competitors.
Still, there’s a pretty big price difference for hosts. That’s because some hosts offer support and additional features for your site, while others only give you server space.
Support may not sound like much up front, but it’s essential when you have a large ecommerce site. If something goes wrong with your website, you want to have a number to call so you don’t lose a day’s worth of business.
In other words, getting low-cost hosting means you won’t get much support. But when you spend for quality, it can pay off throughout the life of your site.
3. Interactive multimedia
Cost: $250 – $10,000
Flash and multimedia elements are great ways to add visual interest to your site.
Flash is famous throughout the Internet because of its incredible level of customization. In the right hands, Flash can become the single most significant part of your website.
However, Flash comes with a drawback — search engines can’t read the code inside of it. So if you’re going to use Flash, it’s important that you use it sparingly, as opposed to using it for the majority of your site.
Multimedia — like video — is also handy for your site. You can use multimedia to complement product listings, photos, and descriptions so your customers get a better idea of what an item does.
Using video also opens up the possibility to use YouTube and other social networks to promote your website. That kind of eye-catching content works wonders when you want to attract new customers.
4. Ecommerce website maintenance
$15,000 – $30,000 / year
Just like how construction crews repair and maintain roads, your website needs maintenance to keep it operating at the perfect levels.
Ecommerce website maintenance includes fixing any bugs that pop up, introducing new elements to certain parts of your site, and generally keeping your site in working condition.
It may cost a little more than you want to spend, and you may not see the benefits of it right away, but website maintenance is important.
Without website maintenance, it’s just a matter of time before your site experiences issues. That could be in the form of a checkout bug, a graphical error on your product images, or even non-responsive pages.
Regardless of what happens, you want to make sure you have someone in your corner that’ll keep your site working day after day.
How to determine your ecommerce website costs: 11 questions to ask
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine exact ecommerce website pricing since every business is different. However, when you think about your company, your goals, and what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to determine a general ballpark range.
After answering the questions below, take another look at the items we mentioned above. Determine how each one can help you achieve your business’s objectives.
Better yet, figure out how much of each item you’d need for your site to grow.
Because when you’re working in ecommerce, your goal shouldn’t be to simply succeed — your goal should be to grow above and beyond your competitors.
These are some of the most common questions new ecommerce website owners have to ask themselves.
If you don’t have the answers for these ecommerce website pricing questions right now, there’s no reason to worry — it’s just important that you take your time and figure them out before you spend big on an ecommerce website. Determining the answers to these questions can help you determine your ecommerce website cost up front.
1. Will I need support for hosting?
If yes, use an appropriately-priced host.
If no, look at free hosting options.
2. What should my CMS do?
If you need a lot of versatility and functionality, go with the best in the business.
If you only need to add a product now and then, go with something basic.
3. How much control do I want to give to my users?
If you want to give lots of control with personalization, go for maximum functionality and database integration.
If you want to give minimal control, only store usernames and passwords.
4. What kind of web design do I need?
If you want to distinguish yourself from your competition, go for world-class design.
If you simply want to sell and compete, go with something more affordable.
5. How many product pages do I offer?
If you need a lot, prepare to buy lots of pages.
If you only need a few, downgrade appropriately.
6. How many text-only pages do I need?
If you want to target lots of different niches in your customer base, you’ll need lots of text-only pages.
If you’re happy only targeting your current customer base, you don’t need many text-only pages.
7. How long should my text-only pages be?
If you want the page to rank in search engines, your pages should include thousands of words.
If you want the page to answer questions quickly, your pages can be significantly shorter.
8. What kind of SEO work do I need?
If you want to beat all of your competitors, you’ll need a lot of SEO support.
If you’re just looking to compete, basic SEO may suit your needs.
9. Do I really need Flash?
If you want to use interactive or unique elements on your site, you’ll need Flash.
If you want a site that’s fully readable by Google and other search engines, don’t use any Flash.
10. Should the site have database integration?
If you want to store any information from your customers, you absolutely need database integration.
Unfortunately, there’s not much of an option here — your ecommerce website requires some degree of integration.
11. Do I really need website maintenance?
If you want to continually generate a profit and provide a positive user experience to your customers, website maintenance is essential.
It’s basically an insurance policy against every possible problem.
Request custom ecommerce web design pricing for your site
At WebFX, we have a full team of award-winning web designers and developers who have created some of the most stunning websites you can find online.
Our ecommerce web development agency has earned first-place distinctions from the Horizon Web Design Awards for the work of our web design team, and we’ve maintained that same standard for excellence since WebFX was founded in 1997.
Over the years, we’ve created more than 1,128 client websites that drive real results for clients. In the last five years alone, we’ve been able to drive over 7.8 million leads, and generate over 5.2 million phone calls – and it all starts with a stellar website.
Do you want to start an ecommerce website?
Contact us today to create an ecommerce website that’s built to last! If you have questions about ecommerce website design pricing, or want a better idea of how much your ecommerce website will cost, we can help! Give us a call at 888-601-5359!
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