Before You Start

Building a website is, in our opinion, one of the most exciting things you can do. And it’s understandable, even advisable, to have big dreams for your website. But don’t get carried away and expect too much too soon.

Here are some tips that we’ve put together, to help you save money further down the line.

Everyone makes mistakes the first time they build a website, so take the time to practice. There are plenty of free and cheap options where you can brush up on your building skills, without the pressure of knowing you’ve got a lot of money invested in the project.

Starting out small limits your potential losses, and reduces the chance of you falling over common stumbling blocks later on (when you’ve got more money on the line). Just have fun to start with!

Here are some tips that we’ve put together, to help you save money further down the line.

You might have big plans for your website. You could be dreaming of all the bells and whistles, complex programming, shiny design features, and interactive elements galore – but remember to be realistic, and set achievable goals for yourself when you’re starting out. A new website isn’t going to match up to the likes of Amazon or Facebook, for example. It doesn’t have to be boring, but it should be within your scope to create. There are three main things that determine how high you can set your website goals:

We already know the first question: How much does a website cost? But there are other questions you need to ask to work out the answer, and keep sight of the bigger picture.

Your budget doesn’t have to hold you back, but it does affect your building options. If you’re on a tight budget, for example, you probably won’t be able to afford a professional web designer – meaning you’ll be better off choosing WordPress or a website builder, rather than risking a sketchy hire job.

Remember that there are two main costs you need to budget for: 

  • The upfront cost of the website’s design and setup 
  • The ongoing costs of maintaining your website

We’ll get into more specific numbers below, but as a general rule, website builders have the lowest upfront costs, while WordPress usually requires a larger upfront sum to get started. Hiring a website designer remains the most expensive option, but you won’t pay any ongoing fees unless you arrange an ongoing contract with your web designer.

Setting a firm budget before starting is essential for success. It means you won’t overpay for things you don’t need, and it will also help your project stay on-track.

There’s nothing worse than giving yourself or a web designer a budget, then realizing you got your calculations wrong and need to cut the budget in half once the project is underway. Chances are, this will result in a website you’re not 100% happy with!

Always be realistic when setting your budget. Don’t start with all the fancy features you want and bend over backwards trying to scrape the funds together. Work out how much you have to spend, and then look at what you can get for your money to plan your project.

You can either choose to manage your website yourself, or you can hand it off to a developer to free up your time.

The benefit of running the site yourself is that you don’t have to wait for changes to be made by your developer – you can edit your site any time you like. However, it also means that you need to be careful about the actions you’re taking on your site.

For example, if you have a custom-built website, you might find that installing certain plugins can interfere with custom code and break parts of your website, which you’ll then need to get a developer to fix for you.

The main downside to letting someone else manage your website is that you’ll have to wait for them to get round to it – and wait times will vary depending on how busy your developer is. This means it always pays to get your requests in with plenty of time to spare, so that you don’t miss any time sensitive deadlines.

In terms of website cost, it can be more expensive to have a developer manage your website for you, because you’ll be paying ongoing fees to have them work on your site. 

It’s natural to want everything when you’re planning your website. But jumping feet first into a complex website is likely to bring more trouble than it’s worth. You don’t need an all singing, all dancing website to get the job done or bring the money in.

Instead of trying to build an overly complicated website, be ruthless. What features do you really need right now? What are the features your website can’t function without?

Separate your ideas into three sections:

  • What features do you need now to get your website up and running?
  • What features do you need later, once your site has found its feet and needs an update to keep it bringing in conversions?
  • What features would be nice to have, in an ideal world? These aren’t essential now or in the near future, and should be left out of your plans!

Questioning each feature will help you to create a lean, functional website that focuses on getting the job done, rather than wasting time trying to dress it up too much and losing sight of your end goals.

Your business won’t fail if you don’t have the most beautiful, most perfect, most complex website on the block. Trust us – focus on creating a site that ticks the essential boxes for your visitors, and you’ll be off to a great start.

Remember that a website isn’t a one-off creation, either. Your site will continue to grow and evolve over time, so you can always upgrade it when you need to start adding more advanced features.

Start off with the basics, then add more features once you understand exactly what your visitors are looking for and how well your business plan is working.


By thinking about all these things before you start building your website, you’ll find you can get a more accurate answer to the question: how much will my website cost? You’ll be in a better position to both save money, and make your money go further in building your website.

Here’s a quick summary to help you get an idea of which building method might best suit your needs and your budget:

  • Website Builders: If you want to dip your toe into the world of website building without worrying about your technical skills or needing a large budget, website builders are perfect for creating a professional site without any hassle. You can run your own site without investing too much time or money.
  • WordPress: If you want full control over your website, don’t mind handling the technical side of things, and have wriggle room in your budget, then WordPress is a sensible option. You also have the choice to hire a developer to help you if you want.
  • Web Designer: If you have a big budget and would prefer someone else to handle everything, then a web designer can take the work out of your hands. This is also recommended if you have complex needs beyond your own technical abilities.