What’s the Cost of a Website?

What’s the cost? People are always asking the question, how much does a website cost?  So let’s explore this in further detail.

Before I get further into the details of the cost, let me tell you a bit about our company and what we do.  Oraco was first formed in 2003 by Danny Burt, Stephen Blignault and Luke Collins.  I started building simple websites, selling domain names and web hosting packages in 2001 under the brand of Future Paths Limited, I met Stephen at Plant Computers in Tokoroa in 2002 of which Luke Collins was one of the directors.  After some time we broke away from Planet Computers and this was how Oraco Limited was formed.

We faced some tough times in the first 18 months of our business, and then Stephen saw a huge opportunity in Auckland and moved to work in the same industry.  Luke also pursued other dreams and eventually I was the remaining director.   Oraco went from a limited company to trading as Danny Burt in 2009.  The business was still selling domain names, Webhosting packages and building websites for customers while working full time for a company called Computer Aid Limited in Cambridge.  

In September 2017 Oraco Solutions Limited was set back up with the opportunity to go full time.  It has been an interesting journey and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed with all its challenges, including Covid-19.    

So this brings me to “What’s the cost of a Website”

Let’s start with the basics and the first place to start.  Purchasing a domain name, in my opinion (once you have your brand established or what your business is about), the domain name is one of the critical things to get right, it is also important to note that you can have more than one domain, some businesses may have a domain for their website which includes their business name or a keyword relating to their industry and then another domain for their email. A domain name will typically cost you $25-$75 per year, generally the lower the cost of the domain the fewer DNS services that may be available, meaning you may need to purchase those separately.  Our domain pricing for an NZ TLD starts from $39.99 with full DNS services.

Webhosting, what is this? This is the place where your website will be hosted (it’s home).  Web hosting packages are now only typically used for customised projects, static websites and WordPress sites. This is because there are so many website builders available and hosted by those companies who hold the proprietary rights to the software (code).  Some are free with limited features, some have a subscription, but not all are equal.  Some examples of these website builders are Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, Website Builder, SilverStripe and Rocketspark to name a few.  All of these CMS systems allow you to build your own website – read “Leave it to the experts” to find out my thoughts on this. Web hosting pricing can start from $99 per year depending on the requirements.

Website builders also offer subscription models and can be priced anywhere from $25-$45 per month, some with benefits, some with limited benefits.  We offer a WordPress option with a subscription model with lots of extra benefits. Contact us for more details.

Building and designing the website: What is this going to cost me? Excellent question and one that can’t be answered in any short answer, but I will give my insight into what is fair and reasonable, and what you should be cautious of.  Before I start it is important to note that there is no one size fits all model, this is because each business is unique. However, our pricing is similar for different industry, retail, and startup types with similar features. We have a base design rate of $799 as a starting point, this is not the complete website.

Let’s start with caution – if the price is cheap you have to ask how long has this person been in business and will they still be here tomorrow? I have been in this industry for a very long time and have seen so many start-ups fail within a couple of years, leaving businesses with no access to their website and sometimes even their domain name (read here about domain ownership).  If the price is cheap the chances are they can’t code and all they are doing is using a website builder and the tools available to throw your content into it.  A day’s work and they are done. How does this benefit you?  Well, it helped your wallet, just not your online business and your sole reason for having a website is to hopefully gain new business or leads.

There is more to a website than that just the visuals: you want to hire someone who understands SEO; the importance of Google tools and they can still code even if using a website builder.  We use WordPress for a lot of projects, why? Because you have full ownership of your website, you might not have the ownership of the licenses we provide, but they can be obtained if you choose to move your website, yes it can be moved!  Most platforms don’t allow this, so if you aren’t happy with your website or want to have someone else take your website to the next level, then you might be looking at starting again, this could still happen if the previous build was not to a good standard.  Why we stand out is we can code and build customised hardcoded websites (the most expensive option, but the best results) Customisation starts from $5999 for a medium-sized website.

CMS? Content Management Systems, like WordPress, are some of the most popular options on the internet.  WordPress gives developers like us the flexibility to do what we like with the code.  A typical high-quality website will be priced between $3500-$7000. We don’t and won’t buy purchased themes to build your website, why? Because this isn’t helping your business or your performance. (Speed) We will use some very good tools so that you can make future edits yourself and what is best, we design our elements so that you can make future edits and we provide videos specific to your website as training.

Start-ups: I am a start-up business how much will it cost me? You are in luck, we started out just like every other business, so we understand how daunting it can be and the expenses you are faced with.  Therefore we do special deals for start-up businesses based on their needs and the complexities required. Get in touch with us, you will be happy that you did.

Can anyone build a website: Well the short answer to that is yes, using the tools that are available through CMS systems. We named a few of these when we talked about the hosting options.  My question to you is this, can anyone build a house, a car, or a boat without the right skills? If you said no, then read my article about leaving it to the experts.

Why use a professional when I can do it myself: The same reason we hire a builder to build a house, they know what they are doing. They understand all the things that you can’t see and they are good at their craft.  I don’t cut hair because it isn’t my craft, I can cut hair, but you wouldn’t be happy with the result.  A professional always produces the most professional result for your budget as it is their brand on the line. We work with you to produce the best results.

Why are some website designers so expensive: The time and effort, including the skill level and the size of the project, will determine the total cost of the project. Most of these top-level website design companies are working on major projects or for large retail groups.  For small to medium-sized businesses (depending on the requirements) you will be looking at $3500-$15000 allocation for your online business.  Corporate and Government, $100k plus. If the cost is low, so might the quality regardless of the CMS system used.

If the cost of building my website is cheap will I get the same results? Well in my humble opinion “No” because there is a reason why it is so cheap. Skill level, industry knowledge, code knowledge, Google knowledge and much more, are all of the factors that are part of the website build.

Been there done that

I remember when I first started building websites while trying to build my brand. I was doing some of the earlier jobs for $500, there weren’t any CMS systems back then, so they were all hardcoded. I remember factoring in my time once for one of the more difficult projects and realised I had just done that project for 8 cents an hour.  This is the quickest way to go out of business. Let’s just say I’ve learnt a lot over 20 years.

Oraco Solutions offers free advice to anyone looking at getting a website built with no obligations.  Just send your question through to us and we will be happy to answer you.


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