How Much Does a Website Cost in Australia?
A Realistic Guide to Web Design and Development Prices in Australia
What’s the price for a website in Australia?
It seems like such a simple question, but unfortunately, there’s no simple answer.
A basic one-page website may cost as little as $2000. A custom developed ecommerce site, on the other hand, may cost upwards of $15,000 or more. And prices can vary widely within these categories.
For example, the cost of an eight to 16-page template-based small-business website in Australia can range from $2500 to $3000. A corporate website may cost between $4000 and $7000. And an ecommerce website with 100 to 1,000 products could cost anywhere between $7000 to $20000.
Website Cost in Australia – Comparing Apples to Apples
With such variable pricing, it can be hard to get a real sense of what you’re paying for. So, instead of comparing prices, it can be more useful to compare the value in each offering.Since the end goal should be a website that suits the specific needs of your business, our aim here is to educate and inform existing and aspiring website owners about the anatomy of a modern-day website. By better understanding the features and functionality you need, you can help your developer build a website quote that not only suits your budget, but suits your business as well.
Features and Functions of a Contemporary Website
Here are the features that most successful websites need to have in today’s online business environment. This is by no means a comprehensive list of features and functionality. It is, however, a list of the essential features that no business can do without.
More than 50% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile users. Without a mobile responsive design that shows and works flawlessly on various screen sizes and devices, you don’t stand a chance of ranking higher or selling more than your competitor.As of 2018, Google announced that it would be using mobile first indexing. With the majority of web traffic now coming from mobile, Google is aiming help the largest number of users by prioritising mobile-friendly sites.
As a result, mobile responsiveness is absolutely a must-have for all websites today, big or small. Make sure the price of mobile responsiveness is included in the quote, as it can be expensive and cumbersome to incorporate after.
Page Load Size
Everyone has come across a website that take forever to load or only partially loads. This can happen when your website’s page size becomes too large. Page size can affect load speed, mobile search and your web hosting costs, so it’s important to ensure your page size is optimised to make for the best user experience.
Your web developer has to optimize the HTML, CSS, images, scripts, HTTP requests, and multimedia on your page (among numerous other things). This will ensure top performance from your site.
Page Load Speed
Speed is the number-one conversion killer. According to research, more than half of the visitors to a website will leave if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
To have a super-fast website, your page sizes need to be lean and lightweight and you need great hosting. Google’s AMP technology has made it possible to create mobile websites that load in a flash.
Page speed optimization takes time and work, so a fast-loading website will cost more than a sluggish one.
Too many new businesses have awesome websites that no one ever visits. This can happen if you don’t pay attention to SEO (search-engine optimisation) right from the start of the development. Incorrect keyword selection, an illogical site structure, duplicate or thin content, low-quality incoming links, poor mobile friendliness, and a plethora of other factors will decide if your site will appear among the first search engine results pages.
Most of these search signals are built in through the development process and added to the price of a website. SEO will be a vital ongoing task once your website has launched, so it’s important that the necessary SEO functionality is built in from the beginning.
Spam and Malware Protection
Imagine finding an email from Google saying your site has been hacked. You log into your sight only to find explicit adult content where your products used to be. This may be an extreme example, but hacking is very real and can hit your website if you don’t have the proper protection.
Hacking can damage your business reputation, your customer trust and be expensive and time-consuming to fix, and sometimes the damage can be irreversible. Common hacking and spamming attacks include viruses, malware, ransom ware, brute-force attacks, spyware, data breaches, adware and others.
A protection suite may include HTTPS hosting, SSL certification, spam guards, antivirus, automatic site backup and other measures. Proper security protocols can increase the cost of a website, but you should view these costs as an essential investment.
Ecommerce Automation System
If you’re planning on making sales through your website, you’ll need to integrate ecommerce automation software. Ecommerce automation systems can include order management, inventory management, shipping, accounting, returns management, and more.
The selection of your ecommerce automation tools depends on the goals of the website as well as the features you require. A small ecommerce website may only require a simple shopping cart tool such as Flipkart, whereas a bigger site with more products and resources may need a comprehensive automation/CRM suite such as Zendesk or HubSpot.
Automation comes at a cost, but it also saves time and improves the customer response time by automating most of the repetitive tasks. In addition to development costs, automation tools have recurring costs as well, which depend upon the features you need and the software you select.
One of the dangers of going with a cheap website is that the developer might not set up your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts. Consequently, you may need to pay more to have this done later on. And you will need this done. Mining the insights that Google Analytics has to offer is absolutely essential to ensure you website is running smoothly and ensure you’re taking full advantage of all the traffic coming through your site.
Quality developers will implement tracking pixels for all of the marketing channels you’re using, including Facebook, Google Ads, email and more. Yes, it takes more investment, but it’s completely worth it.
Social Media Integration
Integrating your social media channels into your website is essential for creating a unified brand experience. This can be down with social media sharing buttons, social media icons, as well as integrating comments or post highlights on your website.
Social media likes and follows show your website visitors that they’re doing business with a trustworthy company. It’s called social proof and it can tremendously increase the reach and conversion rate of your website.
Numerous social media plug-ins or extensions are available for different social media channels. These plugins need to be configured to display your content properly on different channels. Again, this will increase the cost of a website, but it’s essential if you’re a business with an active social media presence.
A desktop or mobile website should not ignore the benefits of integrating with third-party ecommerce platforms, such as eBay, Amazon, Catch, Point of Sale, Google Shopping and others.
Online customers are constantly moving across platforms and they want the experience to be seamless. You should, therefore, make it as easy as possible for customers to move from your website to Amazon, eBay, social channels or any other platforms where you’re selling your products.
Third-party software solutions like ERP, CRM, social media, payment gateways and so on are needed to develop a complete website.
Website Content Management Systems
A content management system (CMS) allows you to control and manage the content across your website, generally without technical training. A simple HTML based website might be a cheaper option, but it can be difficult to maintain and modify without technical know-how. Using a quality CMS is generally recommended for websites with 15 pages or more.
So, let’s have a look at some of the most commonly used content management systems and see which is best suited to your website.
WordPress is one of the most popular CMSs in the world. According to one report, WordPress holds almost 60% of the CMS market, which makes it bigger than all other systems combined.
So, what makes WordPress so popular?
- WordPress is simple and economical to develop and maintain. It is highly versatile, as you can add virtually any type of functionality using the more than 50,000 plug-ins
- Being the most widely used open source platform, WordPress has a thriving community of developers who keep updating and adding more features
- WordPress offers thousands of design themes and templates, allowing you to customise the look of your site
- WordPress is responsive by default, so you don’t have to pay a developer to make your site mobile responsive, although some adjustments will be required to make the pages appear properly across all devices
- A clean structure and HTML code make it more SEO friendly than other CMSs
- WordPress offers universal integration with all sorts of APIs and CRMs and supports multichannel marketing
WordPress has almost everything going for it, but there are a few downsides including:
- Vulnerability to hacking attacks
- Need for frequent upgrades
- Customisation requires some knowledge of coding
- Some problems with crashing plugins
However, in the hands of the right developer, WordPress can be pretty awesome for developing and maintaining a wide range of professional websites.
Drupal is a free, open-source CMS created in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. Drupal powers between 2% and 3% of all websites worldwide.
While small to medium business websites can be designed in Drupal, it is best suited for handling large websites with a lot of pages, customers and data. While it is considered more secure than WordPress, it can be more complicated to customise and develop.
Drupal is a great option for larger corporate entities or government departments with extensive resources for hiring developers. However, for smaller organisations, WordPress remains a superior choice.
Joomla is also a free, open-source CMS, and falls somewhere between WordPress and Drupal in terms of complexity. Joomla is more flexible than WordPress as far as website structure is concerned, meaning that the system can be used to build almost any type of website.
Joomla is great at handling larger amounts of data, as you can reassign menus and batch-update pages without needing plug-ins (known as Joomla extensions).It is also more secure than WordPress and less complex than Drupal. However, one major drawback is that there are fewer than 2,200 Joomla Extensions right now, and very few of them are free.
The limited number of extensions restricts the functionality and compatibility of a Joomla website. Paid extensions, in addition to higher development costs, makes a Joomla website pricier than a WordPress site.
Magento has seen better days. It’s a PHP-based open-source framework that is free to install, modify and use. Unlike WordPress, which started out as a blogging platform, Magento has always been dedicated to ecommerce. However, with the advent of the simpler and cheaper OpenCart and WooCommerce plug-ins for WordPress, Magento has largely moved out of the game as far as small business websites are concerned.
Magento is great for enterprise-level businesses with their own development teams or for businesses that have significant resources for hiring professional developers. A Magento website can also be expensive to host, as the heavy PHP programming can create slow running sites on smaller servers. It can also be more expensive to develop, maintain and upgrade, thanks to the scarcity of Magento developers and the complexity involved.
Compatibility, flexibility and integration are issues that make Magento less suitable for small and medium business websites.
BigCommerce, Shopify and Other Hosted Solutions
With the rise of cloud computing, fully hosted and managed content management frameworks like BigCommerce and Shopify have seen phenomenal growth in adoption. Hosted CMSsare popular with small businesses because they eliminate the need for technical knowledge and site maintenance.
That means you can design and develop an ecommerce website, sell products, manage inventory, communicate with customers, run promotions, up-sell, cross-sell, ship, and access most ecommerce functionalities within the hosted platform. You also don’t need to worry about maintenance.
BigCommerce, Shopify and other hosted ecommerce solutions are ideal for small businesses with sales ranging up to a few hundred thousand dollars a year. However, they may not be the best option for larger businesses with sales ranging into millions. This can make these hosted solutions unsuitable for high growth-focused businesses, as they will likely find themselves outgrowing these platforms.
How much does it cost to maintain a website?
So far, we have covered the main elements that will affect the cost of a website in Australia. Besides the number of pages and the look and feel of the site, other cost factors we’ve looked at include website speed, security, upgrades, the type of CMS, integration and automation.
In addition to these cost factors, you should also take into account site maintenance costs while making a price comparison. It’s possible for a website to cost little to develop, but have extremely high ongoing maintenance costs.
So, now we’re going to give you a general breakdown of the maintenance costs you can expect for your site.
The average cost of a new domain name ranges from $20 to $50 per year. Some sellers can charge hefty renewal fees, so you should always double check before buying.
SSL stands for secure socket layer, which is a technology that encrypts data and secures the website against theft and hacking. An SSL certificate is required for an HTTPS domain and is essential for building trust with your customers. An SSL certificate can cost you a couple of hundred dollars a year.
Whether you’re buying stock images or investing in professional photography, having access to an ongoing source of images is essential for your site. Besides the images needed for the design and development of your site, you’ll still need photos to post to your blog and social media channels, as well as product images, so you should consider images as an ongoing cost.
The hosting price depends on the type of hosting you buy. There are at least eight types of hosting including shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated web server, collocation web hosting, cloud hosting, managed WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, and self-service hosting.
A shared web host is usually cheap and costs between $30 and $50 per month. VPS hosting, on the other hand, can cost between $150 and $300 per month. Other types of hosting can be more expensive. Make sure you ask prospective developers where your website is going to be hosted and how much it will cost.
CMS Monthly Cost
You don’t need to pay anything in CMS costs if you’re using a free platform like WordPress, Joomla or Magento. Hosted solutions like Shopify and BigCommerce will incur monthly costs that can range from $40 to $300 or more.
SEO, PPC, social media and other types of digital marketing are needed to grow your online traffic and your business. Unless you have the resources to handle this in-house, this is best outsourced to a reputable digital agency. Costs for these services will vary depending on the agency and the level of service provided.
Web developers will generally only build pages with photos and dummy text, leaving the content writing to you. Unless you’re particularly good with words (and have the time), you will require copywriting services to provide text for your pages, product descriptions, blog posts and other written material. Good copywriting is essential for SEO and marketing activities and should be factored into your ongoing costs.
Fixing bugs and broken links, backing up the website, updating the CMS, running virus scans, and other maintenance activities must be performed regularly to keep your site running securely and smoothly.
In Australia, maintaining a small business informational website (about eight to 16 pages) can cost anywhere between $1200 and $2000. An ecommerce website with up to 1,000 products can cost from $3000 to $10000 for annual maintenance.
The Risk of Cheap Websites
Looking for web design prices online can be a chaotic and confusing experience. Don’t be surprised when overseas developers or pushy agencies offer websites at suspiciously low prices.
Just remember that good things are never cheap and cheap things are never good.
A cheap website will turn out to be more expensive in the long run once you factor in the business you lose due to poor design, as well as the costs associated with fixing the bugs in the site and adding the functionality your business needs to succeed.
All too often, we often meet clients who have paid a freelancer or foreign agency to develop their website, only to realise that the site is actually costing them business.
Here are some of the common problems associated with cheap websites:
Hard to Maintain
You can get an HTML website without a CMS for a very low price. But, unless you have the necessary technical know-how, you’ll need to hire a developer each time you want to add more pages or make other changes.
No web traffic means no customers. If people can’t easily find your website using Google or other search engines, then you will be missing out on a lot of business. SEO will help to increase your rankings in Google search results. But SEO will only work on a site where SEO functionality has been hard-coded into the content and structure.
Retroactively adding SEO functionality to a cheap website can be complex and costly.
A cheap website would probably use free plug-ins that can be easily hacked. Chances are it won’t have SSL certification or HTTPS domain or spam filters, and will be at the mercy of malicious attackers.
Mobile Load Time
A slow website is an absolute conversion killer. The majority of users will abandon any website that takes more than three seconds to load. Needless to say, a cheap developer will not take the time to optimise for page speed.
Your website should have the scalability to grow as your businesses does. Chances are that acheap website will not be easily scalable and will therefore need to be significantly upgraded or even replaced to cope with your business growth.
A quality developer will plan for the future and ensure that your site will be able to handle your projected business growth.
All the web traffic in the world will mean nothing if your customers aren’t converting. A conversion can be a product sale, an appointment booking, an email subscription – basically any action that you’re trying to get your website users to carry out.
Conversions should be the goal of your website. A website that doesn’t convert visitors into qualified leads or buyers is simply not doing its job. A cheap website can turn out to be very expensive if it has a poor conversion rate.
What’s the Price of a Website in Australia?
Now that we know what the essential features and functionality should be, and have ballpark cost estimates, we can have a think about overall pricing for different types of websites.
Here are the different types of websites and their average cost of design and development.
|Type of Website||Best For||Fixed Price||Hourly Rate|
|CMS Website (Template Based)||Small business operators||$2500 – $3000||$100 per hour|
|CMS Website (Custom)||Medium-sized business||$4000–$7,000||$120 per hour|
|Ecommerce Website||Ecommerce businesses, web-stores, online retailers||$7,000 – $20,000||$120 per hour|
|Custom Ecommerce Platform||Ecommerce portals like Amazon or eBay, marketplace business||$15,000–$200,000||$150 per hour|
|Custom Development||Travel website, billing application, dating website, real estate, job portal||–||$200 per hour|
Disclaimer: The information provided in this table is only a general guide and does not constitute a quote for web design. Individual quotes for web design will be based on the specific requirements of clients and may differ from the prices above. Contact us for a precise quote.
Final Thoughts on Website Prices in Australia
Quality web design and development takes time and inevitably costs money. However, you should view it as an investment rather than un up-front cost. Spending money on your web design and development will ensure you get a flexible and scalable site tailored to your business. It will help to reduce the ongoing maintenance and development costs and ensure the best possible user experience for your customers.