How much should I pay for an eCommerce website in 2018?

Answering The How Much Does It cost Question

As a website developer I get asked the “how much” question often. However it’s usually a question more like, “How much do you charge to do an eCommerce website?”

Sometimes the how much does an eCommerce website cost question is better qualified with something like, “I want an eCommerce website for selling my products online. How much will it cost?”

No matter the form the question takes about eCommerce website costs I usually have to reply with a very truthful yet non-direct answer. That truthful answer is quite simply… it all depends.

The vast majority of eCommerce websites we develop and launch typically range anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000.

 

How many pages? How many products? If you don’t know exactly that’s OK I tell them. Let’s guess. About how many products? Will any of the products be available in varieties such as color, size, etc.? Do you have the content ready for your eCommerce website or will you need me to write or perhaps assist you with writing the content?

Typically with most eCommerce website design packages you’re looking at basic pages like about us, home page, contact us page, FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions), along with other staple pages that let your visitors know about you, your products, and your business.

That’s only the basic content pages. To do well with your eCommerce website you’ll need to have very good product titles, descriptions, pricing, and other pertinent product specific content ready to add to the eCommerce website. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply not being truthful with you.

The eCommerce online marketplace is extremely competitive and you’ll want to make sure you enter into your new online ecommerce venture with every possible advantage. That means taking the time to either write great content and product descriptions yourself or being prepared to pay for a professional to help you with all of that. Either way it’s a critical piece of the whole eCommerce equation and one that you can’t afford not to do well with.

What about the product pictures and site graphics? Do you have those ready or will we need to work together on sourcing them? Will I need to create them for you in Photoshop? Do you have a server already hosting the domain or do we need to work on setting that up as well?Do you have the domain name secured or will you need assistance there as well? Do you want to accept payments via Paypal or would you like to use a turnkey secure payment gateway solution like Authorize.net? Maybe you want to use both or neither? How about let’s discuss the options and we’ll see which fits your unique eCommerce website the best?

By now it’s easy to see where I’m going with all this but bear with me a bit longer. I do want to give you some very good “ball-park” eCommerce website cost information to go on. So… how much should a professional quality eCommerce website cost?

 

Quantifying The How Much Does It cost Question

For the sake of getting a starting point let’s assume it’s a 20 product eCommerce website. You have all the content written (rarely is this the case). You have all of the product images ready, sized correctly, and optimized for web (again this is rare). You have your products, pricing, and information neatly organized into a Spreadsheet format like excel or OpenOffice (even rarer do I see this level of organization with my new eCommerce clients only because most don’t know the Spreadsheets are used in the eCommerce development process).

In essence you’re about ready or very close to being ready for an eCommerce website developer like myself to get it all loaded into the new eCommerce database system that will power the new online store.

Let’s say that the site we’re pricing for has only a handful of slightly complex variations and that those variations are not price dependent. That simply means that if a product has 3 sizes and 6 colors that the price will be the same across the board no matter what combination of variants that your online shopper selects at checkout. This critical variations/pricing information is essential for an eCommerce developer like myself to be able to give you an accurate projected cost for your new eCommerce website.

You can easily see how the “unknowns” like variable pricing make it next to impossible for an experienced eCommerce developer to accurately answer the generic “how much” question. It can mean the difference between a 100 hour eCommerce development project and a 300 hour eCommerce development project. That’s a huge gap between estimated and actual development time that has to be better quantified.

So we’re still talking about a 20 product eCommerce website and let’s say it has about 7 pages not counting the 2-3 system generated pages for each product loaded into the database. We’ll have Home, Contact, FAQs, TOS (terms of service), About Us, Shipping Policy, and a well written Privacy Policy that meets or exceeds industry standards. It’s got “sharing” social media icons and capability and has 3 social media widgets for your choice of accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest.

Drum roll please.

My projected cost for the eCommerce website project described above would be somewhere between $3,000 – $4,000. I could get that price even more refined with a few more of the unknowns answered.

Basic eCommerce website deliverables and costs:

  • Domain Name – About $14/year
  • Hosting – About $144 to $360 a year (depends on variables such as eCommerce CMS used, number of products, pages, and anticipated site traffic. *Magento = Typically Upper End & *WooCommerce = Typically Lower End)
  • eCommerce website planning, custom development, database setup, and custom design time – Typically 100 hours and up depending on number of products, pages, level of customization and the sophistication of eCommerce functionality desired
  • Continued eCommerce CMS & Product Database Maintenance – $600 a year and up (depending on the number of updates and the level of product management required etc.)
  • Marketing and Promoting your eCommerce website online – $360 per year and up (depends on frequency of promotions, social media management, and content additions to the eCommerce site

Critical Elements That Determine eCommerce Website Cost

When trying to budget eCommerce website costs consider these factors (some were already mentioned above):

  • Is this a new eCommerce website or is it a redesign and/or redevelopment project?
  • How many pages?
  • How many products?
  • Will any of the products be available in varieties such as color, size, etc.?
  • If any of the products have variations will those variations be price dependent?
  • Do you have the content ready for your eCommerce website or will you be needing assistance with content creation?
  • What about the product pictures and site graphics?
  • Do you have a server already hosting the domain or do we need to work on setting that up?
  • Do you have the domain name secured or will you need assistance with domain registration?
  • Do you want to accept payments via Paypal or would you like to use a turnkey secure payment gateway solution like Authorize.net?
  • Do you have your products, pricing, and information neatly organized into a Spreadsheet format like excel or OpenOffice?
  • Would you like a blog installed within your eCommerce website as well?
  • Do you want the site to be responsive (viewable across all devices like smartphones, tablets, desktop, etc? YES you do! ;-P
  • Do you need other special features like social media channels created or advanced SEO?

The ballpark prices here are based on more than a decade of commercial eCommerce website development experience. I have developed and successfully helped clients launch eCommerce websites as simple as 1 product and as complex as 25,000 products. eCommerce website prices will relatively be higher or lower depending on your specific eCommerce site requirements.

show

$500 Small Business Special