How much does an ecommerce website cost: a detailed pricing guide

All entrepreneurs who want to start selling online want to learn: how much does an ecommerce website cost?

Now it is a fact that customer buying habits have changed in recent years; just take a look at some recent statistics to understand that the trend now is to buy online.

The reasons are multiple:

  • The unnecessary waste of time is minimal; no files, no traffic, everything at zero distance!
  • Infinite possibility to compare products, prices, and various offers;
  • Ability to read reviews;
  • Efficient customer service (without this, you really can’t go on, so almost everyone is now putting most of their efforts into improving it to the maximum);
  • Ability to buy 24/7;
  • Home delivery is often free and very fast.

This is to make it clear that for customers nowadays, buying on e-commerce is advantageous. More and more entrepreneurs are realizing this and are working to open an online store.

When faced with such a business, two spontaneous questions arise:

  • How to open and create an e-commerce site?
  • How much does an e-commerce site cost?

As for the answer to the first question, I recommend taking a look at the Create an E-commerce or Dropshipping Course and How to start an E-Commerce Business Course by Digital Coach®.

Whereas, you will find the answer to the second question by continuing to read this article.

How much does an ecommerce website cost?

There are various elements to consider when trying to ask yourself ”how much does an ecommerce website cost”. One, in particular, is that often you will come across an “it depends”.

The paths to take are always varied, and the combinations are infinite, so only when you sit down with a professional to discuss your project will you know exactly what you will have to spend.

So, to determine how much an e-commerce site costs, preliminary evaluations must be made as indicated below:

  • Competition and market analysis;
  • Define a digital strategy;
  • Web design and User experience;
  • Choice of CMS, development, and functionalities;
  • Creation and insertion of products/content;
  • Team training;
  • Manage customer support.

As you can see, there is a lot of work behind the creation and launch of an e-commerce site.

Moreover, it’s not just about evaluating technical aspects and content management, but the activities that need to be considered most for the cost of e-commerce are those related to SEO and online marketing.

 

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The cost of hosting for an e-commerce

When talking about hosting, it refers to the space on a server that will host the site or, in this specific case, an e-commerce, making it accessible to anyone.

Since online transactions take place in an online store, it is crucial that the hosting is of excellent quality, fast, reliable, and secure.

There are 3 main types of hosting plans available:

  1. Shared Hosting: many clients share the same server. The cost is very low, paying less than $10 per month, but at the same time, the resources are very limited;
  2. VPS Hosting: it can be thought of as dedicated hosting but with limited resources. It has a higher price than shared hosting but is decidedly lower than dedicated hosting. It allows clients to install their preferred operating system and provides more freedom;
  3. Dedicated Hosting: the client rents the entire server and has total control over it, offering great stability and security. This is the type of hosting I recommend for e-commerce. The only downside is that the costs of dedicated hosting are high, ranging from $250 annually and up.

The cost of the domain name

The domain name is the website’s address, and changing it leads to complications. So, what I recommend is to choose a suitable one from the beginning, with the right extension (.com, .net, etc.), and not think about it anymore.

The purchase of hosting and a domain name often go hand in hand, with the domain name often included in the hosting purchase.

However, even if not included, prices typically range from $10 to $20 per year, so your domain name doesn’t significantly impact the ecommerce site estimate.

The important thing to remember, as with the hosting, is that the subscription needs to be renewed periodically, either yearly, biennially, or every ten years.

Renewing on time is crucial to prevent your ecommerce site from disappearing from the web.

Finally, here are some names of some of the best sites to buy domain names:

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Costs of different e-commerce platforms

Building an e-commerce site from scratch requires a hefty budget. Therefore, most of the time, Content Management Systems (CMS) are used.

The price usually depends; the cost of an e-commerce site on Prestashop or WooCommerce is zero, while on BigCommerce or Shopify, it can reach up to $300 per month.

how much does an ecommerce website cost per month

The first two, being free, are very tempting, so I’ll make a brief comparison below to help you find your way.

Prestashop is a free, easy-to-install, and intuitive platform. It is chosen when planning to create an e-commerce site selling products from different categories and subcategories, as creating various modules is straightforward.

WooCommerce is instead a plugin that needs to be installed on WordPress and is recommended for those who already have a blog on this platform and want to enhance it by adding a product catalog.

Customizing WooCommerce is more complex because it involves dealing with various extensions, but if you have a concise catalog, possibly grouped under a single category, it could be ideal.

If you are interested in details about various platforms, I suggest reading the article on how to choose the right platform for your e-commerce.

Cost of Shopify e-commerce site

How much does an e-commerce site with Shopify cost? Shopify is a platform that allows the creation of e-commerce within it, with various subscription types, providing services based on the business owner’s needs.

The price ranges from $29 to $299. This platform has truly important and diverse functionalities that adapt to any type of e-commerce.

Cost of PrestaShop e-commerce site

How much does an e-commerce site with PrestaShop cost? PrestaShop is open-source software; once downloaded and installed, you need to proceed with the hosting and the site’s domain.

Here, you’ll need a developer who knows how to handle code and adapt it to the needs of your business. The costs, including hosting, installation, and design, revolve around $1500.

Cost of WordPress e-commerce site

How much does an e-commerce site on WordPress cost? WordPress is a platform mostly used for blogs; therefore, to turn the site into an e-commerce, you’ll need the WooCommerce plugin.

By doing this, we have our basic e-commerce to customize, and with a good knowledge of WordPress, we can do it ourselves.

However, if we lack familiarity with it, we will be needing a professional, and for an e-commerce of this magnitude, we will be spending between $2000 and $3000.

Difference between open source and closed source

E-commerce sites mainly differ in two types: open source and closed source.

These differ mainly in the source code, as in open source, the code can be accessible and reprogrammed by anyone who understands the programming language.

In contrast, closed-source software is created specifically by large companies and tailored not to be touched by anyone except the developer who created the software.

So we also have a significant cost difference between the two, as a source code created specifically by a developer tailored for a company costs much more than an open source one.

Design and development

Let me begin by telling you that nowadays the possibilities are numerous, and if you decide to work with WordPress, for example, you can choose from hundreds of free themes and reasonably priced Premium themes (up to $200). It all depends on your needs!

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the design must make your e-commerce welcoming and encourage customers to purchase.

As I mentioned before, people nowadays are used to shopping online and are accustomed to easy-to-use, tidy, and intuitive designs. So, to convert visitors into customers, yours must be no less.

The ideal thing, also from an economic point of view, would be to be able to customize a theme on your own through solid training.

The alternative would be to hire a professional to customize the theme or opt to build a custom design from scratch.

If, in the long run, you realize that you need a web developer to help you customize the site code or the checkout system, or to create a custom plugin or app for you.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay them much more, on an hourly basis unless you can agree on a fixed price.

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How much does it cost to advertise an e-commerce site

You’ll agree with me that even the best e-commerce without traffic and people finalizing the purchase is useless.

This is where marketing and SEO strategies come into play, primarily to ensure that your e-commerce is visible and known.

It’s somewhat equivalent to the strategies employed when opening a physical store: a location on a busy street, a big sign, some promotions to encourage word of mouth, etc.

An ecommerce training program can help you in this regard; it can provide you with all the necessary tools to promote your business effectively, making it productive right away.

Google

The most powerful tool at your disposal is undoubtedly Google, being the search engine used by more than 90% of the web population, and you have various fronts to work on with it:

Google Ads: it is an advertising system that will display your e-commerce among the top results on Google as soon as a user types the type of product you sell into the search bar.

The mechanism is simple: you pay a certain amount each time a user clicks on the ad (Pay per Click).

To avoid losses, you need to build the advertisement in a way that the user interested in the product enters your e-commerce and makes a purchase, thus becoming your customer.

The cost here depends on how much you want to invest. You can decide on a daily budget of $10 a weekly one of $100, and so on.

SEO: it is a set of practices aimed at optimizing the pages of a site so that they appear among the top results on Google. Somewhat like Google Ads, but free.

The only drawback is that positioning a page among Google’s top results without paying, takes a lot of time. If you open an online store, your intention is undoubtedly to start selling immediately.

I still recommend working on both fronts from the beginning so that, in the long run, you can have a higher chance of attracting customers to your e-commerce.

A deep understanding of Google’s algorithm and the requirements to appear among the top positions is the foundation of these practices.

Among the most relevant requirements, we find:

  1. High-quality content: in your case, it will mostly involve writing detailed and original descriptions for all products that stimulate your customers’ desire to purchase them;
  2. High e-commerce reputation: it is mainly about how reliable you are for Google. You must be very reliable to ensure that Google recommends you among the top results as someone who can meet a customer’s needs. Your reputation will grow in the eyes of this search engine when other highly reliable sites in your industry talk about you.

In the case of SEO, there are three possibilities:

  1. You train yourself and take care of it;
  2. You hire a specialist with whom you will agree on a salary;
  3. You reach an agreement with a communication agency.

google shopping

Google Shopping: it is a tool that allows e-commerce companies to advertise their products on Google in a box outside the usual top ten results.

It is very convenient because it allows comparing prices instantly and gives an overview of what a person is looking for.

It is a tool that is also convenient for retailers because the Pay per Click is lower than Google Ads.

Email Marketing

For someone who has just opened an e-commerce and does not have enough budget to implement marketing strategies on all channels, I recommend starting with Google.

Later on, it is also important to give the right weight to email marketing. You need to follow a certain logic because sending random emails to random people will never lead to anything productive:

  1. Above all, you must consider only people truly interested in your products;
  2. Then, if possible, based on past purchases, it is advisable to segment the customer base according to interests;
  3. Finally, it’s good to send targeted emails for each segment.

In general, it is recommended to send more details about the products, tips, or alternative ways to use them, or other types of quality content, in addition to offers and promotions.

In addition to newsletters, another way to leverage email marketing is through cart abandonment recovery. Statista says that 69.53% of customers abandon their carts before completing the purchase.

The reasons are multiple, but it is a very common practice! That’s why it’s important to remind the user that their cart is still there waiting for them.

Blue Core says that:

  • 40% of automated cart recovery emails are opened;
  • 10% receive a click;
  • 2% generate conversions.

For an e-commerce business, cart recovery emails are even more important than newsletters.

 

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Conclusion

To conclude this article, I’ll share with you that if nowadays you want to open and have a clearer idea about “how much does an ecommerce website cost?“, you are on your way to making a wise decision, given the great opportunities that exist.

However, it is essential to consider that it is not a one-time investment, but some expenses will need to be made periodically.

To avoid going into the red, of course, profits must be higher than the expenses, so you need to know what you are doing or collaborate with someone who does.

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