What Do You Need to Build a Website in 2017 and How Much Should it Cost?

build website 2017

How much does it really take to build a product like Twitter or Instagram? What components does it consist of? What do you need to build a website in 2017? How much should it cost? With today’s software development agencies and free website design and hosting tools there’s no shortage of resources which you need to build the next big web or mobile app. Here I am going to explain what you need to build a website. What are the main components of a modern web app. And I will provide my estimations on the cost of building a website and it’s maintenance.  

First of all, don’t expect to get exact the cost of building a website. Because it is hard to determine all the features needed to realize your website idea. A cheaper web site can have less content and fewer options, whereas a more expensive web app can have numerous extra style options and functionalities. Your overall site costs, like functionalities and interactive components which will embody multimedia, fully depends on what you wish. That is why it is hard to do a budget estimation and fit it until completion of your project.

Second, due to modern technology, it is now much easier to create awesome looking websites. Evolution of web design tools has made it possible to build a basic website at low cost. There are many great tools for web design that available for public usage with no cost. This allows creating a web design styles for free or at very little price. I mean that a simple web page creation costs very little these days or even free.

However, despite the availability of free useful web design tools, it is still reasonable to hire experienced web design bureau. Building website with free tools you most likely loose your unique brand identity because free templates usually not customizable enough to satisfy all specific needs. So, when it comes to web app cost, cheaper is not always better. But what is a reasonable price for your website idea?

Modern Website Components and Their Costs

Domain name from $5 to $50 per year

At first, you need a domain name which is the unique name that appears in the URL for your website. To get the rights to your domain name, you have to register it annually, which factors into the cost of website maintenance. This is important because every computer on the Internet has an Internet protocol (IP) address such as It makes it difficult remembering the IP addresses of all of your favorite websites, so, for this reason, there is a system of unique names that can be assigned to each numeric IP address. But domain names are more than just a title that leads to your web app. A good, memorable domain name can make an advantage in the marketing of your business.

Website hosting from $75 to $200 a year (depending on traffic and hosting features)

Hosting is the service that allows your website to be stored on the internet and accessed by other Internet users. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are stored, on special computers called servers. Reliable web hosting is a critical part of running a website. A web hosting company is the major step in how your website is delivered to a customer. Your customers want the ability to access every aspect of your website anytime of the day or night.

Database from $0 to $25,000+ per integration

A database is very necessary for any interactive website. Database design is the most important part of development. All essential data of your online project such as user profiles, content, products, transactions, etc will be stored in your website database. The speed and scalability are crucial for your DB.

Content Management System (CMS) from $0 to $10,000+ per year (depending on the platform chosen)

CMS is a set of software applications that are used to create and manage the content of your website. CMS allows you to create, edit, manage and maintain website pages on a single interface. These systems simplify web design and content publishing, ensuring that both your site and workflow are streamlined.

E-commerce functionality from $0 to $5,000+

E-commerce is another part of websites that aim to sell goods or services. Technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems are all going to the e-commerce functionalities that could be applicable to your web app.

Design from $0 to $50,000+

Web design defines user experience of using your web app which contains such element like interactive features, navigation, structure, layout, color, etc. Design can go from a zero budget to world class quality, meaning the price for website design can significantly impact web page price. It is hard to overestimate the importance of design because it is all about your brand equity.

Copywriting from $10 to $500 per page or article

Copywriting is one in all the foremost essential parts of effective on-line presence, it’s the art of delivering words that get individuals to take some actions on your website. For a website owner, it could be a hidden cost of running a web app but it is very important. Copywriting is all about writing unique relevant and interesting content that will incite the reader to buy, subscribe, or to keep updated with company products. Another huge reason for copywriting is SEO. The content on your web site has to contain the keywords relevant to your merchandise or services, as a result of if, it your website will be found on Internet search engines for those terms.

Search engine optimization (SEO) from $0 to $2000+ per month

Search engine optimization is aimed to increase a number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site shows up high on the list of results returned by a search engine. If you have a web app, SEO should help your business grow by attracting more potential customers to your website. People trust search engines that mean that having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the web site’s trust and a number of visitors that can be converted to leads.

Ongoing website maintenance from $500 to $2000 a year (depending on number of updates required)

Website maintenance is the entire process of performing all the tasks necessary to keep a website up to date and in good, working order so that it works and shows up correctly with the latest web browsers and mobile devices. Which is also includes: changing website content (text, images, products, etc) optimizing pages and your website design so that they rank higher with search engines, testing that the website works well with the latest web browsers / mobile devices, upgrading website software, checking website error logs, reporting website rankings and statistics, troubleshooting why pages don’t work or why certain things don’t line up, etc.

How Much Does a Website Cost Per Month?

When a website is built and running there are still tasks remain to promote your site and make it better every day. You should expect to pay for your website hosting, SEO, other ongoing optimization, any content creation. This may cost anywhere from $100 to $1000+ a month depending on your growth plans and available resources.

Okay, but how much does it really take to build a product like Twitter or Instagram?

For Twitter, you will need an experienced Ruby on Rails developer who can build a functional prototype in a month. Then you can host your Twitter-like app on some free web hosting service like Heroku. But for this days it is more of building unique user experience rather than a technology stack where it works. If you really think of bringing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to the market, that will have core functionality, design, a user interface that makes sense and attracts early adopters, you will approximately need from 50000$ to 300000$ depending on the experience of engineers and designers you hire. As for Instagram, it will be more sophisticated in terms of technology stack you need because of image processing algorithms and backend that will be able to deal with heavy image loads. In terms of the cost, you can fit into the same budget as a Twitter-like app.