How much does an ecommerce website cost in 2021?

Typical price range starts between $5,000 and $10,000 — could be less or much more.

The cost of an ecommerce site really depends on the needs & design. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, but the old adage, "you get what you pay for" definitly applies — we can help.

It's one of the most common questions we get at Highfivery, "How much does an ecommerce website cost?". The answer isn't as simple as it may seem due to the fact all ecommerce sites have different needs.

Costs also go beyond the initial development price. There's continued costs in hosting, improved functionality, user experience enhancements, marketing, and security.

Luckily our digital natives at Highfivery can help you narrow the costs down based on your needs. Read through the key sections that will influence an ecommerce website cost below.

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Picking an ecommerce platform

The first step in determining an ecommerce website cost is picking a platform that fits your specific needs.

Calculating an ecommerce website cost starts with selecting the right platform. It's one of the most important decisions you'll make as an ecommerce entrepreneur — there's a lot of options out there.

Choosing an ecommerce platform can be difficult due to the numerous options out there — each with different benefits and drawbacks. Your choices include industry-specific solutions, ERP systems, and software as a service (SaaS) offerings designed to easily configure and manage.

Popular ecommerce platforms include:

Our favorite platform is WooCommerce.

Highfivery's ecommerce platform of choice is WooCommerce. It drives an ecommerce website cost down quite a bit, here's four reasons we're a fan:

  1. It's free! Most ecommerce platforms cost money.
  2. It's easy. Simple to setup, configure & manage.
  3. It's scalable. It can grow with your business.
  4. It's proven. Great customer support with millons using it.

Design makes an impact

The next step in determining how much a ecommerce website costs is design — typically the most expensive part.

Having a good design is the next most important decision as an ecommerce owner — it can make or break your business. The right design helps convert window shoppers to customers.

Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for someone to form an opinion about your website? Not only that, shoppers buy based on trust, and your branding can help build that trust right away.

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have templates you can apply to your site easily. They are a fast and affordable way to get up and running. Pre-built offer built-in tools to customize the layout, colors, style, and other settings.

One of our favorite ecommerce design resources is ThemeForest.net. They have a large comprehensive selection by some of the top design agencies out there. It's a great option for sites on a limited budget — but be warned.

Be careful with pre-built ecommerce themes.

Although purchasing a pre-built design can dramatically decrease the cost of ecommerce sites, there can be some major downsides. These include:

  • You won't be unique. Potentially thousands of other sites may have the same look.
  • Pre-built CMS designs can hurt performance. These are typically built to accommodate many different types of sites and in turn are bloated and slow.
  • Lack of flexibility & scalability. Often pre-built designs limit you with what you can do & aren't easily scalable without additional custom development.
How much does an ecommerce website cost?

Custom ecommerce website design

Get a custom, competitive edge website design.

Giving your ecommerce site a competitive edge is vital to succeed in this competitive arena — that's where custom ecommerce website designs come in. It certainly comes with a cost, but it can be a game-changer for a business that has additional requirements and a large enough audience.

When you get into custom design, the sky is the limit on possible expenses. Similarly, a custom theme may cost $1,500 to $100,000 depending on the specifics, requirements, and depth of the process.

Custom Web Development

Custom ecommerce functionality is usually the biggest cost next to design.

Categories, featured items, product pages, related products, checkout pages, payment processing and so on are standard features, and shouldn’t drive up the cost. But what if you need something more?

For example, you may want customized search functionality because of the type of products you sell. Not many of your competitors have it, and you know that it'll help you get the sale. Or, stock levels may be crucial to you, so your ecommerce developer may have to sync the website database with your in-house inventory management system.

Those types of custom functionality will run up the price of the website, but it will also eliminate hours of paying employees. You'll need to determine what's best for your needs — paying an employee salary or invest upfront to save you money in the long-term.

Many platforms like WooCommerce provide modules or extension support allowing you to use functionality that was developed by someone else on your website — for a much lower cost than you could develop it yourself.

Before paying for custom development, always check to see what extensions are available. Be prepared, however, for some of the extensions to be poorly written or implemented. Highfivery always audits/evaluates extensions for quality, security, features, and support before recommending them to clients.

Outside of extensions, custom development can get expensive quickly. A good ecommerce agency will develop code that is reliable, thoroughly tested, and secure. While this is more costly than just tossing it together as quickly as possible, your custom code will hold up better over time. For instance, extensions can break when you upgrade the core system, so poor code can be expensive later even if it works at first.

Recurring Ecommerce Costs

An important factor that affect how much an ecommerce site costs are recurring charges like hosting & maintenance.

Recurring costs for an ecommerce website are often overlooked, but vital to budgeting the total cost of an ecommerce website.

Hosting, marketing, fulfilment, domains, maintenance, 3rd-party integrations are all types of recurring costs you should expect when running an ecommerce website.

These costs are normally inexpensive compared to the cost of the site itself, but important in calculating your ROI. Here's some examples:

  • Domain Registration Around 10 bucks a year.
  • Website Hosting Depends on expected traffic & storage, but can be as low as $10/mo.
  • Maintenance & Security Starts around $130/mo. — vital to keeping your site running & secure.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Depends on how competitive you want to be, starting around $120/mo.
  • Online Marketing To succeed this is a must, cost depends on needs & budget.
  • Module & Extension Licensing Cost depends on what's being used, if any at all.

Breaking Down Ecommerce Website Costs

Considering all the aforementioned variables, there is no quick answer to the cost of developing an ecommerce website.

Hopefully this helps you understand & better answer the question, "How much does an ecommerce website cost?". There's several factors — just depends on the needs of your online store.

Typical ecommerce costs for a basic website.

  • Domain Registration $10/yr.
  • Website Hosting $10/mo.
  • Website Design $1,500
  • Initial Setup & Configuration $1,000
  • Content & Webpage Development $2,500
  • Website Security & Maintenance $130/mo.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) $120/mo.
  • Total $10/yr.
    $260/mo.
    $5,000 One-time

Highfivery makes the process easy.

You should have a pretty good idea of how much an ecommerce website costs now. There are a lot of factors and it can sometimes be confusing or overwhelming. Not to worry, we're here for you.

The ecommerce experts at Highfivery have over 20 years of experience. Our digital natives will work with you one-on-one to come up with a strategy and concept that'll set you up for success in the ecommerce world.

Request a free ecommerce quote

Frequently Asked Ecommerce Questions

Ecommerce website cost questions.

How much does Adobe Commerce (a.k.a Magento) cost?

For Adobe Commerce, the price starts at $22,000 up to $125,000 per year. The license for Adobe Commerce Cloud starts at $40,000 up to $190,000 per year. There's quite a big difference between the Open Source and the Commerce version, but what you will get will be worth every penny.

How much does BigCommerce cost?

A BigCommerce Standard Plan costs $29.95 per month. So, that's the least amount of money you're going to spend. Once you start making sales you have to factor in the processing fees per transaction. The good news is that you don't have to pay for any hosting, since that's all included with your monthly fee.

Why choose WooCommerce for an ecommerce platform?

  1. It's free! Most ecommerce platforms cost money.
  2. It's easy. Simple to setup, configure & manage.
  3. It's scalable. It can grow with your business.
  4. It's proven. Great customer support with millons using it.

How much does a ecommerce website design cost?

Designing a website yourself is the cheapest option. The cost can range anywhere from a $100 to $3,000 or more. A simple custom website design from an agency can range from $1,500 to $30,000, whereas bigger and more complicated websites will cost between $40,000 to $75,000+.

How long does it take to build & launch a ecommerce website?

It really depends on the needs of the site, but typically Highfivery can get something launched within 1 - 2 weeks after the initial planning phase.

How much does an ecommerce website cost?

Typical price range starts between $5,000 and $10,000 — could be less or much more. It ultimately depends on the needs & design of the website.

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