5 Things to Consider When Creating Your Website Budget

Is a website refresh or building a new website part of your 2024 plans? Creating a website from scratch or redesigning an outdated website can feel intimidating, complex, and costly. Your website budget depends greatly on these core areas. 

1. Domain budget

Let’s start with the basics. A domain is another term for a website name you’ve purchased. It’s the address you type in a browser to access a website. 

As you look to register your domain name, you’ll notice several options. Domains can end with .com (the most popular option), .net, .org, .co, and others. 

You might wonder where to buy a website domain. Popular domain hosts are GoDaddy, Domains.com, or others, although, for convenience, it can be easier to have both your domain and website hosted with the same company, if possible. More on website hosting in a moment, it’s slightly different from domain hosting.


Domain names are most commonly paid for in one to three years at a time. Also, they require renewal each time the domain expires. You should plan on allocating $10-15 per year for your domain when creating a website budget.

Autorenewal features on most hosting service providers allow you to smoothly re-purchase your domain name without a lapse in service or a competitor buying it out from under you. Remember: purchasing a domain name for longer periods of time typically comes with a sizable discount. Further, it can actually help with search engine optimization (SEO) as it helps show Google that your website has longevity.

When purchasing your hosting, you can also commonly purchase add-on features such as domain privacy, which will help protect your information from the public if you’d like to maintain anonymity about your domain ownership. This add-on is typically less than $20/year.

2. Budgeting for Hosting

Website hosting is where your website files are actually stored. So, when someone types your domain name into a web browser, files are pulled up from your website host and displayed for the website visitor.

There are many popular hosting companies, such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator. However, popular doesn’t necessarily mean better. 

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

At Buddy, we typically build websites using a content management system called WordPress. It’s the most popular and widely-used content management system. And, there are hosting providers that are dedicated specifically to hosting WordPress sites. These hosts can help these websites load fast and run correctly. Some also offer free SSL certificates (more on that shortly) and daily website backups.

Two of Buddy’s favorites (and favorites among developers in general) are WP Engine and Siteground. Typical hosting plans are less than $25 per month for WP Engine, and even less for Siteground.

Choosing a Host

Each hosting provider offers hosting packages at different price points, depending on what you require. Variables include cost, support, speed, performance, capacity, bandwidth, website uptime, and more. There’s a lot of things to consider when choosing a website host.


Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. Free or cheap hosting providers will typically offer more restrictions on performance. These restrictions may cause issues down the road as your website grows. It’s worth it to spend just a little more of your website budget to get a good host. The extra $10 or so dollars a month can mitigate a lot of headaches!


If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may not need much help managing your site. However, not everyone has the inclination – or the time – to update or edit content, much less manage the behind-the-scenes technical administration of your website. If you know you’re going to need additional help, make sure that your host delivers consistent support options.

Some hosting services offer 24/7 support via email, phone, live chat, or submitting a support ticket to wait in line for your turn. Having a phone number where you can quickly talk to a human being is important.


Nobody wants to sit and watch your site load for an hour. Google’s recent core algorithm updates are starting to require faster loading websites. Users now expect a load time of two seconds or fewer. Your web host can be a large factor in page speed, along with how your website is built.


If you want top-notch performance, get your wallet out. Free or cheap hosting providers will typically offer more restrictions on performance. These restrictions may cause issues down the road as your website grows. 

Capacity and bandwidth

Unless you intend for your business to stay small forever, your long-term business plan probably requires a website that will need to scale in various areas, such as website traffic and large files. So make sure your hosting package offers the option to scale as your website gets larger with more traffic bandwidth flowing.

Website uptime

Most popular hosting providers score well regarding a website’s uptime. But, you’ll want to make sure the host you choose has an uptime score of at least 99.5%.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. Keep in mind that pricing will increase if you opt for additional or unique features, like site protection, extra domain names, backup, email addresses, a content management system, etc

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

Website developers will commonly offer to host your website for you. While this may be a convenient option, be mindful about what benefits you’re getting from having the developer host your website for you (and the cost) compared to you yourself hosting your website directly with a hosting provider such as WP Engine or Siteground

Having your developer host your website can essentially “lock” you in with that developer. So, be sure that you plan on working with them for the next several years. Don’t rush in to having them handle your hosting for you. For additional considerations, check diving into the question of should you host your website with a developer.

3. SSL Certificate Cost

An SSL Certificate authenticates your website’s identity and verifies that it’s safe and secure to use. You can easily verify if a website has a valid SSL Certificate. Just check the website address and see if it has an “S” in the HTTPS part of the URL.

Additionally, an SSL Certificate enables you to have an encrypted connection. Encrypted connections keep information exchanges private and secure by “padlocking” your data transfers.

Why is this a big deal? It’s all about security. Keeping information private is critical when you’re making an online purchase or exchanging other private information with visitors such as login info, credit card numbers, personal identity, legal documents, etc. Visitors will often feel more comfortable visiting and using your site when they know it is secure, as well.

Nowadays, many website hosting services offer free SSL Certificates when purchasing a domain name from their platform. Depending on the level of security your website requires and the hosting provider, some SSL Certificates can cost up to several hundred dollars or more for more rigorous security requirements. 

As one additional consideration, having an SSL Certificate is important in Google’s eyes for your search engine optimization rankings. So, it’s an important part you include an SSL certificate when you create a website budget.

4. Email Pricing

Some hosting provider packages will include nearly unlimited email addresses for any of the domain names you have registered with your hosting service provider, such as HostGator.

You don’t technically need a professional email Name@Company.com, but it might look a tad-bit more professional than Company@Gmail.com.

Other hosting providers might charge you a flat rate for each additional email address.

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

When setting up custom email addresses, it’s important to prevent your emails from being flagged as spam. For budget email options, commonly your domain can be included in a shared server, with other email customers. This means even if you aren’t spamming, sending bulk emails, or doing anything out of the ordinary, your emails could be flagged.

By comparison, hosting providers commonly offer – for a slightly higher price – dedicated email servers. If you have a growing business, you may want to invest in dedicated email hosting with Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, which will include dedicated email for your business, as well as tools such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc., or Microsoft Office. These options will help ensure that your emails aren’t flagged as spam, as long as you’re following best practices for email use.

For options like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, you will most commonly pay a monthly or annual fee per user. Currently, your website budget should allocate at least $6 per month, per user, for either Google or Microsoft’s basic plans, and these prices go up as you add features.

5. Website Design and Development Budget

After you’ve established a solid foundation with the technical back-end and under the hood components, you’re ready for the fun stuff with designing the actual look, feel, and interactive elements on your website. This is the biggest portion to plan for when you create a website budget.

Modern website designers and developers will typically build your website using a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Wix, Shopify, or others. Each CMS will have different potential costs associated that will unlock and allow website designers to configure various functionality. Wix or Weebly might be the most user-friendly options for first-time website designers but may ultimately cost more in the long term due to limited access to important features. Wix and Weebly can work well for simple website needs.

By comparison, WordPress is a free and incredibly popular CMS option. Nearly half of websites are built using WordPress. It is regularly updated and has a very large array of plugins, support, and developers that are part of the WordPress community. This is the platform that Buddy uses primarily for website design and development.

With a CMS in place, your website designer can more easily make real-time updates to your website, while also being able to constantly optimize various elements. 

A properly installed CMS can even allow people who aren’t super tech-savvy to easily log in and make simple updates and additions. Simple updates might include publishing blog articles, updating website copy, or changing images.

Naturally, if your website requires functionality beyond just having text, images, and a contact form, that increases complexity and therefore cost. E-commerce sites, membership sites, and other more robust features can quickly increase cost, and also quickly move from something you could potentially build yourself, to something where you’ll need expert help.

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

The costs for web design and development vary widely. Where we would encourage particular caution is around developers who advertise being “really fast” and/or “really cheap.” 

The way developers or agencies can offer extremely cheap prices and fast turnaround time is by having a business model where their focus is to quickly mass-produce and churn out a high volume of websites, such as by outsourcing work overseas at a low cost, using pre-built templates where text can quickly be dropped in with minimal customization, and/or using stock images, just for example

Granted, this approach can be a perfect fit for what some businesses may need, but you’re much less likely to receive a thoroughly built and tested website – much less one that is customized to your brand and needs. To get the best results, be sure to work with a reputable developer, and understand that investing in a website is commonly a core part of your business’ branding and marketing, and a key component in attracting customers. When you create a website budget, to a certain extent, you’ll get what you pay for. If you’re looking for the right fit, here are some tips for finding the right website designer.

Additional Website Budget Elements to Consider


Some website designers can also help you design your logo and integrate it into your new website for an added cost, depending on how in-depth and detailed the design is. Logo costs range widely from several hundred dollars to the thousands. More experienced designers will commonly charge more, and create a more truly custom logo that looks elegant and professional, whereas budget logo options may look more generic or like clip art. 

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

Your logo needs to reflect your brand appropriately, so it’s important to choose a logo designer that can design something like what you have in mind. Thus, be sure to check out a designer’s portfolio to make sure they have examples of logos that have a similar look and feel as what you’d like for your own brand. As with website design and development, lower cost routes can result in logos that look more generic and like clip art, so when creating a website budget, you may want to plan to invest a little more than whatever the lowest price option is. 

For more considerations, check out our post on how much should a new logo cost.


A core principle of branding involves uniformity across all platforms. Fine-tuning your branding and can require additional budgeting depending on your needs. A professional designer can help you establish appropriate colors, fonts, and iconography for your brand. These elements can then be used across your website, print materials, shirts, and so on. Again, costs for branding help range tremendously based on the agency’s or individual’s expertise. If you already have an established brand with colors and fonts, you should be in good shape. But, if you are looking for professional help, you’ll want to allocate a few hundred or thousand extra to your website budget.

Web Copy

In simple terms, copy is persuasive writing. It’s the text content that goes on your website. Many individuals will prefer to write copy for a website themselves. But, at times, due to expertise, or, frankly, bandwidth, it can be helpful to bring in professionals.

Effective website copy will be well written, reflect your brand appropriately, educate your target customers, and prompt them to take action. Further, it will integrate relevant keywords that will resonate with your audience and help your website show up in Google results. This can be a key way to attract customers. When you create a website budget, plan a few hundred dollars per page if you’re getting custom writing help on content-heavy pages.


Visuals are critical to good site design. Compelling and relevant images help to further enhance and establish the tone of your website . It also helps keep the information both friendly and easy on the eyes.

By using a variety of relevant imagery, (affordable stock images, professional photography, infographics, etc) you’re able to cater to the type of audience that tends to visual consumption of info about your products and services.

Hiring a professional photographer to take photos for your website can run in the range of hundreds of dollars, up to several thousand. But, if you want a truly custom website with incredible images that resonate with visitors, this can be a worthwhile investment. Of course, if you have a unique product you sell and want to feature on your website, you’re less likely to find a stock image of it. Thus, professional photography may be necessary.

For your website budget, a professional photographer can be an investment of a few hundred or thousand dollars. Stock images, by comparison, can be more in the $20-30 range per photo.

DIY vs Freelancer vs Agency

Once you understand the entire landscape of how to establish a secure, functional, and visually appealing website, the next question is: how do you go about manifesting your vision into reality while adhering to budget requirements?

The DIY Route

If you have the time, along with the technical and design capabilities, doing it all yourself is a valid option that many startup companies opt to begin with while establishing how much of the budget to allocate to a detailed website design.

Obviously, the learning curve can be steep, especially if you need more than just very basic functionality on your website. Unless you are tech-savvy with a lot of spare time, you’re likely going to need some help. There’s lot to consider if you’re asking “should I build my own website?”

Some of the hardest things about building a website is making sure it has excellent functionality, performance, and aesthetics. It better be optimized, load quickly, and be easy to use. Remember, a website serves as the face of your company and the first impression many customers will get. If the visuals look off, it’s not optimized for mobile, or the copy isn’t reader-friendly, you risk losing visitors. Even if you opt to go with a purported “easy to use” website builder like Wix or Weebly, it’s still on you to make sure your website looks incredible, which can be a bit more art than science.

Don’t forget about maintenance, too. Stuff breaks all the time. Ask yourself, how easy will it be to update content down the line?

The Freelance or Agency Route

When you don’t have the time to take on building a website from scratch, both freelancers and agencies have unique offers. 

In general, freelancers typically specialize in only a handful of specific areas. Thus, it might be more costly to hire them for specific tasks. Freelancer specializations are a great addition to keep on hand when you’re looking for a specific result.

Agencies can help you define and see the large complex landscape while remaining within your budget. They also can provide guidance on how best to navigate the territory towards success. While freelancers can require more time to fulfill specific quality tasks, agencies tend to have faster turnaround times, larger teams, and more complete (cost-effective) solutions.

Expert Advice from Buddy Web Design and Development

When working with freelancers – we know, because we’ve been there ourselves! – it’s important to keep in mind that freelancers are usually working solo to make a living. So, they may sometimes charge a lower price compared to an agency. But, that means that likely the developer is juggling multiple client projects at once. They need to, to make enough money to keep their freelance business sustainable. 

By comparison, agencies may charge a higher price point, but they’ll commonly have a more robust team of experts, processes, and infrastructure in place, to provide a higher quality result. Of course, this is not always the case on either front. But, it’s something to keep in mind. Remember, building a website is an investment in a key marketing tool you’ll be using for several years.

Knowing It’s the Right Fit

Make no mistake, website design is complicated. If you expect engaging visuals and functionality that’s both secure and user-friendly, and you’re okay with managing your site yourself, freelancers are a valid option. Just do your research. Check out their portfolio, ask for references and customer reviews, and compare costs before making a commitment. 

Look for agencies with stellar ratings and a great reputation with numerous five-star testimonials from previous clients. These attributes can offer you the immediate confidence you need to trust in someone to take your project.  

Here’s the thing: there are lots of designers and developers out there, offering a wide range of expertise and price points. At Buddy Web Design & Development, we believe the quality of our work and offering a great experience for our customers take precedence over everything else. We aim to offer website and design services that look incredible and function well, every time.  

If you’re interested in chatting with Buddy about how to develop a fully-functional website your users will love, please reach out to us using our contact form here, or email us at info@BuddyWDD.com. 

Buddy Web Design & Development

Let’s Work Together

Let’s partner to turn your ideas into reality and build something great together.

Privacy Policy

We value your privacy.

This privacy policy applies to the use of all our web properties, including this site.

Log Files and Cookies

This website utilizes industry standard analytics packages which gather limited information on visitors to our website automatically and stores this anonymous information in server log files. This information may include IP addresses, browser type, basic IP information, referring pages, operating system used, and date/time stamps. This information does not identify individual users; it is used only for site administration, as well as for analysis of website usage and trends.

Additionally, cookies may be used to provide easier and faster access to website features such as logins and/or repeat visits.  Cookies are very small text files that are stored on personal computers for reference purposes. We do not store in cookies to any personally identifiable information in cookies.   

Links to Third-Party Websites

This website may contain links to other sites that are not controlled in any way by us. Please be aware when you click on any such links, we are not responsible for the privacy practices and/or policies of any website other than our own. Consequently, we strongly suggest that you review the privacy policy of every website you visit, whether or not they are linked to by our site.

Registration and Use of Personal Information

Registration is not required to use or access this website. However, we may make forums, blogs, message boards, or similar features available to our visitors. You may be asked to register for using these features, particularly if you wish to leave comments or publish content.

Please note that if you post comments or articles to any forum, blog or message board on this site, any personally identifiable information you provide in those comments or articles may be read, collated and used by anyone viewing them. As such, we are not responsible for personally identifiable information you may choose to make available through these channels.


We follow accepted industry standards to protect any personal information you have provided to us. However, please be aware that no method of electronic storage can ever be 100% secure. Therefore, as is the case with any organization – we are not in a position to guarantee the absolute security of your information.

You may submit any questions you may have about our security procedures by emailing us

Legal Disclaimer

We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this privacy policy, please free to contact us.

Copyright Notice

We do not authorize anyone to copy materials published on this web site for personal, commercial, or non-commercial use. The sites to which our site links remain subject to their own copyright notice. These materials cannot be distributed, modified, posted on a website, or used for public or commercial purposes.

Permission to copy any portions of these publications or post any portions of these publications on a website must be obtained in writing by contacting us.

Terms of Use

These terms and conditions outline the rules and regulations for the use of Buddy Web Design & Development’s Website, located at https://www.buddywdd.com.

By accessing this website we assume you accept these terms and conditions. Do not continue to use buddywdd.com if you do not agree to take all of the terms and conditions stated on this page.

The following terminology applies to these Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statement and Disclaimer Notice and all Agreements: “Client”, “You” and “Your” refers to you, the person log on this website and compliant to the Company’s terms and conditions. “The Company”, “Ourselves”, “We”, “Our” and “Us”, refers to our Company. “Party”, “Parties”, or “Us”, refers to both the Client and ourselves. All terms refer to the offer, acceptance and consideration of payment necessary to undertake the process of our assistance to the Client in the most appropriate manner for the express purpose of meeting the Client’s needs in respect of provision of the Company’s stated services, in accordance with and subject to, prevailing law of us. Any use of the above terminology or other words in the singular, plural, capitalization and/or he/she or they, are taken as interchangeable and therefore as referring to same.


We may employ the use of cookies. By accessing buddywdd.com, you agreed to use cookies in agreement with the Buddy Web Design & Development’s Privacy Policy.

Most interactive websites use cookies to let us retrieve the user’s details for each visit. Cookies are used by our website to enable the functionality of certain areas to make it easier for people visiting our website. Some of our affiliate/advertising partners may also use cookies.


Unless otherwise stated, Buddy Web Design & Development and/or its licensors own the intellectual property rights for all material on buddywdd.com. All intellectual property rights are reserved. You may access this from buddywdd.com for your own personal use subjected to restrictions set in these terms and conditions.

You must not:

  • Republish material from buddywdd.com
  • Sell, rent or sub-license material from buddywdd.com
  • Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from buddywdd.com
  • Redistribute content from buddywdd.com

This Agreement shall begin on the date hereof. 

Hyperlinking to our Content

The following organizations may link to our Website without prior written approval:

  • Government agencies;
  • Search engines;
  • News organizations;
  • Online directory distributors may link to our Website in the same manner as they hyperlink to the Websites of other listed businesses; and
  • System wide Accredited Businesses except soliciting non-profit organizations, charity shopping malls, and charity fundraising groups which may not hyperlink to our Web site.

These organizations may link to our home page, to publications or to other Website information so long as the link: (a) is not in any way deceptive; (b) does not falsely imply sponsorship, endorsement or approval of the linking party and its products and/or services; and (c) fits within the context of the linking party’s site.

We may consider and approve other link requests from the following types of organizations:

  • commonly-known consumer and/or business information sources;
  • dot.com community sites;
  • associations or other groups representing charities;
  • online directory distributors;
  • internet portals;
  • accounting, law and consulting firms; and
  • educational institutions and trade associations.

We will approve link requests from these organizations if we decide that: (a) the link would not make us look unfavorably to ourselves or to our accredited businesses; (b) the organization does not have any negative records with us; (c) the benefit to us from the visibility of the hyperlink compensates the absence of Buddy Web Design & Development; and (d) the link is in the context of general resource information.

These organizations may link to our home page so long as the link: (a) is not in any way deceptive; (b) does not falsely imply sponsorship, endorsement or approval of the linking party and its products or services; and (c) fits within the context of the linking party’s site.

If you are one of the organizations listed in paragraph 2 above and are interested in linking to our website, you must inform us by sending an e-mail to Buddy Web Design & Development. Please include your name, your organization name, contact information as well as the URL of your site, a list of any URLs from which you intend to link to our Website, and a list of the URLs on our site to which you would like to link. Wait 2-3 weeks for a response.

Approved organizations may hyperlink to our Website as follows:

  • By use of our corporate name; or
  • By use of the uniform resource locator being linked to; or
  • By use of any other description of our Website being linked to that makes sense within the context and format of content on the linking party’s site.

No use of Buddy Web Design & Development’s logo or other artwork will be allowed for linking absent a trademark license agreement.


Without prior approval and written permission, you may not create frames around our Webpages that alter in any way the visual presentation or appearance of our Website.

Content Liability

We shall not be hold responsible for any content that appears on your Website. You agree to protect and defend us against all claims that is rising on your Website. No link(s) should appear on any Website that may be interpreted as libelous, obscene or criminal, or which infringes, otherwise violates, or advocates the infringement or other violation of, any third party rights.

Reservation of Rights

We reserve the right to request that you remove all links or any particular link to our Website. You approve to immediately remove all links to our Website upon request. We also reserve the right to amen these terms and conditions and it’s linking policy at any time. By continuously linking to our Website, you agree to be bound to and follow these linking terms and conditions.

Removal of links from our website

If you find any link on our Website that is offensive for any reason, you are free to contact and inform us any moment. We will consider requests to remove links but we are not obligated to or so or to respond to you directly.

We do not ensure that the information on this website is correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy; nor do we promise to ensure that the website remains available or that the material on the website is kept up to date.


To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, we exclude all representations, warranties and conditions relating to our website and the use of this website. Nothing in this disclaimer will:

  • limit or exclude our or your liability for death or personal injury;
  • limit or exclude our or your liability for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • limit any of our or your liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law; or
  • exclude any of our or your liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.

The limitations and prohibitions of liability set in this Section and elsewhere in this disclaimer: (a) are subject to the preceding paragraph; and (b) govern all liabilities arising under the disclaimer, including liabilities arising in contract, in tort and for breach of statutory duty.

As long as the website and the information and services on the website are provided free of charge, we will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature.

Get Your Free Guide Now!

By submitting this form, you’ll receive an email to confirm we have the right address for you, and that you’d like to receive this free guide as well as periodic emails from Buddy. You may unsubscribe at any time.