The cost of a website in South Africa can be as little as R100 per month, but you could also pay up to R50,000 or more upfront for a website. The cost to maintain the site could also cost you an additional R15,000 per year.
The method you choose to create your website will determine the cost, so in this article we’ll look at three methods to setup a website and the costs involved for each of them.
Using a website builder is the cheapest way to build a website, while hiring a professional designer is the most expensive. You won’t have to worry about any of the technical issues if you hire a professional though. WordPress will give you more control of your website than you’ll have with a website builder, but it can be very time consuming if you plan to work on the site yourself.
Using a website builder
Website builders are the cheapest way to build a professional looking website and there are a few available, so you need to be careful about which one you choose. If you stick to one of the well-known builders like Wix or SquareSpace you shouldn’t have any problems.
Website builders are great for:-
- People with little or no technical experience
- If you are on a tight budget
- If you need to get a live website set up quickly
- Personal websites and portfolios
Website builder costs range from free up to R8,500 per month depending on what you need. The cost for most websites however should be between R100 and R850 per month.
Avoid using the free and entry-level plans if you don’t want the website builders’ brand advertising on your site. The free plans also have only basic customer support and don’t have any e-commerce features which means you can’t sell anything.
The free plans are fine if you want to try things out, practice your skills and test new ideas without the financial commitment. But they’re not so good for a professional site, where it will be better to go with one of the paid plans.
Approximate cost for website in South Africa using a website builder
|Subscription||R100 – R850 per month|
|Domain||R90 per year|
|Optional Apps||R50 – R1,900|
|Total||R0 – R2,000 per month|
You won’t have to pay for website hosting if you use a website builder as this is included in your subscription.
Website costs using WordPress
There is no fixed cost to set up a WordPress website as this is depends to your requirements. In theory, WordPress is free, and there are a large number of free themes and plugins available. You will however need to pay for a domain and hosting of your site. A premium theme and plugins will also add to the costs.
If you really want to customise your WordPress website you may also need to employ the services of a professional WordPress developer, bear in mind that this will push your costs up quite significantly. Having said that, there are many WordPress site owners who have created and maintain their own sites without the help of a professional. The power of WordPress is that you can do the same.
Approximate costs of a WordPress website in South Africa
|Hosting||R50 – R900 per month|
|Domain||R90 per year|
|Premium Plugins (optional)||R90 – R 1,700|
|Premium Themes (optional)||R90 – R3,400|
|On-going Costs||R70 – R2,500 per month|
See my post on WordPress and Content Management Systems for more on WordPress.
Using the services of a website designer and developer
Employing the services of a professional website designer in South Africa can cost anything between R1,000 and R50,000 but it means that you won’t have to deal with any of the technical issues.
When using a professional website designer, you will need to think of how you want your website to look and the functionality you need. You will also need to prepare a design brief so that your designer completely understands your requirements and vision. There are a few things you can do to help a designer or developer to quote on your website.
Have an idea of what you want
Many people don’t give enough thought to what they actually want on their website. If you can provide the designer with enough information on how you want your website to look and the functionality you need, it will help them to quote accurately and avoid unnecessary “bells and whistles” that you may not need or want.
Start by finding a website that you like – look at the design and functionality – this will help the designer to understand what you require and what you are thinking. A competitor website or even a website that you like the appearance and functionality of will do.
A checklist of things you may want
- What is the purpose of the website? Ask yourself why you want a website in the first place.
- What type of functionality do you need? Do you want to sell a product or post content like a blog, or both?
- Other functionality and pages:-
- A services page
- Product pages
- A blog
- Newsletter signup
- Social media integration
- Search engine optimisation
- Online Marketing
How many pages?
Once you have decided on the functionality and purpose of your website, you need to consider the number of pages you will need.
Common pages for a website
These are the pages that appear on most websites and what visitors look for most often.
- About us
- Contact page
Your design and programming budget
Let your designer know how much you are willing to spend. If the designer knows what your budget is, it will help them to work out the best way to give you as much as possible, while staying within your budget.
Creating content for your site can be time consuming, but for your website to rank in search engine results, you need to provide fresh and relevant content fairly often. You can create content yourself, but if you don’t have the time to spend on this, you will need to hire a professional. The costs for content creation can vary from a few hundred Rand to several thousand per month.
Website builders are your best choice if you are on tight budget, want to get your site live quickly and prepared to do the work yourself. A professional website designer can make an awesome website for you, but the costs may be prohibitive for most small businesses.
WordPress provides a middle of the road solution as you can do a lot of the work yourself or employ a professional developer if you need help. Either way, combining the power of WordPress and the ability to do it yourself make WordPress a good choice for most websites. Compare WordPress and Wix at wpbeginner.com.