品牌 Determining Website Costs in 2023 – Your Comprehensive Guide to Pricing

Your Guide to Understanding Web Development and Maintenance Expenses

Every business, including yours, reaches a point where a one-page website is no longer sufficient. Perhaps your company has undergone significant changes, or you’ve realized the convenience and cost-saving benefits of conducting online meetings instead of in-person visits. Regardless, we’re here to guide you through the process of pricing a brand new, polished website.

This article will help you understand the various costs involved in creating the perfect website for your business. It will also assist you in determining a suitable budget for the website you truly deserve. We’ll cover six key areas:

1. Why website costs vary so greatly
2. DIY website solutions and associated costs
3. Benefits of using a digital agency and website costs
4. The cost-time-value triangle
5. Ongoing website expenses
6. Considerations for marketing

Why do website costs vary so much?

Building a website is akin to assembling a car. You need the right tools, technical proficiency, and meticulous planning. Just like cars, website prices can vary significantly, underscoring the importance of accurately pricing your website.

The cost largely depends on your business requirements, chosen software, and desired features to fulfill the task. Some companies may need a custom-designed website, while others may require simple brochure sites or landing pages. This decision is one of the many factors to consider when calculating the cost of creating a professional website for your business.

So, how do you determine the best option for your circumstances? It ultimately depends on your availability, expertise, and willingness to undertake the project yourself. Let’s delve into this further.


A successful business website hinges on having the right functionality. But what exactly does this entail?

In simple terms, your website should cater to the specific needs of your business. Do you require a shopping cart? Or perhaps an online booking system for appointments? Tailoring your website to fulfill these requirements is vital.

By taking these factors into account, you can embark on the journey of creating a remarkable website that aligns perfectly with your business goals.

As previously mentioned, to keep visitors engaged on your website, it is crucial to have an interactive and captivating design. This could involve incorporating custom animations or scroll-triggered transitions.

Visitors seek out websites that offer interactivity and intrigue. Failing to provide this will result in losing potential users and missing out on future interactions.

When designing your website, it may be challenging to predict all the necessary features initially. Starting with a smaller build and gradually expanding as needed can prove advantageous.

While it may seem obvious, some companies invest significant amounts of money into their websites. Costs can easily reach six figures for setup and maintenance. Therefore, it is crucial to strategize and ensure that you are not wasting resources on features that your visitors will never utilize.

Platform, also known as a Content Management System (CMS)

Selecting the appropriate platform for your website requires careful consideration of market options and your website’s ultimate purpose. For instance, many retailers opt for Shopify, with approximately 1.5 million users, to build their ecommerce sites.

WordPress is another popular website solution. Although it is free to set up, premium builder plugins can range in price from HKD$100 to over HKD$100,000. However, it does come with some drawbacks:

–  Clunky CMS with no live updates and inconsistent previews
–  Plugin incompatibilities where updates to one plugin can break others
–  Security vulnerabilities that make it more susceptible to hacks

At Frames, we have embraced Figma as our preferred builder, and its popularity continues to grow. We believe that Figma will revolutionize the market in the coming years!

To further explore and compare Figma to two of the most prominent website builders, WordPress and HubSpot, we have provided comprehensive guides below.

DIY vs DFY: Doing It Yourself or Having It Done for You

If you’re looking for a straightforward solution with no more than 5 pages, a DIY website might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to give your website a refresh but lack the time or resources to do it yourself, pre-made templates are also an option.

While templates offer an easy no-code solution, they come with limitations when it comes to customization. These templates may suffice for beginners or start-ups taking an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach, as they provide valuable insights for the direction of your website. However, any professional company aiming to rank high on Google or retain visitors for longer periods will require a custom-made website.

Consider if you want to spend hours creating your own presentable website. Chances are, your answer will be no! The solution? Hire a freelancer or an agency. By outsourcing the job, you can save time and reduce stress, making it a worthwhile investment.

In-house vs Freelancer vs Agency

If you decide to hire someone else to design your website, there are several approaches you can take, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Consider your budget, business model, and the method that best suits your needs.


Take into account the roles and skills of your employees. For example, if you have a team member who excels in web design, delegating the work to them is likely the most cost-effective option, as it doesn’t require additional expenses beyond their wages.

However, keep in mind that this approach will divert resources from their existing workload. If it takes them a year to create your website because they’re multitasking with client work, the overall cost of your website could end up being equivalent to their annual salary.


Hiring a freelancer is a great option, especially if you trust in the quality of their work. Many small businesses choose this approach as it provides a personal touch and is often more affordable than hiring an agency.

However, depending on the freelancer, the project may take longer compared to an agency, as you’re working with a single individual. Consider if the time saved outweighs any potential trade-offs.


Outsourcing the work to an agency is a viable option for any business. Working with a third party brings a fresh perspective, shedding light on how your audience perceives your product or service and how they navigate your website.

Most businesses opt to partner with a website agency for the safety and expertise they provide. Depending on your requirements in terms of functionality, animation, and timeline, the cost can range from HKD$100,000 to HKD$500,000 or even more.

This investment pays off as agencies can complete the job faster and offer a wide range of resources. They typically have a full team of experts in branding, design, and content, and take care of everything from project management to content production and technical aspects of the launch. Additionally, they usually provide post-launch support and aftercare.

Even if you’re capable of building a website yourself, often your own work gets deprioritized. Running a business is time-consuming, so committing to building and maintaining a website is a significant demand.

2. DIY Website Solutions and Costs

Whether you’re opting for a do-it-yourself approach or a done-for-you option, there are several website development tools available, such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify. With WordPress, you may be tempted by the affordable HKD$650 price tag for the Divi Pro website builder, but keep in mind that it’s only for a year.

You might also find yourself needing Rank Math SEO to improve your website’s rankings, which costs HKD$1500 per year. As you can see, these expenses can quickly accumulate in the do-it-yourself model. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan and ensure you choose the right platform before diving into website development.

We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of WordPress, particularly its suitability for bloggers. However, if your company is not media-driven, it’s worth exploring some popular alternatives and understanding why they are gaining a share of WordPress’s market.

Wix Website Builder

Wix is an all-encompassing DIY website builder that offers a wide range of options, making it particularly appealing to early-stage businesses. Its user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop builder simplify the website creation process, requiring little to no technical skills.

Wix plans start at HKD$40 per month and go up to HKD$210 per month for the VIP package with advanced features like ad credits, a professional logo, and unlimited bandwidth.

Like any template-based website builder, Wix has its limitations. It’s essential to strategize and determine your website’s specific needs before committing to a template-based solution.

Screenshot of Wix DIY website builder homepage

Squarespace Web Builder

Squarespace shares similarities with Wix as a website builder, but many users consider it superior in terms of design scheme once they become accustomed to its interface. While Squarespace offers pre-designed templates, it does have certain limitations, such as limited plugin options.

However, if you only require a simple store or portfolio website, Squarespace might be the ideal solution. You can start small and then decide if you need to upgrade to a larger package.

In terms of pricing, Squarespace is similar to Wix. The basic plan starts at HKD$100 per month, with additional costs for extra templates and features. The top-tier plan is priced at HKD$300 per month. Additionally, Squarespace offers discounts for annual payments, which Wix does not provide.

Shopify: DIY E-commerce Made Easy

Shopify is a platform that eliminates the need for design knowledge with its intuitive drag and drop interface. While it may not be the ideal choice for blog sites, it serves as a great option for online stores, such as clothing shops or other product-based businesses. The template-based approach works well for beginners, although some users have reported challenges in customizing Shopify, particularly for SEO purposes.

What sets Shopify apart is its combination of payment processing, site hosting, and design capabilities. By taking care of these technical aspects, Shopify reduces the hassle of setting up a website, albeit with an annual fee. As a small business owner, you can focus on your core operations while leaving the tech headaches to Shopify.

Managing orders and stock is crucial, either by having a dedicated person or exploring drop-shipping options. Shopify is an excellent solution for businesses that already have an eBay or Etsy shop or even traditional brick and mortar stores.

Pricing starts at HKD$230 per month and can go up to HKD$2350 per month for enterprise-level models. Alongside transaction fees, costs can escalate quickly. It’s worth considering the expense of a custom-built e-commerce website, which may prove to be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

For example, when factoring in Shopify’s running costs, sales commissions, and Stripe/Paypal fees, monthly expenses can exceed HKD$10,000. In comparison, a custom-built e-commerce site typically starts at around HKD$150k, with HKD$1,000 per month for hosting and maintenance. Over a two-year period, Shopify can be just as expensive, with ongoing fees for the lifetime of your website.

3. Cost Considerations for Digital Agency Websites

Your website deserves to stand out, not look like a generic template.

Choosing a high-quality designer will yield better results, ensuring a professional and unique site.

Hiring the right company means having a team of experts dedicated to every aspect of website design, from coding and design to SEO and copywriting.

Here are the primary benefits of outsourcing the work to professional web design services:

– Done-for-you solution: Your time is valuable, and investing in a done-for-you solution pays off quickly. For example, if a company expects to generate HKD$100,000 a day in online sales leads, spending HKD$1,000,000 to get a professionally designed website up and running a month earlier can result in an expected gain of HKD$3,000,000. Additionally, professional sites tend to have higher conversion rates once live.

By optimizing your e-commerce strategy and considering the benefits of professional web design, you can make informed choices that align with your business goals and budget.

Hiring an agency not only saves you the hassle of dealing with technicalities, but also ensures peace of mind. They take care of everything, guaranteeing a website that your business truly deserves, with no key elements overlooked.

The value of a professionally designed website lies in the expertise and experience that web designers bring. They know what works, having tested various designs to determine the most impactful methods. Their design and marketing expertise leads to better decisions compared to non-experts.

Moreover, a customised and original design represents your business in the best possible way. This flexibility allows for future expansion and development as your business evolves.

While a generic template may suffice initially, realizing the need for a redesign can be costly when you’ve already invested significant time into your business. The design of your website is the first thing people notice, and a low-quality website can deter potential customers from using your business. Building a professional website requires the involvement of someone with excellent graphic design skills.

Beyond aesthetics, design also encompasses user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Your website should not only look professional, but also be easy to use. Neglecting this detail can lead to frustration among your customers. Additionally, Google Search prioritizes mobile usability, penalizing slow-loading websites. Ensuring responsiveness across all devices is essential.

A great website goes beyond meeting expectations; it creates a unique brand for your business. It builds brand recognition and drives conversions, resulting in more sales. A well-designed website flows smoothly and intuitively, guiding customers towards making a purchase.

Using an agency brings the advantage of tried and tested methods that optimize visitor-to-sale conversions. They can help you achieve more with your website than you could on your own, maximizing the value for your investment.

With their years of experience, agencies follow a proven strategy for website projects, starting with refining your plan based on business goals and available data. They then focus on creating a professional and visually appealing website design. Optimizing content and implementing SEO strategies are crucial for improving search engine rankings and driving organic traffic.

Consider this: if a keyword costs HKD$50 per click in Google Search advertising, ranking organically becomes a cost-effective alternative. Investing in professional SEO services becomes even more valuable when you realize the potential savings on advertising costs.

By optimizing your website through professional design, content, and SEO, you can attract more traffic and convert visitors into loyal customers.

Website development

Your site is only as good as its coding.

If your code is not up to par or has other issues like bugs or security vulnerabilities, visitors will leave, resulting in missed sales opportunities.

Building a website from scratch or updating an existing one requires input from a developer. The advantage of working with an agency is that your designer and developer can collaborate seamlessly.

Internal Testing

Remember, your website will not only be used by you, so it needs to be thoroughly tested. Testing allows for prompt improvements instead of waiting for issues to arise and then trying to fix them.

For instance, an agency will meticulously test every link, button, and form submission on your website. They will also assess responsiveness and site performance to ensure a top-notch website.


An agency can assist you in creating a launch campaign to showcase your amazing new website.

They will also be available to address any post-launch issues. Despite thorough testing, unforeseen problems may arise once users start visiting the website. You may notice…

Your exceptional site will not only enhance brand recognition but also lead to increased sales.

4. Cost, Time, and Value

Building a professional website from scratch typically takes anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months on average. What surprises most people is that this process requires full-time work from one or two individuals. Consider the average salary for this duration before determining whether the quoted price is expensive.

Naturally, the best approach is to be well-prepared in advance. If you have a deadline that requires your project to be completed quickly (e.g., going live in a couple of weeks), expect to pay a premium.

Other clients may experience delays if your designer has to prioritize your site. Therefore, be prepared to spend more for expedited delivery, even for a small website.

Functionality will also be a factor, as mentioned earlier. If you desire custom animation, anticipate the development process to take four times longer compared to without it. And four times longer means four times more costly.

The cost of a professionally-built website significantly depends on your website requirements. Website development is a time-consuming process, so there will be a substantial difference in cost between a one-page landing page, a typical corporate website, and an ecommerce store.

One-page landing page

As previously mentioned, if you simply need a website to showcase your company and provide contact information, a one-page website will suffice.

A smaller website will naturally be the most economical option, but it’s important to note that there are costs beyond the initial setup. Hosting and maintenance are essential for any website, regardless of its size.

Expect to invest around HKD$50,000 for a high-quality landing page from an agency, with managed hosting and maintenance ranging between HKD$250-500 per month.

Start-ups often take this approach as they want to launch quickly and anticipate future changes. It’s much faster to launch a single page and update it as the company evolves, rather than perfecting a ten-page website before launching.

Small website

Sometimes a landing page isn’t sufficient; there may be a need to showcase services or the team involved. In such cases, a lean site with approximately 5-10 pages may be necessary.

Expect to invest between HKD$50,000 and HKD$150,000 at this stage.

Corporate sales website

For small or growing businesses, especially those aiming for Google rankings, a few more pages are likely needed. Rankings require content, and content necessitates pages!

In this case, consider creating a sales and marketing website with around 10-20 pages.

Your site will likely require the following:

– A homepage that provides an overarching introduction to your organization
– An About page that details the company’s history and team
– A contact page that offers various contact methods, from instant messaging to traditional email and phone
– Service pages that individually detail the specific services you offer
– A careers page, especially if you’re seeking to expand your team
– Individual job vacancy pages
– A blog section, as long-form content is vital for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
– A case studies section, to showcase past successes and completed projects
– As a general guideline, budget between HKD$150,000 to HKD$300,000 for this type of website.

Of course, the cost could be higher depending on integrations, interactions, complexities, and customizations. Nonetheless, it’s a worthwhile investment for any business serious about establishing a credible online presence.

You may find the cost seems expensive, but don’t forget the strategic element involved in website production. Consider the costs of collaborative workshops, strategy development, wireframes, design, development, revisions, project management, and additional services such as setting up Google Analytics, integrating CRMs, linking form submissions to email marketing software, professional content writing, SEO, and much more!

All these factors contribute to the overall price, so having a clear understanding of your website requirements before approaching an agency is crucial. Underestimating website costs is all too common when requirements are not fully understood.

Ecommerce site

If your business aims to sell products online, you’ll need a reliable e-commerce solution. Unlike regular websites, e-commerce sites are more intricate. They require a robust backend system capable of handling the entire customer journey, even after the initial sale.

The complexity of e-commerce sites primarily stems from the multitude of product pages. Additionally, integrating a secure payment provider and ensuring a smooth checkout process are crucial considerations.

An average e-commerce site encompasses all the features of a corporate website, along with product pages, category pages, and custom checkout functionality.

Moreover, optimizing an e-commerce site for search engines is essential to address potential issues that may arise from having multiple product pages with different variations. Technical SEO expertise is indispensable in this regard.

It’s important to note that custom e-commerce sites can be quite costly, with prices starting from HKD$300,000 and potentially exceeding HKD$1,000,000, depending on your business model and the number of product listings.

Members area

In addition to the aforementioned website types, you might require a members area. This database stores user information, including account details and, in the case of e-commerce websites, previous orders, delivery updates, and payment information.

While third-party platforms can be integrated into your website to minimize costs, opting for a custom-built database can amount to around HKD$150,000, in addition to the website development expenses.

5. Ongoing website costs – website maintenance, hosting, and support

Often overlooked, the costs associated with website development don’t end once the site is built.

To ensure smooth operation, you’ll need ongoing website maintenance and hosting services. Depending on your team’s expertise and resources, this can be handled internally or outsourced to a professional.

Many businesses choose to have the same agency that built the website also handle its maintenance. After all, who better understands the intricacies of the site?

Inevitably, updates will be necessary as your business evolves, whether it’s adding a new product page or creating a landing page for promotions. These tasks typically fall under the responsibility of the designer.

Furthermore, uptime monitoring and prompt resolution of any server-side issues are essential. While tools like Uptime Robot can help track downtime, having the necessary technical expertise to address and resolve such issues is crucial.

Having a professional on hand is crucial to ensure that all the hard work invested in building your website doesn’t go to waste due to neglect. Additionally, consider the potential ramifications of a GDPR breach caused by a security risk. Just that one sentence alone makes outsourcing your site maintenance and hosting invaluable.

Trained professionals play a vital role in safeguarding websites, so it’s important to look for qualified individuals. Depending on your company and business insurance, meeting specific security criteria to the highest standards may be mandatory. It can also serve as a promotional tool to provide your customers with peace of mind, particularly in sensitive industries like healthcare and finance.

You can obtain high-quality service starting from around HKD$750 per month, with prices increasing up to around HKD$3000 for 24/7 monitoring and technical support.

6. Marketing considerations

Hiring an agency for your website project offers another significant advantage – the potential for added value and quick access to additional services.

You can expect to budget for these services either on an hourly basis or through a monthly bundle, where you’ll likely receive SEO, content creation, and other digital marketing services for an all-in-one fee.

While we won’t delve into the details in this article, if you’re uncertain about why you need a marketing agency, take a look at this.

Your website as a marketing tool

Creating a remarkable website is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available. Humans are naturally drawn to visually appealing websites with engaging features, making it more likely for you to attract potential customers.

An excellent website has the power to generate a viral wave of positive feedback and reviews, while a poorly-designed webpage can have the opposite effect, often with disastrous consequences. This fact alone is a compelling reason to bring an agency on board.

Choosing a marketing partner to increase website traffic and conversions

A well-designed site will help you capture leads, regardless of your industry. But how do you drive customers to your website in the first place? The answer is most likely Google.

As Google becomes increasingly human-like, its ranking factors now consider usability, visual aspects of websites, and the quality of content. Therefore, post-website launch, your content strategy should be your top priority. Depending on your goals, you’ll need to evaluate paid versus organic strategies to achieve your key performance indicators (KPIs).

If your chosen agency has already built your website, they understand your business and are in the best position to support your ongoing growth. Whether it’s revamping your pages or collaborating with you to create content, it’s always worth exploring the additional services your website agency can provide.

It’s no secret that lead generation is more critical than ever in today’s business world. However, most businesses lack a concrete content strategy for lead generation, resulting in wasted time and money on ineffective campaigns. Without proper expertise, you can squander significant amounts of money on Google Ads and paid media. Therefore, it’s best to bring in professionals who understand how to optimize your investments.

Working with an agency that combines multiple skillsets under one roof is a sure-fire way to ensure the success of your marketing efforts. Our Agency Subscription offers a simple, flexible, and transparent collaboration across video, content, SEO, PPC, design, CRM, email marketing, automation, and operations – all aimed at bringing you more leads and sales.

Campaign success across various channels – social media, paid advertising, and landing pages. Agencies also offer additional services, as previously discussed, so anticipate costs starting from HKD$15,000 per month, depending on the services, ROI, or time allocation.

Now, let’s talk about website costs.

By now, you might have guessed that the answer depends on three key factors:

1. Your specific requirements
2. Your skillset
3. Your budget

Website costs can range anywhere from HKD$200 for a DIY approach to over HKD$500,000 for a custom-built, high-converting website delivered by experts.

What’s undeniable is that a professionally-designed website leaves a lasting impression on your clients. Within just 0.05 seconds of arriving, website visitors form their first impressions, and 75% of consumers assess a business’s credibility based on its website design.

The longer visitors stay on your website, the better, especially when it comes to captivating their senses and enticing them. Keep in mind, you’re competing against other businesses and tech giants like Amazon or Google. While you may not have their budget, you can still create a lightning-fast website that delivers an exceptional user experience.

If there’s one thing you’ve learned from this comprehensive guide, it’s probably the importance of outsourcing your website creation, right?

Just a friendly heads up, some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission on any sign-ups or purchases made through the recommended tools.