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How much does an eCommerce website cost: a complete guide

ecommerce website cost

So you’ve got a rock-solid eCommerce business idea and you're ready to start your business but you need to figure out the cost of building an eCommerce website. How much is it going to cost you to take what’s inside your head and turn it into a beautiful, fully-functioning online store?

The short answer: it depends.

Because every eCommerce website is unique, it’s difficult to pinpoint exact costs from the get-go. But once you know the factors behind website development costs overall, you can get a clearer idea of the budget you’ll need to start an online store.

On Wix, you can build an ecommerce website for free. However, once you launch your site and want to start accepting payments from shoppers, you’ll have to choose a paid plan. Wix offers several annual eCommerce plans ranging from $27/month for basic eCommerce features to $159/month for more advanced capabilities.

We’ll break down all the major aspects of eCommerce website costs and explore strategies to keep your costs to a minimum when building a website for your online business.

Ecommerce website cost: total figures

Your total costs will depend on whether you plan on building your eCommerce site on your own, or if you'll hire web developers (among other professionals), or an agency to do the work for you.

These variables mean that there are no hard-and-fast numbers but the following ranges can help you start budgeting more wisely:

Small store (one to 99 products)

  • Cost to start on average: $1,000 - $5,000

  • Maintenance costs: $500 - $1000

Medium-sized store (100 to 499 products)

  • Cost to start on average: $5,000 - $10,000

  • Maintenance costs: $1,000 - $2000

Large store (500+ products)

  • Cost to start on average: $10,000 - $50,000+

  • Maintenance costs: $2,000 - $10,000+

Factors and features affecting eCommerce website cost

There are six main factors or features to look at when it comes to calculating the cost of an eCommerce website.

01. Hosting

  • Monthly cost range: $0-$50 (varies by traffic and features)

  • Options include: Shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting based on your needs

  • Wix offers free web hosting as an essential part of every website's infrastructure

ecommerce website cost hosting

02. Domain

  • Annual cost range: $0-$20

  • Choose a strong branded, memorable domain name (With Wix domain name registration is free with a paid plan)

ecommerce website cost domain name

03. Payment processor

04. SSL and security

  • Annual cost: $0-$50

  • Essential for securing customer data and transactions. Almost 75% of the data breach cases investigated by Visa in early 2022 involved eCommerce companies. That’s why routine updates, security checks, and patches are a must-have for your online store. Staunch security will help keep your data—and your customer’s data—safe from hackers and ensure your website stays up and running.

  • All Wix eCommerce sites come with enterprise-grade website security and SSL certificates

05. Ecommerce platform

06. Website design

  • Templates: $0-$100 (one-time cost)

  • Designer: $500-$3,000+ (one-time cost)

  • Choose based on budget and customization needs

  • Learn how to design a website for free with Wix

ecommerce website cost - website design

Ecommerce website cost breakdown

5 top potential extra eCommerce website costs

01. Number of pages

One of the biggest defining variables is the size of your store. Most eCommerce websites will grow to have hundreds of pages, spanning category pages, product detail pages, and other purposeful landing pages.

In general, the more pages you have, the more costs you may incur in terms of website storage, eCommerce website optimization bandwidth, and design. While you may not know the exact number of pages you’ll need, start by asking yourself these key questions:

  • How many categories and products do you plan on launching with?

  • How many product variations do you anticipate having?

  • What content does your site need to include?

  • How do competitors lay out their site?

02. Design and user experience (UX)

A whopping 94% of shoppers’ first impressions specifically relate to your website’s design, according to WebFX. That means that nearly every customer expects to see a beautiful, well-branded site—which may, in turn, require the touch of a highly skilled web designer.

But rather than just creating an eye-catching website, you’ll want to build an eCommerce website that’s also user-friendly. That’s where your site’s UX comes in. The ultimate goal of your site’s UX design is to reduce the number of clicks (or taps) it takes for a shopper to find a product and complete a purchase.

In eCommerce, successful UX involves a number of things: easy-to-navigate menus, detailed product images, mobile-friendly pages, smooth checkout, and more. Depending on the complexity of your site, your design and development costs may vary.

Quick tip: If you’re not sure where to start with UX, check out other retailer’s sites and study how they use navigation menus, breadcrumbs, search bars, filters, buttons, and other elements to remove friction from the buying experience.

03. Custom features and eCommerce functionality

A self-hosted or SaaS platform will give you the basics you need to create a website. However, an eCommerce site requires much more. You’ll need to connect your site to payment gateways, fulfillment options, promotion tools, and other functionality that transforms your site into a store.

Some eCommerce platforms like Wix include many built-in features. Others require many plug-ins and integrations to work.

Plugins range from free to anywhere between $40 and $500 on average. A few popular plug-in examples:

  • QuickBooks Connector - The app lets you automate your accounting by syncing site sales to an existing QuickBooks account. It’s free to install and comes with a 30-day free trial. After the trial period, you’ll need to pay subscription fees that range between $30 to $200 a month.

  • Price Table - This plug-in lets you create side-by-side price tables on your website. It’s free to install and runs between $3.19 and $12.69 a month.

  • Modalyst - A popular dropshipping and print-on-demand platform, Modalyst is free to download but charges between $30 and $67 per month, depending on your subscription plan. (However, with a Wix Business Unlimited or Business VIP plan, you can gain access to Modalyst at no extra charge.)

ecommerce website cost: ecom features

Payment gateways also bring some downstream costs. Most of the top payment apps charge you 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Make sure to factor these ongoing expenses into your overall eCommerce website budget.

04. Maintenance and support

In addition to calculating how much it costs to build an eCommerce website, you must set aside money for regular maintenance and support.

You can either handle your website maintenance in-house or hire a web developer to do it. Maintenance will include items like site improvements, updates, bug fixes, and new pages.

Your maintenance plan should further embrace this crucial consideration:

  • Website performance and speed: As you add products to your site, you run the risk of slowing down your site, which is one major reason why eCommerce sites fail. Proper maintenance will help you launch new content without crippling your website’s performance. Considering how an improvement of just one-tenth of a second in mobile load times can produce 8.4% more conversions—site speed matters.

How to lower your eCommerce website cost

How can you stay at the lower end of cost ranges—or even come in under the averages—when you build an eCommerce site? These four strategies can help you save some money without impacting quality or design.

01. Use pre-made templates

When it comes to creating the perfect look for your eCommerce website, you have two options: You can pay a web designer to create a custom design for you. Or, you can use a pre-made themes built specifically for eCommerce.

Paying a designer will run you about $75/hour on average. (You can find talented and ready-to-hire web designers on the Wix Marketplace.)

Alternatively, you can purchase pre-designed templates, which are usually free or, at most, a couple hundred bucks.

Considering how website developers may charge as much as $3,000 for a mobile-optimized website, templates tend to be more affordable and easier, especially if you’re starting with a smaller site.

Wix offers hundreds of designer-made eCommerce website templates for various types of businesses.

02. Choose the right platform

Using a SaaS-hosted platform will save you money on hosting, domain registration, and an SSL certificate. However, not all platforms are created equal.

Some require many more plugins than others to create a fully functioning store. Others are simply clunkier, and more difficult to use. So, as you shop for the right eCommerce platform, make sure to ask the right questions:

  • Does the platform allow me to customize the look and feel of my site according to my brand’s specific needs?

  • Does the platform support my desired payment solution(s)? Do I need to be able to connect it to a POS or enable other special features, like recurring payments?

  • Will the platform give me the storage space I need to get started and the additional capacity I’ll need to scale my business appropriately?

  • Does it integrate with my preferred sales channels and apps (e.g., the marketplaces I sell on, or my inventory software)?

  • Can it help me win back customers with abandoned cart recovery features and other marketing tools?

  • Does the platform include easy-to-reach customer support in case of emergency?

Shameless plug: If you’re wondering “is Wix good for eCommerce?” the answer is yes. When you build your eCommerce website on Wix, you get access to secure online payments, a minimum of 50GB of storage space, and unlimited products. Then, as your business grows, you can scale up your subscription plan and get added services, such as dropshipping, product reviews, and automation.

03. Prioritize necessary features

Consider how when you buy a new car, you can save money by being selective of the features or option packages that you actually need.

The same principle applies to your eCommerce website cost. You’ll want to spend most of your budget on the need-to-have features. When you’re first starting out, focus on pages and features that are most likely to drive sales:

  • Product category pages

  • Individual product pages

  • Multiple payment gateways

  • Simplified checkout

  • Integrated site search tools

  • “Related products” widgets that drive cross-sells and upsells

  • Technical SEO to help people find your site

Once the basics are in place, you can start budgeting for add-ons. Most eCommerce platforms will offer you hundreds of apps that you can integrate into your online store whenever you’d like. These apps make it easy and cost-effective for you to scale your store as customer demand increases.

Inside the Wix App Market, you’ll find 500+ powerful solutions for coupons, accounting, fulfillment, warehousing, print on demand, and more.

eCommerce website cost FAQ

How much does an ecommerce website cost a month?

Monthly costs for an ecommerce site will vary based on how your site is built and on which website builder or platform. With Wix, costs can range from free, to paid plans that start at US$17 a month. These costs can be considerably higher if you build your site with a professional web developer or agency.

What is the cheapest ecommece website building option?

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