What’s the average cost of starting a store online? Is $500 or $1000 enough to build your dream eCommerce site and sell products with great conversion rates? And what about web hosting, site builder, web design, and other tools?
Now, don’t go away, we used the most popular platforms for starting online stores, and here, we’ll share the best tips and the real estimated costs of building your next online store website from scratch or using pre-built themes that you can customize easily.
But first, let’s have an overview of all the tools, and services you need to build a new eCommerce site. So, here is the list:
- Web hosting
- Website builder or hire a web development company
- SSL certificate to secure all your site transactions
- SEO optimization, it can be done in the theme or separately using a tool
- Email accounts
Cost of launching your eCommerce website
1. Cost of making an online store with WordPress
You can use WordPress to build your own website and sell items online. In fact, there are lots of free premium eCommerce themes you can choose from, however, the premium designs you can get are better.
InMotion Hosting which is a good web hosting provider offers reliable hosting for WordPress. In addition, they have a modern site builder called BoldGrid. In minutes, the user can drag and drop HTML5 and CSS elements and build a complete online store that works better than using other tools.
The cost of shared hosting starts at $4.99 and that comes with free SSL, free domain, lots of them, and even unlimited email accounts. There is a free subscription for the Jetpack plugin that comes with a social sharing Sitemap generator, CDN, Google Analytics integration, and more.
For VPS, it starts at $27.99 per month, it’s better for those who need dedicated resources and guaranteed RAM, CPU, and bandwidth.
So, if you host on shared servers, you’ll be charged $60 per year with the one-click install for all the eCommerce tools including Prestashop, Magento, and WordPress. For VPS, the site-building and hosting will cost $327 on average using a free theme or you can get a premium template for free if you choose any of their second or third plans.
The best thing about WordPress is that you can build an eCommerce website in under 3 hours or less. It does not require technical knowledge or coding, and best of all, everything comes with a drag and drop site builder with responsive design and a conversion-focused layout.
Launching an eCommerce site on WooCommerce platform
If you really want the best of the best, then, choose Liquid Web. They have the best optimized WordPress WooCommerce hosting with themes, plugins, and SSL. It’s a fully managed platform with great support services and the fastest servers in the world.
The managed business hosting plans start at $39 per month with the Beaver site builder tool. You don’t need web design as you get a premium quality website builder with all the elements in one place. Also, there is a free daily backup, security scanning, DDoS protection, and unlimited products to sell.
3. Using a dedicated hosting platform
We all know that there are many CMS that anyone can use to start sites in minutes, but do you know that there is a complete eCommerce platform?
BigCommerce offers everything you need in one place, you get web hosting, payment systems, designs, support, and everything is included. So, you don’t even need to hire a website development company that charges you thousands of dollars just to start the project.
With this trusted site builder and hosting, you get free themes that are well optimized for speed and user experience.
- Read also: Best VPS web hosts we recommend
On the other hand, if you think that you need the next level of templates, then, choose one of their highly customizable and super-fast designs for $195 or less. Then, they’ll charge you $29 per month for all the systems and features without hidden fees or even transaction fees. So, here is what they offer.
- Best site builder
- Free trial for 14 days
- Well crafted templates (free and premium)
- 99.999% uptime
- Sitewide dedicated SSL for free
- Unlimited products, file storage, and bandwidth
- Totally branded online store
- Point of Sale (POS)
- The blog system is included on your website
- Products rating and reviews
- eBay and Amazon integration
- Google shopping
- Reporting tools with a filterable search
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- No transaction fees
- You can offer discounts, coupons, and even Gift Cards
- Real-time shipping cost calculation for popular companies, FedEx, DHL, and others
- Average cost with responsive design
- Single page checkout (your customers use the same page on your store)
- 24/7 expert customer support
If you pay month by month, you’ll start with $335 with a premium template and optimized hosting. On the other hand, if you pay once a year, you’ll be charged $550 and that’s affordable compared to what the company offers as tools, features, and premium quality of web hosting.
Now, you don’t have to pay for the first few days, the company offers a special 14-day trial, so you can test things and see how all that works. Then, if you like the platform, you can upgrade and pay monthly or yearly depending on your budget.
What we like the most with this premium eCommerce platform is that you don’t need to look for other tools or add-ons. It offers an all-in-one solution for online stores and small business websites.
The cost to develop an e-commerce website depends on your needs. In fact, Prestashop is a free open source platform for thousands of popular stores in the USA and the world. It’s a well-organized software that comes with lots of options, settings, and best of all, it’s easy to use and starts a site with.
As WordPress, Prestashop needs some specific server configurations to work well and load fast. So, some rare web hosts like HostGator offer full optimization, great themes, and tools for a few dollars per month. That’s the best way to build your online store cheaply and save money.
The hosting cost starts at $4.99 per month for one payment of 12 months, so, that’s $60. You can buy a premium theme for $50 or less if you want. But with the majority of web hosts, you can find premium themes at discounted prices or even for free.
So with Prestashop, building your successful online store website will cost around $150 and that’s cheaper than other ways. However, you need to choose a secure and optimized web host.
- Keep reading: Web hosts with free themes
5. Drupal, Joomla, and others
To create a website for selling items online using Joomla, you’ll need some extensions to manage the site sales, offers, etc. It’s the same as WordPress, but this time, you’ll find fewer tools compared to the above software that powers 33% of the global number of websites.
Joomla has a good reputation as a free CMS that you can use for eCommerce, and you can hire a developer for customizing the theme and of course, you’ll have to choose web hosting. We talked about that in another guide, and you can find the best Joomla web hosts we recommend.
For Drupal, it’s not really user-friendly as WordPress or Joomla. It’s a little complicated and their dashboard is the worst in terms of design and ease of use. However, Drupal is good for a large website that receives high traffic.
The cost with Drupal is nearly the same as other CMS, the shared hosting cost $4 or less per month and the VPS cost $30 if you need more resources, then, choose a dedicated server for $160 with Liquid Web.
Now, consider the fact that Drupal is not easy to use for beginners, so, if you find a problem, you’ll need to hire someone who fixes it. That adds extra cost and you can avoid that by choosing one of the above options and not Drupal.
For other site builders, Wix is not a good eCommerce platform, it’s so expensive without any real value. In addition, they don’t offer the tools that other web hosts provide.
If you prefer Magento, then it’s a good option, and luckily, it costs less than Wix, Weebly, and others. The best web hosts offer free Magento themes for online store websites, so, choose your preferred layout, and save money. $150 is enough to build a good online store with Magento ($100 for hosting and $50 for the theme if you need a paid design).
In all cases, the basic eCommerce website cost with these open-source platforms is $60 if you install a free theme. If you want to buy a premium theme, it can cost $50 on average and you can customize the design, colors, and more if you spend a few hours on that. Thus, the cost will be $150 with web hosting and theme and that’s better of course.
The average cost to develop a custom store site
This is the most expensive way to launch an eCommerce website, it needs thousands of dollars in web design only, and the cost can reach $10.000 easily and go up to $100.000 or more. It depends on your business needs, the level of security, the quality of code, tools, etc…
So, for those who need a 100% customized online store, they’ll need at least $10.000 as an expected price to pay for a web design company and start the site from scratch. However, there are other costs that you need to pay monthly or yearly and that includes web hosting, transaction fees, etc…
So, if you add these extra costs, the total cost we estimate is somewhere between $12.000 and $15.000 the first time. Then, the monthly charges will be something like $100 for good web hosting, and the transaction fees depend on your monthly sales.
- Read next: Is InMotion Hosting a good host?
Now you have an idea about the cost of setting up an eCommerce website, you can save money by choosing BigCommerce if you know nothing about installations and setup.
On the other hand, if you know some basic web hosting things, you can choose HostGator and have the best tools with cPanel. They have good web hosting with a shopping cart, and unlike other companies, you don’t have to worry about website speed, security, and uptime, everything is optimized for the best performance.