How Much does it cost to start a website? Start today for $3.20/mo.

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How much does it cost to start a website? There are a thousand websites quoting numbers, and telling you how to start a website for cheap. But what they don’t account for is YOU being your own web developer. If you can can follow the instructions here on The Motherboard Mentor, then I can show you how much does it really cost to start a website. For cheap.


A Quick Summary:

Websites can be built using an all-in one managed platform (like Squarespace) or self-hosted using a host (like WordPress). Each of these come at a different price point. It is possible to start your website for as little as $16/mo on Squarespace and $3.20/mo on WordPress.


What you need to know:

These are not all the options! The internet is FULL of website builders that claim to build you a website for cheap. But these are the BEST. There is no reason to look even further, in my opinion. Check out these affordable and smart ways to start your website for cheap.


Your next steps:

If you already have a website, check out these stats and see if you can change your host to save some money!

If you don’t yet have a site on a website, take notes! Here is a comprehensive summary of how much a website costs.

If you want to learn more, keep reading.

How much does it cost to start a website?

You could easily spend thousands of dollars starting a website.

I have.

But I’ve also started websites for $10/month.

I want to show you how to create a website for CHEAP, and still be proud of your presence online.

Let’s get started!


What Factors Affect The Cost Of A Website?

There are a hundred website builders out there. But, I believe that Google Blogger and Squarespace are the two best options if you do not want to use WordPress. They give you the most value for your money. (See which website builder is best for your site here.)

So, I am going to use this article to compare Google Blogger, Squarespace, and WordPress.

(Not included are WIX, WordPress.com, Web.com, or Weebly.)


Google Blogger

Google Blogger is the only free option in this list. It is a product of Google, and offers subdomains “____.blogspot.com” for free to all users. It is very limited with design and options, but is a fine option for new bloggers.

If you chose Google Blogger, it is free, and Google includes design, hosting, domain and any features you might need. But here are some fees you might pay for on the side:

  • Custom logo/design (optional)
  • Additional Services like commercial-free images (optional)
  • Custom domain (optional)
  • Website Developer (You! You are free!)
  • Legal Services like a ZenBusiness

Read here why I think Google Blogger isn’t the best option for most sites.


Squarespace

Squarespace is a all-inclusive website builder that includes design, hosting, and features, so includes a one-time monthly fee. You don’t need to pay for any additional features.

But here are some fees you might pay for on the side are:

  • Custom logo/design (optional)
  • Additional Services like commercial-free images (optional)
  • Website Developer (You! You are free!)
  • Legal Services like a ZenBusiness

Read here why I think Squarespace isn’t the best option for most sites.


WordPress

WordPress is my favorite platform for websites, but definitely requires multiple factors that you have put together for your complete website. Read here why I think WordPress is the best option for most sites.

If you chose to use a WordPress site, here are the separate factors that you have to budget for:

  • Domain
  • Hosting
  • Theme/Template (optional)
  • A parent website builder like Elementor/Genesis (optional)
  • Custom Design/Logo (optional)
  • Plugins or Additional Services (optional)
  • Website Developer (You! You are free!)
  • Legal Services like a ZenBusiness

All of these factors can definitely start to add up, so let me show you what is possible for the least amount of money.


How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?

Table comparing Blogger, Squarespace, and WordPress

Google BloggerSquarespaceWordPress
Website Plan$0$16N/A
Hostingincludedincluded$1.99 – $6.95/mo
Domain$0 – $1.21/moincluded$1.21/mo
Custom Logo/Design$0$0$0
Additional Services$0$0$0
Legal Services$0 – $17/mo$0 – $17/mo$0 – $17/mo
Theme/Templateincludedincluded$0
Parent Website Builderincludedincluded$0 – $4/mo
Custom PluginsN/AN/A$0
Total:$0 – $18/mo$16 – $33/mo$3.20 – $29.16 / mo
How much does it cost to start a website? Here is a comparison between Blogger, Squarespace, and WordPress.

Google Blogger vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress

For the sake of this comparison, I’m assuming that you are building a new website with traffic starting at 0, and limited bandwidth. This will assume you don’t need Ecommerce.

For any website builder or platform, you might consider the following 3 options. Let’s break them down:

  • Custom logo/design – I have designed free logos off of Canva for free, and I have hired out custom design and logos for $900+. Both have been worth it! If you are starting a new website on a minimal budget, is totally possible to create a basic logo and design for free, and save your money for something else. I recommend to start with a free option, and add this later if it matters to you.
  • Additional Services like commercial-free images – Paying for commercial-free images is totally optional and every time I have paid for images (Deposit Photo and Canva Pro) I have found them not worth it. Google “Free Commercial-Free Images”, you might be surprised with how many free options there are! To keep your budget low, I recommend not paying for additional services at the beginning.
  • Legal Services like a ZenBusiness – This is a service that is definitely worth it – regardless of your website platform. If you have any desire to start a business, earn money, and file taxes legally for your business, start with ZenBusiness today. ZenBusiness starts at $0 + State Filing Fees here, but their Pro package is a great steal at $199/year and includes an EIN, and the fastest filing fees. Because it’s so worth it, I recommend the Pro package which averages about $17/month. (Read my review of ZenBusiness here on my other website Modern Work at Home Mom.)

Google Blogger

Google Blogger is free, and includes everything you need to create a free basic blog website.

They do offer a paid-for domain option if you want to upgrade from “______.blogspot.com” to a custom domain. If you want to do this, I highly recommend NOT paying for a domain through Blogger. This will lock you into a domain on Google, and is MUCH harder to transfer to another site later on if you desire to grow. Instead I recommend buying your domain on Namecheap (my FAVORITE way to purchase domains) and this gives you a TON of flexibility in the future.

Here are the possible costs to build a blog website on Blogger:

  • Blogger – Free
  • Optional Domain (on Google – not recommended) – $12/year [$1/mo]
  • Optional Domain (on Namecheap – recommended) – $5.98 – $14.58/year [$1.21/mo]
  • ZenBusiness Legal Services – $0 – $199/year [$0 – $17/mo]
  • Total: $0 – $18/month

Squarespace

Squarespace is a all-inclusive website builder that includes design, hosting, and features, so includes a one-time monthly fee. You don’t need to pay for any additional features.

Their Personal Plan includes mobile optimized websites, templates to fit every need, and a free custom domain (for the first year). This is a great plan to implement for your starter site. Plan upgrade include: Ecommerce options, Analytics (which you don’t need…use Google Analytics for free), and Payment/Merchandise options.

  • Personal Plan – $16/mo
  • ZenBusiness Legal Services – $0 – $199/year [$0 – $17/mo]
  • Total: $16 – $33/mo

WordPress

WordPress is my favorite platform for websites, but definitely requires multiple factors that you have put together for your complete website. For a WordPress website, you have to pay for the domain, the hosting, the theme and plugins, and anything else you need.

(Don’t be confused by WordPress.com and WordPress.org! Do NOT purchase a domain on WordPress.com and pay for a plan there! That is NOT a self-hosted WordPress site. Read about the difference here between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.)

Here are the possible costs to build a blog website on WordPress:

  • Domain – I recommend using Namecheap and NOT buying your domain through your host, to keep it separate in case you change hosts.
    • Namecheap – $5.98 – $14.58/year [$1.21/mo]
  • Hosting – I recommend two kinds of hosting – Bigscoots for a more premium, but still shared hosting, and Bluehost for a cheaper alternative.
    • Bigscoots hosting – starting at $6.95/mo
    • Bluehost hosting – starting at $1.99/mo
  • Theme/Template – There are a MILLION paid-for themes out there. But my all-time FAVORITE theme is free – Astra Theme. It’s perfect as a free website builder, but you can upgrade to Astra Pro for $49/year for a better experience. Use The Motherboard Mentor to learn how to customize your Astra theme perfectly.
  • Custom Plugins – You don’t need to pay for custom plugins. Every time I do, I regret it, no joke. WooCommerce and Shopify are free for ECommerce. Google Analytics is free. WPForms is free. Start with free!
  • ZenBusiness Legal Services – $0 – $199/year [$0 – $17/mo]
  • Total: $3.20 – $29.16 / mo

Let’s Talk about Email Services Providers for Newsletters

One huge cost right off the bat might be a newsletter provider if you want to send newsletters. I get it. Those things can be EXPENSIVE. If you are using WordPress, you will probably be researching third-party newsletter providers, so here are some options.


How much does it cost to start a website?

Maybe just $3.20/month! Now can you do that? YES you can! Start today by using the resources on The Motherboard Mentor to start for just $3.20/month.


How much does it cost to start a website? There are a thousand websites quoting numbers, and telling you how to start a website for cheap. But what they don't account for is YOU being your own web developer. If you can can follow the instructions here on The Motherboard Mentor, then I can show you how much does it really cost to start a website. For cheap.

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