How much does a website cost in South Africa?

what does a website cost in south africa

You’re most likely here because you’re ready to create a new website for your business. You’ve seen the benefits that a website can offer your business, and now, you want in on the action!

All that’s left is to figure out how much it’s going to cost you.

So, how much does it cost for a website in South Africa? 

While I’d love to give you a definite number, I can’t. And here’s why…

Websites come in all different shapes and sizes – meaning that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, the price of your website will depend on several different factors.

Direct factors that influence website prices: 

Website Type

There are a lot of different website types out there – and I mean a lot!

From business websites, entertainment websites, educational websites, portfolio websites, wedding websites, membership websites, classifieds websites to eCommerce websites, and the list goes on and on…

It’s important to note that no single website type is “better” than another. That being said, there will always be a website type that suits your business best. To determine which type of website you need, you should consider two things:

  1. What you sell (your products, services, or courses).
  2. Who your target audience is.

For example, if you own an online shop that sells luxury shoes, you’re going to need an eCommerce site as you’ll want your customers to be able to purchase shoes from you right then and there. On the other hand, if you own an accounting business, you’ll need a business website that showcases your services and gives customers the option to contact you or make a booking with you directly.

Functionality & Integrations

The sky’s the limit when it comes to your website.

There are many different kinds of features and functionality that can be built into your site that’ll not only make it more unique, but also easier for your ideal customers to take action, whether that be to subscribe to your email list, make an online booking, book a call with you, or simply read and share your content.

However, you need to keep in mind that the more you want your website to do, the more work is involved, and the higher the price will be.

Here are some of the many features and functionalities that your website can include (depending on which type of website you choose):

  • An online shop
  • A membership portal
  • Online bookings
  • Online payments
  • An affiliate platform
  • Event calendars
  • Online courses and learning management systems
  • Automated emails
  • Advanced quote forms or calculators
  • Enhanced search functionality

Design

The design of your website is another important factor.

Why?

Because according to research 94% of the time, people’s first impression of your website will be based on its design. In order to ensure that your site makes a great first impression, you need to make sure that it’s visually appealing and user friendly.

And, don’t worry, by “appealing” I don’t mean that it needs to look like a 2021 Art Festival or Fashion Show, I simply mean that it needs to be attractive and functional for your target audience (i.e. appeal to what they like).

You have two options for your website’s design: 

Template or Custom.

Template:

A website template is a pre-styled design that can be purchased for a couple of dollars (or for free). However, it’s important to note that templates do come with certain limitations, such as the fact that certain features and functionalities can’t be added and some design aspects can’t be changed.

We often get asked: “Will my site look like hundreds of other websites on the internet if I work from a theme?”

No, it won’t. Once a theme has been customized to fit with your brand, colours, logo, content and pictures, it will look unique to your business.

Oh, and just to confuse the matter even more… All WordPress sites run on a theme. Some themes have limitations (usually the free ones), while others can be used like a blank canvas (we prefer Astra Pro).

NOTE: Using a free theme is similar to buying an existing house. You can’t really change the layout of the rooms in the house, but you can change the finishings.

Custom:

Having your site custom designed means that it’ll be one-of-a-kind as your website designer will create it to look unique according to your brand’s style and needs. Custom design also makes it possible for you to add as many features as you like to give your visitors the ultimate VIP experience.

Many businesses that really want to go for a custom design, will have a Brand Guide (if you don’t have one of these, ask your graphic designer).

NOTE: This is similar to having an architect create your dream home from scratch. Will it be 100% unique? Close, but not 100%. Simply because websites, just like homes, always kinda look the same (homes always have windows, garages, front doors, etc, while websites always have headers, and navigation, and footers, and contact forms).

While everyone wants a website that is 100% unique, this is the wrong approach. Rather focus on what your visitor wants to see and learn on your site. The words on your website is FAR more important than just the looks. This is where most business websites fail.

Content

Think of your brand as being a person. It has a specific hairstyle, clothes, shoes, and most importantly a tone of voice.

All of these things need to be portrayed on your site in the form of copy, images, and videos. The cost of your content will be influenced by many things:

  • Do you have images and photos?
  • If not, are you having photos taken?
  • Are you using stock images?
  • If you are using stock images, who is sourcing them?
  • Who will be writing the content?
    • This is the single most important part of your website. Which is why we do Website Wireframing workshops to help clients with making sure they have a very clear message that they can use across all their marketing.
  • Who will be optimizing your content for search engines?
    • You want potential clients to find your website, right?

By figuring these things out beforehand, you can determine which of these aspects you’ll be taking care of and which aspects you want to hand over to the web designer – which will have a direct influence on your website’s cost.

The general rule here is that the more of these tasks that are passed on to the website designer, the higher the fee will be.

Number of Pages

In many ways, the creation of your website is similar to building a house.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t mean it in the physical sense.

I simply mean that similar to how your house consists of several different rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a garage, etc., your website consists of several different pages. Just as you have a good idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need in your dream home, you need to figureo out which pages you need to include on your site.

Pages that are generally found on most websites include: HomeAboutServices/Products, and Contact.

eCommerce websites will also have the following pages: Shop, Cart, Checkout, Thank You, My Account.

NOTE: Most businesses try to limit the number of pages to save a few rand here and there. I urge my clients to really think about their potential customer. The more pages we have on the website (within reason of course), the better we present our company as the solution to our client’s platform. Ask yourself: Do you want a better chance of landing more business?

Indirect factors that influence website prices: 

Knowledge & Experience

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not just paying for your website. You’re paying for the knowledge and experience that’s necessary to create a well-functioning, attractive website that can turn browsers into customers.

You see, a professional web design agency guarantees quality, and completion dates (as much as they can control anyway, since website projects is a team effort between you and your designer).

You can imagine that the web designer with more 12 years experience will have a tested and proven design process that you can count on. Needless to say, their experience is going to add to the cost. Compare that to the boy-next-door who is still at school.

Again, ask yourself… Why go through the entire effort of building a website, when you are going to have someone build it who thinks creating Tik Tok videos is marketing?

Domain Registration

Every single website out there needs a domain to exist. So does yours!

Your domain can be registered through any domain registrars. Depending on who you go with, this will be anything between R80 and R150 per year.

Hosting & Maintenance

Most website design agencies offer hosting and maintenance services as part of their packages.

Your hosting can be paid on a monthly or annual basis, depending on your hosting plan. If you go direct with a hosting company, it might work out more affordable. You will then have to call up your hosting company (if they even answer the phone, sadly most hosting companies in South Africa do not advertise a phone number on their website!). When you do call your hosting company, they will ask you questions about cache, browser, screen resolution, operating system, FTP and a bunch of other concepts that might sound Greek, or Mandarin to you.

Any decent website designer should NOT build a website and desert you. We believe that a website is a living breathing thing (just like your business), and that it needs to grow over time (just like your business).

How much does a website cost in South Africa on average? 

A family friend

Look…

Your neighbour’s son might be a gaming legend at the ripe old age of 16, but he knows nothing about websites. Or marketing. You do think of your website as a marketing tool, right?

For many of us, our first instinct is to always fall back to close family friends or people in our immediate circle. However, this will only end up costing you more since your website isn’t going to attract customers, meaning that you’re going to have to redesign sooner or later.

Look, I will be honest. I would recommend a business owner rather save this money, build the website themself, and then use this money to spend on advertising. At least spending money on advertising is an investment.

Average Cost: R0 – R2000

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Saves you time (initially)

Cons

  • No SEO
  • Minimal features
  • Flimsy design
  • Might not be mobile friendly
  • May need to pay more for future website adjustments

A freelancer

Getting a freelance web designer to design your website, gives you more flexibility when it comes to the features of your site.

Oftentimes, freelancers are former workers at agencies who choose to work for themselves.

However, it’s important to note that though these individuals do have experience in web design, they often lack experience in other areas that are vital to the success of a website such as SEO.

Average Cost: R5 000 – R12 000

Pros

  • Average Cost
  • Saves you time
  • Consistent design and branding throughout

Cons

  • Limited SEO, copywriting and marketing skills
  • The process can take very long (since only one person is working on your site, and since they are not charging alot, they are probably juggling 3 or 4 or 5 similar projects just to pay their bills)

A web design agency

Getting a web design company to design your website will give you maximum flexibility and ensure that every single aspect of your site is taken care of.

Since agencies have a highly skilled team that consists of experts in different areas, they’re able to give you supreme quality across your entire site. Of course, this comes at a higher cost. The price will vary greatly based on what your site needs, meaning that you’ll get a quote based on your specific requirements.

Average Cost: R15 000 – R80 000

Pros

  • A bespoke website that caters to your exact needs
  • Saves you time
  • Complete customer support
  • Trusted process that has worked for many previous clients
  • Consistent design and branding throughout
  • Advanced SEO

Cons

  • Higher cost

The alternative: Story Sites

We know that this has been an aboslute mouthful, and probably leaves you with more questions than answers.

But there is an alternative.

We call it Story Sites.

It is not for everyone. It is built for businesses that need a smaller website that is affordable, professional and that includes the marketing and copywriting.

It is NOT for large corporates. It is NOT for companies that have Brand Guide documents consisting of 70 pages. It is NOT for eCommerce websites.

Average Cost: Basic R7 000 once-off and R499pm for 24 months
Average Cost: Pro R9 000 once-off and R799pm for 24 months

Pros

  • Same quality as a full-blown website design agency project
  • Copywriting included (yes, you don’t need to write content)
  • Images included

Cons

  • Doesn’t cater for larger websites, or for eCommerce

Learn more about Story Sites here

Benefits of getting a web design company to create your site: 

Better results

Your site is the first thing that your potential customers will look at when determining whether they want to do business with you or not.

Getting someone who specialises in building websites (as in they do it for a living – every single day of their lives) will not only mean that your website is built correctly right from the start, it’ll also ensure that it gets the results that you’re paying for!

Saves you money

You may be thinking, “how on earth will I save money if I have my website professionally designed by an expert as opposed to a non-expert who will charge less?”. Well, it’s simple… When it comes to websites, buying cheap is buying expensive.

Ask yourself the following question:

Would you prefer paying less for a website that drives NO traffic, NO customers, and NO sales?

OR

Would you prefer paying a little more for a website that’s built based on a proven process and attracts new customers to your business on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis?

(Without a doubt, your answer should be option 2!)

Saves you time

You’re a business owner, not a designer. You don’t have the time to waste countless hours every day designing your website.

By getting an agency to build and design your website, you’ll have more time to focus on all the high-level tasks that you need to perform to experience business growth.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is complicated. However, whether you have a big or small business, you need SEO if you want your ideal customers to find your website.

Luckily agencies have SEO specialists who will do the SEO for you, ensuring that your site ranks higher on search engines – giving you more customers, more sales, and more profit!

Direct Support

Imagine for a moment that you built your website using a page builder. All is well, but as soon as you click the “update” button, your entire site breaks. You panic, literally seeing your life flash before your eyes. To make matters worse, you have no clue as to what you need to do or who you need to contact.

Well, when you have a web design agency in your corner, they’ll be able to solve these problems for you immediately. All you have to do is call them.

Conclusion

Now that you know what the average cost of a website in South Africa is, you can go ahead and weigh your options.

At the end of the day, you have to remember that your website is an investment. The advantages that a professionally designed website offers your business far outweighs the cost.

By biting the bullet now, you will save yourself a lot of time (and future anxiety).

If you need a website that is attractive, engaging, and irresistible to your ideal customers, I’d love to chat with you! Let’s see what exciting website concepts we can come up with.

Eben

Father of 3. Enthusiastic reader of books. Moderately proficient braaier of meat.

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Many business owners are stressed out about where their next client will come from. At Click Results, we have a 5 step process that turns their website into a salesman that never sleeps so that it attracts new clients, generate more sales and get their business growing again.

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