What Is the Cost of a eCommerce Website?

Updated  |  14 min read
Key Takeaways
  1. ECommerce website cost is largely determined by the features you need. A primary question must be answered: Do these features require custom development, or can they be realized on SaaS eCommerce platforms?
  2. Common features that may affect price are domain name registration, web hosting cost, securing an SSL certificate, dealing with payment processing costs, marketing your website, providing security, and utilizing AI to create a better customer experience.
  3. Features you need may be limited by SaaS platforms and could inhibit scalability and customer needs. A more customizable platform might be more appropriate.
  4. Budgets should also be set for ongoing upkeep costs, specifically regarding the site's customer payment information security.
Developer showing eCommerce functionality

Building a website for eCommerce means considering many factors that affect its cost. These include the number of products to be listed, the design complexity, the implementation of payment gateways and third-party integrations, hosting, maintenance, and ongoing optimizations. Additionally, other aspects such as marketing activities, customer service options, and analytics must also be considered when assessing an eCommerce website's total cost.

When evaluating the cost of an eCommerce website, it is essential to understand what resources and services will be needed. Will the site need a content management system (CMS)? What type of customer service will be provided? Will there be any third-party or external integrations required? How many products need to be listed, and what other factors—such as site customization, design complexity, and user experience—must be addressed? All these elements must be taken into consideration when calculating the final cost.

Time is also a significant consideration. It is important to factor in the amount of time and money that will need to be allocated for these services to ensure the site’s success. Ongoing optimization processes must also be considered to keep the website remains up-to-date with changing trends and technologies.

All these components should be accounted for when determining the total cost of an eCommerce website. Let's answer the question: How much does an eCommerce website cost?

researching cost of eCommerce website

Create a Solid Plan For Your eCommerce Website

Creating a successful online store is about so much more than just the initial eCommerce website cost. In order to get the best value for your money, it's important to factor in all expenses associated with setting up and running an online store—from designing its look and feel, integrating payment solutions, hosting fees, and maintenance costs through to marketing activities such as customer service offerings or analytics that can further enhance success.

Building eCommerce websites isn't something that should be rushed into. It requires extensive research so that you're getting what your business needs now, as well as what you may need in the not-so-distant future.

Can your eCommerce store handle the specific needs of the industry you're serving? How much do you need to set aside for design costs? Do you need custom features that the most common SaaS ecommerce platforms can't incorporate? That's what we're going to dive into today.

Person with eCommerce task list

Things to Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website

The ideal eCommerce solution needs to meet your enterprise objectives. But it's not just what eCommerce software you're using that needs to be addressed; what your business plans to do should be addressed first to determine if it's viable.

As part of your plan for your eCommerce business, consider asking the following questions. How you answer them will often determine what kind of eCommerce platform you need and the eCommerce website pricing you can expect.

  • What needs aren't being met in your particular industry, and how can you meet them?
  • Does my business plan have a competitive advantage?
  • How much time and capital can you invest before either is used up?
  • Who is your target market, and how will you interact with them?
  • What type of marketing is best for your type of business?
  • Are you selling products, services, or a combination of both?
  • Can you make enough revenue to surpass the eCommerce website costs and pay for inventory and other expenses?

How Can You Calculate the Cost of an eCommerce Website?

There are more variables than most people realize when creating a budget for their eCommerce store. The array of bargain eCommerce platforms that advertise on YouTube makes it sound easy to get up and running in just a few minutes.

If you're serious about selling, that's a dangerous underestimate.

Creating an online store is not a one-size-fits-all project. The cost can vary significantly depending on the scope and complexity of your eCommerce store. Below is a rough outline of costs that should be considered when examining eCommerce website pricing.

Calculating eCommerce website cost

Design and Development Costs for an eCommerce Store

This includes the website design, coding, and implementation of your eCommerce website cost. This can range from do-it-yourself to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and complexity of your website.

There are two primary categories of platforms that will significantly change your eCommerce website cost: SaaS and custom development. Let's take a look at each.

SaaS Platforms

A SaaS (software as a service) eCommerce platform relinquishes many of the duties associated with running a business to the platform itself. This will include page design templates and paid themes, basic inventory management, contact pages, simple shipping, and the most common types of payment processing.

The disadvantage of a SaaS option is that customization is very limited. SaaS-based platforms are designed to satisfy the basic needs of the largest variety of users possible—a jack of all trades but master of none. It is often much more difficult to connect custom development software to SaaS ecommerce platforms. For this reason, customization of advanced capabilities is more expensive (if it's possible at all).

Custom Development

A custom eCommerce site may require additional features and upgrades that can cost anywhere between $10,000 and X, where X could be millions of dollars for the largest online retailers and marketplaces. Custom development includes discounts, customized proposals, wish list management, multiple languages, multicurrency acceptance, and integration to your freight of choice. Additional functions include product management, product classification, payment portal, and integration with AI decision-making software.

These additions can be expensive, but they also offer customizability that you can't get with most SaaS software. Specialty development can be the difference between you and your competition that really gives you an edge.

Developers working with computer code

Domain Name Registration for an Online Store

Domain registration for eCommerce typically costs anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the domain registrar and the type of domain you are registering. The most expensive domain name,, sold for $30 million in 2019.

It is important to shop around and compare prices before choosing a domain registrar. It's also wise to consider the features and customer support offered by each provider, as these can heavily influence the value of your purchase. Some registrars offer discounts or additional services when you register multiple domains at once (such as .com, .net, .tv. etc.), so be sure to check those out too.

Domain suffixes

Web Hosting Costs for an eCommerce business

Hosting for an eCommerce store depends on the size of your eCommerce site and the features you require. Private servers will cost more than shared servers, and increased security will also cost more.

If you need more storage space, unlimited email accounts, or custom coding services, then you can expect to pay more. Additionally, some web hosting solutions offer discounts on longer payment plans, so be sure to compare prices and look for special offers before making your final decision.

Computer servers hosting eCommerce platforms

SSL Certificates for eCommerce Platforms

SSL certificates are an essential security measure for any eCommerce platform, and the cost will vary depending on your needs. If you require higher levels of encryption or more advanced features, then prices may be substantially higher.

Some hosting companies include an SSL certificate in their package, so it's always a good idea to shop around and compare prices before making a purchase.

Comparing eCommerce development packages with SSL

Payment Processing Costs

Payment process fees for an eCommerce website will vary depending on the payment gateway you use. Generally, it is free to set up a payment gateway, but you may be charged a fee for each transaction processed, usually ranging from two to five percent.

Additionally, some services have higher rates for certain types of payments, such as those made with credit cards or for international transactions. To get the best deal, it pays to compare the different options available and talk to your hosting provider about their recommended payment processing integration options.

Payment processing integration

Marketing and Promotion

Marketing is essential for promoting any eCommerce website, and there are plenty of strategies you can implement to reach your potential customers. Ultimately, by focusing on the digital channels that are most relevant to your business, you can maximize your ROI and reach more potential customers.

Whatever strategy you choose, the key is to ensure that it's tailored to meet the needs of your target audience.

Pages and Blogs

One of the most effective ways to market your online store is through creating valuable content and leveraging digital channels to reach your target audience.

A good starting point is to create an engaging website with SEO-friendly content, as this will help your website rank higher in search engine results. This includes FAQs, helpful pages, and blogs to let your customers know you're a knowledgeable and legitimate presence in your industry.

Social Media

Social media is also a great way to get the word out about your products and services, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer easy ways to build customer relationships. Leveraging social media networks can be great for building brand awareness and engaging with potential customers.


You may not make any advertising money on podcasts at first, but they can be an excellent way to establish you as a thought leader in the space, attract new customers, and boost brand visibility.

Paid Advertising

You may also invest in paid advertising or email marketing campaigns to drive more traffic and sales. Paid advertising campaigns can be used to further supplement organic methods like SEO.

Paid advertising

Security for eCommerce Platforms

Security is another enormous concern people have when making purchases online; sites must ensure the stability and privacy of customers’ data. People also trust you with their personal data, including name, address, email, phone number, and other unique information. This is especially important with HIPAA-compliant websites.

To boost consumer confidence, implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to guarantee that only verified users can access their accounts online. MFA requires two or more verification steps, such as entering a code sent via text message or scanning a fingerprint on a smartphone customized application before they can log in and buy something from the website.

Finally, it's wise to encrypt data stored within databases so that hackers cannot steal personal information from customers who shop at your website. Be sure to choose a developer that can enable the right level of encryption and security for your online store.

eCommerce security

AI Technology

To deliver an excellent customer service experience for your online store, consider leveraging AI technology such as chatbots or virtual agents for customer support like tracking orders, answering questions about products and services, and helping people find non-product information on the website. Chatbots give industry owners an opportunity to be available round-the-clock for customers without having to hire additional personnel.

Another amazing use of AI is to gather customer information to provide them with other products that they might want to buy. This is usually accomplished by combining their previous purchase information and the purchasing habits of other customers.

Automation solutions also offer prompt response times, which will help build trust between customers and businesses while saving time—both for customers and operational staff members alike—so that they can focus on other important tasks instead of responding to customer inquiries over and over again.

Website AI

Tips for Keeping the Ecommerce Website Design Cost Low

Keeping the cost of eCommerce custom design low can be a challenge for many businesses, but there are several strategies to keep costs down without sacrificing quality.

  1. Start with a simple layout and design. Focus on creating a streamlined look that's easy to navigate and leaves no room for clutter.
  2. It is essential to have a clear and concise brief that outlines the main goals of the website, which will ensure that the scope of work remains within budget. Keep it simple, and test pages to make even complicated steps as simple as possible.
  3. Utilize existing tools and technology. There are plenty of great options for eCommerce website design on a budget. Consider using existing plugins, templates, or content management systems that require minimal customization.
  4. Utilize content optimization to reduce page load times and exceed user expectations, thereby making it more attractive to prospective customers.
  5. Look for ways to outsource. If possible, consider outsourcing certain tasks, such as coding or graphic design to agencies that specialize in these high-end web design and may be able to provide more affordable services than traditional methods.

With these top tips in mind, designing an affordable eCommerce website should be achievable while maintaining a high standard of quality.

Affordable cost for eCommerce website

Ongoing eCommerce Website Costs to Budget For

As an eCommerce website owner, the initial pricing factor helps you calculate the cost. This price will be detailed to make it easy for you to know what an eCommerce website costs.

But the initial eCommerce website cost isn't the only thing that you need to budge for. As the web changes and as hacker attempts get more sophisticated, your eCommerce platform and website must change so that it works equally well on desktop/laptop and mobile devices. There are always perpetual costs that are just part of doing business online.

The ongoing costs of running an eCommerce website can vary depending on the size and complexity of your site, and you'll notice that many of the ongoing costs below mirror those that we mentioned above in the "How To Calculate" section above. That's because a website is never actually done, and technology grows around it.

Hosting Fees

Unless you're providing your own hosting services with on-premises servers, hosting fees will be a part of your eCommerce website costs for as long as you have your business online.

Website hosting

Domain Renewal Fees

Domain names cost money when you first claim them, but the registrar you bought the name from will require you to renew it.

Payment Processing Fees

Payment processing fees are a part of life, whether you're a consumer or a business. The amount for payment processing costs depends on which processors you're using, but getting rid of them isn't easy. One way you can avoid some fees is to choose the right payment hub.

Periodic Maintenance Costs

ECommerce websites look great the day they are launched, especially those that have invested in high-quality custom design. But design changes over the years, whether you're talking about clothes, kitchen remodels, or websites. Expect some design costs every three-to-five years as your design gets old.

eCommerce maintenance


Hacking attempts are always changing, which means that you—or your security team—need to always be on top of the latest security updates.

Software or Subscription Fees

If you choose SaaS for your eCommerce business, it's essentially a subscription fee that will be part of your yearly or monthly cost. If you are using software as part of a custom development plan, there may be third-party custom apps that also have associated and ongoing costs.

Ongoing eCommerce costs

Development Costs Can Make or Break You

Creating an eCommerce website is no small feat. There are a multitude of factors that must be considered for determining the overall cost, both in terms of time and money. Everything from product listing to design complexity to any third-party integrations or analytics tools can affect the bottom line.

It's important to consider initial eCommerce website development cost when choosing eCommerce software, and also consider the scaling that every business wants and needs. Ultimately these decisions may have far-reaching impacts on customer satisfaction levels and brand reputation, so consider all aspects before making an informed decision.

Custom programming



The cost of building an eCommerce website can vary drastically depending on the features and functionality you require. A simple site with basic features may cost a few hundred dollars to set up, while a more complex site could take up to several thousand, depending on the number of pages, third-party integrations, and customized design elements. For small businesses, it's often helpful to start with a basic plan that can be easily built upon as your business grows.


The cost of running an eCommerce website can vary depending on the size and complexity of your site. Still, some typical expenses you may incur include hosting fees, domain registration fees, payment processing fees, and periodic maintenance costs. Depending on the features and functionality you require, you may also need to pay for software subscriptions or license fees.

Additionally, if you're maintaining an active online presence with marketing efforts such as search engine optimization or social media campaigns, you'll want to factor in additional costs associated with those activities.


The cost of hiring someone to build an eCommerce website can vary depending on the complexity of the site and the experience level of the provider. Hiring a freelancer or web developer can typically range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand, while larger firms may charge more. Ultimately, it's important to shop around and compare quotes in order to get the best deal for your business.


The cost of setting up a WordPress eCommerce site will depend on the features you need and the complexity of your setup. Hosting fees, domain registration fees, and software subscriptions are all common expenses associated with creating a WordPress eCommerce site.

Additionally, the cost of hiring a designer or web developer to help set up and configure your site may be necessary, depending on your technical skill level. You should also factor in any recurring maintenance costs to keep your site running smoothly and securely.


The amount of time it takes to build a custom eCommerce website will depend on the complexity of the design and features you need. For simpler sites, it could take as little as 40-50 hours, while more complex sites will require hundreds or even thousands of hours.

The experience level of your web developer or team will likely impact the timeline for completion. If you’re looking to save time, consider hiring an experienced designer who specializes in eCommerce websites.


Ecommerce fees are the costs associated with running an online store. Common eCommerce fees include hosting fees, domain registration fees, software subscriptions, payment processing fees, and third-party integrations. Depending on your platform of choice, there may be additional costs like monthly maintenance or setup fees.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.