eCommerce Website Cost: Get the Facts

eCommerce Website Cost

Are you considering starting an eCommerce business and not sure what it will cost you? We’re here to help! From domain names and eCommerce software, to web hosting and payment processing, it’s important to understand the ecommerce website cost involved in launching an online store.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the various components of an eCommerce website and the costs associated with each, so you can get a better understanding of what you’ll need to budget for.


Key Highlights

  • Building an eCommerce website requires you to choose a platform and set up payment gateways, and a domain name – preferably one that accurately reflects your brand.
  • eCommerce software solutions and platforms are one of the quickest ways to build your store.
  • The hosting provider you choose and the design of your website contribute strongly to your eCommerce store’s success.
  • Reducing eCommerce website costs involves using pre-built solutions, utilizing cloud hosting and automation technology, using no-code design tools.


Cost Breakdown of eCommerce Websites

Domain name$10 – $20 yearly
eCommerce softwareFree to $500+ per year
Web hosting$5 – $100 or more per month
Web design$500 – $10,000+
Payment processing1.5% – 3% + $0.30 per transaction (depending on the payment method)
SSL Certificate$0 – $200 per year
Content management softwareFree to $300+ per year
Site content$500 – $5,000+
Marketing$500 – $50,000+
Add-ons/ plugins/ extensionsFree to $100+ per year

It’s important to note that these costs can vary greatly based on the size and complexity of the website, as well as the services used to build and maintain it. It’s also worth considering additional costs for website maintenance, customer support, and ongoing optimization.


What Should You Put In Place Before Building an E-commerce Website?

Creating an eCommerce website requires you to decide on what type of products or services you’re selling and then select the right platform for your needs.

You’ll need to set up accounts with payment gateways like Paypal and Stripe, as well as secure hosting for your site. There’s a cost associated with selecting, purchasing, and setting up several components.

Let’s discuss a few important components here:

Domain Name

Your domain name should ideally be an exact match with your brand name and be easy to remember. It can cost anywhere from $10 per year to hundreds of dollars but is essential for having an online presence. Not only will it be your public-facing brand identity, but a well-selected domain will also help you establish a memorable and professional appearance.

Minimalistic thinking and some creative strategies such as seeking out expired domains can drastically reduce these expenses.

Ultimately, the most important factor to consider when choosing your domain is that it should accurately reflect your company’s mission and values. By ensuring that your domain captures the soul of your eCommerce brand, potential customers can find clarity in exactly who they are interacting with – without having to look too hard.

Domain names for multiple eCommerce websites

If you plan on setting up multiple eCommerce websites, you should always buy your domain names in bulk. Many registrars offer discounts when you register multiple domains at once so this can be a great way to save some money if you’re planning on setting up more than one website.

When you first register your domain name, you’ll have the option of renewing it for one year, two years, or more. While it may be tempting to just renew for one year at a time, it’s usually cheaper in the long run if you renew for multiple years at once. This way, you won’t have to worry about renewing your domain every year.

E-commerce Software

Many eCommerce businesses (especially small to mid sized ones) use pre-built and self-hosted platforms to build their stores. There are free eCommerce software solutions as well as paid services that range in cost depending on the features desired.

When choosing e-commerce software for your website, there are some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Not all software solutions are created equal—it is important to do research and determine which one works best for you and your business needs.
  • Consider the initial subscription price, renewal prices, and any other fees associated with using it so you can plan your budget..
  • You also want to make sure the e-commerce software is compatible with any other systems you may use, such as payment processing tools.
  • Additionally, make sure it has a user-friendly interface so that your teammates can navigate its features easily and customers have a pleasant experience when navigating through your shop.

Remember: Choosing the right eCommerce software can make or break the success of your business.

  • Shopify

Shopify is a self-hosted eCommerce solution that allows individuals and businesses to create a fully functional online store without needing to code. Shopify offers a wide range of features and is known for being user-friendly, making it a great option for businesses that are just getting started with eCommerce.

One of the main benefits of using Shopify is that it is relatively cost-effective, with plans starting at just $29 per month, and every aspect of your website is managed by the company.

  • BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another popular eCommerce platform that offers a wide range of features and tools for businesses of all sizes. Like Shopify, BigCommerce is also user-friendly and offers a variety of plans to suit different budgets.

One of the main benefits of BigCommerce is that it includes unlimited storage and bandwidth, which can be helpful for businesses that anticipate high traffic levels.

  • WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an eCommerce-optimized plugin designed to help businesses with WordPress websites, add eCommerce functionality without needing to build a new store from scratch. WooCommerce is compatible with just about any WordPress site.

While you may pay little extra fees for website hosting and domain names, WooCommerce is free to use. You can also buy extra plugins to make your work easier.

  • Magento

Magento is an enterprise-level eCommerce solution that gives businesses mission-critical tools and functionalities that you won’t get from base-level eCommerce solutions. Magento is suitable for businesses that have a large product catalog or require advanced features such as customer segmentation or coupon codes.

One of the main disadvantages of Magento is that it can be complicated to use, particularly for businesses that are just getting started with eCommerce.

Additionally, Magento requires a significant investment, with plans starting at $22,000 per year.


Web Hosting

Hosting is necessary to keep your website live and available 24/7 so customers can access it anytime they want to visit or purchase items. Generally, websites hosted on shared servers tend to be the most affordable option, costing anywhere from a few dollars a month up to hundreds depending on the type of hosting plan chosen and the amount of resources used.

Here are a few hosting options available:

Shared hosting is easily the most common kind of hosting offered by any provider and also the most affordable on the market. When you subscribe to a shared hosting plan, you share the resources with other websites hosting on the same server – bandwidth, storage, CPU power, etc. – hence the ‘shared’.

Many small to mid-sized businesses use shared hosting because it is affordable, plus it’s best for sites with low traffic. However, one major problem with shared hosting is, attacks on another website hosted on the same server may affect yours.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a type of hosting that provides you with your own virtual server. In a VPS hosting environment, you still share the same server with other websites (albeit fewer) but dedicated or isolated virtual engines are used to give you ‘your own space’.

VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it can be worth the investment if you have a high-traffic website.

Dedicated hosting is the best kind of hosting for eCommerce stores with huge traffic or a very large customer base. Dedicated hosting plans or dedicated servers give you one server all to yourself. You have total control over the server and how you use the resources.

Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting, obviously as this functionality comes at a price, but it can be worth the investment if you have a high-traffic website or need specialized features.

Cloud hosting is the most flexible and scalable kind of hosting and is best for eCommerce stores that experience traffic spikes often. In cloud hosting, your website is hosted across a network of servers, meaning more security, easy backups, and premium performance.

Cloud hosting is more expensive than shared or VPS hosting, but it can be worth the investment if you want to be able to match resource demand conveniently.

Managed hosting is a done-for-you hosting model where all the technical stuff concerned with hosting your website is done by the provider. This can include tasks such as optimizing your website for search engines or ensuring that your website’s security is up to date.

Managed hosting is offered across many hosting types (e.g WordPress, dedicated, VPS) and is more expensive than unmanaged hosting, but it can be worth the investment if you don’t have the time or expertise to manage your hosting backend.


Web Design

When it comes to setting up an eCommerce store, web design is essential for success; it’s the foundation of creating an effective online presence. A great UI/UX can influence visitors and draw people in, turning them into loyal customers. It’s especially important to consider factors such as SEO and accessibility, so your website is easy to use and ranks well on search engines.

To design a successful eCommerce store without breaking the bank, look into available tools and DIY options like WordPress or pre-made templates. Remember that good web design creates trust among consumers and sets you up for growth!

Here’s what you need to do for cost-cutting:

  • Use existing templates
  • Use a website builder
  • Look for open source tools
  • Focus on UX and design basics
  • Test features before launch

Payment Processing

A payment processing system will be needed in order for customers to pay securely during checkout. Services such as PayPal, Stripe, all provide payment gateways, with fees varying based on transaction type and cost structure used by each service provider individually.

PayPal is one of the most widely used payment solutions in the world and also by many eCommerce stores. In addition to enabling secure, cross-border payments, PayPal also offers eCommerce-heavy features e.g: allowing businesses and professionals to generate invoices, set up auto-billing subscriptions, etc.

Stripe is another very popular payment solution used by eCommerce stores. The platform allows businesses to accept card payments from anywhere in the world. Additionally, Stripe offers a variety of features that can be beneficial for ecommerce stores, such as fraud prevention tools and the ability to set up recurring payments.

This method allows consumers to store their payment information and shipping addresses within their Amazon account, making it easy to make purchases without having to enter the information repeatedly. Amazon Pay can also be used by merchants to process payments on their websites and mobile apps.

Apple Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to enable users to make contactless payments. To use Apple Pay, users must have an Apple device, such as an iPhone or iPad, and store their payment information within the Wallet app. They can then make payments by holding their device near an NFC-enabled payment terminal and confirming the purchase with Touch ID, Face ID, or their device passcode.

Google Pay is similar to Apple Pay, but is available for both Android and iOS devices. It also uses NFC technology and allows users to store their payment information in the app. Payments are confirmed using a PIN, fingerprint recognition, or facial recognition.


SSL Certificate

You must have a secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate installed if you plan on accepting payments directly through your website rather than using third-party services such as PayPal or another payment gateway because it encrypts personal data sent between two systems in order to keep sensitive information safe during transmission over public networks like the Internet.

Google also now specifies having an SSL certificate as a ranking factor, meaning to rank, you must have an SSL certificate. SSL certificates typically cost around $50–100 per year depending on the type purchased, however, some hosting providers offer SSL certificates for free when signing up for their services so it’s worth checking first before buying one.

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) helps you manage your entire content life cycle – from creation, editing, and versioning, to publication workflow (approval process), and publishing on your blog and social media channels. It not only makes adding new items easy but also makes removing expired or inactive ones simpler too.

CMS platforms vary greatly in terms of features offered but many open-source systems exist so it should not be too difficult finding an affordable solution since prices start at around $0–50 USD per month depending on your requirements.

Site Content

Once everything is set up properly then it’s time to start filling out pages with relevant content like catalogs, product descriptions, images gallery, etc. In addition, creating useful blog posts related to general industry topics to help build trust with potential buyers and increase your organic search traffic.


The last step before going live would involve launching marketing campaigns, sending emails, etc., Tools such as Mailchimp make this process quite easy even if you have no prior experience in marketing.

Addons Plugins & Extensions

If you need extra functionality, you’d need to install additional plugins, extensions, or addons with eCommerce-specific features like auto-ship options, subscription plans, etc.

Maintenance & Support

Don’t forget regular maintenance must be done to ensure your store is working properly. Updates your software frequently too. You may need to hire support staff to help troubleshoot issues should they come up too.


How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Business?

With so many eCommerce hosting options available, how do you figure out which one is right for your business? We’ll help you narrow down your choices and make a good decision!

First things first, let’s explore the crucial factors to consider when choosing an e-commerce platform:


Depending on the size of your business and the features you need, there are many different price points within e-commerce platforms. Don’t forget about other associated costs such as domain name registration, hosting fees, and payment processing fees.


Different platforms offer different features such as customer accounts, product management tools, and marketing integrations. Make sure to choose a platform that meets all of your current needs. It’s a good idea to list down the requirements before choosing a platform.


Security is paramount when it comes to online transactions and should be taken into serious consideration. Make sure that the provider you choose has strong security measures in place and regularly updates its software to ensure maximum protection against cyber threats.


Many providers offer 24/7 customer service as well as helpful tutorials and FAQ sections on their websites. Make sure to check these out before making a final decision on which platform to use.


As your business grows, so will its needs and requirements in order to run properly. It’s important to make sure that the provider you choose offers scalability options so that you can easily upgrade or downgrade your plan as needed without compromising performance or security.


The Importance of Scalability for eCommerce Websites

Scalability for an eCommerce website is like having a big enough backpack for a long hike. You don’t want your backpack to be too small and limit what you can carry, just like you don’t want your eCommerce website to limit your growth.

As more and more people turn to online shopping, businesses will need to be able to handle larger traffic, sales, and customers. If a website is not scalable, it might slow down or even crash when faced with a sudden increase in demand, leading to lost sales and frustrated customers. In short, scalability helps your eCommerce business reach new heights by allowing it to grow and adapt to changing demands.

In the United States alone, $ 905 billion worth of eCommerce sales were made in 2022. The Statista Digital Market Outlook forecasts that online shopping revenue in the U.S. will exceed $ 1.7 trillion by 2027.

Comparison Table

PricingSubscription-based SaaS platform, starting at $29/monthFree (costs associated with hosting and payment gateway)Open-source, costs associated with hosting and customization
Payment ProcessingBuilt-in payment processing with additional transaction fees or use of external payment gatewayUse of external payment gatewaysUse of external payment gateways
Theme SelectionWide variety of paid and free themes availableWide variety of paid and free themes availableWide variety of paid and free themes available
CustomizationLimited customization options available through app store or hiring a developerExtensive customization options through plugins and codeExtensive customization options through plugins, modules, and code
Inventory ManagementBuilt-in inventory managementBuilt-in inventory managementBuilt-in inventory management
Marketing & SEOBuilt-in marketing tools, SEO-friendly themesBuilt-in marketing tools, SEO-friendly themes with additional pluginsBuilt-in marketing tools, SEO-friendly themes with additional plugins
Support24/7 support available for subscription plansCommunity support, paid support options availableCommunity support, paid support options available


Balancing cost and outcomes for your eCommerce website

When running an eCommerce website, it is important to strike a balance between cost and outcomes in order to drive success. To do this effectively, it is important to be aware of the financial investments needed, as well as potential returns on investment (ROI).

The primary costs associated with operating an eCommerce website are largely related to infrastructure, hosting, marketing, and product development. Having an effective strategy for managing costs can help ensure that your eCommerce website runs cost-effectively, without sacrificing quality or performance.

What to consider

Maximizing outcomes while minimizing costs requires careful planning. Key factors to consider are

  • Scalability - how easily you can increase or decrease resources as needed.
  • Good web design - this may require a bigger initial expense but will ultimately result in more return customers and improved user experience.
  • Automation technology - this will help streamline processes and reduce the workload for both your customers and staff.
  • Analytics – To understand the impact of cost and outcomes on the success of your eCommerce website, you should regularly review analytics data such as site visits, conversions, average order value and customer engagement metrics.

By considering these factors in tandem with your ROI goals, you can make informed decisions about where best to invest your resources – whether that means investing further in customer service or automating parts of the customer journey.

When balancing cost and outcomes for your eCommerce website, there are several steps you can take:

  • Prioritize features before launching
  • Set realistic goals
  • Track performance metrics
  • Automate wherever possible
  • Focus on providing quality experiences
  • Utilize A/B testing
  • Optimize scalability structures
  • Monitor analytics regularly
  • Reuse design elements and employ user feedback loops

By taking these steps into account while managing your budget accordingly, you’ll be able to successfully maximize outcomes while minimizing costs


How to Reduce E-commerce Website Costs?

According to a report by Website Builder Expert, the average cost of a basic eCommerce website built using a website builder ranges from $25 to $75 per month. Custom-built eCommerce websites can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the level of customization and features required.

When running an eCommerce website, ensuring that it is cost-efficient is essential to success. While the initial costs associated with setting up and launching an eCommerce website may seem like a barrier, there are several ways to ensure that your costs remain low over time.

Using pre-built solutions

One of the easiest ways to reduce the costs associated with running an eCommerce website is to take advantage of pre-built solutions. There are a variety of available open-source platforms and software packages designed for eCommerce websites, which can greatly reduce setup fees as well as ongoing maintenance costs.

Additionally, many hosting providers offer discounted packages for smaller websites and businesses.

Opt for scalable resources

Optimizing scalability structures also helps reduce eCommerce website costs. Instead of investing in new infrastructure or additional personnel each time you experience growth or fluctuations in demand, consider using cloud hosting solutions that scale up or down quickly according to business needs without having to pay for additional resources. Automation technology can also be used to streamline processes, thereby reducing manual labor costs.

Use no-code tools

When looking for ways to reduce eCommerce website costs further, consider utilizing design elements that do not require extensive coding knowledge; certain integrations such as popular payment gateways allow you to use existing templates and features rather than building something from scratch. You should also review analytics data regularly in order to understand how changes are impacting your bottom line.

By following the above tips and keeping a close eye on your finances, you can help ensure that your eCommerce platform remains cost-efficient while continuing to drive success.



Starting an eCommerce website involves various costs including domain name, eCommerce software, web hosting, and payment processing. You can balance cost and outcomes for an eCommerce website by applying some of the techniques we discussed above.

You should also set realistic goals, track performance metrics, focus on quality experiences, utilize A/B testing, optimize scalability structures, and monitor analytics.

Reducing e-commerce website costs can be achieved by using pre-built solutions, optimizing scalability structures with cloud hosting, using automation technology, utilizing design elements that don’t require extensive coding, and regularly reviewing analytics data.


Next Steps: What now?


Further reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any ongoing maintenance costs for an eCommerce website?

Yes, there are ongoing maintenance costs for an eCommerce website. These costs include hosting fees, security updates, software upgrades, and ongoing website optimization to ensure the website continues to perform well and provide a positive user experience. In all, the amount you will spend running your website will depend on the services you are using plus how much resources your website demands.

How much does it cost to host an eCommerce website?

The hosting price depends on the level of hosting and features required. On the lower end, shared hosting plans can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per month, while dedicated server hosting can cost upwards of $100 or more per month.

Factors such as website traffic, data storage, and security features will also impact the cost of hosting an eCommerce website. Some hosts also provide tailored eCommerce plans.

What are the costs of integrating payment gateways for an eCommerce website?

Some payment gateway providers charge a monthly fee or a percentage of each transaction processed, while others may offer a free basic plan with higher fees for advanced features. It’s important to research and compare different payment gateway providers to find the best solution for your eCommerce website, as the costs can vary widely and have a significant impact on your business.

How much does it cost to hire a developer or agency to build an eCommerce website?

You can expect to spend around $1,000 to $10,000 for a basic eCommerce website, while a more complex website with custom features and integrations could cost upwards of $20,000 or more. To get an accurate estimate, it’s important to clearly communicate your needs and requirements to potential developers or agencies, and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best solution for your budget.

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