The Price of (Web) Success

Not sure how much a basic site will cost? Ready to upgrade yours? Here are some starter budgets for you.

April 1, 2000

It's trite but true: Web site design and programming costs vary based on your pocketbook and the level of interactivity you want. Still, we created a budget sheet with the able help of design expert Kristina Morrison of Advanced Access, Anaheim, Calif. Tallied here are some of the expenses you'll incur if you a hire a professional to create and maintain your site.

Starter site up-front costs
Design (basic graphics included, 2–4 hours of programming time at $35–$75/hour) $70–$300
Domain registration, good for two years 70
Hosting services ($35/month) 35
Search engine registration (Some designers include this service in the monthly hosting fee. If not, do it yourself with such services as for $59/year) 59
TOTAL $234–$464
Next-generation site (with a few bells and whistles) Up-front costs
Design time (8–12 hours) $280–$900
Virtual tour services (base price per tour about $100, usually provided by another vendor. This assumes three tours in a month.) 300
TOTAL $580–$1,200

Do-it-yourselfers, please note: Rather than the design fees, you'll need to account for the cost of Web authoring software, roughly $150–$200, and the value of your time to maintain the site.

The maintenance
Updates/troubleshooting/additional programming $35/hour
Ongoing hosting charges $35/month
Christina Hoffmann
Senior Speech Writer

Christina Hoffmann has covered real estate and homeownership for two decades, including as REALTOR® Magazine managing editor and’s content manager, with added expertise as owner of a demanding 100-year-old house. She is currently a senior speech writer at NAR.

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