how much does an ecommerce website cost in the uk?

If you are looking to start selling your business’ products online, or perhaps refreshing an existing website; you may be asking the question How much does an ecommerce website cost in the UK? While the answer is not necessarily straightforward, and can depend on a number of factors; we have put this guide together to help establish what ecommerce websites cost for UK businesses, and what you should be prepared to pay.

How Much does an Ecommerce Website Cost in the UK?

Before we begin answering the question How Much does an Ecommerce Website Cost in the UK? Let’s take a look at the different types of ecommerce websites available, including the main advantages and disadvantages of each.

ecommerce website design homepage on a laptop computer

Types of Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce websites can be built in a number of different ways, from a self-built, cost-effective solution, to a custom built and coded e-commerce solution. We have covered three main categories that cover the majority of ecommerce websites in the UK; WordPress, Shopify and Custom Built Websites.

WordPress CMS

wordpress logo

WordPress is a CMS, or Content Management System, which powers over 40% of websites globally. In basic terms, this is the framework that is used to build a website. Whether your website is to become a standard informational or portfolio style website, or an ecommerce store, WordPress is the base on which that website will be built. Commonly, when building an ecommerce website with WordPress, the ecommerce extension Woocommerce is used. This extends the functionality of WordPress and allows for the development of a store to sell products and take payments. WordPress is generally used by website designers, as it does have quite a steep learning curve to master, especially for a more bespoke ecommerce store.

Advantages

  • Almost infinitely customisable
  • Regular theme / plugin updates for added features and website security
  • A popular CMS that most web designers are familiar with
  • Users can make updates with relative ease from the backend
  • SEO friendly for ranking within search engines

Disadvantages

  • Frequent updates are required for both themes and plugins to keep sites secure
  • Fast page loading can be challenge with code-heavy themes or page builders
  • No in-buit backup system

Shopify Ecommerce Platform

Shopify logo

Shopify is an extremely popular, dedicated ecommerce solution. It current powers around 5% of websites globally. It allows business owners to create customised stores that enable listing and selling of products. The software and framework is managed by Shopify, allowing customisation in the backend to a certain point. Complex design or development will often require the assistance of a website designer or one of Shopify’s experts. Shopify allows store owners to get up and running relatively quickly, with a selection of themes to get started with, and integrated payment processing options.

Advantages

  • Quick and easy to get started
  • User friendly for basic features
  • Access to payment processing providers
  • Customisable with a number of themes

Disadvantages

  • Fees for payments processing
  • Can be expensive overall
  • Limited design options and customisations
  • Not access to email hosting

Custom built Ecommerce Website

A custom built ecommerce website is one that is coded from scratch, without a pre-built platform to built the site around. Often a custom ecommerce website will have a CMS integrated as part of the development for ease of make some edits to the content visible on the front end.

Advantages

  • A completed unique website design
  • Fully tested before launch

Disadvantages

  • Development can be a long process
  • Considerably more expensive than other options
  • Common for technical SEO errors
  • Often limited CMS to make updates to the website content

What to look for in an ecommerce website design service

Now that we’ve covered the main advantages and disadvantages of the popular ecommerce website options, we need to know what to look for in a professional ecommerce website design service. If you’ve searched Google for How Much does an Ecommerce Website Cost in the UK, the chances are you’re exploring the costs of various ecommerce web design services or companies. We’ve listed some of the essential features of an e-commerce store that will help enormously when looking to sell products online.

Essential Features to Look for

  • Customer service – above everything else, it’s good to know that the agency developing your website are available for help or technical fixes, if required. Having an ecommerce website that is unusable for whatever reason, will cost you sales.
  • Ability to make edits – Most CMS based ecommerce websites will allow you to edit some, if not all of the content on the website. This can be limited with custom built websites. Should you need to change some text, a price, or a product’s availability, you need access to do this.
  • A strong portfolio – While pricing is important, it’s also worth looking at what the web development agency has designed previously, to be sure the end result will be as good as expected.
  • SEO friendly – The website solution needs to be SEO friendly, meaning that it can be optimised fully to rank higher in organic search. While this may not be an immediate priority, for any online store to grow in sales, SEO is an essential service.

2022 ecommerce website cost in the UK

So, we’ve covered the popular types of e-commerce websites, the pros and cons of each, and what to look for in a website design service. Now let’s explore the pricing ranges applicable to each of these.

WordPress Ecommerce Website Cost

A WordPress website for ecommerce cost will vary considerably, depending on the design, and additional custom features, amount of products to be added, and various other factors.

In the UK, you can typically spend anywhere between £500 and £5000

Shopify Ecommerce Website Cost

Shopify have a range of pricing options, charged on a monthly basis. These depend on your requirements; including number of staff accounts needed and reporting features, and also offer different payment processing fees depending on the monthly plan selected.

In the UK, you can typically spend anywhere between £19 and £259 per month

Custom Built Ecommerce Website Cost

It’s hard to gauge the cost of a custom ecommerce website design, as the requirements for the online store and experience of the agency can further affect an already relatively expensive option. This type of website design may be charged hourly, depending on the agency.

In the UK, you can typically spend anywhere between £2000 and £50000

Ongoing Ecommerce Website Costs to Consider

Selling your products online is just the beginning. Whichever option you choose, there will undoubtedly be ongoing costs to consider to keep your website up and running. Here’s some of the main costs to consider when looking for a new e-commerce website.

Hosting

Hosting is essential for any website, and is how the website is stored and served to visitors. Hosting can cost anywhere from £5 per month to £50+ per month, depending on the type of hosting and features needed. Cheap hosting tends to be on shared servers with hundreds of other websites. While this is cheap, it it not suitable for an e-commerce website. Performance, reliability and security are some of the things to look for in a quality hosting provider. Generally, cloud hosting or a dedicated server at an additional cost are the best options to consider.

Backups

With the exception of Shopify, each ecommerce website option will need a means of backing up the site content and product inventory. Despite security measures and quality servers, it’s plausible that from time to time, a website will need to be restored from a recent backup. This is an important factor to consider with any website.

Changes and Edits

This is especially relevant to a custom built ecommerce website, where you may not have full access to make edits to text or products. It’s worth considering what the web development agency will charge for updates, and whether this will be an ongoing fee or a one-off charge for each update.

how much does an ecommerce website cost in the uK – Conclusion

As a business looking to launch your online store, or a store owner looking for a new website or refreshed design, cost is an important factor. But, aside from this you’ll want to make sure that you are making the right decision on how your website is designed, and by which agency.

In the long run, you’ll be glad you’ve taken the time to consider these options fully, as customer service and ongoing costs are also a big part of running an online store.

We hope this blog post has helped in your quest to find the answer to how much does an ecommerce website cost in the uk? If you have any questions, or would like advice or help with your ecommerce website design project, please get in touch.

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