Price is critical when it comes to e-commerce site development. However, there is no clear guide for business owners on how to calculate the cost of an e-commerce website and what aspects they should take into account. In this article, we will comb through every little component that should be included in the average e-commerce website and estimate a price for its implementation. This guide is applicable to both small-to-medium sized and enterprise e-commerce businesses that want to calculate their e-commerce website development cost.

Before you dive deeper into the costs to build an e-commerce website, you might want to learn more about the peculiarities of starting a business and building an e-commerce website from scratch.

An average e-commerce website has a complex structure and consists of many elements. Unfortunately, it is impossible to give a precise time and cost estimation without knowing the requirements to the functionality and design. That’s why we will review average e-commerce website development costs.

#1 How Much Does a CMS for an E-commerce Website Cost?

Content management system (CMS) is the foundation of every e-commerce store. You can find various e-commerce solutions: free and premium, light-weight and heavy, for small stores and enterprises. In this article, we’ll focus on Magento and Shopify e-commerce solutions. We’ll focus on these for two reasons – first, they are the most popular, with over 34% of the global market share.

best e-commerce platforms

Second, at Whidegroup, we specialize in both of these e-commerce solutions. We have come to learn each little detail, nuance, and peculiarity of them, thus providing our clients with the best e-commerce services and solutions possible.

Both platforms offer several plans. Because of this, business owners of any scale will be able to find a perfect solution for themselves. So, let’s clarify how much does it cost to build an e-commerce website on each of these platforms.

Magento

This open-source e-commerce platform currently offers three options to choose from to run your e-commerce store:

  • Magento Open Source. This option is perfectly suitable for small online store development and it’s absolutely free to use.
  • Magento Commerce. Designed for scaling businesses, Magento Commerce charges from $22,000 per year.
  • Magento Commerce Cloud. This edition provides entrepreneurs with fully pre-provisioned infrastructure. Magento Commerce Cloud costs from $40,000 per year.

Shopify

This SaaS e-commerce solution provides customers with four plans:

  • Basic Shopify. Perfect for those who only do the first steps in e-commerce. Basic Shopify costs $29/month.
  • Shopify. Intended for the creation of mid-sized businesses, it charges $79/month.
  • Advanced Shopify. Perfect for scaling business, this plan costs $299/month.
  • Shopify Plus. This solution was developed for large enterprises with a high traffic load and a significant quantity of products. The price for its license starts from $2,000 per month.

#2 What is the Price for E-commerce Hosting?

The second step after choosing a platform that will add up to your e-commerce website cost is a hosting selection. Hosting solution providers are numerous, and below we review three that are considered to be the most popular ones:

  • 1. A2 Hosting. If you’re seeking a speed-star among hosting providers – A2 Hosting is one of the best possible options for you. Its costs start at $6.99/month for a VPS hosting and reach $169/month for a dedicated server.
  • 2. SiteGround. This hosting provider will suit you perfectly if your top priorities are reliability and safety. Choosing this option will run you $3.99/per month for a fast and secure startup web hosting to $160/per month for a managed cloud hosting.
  • 3. HostGator. Powerful and fully-featured, HostGator hosting services are perfectly-fitted to large e-commerce store development. While HostGator prices start at $2.75/month, grabbing a dedicated server to run an enterprise store will cost you about $140/per month.
e-commerce hosting pricing

Every hosting provider mentioned above has various plans – from cheap and cheerful to more serious and costly. However, we strongly believe that light plans are not suitable enough to run an e-commerce business of any scale, so we wouldn’t waste your time on it. Instead, we recommend choosing the plans with more features, better support, and less downtime percentage.

#3 What is the Price to Develop E-commerce Pages?

Every industry has a cluster of webpages that are considered to be the most critical. E-commerce is no exception here, and the list of important pages for e-commerce includes product page, homepage, category page, cart, and checkout. Below you can see the traffic breakdown for the pages mentioned above and estimate their importance.

The most critical pages for e-commerce website

The most common way to measure the cost for page development is by using an hourly estimation. A developer’s hourly rate varies from $50 to $200 per hour. So, let’s look at how long it takes to develop each page mentioned above and how the e-commerce website development cost can be calculated:

Product page

SBy checking the product page, the customer gets an impression of a particular product and makes a decision about making a purchase. The time needed for custom product page development is on average 40 hours. These include:

  • Page development (16 hours)
  • Setting up logics (16 hours)
  • Quality assurance (4 hours)
  • Debugging (4 hours)

Homepage

This page is perfect for placing information about you, your business, and the products you sell. With this display, you’ll grow your authority and trust in the eyes of your customers. Homepage development is commonly estimated to run 30 hours. The activities implied in this process include:

  • Dev and live environments creation, project deployment (1 hour)
  • Page development, including header and footer (8 hours)
  • Setting up logics (8 hours)
  • Validation (5 hours)
  • Quality assurance (4 hours)
  • Debugging (4 hours)

Category page

If you sell many products, it’s best to categorize them to make the shopping experience more convenient for your customers. Category page development on average takes 32 hours.

  • Category page development (8 hours)
  • Setting up logics (16 hours)
  • Quality assurance (4 hours)
  • Debugging (4 hours)

Shopping cart page

Shopping cart page is one of the vital stages of the common e-commerce conversion funnel every customer has to pass. Having a non-user-friendly or confusing shopping cart, results in a high cart abandonment rate. Responsive and user-friendly shopping cart page setup usually takes about 12 hours, and consists of:

  • Setting up logics (4 hours)
  • Quality assurance (4 hours)
  • Debugging (4 hours)

Checkout page

The checkout page requires particular attention from you since it’s the final online touchpoint between your brand and your customers. Thus, the impression it leaves must be perfect! The best checkout is a frictionless one, and the best way to make checkout frictionless is to implement a custom checkout process. You can also consider an option to optimize an already existing checkout page.On average, custom checkout page development takes up to 40 hours while optimizing an existing one takes around 12 hours. Average checkout setup process consists of the following steps:

  • Setting up logics (4 hours)
  • Quality assurance (4 hours)
  • Debugging (4 hours)

The final time estimation and cost depends on the flexibility of the platform you use and the opportunities it gives you in terms of checkout page customization.

In addition to the development and customization of the pages listed above, it is also necessary to lay additional time that is needed for:

  • Deployment of changes (3-4 hours)
  • Additional research (7-8 hours)

#4 What is the E-commerce Website Design Cost?

When it comes to the e-commerce site design cost – it all depends on whether you prefer to use a ready-made theme or implement a fully-custom design, and the price difference between these two options can be dramatic. Let’s review these in more detail:

  • 1. Custom design. Estimating custom design cost strongly depends on a variety of factors, the main being the designer’s qualifications, the design’s requirements and complexity, and the project scope. Price for e-commerce projects is based on the number of hours it takes to design them, and multiplied by the designer’s hourly rate. On average, the custom design development process takes from 10 to 500 hours for the whole website to be completed, while the web designer’s hourly rate starts at $50. We at Whidegroup estimate the time for design in the following way. Average time for designing one page for e-commerce store (e.g. product page layout, homepage, category, blog, etc.) will require about 8 hours for both desktop and mobile versions.
  • 2. Themes. Magento and Shopify offer a vast amount of themes on their official marketplaces and through partners. The prices for the themes start at $37 and go up to $179. Both platforms also provide several free themes. However, they tend to look a bit outdated and out of style.

#5 What are the E-commerce Payments Processing Rates and Fees?

To date, the most popular e-commerce payment solutions are PayPal, Stripe, and Shopify Pay. Together they own over 75.9% of overall market share. All of them have no setup fees and charge only for successful transactions.

top payment gateways breakdown

Popular payment processing technologies in more details:

  • 1. PayPal. With its multiple payment options, PayPal is an undeniable leader among other payment solutions and a must-have payment option for any e-commerce website. As for the costs: PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions over $10.
  • 2. Authorize.net. This payment provider has become a synonym of good reputation and charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Additionally, Authorize.net charges a monthly fee at the rate of $25.
  • 3. Shop Pay. To date, this is one of the fastest and best converting e-commerce checkouts. It provides a seamless checkout process at a speed that exceeds other checkouts by 4 times. Shopify Pay does not charge transaction fees. However, this gateway can only be used on Shopify online stores.

In our experience, we can say that customers are most interested in implementing such payment solutions as PayPal, Klarna, Sage Pay and Stripe, considering them to be both safe and trustworthy.

#6 Any Hidden Pitfalls?

While making any estimate, there’s a risk to encounter pitfalls that can make a significant impact on the ultimate e-commerce website development cost. These pitfalls are the following:

  • 1. Hiring the E-commerce Development Company. It’s the developers who make the estimate, which eventually defines the price to develop an e-commerce website. Thus, hiring under-qualified developers results in poor project estimation.
  • 2. Poor project scoping. Even the best developers can do nothing if you set unclear expectations. Make sure you speak the same language with your project manager and you’ll get the desired result.
  • 3. Additional expenses. At any moment your e-commerce development project may require immediate purchasing of some tools: plugins, extensions, modules and so on. This requires additional funds, and you should be ready for such a situation. Make sure to work with a developer whose intentions you trust, and you’ll know anything additional will have only been a necessity for your website’s success.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve reviewed the e-commerce website development cost – the aspects it depends on and its components. We also covered possible problems to look out for.

However, this guide, even with its detail and accuracy, can’t necessarily cover all the aspects of e-commerce site cost. You should keep in mind that a precise e-commerce website cost estimate is impossible without knowing every requirement for your site. Thus, in order to get a precise project estimate, we recommend that you drop us a line and include all the details of your project. We look forward to working with you!

About the author
Content Manager & SEO Analyst
Olha is a Content Manager and SEO Analyst at Whidegroup. Starting as a Content Writer for software and web development topics in 2011, Olha has always been guided by a desire to thoroughly inspect every field of study before writing a single word. She found her passion in e-commerce and delighted in expanding her expertise in web development, analytics and SEO for small to medium e-commerce businesses.
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