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How Much Does a Website Cost in NZ? 

People are shopping online more than ever in 2023, post the pandemic, which has created a huge incentive for businesses to move online or improve their current online presence.  

Customers expect every business to have a website or some form of web presence in today’s day and age. It is also expected that your website needs to be fast, engaging, and easy to navigate for customers to choose you over your competitors. The good news is that the acceleration of digital transformation has levelled the playing field for a lot of small businesses and now with the right digital tools and strategy, you can compete with bigger players in the market and gain valuable traffic that drives sales. 

How much does a website cost in NZ?

A customised and professionally designed website in New Zealand costs anywhere from $999 to $9,999+. The cost varies depending on the number of pages, functionalities and features your business needs. 

To give you a better idea, let’s look at what website design costs cover and what small and medium business’s owners pay on average for a professional website design company to create their business’s website. 

Why a website costs what it costs? 

Most NZ businesses that are service based will need at least the following website pages to market themselves.  

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Services/Product
  • Contact Us

A professionally designed website that is only information-based (no Ecommerce or payment gateways) with the above 4-5 pages starts at around $999 to $1999 dollars when all the content like images and text are provided.  

The cost of the website varies depending on the creative web design that you would like on top of a standard template. Most website developers will use a template to create the site you want. That template can be customised based on your needs which requires specialised knowledge and time, hence it costs more.   

Some website design companies build websites on their proprietary platform and sell the same template to all customers. The cost for this is usually cheaper as your site is pre-built and you are getting a copy of a template. This might sound great as a business owner as it costs less but as you grow you will still start to see limitations. Also, generally any additional work you ask them to do will cost twice as much as they now need to write code. 

This is not ideal, as it can cause issues and lock you in to using only one company. Companies who do this will own the website, so in the future if you need to move to another company, it becomes difficult as the information cannot be easily exported and copied over.

At Digital Refinery, no website is made alike, and we create exciting custom designs to existing templates to make your business stand out without trying to break the bank. Hence you will notice that our website design investment will be slightly more than average. You get what you pay for, no strings attached 😊  

If you want to think about website design cost, then you can compare it to buying a house.  You can buy it off-plan at a more reasonable cost or get a custom-built house and pick everything you want but it will cost accordingly.  

Small to medium business owners typically budget between $1499 to $3999 on average for a professional website design company to create their business’s website. 

This is because they understand the power of a good website. It is like having a good salesperson that you can send customers to, and you know they will qualify the right customers for your business, market your products well and get you sales.  


Why are website costs so different?

First, you need to understand that there are 2 types of website platforms. One is what we call an open-source system like WordPress and the second is a closed-source system like Shopify, WIX, Squarespace, or Weebly etc. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  We, however, have observed over the years that most business owners initially lean towards closed platforms because they find it easier to build a website and it is self-maintained by the platform.

What you may not be aware of is the limitations of these platforms. Often, when it is time to scale, you will find you need to either compromise on what you can get out of a platform like WIX or you will now need to build on a different platform (which usually turns out to be WordPress for information-based websites or WooCommerce/Shopify for Ecommerce websites because you find you need better capabilities, faster speeds and want to rank higher for SEO.  


More Specific Costs of A Website & Website Features

Website design costs vary depending on the needs of your business. When building a website for a business, there are many factors both business owners and web designers need to consider. Which when included or not, will affect the cost of your website. The overall performance of a website depends both on your web designer’s work and on what features it has.  

Generally included in responsive website designs are: 

  • Contact Forms  
  • Customer Testimonial  
  • Additional mobile optimisations 
  • Creative page design  
  • Animations  
  • Pushing website online  
  • Connecting website to social media 
  • Blogs  
  • SEO Setup 

Premium features generally not included are:

  • Connecting to CRM systems
  • Building Dynamic Pages  
  • Multiple forms  
  • Booking system integrations  
  • Email setups from scratch  
  • Automations and so on …. 

A website with premium features and add-ons such as the above will cost around $2999 or more. Further expenses are features such as video-embedding, animation effects, or Ecommerce websites. 

Ecommerce websites tend to be pricier because they need additional items such as: 

  • Product Lists 
  • Galleries 
  • Shopping Carts 
  • Payment Portals 
  • Stock System Integrations 

Therefore, Ecommerce websites cost around the price of $2999+. 


Basic difference between Website Platforms

The difference between open source and closed system platforms typically are that your WordPress website can be hosted (stored) on any server that supports it and it can be moved, optimised, and customised. You own it and it is easy to manage and move.  

With closed systems like Wix and Squarespace, you need to use their hosting and pay them the costs they set. They do a decent job but are limited in capability and design as they work with limited plugins that only cater to their ecosystem. Also, it is hard to customise them as you can’t change the template code easily.  Because of this, we prefer to use WordPress for all our information-based websites and Shopify/WooCommerce for Ecommerce development, as these platforms are more fluid and can scale to any level.


A Typical Website Design Process

(This is what we use, other agencies might have their own process) 

Our website design process takes on average six to seven steps depending on what type of website you need.

  1. We start by preparing your website hosting. This is the server where the your website lives.  
  2. Then we choose the right base template to create your website and customise it based on your needs. We then remove any additional code to keep your website nice and clean. This also helps your website load faster when it is pushed live.
  3. Next, we start adding all the plugins you need and use a website builder like Elementor Pro to help create your unique design.  
  4. This is followed by adding the content you have provided along with your images to your website to build your website’s home page.  
  5. We then send this to you for review.
  6. Once you are happy with the design, we then work on your remaining website pages and send it to you for a final review.  
  7. Finally, if you are happy with everything, we launch your website live online.  

To achieve the above the website designer needs to spend anywhere between 18-26 hours on average as each step is specialised and time-consuming job when done professionally.  

Based on a professional website designer’s hourly rate, a good website design with the right build will cost you approximately $900 just to cover the hourly rate. Then there is still more work that needs to be done around creating website forms and testing them, mobile optimisation, testing emails, setting up DNS zone records to connect your website to hosting and emails, security plugin setups to avoid spam and so on.   

Most professional website design companies will also have a project manager that will communicate the progress of your website project with you and there is a time-cost involved with this as well. Therefore, most professional website prices start at $1200+ realistically. 

Website design services for a small business’s web design average around $1999 to $3999 in New Zealand. This is because on average most businesses will need additional service pages, creative designs, and animations to help their website stand out, and a connection to their CRM system like HubSpot or Mailchimp to capture new leads. 

The average for bigger businesses or businesses who require more complex web designs is around $4000+ .


Unavoidable ongoing website costs  

Every website has ongoing costs. These are usually for 2 things.  

Domain name renewal and website hosting services are two compulsory costs you cannot avoid if you want a website. To have a functional website they are required, no matter what platform you choose.

Domain name renewals can cost you anything from $30 to $60+ per year depending on the website company that is managing your domain name for you.

Website hosting starts from $25 to $120+ per month. These are standard cost for basic websites. The costs can be higher for a premium domain name or for hosting a very large site which requires more resources.  

Fun fact: It does not matter where you buy the domain name from as all domains are globally registered at ICANN. This means all companies are just resellers.

Website hosting however is very important. A good hosting platform will make you money because it will ensure your website is fast, secure and is found online when you combine it with the work of an SEO specialistHow much a website costs in NZ at the end of the day depends on what your business needs.  


Building Your Website Yourself

Now, you could build a website yourself, however, you need to consider how valuable your time is. If it is of not much value and you have plenty of it, there are some great videos on YouTube that will show you step by step how a website can be created. But as with every learning process, there will be a huge learning curve and it can take anywhere from weeks to months before you create a website for yourself (depending on what you need).

Another thing we have noticed is when people build their own website, they most often go down two routes.  One, they build on platforms that have an ‘easy’ online builder like Wix and Squarespace which have a lot of limitations that they only realise later. This affects their business as their business grows. Often it becomes, we have “been there done that in the past and regretted it“.  The second is they build on WordPress which is a better option long-term, but they struggle to learn how to use it and don’t set up their site properly due to its complexity, or they use something else and then end up with a lot of mistakes or a poorly built website that suffers online.  

Most often you find you have to spend tons of time and energy learning how to do web design and web development. This is why we recommend that before you start you need to think of what really matters to you. Saving some money while building your website and learning a new skill that you may never use or investing that time and energy into your business (something that you most likely enjoy working on and probably should be focusing on if you want it to grow).  But to get down to what really matters, the most important thing is that your business is found online and makes you money.  

There is a famous saying “If you don’t want someone to find something add it to the second page of Google, no one ever goes there”.

We think using a professional web design team is a great investment as there will be pitfalls you might not see while building your website, but we know that we are biased 😛  

Here is a really good way to look at the cost of building a website and the different options available:

Remember, don’t look at the cost of a website as an expense, instead consider your business’s website an investment into the future growth of your business. 


Here at Digital Refinery we offer you our full services to meet your business’s website design and development needs. 

Design Services: 

Our team of specialists are experienced in website design and development and know how to get your business ranking online. Have a look at our projects to see the work we have done for previous clients.

Starting or improving your website to boost business is highly recommended! Start today!  

Digital Refinery – Website Designers in Auckland + much muuuuch more! 


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