A simple question but a pretty complex answer and a quick google search will produce answers ranging anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds to £20,000+ and while these figures are technically correct, they also aren’t particularly helpful!
So, I thought I would crunch the numbers and try and come up with a more data driven post.
How Much does a UK Ecommerce Website Cost?
The average monthly cost for the basic package of a hosted ecommerce platform is £22.10 or £237.37 if paid for annually. Across all packages offered by the main hosted ecommerce platforms, the average monthly cost is £59.45 or £645.84 if paid for annually.
How was this Calculated?
To figure out the figures above, I looked at 8 of the most popular hosted ecommerce platforms for UK business and they are:
The reason why I am looking solely at hosted ecommerce platforms for this post, is that they all offer pricing plans and this makes it easier to calculate the prices.
Self-hosted platforms such as WordPress + WooCommerce, Opencart or even Magento are very difficult to try and price due to the large amount of variables such as the hundreds of UK based hosting providers and the thousands of theme and plugin/app developers out there. The amount of work required to collaborate this information doesn’t even bare thinking about!
To calculate the average price, I added all of the packages available by the platforms listed above to the table below to calculate the average prices, please note that Shopify and Bigcommerce fees are converted from USD to GBP and prices are correct as of (26/4/21).
|Basic Package||Mid Package||Top Package|
The average for all of the packages listed in the table above, comes out at $59.45.
I also looked at the average price if the packages are paid for annually as nearly all platforms offer a discount when packages are purchased annually.
|Basic Package||Mid Package||Top Package|
The average annual price for all of the packages listed is £645.84.
What About Apps & Themes?
All of the prices above cover how much it is going to cost you to use the platform but most ecommerce website will require some customisation either in the form of additional functionality from apps or customisation from themes but how much do these cost?
As all ecommerce websites are different, you may need to install additional apps to your website to add functionality or integrations with third-party platforms and depending on the platform that you are using, you may have to pay an additional one off or recurring monthly fee for this and in the table below, I have found how many apps are available and the cost of the most expensive app.
Due to the constant evolving nature of app stores, the number of apps and pricing are subject to change but were correct as of writing this post (26/4/21)
|Number of Apps||Cheapest App||Most Expensive|
*ShopWired apps aren’t charged for all packages, the Premium package includes all paid apps with the monthly fees and the Advanced package includes a selection of paid apps included with the monthly fee.
^Squarespace app prices are not publicly available and I currently don’t have an account with them so I am unable to list the prices.
Just to show you I haven’t plucked the highest numbers out of thin air, below is a list of the most expensive apps:
- Shopify: Yaguara
- Bigcommerce: Shiphero
- Wix: Google Ads by StoreYa
It is interesting to see that app prices are a lot higher for platforms not based in the UK, with only ShopWired having a reasonable selection of paid apps but as mentioned above these are included with the larger packages and EKM only have two apps that are paid options.
The next cost that can come with building an ecommerce website is themes as you probably want your site to fir your brand and business.
In the table below are the theme selection options and prices for the platforms already listed in this post:
|Free Themes||Paid Themes||Cost|
|9||64||$100 – $180|
|12||152||$150 – $300|
Now these are just the themes available directly from the platforms, some platforms such as Shopify and Bigcommerce do have themes that are made by third-party developers that can be bought directly from the developer or third-party marketplaces such as Themeforest.
What is nice to see from all of the UK platforms is that they don’t charge for any of their standard themes but EKM and ShopWired do offer the service of having a custom theme made and below are the prices for these:
- EKM: £1,999.99
- ShopWired: Pro Design Package – £3495.00, Advanced – £3995.00
Design & Development Time
One of the biggest potential costs for any website can be custom design and development work and for the likes of Shopify, Bigcommerce and Wix, you can hire a third party developer and according to Expert Market, developer rates can range from £10 – £100 an hour depending upon their experience and also the work that is required.
For most of the UK based platforms though, any development work is done in house by their own dedicated team and the rates are dependant on the company and once again, the complexity of the job can also be a big factor in the price.
One piece of advice when choosing a designer or developer is to not go for the cheapest as it might end up costing you more in the long run as there is usually a reason why they are the cheapest. It is often more cost effective to pay a bit more to start with but go with an individual or company that has a good reputation and checkable history of work.
Website Cost Calculator
I have thrown a few facts and figures at you in this post but I thought I would create a simple calculator that you can use to help you quickly get a rough idea of how much your website is going to cost for a year.
Just a couple of points about how the calculator works:
- Platform Monthly Cost and App Monthly Cost are both multiplied by 12 to give an annual cost.
- The designer/developer hourly rate is multiplied by the specified number of hours.
- If you just want to figure out your design/development costs, then just enter the hourly rate and number of hours and leave the rest of the calculator blank.
This was quite a challenging post to write as the simple answer to how much does an ecommerce website cost is basically the same as asking how long is a piece of string, this is because there are so many variables as each ecommerce website has their own specific requirements.
But one thing I did find interesting from doing this post is that UK based platforms do seem to work out cheaper for their users than the non UK based options, mainly because many of the apps and all of the themes available are offered for free.
Now when it comes to your ecommerce website, it very much depends on what your requirements are as to how much your site is going to cost but fortunately all of the UK based have great customer service and it will be worth speaking to them about your requirements so that they can give you a more accurate figure.