There are a lot of factors that influence the cost of creating a website.
But to give you a general idea, we decided to do the research. We spent a few hours gathering the data and found answers that should be a good starting point for planning your project.
The average cost of a website in Ghana is GHc2,660. This is the result from a study of 75 Ghanaian website design companies and designers.
What we did was to search Google.com.gh for Website Designers in Ghana and Website Design Companies in Ghana.
We compiled the top 50 companies available, excluding any entries that weren’t providing web design services.
Out of the top 50 companies we found, 70% didn’t show or indicate any pricing information at all. They prefer that you contact them directly or request a quote.
The top 50 listings on Google would likely have an under representation of freelancers who are also responsible for a sizeable volume of websites created each year.
So we visited the two most popular online classifieds in Ghana to find the prices quoted by freelancers and firms who’ve chosen to list there.
Whilst Tonaton had relatively few listings, we did find quite a lot on Jiji (formerly OLX).
Between the two of them, we found a total of 25 website design listings.
With this information, we plotted a graph of the various prices quoted by the 75 companies and designers and found the average price for a website in Ghana to be GHc2,660.
If you’re specifically considering having your website created by a website company in the top 50 on Google, then the average is a bit higher at GHc3,460.
Alternatively, prefer the services of a freelancer, the average cost comes down to GHc827.
Why are some websites more expensive than others?
That’s a great question. From our study, we found prices ranging from as low as GHc300 to a high of GHc18,000. And that says nothing about the firms that don’t even show their pricing.
But at the end of the day, the price you pay for your website is affected by quite a few factors. Below, you’ll find 13 major ones which will influence the cost of your website.
- Website Type and Function
- Creation Method
- Domain Name
- Hosting and Security
- Payment Terms
- Delivery Time
Website Type and Function
There are different types of websites out there. What you want your website to do affects how much money you end up having to pay for that site.
That’s basically because the more complex the website, the more time it’ll take for your web designer to implement that successfully.
For example, an NGO that wants a simple 5 page website just to display who they are and what they do are likely to pay less than a retailer who wants to sell all their products online, accept payments, track inventory and more.
On the other hand, if there are two NGOs and they both want similar 5 page websites, but the second NGO wants:
- Online membership registration
- Online donations
- Mobile apps for both Android and Apple
- Social network section of the website, etc
they are going to end up paying far more than the first NGO.
In trying to manage the cost of your website project, it’s important for you to consider the features that you really need.
If every single one of them is needed but your budget doesn’t meet up to the estimates you’re getting, you might probably have to consider expanding your website over time.
That would mean starting with the most important features that you want for your website at launch.
Caution: Do note that if you do forego some features you desire in the beginning to get your project launched, do let your designer know. That way, they’ll be able to keep that in mind and make it possible for your website to be upgraded accordingly as you go, without having to overhaul major portions of the website.
Creation Method: DIY or Professional
It’s never been easier than it is today to build a website yourself. Many services out there will let you sign up and create a website within 5 minutes.
Whilst we currently do not know of any native Ghanaian sitebuilder platforms, a lot of Ghanaian hosting companies may include a drag-and-drop sitebuilder with their packages.
On the international scene though, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress and Shopify are a few we can name.
Once you’ve got your Visa or MasterCard ready, you can sign up and pay the monthly fee, select a name for your website, select a design, or start from scratch and be live in no time.
Some of these sitebuilders allow you to create a website for free. The limitations on these free sites however, are usually a major drawback.
One example is that they won’t allow you to have your choice of domain name. You will have to use a name for your site that also contains their name in it, making it long and unattractive.
But when you want a website that you can show to the world, you’re most likely going to have to upgrade or pay for one of their packages.
Purchasing a package will run you between about GHc400/year to GHc4,000/year (and higher), all depending on the various features they offer that you require.
The true cost of a DIY website is not so much in money as it is in time. Whilst it does have a monetary component, you are largely paying for the website by doing it yourself (hence D-I-Y).
When creating a website yourself, you own the outcome, whether good or bad. When something goes wrong, you have to find a way to make it right. And that means you are most likely going to have to do a lot of reading and learning and watching video tutorials to achieve the aims you want.
Whilst it’s not easy, it is possible to come up with a truly beautiful website which achieves the goals you have in mind.
If spending weeks perfecting your website doesn’t sound like fun to you, you might want to hire a professional instead.
All other things being equal, a professional using your platform of choice means you are not only paying for the platform or builder, but now you’re also paying for the expertise of the website designer.
Whether you’re hiring a freelancer on Jiji or a web design firm, you are likely to pay more for a website designed by a professional, than if you were to design it yourself.
The type of design you desire for your website will have a significant impact on its cost. This can come in different forms.
For example, a website that has the latest design styles and trends will usually require a designer who is up to scratch with those design styles and that would cost more than a normal or old design style that has been around for a while, implementable by anyone.
Another angle is the choice of a custom website vs a theme or template based website. There are some clients and developers who believe that custom everything is the best. That means custom design, custom coded, custom everything.
Narrowing it down to the custom design aspect for a minute, a custom website design basically means that the website being designed for you is as close to 100% unique as possible. It means that out of the millions of websites that exist, almost none look like yours.
It’s like have a custom dress or cake made specifically for you. But this is likely to increase the cost of your website project.
The reason is because custom website design requires a lot of resources and dedication from your website designer. As a matter of fact, there are ‘levels’ regarding how “custom” a custom design is.
This is in contrast to a theme or template-based website. For a theme-based website, the main reasoning is that there is nothing new under the sun, and whatever design you desire for your website, an available one probably exists in one shape or form already.
So instead of reinventing the wheel, a designer can use such a theme as a starting point and customize it to suit your needs.
To some degree, that’s like buying a brand new car. You get to choose from hundreds of car manufacturers, out of thousands of models, and even there, there are thousands more customizations that can be made, whether you want your car in pink or purple, folding mirrors, auto pilot, extended range, and so on.
Similarly, you and your designer would be able to find a theme out of the thousands that exist from where your designer would complete the customizations to give you quite a unique design. This can help speed up your website project and reduce the associated costs involved.
A domain name is the unique name at which your website will be located. You’re reading this article on our blog located at wopedigital.com. That’s our domain name.
The domain name you desire for your website can have an impact on its final price.
Normally, most business are located on a .com or .org extension. Depending on where you buy that from, it’ll run you about GHc60 to GHc200.
If the name you desire isn’t available as a .com, you might have to either get creative with your domain name, or consider a different extension, like a .biz or .net. (We do recommend creativity to maintain a .com though.)
In some cases, being creative won’t work as well, or perhaps you want your website to be located under Ghana’s country code.
If that’s the case, then you need a .com.gh domain. .com.gh domains are sold by Ghana.com and currently go for about 5 times the cost of a regular domain name, so you’re looking at between GHc250 and GHc300 for one (that’s if you buy it directly from them).
Unlike buying a regular domain name though, buying a .com.gh domain has a few speed bumps:
- The process isn’t instant.
- Payments aren’t completed online.
- You may not be able to easily search for the availability of the domain you desire.
- You don’t get a console or account to manage your domain.
- There are restrictions on who can purchase one.
- And you need to submit company registration documents for the entity you are registering.
If that sounds like a hassle, there are companies willing to streamline the process for you with a markup, some selling .com.gh domains at 3 times the standard price.
One of the interesting things about domain names is that they’re like real estate (virtual real estate). One tiny plot of land in the heart of Accra can go for 1000 times the cost of a few acres on the outskirts.
Similarly, whilst the average domain name might go for GHc60, many domains have been bought for millions of dollars.
The most expensive domain name ever purchased was Cars.com for $872 million!!– SEC
Yup, and we’re referring to just the domain name, not the business or website, just the domain. (The entire business itself was valued at $2.5 billion)
So if you plan on buying a premium domain for your business, you’ll have to start budgeting for a few thousand dollars, and depending on how much demand there is for that domain name, the price can just keep skyrocketing.
If you think it’s time for you to invest in a great domain name, you can run a quick domain name search here and see.
Caution: If you own a domain name for your business or venture, we strongly recommend that you never allow it to expire. If your domain name expires, you might not get it back.
It might be auctioned off as a premium domain by the international domain registrars at a few thousand dollars, or someone else might take the opportunity to purchase and sit on it. Unless your name is trademarked, there would be nothing you can do to get it back.
Hosting and Security
One significant component of a website project can be the hosting and security costs.
When you hear that a small business website cost GHc2,000 but a larger company’s website cost them GHc30,000, the type of hosting and security requirements may have played a role in there.
Amazon.com’s website went down for 63 minutes in July of 2018. They basically lost $1.5 million for every minute their site was down.
Whilst that sounds extreme, if you’ve got a thriving business that works online, you’ll certainly want to look into having great hosting for your website to avoid losing sales because your site was down.
There are thousands of hosting companies out there, both local and foreign and they provide a wide range of hosting types.
The most common (and cheapest) type of website hosting is Shared Hosting. In Shared Hosting, one server (a computer specifically for keeping websites and information online) is used by multiple people.
All other things being equal, the fewer people sharing a server, the better for you and the more stable your website will be. Most Shared Hosting packages will cost you between GHc50 and GHc100/month.
On the other far end of the spectrum is Dedicated Hosting. This is where instead of sharing a server, you have the entire box all to yourself.
This is necessary in some cases, where a company needs a whole lot of processing power, are hosting sensitive records online or want to fine tune all the security settings they possibly can by themselves.
A dedicated server can run you from GHc1000/month to way, way more than that.
Recently though, Cloud Hosting has been catching on. This is where the entire concept of servers usually becomes irrelevant because your provider has linked together thousands and even millions of computers together.
Whilst it’s a tightly kept secret, it’s estimated that Amazon Web Services will have about 3 million servers in their cloud by 2020.ZDNet
You might not have to bother yourself too much on hosting depending on your website designer or company. They might provide hosting included in their packages. This will usually also require that you pay them a recurring fee as hosting is an ongoing cost.
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a security feature that helps ensure that your website is sending out the right information at all times and hasn’t been compromised by a hacker or malicious entity.
It’s usually represented by a padlock symbol at the top left corner of your browser.
For a while now, the entire world has moved in the direction of making sure all communication on the Internet is encrypted and SSL protected.
Most web browsers will currently show a “Not Secure” message if the website you are browsing doesn’t have an SSL.
To make that transition easier, multiple players have stepped up, providing SSLs for websites. Most web hosting companies will provide an SSL with your website at no extra cost, although some may charge separately for it.
That’s because the cost of SSLs can vary wildly, from completely free, all the way up to over GHc5,500+ for EV (Extended Validation) SSLs.
One of the reasons why some SSLs cost so much is because apart from providing the highest available security and encryption, they also look different.
EV SSLs for example show the company name in the browser in the hope of engendering far greater trust with site visitors (although browsers have discretion over how an EV SSL is actually shown).
A second reason why some SSLs cost so much is because of the included insurance policy. If you have a Symantec Secure Site Pro EV SSL and your site’s encryption is compromised, Symantec will reimburse you for up to $1.75 million in losses because of that breach.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is an important component that can significantly increase the cost of your website project if included directly although it may also be provided separately.
SEO is what makes your website rank very well in search engines, particular Google. This is what makes the difference between selling your products in a highly trafficked area like the Accra Mall, vs selling your items far on the outskirts of the city where no one passes.
The top 3 results in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) receive over 75% of all the visits and traffic for that search.Backlinko
To a certain degree, if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, it will feel like it doesn’t even exist.
On the flip side though, if your website is in the first 3 results for various terms that are relevant to your business, you would be able to acquire so many new customers without having to pay extra money for advertising.
But SEO is not cheap!
There are some website design firms that will include SEO as a feature of their websites packages whilst others may offer it as a separate service.
One thing you should understand though is that SEO is more of an on-going cost than it is a one-time cost. Whilst there are upfront SEO costs, a lot more of it happens over a long period of time.
For example, an Ahrefs study shows that on average, it takes well over a year for a page to land in the top 10 results of a Google search for common keyword phrases.
It will usually require months and even years of hard work to ensure that your website ranks high in Google for important keywords and search terms related to your business, and that will impact the cost of your website.
You can reduce this cost and increase the value of your website by engaging in SEO yourself, if you’re willing to invest a lot of time studying.
Another factor that can influence the cost of your website project is meetings. There are certainly pros and cons to having face-to-face meetings with your website designer or firm and in some cases it might be close to impossible to avoid.
That said, if you have two companies or designers of equal ability, the company that is proficient in providing their services digitally are going to have a lot more wiggle room to lower the costs of your website project.
That’s because there will be less overhead involved and more time can be spent on your project, instead of in traffic.
This is what happens if you hire a design firm in New York or London or elsewhere in the world. Because they don’t reside in Ghana, the physical meeting component would have to be eliminated (unless they’re flying out to meet you or vice versa).
Sometimes, it comes down to preference. There are people who love to go to the mall to shop in person, walk around, touch and feel everything, whilst there are others who’re happy to do all their shopping online, from the comfort of their home.
So consider which method works best for you and know that this can impact the final cost of your website project.
There’s usually a trade off when it comes to paying for your website. The more your website is paid upfront, the lower the total cost might be. The longer the duration over which you spread the cost, the higher the total cost will go.
Take the website hosting component for example, (or the option available when creating your website with a website builder like Wix or Squarespace) for almost all these companies, they provide a discount when you choose to pay for your website years in advance.
We’ve seen discounts exceeding 60% if you pay 3 years in advance.
Of course, before you hand over 3 years worth of hosting, you would probably want to be confident in the company you’re going with because that is a long term commitment and you most likely won’t be able to recoup those costs if things don’t go the way you want them to.
But this doesn’t only apply to hosting costs, it would also apply to the design costs as well.
The more you are able or willing to pay upfront, not only the faster will your project be delivered, but the lower the total project cost may be.
The reverse is also true, if you are unable to pay the asking price right up front, a firm or designer may be willing to spread the costs over a few payments, but it’s likely that will also increase the total amount you’ll end up paying.
So, take that into consideration when working on your next website project.
How soon do you want your website delivered? Yesterday? Well, that also has an impact on how much your website might end up costing.
Many designers and firms might have a standard delivery time frame, a week, a month, etc.
If a firm usually creates particular websites within a month’s period of time, but you need it ASAP, you are likely to be charged extra for the sleepless nights your designer will endure meeting your deadline.
This can similarly apply to a firm or designer in their entirety.
Let’s say you’re looking for a 50 page corporate website, and you’re being told it can be ready in 4 weeks time. If a firm or designer tells you they’ll deliver in a week, it could mean that delivering on projects quickly and efficiently is their specialty.
And that’ll drive up the cost of their packages if they consider that the niche they plan in.
We can certainly confirm that the longer it takes to have your website created does not automatically mean it’ll be cheaper or better.
The same way the faster turn around time you get doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be getting a poorly done up site. It all comes down to you researching the firm or designer, their existing portfolio and being comfortable with their delivery times.
One factor that can significantly increase the cost of your website project is revisions.
Basically, a revision happens when you request your designer to make significant changes to a portion of work already done.
Usually, if it’s something tiny, that hardly counts and your designer probably won’t sweat you over that. But in other cases, the revision has serious, serious implications that will affect the cost of the project and even the delivery date.
Imagine you’re a caterer and you’ve been hired for an event with 100 people. So after they tell you they want “a bit of everything”, you go ahead and prepare spring rolls, khebabs, jollof, chicken, meat pies, etc based on their budget.
30 minutes to the event, one of their coordinators passes by and says, “I hope you were informed that everyone in the group is a vegetarian!”
That’s the definition of a pretty big revision!
This happens in the website industry as well and will certainly cause your bill to skyrocket. Sometimes, designers who only have a vague understanding of your project will even end up adjusting their pricing upwards in advance to compensate for uncertainty.
But this can be avoided.
How to avoid cost overruns regarding project revisions?
This is really the first step to consider. The fact that someone can drive an automatic car doesn’t mean they can drive a manual one.
Similarly, the fact that a firm designs websites would not automatically mean they can design the type of website that you want. Different firms and designers specialize in different sections, whether that is in one particular technology, or a particular industry or a particular style of design.
For example, there are very few website firms that can provide you with a state-of-the-art banking website with all the needed backend systems and security required.
So do a thorough vetting until you’re convinced they can deliver for you.
2. Try and be as detailed as you possibly can with respect to what you want.
Now that you believe one firm or designer can deliver on your project, the next thing is to be as detailed as possible with what you want.
The more unclear you are, the more likely your designer is going to have a different picture in mind to what you have.
Of course, the designer’s process will also help here a bit, for example they might show you general designs and functionality to consider, or they’ll ask you for designs you’ve seen that speak to you or your company.
This all serves as input signals in order to move in the right direction. Once you and your designer have the same picture in mind, you can be sure that there’ll be far fewer revisions that will have an impact on the project’s cost.
3. Make sure all stakeholders are involved.
It sometimes happens that a key stakeholder (a business partner, a spouse, a supplier, etc) isn’t involved in the entire website creation process.
Or maybe you’re the person in your company who the task of creating a brand new site has been delegated to. You work with the selected designer and you get the website 90% complete.
When this key stakeholder (your boss for example) now gets to take a look at the site, they have a hundred and one revisions to be implemented.
Obviously, the key stakeholder deserves to be heard on this project because the website has to work for them as well. And that’s why you should make sure they are engaged as early as possible.
We’ve seen this play out a few times before where the person we were in contact with had the website 100% completed and was absolutely delighted. Only then did they show it to a business partner who had an entirely different vision in mind.
Our absolutely delighted contact person now switched completely, informing us that the website was subpar and wanted the whole project started over. And that leads to major cost overruns.
So do try from the start to make sure that all key stakeholders are involved in the earliest stages of the project, or you can consider baking in extra costs if the likeliness of such revisions from a key stakeholder is high.
4. Consider a trade off
If you’ve got a designer who can deliver on exactly what you want but you haven’t been able to be as detailed as possible, or you keep on getting new and amazing ideas for your website as the project takes shape, you might have come to a crossroad.
The new ideas you’re considering might fall outside the initial agreement you had with your designer. If he/she chooses not to add those additions/revisions for free, it would require you paying some extra money to get those done for you.
Again, that can be avoided by considering the previous steps.
If everything already mentioned doesn’t help, you’re probably going to have to make a tough decision between having the revisions you requested worked on at the extra cost, or leaving those out and staying within your agreed upon budget.
So before you decide on the company or web designer working on your project, make sure to not only be as clear as you possibly can with the project you have in mind, but also find out from them with regards to how feedback and revisions will be handled.
This will ensure your designer doesn’t suddenly become artificially scarce to you because of a series of revisions.
Maintenance costs for websites are largely overlooked. Interestingly though, the longevity of any product, item or relationship is largely dependent on how much money and time is spent on maintenance.
A website is just like a car in that respect. If you don’t regularly pump your tires, change your oil, put water in the radiator and fuel in the tank, you’re going to run down your car in no time.
Maintain it well on the other hand and you can get decades of value out of it.
A website requires LOTS of maintenance. They fall mainly into two categories:
- Technical Maintenance
- Website Updates
Technical maintenance basically covers everything that has to be done to keep the website online. Without technical maintenance, your website might go off and not come back on any time soon.
It includes things like:
- Security tasks
- Theme and plugin updates
- Platform updates
- Other activities
One of the saddest things to encounter is to have your website loading and working nicely today, only to check it out tomorrow and it’s down and not coming back up, for whatever reason.
If your website plan includes technical maintenance, you can rest easy knowing that it’s someone else’s responsibility to get your site back up and running.
But if you’re responsible for the technical maintenance of your own website, this can be a truly terrifying experience. Not knowing what the problem is, whether it’s your hosting provider, or WordPress, or a theme, or a plugin or worse yet, a hacker!
A website designer or firm that takes care of the technical maintenance of your website are likely to charge more or include that in the cost of the package or plan that they quote.
If your website designer doesn’t though, you can always sign up for a care plan or find someone who is willing to help you with that.
Website updates on the other hand are usually not as critical.
They would include things as simple as updating your phone number, or changing the prices on a menu, to much more complex things like adding 20 extra pages or uploading 100 new products.
Some website designers or companies create websites in raw HTML or other web technology. What that usually means is that any single change to the site requires a serious grasp of the underlying code.
But the vast majority today will create your website with a Content Management System (CMS). With a CMS, you can easily log in and make the changes to your website that you desire, many even with a drag-and-drop interface.
If your website designer or the plan you’re on provides for website updates (not just technical maintenance), that may play a role in the final price you pay for your website.
Disclaimer: Whilst it is possible to log in and make those changes, it doesn’t automatically mean it will be easy. You should always take care when making a change to your website because you might end up breaking it significantly and that’ll be quite a problem.
You might have to factor it in as a cost if your website package includes training.
Others (Graphics, Content Creation, Video Footage, Photos, Social Media, Marketing)
Apart from all the factors listed so far that can influence the cost of your website project, we’re going to have to lump a few more together into the “Other” category.
This basically covers extras that your designer might have to provide in creating your website.
A website designer normally works with the content you provide them, pictures of your products, of your company, video footage where necessary, graphics, etc.
If you rather require that your website designer provide these for you, they are likely to raise the cost of your project. Photos and video footage can be purchased from various locations and the more premium the photos and video, the higher the cost.
If there is an extra cost in providing you with these resources, you can bring that down by providing your designer with photos and videos yourself. There are sites which provide royalty free images and videos, like unsplash.com.
Caution: Do not go straight to Google looking for images to use for your website. Almost all the images Google has indexed usually belong to someone else and are protected by copyright.
If you use images or video footage that you don’t have rights to, your website can easily be taken offline if a complaint is filed against you. Not to mention that you could also face legal issues as well.
We hope our study gives you an idea of how much a website in Ghana costs and the factors that influence those prices.
We’ve got more information here if you need a website. And if there’s anything we can help you with, leave us a message in the comments below.