Nowadays there are so many people doing websites such that you can basically go outside kick a tree and a couple of web developers will fall out and they’re basically charging all kinds of pricing.

I’ve seen websites as low as R1000 all the way to R50,000+ pretty much all for the same service. So that leaves a lot of business owners like you wondering how much does website design cost in South Africa?

In this blog post, we’re going to go through the basic cost or investment to build a decent website and discuss some of the hidden costs that you don’t want to be surprised about.

What Is the Cost to Build a Website in South Africa?

When answering the question of how much does it cost to build a website we need to break it down into details because this question is just way too general for a proper answer. It’s like asking how much does it cost to buy a car? Well, it depends – on a lot of things.

Do you want a BMW or a Sedan? Do you want to Mercedes Benz or a Toyota? What model do you want? Do you it new or used? The answer to the question – how much does it cost to buy a car – is it literally depends on multiple factors.

Well, the same applies to the question, how much does website design cost in South Africa? When you’re dealing with a professional website design and development company, they’re going to ask you questions like (among other questions)…

1. What is the purpose of your website?

2. Does it need membership capabilities or online registration capabilities?

3. Do you need e-commerce or any kind of financial transactions going through your website?

4. Do we need to do any kind of custom programming because you have something very specific for your website that you need us to build which is not standard?

These four questions (among others) will impact the final price but right now I’m going to give you a general average if you’re tire kicking a few web developers you are interested in.

Generally, a website built in South Africa for a 3 to 10-page small business website by a professional website design agency is going to cost you anywhere between R5,000 and 15,000. For a larger type of business that may have 30 to 40 pages with a little bit of customization, will cost you anywhere between R45,000 and R55,000. When it comes to e-commerce websites, I have not seen a properly built e-commerce website for less than R100,000.

Most website design and development agencies charge by the hour and if you want to hire a decent agency, they will charge on average between R300 to R500 for website development.

So if a website design and development agency is charging you R10,000 for a website and their hourly rate is R300, you know you should be expecting that agency to be spending at least 33 hours on your website.

In my years of developing websites and with developers and marketers working for me, it takes on average about 30 to 45 hours to build a decent or good website.

So when I get a business owner come to me telling me that they got a quote for R500 for a website, I know in my head that it’s going to take about 30 hours or more at least for a decent website. Hence my immediate question is, what corners are they going to have cut or how good could that website even be?

Remember that at the core it takes about 30 to 45 hours to build a good 3-10 page website any way you slice it. You got to get the content right, you got to get the pictures right, you got to get the titles, the heading and all that stuff, and trust me, I’ve been doing this for years. Building a good website in less than 30 hours is very challenging.

More Detailed Breakdown

Let me break it down for you to show you how you get to thirty hours or more. Let’s take the average small business website to be about a 10-page website.

It will take the average web designer/developer between five to eight hours to develop the home page alone so that’s eight hours right there, gone.

Once the home page has been built, you’ve got a big chunk of the development done but you need to do the other pages and I would expect a web designer/developer to take about two to three hours per interior page and if you have about nine of them, that’s almost twenty-seven hours just for the interior pages.

So twenty-seven hours for the interior pages and five to eight hours for the home page. Well, you do the math, it’s about 32 to 35 hours.

And remember we haven’t even discussed managing the project which means that there’s going to be at least one, two maybe three conference calls that are going to need extra time.

We should allocate probably four to five hours just for that then there’s going to be the tweaking or revisions phase. That’s probably three to four extra hours just for that.

The estimates above are for a small business website with standard features. Your website may need more advanced features which significantly adds more hours to the project.

You can add up all these hours and can see that it easily takes you 30 to 40+ hours any way you slice it. So now that you have a good sense of the time it takes, a good website design and development agency is going to charge you about R300-500 an hour but there are some freelancers out there that are willing to work for less.

The only real challenge may actually be finding a good enough freelancer who can work with you long term and not only understand website design and development but understands digital marketing as well.

What Are Some Hidden Additional Costs Related to Website Design You Should Be Aware Of?

We all want a website designed for a reasonable price, and that’s exactly what we do! But there are some additional add-ons that you might want to think about before you spend all your money on the design.

If your budget for everything is R6,000 and you spend all of that on your design, you will be upset when you can’t get the hosting you want or the fact you can’t spend any money on marketing to bring in traffic and sales.

This is why we always let people know about the additional charges, that are usually required if you want to start running a website. These extras are:

1. Domain Name and Hosting

Every single website out there must have a domain name, which means you’ll need one as well. You can purchase these through popular domain registrars and most of the time you can purchase them when you set up a web and email hosting plan for your website. You’ll need to pay to renew your domain name each year and your hosting can be paid every month or on an annual basis, that’s up to you.

We always recommend you get your domain name and hosting from a popular domain registrar and hosting provider in South Africa called

2. Online Marketing

Most new website owners think “If you build a website, the traffic and leads will come” and that’s far from the truth. In order to get plenty of traffic to your website and then leads, you will need a proper marketing campaign up and running for at least a few months before you start to see a positive ROI.

There is a small chance that you could be profitable relatively quickly, but I wouldn’t expect it since it tends to be competitive when you’re a new website fighting your experienced and older competitors in order to obtain clients.

Online marketing comes in many forms, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMM (Social Media Marketing) and PPC (Pay Per Click Marketing).

Each has it’s own strengths and takes a long time to learn, so we highly recommend working with a credible marketing company if you want to start doing any sort of online marketing.

See our SEO marketing service here.

3. Website Content

If you’re writing up all your own content, and even your own blog posts, this isn’t going to cut into your overall budget at all.

But, if you’re not the best writer and you need someone to write up your home, sales pages, product pages, blog posts, etc. it would be an additional charge because this takes time and effort in order to be done right.

If you want images within the content, they will likely have to be purchased from a stock image company in order to prevent a lawsuit from unlawfully using images you found online.

4. Website Maintenance

Most website design and development agencies are going to offer a bundle price for maintenance and basic support. I would say you would need to budget at least R200 to R500 a month to get the maintenance and the support that you’re going to need.

Having someone you can rely on to help you with support and maintenance on your website is probably easily worth that R200+ a month. You also need to be aware that if your website is on WordPress, it is going to have to be maintained which means that the plugins, theme, and WordPress itself need to be properly updated on a monthly basis.

Otherwise, your website will gradually become slower over time, it may break, stop working and/or even get hacked.


There is a lot that goes into building a good website. In the front end, it may seem simple but I hope this blog post sheds some light on true website design cost and other hidden fees you may not be aware of as a small business owner. Finally, I welcome you to also have a look at our website design pricing.