How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website for a Small Cannabis Business?

The cost of website development can vary greatly depending on your service provider. However, the estimation boils down to two factors — the amount of work required and the desired complexity. You can opt for fewer pages and a standard layout rather than a massive catalog with all the bells and whistles. 

The range of costs is very broad. Any small business, be it a cannabis dispensary or CBD seller, could pay less than $1,000 or more than $10,000. The website is the foundation of your online presence, but you do not have to spend millions to impress your customers. Neat design, effective conversion features, and promotion of your website by MjSEO are enough to boost sales and push you to the top of Google search results.

Should You Hire a Professional?

Creating a website is a complex endeavor, and it requires expertise. If you do not have it in-house, consider hiring a team of experienced professionals. Avoid offers with extremely low prices. Typically, they result in poor workmanship, and you may be overcharged for minor services.

Overview of Costs

The total costs of creating a modern and visually attractive site for your cannabis firm may range between $4,000 and $10,000 or more. If your company is not able to pay upfront, see if any financing options are available. You may get a professional-looking website to start selling quickly, and spread the costs over a reasonable period. The total price will largely depend on:

  • Number of pages 

Suppose your provider offers a package of 10 pages for $3,500. Typically, each page over the limit should cost around $100. Therefore, if you want to add 15 pages to get 25 of them in total, your revisited costs should be around $5,000. This is a ballpark figure, and every situation is different.

  • Custom site layout 

Gone are the days when websites were coded from scratch. Now, they usually start with a template or a theme. This is a more efficient and cost-effective approach, as you get 50% or 60% of work already done. However, there will still be a lot of coding and customization needed to make your website match your vision. 

The more sophisticated the look and the functioning, the higher the cost. For example, if you want to add elaborate images and graphics to make your website more unique, this will come at a price. Visual effects require editing software and a talented designer.

  • Custom logo

A logo, although it is not mandatory, is the centerpiece of brand image. It must reflect the nature of your business and boost credibility. A decent logo in 2021 may cost between $500 and $1,000.

  • Custom programming

If you build a website on a popular CMS like WordPress, you may add features right out of the box. For example, a membership portal, payment calculator, or image carousel can be integrated fairly easily. However, the plug-and-play principle does not always work. Modifications may involve plenty of trial and error.

  • Number of revisions

Most commonly, a web development team starts with a rough draft of the layout. After this initial concept design, a couple of revisions may be required to get everything right. In some cases, three or five iterations are necessary. You can test your website as often as you like but bear in mind that every review will add to the total cost. In most cases, two rounds are enough.

  • Content development 

Content development is challenging and time-consuming. You must fill your website with well-researched, useful, and persuasive information that will be ranked highly by Google. If the content is outdated, useless, or badly written, you will need to overhaul it.

A professional SEO agency can provide copywriting services as part of your optimization package. If you have no time to craft the content yourself, order it. Seasoned experts know all the ins and outs of optimization. They will create articles with traffic-driving keywords that will bring value to the readers and boost your visibility online.

If You Want to Do It Yourself 

If you have experience with web technologies, you may be capable of building a website yourself. This will require more time than money. Your basic costs will include the following:

  • The domain name (around $10 per year for registration);
  • Website hosting (from about $100 to $500+ per year — the more traffic you get, the more server horsepower you need);
  • SSL certificate to protect site via HTTPS (between $10 and $300 per year; you can also get it for free from your web hosting provider);
  • Premium website theme (between $100 and $150); 
  • Premium plugins (between $100 and $200);
  • Stock photos unless you can produce high-quality images yourself (between $50 and 200);
  • Education like Photoshop and HTML courses, unless you are a real pro (between $25 and $300).

All of these expenses should add up to just around $600. However, the main cost is your time. Even a basic website requires between 20 and 40 hours of work (of course, if you want decent quality). If you are a complete beginner, you may need between 60 and 120 hours. 

Updates, Upgrades, Maintenance & Licenses

Launching a website is only the first step. You will need to keep it updated, which also requires time, money, and effort. For example, you have to pay yearly hosting and maintenance fees, as well as licensing fees for premium plugins and new stock images. The most convenient solution is to purchase a maintenance package plan. It may set you back $40-$300 per month, depending on the services included.

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