In today’s fast-paced digital world, having a website is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity for businesses of all sizes.

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur just starting out, a small business owner looking to grow, an individual with a side hustle, or an established business wanting to revamp your online presence, a well-designed and functional website is crucial for success. Different businesses have diverse goals and needs for their websites, ranging from showcasing products and services to providing an online platform for customer engagement and e-commerce.

In this post we’ll explore various website creation solutions, tailored to the unique requirements of our target audience. Our purpose here is to provide a concise and friendly overview, comparing and contrasting different options in terms of functionality, technicality, and cost. Please note that this post is not intended to be a full tutorial on website creation, but rather a helpful guide to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

So, let’s dive in and start exploring the world of website creation, as we help you find the perfect solution to build a strong online presence for your business.

Pay-Monthly DIY Website Builders

Pay-monthly DIY (Do-It-Yourself) website builders are online platforms that allow you to create and manage your own website without requiring extensive technical skills or knowledge. These platforms typically come with pre-designed templates, drag-and-drop editors, and various built-in features to help you customise your site to suit your needs. As the name suggests, pay-monthly DIY website builders operate on a subscription-based pricing model, where you pay a fixed fee every month for access to their tools and services.

Some popular examples of pay-monthly DIY website builders include:

Wix is known for its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, a vast selection of templates, and an extensive app marketplace for additional functionality. It offers a range of pricing plans to cater to different website requirements.

Weebly is a user-friendly website builder that provides a range of customizable templates and a simple editor. It is particularly popular among small businesses and e-commerce websites, offering integration with various payment gateways and inventory management tools.

Squarespace is praised for its visually appealing templates and responsive designs. It caters to various niches, including portfolios, blogs, and online stores, and offers a range of pricing plans depending on the features you need.

Jimdo is an easy-to-use website builder with a variety of design templates and built-in features, including SEO tools, e-commerce functionality, and blogging capabilities. It offers both free and paid plans to accommodate different budget levels.

GoDaddy’s website builder is an intuitive tool that comes with a range of responsive templates and customizable features. It offers an all-in-one solution, including hosting, domain registration, and the website builder itself.

These pay-monthly DIY website builders are ideal for individuals and businesses with limited technical expertise, looking for an affordable and manageable way to establish their online presence. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each platform and choose the one that best aligns with your specific needs and goals.

Advantages of Pay-Monthly DIY Website Builders:

  • Ease of use: User-friendly interfaces, drag-and-drop editors, and pre-designed templates make it simple for users without technical expertise to create a website.
  • Cost-effective: Subscription-based pricing models offer an affordable way to build and maintain a website, especially for small businesses and individuals with limited budgets.
  • Customizability: A wide range of templates and design elements allows users to personalize their websites according to their branding and preferences.
  • Quick setup: These platforms enable you to create and launch a website in a short period, making it ideal for businesses that need an online presence quickly.
  • Built-in features: DIY website builders often include essential tools and functionalities, such as SEO optimization, analytics, and e-commerce capabilities, which can be easily integrated into your website.
  • Regular updates and support: Subscription-based platforms typically provide continuous updates, bug fixes, and customer support to ensure your website remains functional and up-to-date.

Disadvantages of Pay-Monthly DIY Website Builders:

  • Limited customization: Although they offer a range of templates and design elements, DIY website builders may not provide the same level of customization and flexibility as custom-built websites.
  • Potential performance issues: Websites built on these platforms may not perform optimally, particularly when it comes to load times and responsiveness on mobile devices.
  • Generic design: Pre-built templates can result in similar-looking websites, making it difficult to stand out from competitors.
  • Limited scalability: As your business grows, DIY website builders may not be able to accommodate advanced features or custom integrations, potentially requiring a switch to a more robust platform.
  • Ongoing costs: While affordable initially, monthly subscription fees can add up over time, especially if you need to upgrade to higher-tier plans for additional features.
  • Less control over hosting and security: You rely on the platform for hosting and security measures, which can limit your control over these aspects and make you more vulnerable to potential downtime or data breaches.

How Much Do DIY Website Builders Cost?

Wix has four standard paid plans, which at the time of writing range from £4 per month to connect your own domain name to £21 per month. It also has higher tiers for ecommerce and enterprise clients.

You can build a Weebly website for free (although there will be ads on it), while its paid plans range from £4 to £22 per month.

Squarespace is a little more expensive with pricing starts from just £16 per month for its most basic plan, rising to £43 per month for an advanced ecommerce plan.

Jimdo offers a free plan, but beyond that there are four plans ranging from £9 per month to £39 per month.

GoDaddy’s Website Builder plans start at £4.99 per month. This price includes web hosting, so it’s a great deal! However, it’s worth noting that you have to pay for a whole year and this lower price is only for the first year. After that, it increases to £7.99 per month. Their most expensive plan is £13.99 per month.

Hiring a Web Design Agency

Hiring a web design agency involves contracting a professional company or team of experts to create, design, and often maintain your website. These agencies possess the technical skills, creative expertise, and industry knowledge to deliver a custom-built website tailored to your specific needs, goals, and branding.

Web design agencies typically offer a range of services, such as:

  • Custom web design: Agencies create unique and visually appealing designs that align with your brand identity, ensuring your website stands out from competitors.
  • Web development: Professional developers handle the technical aspects of your website, including coding, hosting, and integrations with third-party applications.
  • Responsive design: Agencies ensure your website is mobile-friendly, providing a seamless browsing experience for users on various devices.
  • SEO optimization: Expertise in search engine optimization helps your website rank higher in search results, driving more organic traffic to your site.
  • E-commerce solutions: Many agencies offer e-commerce development, including payment processing, inventory management, and shopping cart functionality.
  • Ongoing maintenance and support: Web design agencies often provide continuous updates, bug fixes, and technical support to keep your website running smoothly.

When considering hiring a web design agency, it’s crucial to research and evaluate their portfolio, expertise, and client testimonials to ensure they can deliver a website that meets your requirements and expectations.

Advantages of Hiring a Web Design Agency:

  • Customization: Agencies create unique, tailor-made websites to match your specific branding, preferences, and goals, ensuring a distinctive online presence.
  • Professional expertise: Skilled designers and developers provide high-quality work, resulting in a visually appealing and technically sound website.
  • Time savings: Delegating the website creation process to an agency allows you to focus on other aspects of your business, saving time and resources.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, a web design agency can easily adapt your website to accommodate new features, integrations, or changes in direction.
  • Responsive design: Agencies ensure your website is optimized for various devices, providing a seamless user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile platforms.
  • Ongoing support: Many agencies offer continuous maintenance and support, addressing any technical issues or updates as needed, ensuring your website stays up-to-date and functional.

Disadvantages of Hiring a Web Design Agency:

  • Higher cost: Custom-built websites can be significantly more expensive than DIY options, potentially making them less suitable for individuals or small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Longer development time: The process of designing, developing, and launching a custom website can be time-consuming, which may not be ideal for businesses requiring an immediate online presence.
  • Dependency on the agency: For ongoing maintenance, updates, or changes to your website, you may need to rely on the agency, potentially causing delays or communication challenges.
  • Finding the right fit: It can be challenging to find an agency that aligns with your vision, budget, and expectations, requiring research and evaluation to ensure a successful partnership.
  • Less control over design: While agencies provide professional design expertise, you may have less control over the creative process, as the final product depends on the agency’s interpretation of your requirements.
  • Potential for miscommunication: The success of your website depends on clear communication between you and the agency, and any miscommunication can result in a website that doesn’t meet your expectations.

How Much Does Hiring a Web Design Agency Cost?

The cost of hiring a web design agency in the UK can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project, the agency’s reputation and experience, and the specific services required. Here are some general cost ranges for different project types:

  • Basic website (e.g., a one-page website with a contact form): £500-£1,000
  • Small business website (e.g., a five-page website with a blog): £1,000-£2,000
  • E-commerce website (e.g., a website that allows customers to purchase products online): £2,000-£5,000
  • Complex website (e.g., a website with a lot of custom features or a large database): £5,000+

It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. A more expensive agency will likely have more experienced and qualified staff, which can lead to a better website. However, it’s also possible to find a good agency that offers competitive prices. Be sure to do your research and get quotes from multiple agencies before making a decision.

E-commerce Platforms

E-commerce platforms are software solutions specifically designed to help businesses build, manage, and maintain an online store. These platforms provide a range of tools and features that facilitate the selling of products or services online, including product management, payment processing, inventory control, and order fulfilment, among others. E-commerce platforms can be either open-source or proprietary, with varying levels of customization, scalability, and cost.

Some popular examples of e-commerce platforms include:

Shopify is a user-friendly, hosted ecommerce platform that offers a wide range of themes, an app marketplace for additional features, and seamless integration with popular payment gateways. It operates on a monthly subscription model, with different pricing plans to cater to businesses of various sizes.

Magento (now called Adobe Commerce) is a powerful, open-source e-commerce platform, known for its flexibility, scalability, and extensive feature set. It is ideal for businesses with more advanced technical requirements and the resources to invest in custom development, hosting, and maintenance.

WooCommerce is a free, open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress that allows you to transform your WordPress site into an online store. It offers a range of extensions for added functionality and integrates with various payment gateways.

BigCommerce is a hosted e-commerce platform that offers a variety of themes, built-in features, and integrations with popular payment and shipping providers. It operates on a monthly subscription model, with different pricing plans to accommodate businesses of varying sizes and needs.

When choosing an e-commerce platform, it’s crucial to consider your business requirements, budget, and technical expertise to ensure you select a solution that best fits your online store’s needs.

Advantages of Choosing Ecommerce Platforms:

  • Streamlined online store management: E-commerce platforms offer specialised tools and features to simplify product management, payment processing, inventory control, and order fulfilment.
  • Built-in e-commerce functionality: These platforms come with pre-built e-commerce features, eliminating the need for custom development or third-party integrations.
  • Scalability: E-commerce platforms can typically accommodate the growth of your online store, allowing you to add more products, categories, and features as needed.
  • Responsive design: Many e-commerce platforms include mobile-friendly themes and designs, ensuring your online store is accessible on various devices.
  • Security: E-commerce platforms often have built-in security measures to protect customer data and transactions, including SSL certificates and PCI compliance.
  • Support and updates: Hosted e-commerce platforms typically provide ongoing updates, bug fixes, and customer support to ensure your online store remains functional and up-to-date.

Disadvantages of Choosing E-commerce Platforms:

  • Limited customization: Some e-commerce platforms may not offer the same level of flexibility or customization as a custom-built website, potentially limiting your store’s design and functionality.
  • Ongoing costs: Subscription-based e-commerce platforms can result in ongoing monthly fees, which may add up over time, especially if you require higher-tier plans for additional features.
  • Technical expertise required: For open-source e-commerce platforms, a certain level of technical knowledge may be necessary to install, configure, and maintain the software.
  • Vendor lock-in: Switching from one e-commerce platform to another can be challenging, as you may need to migrate product data, customer information, and other assets, potentially resulting in downtime or data loss.
  • Limited control over hosting: With hosted e-commerce platforms, you rely on the provider for hosting, which can restrict your control over factors such as server resources, backups, and security measures.

How much do E-commerce Platforms Cost?

Below are some examples with approximate rates:

  • Shopify: from £25 per month to £344 per month, with three month free trials available
  • Magento/ Adobe Commerce: while the software is open source the cost to develop and run it can vary greatly depending on the setup, from £100 per year for a self-hosted setup to £190,000 a year for a managed Magento Commerce Cloud solution.
  • WooCommerce: free to download (as is, which it also needs in order to run) and use but you will need to pay for hosting and domain name
  • BigCommerce: from $39 per month to $399 per month.

Due to the complexity you may also need an agency to set up your store. Project cost ranges can vary depending on the complexity of your website. To put in rough figures, eCommerce website development can range from £5000 to £25,000. However, the cost may exceed these figures depending on the complexity of the website.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content management systems (CMS) are software solutions designed to help users create, edit, manage, and publish digital content on a website without requiring extensive technical knowledge. These systems streamline the process of organising and maintaining website content, providing an intuitive interface for adding, modifying, and arranging text, images, videos, and other media.

Some popular examples of content management systems include: is an open-source CMS known for its user-friendly interface, extensive plugin ecosystem, and large community of users and developers. It is particularly popular for blogging but can be adapted to a wide range of website types, including e-commerce, portfolios, and business websites.

Drupal is a powerful, open-source CMS known for its flexibility, security, and scalability. It is well-suited for more complex websites with advanced content organisation and user management needs, such as multilingual sites or large-scale online communities.

Joomla is another popular open-source CMS that offers a wide range of features, including custom templates, built-in SEO tools, and a variety of extensions for added functionality. It is particularly suitable for managing content-heavy websites, such as online magazines, newspapers, or educational platforms.

When choosing a content management system, it’s important to consider factors such as ease of use, flexibility, community support, and available plugins or extensions to ensure the CMS aligns with your website’s specific requirements and goals.

Advantages of Choosing Content Management Systems:

  • User-friendly: Most CMS platforms offer intuitive interfaces that allow users to create and manage content easily, without requiring extensive technical expertise.
  • Flexibility: A wide range of plugins, extensions, and themes enable customization and the addition of advanced features to meet specific website requirements.
  • Time-efficient: CMS platforms streamline the process of creating, editing, and publishing content, saving time and resources compared to manual website updates.
  • Scalability: As your website grows, a CMS can accommodate additional content, users, and features, adapting to your changing needs.
  • SEO-friendly: Many CMS platforms include built-in SEO tools and support plugins to optimize your website for search engine visibility and rankings.
  • Large support communities: Popular CMS platforms often have extensive user and developer communities that provide valuable resources, such as documentation, tutorials, and forums for assistance. is especially good in this regard.

Disadvantages of Choosing Content Management Systems:

  • Limited customization: While CMS platforms offer a range of themes and plugins, they may not provide the same level of customization as custom-built websites, potentially restricting design or functionality.
  • Performance issues: Some CMS platforms, especially when using numerous plugins or extensions, can experience performance issues, such as slower load times or reduced responsiveness.
  • Security vulnerabilities: As widely used platforms, CMS systems can be targets for hackers, potentially exposing your website to security risks if not properly updated and maintained.
  • Learning curve: Although generally user-friendly, some CMS platforms may have a steeper learning curve, particularly for users with limited technical knowledge or experience.
  • Ongoing updates and maintenance: Keeping a CMS up-to-date with the latest version, along with plugin and theme updates, can be time-consuming and may require occasional troubleshooting.
  • Compatibility issues: Mixing various plugins and extensions can sometimes lead to compatibility issues or conflicts, which can impact your website’s functionality or stability.

How Much Do Content Management Systems Cost?

Unlike, which comes with a monthly subscription, software is completely free to download and use. However, if you want to make your site visible to the public, you’ll have to get web hosting and a domain name – and those come with a small price tag. The main cost associated with WordPress is hosting, which starts at around £4/month. Other common costs include domains, themes, and plugins. Realistically, self-managed WordPress pricing falls between £5 and £30 per month.

Sign up for great UK based hosting here and use referral code LUCIDRHINO for £10 free credit.

Drupal is an open-source content management system written in PHP that is free to download and use. Just like hosting, though, it requires a little spending on hosting to make it run. However, when you’re leveraging Drupal to build a large-scale omnichannel web presence spanning websites, native mobile apps, progressive web apps, and IoT devices, the additional work, development, and risk that comes with Drupal are far from free.

Joomla is also free and open source software released under the GNU General Public License. However, Joomla does come with a cost, but it is not prohibitively expensive. The cost depends on the hosting plan that you choose. In fact, many users find that it is more affordable than some of the other popular CMS options, though not as well supported and well maintained as it’s not as popular.


There are many other website creation options available, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that is right for you. The options can be overwhelming at first, but it’s important to consider based on your goals, needs, budget, and skills to avoid more work further down the line after spending more time or money than you need to.

Also be sure to consider ease of use, customisation options (some website creation options limit what you can change, support, security and scalability (this means your website should be able to handle an increase in traffic and visitors).

To help you make an informed decision about which option is the best fit for your needs, here’s where you can begin:

  1. Assess your needs and budget: Before diving into any specific website creation option, take the time to evaluate your business requirements, goals, technical expertise, and budget. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a solution that aligns with your objectives.
  2. Research and compare: Delve deeper into the different website creation options we’ve discussed, such as pay-monthly DIY website builders, web design agencies, e-commerce platforms, content management systems, and template-based website builders provided by web hosting companies. Visit their respective websites, read reviews, and explore customer testimonials to gain further insight.
  3. Consult with professionals: If you’re unsure about which website creation option is right for you, consider reaching out to web design professionals, digital marketing experts, or fellow business owners for advice and recommendations based on their experiences.
  4. Test out free trials or demos: Many website builders and e-commerce platforms offer free trials or demo versions of their services. Take advantage of these opportunities to test the platform’s usability, features, and customization options to see if they meet your needs.
  5. Keep long-term goals in mind: As you evaluate website creation options, consider not only your immediate needs but also your long-term goals. Choose a solution that offers the flexibility and scalability necessary to support your business as it grows and evolves.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on choosing the right website creation option for your business. Share your feedback, questions, or success stories in the comments section below.

And if you’re still feeling uncertain about the best solution for your needs, don’t hesitate to visit my contact page. I’d be eager to lend my time to help you navigate the world of website creation and find the perfect fit for your unique goals. Reach out to Lucid Rhino today, and let’s build an amazing online presence for your business together!

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Author: Aidan Ashby

Aidan is a web and branding designer living in Bristol, UK. He’s a cautious optimist and is loathe to discuss himself in the third person. He loves pancakes and has a perpetual desire to just be sat in the woods with his feet up in front of a bonfire.

Connect with Aidan on LinkedIn.


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