Website Design for Small Businesses: One-Time Payment vs. Monthly Pricing

Disclosure: We may earn a commission when you click on links to products or services we recommend. This helps us keep our content free for all. Learn more about how One Smart Sheep is funded.

Do you know what the cost is to create a website for a small business? When it comes to websites, you have two options: one-time project rate and a monthly subscription fee. Which is the better one? It depends.

Why Should You Pay for a One-Time Website?

Depending upon site requirements, a one-time website rate can range from $2500 to $50,000. Choose this model for the following reasons:

You Have an In-House Team for Website Management

This model doesn’t include website management and maintenance services. To do this, you will have to manage it, update it, and upload new resources on the server on your own. If you already have an in-house staff that excels at technology, marketing, and copywriting, you might feel at ease with a one-time payment.

You Find It Better For Your Cash Flow Management

If you manage a seasonal business that receives a large amount of cash at once, it’s ideal to go ahead with a one-time investment. It can align better with the cash flow of such businesses.

You Can Customize It

In many cases, a web development agency provides custom quotes for one-time project rates. This enables you to pick out and add only the desirable features, design customizations, and other add-ons.

You Can Pay Extra Fees

Website ownership is not limited to the design and development costs. You will be required to pay for hosting, domain names, bug fixes, maintenance and SSL certifications. These charges are paid yearly to renew certain services. If you don’t have any cash flow issues, you can easily handle these costs.

Why Should You Pay for a Monthly Subscription?

The pricing of a monthly subscription model depends on the types of features in a package. Here’s why you should choose it.

You Are More Comfortable with Monthly Payments

Many small businesses are cash-strapped. They have a limited budget for website management and online marketing. A monthly subscription model can make sure that you can easily expand your websites with monthly payments.

You Can Get the Top Talent to Oversee Your Website

Perhaps, the biggest advantage of a monthly subscription model is the experience it brings to the table. A website development agency can provide a team of experts belonging to marketing and technology. Their efforts ensure that you can focus on your primary business operations, while they maximize your online sales to a significant extent.

Your Growth Is Linked to Your Web Development Agency

When you partner with a website development firm, they put in efforts to develop a solid long-term relationship with your brand. The structure of monthly subscription model empowers small businesses and they can switch to another competitor whenever there is a drop in quality.

You Don’t Have to Pay Surprise Fees

Monthly pricing includes hosting, domain name, bug fixes, content updates, and other fees. Therefore, you don’t have to be concerned regarding any surprise fees.

Advantages and Disadvantages of One-Time vs. Monthly Payments for Website Design

Regarding website design, businesses have two primary payment options: one-time or monthly subscriptions. Both payment models come with a range of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of a One-Time Payment

  • You have an in-house team for website management, so you can maintain control over your website without relying on third parties.
  • You can customize your website according to your preferences.
  • You only make a single payment upfront and don't have to worry about ongoing charges.

Disadvantages of a One-Time Payment

  • The cost might be higher since you pay for all services up front rather than spreading them out over time.
  • Your growth could be limited because the website is not built to scale with demand as you expand.
  • You may end up paying extra fees if you need additional maintenance or upgrades down the line.

Advantages of a Monthly Subscription

  • You can spread out your payments over time, making it easier to manage your cash flow.
  • You can get access to top talent who know how to maintain and optimize complex websites as needed.
  • Your growth and web development are linked directly to the agency managing your subscription, so you can take advantage of all opportunities due to technical constraints.

Disadvantages of a Monthly Subscription

  • You have less freedom in terms of design customization since the web development agency provides most templates and features.
  • The recurring costs may become burdensome over time and may require more effort to manage overall budgeting for the website.

Consider Your Long-Term Goals

When deciding between a one-time payment and a monthly subscription for website design for small businesses, it's essential to consider your long-term goals. Here are a few examples of different user personas and the factors they might consider when making this decision:


The Startup Entrepreneur:

If you're starting a new business and have limited funds, a one-time payment for a basic website design might be the best choice. You can upgrade to a monthly subscription later as your business grows and you need more complex structure and functionality. On the other hand, if you see your business proliferating shortly and expect frequent updates and changes to your website, a monthly subscription mightbe a better choice from the start.

The Growing Business Owner:

A monthly subscription might be the way to go if you have a growing business and want to upgrade your website to reflect your increased size and complexity. With a monthly subscription, you have a team of experts available to you whenever you need them, and you can make changes and updates to your website quickly and efficiently as your business evolves.

The Established Business Owner

If you have an established business and expect your website to stay relatively static, a one-time payment might be the best choice. With a one-time payment, you can have a custom-designed website that meets your specific needs, and you won't have to worry about paying for updates and changes unless you need them.According to a survey by Hubspot, 61% of small business owners reported that their website is critical to their business's success, so choosing the option that best aligns with your long-term goals is essential. Whether you choose a one-time payment or a monthly subscription, work with a trusted web development agency that can help you achieve your goals.

What Does One Smart Sheep Recommend?

We have developed websites for a wide range of businesses all across the United States. According to our experience, small businesses function better with monthly pricing. Visit our pricing page to find out the cost to create a website for a small business.

Get a Professional WordPress Website for Your Small Business
Starting at $350 (Free Logo Included)
Get Started