How to estimate cost for your website

Cost estimation for a website

Assume you are put in charge of launching a new website for a local nonprofit organization.

What costs would you need to account for?

Establishing a nonprofit organization is a good way to give back to the community especially as it is entitled to help the weak in the community or those who are in need. A nonprofit organization website is an appropriate channel for communicating the agenda of the organization to the outside world. An adequate budget, therefore, should be set aside for developing the organization’s website.

Several costs are involved while developing a website. One is the domain name registration cost. A site needs to have a name or domain name so that it can be visible on the internet. There are established companies which sell domain names are approved to sell domains. The second cost is web hosting cost as the website needs to have a location online where site’s files will be stored. Web hosting companies offer hosting services an appropriate fee. It is advisable to host a website on the right environment and the right server for fast page load speeds and search engine performance.

The third cost incurred while developing a nonprofit organization website is Security Certificate. The nonprofit organization mainly depends on online donations, and therefore there is need to create a secure connection between web server and site’s visitors. A secure connection guarantees to a tamper-free communication of website users. The final cost which is incurred is on Backup and restoration services. Disasters may occur and destroy web hosting location. Web hosting companies offer an automated backup and recovery services at a fee to act as disaster protection. Final cost that should be accounted for is the maintenance cost. After the website is up and running, it may go through some changes or modifications which will require consultation from a web developer at a fee.


List of the expected costs and benefits for the project.

Expected Costs Benefits of the project Price values
Domain name Website is visible on the web $20
Web hosting Website has actual online location where its files are stored $40
Security certificate A secure connection between web server and site visitors. $60
Maintenance cost Modifications and upgrades are made to the website. $45
Automated backup and Restoration Protection of the site hosted location and file recovery is guaranteed in case of a disaster. $25
Total cost =$190



Calculate the net present value and return on investment

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV)

NPV= (C for period 1/(1+R)1 ) + (C for period 2/(1+R)2)…( C for period x/(1+R)x) – Initial investment.

Where C= expected cash flow, R= required a rate of return and T= number of periods over which the project is supposed to generate income.

The initial investment for developing the website for a nonprofit organization is $190 plus an additional budget allowance of $10 which gives a total of $200.

Assuming that the project is expected to generate $90, $130 and $150 for the first, second and third years respectively and rate of return set to be at 10%, net present value will be:

NPV= {$90/(1+0.1)1} +{$130/(1+0.1)2} +{$150/(1+0.1)3}-$200

NPV=$81.82 + $ 107.42 + $ 112.70-$200



Calculating return on investment….

ROI= (gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)/ Cost of Investment

Assuming the organization gain from the investment on the website is $300,

ROI=( $300- $200)/200

ROI=100/200 or 50%.



Project Scope Statement.

The extent of nonprofit organization website is to plan, design, build, and implement a running website where the main agenda of the organization will be communicated to the outside world. The nonprofit organization will need to reach out to donors and other interested parties. The website will utilize content management system (CMS) to handle site information. The website will have a module to manage funds from the donors. It will also include various levels of information access to users for information security and integrity.

Team players of the website development project have to meet to go through the scope of work. During their meeting, site goals and targeted audience are to be discussed. More information about the nonprofit organization is to be conveyed to the team players. Requirements analysis is carried out where web content and content architecture are analyzed.

Designs or the blueprints of the website are evaluated by the team players after which actual implementation of the site is deployed. The final stage of website development is testing and training of the users. Users at various levels are taken through the website using tutorial videos and one-on-one training.



























Jorgensen, M., &Shepperd, M. (2007). A systematic review of software development cost estimation studies. IEEE Transactions on software engineering33(1).

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Wakelam, R. B., Beck III, H. C. P., Phillips, B. P., Powell, G. W., &O’kelly, N. B. (2005). U.S. Patent No. 6,859,768. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Azhar, S. (2011). Building information modeling (BIM): Trends, benefits, risks, and challenges for the AEC industry. Leadership and management in engineering11(3), 241-252.







Collins Kipkemboi Korir

Techie, Software Engineer, Web developer, founder of Techchains, Cyber Security, #tech & #infosec Blogger, Ethical Hacker

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