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The big question when it comes to making an investment into an online shop is: how much is it all going to cost?

Now, an online store isn’t just a once-off purchase, it’s a long-term investment, which is why the price will always vary depending on what you want to get out of it. 

The price of an online shop will change depending on what your requirements are, how high your standards are and what features you want on your site. If you’re looking at a high-quality, conversion-focused online shop then it’s going to cost more than something made by a friend of a friend who once did a class on HTML basics. 

So, before we start looking at numbers, here are a few things you need to keep in mind when you decide to expand your business online and open an eCommerce store. 

Can you DIY your own online store?

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t really afford to be spending over €1,000 on an online shop, then you might want to think about considering some DIY options. 

There are a lot of tools out there to help you build your own website. We recommend that you take a look at Shopify or Squarespace to help you build your own online shop. 

Although DIY options are a lot cheaper than paying a professional to make your site - it will take a lot of time to build it. 

Choosing to DIY your website will take away time from any other roles that you have in your business. This means that you’re going to need to design and build your online shop while also keeping your business running. 

Depending on your own skills in website development you might be limited when it comes to the design and functionality of an eCommerce site.  

DIY is a great option if you have a lot of spare hours and a basic knowledge of design and development best practice.

How to ask the right questions

If you decide that you want to go ahead and ask somebody to create your online store for you, then there are some key questions you need to take into consideration. 

First, you need to know exactly what you want out of this website, so you can understand how this site is going to help you in the long run. If you don’t know what you want, how will you know if your project’s successful or not?

Here are some basic guidance questions to help you out:

  • How will an online store benefit my business?
  • How do I value cost: time or money? Am I happy to pay more if it means the project will be finished quicker?
  • How much of my own time can I commit to help make my online shop?
  • Do I want experienced professionals or a friend or relative to take on this project?
  • What’s my budget for this project?
  • What sort of functionality do I need?
  • Do I need a content writer?
  • Do I need a photographer?
  • What skills can I bring to this project? 
  • Do I have a logo, photographs, advertising materials etc. already or will I have to source those as well?

To outsource or to not outsource?

There are companies out there in certain countries that are incredibly cheap to hire which makes them an attractive option for businesses on a budget. These web companies allow a company to get an online store as cheaply as possible. 

This might seem like the only option when you need to save money to help your business in other ways. 

But when it comes to online stores, you really do get what you pay for and when you outsource overseas there are some risks you need to take into consideration.

Here are a few common outsourcing issues to keep in mind:

  • You could be at risk of being hacked if your chosen company doesn’t do the job correctly (this could cause sensitive customer information/payment details to be leaked)
  • There is no guaranteed confidentiality with outsource companies
  • You’ll have less control over the timeline and deliverables
  • Your store could end up being difficult to use and impractical 
  • If the company’s first language isn’t English, you can struggle to communicate your ideas clearly to them
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What's the difference between hiring a freelancer and hiring a web agency?

If you’ve decided to stay with an Irish web designer, there are only a couple more choices you have to make before thinking about the exact pricing. 

Do you want to go with a freelance designer or a digital agency?

Freelance designers

Freelancers who are a master of every area of web development are rare finds - and the chances of you finding one are very slim. They’re known as unicorns for a reason!

As most freelancers don’t have expertise in every single area of eCommerce, your store could end up lacking quality in certain areas. 

Working with freelancers can also cause issues regarding time management. Freelance web designers tend to juggle a lot of projects at once, which means that a few mistakes could pop up on your store once it’s finished. 

Another issue with working with a freelancer is that because they’re a team of one they won’t have anybody to cover them if they fall ill or have to leave for a family emergency. This could cause a lot of delays with the construction of your online shop

Digital agencies

Digital agencies typically have 5 or more specialists in-house to work with. This is good for your online shop, as you’re going to get the best of the best. 

Agencies have a lot more combined experience than your average freelancer - which means they’ll know how to help you reach your end goal. They’ll also be able to provide you with ongoing support after the store is launched. 

What goes into an online shop? 

Here’s a breakdown of all the different areas that need attention when:

Freelancer
Agency
Design
Cheap and cheerful
Custom professional work
Development
Limited functionality
Custom functionality
SEO
Basic implementation of necessary SEO
 
Advanced techniques implemented by SEO experts
Social Media
Included basic installation of social media sites
 
Included along with a marketing strategy, plan, and advice on social media
Training
Little-to-no training included
 
In-person training offered, followed by videos and online documentation to help further
Marketing
Not included
 
A dedicated team of marketing experts on hand
Warranty
30 days or not offered at all
Anywhere from 30 days to a year's warranty
 
Support
Not included
Includes both email and phone support
Communication
One freelancer split between multiple clients at the same time
 
A dedicated project manager who is devoted to seeking out and achieving your company's goals
Teamwork
Your site might not be the most important thing on a freelancer's plate
Wants to work with you long term and see your business grow and evolve thanks to the new online store

Six tips to take into consideration

  1. First impressions are everything and you want to make a good one.
  2. If a company or freelance designer comes to you with a price without first knowing the ins and outs of your business, they can’t have scoped out your project fully. 
  3. When buying a set package, you may have to pay for extra add-ons down the line if they weren’t included in the original package.
  4. If you want to hire a designer that’s based in Dublin (whether it’s a freelancer or an agency) they will be more expensive than other places in the country. This is mostly due to the high cost of living in the capital. 
  5. Hosting and domain name fees will need to be paid every year. You should host your online store with an Irish company and don’t go for the cheap option as this could affect your store in the long run. Hosting varies in price and can be anywhere between €35 to €800 a year.
  6. There are a few ongoing costs you’ll need to cover in order to ensure that your eCommerce store is safe, secure and user-friendly in every way possible. These costs can include SSL certs, ongoing maintenance, backups and restoration, SEO, security monitoring, software updates, and marketing updates
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Pricing an online store: hourly/daily rates

When it comes to hourly or daily rates it can vary depending on the agency or freelancer you’re dealing with. 

Freelancer

Generally, freelancers charge somewhere between €30 - €80 an hour or €240 - €640 per day. 

Freelancer prices fluctuate depending on the skill level of the freelancer and although they might be cheaper then an agency it could take them longer to complete your project. 

Because of this, you might end up paying more in the long run as they will be working for longer. 

Digital agency

With digital agencies, the price that is charged is usually between €80 - €250 per hour or €600 - €2000 per day. The higher end of the range is usually for agencies that are based in Dublin, with large teams and years of experience. 

Note: Digital agencies will also charge VAT on top of their hourly/daily rates. Freelancers don’t tend to include VAT as they don’t pass the income threshold to charge for it. 

Even though freelancers won’t charge you VAT this could be an indication that they don’t have a lot of projects coming in which means they may be inexperienced in the field

Get a Free Consultation About Your New Website With
Our Digital Strategist

So what can you expect to pay for an online store in Ireland?

Your project may cost less or may cost more than this, it all depends on the functionality requirements and scope of your online store.

Many functionalities will be charged for separately, depending on the service you need.

Photography from €300 Videography from €1,200 Drone Footage from €1,200 Virtual tours from €600 Content writing or translations from €80 per page Live chat function from €30 per month

Worried about not being able to afford the online store your company deserves? Check with your local enterprise office - they can provide like for like funding to help get you online. For more info and to see if you're eligible, check out our guide to website grants in Ireland.

When you choose Ireland Website Design for your next website project, you get a full digital service. From design to development, marketing to training. Send us in some details about your requirements and then we can follow up with a requirements gathering call to understand your exact needs before pricing. If you're looking for a website rebuild, our digital strategists will fully analyse your current online presence as part of this process.

Two examples of how much an online store should cost:
The Cost Of A Basic Online Store
  • 8 pages of content
  • Mobile responsive website design, logo and branding services
  • Up to 20 products
  • Online payment processor
  • SSL certificate
  • Contact form
  • Social media integration
  • Basic SEO
  • Google Analytics installation
  • Up to 10 stock images
  • Outsource company quote to expect: €800-€1500
  • Freelancer quote to expect: €1,600-€3,000
  • Agency quote to expect: €4,000-€8,000

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