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DIY Websites - The hidden costs.

With respect to this article when I refer to DIY websites I'm looking in particular at companies like or The aim of this article is to make you more aware of what you are signing up for when you choose one of these companies.

Before I get into price cost analysis, I wanted to look at what you are getting from a DIY website.

My first observation was that a DIY website is hosted with the company you create it with and is non transferable. This means if you find they are underperforming or want to move to a cheaper host you will need to have your website re-built. Either using another DIY website company or a designer at the cost of your time and money.

Do DIY websites display well on all devices? I'm going to generalise a little here I did not look at all the 100's of templates on offer. From the websites I looked at, mobile friendly Yes! However they did not resize to fit any tablet devices successfully, Tablet friendly NO!

This was a disappointment for me as most of the people I know have an iPad type device. I personally like my websites to be responsive in design so that they fit all current and hopefully future devices regardless of screen size. With the DIY website templates / sites I viewed, this was not the situation.

The true costs, it's not free!

To make your business stand out and be instantly recognisable you generally have a branding / name associated with it. You will want to continue this on the web and the primary place for this is your new websites domain name. This rules out the free or cheaper packages offered by DIY websites, immediately adding in cost to your new website. The second reason to rule out the free / cheaper packages is they have adverts on them. For me I would not want to be advertising someone else's products / business on my website, I want my visitors to be focused on what I have to offer.

If you choose a subscription model beyond the basic ones offered by these companies, they are advert free. There are exceptions to this relating to their Apps and Apps shop, addons to your web site package. More on this further down the article.

Price Comparison

It's not easy to compare all the products as they have some differences. I am picking packages as similar in features to each other as possible, *all prices are current at time of writing.

All packages include a free Domain name for first year, the DIY sites are unclear as to what the charges are after that initial year. Weebly does state $19.95 for each year after, while Wix gives a vague it depends on your domain name extension. Wix is correct in that the domain extension does affect the price, but are unclear if there are any administrative costs they place ontop of this.

What you can do is use a separate domain name registrar (e.g. or and then point the domain name servers to those of your chosen host. While this sounds technical and challenging it is actually quite easy to do and can avoid problems if / when you need to change hosts.

I have picked on two popular DIY website companies and two popular Hosting companies (GoDaddy and, the cost of having your website built has not been included in the price for the latter two. This is because it depends on your site, typically a site consisting of a few pages will be much cheaper than a full e-shop website.

I have added on VAT at 20% to the prices. The Amount in brackets is the price when the current offer expires / renewal after first year.


  • Unlimited package
  • Yearly €14.91 a month (€27.59)
  • 1st year Total €178.92
  • 5th year Total €894.60
  • The 5th year price could be a lot higher, on the website they are unclear about when the offer expires or if it is just for the first year.


  • Pro package
  • Yearly €13.20 a month
  • 1st year Total €158.40
  • 5th year Total €792.00


  • Economy package
  • Yearly €5.99 a month (€7.78)
  • 1st year Total €71.88
  • 5th year Total €445.32
  • 5th year Total €316.20 (buying 3 years up-front, extra savings available)

  • Unlimited package
  • Yearly €1.19 a month (€5.99)
  • 1st year Total €14.28
  • 5th year Total €301.80

To me the benefits of not using a DIY website seem obvious, cost wise it's a clear win for the hosting companies. If you have a separate host, you can easily swap around each year to get the best deal if you so choose. With the DIY websites your tied into them and their prices, should they go up you are left with a hard decision and more work to re-do.

Yes there is the cost of a Website designer to add ontop of a separate hosting package. But generally it is a single fee, no monthly / annual subscription costs. You will soon start to see the rewards financially over a few years of projected costs.

With a DIY website you are still building the website yourself, position of images, text and other elements are down to you. Unless you are very skilled on computers and have a background / hobby in design or marketing you may find the end results are far from what you expect.

Remember your time is valuable too and you could be spending a lot more than you first think with a DIY website.

Additional hidden costs

With the DIY website companies it seems the prices do not stop at the subscription plans. Depending on your business you may want to have an event's calendar or a booking form on your website. The way you do this on the DIY websites is via what they call Apps. This is where the costs can suddenly start stacking up, some are free or included in your package. Others have a fee associated with them, often monthly.

You can browse their app catalogue without signing up and some do show the prices, here are a few examples. $3.99 a month to show the weather on your website. $7 a month for an Events calendar, $2 to $3 a month for an image gallery. Perhaps you run a Hotel and want to take bookings via your website, there's an App for that starting at €9.99. Yes I know these are optional, but it could soon have your monthly website costs spiralling out of control.


My advice is make sure you do your research before you opt for a DIY website or a website designer. Consider your business, how will it evolve over the coming years. Will you need a web shop / e-commerce solution later if not initially.

While the DIY websites do simplify building a website to a certain extent, do you have the skills necessary to build a successful website. Building a website is not just code, it is also about the layout, quality of images and the content. Do you have the time?

While having a website designer does not remove 100% of the work involved. They pickup most of the work involved leaving you free to concentrate on the content and overseeing your creation built to your specifications.

The decision is ultimately down to you and what will be best for your business.

*Created: 02 April 2016

By: Ryan Carter