In Canada, the brick-and-mortar stores are facing the risks of fading out whereas the ecommerce market is on a roll. That’s why the question of how much does an ecommerce website in Canada cost gains more attention. The thing is that it’s not easy to give the answer for all cases. There are a lot of factors impacting the price of developing an online store that we need to take into consideration. Therefore, this article will give you a breakdown of general ecommerce website design and development cost as well as help you to estimate your project.
Ecommerce Website In Canada – Development Cost Breakdown
Overall, the cost of creating a new ecommerce website in Canada consists of business name registration, domain, SSL, hosting, design and development, and third-party integration. Now, let’s have a closer look at each of these elements.
1. Business name registration cost
First and foremost, you need to select a good name for your e-business. Remember to check whether that name has been taken – registered or not. Then, you will have to register your name at the registry of the jurisdiction where you plan to do business.
For some provinces in Canada, you can submit the business name registration form online while others ask you to submit it directly. Also, the fees of name registration are different among regions. For example, you will be charged $60 to register your business name in Ontario, which will be valid for five years.
2. Domain, SSL and hosting cost
After registering the name, it’s time to think about the domain of your website, your online fingerprint. In general, the cost of a domain is relatively cheap – from $5-15 per year. However, if your desired domain has already been registered by another person, buying back from them might be very expensive, up to thousands of dollars.
Since the domain name plays an essential role in building credibility for your store visitors, you should select a domain with familiar domain suffix such as “.com, .ca”. Others like “.xyz, .biz, .site, .co, .ltd, .in, etc.” are not highly recommended.
There are some reliable companies that provide domain services, for example, GoDaddy, NameCheap, HostGator, and Dreamhost.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
If you don’t know, SSL certificate is a cryptographic key to protect your website when transferring data or proceeding online transactions.
To know whether a site has the SSL certificate or not, you just need to look at its URL, which must include “HTTPs” instead of “HTTP”.
An SSL certificate can be obtained for free or in the range of $50 to $1,000 on an annual basis.
Although many companies will provide the SSL certificates at no cost, you had better invest in a paid SSL certificate for optimal security.
Some SSL certificate providers that you can trust are Comodo, DigiCert, GeoTrust, GlobalSign, and GoDaddy.
Hosting is fundamental for any ecommerce website in Canada since it is the major influence to your page load speed and site stability. The cost of hosting a website is in a wide range, from $120 to $20,000 per year, depending on your selected type of hosting service:
Shared hosting: Your website will locate on the same server with other sites. Pros: the cost of using shared hosting is very cheap (starting from $10/month). Cons: Because of sharing resources with other websites, your site performance might be impacted negatively. As a result, the customer might experience slow page load speed as well as sluggish checkout.
Dedicated hosting: Compared all shared hosting options, the dedicated hosting is significantly more pricey (from $100 to $2,000 per month), since your site will reside on its own server, and have total control of that server’s resources.
Virtual private server: This is a combination between the shared hosting and the dedicated hosting. More specifically, your website will still share a server with others but having full access to that server’s resources. It often costs from $200-600 annually if you want to go for this type.
3. Platform acquisition cost
There are various platforms to build an ecommerce website in Canada such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Volusion, BigCommerce, and Drupal. All of them provide you with a complete ecommerce web infrastructure, with the functionalities of managing unlimited products, catalogs, customers, creating CMS pages, handling orders and shipments, integrating payment gateways, and so on.
Nonetheless, Magento seems to be the most favorable one by Canadian merchants. Besides basic ecommerce functions, it offers many advanced features, for instance, promotions and pricing tiers, search engine optimization, multi-language and currency, analytics and reporting, etc. If you select Magento Open Source version, it’s totally free. Meanwhile, you will have to pay a high annual cost for using Magento Commerce version (mainly for B2B stores).
On the contrary, for Shopify, Volusion or BigCommerce, you will be charged fixed monthly fees.
4. Website design cost
Many surveys showed that the website design will have a big effect on the first impression of store visitors. Hence, it’s worth your money investing on the website look.
As you might know, the simpler the design, the lower the cost and vice versa. In general, the price of designing a website ranges from $100 to $5,000. Why there is such a wide range?
Assumed that you applied a ready-made theme for your website, it would cost just around $100 to buy the template. In this case, you would have to accept the fact that your website had the same appearance as many other Canadian ecommerce stores.
On the other hand, if you expect to have a unique storefront, you must hire a website designer to create a custom design following all of your requirements. This option often cost from $2,000-5,000.
So, how to have a different and beautiful website design while spending a tight budget? Many online businesses in Canada come with the solution of still using the ready-to-use themes but hiring website developers to customize the templates as they want. Thanks to that, the merchants can only invest under $1,000 for the site look.
5. Website development cost
The cost of website development often makes up the most in the total cost of creating an ecommerce website. In other words, it’s the cost of hiring website developers or a web agency to implement your plan.
To calculate this cost, you have to estimate the time for website development process first, then ask for the hourly rate of the developers. For example, it is anticipated to take 200 hours to develop your site (including theme and plugin installation, custom function development, payment and gateway integration, product import, site configuration, etc.), and your selected website development company charges you $30 per working hour. As a result, your website development cost would be $6,000.
Since the website development is mainly dependent on the developers’ hourly rate, selecting the right web agency is very important. You will have to pay $60-150 per working hour to hire a Canadian web development company, and just a half or even less of that amount when outsourcing your project to Asian ecommerce agencies.
6. Third-party integration cost
Besides the theme, you might need to install some extensions to enhance the functionalities and optimize the performance of your website. Each plugin might cost from $49 to $1,000.
Moreover, you should not forget the cost of hiring payment gateway services. Most of the payment gateways in Canada will charge you a monthly fixed cost plus transaction fees.
There are some popular payment gateways for you to choose from such as 2checkout, Adyen, Authorize.net, PayPal, Skrill, Stripe, SagePay, and Checkout.com.
So, How Much Does An Ecommerce Website In Canada Cost?
As you can see, there are many components of your ecommerce website development. Therefore, any decision of you can make changes in the total cost. You can build your site by spending less than $10,000 or investing $50,000 in your web project just by increasing/ decreasing your requirements or changing your web agency.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A SMALL BUSINESS Ecommerce Website?
For startups or small businesses with a constrained budget, it seems to be irrational to spend more than $10,000 to develop their first website. Due to that, here are some solutions for them:
- Choose among available domain names with low price
- Apply a ready-made theme for the new website and customize it if necessary
- Use shared hosting (since the number of products on the site is small, shared hosting is fine)
- Hire an offshore ecommerce website development company instead of web agency in Canada
- Select a payment gateway with reasonable monthly cost and transaction fees
- Build the website on Magento 2 Open Source platform
- Consider using free themes and plugins
If you applied the above tips, it’s estimated to cost only $3,000-5,000 to build your online store.
All things considered, the cost of developing an ecommerce website in Canada highly depends on the needs and budgets of the store owners. But if you asked me “How much SHOULD an ecommerce website cost you?” my advice is that you should not spend over $20,000. Now, more and more Canadian merchants are looking for outsourcing solutions (hiring web developers in Asian countries) to build quality websites while spending less. You should also take it into consideration.
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