You’ve finally decided that your website is no longer doing its job.

It’s not mobile responsive, attracting visitors, let alone educating or convincing consumers to buy.

In fact, it’s turning people away from your business and doing some serious brand damage.

So you’ve started thinking that a new website is what you need in 2021.


Now you want to know how much this new website is going to cost – right?

Sadly, there truly is no simple answer. There are so many variables that drive the cost of a website build.

Previously, most tourism or hospitality business owners had no way of knowing when they received a website quote if it is unrealistically low, in the right ballpark or outrageously inflated.

Gut instinct and budget restraints lead the way to a serious business decision.

Fortunately, you as the prospective website owner today can make well informed decisions as you have a lot more information on hand.

The internet has made searching out design and development best practices, current trends and even researching recommendations on website developers so much simpler. But, there still is a lot of information to sift through though.

If you’re considering going down the path of investing in a new website, first up ensure your budget will cover the ongoing yearly basics:

Basic Yearly Costs

  • Domain Name Registration and Hosting
  • Ongoing App or Plugin Subscriptions
  • Website Marketing – PPC, SEO, Social Media
  • Website Support and Maintenance

Yes – there are ongoing support and maintenance costs!

Websites don’t just maintain themselves. The continual evolution of technology, plus search capabilities and content updates all ensure that websites require ongoing updating and maintenance.

Outside of the ongoing yearly costs other factors to consider when investing in a new website include:


Carefully crafted copy is as important as the website design.

Not only should your copy speak to your target audience, it first needs to be found.

Considering organic search and what your target audience may be looking for through keywords and other search optimisation tactics should be included as part of the copywriting process. [We’ve written an article on how to write great website copy – take a read!]


Let’s be honest, stock photography for tour operators, restaurants, hotels, winery websites just won’t cut it.

Look at the #RestaurantAustralia campaign – it’s all People, Place and Produce. Quality imagery is telling the story of what makes Australia’s food and wine scene unique.

With the social sharing and the continued move to mobile websites, imagery is a huge factor in website design and development.

So spending a little extra on original photography will not only assist in telling your unique story, but also offer added organic search (SEO) benefits.

Other Imagery and Media

Other media covers areas such as video, graphics, brochures and of course, the most important of all your logo.

Special Features/Systems

Tourism, wine and hospitality websites should be more than just a static brochure. Consider the following in your new website.

Do you need any of these systems?

  • a booking system – for hotels, restaurants, accommodation and tourism operators
  • a membership system – for offering exclusive benefit to members via a login system
  • an ecommerce system – for wine or food sales

SSL Certificates

If you are taking payments directly on your site (not offsite via Stripe or PayPal) you require an SSL certificate to avoid the risk of having credit card numbers hacked and possible legal proceedings.


Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted. A SSL certificate encrypts the information so that it becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information.

And as of 2021, even if you are not taking payments online, you still will require an SSL certificate as Google is ranking websites on this factor and you will be penalised in the rankings if you do not have an SSL certiciate.

Analytics and Tracking

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are vital tools in understanding and measuring what’s happening on your website. These are free tools but do require a little understanding to get them set up correctly.

Understanding not just the traffic to your website, but how to differentiate real traffic over bots, where traffic is coming from, what people are doing i.e. completing forms, downloading pdfs, sharing information – are all essential components in interpreting website success.

Final Thoughts

Evidently there are many factors to consider in website development and all of these variables drive the cost of a website.

A good web development agency will assist you through the process and if not able to offer all of the above in-house, at least will be able to recommend specialists for each area.

Please remember though – you pay for what you get.

Having a pretty online brochure really is not going to get you results. Your website is your major online asset, so invest time and money into creating an inbound marketing machine that continues to bring in solid results.

Please note this is a general guide – if you’re looking for further specialised advice for wineries, tourism, restaurants and hospitality, please feel free to get in touch.

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