General Question

haken's avatar

How much does it cost to build a website like POTTERYBARN.COM?

Asked by haken (9points) September 4th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

ben's avatar

A few questions which may help induce some rough estimates:
– Does like mean “a clone of” or “of a similar design caliber”?
– Are you talking about just the external design, or all the backend database stuff as well?

It’s always hard to give a general estimate like this, but the more info you provide, the better people will be able to take a stab at it.

synapse's avatar

Just the platform to run this type of site, minimum investment $1 million, and I do mean minimum investment. Then add in analytics $10K a month, CRM $20K per month, adword budgets can run into the millions each month and so on…

Formerly, I was the internet marketing manager for one of the top 300 ecommerce sites as rated by Internet Retailer. They produce a phenomenal guide to ecommerce vendors you can get off their site,

glial's avatar

Just a rough guess, with the front end design and backend programing, you can expect the initial costs to be say $8000 to $15000.

That said, it would be a site similar to and function like

Now to COMPETE with potterybarn is a whole different story.

You don’t need millions to startup an ecommerce site. You may need millions to compete on a large level.

Hope that answers at least part of your question. As Ben said, you may want answer his questions to get a better response.

segdeha's avatar

@glial, I think you’re wildly underestimating the cost. A site like is very sophisticated under the hood and, while you may not necessarily need $1 million, I would put the minimum cost at several $100s of thousands. I’m currently part of a team that has spent the last 5 months developing an online travel booking site and we’ve spent on the order of $250 thousand. And, our site is surely less sophisticated than!

Hawaiiguy's avatar

I would start with a web template like this – Any &search_words= – Any -&from_=-any&to=any&cat=60%2C24&style=&author=&x=35&y=10 and as your business grows you can get more sophisticated. but this is a great start for around $70.00 dollars! You can then have a friend help you transfer your information into a design you choose or hire someone to do it or buy macromedia flash suite ($900.00 retail) or similar software depending on what type of template you buy? its gotten a lot easier to do it yourself as so much of the information is automated now.

synapse's avatar

@seqdeha: does your figure also include the salaries/consulting fees and any company-paid benefits of the development team?

IBM Websphere and ATG are the most expensive and, from first-hand knowledge, take over 12 months to launch. You will definitely need an AJAX supported platform to compete in today’s ecommerce world.

segdeha's avatar

@synapse, the amount I quoted is actually a little low. $250,000 is roughly the amount the company who hired us to build the site has paid us in consulting fees. Both companies have incurred other costs over the course of the project, but I would say the total cost is no more than twice what I quoted, and possibly significantly less than twice what I quoted.

We have developed the application ourselves (a team of 7 developers design and customer acceptance testing coming from our client) using open source technologies (basically the LAMP stack the Symfony framework) and a (mostly) agile development methodology. It makes pretty slick use of AJAX (most of which I wrote, building on Prototype and Animator). We also had the advantage of having a fairly mature backend system with which to integrate the customer’s frontend.

I completely agree with you that it takes real money to build a real website. The Pottery Barn site is such a site and to emulate it in any substantial way would cost a significant investment. The other figures people have proposed here ($70—$15,000) are just not realistic for anything approaching the quality and sophistication of the Pottery Barn site. Yes, you can get an “online store” up and running on the cheap, and it may be the perfect solution for your business, but it’s not going to be

synapse's avatar

@seqdeha, thanks for the details! How fortunate for the mature backend system already in place. My figures were for the entire ball of wax – front and backend as that is what my former company desperately needed.

May your launch be smooth and seamless.

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