YouTube is as huge as it can get from website perspective. Building one that can easily manage this huge amount of data is indeed a herculean task and requires huge sum of money.

But it has to be reminded that YouTube has also started as a minimal website and is not similar to a normal website.

However, even if the website is minimal, how much will it cost?

Key features required for a website similar to YouTube:

YouTube is one of the most common video-sharing websites that are currently in use. Prior to calculating the cost of the developing a website similar to YouTube, it is extremely important to understand the features of YouTube which are intended to be a part of the developing website. Following are the main features of YouTube:

Playback: With a recent update in 2015, YouTube can now be accessed in all devices and browsers without any external plugins.

Uploading: Any registered member can upload videos in YouTube through any device that YouTube is accessible from. The time limit of these videos goes up to 12 hours.

YouTube accepts videos in container formats like AVI, MP4, MPEG-PS, QuickTime File Format, FLV, WebM files and also 3GP. Users have the facility of uploading 3D videos and 360-degrees videos.

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Quality: YouTube videos are available in various quality levels ranging from standard to high quality. The user has can change the quality of the video according to their wish. The video quality is represented in numerical terms ranging from 144 to 1080 pixels.

Live streaming: Registered users could stream live videos on YouTube.

Community: This is a social-media based user feature that allows users to post images, comments and live videos in a separate community tab.

Content accessibility: This user feature enables the videos on YouTube to be used in other websites with the HTML that each video is accompanied with.

Platform: The YouTube app is broadly available in all the platforms as an application or through an optimized website.

Localization: YouTube has a unique interface in different countries. This is referred to as localization. It helps in making the application and website in not uploading any illegal videos.

Building cost of a website like YouTube:

A website like YouTube would include the features mentioned in the above section. Hence, all these factors, along with a few other contribute to the building cost of a website similar to YouTube.

The building cost of the website depends on the features that the developer would like to include in his website along with the number of people that the developer hires to build the website. For a website similar to YouTube, it could vary between $10,000 to $80,000.

The following is the cost estimation to develop the required website:


Building a website YouTube will require a lot of commitment along with planning. This phase involves the groundwork for the project.

The developers have to design their project along with listing the requirements for the future. A major part of the website is acquiring a better approach towards the features to be included in the website and then dig in.

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Plan for building a website that is more updated than YouTube, in order to achieve it best. This phase costs around $0 to $500 or higher. In case the equipment to start the developing is already available, this phase costs minimal.

Sitemaps and wireframes:

These provide the UX designers a base for creating screens and aid in building the website with better representation.

Sitemaps are used for a systematic view of the website. They help the users find specific pages in the website and also help in navigating.

These might be addressed to the website or the user. Wireframes are generally created post planning and drawing and layout of the website along with the sitemaps is done.

The wireframes are the floor plan of the project into which the design and content flow, that could be sketched or annotated diagrams.

They are used a functional specifications while communicating their functionality with the stakeholders with good confidentiality of the developing website.

For wireframing and building the sitemaps, the minimum cost would vary from $0 to $1000.

Virtual Design:

The virtual design of a website is the design or plan of the website that the developer wants to build. It includes the clear-cut plan and procedure in building and developing the website.

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To build a website like YouTube, the developer must have a design of the template of the website and content along with all the other minute technical aspects as well.

To build a website like YouTube, the virtual design plays a vital role with its minimum cost ranging from $1000-$2000.


To build a website like YouTube, if the developer is not very good at coding, he/she might have to hire a person who has a good knowledge in the follow up:

  • HTML/Client-side JavaScript/CSS
  • Database OLTP to maintain relational DBMS
  • Data warehouse (OLAP)

Apart from the above, to continue building a website like YouTube, server-side developers are required. The following are the some of the few:

  • API Developers
  • Web application
  • Mobile device application
  • Tool developers
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Localization
  • Authentication

Depending on the features that you want on the website, the developers who are extremely good at coding charge high to code a website like YouTube, which is the reason why this phase costs around $2500-$3000 or higher.

Content support:

Content for a website is the key of attracting users. The features that the developer would like include in the website have to contain catchy metadata for the users to understand them better.

The cost for the content is minimal if the developer himself writes it, else, it will cost around $250-$500 to hire a content writer for the website.

Client documents:

A website like YouTube must contain client documents that could store any digital file. The developer will have to buy cloud storages for the file sharing. This could minimally cost between $240-$500.

Testing and launching:

This is one of the major steps of developing a website. Prior launching, the website has to be checked manually by the developer or a hired software tester.

It can also be done with the tools available on the internet. The general testing of a website is carried out by creating WebDriver instance, which is navigate led to a webpage.

The HTML element is located on the webpage, and an action is performed to anticipate the response of the browser.

The test framework involves the run tests and record tests, based on whose results the website is evaluated.

After testing the website, it is launched. The launch of the website often includes advertising it also.

The cost of testing and launching a website like YouTube varies from $900-$1000.

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