How Much Should a Website Cost? A Comprehensive Guide
We have covered various aspects of website development, from design tips to content writing and promotion strategies. One question that frequently arises is: how much does it cost to run a website? To address this question, you need to consider your website’s complexity, whether you’ll build it yourself or hire professionals. Drawing from my personal experience working with a web design agency, I found that their starting point for website development is usually around USD$5,000, depending on the level of complexity required (for example, custom building a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to manage customers’ profiles). In this article, we’ll break down the costs involved and provide insights into creating an effective website for your needs.
1. Website Development Options:
Building a website can be approached in two ways: one, hiring a web design agency to build the site for you, or two, using a website builder yourself. If you’re running a one-man band business, or operating with a small team or a limited budget, building your own website can be a great decision you make. While that might sound a bit daunting or difficult at first, rest assured that the process is far easier and less time consuming than you might think. For this article, let’s say that you’re a small IT consultant service firm, and you want to make a business website that’s functional, presentable, and captures the interests of your site visitors and potential clients. Here are some components for your website, which we’ve grouped under web pages, that you could consider building for your website:
- Home Page: A visually appealing landing page that provides an overview of your services, encouraging visitors to explore further.
- About Us: Personalize this page to introduce yourself, your expertise, experience, and the mission of your business, building trust with potential clients.
- Services: Detail the IT services you offer, such as computer repair, custom PC builds, network setup, etc.
- Portfolio/Testimonials: Showcase successful projects or client testimonials to demonstrate your skills and reliability.
- Contact Us: Include contact information and a contact form for easy communication.
- FAQ: Anticipate common questions and provide clear answers to save time for both you and potential clients.
- Pricing: If applicable, provide transparent pricing information or options for personalized quotes.
- Credentials/Certifications: If you have any relevant certifications or credentials, showcase them on a dedicated page to establish credibility.
- Call-to-Action (CTA): This wouldn’t take up an entire page anywhere, but should instead be a feature of the content you have implemented onto your website. Include clear and strategically placed CTAs throughout the website to prompt visitors to take action, such as contacting you for a consultation, or booking a service that you offer.
- Social Media Links: If you are active on social media platforms, consider including links to your social media profiles. This will help visitors stay updated and engage with your content.
With everything we’ve considered so far, a website builder is a great solution for you because of its affordability, quick turnover (you can publish your website in less than an hour), with many of the example pages mentioned above being achievable and easy to make with site builders.
2. Breakdown of Costs
If you’ve decided to use a website builder to get started, here’s a breakdown of the costs you can expect:
- Domain name (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com): USD$20 per year (many website builders offer your domain name for free for the first year).
- Website hosting: This represents an ongoing website storage cost to host your website files, including texts, images, videos, etc., ranging from USD$10 to USD$35 per month.
- Website Templates: Website builders typically offer free templates with professionally designed layouts, colors, fonts, and other artistic elements to give your website stunning results. While you can switch templates, be aware that changing templates may require rebuilding certain parts of the website.
- Email: For a professional appearance, you should have your own domain email (e.g., [email protected]) instead of using @gmail or @hotmail addresses. Some website builder service providers charge around USD$5 per month per mailbox for this feature.
- SSL Certificates: SSL certificates vary in cost, ranging from USD$10 to USD$200 per year, depending on the type of SSL certificate you choose. Having an SSL certificate ensures your website is loaded with HTTPS, displaying a secure lock in front of the website name when viewed in modern browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox, etc.
- Website Content: While you can provide your own text content, you may also need to consider hiring professional photographers to take pictures of your office. However, many website builders offer stock images that you can use free of charge, potentially eliminating the need for hiring photographers.
- Security Updates and Technical Support: The beauty of using a website builder lies in the fact that security updates are handled by the website builder provider, relieving website owners of this responsibility. In terms of technical support, most website builder service providers offer email, telephone, and live chat support as the primary channels for assistance. Additionally, some may provide community self-help support, although this is usually considered the least preferred option by users who prefer direct human support. Support is usually included free for inquiries related to their web tools, but additional charges may apply for services beyond the scope of regular support, such as web design or SEO consultation.
Now, let’s calculate the costs:
Initial First Year Setup Cost:
Domain (USD$0 for the first year) + Hosting (USD$10/mo x 12 months) + Email (USD$5/mo x 12 months) + SSL (USD$10/year) = USD$190
Ongoing Yearly Cost for Renewal:
Domain (USD$20/year) + Hosting (USD$10/mo x 12 months) + Email (USD$5/mo x 12 months) + SSL (USD$10/year) = USD$210
3. Full-Packed Features of Website.com
I’ve personally tried out several website builders in the past, and my top recommendation is Website.com for several reasons:
For a cost-effective and quick solution, a website builder is ideal. Here’s the breakdown of costs using Website.com’s Elite Plan as an example:
Initial First Year Setup Cost:
Domain (free for the first year) + Hosting (USD$5/mo x 12 months for First Year Promo Rate) + Email (3 free accounts) + SSL (free) = USD$60
Ongoing Yearly Cost for Renewal:
Domain (USD$20/year) + Hosting (USD$15/mo x 12 months) + Email (3 free accounts) + SSL (free) = USD$200
Remember, this is just one example of the prices you could expect to arise while operating your website. The actual prices you encounter for your own business website may differ from the numbers and calculations you see here.
As evident from our price calculations, the first year promo rate is very attractive, and even for their renewal, their pricing is still below the industry average.
2. Full-packed Features:
Website.com offers a user-friendly platform with over 100 website templates and 1,000+ professional copyright-free stock images. In addition, according to a Website.com blog article, websites created with Website.com site builder score high in Google PageSpeed Insights. In today’s digital landscape, website performance is a make-or-break factor for your online success. That’s where PageSpeed comes in. A high PageSpeed score means your website loads faster, appealing to your visitors who appreciate quick access to your content. Not only does this reduce bounce rates, but it also keeps visitors intrigued about your website’s content, ensuring they stick around longer to explore what you have to offer.
But there’s more to it than just visitor satisfaction. Google’s search algorithm also values page loading speed, directly influencing your website’s search engine ranking. By having a blazing-fast website, you’re not only pleasing users but also winning favor with search engines, boosting your visibility and organic traffic.
Another benefit of using Website.com’s site builder to create websites is that websites created with Website.com are responsive. With the majority of web traffic coming from mobile devices these days, having a responsive website is non-negotiable. Website.com has got you covered. Their websites are built to be responsive, meaning they seamlessly adapt to various screen sizes. So whether your visitors are on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, they’ll enjoy a flawless user experience every time. Plus, their website builders are also responsive, meaning you can build your website entirely with your phones.
3. Great Support:
Building a website might seem daunting, but Website.com has your back. Their top-notch technical support team is just a call, email, or live chat away, ready to assist you every step of the way. Plus, their handy video tutorials ensure you can confidently navigate the website-building process, making it a breeze to create the site of your dreams.
4. No-commitment to Get Started:
Now, here’s the best part: you can get started with Website.com absolutely free! Yes, Website.com offers a no-credit-card-required FREE plan. Unlike typical trial services, there’s no need to rush in building your website before some looming deadline. Take your time, work at your own pace, and when you’re happy with the result, consider upgrading to unlock the premium features at a later date. These include a free domain, email, SSL, and much more, giving your website that extra edge.
With Website.com website builder, you can effortlessly create a high-performing, responsive website without breaking the bank. All you’ll need is a little time, effort, and a willingness to learn how to put your website together. Remember, investing in a well-designed website with exceptional user experience can significantly impact your online presence and business growth.