In this day and age, if you don’t have a website, are you even a real company? No, I’m kidding, but it is important to have a website depending on your business - so that people are aware of what you offer, learn more about your services, and can contact you easily. So good for you for looking into how much it actually costs to build a website, because although a lot of content is available for free on the internet for consumers, it isn’t free to have your own, professional, website. Sure you can get a blog page on something like WordPress and keep WordPress in your URL, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking professional.
There Are Three Levels of Websites
First, what type of website are you looking for? You can choose what level of website you need based on how much information you need to convey and how many options you’re giving your consumer. Here are the three levels I’ve determined:
What I like to call the simple type of websites are sort of like an online brochure for your business. These types of websites will often showcase key items about your organization/business and have a space for contact info or submissions. Simple, nothing fancy here. You just want a place where people can get the details. You might want this if you own a restaurant or a small store.
I’m calling the websites that are a step up from a simple, brochure-type website medium-sized. Simple is fun-sized, and here we’re a standard candy bar. This size website will give you more showcase options. You’ll have an About page, Home page, Contact page, Services page, and an option for a blog, case study, or portfolio page. If you’re a freelance photographer, or own a restaurant with multiple locations, have an online store, or want a blogging site, this will be your best bet.
This is the king-size kit-kat that you almost wonder is necessary, and then realize that yes, yes it is. I call these large, complex websites enterprise, because you’ve likely got an enterprise level organization/business. You would need this if, for example, you sell clothing and need several tabs with a variety of options. You’ll need more pages to hold all of this. If you’re a SaaS company (software as a service) or a big retailer, this is for you.
P.S. you’re going to want to ensure your website looks good and functions on cell phones. Maybe one day you’ll even have an app!
First Cost: Hosting and Domain Fees
Before you jump into building a beautiful website with all the info and tabs and pictures you want, we gotta get you started with host. You are not a parasite, but you can’t survive on your own. A host is an entity that will house the files of your website. These hosts have a fee. Then, once you’ve got a home for your website, you’ll need a name for it. This name is called the domain name, or what we see as the URL. You have two options for purchasing these two important items.
One: you can purchase these separately. This is what I did when I started my website a little while ago. I decided to have a domain from GoDaddy but have Squarespace be the host. When I purchased a .com for my own website using GoDaddy, it came to a total of $30 for 2 years. Then, say you want an email attached to this website, that was an extra $83 for me for 2 years. Squarespace as a website host costs anywhere from $12 to $40 a month depending on the plan you choose.
Two: of course you can purchase these from the same place. Here’s a breakdown of pricing for some competing sites that offer web hosting and domains:
Domain: .99 cents a month
Hosting: $5.99 - $19.99 monthly
Domain: “All Squarespace sites on an annual plan include one custom domain, free for its first year. Additional domains are between $20 and $70 per year.” From their mouth!
Hosting: $12 - $40 monthly
Domain: $0 for a subdomain (yourdomain.wordpress.com) and then $0 with cost of hosting. It’s not explicit on the website.
Hosting: $5 - $45 monthly
Domain: Free for a year with a premium plan, but then after that it depends on some factors such as the number of years you’ll have it, the domain extension, and add-ons. They don’t give a range on the website. You can install Wordpress on different hosting sites, such as BlueHost (recommended by Wordpress), wpengine, GoDaddy, and more.
Hosting: $13 - $39 monthly
This is a popular option for online stores (check out our article on eCommerce if you want more information on what option might be best for you).
Domain: Free subdomain, then custom domains start at $11 annually
Hosting: Included in plans ranging from $29 to $299 monthly
P.S. Domains that are popular can be worth millions of dollars. Some sites, like GoDaddy, will appraise your domain name for you. The value of a domain is determined by how badly someone wants it. Let’s say someone owned uber.com before Uber the transportation company launched. Uber then might’ve been willing to pay a lot to that person for that domain, right?
When Building Your Website, You’ll Also Need…
Images! Do you use stock images, invest in your own photoshoots, or do you need infographics created? These might cost you. You could use unsplash for free, or purchase a Shutterstock plan for $29 to $199 a month depending on number of images per plan.
Will you need testimonials on your website - if so, do you have people you can ask? This is a time expense. Is your social media presence up to snuff? Should you put every platform on the website or only one? These might be little things, but it’s important to remember that there are a ton of little moving pieces to building a website, beyond the actual construction.
Should I Just Hire Someone to Build My Website?
If you want! But you won’t just need someone - you’ll need a web designer but you also might need a developer depending on the level of your website. These will cost more than a DIY website, but perhaps you’ll get it back because of a beautiful, professional website and the time you saved not really working on it. That is, if you have absolutely no skills in these areas and have the funds to spend on someone or people building a website for you. Hiring just a website designer could cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on what you need, and then even more if you need eCommerce added. A website designer and developer friend of mine said her standard for non-commerce related websites is somewhere between $1,500 to $3,500.
Just like that summer bod, websites need attention and maintenance. You’ll need to make sure it’s got up-to-date information, still looks current and pretty, and, of course, that everything is paid for at all times. Let’s just take domain and hosting fees as an example. I mentioned earlier that I had purchased a domain that’ll last for 2 years. So in 2 years, I have to pay again what I paid before, or more if they’ve upped the price.
Okay - don’t be too overwhelmed. You can do it! But, if you do need help with any of this, contact us at Firon Marketing and we’ll be happy to help.