As a webmaster, it is important fully understanding website associated costs including initial launch, post launch, and upkeep costs. While these types of costs are usually relatively low, especially now a day, prices do change from time to time. Depending on your website concept, your costs could fluctuate from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. We performed research for you to review and get a general idea for all of these costs and what they mean to your business plan. Let’s review a typical breakdown below.
If your more interested in a custom designed website, you might pay up to tens of thousands of dollars. The benefit is you get a fully functional website that is completely unique to you. You can customize every aspect before feeling “right” about it. There are many drawbacks to a custom website design. First, you won’t have a big window of opportunity, if any, to change anything about the website after a design is completed. You could be charged A LOT for a small change. Additionally, there is no guarantee you will have backend tools to manage parts of your website. You may be at the mercy of your designer to make your website, updates which could be costly in terms of time needed. Finally, keeping a website to-date in terms of functionality with all mobile devices and web browsers is absolutely critical. In a custom web design, designers can’t anticipate the next new fancy mobile device or browser they need to make your website compatible with. In this case, open-source CMS tools are always updating their core functionality to allow your websites compatibility to stay late and great (Check out our CMS & Template JumpStart Guide) Today, very few websites online representing businesses are built from ground up. They require much more overhead and need dynamic updates to stay current with the latest technologies.
Design Bottom Line: templates are fully functional websites that require little effort to customize and are cheap to free. Typical template costs range from $5 - $100. Some offer “buyout” prices allowing you to purchase the entire design and hold copyright too. Custom website design is of the past. With the amount of free, professionally developed templates online now alongside open-source content management systems, custom design is essentially blown out of the water.
Domain Name Costs
Purchasing a domain name is one of the most exciting parts to creating a website. The cost associated with a domain name purchase is minimal. Upon purchasing, you can choose to purchase for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, or more. The further out you purchase, the cheaper the overall cost per month would cost you otherwise. Purchase your next domain name at our online store located here. The most common domain name extension today is .com; however, there are now hundreds of other domain name extensions you can purchase. It is important to consider these other extensions such as. club .biz .net .org. .online .attorney and many more.
Domain Name Bottom Line: with domain names still at a minimal cost, buy your domain name with a 1-year term to start. After 1 year, if you see potential to keep and grow your website, lock in your domain name for a higher term such as 5 years.
Web Hosting Costs
Your web hosting costs will likely be the highest cost in your website budget. A typical hosting plan can vary, but average around $100 a year today. You also have the option of hosting directly on your home Internet connection and server, should you choose. Check out our article on installing a website and hosting it on our own server. With so many moving to cloud based solutions, you should consider a long-term hosting package with a provider. A great hosting provider is Host Gator. They offer unmetered bandwidth and the cheapest hosting around. A 3-year package could cost as little as $150! As a side note, when using a paid host solution, remember to document all your trouble tickets with the provider. This allows you leverage to negotiate credit, should you experience downtime or similar issues. You can refer back to patterns of downtime and argue you were a paying customer. If you are loyal customer, hosting providers will always offer back an incentive to you for troubles.
Do not use a free hosting package that are advertised online. These are worthless, incompetent, and risky solutions to hosting a website. You are almost guaranteed downtime with free solutions. Additionally, expect “free” solutions to place advertisements next to your website content. Save yourself a headache now.
Web Hosting Bottom Line: A paid hosting package with Host Gator is a cheap, reliable, and worthwhile hosting package today. Save yourself worry with hosting yourself on your own hardware and Internet connection and paying for hardware upkeep. There are thousands of web hosting solutions available and we recommend you review as necessary based on your website requirements.
Nearly all software you decide to implement your website is available for free today. In most cases, free software offers a paid version to give you added features. Sometimes these features are exactly what you need. For example, Rapid Contact is free plugin for Joomla CMS that creates an easy-to-use contact us page. A paid version of rapid contact includes Google reCaptcha feature, which is critical to have on a contact us page to prevent spammers from abusing.
To keep your costs at nothing, use popular open CMS or blogging software. Here is a list of some.
Today, one of the best paid software to develop a website is Adobe Dreamweaver. This powerful suite of tools allows you create content form scratch and learn how to quickly and easily. It uses WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) so that you see your results on screen while you design. Dreamweaver costs around $400 and has monthly fees associated with it. However, at this price you are getting the Bible of web design as no other web design software is as powerful.
For graphic designing, you might need consulting help depending on the level of detail you need. A popular place to find cheap and efficient work is Fiverr. You can get a business logo for $5. At the very least, you can get a good idea of a logo(s) for that much too. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful graphic designing programs today. It comes at an expensive cost though. Today, simple is the new “in” design. Take a picture off Google image search and manipulate it (resize, add pixels with paint, erase areas, etc) then put your logo into it. You can start to get ideas for a new look by doing this several times. It’s easy, fast, and cheap! Microsoft Word is a webmaster’s best friend for proof reading.
Check out: Solution Chicago Website Builder Week 1: Gathering Thoughts and Focus on Your New Website
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