One of the first questions I am often asked when talking to a prospective new client is “How much does a website cost”? .. and if they have asked several different companies they will have received several different answers! So why is that?
Start-up fees –
Initially you have costs just for existing on the web – your domain name (yourcompanyname.com or yourcompanyname.co.uk for example) and web hosting which is basically storage space for your site. Domains are quite cheap these days – as little as £4.99 depending on the domain. Hosting costs can vary depending on how much space you need on the server and how much traffic you get. For small businesses and blogs you can have a starter economy package for a few pounds a month. If you are expecting to host 100,000 site visitors a day you are going to need more than an economy package! In the future as your site grows you can upgrade to meet your new needs.
Premium Themes and Plugins
To keep costs low whenever possible I try to use free themes (themes control the visual aspects of the site e.g. the design colours, layouts etc.) and plugins (plugins are added to WordPress to change, enhance, add, or remove functionality). Premium versions of either do however have better support, design, updates and functionality.
I will also search for suitable open source royalty free high quality images unless you prefer to purchase stock photographs or wish to hire a professional photographer.
To stop Chrome showing an error message that your site is not secure you will need an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate installing. Moving to https will prove highly rewarding for your website as you will benefit from greater security and heightened credibility. Many hosts have started offering SSLs for free via Let’s Encrypt and you can easily install it via your admin panel. However some hosts require you to buy one. Prices vary enormously. Find out more about Chome showing an error message
Once you have your name and place for your website to live then the following factors will affect build costs:
Development costs –
Website functionality – It is a lot quicker and easier to set up a brochure site or a small business style site than an eCommerce or membership site. If you website has more complicated features it will be more costly to set up.
Design – Do you want a custom design? Or would an out of the box template work? Having a professional designer create a custom design is going to be very expensive. I can build inexpensive websites using either a free or premium theme with minor customisations. I will also make sure they look good on all devices and that they are mobile friendly. Find out more about Responsive websites
Experience – A newer designer or company will be a lot cheaper than someone who has been around for many years. Experience is valuable and can play a large role in how much you will be charged.
Overheads – A larger company with more staff will naturally have to charge more as their overheads are higher.
Demand – A popular company that is in demand will be able to charge more, if they are in a position to turn away jobs then they can afford to charge more.
The costs associated with a website don’t end when a site has been built:
Your domain and hosting will be annual or monthly fees however you will need to consider support – your website needs to be maintained, at the very least your software needs to be updated and maintained to help with site security. You may want to have someone else do all your website updates, changing content, adding blog posts, etc. This will add to your annual budget depending on how many times you update your site. Find out more about updating and maintaining your website
Be aware that just because you have a website it doesn’t mean that anyone will find it!! You may need to consider Social Media platforms such as a Facebook business page, Twitter and Instagram. You will also need to keep your site “Live” by updating it regularly with blog posts – these are your opportunity to show your potential clients you are an expert in your field.
Do you want to help to drive traffic to your site organically i.e. without having to pay for PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising? You will need to consider including on-page SEO. Find out more about SEO
So.. How much does a website cost?!
As you can see there isn’t one single answer to this question. A new website design is quoted based on the needs of each individual project. Every website is unique and requires different components; using WordPress I design websites specifically for your small business.
You will need to consider – What is a website worth to me? How much is a new customer worth to me? How many new customers would I need in order for the new website pay for itself?
Rest-assured, a new site will not set you back thousands! I understand small businesses and individuals have limited budgets so I strive to keep costs low.