These days you can create a professional-looking website for no cost except a few hours of your time.
You can also spend tens of thousands of dollars crafting a totally customized website that is unique to your business needs.
It’s best to know what your website cost estimates are as part of your overall business budget. So, should you go the cheapest route, the most expensive or something in between?
Let’s go from the basic to the most complex needs and what you can expect to pay.
The Free Hosting Option
The most fundamental part of any website is its hosting. Hosting is basically the service that will store all of your website files and make them accessible to an internet browser.
There are a ton of website template hosting services like Wix and Squarespace. These services are excellent if your website needs are basic to moderately complex.
The main attraction to these services is that you can set up a whole site for free, but with many limitations.
One of the main limitations is that you can’t connect your own domain, so your website address will look something like this: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress. You will also be limited to the most basic functions of the free templates available.
Upgrading to a Premium Plan:
Personally I recommend upgrading from a free plan to something that will at least allow you to connect your own domain name.
People will take you a lot more seriously with a customized domain name and you’re probably going to want to expand beyond the free features at some stage.
The cost of this is roughly $14-16 US per month.
If at some stage you decide to host your own website you will still need to pay to register your own domain.
The cost of this can vary from a few dollars to a few thousand depending on the TLD (top-level domain) which is what comes after the dot, for example, .com.
Try not to get carried away with a fancy TLD that costs the earth. Choose something that is easy to read and remember. Your site’s real value will come from the work you put into making your site valuable to others.
Website Cost Estimates for Content Creation
If you have more budget than time on your hands, you might need to outsource your website content. This can be the images and writing within your site. Here is an estimate of these costs.
A copy or content writing can cost you from 0.01c per word up to $1.00 per word for a sought after writer.
You can use free stock images from websites like Pexels, but if you want a professional logo and other website images you might want to hire a graphic designer. The average cost for a graphic designer is between $65 and $100 per hour.
Hiring a Web Developer
This option is really for businesses that need very specific features, have a lot of traffic coming to there site, and have higher security risks.
Web developers will take the stress out of trying to manage your website yourself. The cost of a web developer can vary from $1000 to $100,000, depending on your needs.
While this might not be viable for start-up businesses, it becomes a worthy investment when your website needs have outgrown your skills and spare time.
The key to understanding your website cost estimates is to figure out what you need from your site. You can spend as much or as little as you like once you know that your site will be set up for what you need.
For more info on website design, check out the rest of our blog.