Setting up a business website is an incredibly important endeavor. A website can increase your business sales and dramatically improve your exposure. However, just like any other business endeavor, starting a website involves an initial capital outlay and maintenance costs.
There are many factors are involved in these costs and knowing about each of these items ahead of time will enable your business to optimize spending. In this article, we will review the various costs associated with starting a website and how to manage your budget.
Establish Your Budget
The first part of planning is to establish a budget. Before jumping into any actual site development, your team should have an idea of the total funds you are willing to devote to building your web site.
Your organization should also decide on a road map for the development of the site and the scalability requirements. High user volume or high-performance features such as video streaming can drastically affect the total cost.
Your organization should also determine whether the site will be based on a subscription solution. The following four factors will drastically affect the cost of the website: purchasing a domain name, hosting the site, hiring a developer, purchasing any WordPress themes or plugins and content development.
Cost of a Domain
First, let’s examine the cost of purchasing a domain. This sounds very simple, but there are several details to consider. For example, your organization may wish to explore other alternatives besides purchasing just a simple name.com. To protect the organization’s domain, you can purchase several similar country or area specific domain names. This will prevent other competing companies from posting competing websites with a similar domain name. Finally, consider a multi-year purchase on your domain for a long-term discount.
Cost of Web Hosting
The second factor to examine is the costs to host your web site. Your web hosting service can make or break your website. A hosting service provides not only aesthetic and functional features but can also affect the security, speed and performance of your site.
The type of hosting needed will vary. In most cases, if you are starting out from scratch or are a fairly new business a shared hosting will suffice. However, if you know your website will grow quickly, you may want to investigate more robust hosting options like a VPS or cloud solution.
Themes and Plugins
Finally, your theme and plugins may also drive website costs. Premium themes can be purchased from shops such as ThemeForest, while other free alternatives may be found on sites such as WordPress.org. Premium themes are often more robust, offer customization, and come with support. Most site plugins are free. However, some paid plugins may also be worth the money for extra specific features.
Also, if you are unable to customize the site to your liking using the non-technical editing options available, you will need to hire a developer or someone with the ability to make the needed changes.
If you have the time and the ability to write all the content for your website, great. Unfortunately, this can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially if you use inbound marketing techniques like blogging. If you are going to write all of your content, it will be a considerable time investment. If not, you’ll likely need to hire writers and guide them through the process. You may be able to hire someone and bring them in-house or try to find a freelance writer that is knowledgeable or an expert in your field.
Hiring a Team
If your business does not have an in-house technical team, you may wish to hire a developer, designer and or content writers. While hiring people can be costly, the right people can really help your business grow and move in the right direction.
A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
When considering starting a website there are many factors to include in your budget. Be sure to investigate in detail your domain, hosting options, development and content costs, and themes. Each of these factors will affect the cost and performance of your site. Be sure to consider not only the cost analysis but ensure all the features that you wish your site to provide are planned for ahead of time. Don’t be afraid to make compromises to fit the website within your budget.
With a little planning, you are sure to create the best website for your business without breaking the bank.