When you are building an online presence, website design costs can add up quickly. While you can limp with just a free social media account, you should also have a website to establish your brand.
Depending on the scale of your business (larger ecommerce sites will be more expensive) and the necessary automation requirements (think online tax calculators), costs will vary widely. It’s also worth mentioning that you can either build it yourself or hire a team of professionals to help you get to Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) out of the park.
But we’re getting ahead – let’s start by figuring out what you’ll need to get started.
Web design essentials
There are a number of basic requirements that must be met when setting up a website. These include registering a domain name, finding a website hosting company, finding a professional designer to create the website, or doing it yourself with a website builder platform. Web. You may also need to obtain an SSL certificate if it is not included in any of these services, in addition to other add-ons that you may need, such as an ecommerce portal.
When building a website, you can tinker with websites that provide free templates. That being said, there is a learning curve that can be steep. In the modern world, investing time in a skill that you won’t be able to use later can be an expensive exercise.
Securing the right domain name is vital, especially if you are looking for a popular .com URL or top-level domain (TLD). Registration typically involves an annual subscription with a domain registrar, ranging from $ 12 to $ 60 per year.
If you use a website builder service, it sometimes includes it as a free bonus for the first year. With services like WordPress, that’s an extra.
With drag and drop website builder sites, this is usually included in their annual subscription fees. But if you are creating the pages yourself or using WordPress, you will need to subscribe to a website hosting service provider.
Again, these subscription fees range from around $ 100 to $ 500 per year. If you have a lot of web traffic on your website, it is best to invest in a more robust web hosting plan to make sure your site doesn’t crash. High traffic volume is estimated at over 100,000 visitors per month.
At a later stage, you could invest in your own servers and ensure that all information is kept in-house. Typically, most small businesses don’t need to go this route.
DIY website builder or professional designer
We have mentioned the website builders and their included packages. If your budget is tight, using these packages to design a site yourself can save you a lot of money.
But to access premium features like unique themes, you will need to pay higher subscription fees. Costs vary depending on what platform you subscribe to and what plan you choose, and can range from $ 100 to $ 500 per year.
Typically, customization of website builder sites is limited compared to WordPress or building your site from scratch. If you want to harness this unique design aesthetic, you’ll need a graphic designer familiar with HTML coding.
Designers can charge by the hour or at a flat rate for the assigned project. But you will want someone who has a strong portfolio because there will be less design feedback and you are more likely to get what you envision for your website. Costs can vary widely based on experience and project needs, but it’s not uncommon to get quotes between $ 30 and $ 100 + per hour.
Many small businesses don’t realize how important it is to sign up with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) service provider. SSL certification means that your visitors are protected against unwanted cyber attacks. Some browsers divert users from websites without SSL certification with the message “This site may not be secure”. For most visitors, this is enough to dissuade them from clicking on the site.
SSL also helps with SEO and data flow to and from the site. The fees for SSL range from free to around $ 249 per year. Some website builders include this certificate at no additional cost, so consider it a great benefit if you see it offered.
Additional costs to consider
As with everything in life, there are always some extras to consider before starting the download on your website’s back end. Here are some of the most common.
Add-ons and plugins
Whether you’ve subscribed to a website builder, using WordPress, or looking to get into e-commerce, you’re likely going to need some add-ons. These plugins can enable features like on-page testimonials, contact forms, and newsletter subscriptions, to name a few.
There are many free versions as well as paid plugins. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which features are worth spending the money on. Depending on what new feature you want, it could be free or an annual subscription of $ 100 + per year.
Hire a content manager
If you are planning to deploy a large website, you may need to consider hiring a content manager.
This person will download and update the content of the website and can also manage the social media channels that will drive traffic to the website. It can be a hefty monthly cost, but an outdated website can prevent potential customers from doing business with your business.
Your website should rank well on Google. Unfortunately, this does not happen by chance. It takes work.
If you are looking to rank your website on the first page of SERPs, you may need to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist.
This person will help you recommend the content and keywords you want to rank for and provide monthly reports on how the strategy is working. If you use WordPress to host your content, you will get a lot more flexibility, but also, WordPress sites generally rank better on Google.
Another advantage of hiring an SEO specialist is that they should let you know if any of the pages on your site are having issues such as a 404 code (“Page Not Found”).
Images and design
Another cost associated with building a website is the artwork. Whether it’s your business branding, product photos, or lifestyle photos, these assets can add up quickly. While you can leverage royalty-free images, they won’t separate your business from the competition.
If you’re able, it’s always worth hiring a photographer to take images of your offerings, hiring a graphic designer, or subscribing to a huge stock library like Shutterstock. As a general rule of thumb, make sure the professionals you hire to help you with your website know what they’re doing. One simple mistake can shut down your website and, in turn, cause you to lose income.
Depending on the scope of the project, whether you need updates and unique features, the costs of a website can vary widely. If you’re willing to invest the time to learn new skills, it can be done inexpensively and fairly easily with an all-in-one website builder. But if you want professional support or a lot of additional features, the costs can add up quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between web design and development?
The web design is all about the look and feel of the website for browsers. This means that they will need to be able to produce work that is easy to understand, eye-catching, and unique. Web development involves implementing these designs on the backend of the website and managing the structure of the site.
If you hire an experienced designer, these two roles can potentially both be filled by the same candidate.
Does my website need to be responsive?
Responsively designed websites are mobile friendly. This means that while you are designing your site on a desktop or laptop computer, if it is found by someone using a mobile device, the site does not cut elements or have broken functionality.
In a world that is gradually using mobile devices to search the web, making sure your site is mobile-friendly is essential.
What is a wireframe?
Before any design, it is always best to review a wireframe design for your website. A wireframe gives you an idea of the appearance of the pages, the space occupied by the elements and the navigation to put in place. It’s a really easy way to show what a final product will look like before the in-depth work begins.
What are carousel and hero images?
When referring to a carousel, web designers are talking about a slideshow on your website’s landing page. Carousels help reduce clutter on the page and allow you to display multiple posts on different offers.
As for a hero image, this is a large image placed at the top of the page, which usually extends the width of the page.
What is UX?
UX, or user experience, is the process by which the designer strives to provide users with the best experience. If done correctly, users will find site navigation easy, enjoyable, and relevant to them. Making sure your site’s UX is top notch will encourage users to explore it more.
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