cost to build a website
Have you ever wondered what it could or should cost to build a new website for your business?
The answer depends on a lot of factors. We’ll get to some numbers in a moment, but first it helps to understand your needs, circumstances, and appetite for doing things on your own -- or not. To figure out the best course of action, consider a few aspects of your business.
Do-it-yourselfer or do-it-for-me: Are you someone who likes to dig in and try new tools? Or do you prefer to have someone else deliver your vision for your site? It’s possible to build your own website very economically.
Today there is a new generation of website builder tools, such as Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy websites, Verisign websites, Vista print websites, Square space, and Wordpress.com. They are so intuitive and easy for non-technical folks to use. They also have awesome templates; you truly can build an impressive site on your own in a couple of hours. It’s not hype. I have tried several, and they are surprisingly good.
For most small businesses, do-it-yourself tools usually are not the best choice if you have a medium to large site. They are ideal for simple one- to 10-page websites, or if it’s your first website and you’re still not sure how it will be used.
Customization: Are you looking for customized features, like special integrations with your back office systems, such as the ability for customers to schedule appointments from your website? Or, do you mainly need an online brochure to give basic information and establish credibility?
Typically, if it’s your first website, it’s best to start out of the gate with a brochure-type site. Experience it for six months or so. You’ll soon discover what added functionality your business needs. In later iterations of your site you can add those features.
Custom functionality will be more expensive and typically requires hiring a Web developer, not using a DIY tool.
Consider the creative customization you want, too. A website builder tool may limit what design elements you can change on a page or how the page is arranged. You usually start by picking a template design with a DIY tool. You give up some ability to make things look exactly the way you like, when you use a tool to build it yourself.
Technical Maintenance: How much time and attention can you give to finding canada web hosting, dealing with website security issues, and troubleshooting outages or glitches?
Many website builder tools today offer “hosted” websites. What that means is that they not only provide the tools to build the website, but they get it online for you and handle all the technical details. Most take responsibility to ensure that your website does not go down or get hacked, or if it does, they will fix it. Be sure to inquire into what the provider takes responsibility for handling.
Otherwise, you must make those kinds of technical arrangements on your own. Your Web developer may help you make initial arrangements. But find out if the developer can deliver ongoing support when problems arise. Some developers provide maintenance support (at an extra charge). Others do not. If they don’t, dealing on your own with a hacked website or one that’s been down for 48 hours can be a massive disruption to your business.
Updating content: Do you want the ability to go in and quickly update page content on your own? Or do you prefer to request that your Web developer make changes?
It makes a more nimble business if you can quickly log on and change something on the fly. With website builder tools, you can fix a typo or update your hours of operation in minutes, and incur no extra charge for the change. Whereas, putting in a request to your Web developer could take hours or days and involve time you will be billed for.
On the other hand, putting in a request to your Web developer may be easier for you, especially if you rarely change your page text. All you need to do is shoot off an email with your request.
Budget: Finally, we come to the numbers. What’s your budget?
Hands down, a website builder tool will be less expensive in the near term. With a website builder tool you often get an all-in-one solution. The software license, hosting, security, and ongoing technical maintenance is included in a single monthly charge. There’s usually no up-front cost.
The typical cost range for creating a website using a hosted website builder tool is $5 to $25 per month. The cost depends on the tool you select and on whether you choose any upgrade options.
The typical range to hire a Web developer to create a custom small-business Web Design today is $2,000 to $25,000. It’s possible to pay less -- or more, if you have really complex needs. Add to that your ongoing hosting costs, which can add another $5 to $50 per month. Technical maintenance may involve hourly charges from time to time, too.
As you can see, a website builder tool initially will involve much less expense. And if it’s your first website, a builder tool involves minimal financial risk. However, don’t let price be the only factor. Consider all the questions above. As small business owners, time is often as precious to us as money.
Look at your available time and whether or not you have an appetite for doing it yourself. Look at your vision for your website and whether you can realistically achieve that on your own, with no one to help you. For you, it may make all the sense in the world to hire a web development