In theory, you can launch a website without spending any money at all. The problem is that you will end up with a generic website, hosted on a spam-ridden platform that will generate absolutely no traffic for your business. Not only will this hurt your online reputation, but it will also make it much more difficult for you to market your business in the future. Rather than skimping on the costs from the start, it is better to invest in professional web design that reflects your high-quality standards.
In this discussion, we will explore what it costs to build a website so you understand what you’re really paying for.
The Domain Name
Every website has a domain name. This is your company’s special identity on the web. Our domain name is “DetroitInternetMarketing.com.” Yours may be “LindsayPaint.com” or “CoxRoofing.com” – something that accurately reflects your business and your services. Domain names are not overly expensive, with most costing less than $20 to buy or renew every year. You can buy them from places like GoDaddy, HostGator, and a slew of other domain name registries. High demand domains can cost several thousands of dollars though, so it is important to assess the costs before selecting a name for your website.
Web hosting essentially provides you with a place for your website to exist on the internet. Think of the World Wide Web as a parking lot. Your domain name is your vehicle of choice, and your hosting account is your parking spot. The amount of money you spend on hosting will depend on the hosting company you work with and what you get in your hosting package. Most domain registration websites also have hosting packages available for purchase. If you plan to run multiple websites, you may invest in a deluxe hosting package that allows you to host unlimited websites under the same account.
The Web Design Itself
The bulk of your initial investment in your website will be in the website design itself. Whether you buy a website template or pay a designer to create a custom web design for you, this part of the process is going to be your biggest expense. Free templates online do not look professional, and they are often difficult to work with. If you want to save money and still get a professional website, you may invest in a good template that your designer can modify to fit your needs. The end result will still have a custom feel, but you won’t have to pay for the design from scratch.
The price of your website design will vary based on your needs and goals. A good template will cost you anywhere from $50-$100 as a base, plus the cost of any modifications or customizations you need. If you have a special feature, like a shopping cart, to add to the website, it may take extra time and money to build that platform for you. The best way to see what the true cost of your site will be is to get a free quote for web design.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.