We love to work on something we own, right? We own our website, and we definitely like to put efforts into making one for us. But, we lack many things like time, knowledge, budget etc. which are needed to make a perfect and a professional-looking website. A good amount of time must be invested in research and learning the necessary technical know-how before jumping into making your website. The reason being, your website serves as your online identity in front of your customers and your business would be judged upon by this creation. Website designing is an upcoming and demanding field as the business has started recognizing its need in the market. This is the reason the website design has become a very costly affair.
Here, we would like to list down all the parameters considered while making a website and would like you to check which ones are suitable for your purpose and where you can save money on website cost.
The domain name is the identity of the website. It is same as your name. As people remember your name to reach out to you, in the same way, the customers would type in your website domain name in the search engines results page to reach your website and contact you. This is the very first and the most essential expense while creating an online presence in the market. The domain name can be purchased from any service provider and can be merged with the hosting platform. The domain name is not a one-time expense as it has to be renewed after a certain time. You can purchase a customized domain extension like .office, .hotel, .online etc. instead of the normal ones (.com, .in, .us) prevailing in the market. It is advisable to purchase the common extensions like (.co.in, .in), while purchasing the main extension (.com), to avoid theft of extensions and domain name by the third party or competitors. The domain name purchasing and selling is big business, and there are agents out there who purchase the same domain names with other extensions and harm your business presence. This will save you from a heavy loss in future. You can avail discounts and save money if you are sure of your business idea and opt for three years. There are different plans available as per your business type. Generally, a (.com) domain costs around $10-12 depending on the name and availability. While (.us or .uk) domain costs quite less than that. So depending on the needs of the business you can choose the domain you want to go for.
2. WEB HOSTING
Web hosting is our main part of the website. This is a place where our website is placed and accessed worldwide. Web hosting is a server-based service which is itself hosted on a computer platform, connected through the internet. Web hosting is like a stock exchange. In the stock exchange, different companies list their business on a single platform and trade, in the same way, business host their websites on hosting platforms and servers to spread their business, and create their own identity for selling goods or services in the market. Your domain name will be of no use if you do not have a web hosting platform. Among all the components needed for a website to exist, web hosting is the costliest component. Web hosting is exclusively dependent on the nature and requirement of the business. For instance, if your business is into selling products, then it is necessary to have a web hosting plan which includes more storage and e-commerce services along with payment gateway integration. Similarly, there are various hosting plans available with the hosting platforms, and the same would be guided to you by their experts, considering your business needs. Again, bulk purchase for three years would make a good amount of difference in the total price of the hosting. As it is a costly and necessary expense, it is advisable to research on and compare multiple hosting platforms before deciding onto one in the first go. Starting from around $20 for a VPS, the server hosting cost can go up to $150 depending on server specifications and other perks coming along with it. Shared hosting can be as cheap as $6-10 per month.
3. SSL CERTIFICATE
SSL certificate is a security option adopted by most of the businesses in today’s time. It is not a mandatory requirement in the website building process, but it surely a necessary one in the time of digital data theft and data robbery. SSL certificate is a type of file that is installed in the backend of the website which secures it from the fraudulent bots and viruses available in the online servers. The SSL certificate provides a secure connection between the web servers and web browsers. In case you are planning to build an E-commerce website, then it is a must, as this will help you protect the confidential information of the customers while purchasing from your platform and making payments. It has HTTP protocol which changes to HTTPS as soon as the certificate is installed successfully in the backend of the website. You can check other websites with SSL certificate as it shows a small padlock or green icon near the URL, which proves that it is SSL certified and is safe to use and make payments. It is advisable to invest in this expense as it would save you from a lot of costs, in case your website gets hacked in future through digital malpractices. This investment can range from $10 per year for the most basic certificate (which is sufficient for 99.9% of websites) to $1000 for the most secured ones. Do remember that these costs are on an annual basis and hence shall be a recurring expense.
This is the part where you can save some money in case you are a little quirky at heart and with your art. Web designing is even costlier than web hosting services as it involves extreme brainstorming sessions and zillions of changes before finalizing the main design. The price is fair enough as art and creativity are costly, but it can be self-done if you have a little time and dedication. You can select platforms like Wix and WordPress where you can easily make your website with drag and drop as well as customisation options. Wix is the easiest of all as you can try out different permutations and combinations for your website before deciding the best one for your business. On the other hand, WordPress has templates which can be used as it is and all you need is just a little edit while adding your business information. This is the time where you can save some bucks and invest in your core business production. If stuck, you can always turn for help or can find a web designer to do it for you. However, we recommend you to have patience and try it multiple times before you quit. We are sure you would be able to make your dream website. The Wix packages many times include server cost and can range from $10 to $50 per month depending on the complexity of the job.
5. DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNICALITIES
Web development is not an easy affair. It involves a lot of technicalities, and above all, it has a monster which we all are afraid of, and that is – ‘Coding’. Mostly, if you choose a Wix, WordPress or other similar platforms then they would do the basic technicalities for you but, in case you need a proper XML sitemap, or you need to shoot out Robots.txt from your website, then you would need a well-developed website which is easy for the web crawlers to crawl and index. In case you are from the technical background then it would be easy for you to learn these technicalities and imply on the same, but in case you are a nontech person, it is advisable to hire a professional to do so to get the best results. The technical stuff cannot be learned overnight as well as cannot be ignored while making a professional website. Hiring a website developer can cost around $10 to $50 per hour depending on the platform you want to develop your website in. It is advisable to give the work on a project basis as the entire development cost in bulk can prove to be cheaper. You can also buy a theme based on your liking and provide it to the developer. HTML themes cost around $15 to $50.
6. CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A content management system is a system which involves tools to manage the content and graphics on your website. It will help you organise your content and publish it timely in the same format and without any delays. It is not a mandatory one but is advisable to use one for organising and smooth functioning of the website. However, you can cut a huge cost here by opting for a free content management system. You can opt for WordPress services that have a free content management system open for use and almost have the same features as the highly paid ones. You can take these services separately once the business is developed and requires careful management. On the other hand, if you have a little extra budget and want to opt for the services, then it is advisable to take an annual plan to avail discount on the deals. WordPress themes are the best option if your website does not require a high level of customization. These themes come in the range of $25-75 depending on the plugins that come along with it.
7. SEO INTEGRATION
It just has a non-mandatory tag in old books, whereas in today’s time, it is crucial to opt for this service or the entire motive behind creating the website is lost. SEO serves as a helping hand for reaching the customers through search engines. If the website is not optimized as per the search engine rules and algorithms, then it is difficult to rank high and get leads. If you opt separately, SEO is a costly business and would be out of your budget range in the initial stage. However, there are web hosting platforms like WordPress, Wix and Godaddy that have integrated SEO plans which can be installed into your website with just a single click. This integration comes handy with premium plans. It is advisable to go for this one in the initial stage as it is less costly compared to the other SEO service providers in the market. The SEO market is highly dynamic, and you can pick from different packages offered by bigger agencies such as GoDaddy, Moz etc. or hire a local agency to do the job.
Anytime you visit a website, you will be more welcomed with the advertisements than the actual website content. These advertisements are a big source of income for business owners. You can partner with digital ad agencies and bid for the ads for your website. This integration is easy and does not require you to spend on SEM experts. You can take help of the hosting platform experts, and they would guide you perfectly for this, thus saving your cost on advertisement integration.
This is the section which no one talks about or thinks while making a website. This is a huge expense for the business and is often ignored. Once the website is made, the work does not end there; in the true sense, it begins there. As our automobiles need maintenance regularly, in a similar way, the website also needs regular maintenance. The maintenance would include updating of search engine algorithms, checking of broken links, robots.txt, redirection, regularly updating sitemaps and knowledge graph, website speed check, website errors, updating of software systems, checking anti-viruses in the system, website backups etc. If this is not done daily, then the website would not perform well and rank high even after doing all the SEO and paid marketing. Maintenance of the website is must and should be invested upon without a second thought.
You can hire a developer who would take care of the technical side of the website along with its maintenance, search engine optimization and social media integration. The developer can take care of the entire website from the development stage to the end maintenance stage; all you need to do is design the website as per your requirements. In some cases, the developer is also well equipped with basic designing concepts and would help you in building an essential professional looking website for your business. You will be able to afford a developer instead of all other cumulative expenses that are recurring in nature like domain name, web hosting etc.
Above all this, if you are a Startup and do not have extra money to spare on your website development services, then we would recommend using WIX or WordPress website that has an inbuilt website builder integrated inside the website, which would help you to make a basic professional looking website along with helping you with the SEO and advertisement part, as it has inbuilt plugins for such services if you opt for premium plans. It also has plugins for the E-commerce website, which makes it easy for you to sell goods and receive timely payments. It would surely require more time and efforts from your end due to lack of expertise but at the end would give you satisfactory results if everything is followed and done correctly.