How much does a website cost?

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If you are new to the world of websites and are looking to put together a budget to setup a new project or re-vamp an existing one then you have come to the right place.  Setting up a website can be a very daunting task especially when trying to work out how much it is likely to cost.

In this blog, I am going to discuss the important things to consider during the starting phase of your project:

Domain Names

A domain name is required to register a website and has to be renewed annually.  A domain name is a unique, human friendly name given to a website for example www.inmotiondesigns.co.uk.  Think of it as a mailing address or a telephone number.  There are millions of registered domain names out there therefore, it is crucial to consider if a matching domain name is available when deciding a name for your business.  You can check the availability on various web hosting websites such as 123-reg.co.uk.

Domain names can be registered for as little as £0.99.  Some popular domain names can cost thousands or even millions. Useless information warning:

“Insurance.com is one of the most expensive publicly reported domain names sold for an eye watering sum of $35 million in 2010.”

Usually, 1 years domain name registration is included in the price when signing up for a new web hosting account.  So, please check before purchasing it separately.

Web Hosting

Every website needs web hosting in order to be online.  There are several web hosting companies such as Hostpapa, Siteground and JustHost  who offer a considerably low introductory price eager to get your business.  The difference between their introductory price and their regular price will vary depending on the service provider so please check before signing up.

There are 3 different types of web hosting plans:

Shared hosting: In shared hosting the service provider serves pages for multiple web sites, each having its own Internet domain name, from a single web server.  Although shared hosting is a less expensive way for businesses to create a web presence, it is usually not sufficient for websites with high traffic.

Prices for a shared hosting plan range from £2 to £6 per month.

Cloud hosting: In cloud hosting the service provider uses the resources of several clustered servers (these cluster of servers are referred to as cloud). This means that your website uses the virtual resources of several servers to accommodate all the aspects of hosting your site. The load is balanced and resources are available virtually so they can be used when needed.  Cloud hosting is often a solution for a website that has outgrown the resources of its existing shared hosting provider.

Prices for a cloud hosting plan range from £40 to £145 per month.

Dedicated hosting: In dedicated hosting the service provider provides a dedicated server with dedicated resources to a single client.  Dedicated hosting plans are ideal for large organisations or websites with much higher traffic. The clients get full control of the server which allows them to configure it to meet their own needs.

Prices for a dedicated hosting plan range from £150 to £275 per month.

Your web developer can help you choose the right hosting plan based on your needs.

Design

Please refer to my article “Custom Designed Website Template vs Pre-designed Template” to read more about the different types of website templates.  The cost of setting up a template can vary significantly depending on the functionalities it has to offer.

Pre-designed template:  There are several websites where you can get a free WordPress or HTML template and then there are other websites where you can buy a pre-designed template ranging from £20 to £100.  Depending on your skills level you may need to hire a web developer to set-up the template and show you the ropes.

Bespoke website: A bespoke HTML website can range between £300 to £800 whereas a basic Content Management System such as WordPress or Drupal usually starts from £1200.

E-commerce website: Online shops start from £1600 and can cost several thousand pounds depending on the functionalities.  Apart from the template setup costs you will also need to consider the cost of a SSL certificate which starts at £80 and can go up to £150 depending on your location and your service provider.  A SSL certificate encrypts the data transfer between your website and the web server making it impossible to intercept hence providing a safe platform to exchange sensitive information such as debt/credit details.  Other costs to consider are transaction charges charged by service providers such as PayPal and WorldPay for processing an online payment.

Once you know the type of website you are going to setup the next thing to consider is the content.  You could pay good money to the best website developer around to setup the best looking website in the world but if your website’s content is poor then it’s all worthless.

Content:  Ask yourself how many pages of content will your website need?  Do you already have the content written down or will you need to outsource this service to a professional copywriter.  The fee of a professional copywriter can vary depending on their experience.

Graphics/Images:  We highly recommend using only high resolution photographs and graphics to get the best out of your website.  If you don’t already have these in place then please consider hiring a professional photographer or a graphic designer.

Functionality (Development)

This is where it starts to get interesting as you begin to work out the different functionalities your website is going to offer.  You may want to consider:

  • Does your website need a simple Contact Form with Name, Email, Telephone and Message fields or a more detailed form with dates, drop-down options etc?
  • Does your website need a newsletter sign-up function?
  • Does your website need an events calendar?
  • Does your website need a forum or a dedicated blog function?
  • Will you be allowing file downloads and uploads?
  • Will you offer memberships via your website.  You may want to charge a small registration fee or allow free registration before the visitor is allowed to access the consents of your website?
  • Will you be offering a more personalised experience to your visitors based on their past browsing patterns such as recommending similar products and services based on their search history or saving their shopping carts etc?
  • Does the website need to be compatible with 3rd part software such as a  shop POS ( point of sale) systems?

This list is not comprehensive by any means but it should serve as a good starting point.

I hope you found this useful and I have given you enough information to work out a rough budget for your website project.  I have over 5 years of experience in designing bespoke websites so please get in touch if you want to discuss your project or simply want to ask me a question.

If you have any comments, please leave them below.

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