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Website Cost: Understanding How Expensive Your Website Could Be

Planning a website project involves several factors that can impact your budget. Let’s explore these factors in detail to help you make informed decisions.

Type of Website

The type of website you’re planning significantly influences the cost. Here are some common categories:

  1. Basic Informational Website: A simple website with essential information about your business. This is typically the most affordable option.
  2. E-commerce Website: If you’re selling products online, an e-commerce website requires more features like product listings, shopping carts, and payment processing, which can increase costs.
  3. Service Based/Portfolio or Blog: These websites focus on content and visuals. Costs may vary depending on the complexity of your content management needs.

Domain and Hosting

Securing a domain name (your website’s address) and hosting (server space to store your website files) are recurring expenses. Prices can vary based on your domain name choice and hosting provider. Typically, domain registration costs $10-$50 per year, while hosting can range from $3-$30+ per month. Domain registration should always be under your control, don’t let anyone or any agency tell you any different. I recommend using Namecheap (not sponsored) if you haven’t already bought your domain. For hosting, while it can be delegated, always make sure you have access to backups stored locally or in the cloud. That way if for any reason you need to transfer the site, move on from your provider, or have the rare but possible site attack, you can always restore easily.

What Platform Am I Using?

Choosing the right platform affects your costs. Some platforms are free, like WordPress, while others, like Squarespace and Shopify, have monthly fees. Custom-built websites using languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript tend to be more expensive due to development time. I generally don’t recommend custom-built websites as WordPress can generally handle all the outlier capabilities you might need.

Average yearly cost for a WordPress site with minimal but important plugins can run between $360-600/yr

Average yearly cost for Shopify with minimal but important plugins can run between $1,800-3,000/yr

How Much Custom Design Do I Want?

Custom design adds a unique touch to your website but can also increase costs. If you’re looking for a fully custom design, expect to invest more in web design and development services. First, you need to hire an experienced designer that can create a mockup in a software like Figma or Adobe XD that can be sent to a developer. Then, the developer will need to spend the time building it to the design specifications. Templates and themes are cost-effective alternatives, but they may limit design flexibility. In WordPress I advocate use of the Total Theme which is a one-time cost of $60 and provides almost all the design functionality needed for a modern website. Shopify themes run anywhere from $30-150, and if you want custom design in Shopify it takes an experienced developer to build it out properly.

Do I Have Content?

Content is essential, and creating it takes time and resources. If you have existing content, it can reduce costs. However, if you need extensive content development, consider allocating budget for copywriting, graphic design, and multimedia creation.

Will I Need Integrations?

Integrations enhance functionality but can add to your project’s cost. Determine if you need features like payment gateways, CRM systems, or third-party services to achieve your website’s goals. Budget accordingly to ensure seamless integration. You should always consider there will be anywhere between $30-500/month depending on the amount of integrations you need.

Here are some of the most popular integrations I see being used on a regular basis. Note, these are in no particular order!

  • Project Management (Trello, Notion, Wrike, Monday, Clickup, Teamwork, Asana, Airtable)
  • CRM’s (Hubspot, Pipedrive, Salesforce)
  • Accounting (Quickbooks, Freshbooks)
  • Email Marketing (Klaviyo, Privy, Mailchimp, Constant Contact)
  • SEO (Moz, Yoast, BrightLocal)
  • eCommerce (Shopify + Vitals, Loox)
  • Messaging (Podium, Gorgias, Attentive)
  • Call Tracking Metrics

What Kind of Maintenance Will I Need?

Website maintenance is an ongoing expense. Regular updates, security checks, and backups are essential to keep your site running smoothly and securely. Consider whether you’ll handle maintenance in-house or outsource it to a web maintenance service. You can learn more about our monthly maintenance plans here.

How Do I Want It to Grow?

Consider your website’s long-term goals. If you plan for growth, your initial investment may need to cover scalability features, such as additional pages, user accounts, or expanded e-commerce capabilities. Factor in potential future development costs.

In conclusion, understanding the cost of your website involves considering the type of website, domain and hosting, platform choice, custom design, content creation, integrations, maintenance, and future growth. By assessing these factors carefully, you can develop a realistic budget that aligns with your website’s objectives and ensures a successful project. Stay tuned for more insights on website planning and development!

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