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There are numerous reasons why companies require an online presence, and as a matter of fact, websites are an essential part of it. Without a website, it will be very difficult for a company to succeed financially. However, many people worry about the cost of setting up a website for their businesses.
The truth is that setting up a website for a small business is not that expensive. Sure, a business website will cost some cash. However, a small business website can be seen as an investment. One that can generate way more in return. If you read on, we will tell you how much website development costs as well as give you more of an idea about why web development is so important.
Why Your Business Need a Website to Succeed?
In the past, if you wanted to find out more about a business, you would grab your local phone directory or perhaps ask a friend or family member for recommendations. People don’t do that nowadays. If they want to find out about a business, they boot up their web browser, head to their favourite search engine, and tap in what they are after.
If your business doesn’t have an online website, people won’t find it. If they don’t know your business exists, then they can’t buy from you. This applies even to physical locations. One study suggested that 76% of people will look up a company online before they head there in person.
This is why small businesses need an online presence. Without one, their business will suffer. It will be very difficult to bring in brand-new customers. A website, even a simple one, is preferable to none at all.
A Comprehensive Guide to Details of Website Costs
Most small businesses know that they need a website, whether it is an e-commerce website or a basic website, to provide relevant and key information about their business. However, a lot of people are turned off by having one. They believe that the cost of hiring web designers will be incredibly high. Well, it might not be.
Web design costs can add up, depending on the specific requirements. For example, it took €840-million plus to develop healthcare.gov. Although we can assure you that web design services for small businesses won’t cost anywhere near as much as that, small business websites can be developed for as little as nothing, and if you want to bring a web designer in on the project, then a small business website may cost a few thousand euros for something decent.
Website costs aren’t just related to the expense of having the website developed, though. You also need to think about the cost of the web server the site is hosted on, the domain name, and a whole host of other ongoing costs. However, we can assure you that if the site is set up properly, you will make way more than you invested in it.
The Top Factors That Affect Website Costs
Many people seem to believe that web design is the only thing that will impact the cost of a small business website, but expenses vary depending on the needs of the business. When you are building a website, there are multiple website costs that you need to be aware of, and some of these are ongoing.
Let’s break down the specific causes of website expenses.
Claim Your Online Address: Domain Name
Your domain name is your website address. This is what people tap into the address bar of their web browser to find you. Your domain name is exceedingly important. Without a domain name, you can’t get ranked in the search engines, and people won’t know how to get to your website. You can still have a website, but its address will just be a series of numbers (an IP address), which really isn’t that easy to find or remember.
The cost of a domain name can vary. It will depend on the type of TLD you want (.com, .co.uk, .gov, etc.) as well as whether the domain name is taken. If your desired domain name is available, then you could be paying €10-€20 per year. If it is taken, then it could cost you €100s, if not €1000s, depending on whether the owner wants to sell.
Where possible, we suggest that you create a unique domain name. There are some advantages to buying an old domain name for somebody, but those advantages rarely apply to small businesses.
Web Hosting: The Secret to 24/7 Website Success
If your domain name is your address, your web hosting is your home. Your web hosting is where your website is stored online. Whenever people type in your domain name, they will be taken to your website on your web host.
There are lots of web hosts out there. A good web host will ensure that your site is online almost 100% of the time. This is what you want. If your site goes down and people can’t access it, then it will cost you money.
Major companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per month on their web hosting (companies like Google and Amazon may pay millions). Thankfully, a hosting plan for a small business can be as little as €10 per month (for something decent) and go up from there. As your business grows, you may need a bigger hosting plan.
Website Design to Captivate Your Visitors
The look of a website is crucial. A poorly designed website can drive away potential customers. Of course, web design prices can vary considerably.
Small websites can use a web builder to develop their websites. This can be developed for barely anything. In fact, some website builders are 100% free to use. They do have some limitations, though.
Some website owners will install WordPress on their web server and pick one of the many different free website templates to get up and running with. This takes a bit of time, but it can be free. You can even customise your website to suit your business a little better.
Those businesses looking to splash the cash and develop a unique website may want to look into hiring an experienced web developer (for complicated projects) or freelance web designers (for simple design tasks). The cost can be €100-€1000s, depending on the complexity of the job.
From Words to Images: Crafting Website Content That Converts
The visitors to your site have a specific goal in mind. Mostly, they need information. They want to know more about your business and what you can provide. They might need informative articles, blog posts, a digital showroom of your products, etc. that prove that your business can be trusted. So, having a website online isn’t enough. You need to load it with unique and high quality content.
Content prices, for both words and images, can vary. Generally speaking, the more you pay for your content production services, the better the quality of the content. Quality copywriting is important, though. Using copywriting services is a cost-effective way to boost the income of your site. Quality copywriting by experienced copywriters will increase site conversions, brand awareness, and lead generation.
It is impossible to predict how much your copywriting will cost. It will depend on the type of site that you have. For example, copywriting for products at an online store will likely cost more than a few blog posts. This is because the needs of different forms of copies might vary.
SEO & Marketing Magic
The whole reason you are investing in a website is because you want your business to be found online. Web design is only half the battle. You need a way for people to find your website. This is accomplished through search engine optimisation, or SEO, for short.
SEO is all about getting your website listed near the top of the search engines, e.g., Google. This is where the vast majority of your traffic will come from. Read our article on why SEO is important for your website, and you will learn that it is exceedingly tough for even the best-designed website to succeed without it. It is almost impossible for an eCommerce website since you will be competing with so many other businesses.
You also need to consider other digital marketing expenses, e.g., paid advertising, email marketing, and more. The cost of all of this can vary. However, marketing costs are often considerably higher than how much your website costs to develop. This is because digital marketing costs are ongoing. You should never stop marketing. However, a good digital marketing campaign will make you much more money than you spend.
Keep Your Website Up to Date with Solid Maintenance
If you use a website builder to develop your website, you probably don’t need to worry too much about site maintenance. The team behind the website builder will keep everything running for you.
If you have a website hosted on your own web server, then you need to think about ongoing maintenance costs. This means keeping the site’s software updated (to keep security threats at bay) and adding new features to your website as and when needed, which can be very important for an ecommerce website.
The cost of maintenance can vary depending on how much maintenance your site actually needs. If you hire a web designer, they may be able to carry out the ongoing maintenance for you. For a small fee, of course. Ongoing website maintenance costs are likely to be around the €10-€100 per month mark, especially for a smaller website that doesn’t need a lot of TLC outside of adding new content.
The Best Website Builders to Make a Unique Website
Website builders negate the need for hiring a web designer, which can save a good amount of money since web designer costs are often the most expensive part of early website development. While website builders do have a few limitations, most of them are incredibly easy to use. They are designed for non-website designer business owners to put together a great website within a matter of hours.
Your web hosting package may include web builder software. However, there are other options online too. These are some of the best.
GoDaddy is a leading hosting company and domain name specialist. They also offer a website builder loaded with thousands of templates for people to start building an awesome website from scratch.
The GoDaddy website builder has a variety of elements that can be dragged and dropped into place, allowing a non-web designer to create a viable site in a matter of minutes. Using the tool to make a unique website is easy. Every element, including the site’s colours, can be edited in a couple of seconds. You even get a free SSL certificate with the website builder.
Those who use the GoDaddy website builder can add new content and pages to their website whenever they wish. The GoDaddy website builder can be used for both professional web design and personal site web design.
Squarespace is the go-to site builder for those looking for business-type web design. Although the Squarespace website builder can tackle so much more than that. It can be used to create personal blogs and even eCommerce websites.
Squarespace is actually multiple website builders rolled into one. When you use Squarespace, you can select the type of site that you want to build. You will then be guided through the initial setup process. At the end, you can go to town on spicing up the design to suit the needs of your business and your brand.
If you want something a bit more unique, then you can even hire a web designer through Squarespace to come up with a web design. Although, if you want to cut costs, many website designers outside of Squarespace can also build sites on the platform.
Wix is one of the most popular website builders out there. This website builder is useful for both businesses and personal users alike.
Wix has over 800 templates available, making it easy to create a unique website. These templates have a lot of customization. For small business owners, Wix offers a lot of versatility. In a matter of minutes, you can create eCommerce websites, restaurant menus, and business blogs.
One of the great things about Wix is that it has its own development platform, known as Velo. Velo is a programming platform that allows people to program unique features for their Wix website or launch a very unique web presence on the Wix servers. It may not be a feature that a small business owner would use when doing things for themselves, but a web designer that specialises in Wix will know how to put Velo to use, helping to make the website even more unique.
While Weebly is a website builder that started life as a basic web development platform, it has now transitioned into being targeted at eCommerce website owners. Although those who want to run a simple business blog will still find Weebly templates that can suit their business.
Weebly allows business owners to create eCommerce websites in a matter of minutes. There is absolutely no fuss involved. After clicking a couple of buttons, the eCommerce site will be up and running, ready to take orders.
Because Weebly partners with Square, website owners don’t even need to think about payment processing for those eCommerce orders. Weebly will handle absolutely everything. This is great for website security. It can also encourage more sales as people trust Weebly and Square.
Shopify is the most popular website builder for online stores. You can only use their platform for developing online stores. They will do everything for you, including payment processing and managing any email marketing lists that you may have.
Shopify is a paid website builder, although the website costs are not too high. It depends on the number of products and sales you are making.
Shopify has a wealth of features that make running an eCommerce business easier. With just a couple of clicks, you can add features that many of the big players in the eCommerce industry have, e.g., wish lists, product reviews, recommendations, and more.
You may be surprised to know that many exceedingly profitable eCommerce stores are using the Shopify website builder.
An Overview of Website Building Prices
So, how much does a website cost? As you know by now, there are a lot of factors at play. The kind of website you have, the type of design you want, and ongoing maintenance costs will all affect the price. We have put together a quick chart that should help you compare the prices, but do bear in mind that these are just average website costs:
|Website Feature||Website Builders||WordPress||Web Designer|
|Domain||€12 per year||€15 per year||-|
|Hosting||€200 per year||€200 per year||-|
|Design||€0 to €100||€0 to €300||€15000 to €30000|
|SSL Certificate||€5 to €1000||€10 to €1000||-|
|Maintenance||€5 to €5000 per month||€50 to €1000 per month||-|
|€12 per year|
|€200 per year|
|€0 to €100|
|€5 to €1000|
|€5 to €5000 per month|
|€15 per year|
|€200 per year|
|€0 to €300|
|€10 to €1000|
|€50 to €1000 per month|
|€15000 to €30000|
As you can see, a website’s cost can vary wildly, with website builder prices being at the lower end of the spectrum, although those sites have their own limitations that can make the cost of development higher later on if you plan on transitioning away from the website builder.
Remember, always spend cash on the best website that you can afford. Quality websites bring in more cash. A quality website can make money. So don’t see it as a website cost, see it as an investment.
SEO, Content and Link Building Services
Now that the foundation for your website has been laid, how do you give it the life it needs to become a thriving online presence that serves the needs of your business?
SEO, content, and link building services work together to boost a business website’s visibility and online success. Crafting engaging and valuable content establishes your brand as an authority, and SEO services help optimise your site’s content and structure for higher rankings and increased organic traffic. Depending on the particulars of your company’s needs, marketing agencies may charge you differently for content marketing and SEO services.
Even the most remarkable content needs a support system. This is where link building comes into play. Building quality backlinks enhances credibility and drives traffic. Together, these three services propel your website to new heights in search engine rankings and connect you with your target audience effectively. To find out how much the SEO, content, and link building services cost, contact our sales team and get a custom quote tailored to your exact needs!
Why Does an SSL Certificate Matter? – The Ultimate Guide to Internet Security
We briefly mentioned SSL certificates earlier. Every website needs to have an SSL certificate to protect users’ data from third party access. If it doesn’t have one, then the site isn’t secure.
An SSL certificate helps encrypt any information on a website. This is important if you are asking website visitors to type in personal details, e.g., email addresses, or financial information, e.g., credit or debit card numbers.
The use of an SSL certificate prevents hackers from spying on this data. This means that there is a far lower risk of your customer’s information getting stolen. Lots of customers look for websites with SSL for this reason.
If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, then it could cost your business money, especially if you are running an eCommerce website. For starters, some browsers, e.g., Google Chrome, will recommend people don’t use a website without an SSL certificate. There will often be a big warning before you access the website. This is very off-putting, and it could make your site seem as if it is out to scam people.
Google and other search engines are also moving away from featuring websites that do not have an SSL certificate in their search results. Obviously, if you aren’t in the search results, it isn’t great for any search engine optimization you carry out. Most people won’t be able to find your website, which is also costing you money.
Luckily, having SSL isn’t too expensive. Some hosting companies will offer a free SSL certificate, helping to save money for an online business.
Website Builders vs. Custom Website Development: Which One Is Right For You?
When you are considering a website, you have two options available. You have website builders, i.e., a website that allows you to create a website in a matter of minutes with very few design skills, or custom website development, where you will likely need to hire a web design agency but end up with something unique.
Here, we want to give you an overview of the two options. This way, you can decide which one is the best route for your business to go down.
An Overview of Website Builders
A website builder does what it says on the tin. It is a method for building a website in a matter of minutes. Most website builders have pre-set templates that you can select. You can then change up some of the elements in this template, hopefully creating something great for your business.
A website builder tends to be free, but you will have to pay for the website hosting and the domain name. Website builders are best for businesses that are looking to save money on website costs. It can be used by someone who has very little experience in website design. In fact, the builders will guide you through every step of the process. You can create blogs, eCommerce websites, etc. in a matter of minutes.
The downside is that you have little control over your website. When you use a website builder, your site can only be hosted in one place. If that site goes down, you have lost your website. This is why you choose a decent site builder, e.g., Wix, GoDaddy, or Shopify.
You should also remember that you don’t have as much customisation on your website. You only have a limited number of templates, and you can’t really add a huge number of new features to your site. You could end up with a website that is exactly like countless other websites.
A Peek into Custom Website Development
For custom website development, you will need to hire a web designer. It isn’t cheap, but hiring a professional web designer is the best way to end up with something that is unique to your business.
A web designer can listen to your needs and create something that suits your brand, business aims, etc. With the right web design company working on your project, your site will be 100% unique. No other website online will look like it. No other site will have the exact same features. Everything will be tailored to your business.
Quality custom website development looks fantastic to your website’s visitors. It looks professional, and people are much more likely to trust companies that have seriously invested in the way that their business is run. It may make more money.
Of course, we do have to bring you back to the fact that the website cost is high. Not just in terms of initial site development but ongoing maintenance. You also have to go through the rigmarole of finding a quality company to produce your website for you. There are a lot of places that offer web design, but only a few of them are any good.
Quick and easy way to build a website.
No need for experience.
Limited customization options.
The website may end up looking like countless other websites.
|Custom Website Development|
It may take some time depending on your needs.
Needs professional knowledge.
Costs are generally high.
Completely customizable for your needs.
Unique and tailored website.
Cost of Hiring Professional Website Designers
The Scope of the Project
Complicated sites with a huge number of pages are likely to cost more than a simple, one-page website with just the business name on it.
The Experience of the Web Designer
If a web designer has a reputation for developing huge websites that make some serious cash, they are able to charge more for their services.
Additional Site Features
A site that needs out-of-the-box features can be designed for a far higher price than something that needs to be basic-designed; e.g., a unique social media website will likely cost more than a blog.
Some websites require ongoing maintenance costs e.g. software updates, etc. These may not be factored into the initial price of the web designer.
Why Responsive Web Design Is Crucial For Your Website’s Success
If you are building a website or having a website built for you, then you need to focus on something known as responsive web design. Did you know that almost 60% of all web traffic is done through mobile devices? Responsive web design is all about catering to these people.
Responsive web design will take into account the size of the screen that your website visitors are viewing. So, if your website detects that your visitor is using a mobile device, then the site will adapt to their screen size. This makes using your website a whole lot easier.
People absolutely hate when sites are tough to navigate on their mobile devices. In fact, many of them instantly leave websites that are tough to navigate. This is a lost sale. Think about it. If your website isn’t responsive, then you are essentially ignoring 60% of your site’s traffic.
Sites like Google are very reluctant to rank websites that don’t have a responsive design. If a site doesn’t have a responsive design, then it won’t appear in any search results on Google Mobile. Again, costing you sales.
Therefore, whether you are using a website builder or hiring a professional to design the site for you, it is important that they always use responsive web design. If they don’t, your site is losing money.
Can I Build a Website Myself?
Many people look into how to start a business with no money. It’s possible. Many massive businesses have started with barely any cash in the bank. With the number of website builders out there, it is certainly easier than ever to cut costs on website development.
If you find a free website builder or learn the basics of website development (there is a ton of information out there), then you can easily put together a website with little to no design skills. In fact, it is easier than ever to create a website.
You may not be able to do everything for free, e.g., you probably can’t get a free domain name, or at least one that carries any value, but the actual website-building process is easy. Your site won’t be unique, but during the early stages of a business, the primary goal is getting your business online.
Keep in mind that building a website is not the main cost of running a website. There are ongoing expenses e.g. hosting, domain name, SEO, content, etc. You would have saved at least some money, though.
Pros & Cons of Building Your Own Website
Deciding whether to build your own website or not? We have put together this list of pros and cons to help you decide whether this is the best route for you to go down.
- Can build your site for free
- Website builders make the process easy
- You control the website
- Learn vital skills to maintain the site
- Work at your own pace
- You know your business best
- Take time away from your business
- Website builders may not make unique sites
- Requires unique skills to develop
- Won’t be as good as a pro website
The Power of Online Presence: How a Website Can Benefit Your Business
We have talked extensively about how much a website costs. Some businesses, particularly smaller ones, may find the cost a little bit higher than they expected. However, we can assure you that having a website is important for any business. Having an online presence is vital to the success of your company. Let’s look at why.
If you don’t have a website, visibility is minimal. If you have a retail outlet, then your customers are limited to those that casually walk past or are recommended by friends and family. Remember, nobody is opening a telephone directory to look for businesses nowadays.
Developing a website will ensure that your business appears in the search engines. It makes it easier to market your business through social media, and it makes it even easier for people to recommend you online. This means that there are more avenues for people to discover your business, which means more potential income.
Credibility and Trust
Credibility and trust are important for any business. Customers are wary about where they spend their cash. People don’t want to be scammed, after all.
Having a good-looking website can help establish credibility for a business. Businesses that invest in themselves are much more trustworthy. If a company has no site or has just been cobbled together on seemingly no budget, then most people will avoid it. There are too many businesses out there to worry about using one that has even a hint of not being credible.
Remember, sites can also include features that increase their credibility even further. For example, many web designers are encouraging site owners to produce a newsletter for their business, which not only helps to boost credibility but also drives people back to the website.
Sales and Revenue
eCommerce websites can encourage people to purchase products online. This means a person doesn’t need to visit your place of business to buy from you. They can pick up items online 24/7. You can literally make money while you are sleeping. Many businesses that brought their company online have seen a massive jump in sales, even smaller businesses.
Remember, an online website can target new markets too. For example, if you run a business in the local area, bringing your company online may help you reach national or even international customers.
Even if you are not directly selling products online, having a website can help to ‘educate’ potential customers about your products and services. This means that when they reach out to you, you have to spend less time selling them the benefits of the product/service and more time making money.
Marketing and Branding
Businesses need to market themselves, and branding is an important part of this. Read our guide on branding for startups for more information on the importance of company branding.
A quality brand helps a business stand out from the crowd. A brand sets expectations. Having a website can boost brand awareness. If you don’t have a website, then it shows that you are not really investing in your company or trusting in your product (bad for your brand), just as if you have a bad website. If you have a quality website, then it shows you believe in what you are offering, and, in turn, people will believe in what you are offering.
Having a website will also provide you with a route to the cheapest form of advertising; PPC advertising. This makes it easier to gain customers at a much, much lower price than normal.
Seal Your Success with a Great Website
If you want a successful business, then you need a website. No ifs or buts. A business cannot succeed in this increasingly digital world without a website, even those that are attempting to target local markets.
Having a website will help make your business much more visible in a crowded marketplace. It will boost your company’s brand and make people much more likely to trust you. It may even help you to find customers that would not normally pay attention to you, e.g., national or international customers.
Building a website will cost money, especially if you hire a professional website developer. However, don’t see it as a cost. See it as an investment. Invest in your website, and you will see hefty returns. Rarely does somebody building a quality website for their business not succeed.
If you want to get started as soon as possible (and we recommend that you get started as soon as possible), then we recommend that you start looking into how to hire a digital marketing agency.