How Much Does a Website Cost
“How much does a website cost?”
Any web development, design or marketing firm has heard this question, and Online Potential is no different. Every client who needs a new website, a website redesign, or comprehensive Internet marketing services wants to know up front how much a fully functional website will cost. It seems like an easy question to answer, but there are a lot of factors that go into building, hosting and designing a website that can affect the final cost.
While the prices for each client may differ, we have gathered some of the need-to-know information that will help you determine in which areas you should spend a little more, and in which areas you might get away with spending a little less.
The Importance of an Online Presence
More of our daily lives have become dependent on the Internet, both at our jobs and at home. Consumers turn to the Internet often to search for a company, product or service, making it imperative for businesses to have information available. As the economy continues in its online-centric path, organizations from small businesses to large companies must adapt by creating an online presence.
In order to keep up with consumer expectations, many business owners want new websites or a redesign to their current websites. But before the begin to build an online presence, or revamp their existing presence, they want to know how much a website costs. As stated, there is no one right answer to that question. Each business is unique and its online marketing strategy can differ greatly from another business. At Online Potential, we recommend beginning with creating a goal for your website and then deciding which website factors can help you most by reaching that goal. You’ll want to consider the cost of website design, domain name, web hosting and website maintenance, and you should choose a professional website design and Internet marketing company that you can trust.
Factors that Affect Website Costs
There are four main factors that can affect how much a website costs: a domain name, web hosts, website design and website maintenance. Within each component, the price can fluctuate depending on the level of service your business requires.
Choosing a Domain Name
What’s in a name? If it’s your domain name, choosing the right one can have an impact on how successful your business is online. You’ll want to choose a name that is closely associated with your business or brand so that it’s easier for consumers to recognize and remember the name.
A domain name is a portion of a URL. On our homepage, our domain name is Online-Potential.com. There are two parts of the domain name that can affect its costs. First, the portion before the “.com” will likely already be owned. So businesses rent their domain names, usually on a yearly basis. If you do not renew or your domain name, or you don’t pay the fee, you could lose the domain name. This can be disastrous for an established business with a closely related domain name if the domain is used with a less reputable website.
The second part of the domain is what follows the “dot.” Each extension, such as .net, .com, .edu, .info, .biz, etc., can be priced differently, so you need to decide which extension is best for your domain name in terms of practicality and budgeting.
Some business owners may decide to rent more than one domain name for their website. At Online Potential, we see this happen with businesses that are long established but that may want to rebrand or reinvent the business. Many of company’s loyal consumers still use its older domain to reach the website, so it would be in the best interest of the business to keep it. Both domains would point consumers, new and old, to the same website, so you do not need to create multiple websites.
Finding a Web Hosting Company
Web hosting services place your website pages, files, videos and images on their servers for a fee. The cost of web hosting will differ depending on the amount of data that needs to be stored and the amount of website traffic to your site, as well as any other services the host might offer such as blog hosting, shopping cart software and email hosting.
Many web hosting services will offer monitoring and analytical services. These can prove to be very helpful in measuring the success of your website. Some of the common features include determining the number of website visitors, tracking which pages or videos are viewed, and which links are clicked on the website. With these monitoring services, you can track user behaviors and clicking patterns.
The cost of web hosting will depend on which service you choose and whether or not you take advantage of additional features offered. Typically, web hosting prices range from $50 to $250 a year. However, you may need to pay more if your website experiences an unusually large amount of web traffic or if your website uses multiple web applications.
Designing or Redesigning a Website
Many business owners find that they can control the cost of a website most during website design and website redesigns. Businesses that currently use a high-end website design will require the least amount of design or redesign work, so they can expect to pay less. The cost of a new website design or a redesign of a current site will vary, but we have a few tips that can help you keep the cost of a website within your budget.
Website designers are paid for the amount of time they spend working on your website. This may include website design, logo creation, Flash implementation, incorporation of images or videos, search engine optimization (SEO) services, and mobile or responsive designs. Using current website content or having new content written will also affect the cost of a website.
If you meet with a website design company and have a clear expectation of how you want the site to look and function, you may be able to reduce the amount of time spent working on the website. At Online Potential in Gainesville, we meet with many of our clients throughout North Central Florida and Central Florida so that we can better understand their goals for their websites.
Updates & Website Maintenance
Once your website is designed and hosted, you’ll want to monitor it and ensure that it is regularly updated and maintained. Businesses that require frequent website updates should consider relying on web-based maintenance software such as a Content Management System (CMS). These systems are ideal because it allows both clients and web design companies access to making changes to content, images, videos, and basic design and layout.
Keeping a website updated is important for your business and your clients. Websites that include outdated or incorrect information will be viewed unfavorably by potential consumers. These websites can also be penalized by Google’s algorithms as Google shows preference for websites that are regularly maintained and that often publish new information. In order to keep your rankings high on search engine result pages and to ensure consumers will revisit your site, scheduled maintenance is recommended.
How much will website maintenance cost? The majority of inbound marketing firms charge for website maintenance by the hour. The actual hourly fee will depend on the type of work being done, but can range from $50 to $175 an hour. You can expect to be charged less for simpler updates, such as adding a few lines of text, than for more difficult updates such as design changes or needing a new logo.
How You Can Affect the Cost of Your Website
Now that you know the four main factors that affect the cost of a website, you should be able to formulate a plan for proceeding. At Online Potential, we want our clients to be satisfied with the services they receive, so while we offer everything your business could need, we’ll only recommend those services that will help your business grow the most.
One way that many business owners are able to reduce the cost of their websites is to provide their own website copy. Content can include text for the website, social media profiles, business blogs, online press releases, landing pages and other online adverts. Using logos and multimedia content that have already been created and performing site maintenance are ways to cut costs of a website. However, not every business is able to perform these services due to not enough staffing or untrained staff. Online Potential does offer training services for our clients so that they can have a larger role in their website maintenance.
Find a Professional You Can Trust
Choosing a company for website design, web hosting and website maintenance shouldn’t be all about the cost. Just like in other areas of life, spending more upfront on a quality product can provide extensive cost-saving benefits in the future. At Online Potential, we strive to help our clients by growing their business through improved site traffic and better rankings on search engine result pages. We hire design, writing and SEO professionals who bring years of experience and knowledge to our business and our clients. You will never see surprise charges with Online Potential, and we are always available to meet with our clients. Don’t let a less reputable company talk you into a website design that cannot meet the expectations of your business or your consumers. Trust Online Potential in Gainesville to put your company’s money to good use in creating high-end, quality websites that work to reach your the goals of your business.