What's the Real Cost of Building a Website?

You basically need a domain name, a hosting plan, content, and a designer and/or developer.

Design Brief - What is it?

The cost of building a website is one of the first questions business owners ask when thinking about having a website. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; it depends on many factors. Let's see have an overview of things you'll need to build a website.

Content for your Website

Your website consists of basic content laid out in a certain way. And by content I mean the copy, images, icons, and videos. Your content will affect the way people feel when interacting with your website.

When building a website, you as the owner, are the main responsible for providing content to the designers and developers. Sometimes the designers can help you with content but most of the time that comes as an extra service.

Domain Name

A domain name is like your name on the internet, such as google.com or delciodesigns.com; it's what your users type into the browser to access your website. If your website was a house, then your domain name would be its address.

A domain is purchased from a domain registrar for a minimum of one year and needs to be renewed for as long as you want to use it. They can be bought for as little as $0.99 and a maximum of $15. When purchasing a domain, it's important to pay attention to the extra fees when checking out since many of the registrar can add extra services or products other than the domain. Following are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:

  • Stick with a .com domain name. There're more popular, easy to remember and to promote;
  • Keep it simple, short, easy to spell and pronounce;
  • Stay away form numbers and hyphens (unless your business name includes them);
  • If you don have ideas, try domain name generators to help.

Hosting Services

Hosting services provide a home for the content of your website to live and be accessed on the internet. If the domain name is the address, then web hosting is the actual house pointed by the address.

When someone types in a domain name into a browser, it is translated into an IP address of your web hosting company's computer and he is redirected to the web host server. This computer sends your website's files back to the user's browser.

Web host companies provide servers that will store and power your website. Just like with the domain, hosting can be purchased yearly and the prices vary greatly depending on the type of hosting and the platform you used to develop your website. There are basically 3 types of hosting services each with different levels of privacy, number of visits, and quality of service:

  • Shared hosting: Many customers share the same server. Many choose this type of hosting when starting a business. The downside is that server resources are split among many sites and because of this, performance sometimes suffers as the number of visits to your website grows.
  • Virtual Private Server: This is some sort of a middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. Many customers still share the same server, but they're divided into virtual machines that act as independent servers.
  • Dedicated Servers: These are only for you and nobody else and, compared to shared and virtual hosting, it gives much more control.

When purchasing a hosting service, it's important to pay attention to the following:

  • Hosting with or without website builder: Some website-builders also offer hosting plans which allows you to build your website and get hosting bundled. Wix, Webflow, Squarespace, and Shopify are just some of the website builders that work this way. But if you're planning to build something entirely custom using different tools you'll need to buy it separately.
  • Figure out your website needs: Websites that process online payments are different than those that simply showcase products and services. The platforms and building tools you'll use may not be supported by every hosting service out there. There's storage, speed, and reliability too. So figuring out your business need will help you choose the right hosting plan.
  • Uptime: This stands for how long your website is accessible. Most host providers guarantee uptime  100% to 99.9% of the time.
  • Storage and RAM: Many host providers offer unlimited space and you won't come close to reaching the limits. The biggest thing to pay attention to as far as the hosting storage is concerned is if it’s SSD (Solid-state Disk) or HDD (hard disk drives). The first is faster than the later. RAM on web servers has the same function as with your computer. It refers to how quickly computers process stored data and it's the thing responsible for accelerating page load times.
  • Bandwidth and Data transfer: Accounts for the amount of data downloaded or uploaded from a website. The higher the number, the higher the number of people who can access your site at the same time.
  • Security and Support:  While it's true that the administrator's behavior and the passwords can impact the security of the website, the hosting company's infrastructure can impact greatly the security of a website. It's important to make sure that your hosting provider includes firewalls, monitoring services, automatic backups and other security add-ons. A 24/7 support is also something to aim for since you or your clients may have questions down the road and need help to sort it out, so your hosting provider must be responsive and ready to help.
  • Location of servers: Some studies suggest that the location of hosting servers impacts both the SEO and the load speed of your website. So when choosing a hosting service the closer to your targeted audience the better. Why should you care? According to some studies, almost half of users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. And if your visitors feel like your website is slow, they’ll probably never come back and that’s not good for your business.

Design and Development

Nowaday with the so-called no-code website builders, you can easily build a website, even if your are not a designer or developer. Many business owners though prefer to hire professionals to do the job. Hiring a professional will end up saving you time, money, and headaches. Hiring a Professional comes with benefits such as:

  • Saves Time: Planing of how the site is going to be laid out, the layout you are going to use, the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), and actual development of the functionalities is not an easy task, takes lots of time. Hiring a professional will save you from this trouble because he has the experience and he will go straight forward through a project without looking back.
  • Custom Design: If you don't have experience in web design and development, your website will likely look unorganized, unattractive, or might look exactly like any other site. A professional web designer with his experience would be able to build a custom design that would give your brand a unique look and feel and help it stand out from competitors.
  • Cutting-edge Technology: Since web developers and designers are constantly working with technologies in their respective fields, they are up-to-date with the current and the latest. This means that a professional would build your website using the best tech and with many modern features incorporated.
  • More Competitiveness: One of the first things a professional developer will do is researching the competition. This means that the website that he'll build will be in direct competition with the most striking sites in your industry.
  • SEO Friendly: search engine optimization (SEO) basically helps search engines like Google to find you when people perform searches on the internet. Integrating your website through search rankings is an integrated part of the development process and something developers and copywriters know how to do. This will help your website to not only exist but to be findable.
  • Web Support: A professional web developer will give you the best web tools, such as domain and hosting management. Before launching your site, he will perform a speed test to make sure it runs smoothly. As for me, every website that I build, comes with months of free assistance. If you want to know more, reach out to me.

What do you Need to Build a Website?

The process of building a website can be annoying and expensive, but it could be what your business needs to succeed. Since it's one of the main connectors between you and your customers, it has to be top-notch.

  • Content: The core of your website, after all pretty website with bad content is going to fail.
  • Domain name: The address of your website. what visitors type into the browser to find you.
  • Hosting Service: A place for your website’s content to be stored.
  • Designer and Developer: To strategize, design, build and launch your website. Hiring a professional will save you money, trouble and headaches.

If you want to build a website that is noticeable and credible, hiring a professional is the way to go. He would be in charge of all the heavy-lifting while you concentrate on what you do best - running your business. If you hire a developer you can rest assured that the design, functionality, and manageability of your site will be flawless. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out here.

Délcio Pechiço

Product Designer | Webflow Enthusiast | IT Support Technician | Background in Mining, Oil & Gas

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