With retail headed in an increasingly digital direction, having a website for your business — no matter how “big” or “small” — is just as important as perfecting your product or service. All of a sudden, your audience has expanded beyond the block, and you can theoretically find customers all over the world interested in your business. Being online makes your business accessible to millions, which is a game-changer for your business and a huge boost to your bottom line. Understandably, though, the prospect of building a site can be an overwhelming one if you’ve never had a website before.
What does building a website mean for you if you’re a small business owner? Below, we’ll break down the cost to build a website — what you’ll need to spend, what can be done at a more affordable cost, and how all these components come together to form a compelling site.
The price for a website for a small business has an incredibly wide range, from as little as a few dollars for a basic site to a few thousand dollars to work with a developer to $10,000 or more if your site has complicated needs. In general, there is no average cost for a website, and the price varies from a hundred dollars to several thousand.
The reasons for this range are numerous. You’ll pay more for a developer that has more overall development experience, specialized skills you need, or expertise in a particular area. Some sites may need significantly more work to look like your dream website, while others may be fairly straightforward and simple to create. You may need to pay more for special features, such as setting up and maintaining an e-commerce site. Even the fundamentals that you’ll have to pay for can vary. Generally, though, if you turn to a DIY website builder, you’ll save money and get online faster than you would working with a website developer.
Ultimately, examining the different components and their costs can help you decide what’s right for your business. So without further ado, let’s unpack it all.
Regardless of your chosen path to website development for your small business, you’re likely to incur some costs. Here are some of the main expenses associated with a business website.
A domain name is your web address. It’s what a visitor types into the browser to access your site, so it’s pretty important. Similar to a street address, a domain name is your online location. And without it, it’d be a lot harder to find your site. These addresses are purchased from a broker, or they may come with the website builder you choose.
The cost of a domain name varies depending on the name you choose, the extension, and how long you plan to own it. Domains can be purchased for just one year or as long as five years. You may pay more for a popular extension like .com or .org than a little-known one like .xyz. A broker may also calculate a price depending on the perceived popularity of the name. Additionally, some domain name brokers may charge more to remove your name and contact information from the public directory, keeping your information private.
A domain name can cost roughly $15 per year for something basic, but the costs can vary significantly depending on the above criteria. This is typically the cheapest expense associated with your website.
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This is a necessity for all websites because web hosting is what stores a website’s files. It’s the reason that the content on a website can be viewed. However, there are different kinds of hosting, and finding the right one comes down to the expected amount of traffic each month, the main purpose of the site, how much hosting it needs to accommodate that purpose, and your budget. The price point can vary from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a month. While it’s a small percentage of your overall website design, development, and maintenance costs, hosting is still a monthly charge you need to account for in your budget.
The typical hosting options are shared hosting, managed hosting, and virtual private server (VPS). These are in order of most to least cost-effective, and their relevance depends on how much intended traffic you expect your site to receive. With shared hosting, as the name implies, your website is stored on the same server as numerous other sites.
It’s expected that every business website, especially one that accepts personal information and financial details like credit card payments, has a secure site license (SSL). An SSL certificate safeguards your site and the data of those visiting. Yet again, there’s a wide range of prices for this website factor, so someone could pay as little as a few bucks annually or as much as a couple hundred. This is also a small, yet vital, percentage of your budget.
The words on the page, photos you use, and video embedded onto the site are all components that need to be developed or purchased. There are some entrepreneurs who like to take a hands-on approach to creating this content, in which case it’ll only cost time. But if you need some help in this arena, you may need to pay for a professional to help out. This cost varies greatly, too. For example, stock photos will only cost a few dollars per image, but hiring a photographer will likely cost significantly more. While the cost varies significantly as described here, if you plan to hire professional help, be prepared to set aside a portion of your budget to do so.
Depending on your business type and your site’s needs, you may need to include some advanced functionality beyond a few basic pages. For example, if you want a special tool to calculate tax on certain purchases made on your website, you’ll need to purchase and properly configure a specialized plugin that makes that possible. Similarly, some free plugins that allow for a specific functionality will require a purchase to unlock additional customization features. Ensuring your website is designed and developed to fit your needs is by far the largest part of your small business website budget.
After breaking down the cost of web design, it’s clear that the cost to create a website for a small business can vary greatly depending on your needs. Yes, there are the basics like a domain name and hosting, but maybe you do need a little extra help. The following factors can influence the total cost required to produce a website for your small business.
As you make a decision about whether to use a DIY builder, hire a freelance developer, or use an agency, consider the following:
At the end of the day, knowledge is power, and now you’re armed with the power to make the decision that’s right for your brand. And just like all the other decisions you have to make each day, your website cost will depend on what you need and what you can afford.
After you’ve taken the time to review your budget and needs, it’s time to bring your site to life. Thanks to tools like Namecheap Site Maker, which includes an SSL certificate, secure hosting, and the ability to purchase the right domain at a low cost, your site can go live in minutes at an accessible price. And with simple drag-and-drop features, it won’t take long to get the hang of creating a well-designed website that’s just right for your needs and your customers.