For many small businesses, especially for businesses that are planning on having a website created for the first time, there are questions about all of the costs that go into website creation, as well as the on-going costs to keep the site up, running, backed up and secure after it is launched.
Domain Name Registration: In order to have your website show up when someone goes to www.yourcompany.com, you have to reserve that domain on a ICANN registrar so that it is reserved for your use only. A good rule of thumb is about $20/year for domain name reservation (this is a yearly fee). Domain names can be registered at websites like GoDaddy, Network Solutions and Whois.
Website Design & Development: The design of a website is the visual appearance and layout of the website in web browsers on a PC/Mac, laptop, iPad/tablet and smartphone. Elements in the website design should follow a company's brand (logo, colors, fonts), if these items exist. The development of a website is the coding or programming of the pages to make the design to function successfully. Generally, the majority of the time/cost for a website is in this step of website development. Digital agencies will quote these as either an hourly rate (ie $80/hour for up to 40 hours), or as a fixed price bid for a well outlined project RFQ. For smaller (4-8 page websites) the cost for the website design & development can be around $1,000. The price goes up as the size and complexity of the project increases.
Website Content Integration: Well-written, effective content is the foundation of any great website. The content can also include graphic elements like photos or other artwork used to enhance the message of the text content and make it more visually appealing to the end user. If the website is for a new company, the content generally has to be written. If the website project is to replace an existing website, the current website's content may be outdated, and will need to be reviewed, refined and possibly rewritten. For most small businesses, the job of writing the content falls on either the business owner or a key employee. Content writing can also be outsourced, but the website owner(s) will still need to invest time in working with the content writer to ensure that the text is accurate.
Website Hosting: Once a website is created, it needs to be uploaded to a web server for website hosting. Monthly hosting costs can vary from fairly minimal (economy or budget hosting can be found for as low as $5/month) to upwards of $100/mo, depending on the amount of resources (CPU processing power, dedicated RAM, disk space) that website requires. It is recommended that any hosting that is selected for website hosting includes an SSL/Secure Certificate.
Website Updates & Maintenance: Most websites today are developed in Content Management Systems (such as WordPress, Drupal, Craft, etc). These CMS's will frequently have updates that will be pushed out to sites using them to ensure that the CMS is secure and to fix any bugs discovered in the software.
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