What does it cost to start a website?
A lot of clients that we sit down with have never had a website and don't know what to budget for one. To provide some insight, here are four factors in the cost of a website:
- The URL. This is your website's address. What people type in their internet browser to find you. On average the cost of a URL is $15 a year. This is an annual fee that you must pay in order to prevent your URL be placed back up for sale. If you purchase a URL from a reputable company, they will send you an email to inform you of the expiration of your URL a month or two before it expires.
- Hosting. Think of hosting as the home where your website lives. You purchase space on a server for your website to be available to internet browsers. Hosting prices can range from $5-$40 a month on average. Certain hosting services offer different options than others. More expensive hosting is not always better than the less expensive. I found that some of the best hosting packages cost just $10 per month. Again, this is a yearly cost and most companies ask for the yearly fee up front.
- The Designer. The cost of the designer can vary in all directions. This should be a one time cost. Choosing your designer is one of the most important decisions you can make when creating a website as the designer is the key to ensuring the website meets all your needs and is built for best usability by your visitors.
- Maintenance. As time goes on, you may want ongoining or intermediate changes to your website's design and/or structure. This is considered maintenance. Often your original website designer will offer packages per month or year to keep your website up to date. Many website's are built on content management systems so you can update text and possibly photos, by yourself. You should only need to have the designer change major components of the site (i.e. look or design changes, adding pages, adding links to social media, etc.).
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