If you are in the process of setting up a new company or reinvigorating an existing one, website costs need to be taken into account. There are many variables associated with website creation and maintenance and, as a result, there is a great deal of disparity in the prices involved.
Whether your business’s new website is large or small, complex or simple, the largest single expense is the initial outlay of the website’s design and build. After this, there are a few ongoing expenses (hosting, maintenance etc.), although these are usually priced at rates that even small businesses find manageable. What follows is an introduction to the stages of setting up of a new company website and a rough guide to the prices involved.
This is the name, or address, that your website will have, and it can be bought from a website registrar. You will need to choose the domain carefully, as it will become an integral aspect of your company’s identity. Web addresses also come with a suffix, which is a key aspect of the domain name’s eventual cost. The better known suffixes, such as .com or .co.uk are more expensive than their less popular counterparts, e.g. .biz or .net. Typically a domain name with a .com suffix will cost around £10 a year, and .co.uk domain name will be around £3 a year.
A website needs to have a home: a place where its files can be housed and made permanently accessible to the internet. This place is known as a web server, and it needs to be paid for. The size and complexity of your website will affect the cost of the hosting service available to you, but a small to medium-sized site of moderate complexity can be hosted on a server alongside as many as fifty other websites for around £10 a month. Having your own dedicated server will cost more, around £60 a month, but may be a preferable option if you anticipate high volumes of traffic (people visiting your website), or if your website has a large number of images or videos, as these take up more space than text and simple graphics.
A website needs to be planned, designed and built, and this process is the single most time-consuming and costly part of setting up a website. However, so crucial is a web presence for any kind of business enterprise that it is important to think of this expense as an investment.
Many people will come to your company first via the web. The way in which your business presents itself online is integral to its long-lasting appeal and reputation. A low-quality website, or even one that looks good but functions poorly, will only help you to lose existing customer and deter potential ones. As a result, it is advisable to get a web design agency to take on the job. It is possible to do all of the design and programming yourself, but only if you know if you know exactly what you are doing. A professional web agency will bring technical expertise and knowledge, helping to avoid the most common pitfalls.
The cost of a website’s design and build will depend on how much of it there is, and what you want the website to be able to do. A small, information based website, one that relies on text to get its message across, will cost a lot less to produce than a vast, interactive site with a large number of images and videos. Interactive facilities such a shopping cart add to the cost, and it’s worth bearing in mind that there are expenses involved in setting up a merchant account if you want to receive payments online.
The amount you will need to pay a web agency for the design and build of your company’s website will depend not only on its requirements, but also the professional standard of the agency you choose. A good web design firm will charge hundreds of pounds a day, and the eventual cost can be anything from a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds. A cheaper, but less attractive, option is to get a DIY website template. These can cost from between £25 and £250 a year, depending on the levels of functionality your website requires.
The ongoing maintenance of your company’s website is important, in that it helps to make sure that is up to date, fully-functional and in good working order. This is often undertaken by the web design agency. As ever, the costs of maintenance vary according to the complexity of the website.