How much does a website cost, and how much do you gain from having a website?
How much does a website cost, and how much do you gain from having a website?
To answer the question most simply, it costs almost nothing compared to the return on investment it gives. So you gain a lot, and you lose a lot less.
In this article, we will first discuss the importance of having a business website, and then later on, we will discuss how much website development costs.
Benefits of having your website:
The importance of a custom website for small business owners can’t be stressed enough. A website is like the face of a business.
In this digital era, a business must have a digital presence. If the company can’t be found digitally, not only are you losing a lot of brand awareness, but you are also not leaving a good impression on your existing customers and have a chance of losing them.
A person researches online before spending money on a business, which somewhat gives him a sense of reliability. However, if the business is nowhere to be found on social media, or the website doesn’t exist, it becomes difficult for the person to trust the company.
It is even more important for small business owners to have a website. The larger businesses are already present on the internet, and a small business website is a must to even have a chance to compete with them.
It costs almost nothing to build a basic WordPress website or a little money to hire a professional web developer to create a more professional website.
But what are the benefits of having your website?
Let’s discuss them in detail!
Benefits of having your website:
There are a lot of benefits of having your website, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Increased Brand Awareness
- Increased Reach
- Good lead generation
- Good data management
- Good display of information
- Better eCommerce functionality
- Your domain name
- Custom built website
- Access to digital marketing
Increased brand awareness
Having a website increases brand awareness. What is brand awareness? Let’s get that clear first!
Brand awareness is your brand coming into the knowledge of those who didn’t know about your brand before.
It doesn’t matter whether they are potential customers or not. Brand awareness is simply people knowing about your brand.
How does this help?
As brand awareness increases, the number of leads being generated inevitably increases, leading to increased conversion and, ultimately, revenue.
Brand awareness is good for any business.
How does a website impact brand awareness?
Brand awareness is increased by having a website. In this digital age, most people, if not all, research the product or service they want to spend money on online. Then they search and get to know about the businesses that are offering the services, compare the competitors, and try their best to make an informed decision.
Before going to the store to buy the product, they have already searched for the thing online and know about the brands that came up on the search engine result page.
Imagine not having a website. You will lose all of this potential and the chance to compete among your competitors.
Having a website increases your reach.
What is reach?
Reach is simply the number of people your content and other information is reaching to. They may or may not be your potential customers. They may know about your brand or not. If you can increase your reach, brand awareness also increases. And it leads to better lead generation and, ultimately, better sales.
Consider a scenario where a physical restaurant does not have a digital presence. The restaurant might be really good, the food might be really good, and the service might also be really good. But suppose the restaurant is non-existent on social media or is absent digitally. In that case, the existing customers might still buy from them, but imagine the potential customers they lose just because they didn’t appear in search engine results or social media.
Better Lead Generation
The lead generation process becomes easier and more efficient if you have a dedicated website for your small business. Lead generation is one of the most crucial things for small businesses, and if snow right, it could lead the company to another level.
A website helps in better lead generation and in managing the leads. The prospects can come to the website and drop their email, phone number, or interests, showing that they are interested in buying the product or using the service the business offers.
Better Data management
Data management also becomes better by having a website. A good content management system lets you manage and analyze the data more efficiently.
User tracking systems in the website track the activity of users, and record which pages of the website users stayed the most on, which buttons they clicked the most, where their cursor was paused the most, what paragraphs they read the most, and things like that.
Recording and analyzing this data helps in better managing and improving the website. All of these benefits far outweigh the website costs.
Better display of information
You can display your information in a battery way if your business owns a website.
A dedicated website for a business contains all of the relevant information in an organized and helpful way. As a result, customers are more satisfied and informed when they visit the website, creating trust between the business and the customers.
Content marketing can become exponentially easier if your brand or business has its site. The website content can also be used for social media marketing. And the cost of building a website is so much less than the benefits it provides.
How much does it cost to build a website? The answer is discussed later in this article!
E-commerce is one of the largest growing industries in the world.
According to Morgan Stanley, an investment and wealth management company, Ecommerce is growing and can continue to do so at around 17%-20% annually for the next five years.
And if we keep the global trends in mind, it will continue to grow at an even faster rate after that.
Reasons to adopt eCommerce:
eCommerce has grown so rapidly that if we look at how the firms and companies operated two decades ago, that is completely different now due to eCommerce.
Please take a look at the world now. Most businesses are operating in a hybrid way; they are present physically and online, and some companies are even completely working on online models.
As the internet penetrated people’s daily lives, businesses also had to adapt according to the trends. Therefore it is foolish for a company in this era to ignore the internet.
How to make the best use of Ecomerce trends?
Consider a scenario where you own a business, for instance, a restaurant.
Now your restaurant serves good food, provides people with a good environment to sit and spend some time in, provides a good relaxing sitting place, and is everything a restaurant is supposed to be.
Your existing customers will spend money there; some might even come through word of mouth or walk-in. Still, if you build a good digital presence through a dedicated site and social media, you open yourself to many prospects and potential customers, which can boost your sales.
Using eCommerce, you can even start delivering the food, listing your menus on your social media pages and website, providing good deals, and displaying all this information online.
By owning a website, your business can display all its information online and arrange it in better structure and more eye-appealing ways. If your potential customers can find everything they want in an organized manner on your website, it will build trust and encourage them to spend money and time on your business.
The website, as you can understand, is like the face of a business. Whether the business model is physical or online, having a website can always help to boost your sales and build trust and long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Own Domain Name
Having a website and having your domain name are a little different from each other.
What is a domain name? And how does owning a domain name affect your website and your business?
Answers are discussed below!
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a part of a network address that recognizes the website belonging to a specific domain.
For example, the URL www.google.com is a full URL and has an IP address. An IP address is a code that defines the location of the website on the internet.
The IP addressed is represented by the name Google which is called the domain name. The “www” part is called the sub-domain, and the “.com” part is called TLD, or Top-level Domain.
It’s easier to remember the name of Google and ad .com than to only remember a code made of numbers.
Why should you own a domain name?
Owning a domain name enhances the face of the website. For example, if your business is using the name “XYZ,” having a website named “xyz.com” would seem nice and will build trust with the customers and the prospects.
You can also use this domain name in your social media marketing. Again, you don’t have to have a very professionally built complex website. Just a simple one does the job.
Benefits of your Domain Name:
There are plenty of benefits and advantages to owning your domain name.
Some of them are listed below!
- Builds Trust
- Easier to Remember
- Better Branding and Digital presence
- Dedicated Email Address
- Better Digital marketing and SEO
How to own a domain name?
The benefits of owning a domain name have been discussed before, but how do you do it? Where can you go if you want to buy a domain name?
Plenty of website builders allow you to own or buy a domain. You can get a free one or spend some money to get a premium one, especially for yourself and your business.
Website builders like WordPress, GoDaddy, Wix, and GoogleSites allow you to buy domains you can use for your website!
Access to Digital Marketing
If we keep the said benefits of having a website in mind, it becomes almost impossible to deny that it is one of the most crucial things for a small business or even a large one these days. It defines the business’s presence in the market and enhances the trust between the customer and the company.
How to hire Website builders
How much do web development and website maintenance cost? How much does it cost to build an eCommerce website? Do you have to hire a professional web designer?
All of these questions and more are answered in the following paragraphs!
How to choose a Website builder
There are plenty of ways to build your website. You can either hire experienced web designers and outsource the web development process entirely to a web design agency, or if you want to develop a very basic new website or just an online store, you can do it yourself by using web development services and DIY website builders.
Website building was a very complicated task that only professionals could do. Still, now, with the availability of new and improved software, people with little to no programming or coding can build their site free of cost, and if they want to, they can also spend some money to improve it.
Search Engine Optimization
What is search engine optimization or SEO, and how is it relevant?
SEO is optimizing your website to rank higher on the result page of search engines.
Here is how it works:
When a user searches a something in the search box of a search engine, the search engine then searches the internet. This process is called crawling.
The relevant results are then shown to the user on the result page, e, and this list is according to the website’s relevancy and quality.
The website on top of the search engine result page is the most optimized quality-wise and relevant according to the search. So the user automatically clicks on the first 4 or 6 results and finds what he was looking for.
Usually, the user finds what he is looking for on the first page of the result, s, and he seldom has to go to the second page. This behavior resulted in a response process that digital marketers use allied search engine optimization.
This is the process of improving your website quality-wise, in every way possible, according to the methods used by search engines to check the quality of the website, to make sure that the website appears in the top few results when the user searches for something relevant.
SEO is mentioned here because the cost of SO should also be kept in mind when you’re approximating the cost to maintain and build a website because there is practically no use of a website if it is lying on the third or fourth page of the search results. After all, the user never goes there.
For a website to be successful, it must be in the first few results when the user searches for something relevant.
To build a useful website, SEO is something you can’t ignore.
The exact cost of building and maintaining a website:
The actual cost of building a website depends entirely on the kind of site you are trying to make and how much extensive you want it to be.
There are three main types of websites that you can make. They differ from each other in the way they handle and present the data. The type you need depends on your preference and usage.
The three main types are:
- Static site
- CMS or Dynamic site
- eCommerce site
As the name suggests, a static site remains the same, and no changes can be made by the users, visitors, or even the site owners unless they go directly into the code to change anything or redesign the site.
This site is easy and cheap to build and is useful for small businesses that want to display some of their information and create an online presence.
This type of site is usually bad for a business that needs to change the data frequently or, even worse, for a company that requires users to change or edit the data or input any information and see some changes.
CMS or Dynamic Site:
As the name suggests, a dynamic website changes the data and displays different information to different users. The website changes this data according to the user’s demographics, locations, preferences, language, and the time of the day they are browsing.
Obviously, this type of site is a little difficult to build and costs more than a static site. However, this type of site is usually beneficial for a business that relies heavily on its website to run its business.
For instance, Instagram needs to update the data frequently. This is because it shows different content to users according to their preferences, locations, languages, likes, dislikes, and posts they have seen before. The same goes for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you are looking to build a website like this, where users can interact, edit content, add their login information, and see the stuff specially chosen for the user, you need a dynamic website.
You can easily know if a website is dynamic if it primarily has user login information required to browse, has many pages, and edits can be made without having to go inside the code.
Although like any other thing, a dynamic website has its downsides, like slower loading speeds and higher costs to build due to complexity, these are preferred by most of the big businesses due to the requirement of frequent data changes.
An eCommerce website is the third type of the most used website, allowing one to conduct commerce online.
This is one of the most common types of websites being used today. Since the dawn of the internet, humanity has seen its businesses shift towards online modes very quickly.
During the past couple of years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the eCommerce industry worldwide saw a boom.
What is eCommerce?
So what is eCommerce? Simple! Any business being conducted online can be termed eCommerce. Buying and selling clothes and consumer goods, booking cabs online, ordering food online, and selling software online.
The best examples, as you can guess, of eCommerce websites today are Amazon, Careem, Uber, FoodPanda, Airlift, Swvl, AliExpress, etc.
Should I have an eCommerce Website?
Any website that allows users to buy or sell online is an eCommerce website. Designing these websites is complex and may be costly if you hire a website designer. It may also be expensive and inefficient to build an entire website just for your business if your business is small and you can’t afford to build and maintain this kind of website because these websites are usually expensive to develop and maintain.
For a large business, a clothing brand, or a food delivery service, it is usually best to have a dedicated website to maintain its digital presence and brand value. Still, if the business is small, it can cut costs using Content Management Services to build and maintain an eCommerce website.
Less costly alternative ways to build an online store!
Many software like WordPress and Shopify enables small business owners to build and run online stores. Shopify, for example, will let you make your store where you can add or remove products from your listing, add pricing, and sell them online. It will also enable you to study the user data and make suggestions about store maintenance and changes.
WordPress allows you to build a website without having to code. This will save money as you won’t have to hire a professional web designer to do the job.
Similarly, plenty of sites like Daraz, AliExpress, and Amazon will let you build an online store without creating an entire website from scratch.
Consider this route if you are a small business owner or a sole owner of a small shop. Still, if you have a big brand that needs a digital presence to compete with the competitors, you’ll need a dedicated eCommerce website for your brand, for which you will have to hire an agency or some website designers.
Cost to build a website:
The development cost of a website without having specific details a difficult to calculate as it varies greatly with the fact that whether or not you are using advanced features, what web agency you hired, what type of site you are aiming to build, what traffic you are expecting it to handle, what themes are you using, what packages are you choosing and many other things.
To build, you can go through two main routes.
- Hire a professional web designer or a web agency.
- Use website-building software like Wix or WordPress.
Let’s discuss the exact costs of both routes and which way is the best for you!
Should I hire an agency or a designer? Or should I do this myself using Wix or WordPress?
So first of all, you need to have some answers.
What is the scale and purpose of the website you aim to build? When you have these two answers, it will be easier to decide the route.
Purpose of the website:
So what exactly are you trying to achieve through the website?
- Do you want a simple page where you can display some basic information?
- Or do you want users to interact, edit the data, put in comments or reviews, etc.?
- Or do you want to conduct business online too?
When you have this answer, decide on the scale!
The scale of the website:
Whatever the aim and purpose of your website are, at what scale do you want it to operate?
- Is it just for a small number of people in a small geographic area?
- Is it nationwide?
- Or is it global?
- And how much traffic do you want it to handle?
When you have the answers to these questions, deciding which route to build your website will be easier. Whatever way you choose will inevitably have some costs involved, which will vary according to your preferences about the specifics of your website.
Yes, you can build a simple website for free these days. But you need to invest some money to develop and maintain a more complex one. Some of these costs are discussed below!
Costs of a Professional web designer or a web agency:
If you decide to hire a professional web developer or a web design agency, you have chosen this route because you have needs and preferences that can’t be and shouldn’t be handled on your own. For example, you have a large business that needs a dynamic website with multiple changes and user interaction, or you might need an eCommerce website to conduct business online.
Whatever the reason, hiring an agency or web developer to build a dedicated site is usually more expensive than the DIY thing. But it’s generally with it, given the needs, because it ultimately costs less than the benefits it provides.
So how much does it cost?
To put this very simply, the cost starts from $100 and goes up to $150,000. So when you hire an agency, you tell them your needs and expectations from your website, and they will tell you the approximate charges. Then, you can alter your needs and increase or decrease your expectations according to your budget.
All agencies have web developers with different starting prices. Rest assured, if you hire a web developer or an agency, you obviously can’t build a website for free, as you can do it with website builder software. But some average prices are listed below!
A simple, static, small business website with 6-10 pages may cost $1500 to $8000.
An average dynamic website may cost somewhere between $5,000 and $150,000
An average eCommerce website may cost between $5000 and can go up t $150000, depending on the features.
These price listings are just vague estimations, and the cost may also be less or more than the mentioned ranges. These costs are said to give you a vague idea of the costs of building a website if you hire a professional web developer or web development agency.
Costs of building a website yourself using a Website Builder:
This route is for small business owners, freelancers, or people who want to make a simple static or even a simple dynamic website to display some information.
This route can also be used by people looking to build an eCommerce store for their small business but who don’t have the resources or motive to build a dedicated website.
All these people can take this route to save resources and still get the job done!
So what does it cost?
The cost may vary depending on the type of software you use, the hosting you get, and the packages you decide on for your hosting services. In addition, hosting costs are different for different packages and services.
For instance, dedicated hosting will be more expensive than shared hosting. However, the cost may vary according to the hosting provider.
If you use WordPress hosting, the packages start from $3 per month and go up to $100 per month.
For instance, if you want to build a simple static website, you can use a free domain, free plugins, free web hosting services, a free theme, a free SSL certificate, and a free web design service.
Your hosting, annual maintenance, and other website maintenance costs will be drastically lowered.
The best part about this route is that you don’t have to hire anyone. You can just do it yourself! The saved budget can then be poured into marketing costs to get better leads and sales.
If you have a little money that you can spend to make some things better, you can use a premium theme and premium plugins, buy an SSL certificate, use a premium WordPress theme, and subscribe to a better hosting plan.
Doing all of these with little money will improve your website drastically.
How can you do these things?
Some of the best website builders are listed below! You can use this software to build a simple, working website that fits your needs.
Some of the best website builders that you can use:
Here are the website builders that you can use:
- Google sites
- Odoo Website Builder
- Square Space
Website Builder Prices:
These prices are extremely variable, but the fact about these website builders is that you can start from $0. Yes! You can virtually build a website entirely for free! You can spend the money if you choose to, but if you choose not to, you don’t have to!
To sum it up:
To sum up, the article, how much does a website cost? How much do you gain from having a website?
The website cost may start from $0 and go all the way up to $150,00 or even more, depending on your expectations from the website and what route you decide to take to build the website.
And how much does it benefit you or your business?
To answer this simply, it benefits more than it costs. If you invest just the right amount of money and effort into your website and don’t overspend your money, you will always have a good return on investment on your website.
Because in this age, the internet is growing daily and the internet is being penetrated people’s lives every day. A decade or two ago, a website wasn’t a necessity for a business; it was a luxury and an accessory. But today, it is a necessity.
Especially for businesses who want to tap into eCommerce and get customers online, how do they plan to thrive or even survive without a good website? They can’t!
You gain a lot by having a website; make sure that when you build your website, you keep your needs and goals in mind so that you can design the website accordingly and spend the right amount of time, money, and effort.
If you under meet your needs, there will be no use left for the website as it is not fulfilling the very purpose it was designed for, and all your resources will go to waste.
And in contrast, if you overdo it, if you overspend money and try to build a more expensive and advanced website than you need, you will end up pouring all of your budget, or a major chunk of it, into something that will not be of use.
So, while designing a website, you must keep your needs and goals in mind, and then you must act accordingly.
Steps to Follow:
In the end, there are some key steps that you can follow before you start planning to build a website; these steps will help you determine your needs and your expectations from the website. Moreover, these steps will ensure you spend the right time and money on your site.
These will also help you choose the route you want to take. The “DIY” route or the “Professional Web Designer” route.
- Analyze the current situation
- Form clear expectations and standards to meet
- Create clear goals
- Gather the data
Step 1: Analyze the Current Situation:
You have to analyze the current situation in your first step. First, gather all of the existing data, which will help you determine what is missing from your business and website and what you should expect from your website.
This data may be online or offline. Just gather every relevant data that will help you make decisions later on!
Step 2: Form Clear Expectations and standards to meet:
When you have collected all of the data, you will know what you expect from your website. Then these expectations can be altered and enhanced depending on future business projections and data from the past.
Set clear expectations and standards that you want your website to meet!
Step 3: Create Clear Goals:
These expectations can be simplified into one-line goals you hope to achieve through your website.
Setting these simple and clear goals will help you decide what kind of website you want to make and what route should you take to design the website!
Step 4: Gather Data:
After setting these goals, you should gather all the data regarding all your options. For example, what is your budget, what are your goals, what are your options available to build your website, what are the prices charged by different agencies and designers, and what are the charges of website builders?
Gather every possible information so you can make an informed decision.
Step 5: Execute:
After all these steps, all you have left to do is take a breath and execute!
With all of the data you have gathered and the clear goals you have set, you will make an informed decision about your website.
Step 6: Enjoy!
After all of these steps, enjoy your new website! See your business grow and your customers satisfied!
But always keep in mind to keep an eye on user data to make improvements along the way!