We all know it costs to be cool, but just how much does it really cost to have a quality website with all the bells and whistles? Don't worry. I am going to BREAK. IT. DOWN. Here are 5 Costs to Consider When Building Your Website!
COST 1 : Purchasing Your Domain
"What is a domain?" "Where do I do that?" "How do I do that?" *total blank stare*
All responses I have received time and again in the process of building someone's dream website. For sake of time, I'll give you a quick answer: GoDaddy.
GoDaddy is who I use, and that's who I like my clients to use as well. They are helpful, easy to navigate, and a safe third party that doesn't get involved in the politics of hosting site changes (i.e switching from Squarespace to Wix, Wix to Wordpress, or anything else of that sort).
Purchasing or "renting" a domain has various costs, and it all depends on how sought after your url is! (Pssst...your url is whatever want your website name to be! For example, mine is imgdesigners.com)
If your site has a fairly unique name, (meaning it isn't sought after by multiple companies) the cost is usually between $10-50 per year!
COST 2 : Hiring Your Web Designer
Ahhh, my favorite part! Web Designers are crucial, and working with the right one can take your website from drab to fab and instantly increase value in your company / product.
Business owners can be intimidated by pricing, and be tempted to either DIY on their own or purchase a generic template. Here's a few reasons not to fall for those traps:
The design skill is unparalleled.
YOU ARE BUSY. You are running your own business! You don't need to take on a second career of learning how to be a website designer. There is a huge difference in appearance between a site built by a rookie vs. a pro.
Simultaneously, most people who purchase templates admit it was a HUGE waste in the long run. If you care about your business you will eventually transition to a custom website, and trust me, it's much better to just bite the bullet the first time around instead of sacrificing your personal time, finances, and brand reputation on a site that doesn't represent your business.
Search Engine Optimization
This one is obvious - a good web designer implements SEO all throughout their design as they go along. Do you know how to do this? Likely not, so DIY + Templates make you miss out on all the potential business that SEO helps you reach!
Your business should advertise quality, not "thrown-togetherness".
The only reason to have a website in the first place is to educate people on your service / brand and perpetuate new business! Purchasing a template can be a good option if you're just starting out - but they do limit future growth, creative ideas & future marketing, and even the amount of support you're given if things go wrong!
Hiring a web designer saves yourself major hassle in learning that lesson the hard way. They will bring your brand full circle and their pricing usually reflects how confidently they can do that. If you're in DESPERATE need of a website but can't afford to go all in on custom yet, purchasing a template and having IMG restyle it for you can be a great option! But again, if your goal is to grow big enough to have unique and custom branding, it's better to save your money and launch when you're fully ready. YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT A FIRST IMPRESSION!
Return on Investment
If you don't care about how your website looks, then I recommend not having one at all. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and that typically translates into sales! If your website is repelling business instead of drawing it in, it is not returning on your investment.
Pricing for web designers ranges greatly. My pricing starts at 2,700 and goes up depending on how many pages of custom work is needed!
COST 3 : Annual Hosting Site Fees
Your hosting site is the platform that supports your whole website design! Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress, Weebly, etc.!
Usually your designer will have a preference, so be open to their recommendation! If they are recommending a specific one for you, odds are it is because they think it will work with your business needs more than the others.
Cost for these run between $200-400 annually!
COST 4 : Tech Team Fees
I personally have outsourced my technical needs from day one, because if a crisis were to occur I want a phone number linking to a person who can instantly fix it. I also use the tech team to secure my clients outlook emails that match their domains, set up software like Microsoft, etc.
Pricing for this depends varies on the difficulty + time needed for each case.
My clients experiences have ranged from $62 - $150 one-time fee, and $75-150 annually for phone services, email hosting, and software licensing.
COST 5 : The Polished Package Extras
Branding Packages, Copywriting, Branding Photography, Paper Marketing Materials (Letterhead, Business Cards, Contracts, Brochures etc.) the list goes on!
These are just some of the recommended add ons that take your custom website from good to a well rounded brand that is AMAZING!! Prices vary for all of the things listed above, but you can expect a talented web designer to charge additional for each.
Branding Photography : $250 - $1k (depending on hours shot)
Custom Marketing Designs: $40 - $300 (depending on projects)
Copywriting : $250-1K (depending on words)
PHEW! Ok, now we've got all the numbers talk out of the way - here is the final call:
For a first time website, you should be ready to start with the investment of around $3,500, and be open to that number growing depending on what else you need (copywriting, photography, logo, etc.).
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