by Ethan Lewis

October 21, 2020

Website 6 min read

Costs to Consider When Building and Maintaining a Website

Building a website from scratch can cost you anywhere between $20 dollars to $20,000. Depending on your needs and preference, you can opt for free website builder tools or go for web design agencies that will create a sophisticated and bespoke website for you. 

The cost of maintaining a website depends on the type of site you have. While a small blog website can cost you $5 a month, an enterprise website can cost you around $1000 monthly. 

At the end of the day, there's no fixed cost to creating a website and the costs incurred will depend on your website needs and your personal preference.  

Let’s discuss the factors you’ll be spending on your online space one by one.  

There are two types of costs that are involved in website building: one-time costs and recurring costs. 

One-Time Expenditures  Recurring Expenditures  
Building a customer engagement strategy   Registering a domain 
Website design   Hosting the website 
Producing copies and content (maybe recurring if you’re producing regular content)  Website security  
Producing media content    

One-Time Expenses 

Building a customer engagement strategy

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While a sophisticated web design makes a great first impression, it means very little if your website isn’t able to generate revenue.  

Before building your site, you’ll need to devise an effective online marketing plan to boost customer engagement, drive leads, and eventually snag conversions. You can do this on your own, but you can also hire marketing pros to help you take on the task.  

Marketing plays a key role in creating an effective website. This is why it pays to hire a web design agency that takes your online marketing plan into consideration.  

Some freelance web designers only focus on designing the website they fail to integrate a good user experience. A web design agency, which typically has multiple teams each specialising in different aspects of website building, takes your customer strategy into consideration. They create your website with your business goals in mind.  

Website design

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The design of a website is the first thing that anyone notices about a website. Website design is more than just the aesthetic; it’s the overall user experience.  It should be able to capture the essence of your business, and at the same time, encourage the visitor to fulfil a certain purpose.  

If you are hard on the budget, there are free website creation platforms you can try. The downside is it usually makes your website a subdomain of their main domain. And to be honest, it doesn’t really look professional to your audience.  

But if you’re serious about your business and want your website to make an impression, it’s best to get in touch with a reputable web design agency.  

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Producing copies and content

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Great written content adds panache to your website. It’s also the backbone of SEO. So, make sure your content speaks to your target audience and contains relevant keywords they’re searching for.  

You can hire freelance content writers separately or leave it to a content writing agency. Content writers charge differently depending on their experience and the task at hand, but you can always negotiate and work around a budget.  

READ: 10 Clever Content Marketing Tips to Improve Your Small Business Website 

Producing media content

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Nowadays, businesses go for videos on their home page to better demonstrate the kind of work they do. Professionally shot photographs and videos instil confidence on visitors to interact with your brand or business.  

But it doesn’t come cheap, especially if you plan on hiring a professional photographer to do the work for you. But with the benefits it will bring, and considering the output is going to be plastered on your website for quite some time, it should be a one-time expense worth investing on 

READ: 6 Image Optimisation Tips to Speed Up Your Website 

Recurring Expenses 

Recurring expenses are anticipated costs that occur regularly. For example, a brick-and-mortar business deals with recurring costs such as electricity and rent. For maintaining a website, here are some of the recurring expenses to expect:  

Registering a Domain

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A domain name is a must for any website. It’s like your website’s address. Without it, your visitors won’t be able to access your online space.  

Registering a domain name is a one-time thing, but you’ll need to pay annually, or every couple of years depending on your subscription plan, to continue to own it. Otherwise, you could lose your domain to someone else.  

Hosting the website

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For your website to work, you need to store your website and all its files on a hosting server. If your domain is your website’s address, the hosting is your website’s lot. You need it to keep your website afloat.  

There are different types of web hosting, which includes shared, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated server hosting. Each has its pros and cons, but you should select one based on your business requirements 

Type of Hosting 

Pros & Cons 

Shared Hosting 

Shared hosting is the cheapest type of hosting service. In this case, your website is hosted along with other websites or other web applications in a common space on the server. It's like staying together with few other people on a room-sharing basis.

 

Though cheap, shared hosting often compromises website speed and performance since other websites are also using the same server space at the same time. Also, there is the risk of viruses infecting your website, catching on from any of the others.

VPS Hosting 

In the case of VPS hosting, though your website is hosted on the same physical server, it is allotted a separate space. It's like staying in an apartment that is a part of a building with several other apartments.

 

Unlike shared hosting, in VPS hosting - your website performance isn’t at the mercy of other websites that are hosted in the same physical server.

Dedicated Hosting 

Dedicated hosting is the costliest among all the options as it offers an exclusive server to host your website. It's like staying in your own house. However, you need to possess sufficient knowledge to handle a dedicated server. 

Securing the Website 

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You should have an SSL certificate installed for your website to ensure basic website security. Having a secure website helps improve your search engine ranking.  

There are additional security measures you can incorporate in your website, like anti-spam, anti-malware, etc. While this is another recurring expense on your end, the benefits outweigh the cost. A lot of small businesses suffer from the damages inflicted by cyberattacks each year. You know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.   

READ: 7 Cyberthreats to Look Out For (+Tips to Secure Your Website) 

You get what you pay for 

Building and maintaining a website does not come cheap, but you’re only getting what you pay for. You may settle on doing all of these yourself or doing the work inhouse, but there’s a price to pay either way. You may initially be paying for less, but you’ll never know the trouble you may get intoand the costs that will incur your business—due to a mediocre site.  

To save on unnecessary costs in the long run, invest in a good web design and development agency that will create your website with your own vision in mind. Plus, get expert tips on how to manage, secure, and maintain your website in the long run.  

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