Many Different Directions
When you are starting a business you are pulled in many directions from operations to human resources to legal to marketing. For those of you who may not have any idea how much it might cost to have a website, here is a good place to start. Below is a list of tools you may or may not need. You can work through each item and calculate how much your website may cost. We also created a downloadable checklist for you to use as you are going through these digital tools. Have fun!
Blaze Your Digital Path
- Domain Names $20-$100/year: You can’t have a website without a domain name. If you don’t buy that for five years then you buy it for one year and it’s usually around $10 per year, but they’re more expensive if you have a specialty name mycompany.io or mycompany.us and those could be anywhere from $20-$40 per year. If you have more than one domain name then those start to add up, so if you have several domain names it might be $100 a year just to host your domain names. You can also purchase privacy on your domain names which adds about $10 per domain name. This keeps your name off of lists that companies use to cold call prospects.
- Hosting $100-$300 per year: You’ll almost definitely have to pay for hosting for your website unless you know someone who hosts websites or you have your own server. Recently a contact of mine had to frantically move her website because her friend that was hosting her site for free said he didn’t want to host it anymore, so think twice before you go that direction. I have worked with individuals that offer hosting before and decided to move away from them because they could not be reached 24-7. SiteGround has been a reliable partner for us for many years. Hosting is usually about $100 per year but can be more if other services are bundled in, including the SSL certificate, automatic backups, and/or security features.
- SSL Certificate: You should definitely include an SSL certificate in the basic cost to have a website because it is usually not included, but some hosting companies will bundle it in, now that Google is putting more emphasis on it. If you get it from the hosting company they are $50 or $100 depending on the level of security needed and how many websites it will cover. There is a really great company called CleanTalk (cleantalk.org) that offers a standard SSL certificate for about nine dollars a year, although you have to install it yourself and the directions are a little confusing, their tech support is pretty good. Our set up charge is $60/hour. SSL has gotten to be a requirement. If you don’t have an SSL the search engines tell visitors that your site isn’t secure, which discourages them from staying on your site very long, which could decrease conversion.
- Email: Your professional email (email@example.com) will likely cost something, although there are still ways to get free email hosting with your website hosting. It could be up to five dollars per email per month which is $60 per year per email address. Google has an email hosting service that includes cloud storage, office tools like spreadsheets, presentation templates, forms, virtual meetings, and other features. Microsoft has a similar offering within Outlook. Our set up charge is $60/hour. I don’t recommend using a free Gmail or Hotmail account for your professional email. Free email accounts are much more susceptible to hacking. Some email marketing programs require a professional email to send email blasts. LinkedIn also requires a professional email to create a company page, so while it isn’t a requirement, it is highly recommended.
- Logo and Design $100-$1000 one time: If you need a logo for your website or a custom design those services can cost anywhere from $100-$1000 depending on how custom the work is. You can build a logo through something like Fiver but those logos are not custom and they are likely not to give you the right formats. You’ll need different sizes. You’ll need a horizontal design, a square design, maybe a circle design as well as print and web formats. If you are trying to reduce the cost to have a website or to stay under a certain budget you may decide not to spend as much on a custom design (at least a first). Our graphic designer has several packages to choose from to accommodate your needs and your budget.
- Theme or web templates $50-80 per year: A website theme is mostly a WordPress item, but there are other platforms that have themes. A theme can be customized for your industry or very basic. You might pay $50-$80 for your theme and you might have to pay that per year. You can get a free theme, but usually, there is very little support and customization. If you are planning on building your site, a great resource is themeforest.net. You will also want to get a Child theme, but generally, these are free and available on the WordPress plugin directory.
- Website Creation Services $1000-$5000: If you’re going to have your website built, we charge $200 for your homepage, $100 per additional page and then $100 for optimization per page, so if you have a five-page website it’s going to be at least $1100 ($200* 5 pages), but generally five-page websites don’t get the message out completely. It’s usually closer to 10 pages that a website will be and that’s not including functionality on your website (see #6.)
- Website builders $50-$250 per year or one time: Builders allow you to drag and drop layout and design elements into your site. There is a theme called Divi that’s by Elegant Themes and that is about $90 a year to keep it updated but if you want to buy the lifetime access to the updates it’s about $250 for lifetime access to all of their themes. I have clients who have opted to buy a lifetime license so they don’t have to pay for something every year. Set up for builders is charged at an hourly rate of $60/hour. Many business owners use builders to be able to create their websites without the help of developers.
- Forms $100-$240 per year: I like a plug-in for contact forms which costs about $100 a year for three websites so I think it’s about $50 per year if you only have one website. It’s called WP forms. It has some nice functionality and is very easy to set up (for WordPress websites) There is a service called Jotform (www.jotform.com) that provides a much fancier kind of form with a lot more options such as shutting down the form at a certain time and putting up a message that says a form is closed. If you need something that technical, it costs $20 a month so that’s $240 per year. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a consideration if you are going to capture visitor info on your site. Even though GDPR is specifically for European visitors now, it’s not a bad idea to comply with GDPR, because many countries are considering these standards. The European Union has penalties in place for companies that do not comply. If you are planning on having a contact form on your site, you also need an SMTP plugin that will allow your contact form submissions to go to your email inbox. Many form submissions go to your spam box if you don’t have this plugin. There are free options, but if you get hundreds or thousands of form submissions you will have to pay for this service through sendgrid.com, sendinblue.com, or another similar service. The plugin has a free tier, a $50/year tier, and some options that are more customizable.
- Spam, Hacking, and Malware Protection $100-$1200 per year: These kinds of plug-ins or services could cost you $100 a month or more. They protect your website from spam, malware, and hacking attempts, but they usually have more functionality like backing up your site for you every month and it will do some proactive tests on your website every month to make sure that there aren’t any bad spiders or any hackers crawling your website. Set up for these services is charged at an hourly rate of $60/hour. Many people don’t think to include this in the cost to have a website, but hacking is real and if your website is hacked it could cost much more to fix the problem that it does to prevent the problem. Sometimes hacked sites can’t be recovered at all. One of our favorite plugins for spam protection is managed by Cleantalk.org. It’s intuitive and affordable. WPCerber is also an effective tool. It allows the changing of your login page to a unique URL so that your site login page is harder to find.
- Search Engine Optimization $100 per page: You may already have a website that has never been optimized or needs to be refreshed. We can optimize your site at any stage. We start with research and then we create a report for you to compare to your current content and website layout. We will help you structure your site in a way that you will invite more of your targeted customers. We do one-time SEO reports for your site for $300.
- Analytics Free to $2,000 per year: We like to set up Google Analytics when we build your site, but if we aren’t building your site, analytics setup is charged at an hourly rate of $60/hour. There are some analytical tools that charge a monthly fee like Omniture and Moz. These maybe even more than $2,000 per year depending on the size of your company.
- Sliders $50-$100 per year: Everybody loves sliders! I just bought a slider during Black Friday that cost me $20 for the year at half off savings so it would’ve been $40 a year for it to buy a slider that only has one function! Set up for sliders is charged at an hourly rate of $60/hour. Revolution Slider and Master Slider are two sliders we use for our clients.
- Website Updates: once you have your website up you probably don’t have to pay for the website itself, but if you want to update it add that could be $25-$100 per hour. There are sites like freelancer.com where you can find individuals who offer these services. Our charge is $60/hour. Building a website and not updating it is not a good idea. It’s like having a lawn and not mowing it. Eventually, it gets old and the search engines won’t acknowledge it. Getting into your site and adding new content is highly recommended. It also allows for trends in your industry and creative use of your site.
- Website Development, Applications, & Plugins Free to $5000 one time (or more depending on your needs): A website has several levels:
- Informational Website: Basic information on the site to help visitors know what you do
- Communication Website: Interaction with visitors including contact forms and instant messaging
- E-commerce: Ability to make purchases on the site (see #16)
- Booking: Ability to book appointments on the site (free options are available but with very limited functionality)
- Database: Hold information about your visitors ($120 per year and up)
- Membership: Allow visitors to log in and interact ($100-300/year)
- Gallery: Allow visitors to look at photos, videos, work (free options are available but with very limited functionality)
- Custom Functionality like double sides marketplace or some other needs
These functions are either built out or created from some other pre-created template or service that can be embedded on your site. If you have a WordPress website you will find many of these features in plug-ins. Some of them are free and some could cost up to $100 or have a monthly cost associated with them as much as $50 per month (or maybe, even more, depending on the function). They could also charge by the transaction, so it’s not always easy to determine how much it would cost to have a website 😉
16. Membership setup $500-$1000 one time: for your website that could be up to $200 a year. Our set up charge for membership sites is $60/hour.
17. E-commerce setup $1000 and up: If you need e-commerce on your website we would add at least $1000 for that work because it entails adding a bank account, adding every product, optimizing each product, testing the functionality, and setting up the email and the forms needed. It takes a lot of time to build out an e-commerce website. If you already have a complete database, that will save time.
18. Other Applications $300 and up: Communication tools, galleries, booking tools, databases, and other functionality require connections to other pages/services or completely new setup. so the setup costs vary. The setup cost and the cost of the service itself are separate in most cases. If you want us to set up your booking tool and you pay $30/month for that tool, you will pay the service fee as well as our fee to set it up.
19. Email Marketing $240-$500/month: If you have emails going in from your website contact form emails there are a lot of email programs that are free for up to 1000 contacts on your list but after you had 1000 you’re looking at probably about $20 a month for email. Our set up charge is $60/hour.
20. Search Engine Advertising $250-$1500/month: SEM is search engine marketing. For SEM, we charge $60/hour to set up your paid keyword campaign and 15% of your budget. We don’t recommend having a budget under $250/month and encourage a budget of closer to 1000/month. We also offer Facebook ad management and Brandzooka ad management.
We hope this helps you answer the question: How much does it cost to have a website? If you still have questions, please reach out to us! We love to talk about marketing. If you are building your business and would like to checklist for business needs, click here. Complete the form below to get our attention. Our initial consultation is always free!