After deciding that your company needs a website, you should ask yourself about how much it will cost you to create the site. Web design and development costs in Singapore varies depending on the type of website that you want to set up, the desired effects, as well as the site’s intended reach.
If you are not in the IT sphere, you may find it hard to understand the cost and requirements of building a website. This applies both to those who are revamping existing sites, or creating new websites altogether. After establishing what you want on your website, you should come up with a work plan and a budget that will guide the web design and development process.
Factors to Consider When Creating a Website
When it comes to website building, several factors affect the costs involved. These include the purpose of your website, your preferred site layout and design, unique features that you want to get incorporated into the website, the target audience, the number of updates that you will need to make, and the content management systems that you will use.
Upon the consideration of these factors, you will be able to come up with a budget. Similarly, they help you decide on the type of site to create. The cost of building a website in Singapore can also vary depending on the kind of vendor that you choose to work with. If you are conscious about your budget, you should work with vendors who are not only competent but can also fit into your budget.
Should you go the DIY Way?
Often, those who are creating websites for the first time yet do not have the necessary funds end up using free platforms such as SquareSpace and Wix. Using these platforms can be a good idea for a small local business, which wants to establish a digital footprint in the locality within which they operate.
Large businesses that want to expand further by having a web presence should look beyond the free platforms when creating their websites. As attractive as these free website creation platforms may be, your options are limited when using them. For instance, you may not have the capability to customise your website as much as you would love.
When creating websites for the first time, most people end up being caught in a dilemma especially when it comes to determining how much they should invest in a web design and development project. You undoubtedly want a website that will grab the attention of Internet users at the expense of your competitors.
A free or low-budget option may sound enticing but it restricts you when it comes to working with competent web agencies that can create websites that guarantee a return on investment. To determine how much you should invest in a business website, you should take a look at the types of sites that are common in Singapore.
Basic Website Design Costs
Basic websites are excellent for individuals and businesses that are only looking for an online portfolio. These include architects, freelance photographers, local companies, and new startups. A basic website can suit the needs of small companies and individuals.
Basic websites can play the role of a virtual business card or advertising brochures. With these websites, your name will come up whenever Internet users run an Internet search of your name. Here are the costs involved in building basic sites.
DIY Website Design
It costs nothing to create a website using builders such as WordPress. The platform is popular due to its free themes, which are also customizable. If you intend to build a website in Singapore from scratch yet, you do not have the resources to back you, platforms such as WordPress can be of great help.
Even though you will save a lot of money by using these website builders, there is only so much that you can do for free. When it comes to functionality, you will be significantly limited. A basic website will cost an average of S$5,000 to S$25,000.
What you will ultimately pay for your basic website will depend on the level of functionality and detailing that you need. The cost doesn’t include copywriting, which is one of the most pertinent aspects of web design and development.
With this amount, you will be able to host a blog that you can use to post relevant industry-related articles. The website can also be linked to your social media pages, thus allowing more engagement with the target audience. You can also host a simple online store for conducting direct sales. Similarly, this site will enable you to edit and update your web pages in real time.
When looking to create this kind of website, your focus should be building an informational platform that only has basic features. If your business is new, its basic site can merely be an online listing. It doesn’t need much as far as functionality is concerned. Nonetheless, the site should still be highly informational. A 5-10 page website is enough for a small business.
Cost of Creating an Advanced Website
Advanced website development costs between S$10,000 to S$35,000. These websites have more functionality than basic sites. They are based on content management systems. When you choose such a website for your company, it will be easy for you to update your content including images, video, interactive media, and text.
Unlike the case with basic websites that can be built using free website builders, you have to pay a stipulated amount to create an advanced website. The process of creating advanced websites similarly involves several pre-launch tests, the customisation of graphic design solutions, and the availability of pre-written content. Without this, you cannot undertake a website launch.
What You Get When You Pay For an Advanced Website
Due to the technical expertise that goes into the creation of advanced websites, you will need to find a web design and development agency that can integrate directories and simple e-commerce platforms into your site. A sophisticated website also needs to have integrated blogging and social media functions.
When you pay a web design agency to create an advanced site for you, search engine and content creation services will be provided to you. Similarly, you will get a custom graphic design and visuals. The complexity of your custom visuals will significantly affect the ultimate cost of creating your website.
E-Commerce Website Creation Costs
An e-commerce website is more complicated than basic and advanced sites. The site requires a lot of fluidity and customisation. A simple e-commerce store that sells 50 products will cost S$5,000 while a more complex e-commerce website that sells up to 5,000 products will cost you an average of S$50,000.
Typically, e-commerce websites have functionalities such as customer log-in and account management, which allows buyers to see their past purchases as well as shipping details. Similarly, there must be a setting-up of products section, image uploading capability, a testimonial and customer reviews section, a product description section, and cart functionality.
The number of products that you want to sell on your e-commerce website is what will determine its feature sets and ultimately, the cost of setting it up. Besides what you will pay a web design agency to create your e-commerce website, you should factor in additional costs such as paying a photographer to take pictures of items that you will list on the site. These expenses can significantly increase the overall cost of creating your site.
E-commerce websites are similar to online marketplaces. Whereas e-commerce sites involve two parties (the buyer and seller), marketplaces involve three parties. In Amazon’s case, for instance, there is a buyer, Amazon itself, and a third-party who lists the products. A marketplace costs between S$50,000 to S$300,000. Such a site provides multiple logins and options for uploading products and comparisons.
Online messaging or forums are a great way of connecting individuals who have similar interests. Discussion forums have been gaining popularity in Singapore in the past few years. If you own such a platform, you can create a vibrant online platform on which members can share ideas besides engaging in lively debates and discussions.
A discussion forum needs basic features such as forum threads and a login database for users. It will cost you between S$3,000 to S$8,000 to create a discussion forum in Singapore. The total outlay will depend on your discussion forum’s subject matter and the number of members that you want it to support.
Fully Customized Website Development Cost
If you are marketing a large company whose operations cover different industries, you will need a fully customised website that captures all aspects of the company’s business setup. Such a website can comprise a blog, an e-commerce section, and links to social media feeds.
Updating such websites is easy due to their incredible functionality. Expect to pay between S$25,000 to S$100,000 for a fully customised site. With this, you will get a unique and customised website design layout, and a set up for more than ten web pages. Based on your preferences, the site can have a product listing section, a shopping cart with checkout, and an online payment system.
Customised websites also have multi-language capability in the sense that your site can be helpful to visitors who speak different languages. Similarly, a personalised website has multi-currency capability and also provides a membership database for users. There is also a mailing list sign-up feature and a photo gallery can also be added by the web design and development agency.
Often, web designers offer a three-month warranty after creating customised websites. Support, training, and free consultation are offered during this period. Clients are typically required to provide site content including images, write-ups, and logos.
What Are the Hidden Costs of Creating a Website?
The presence of numerous website builders means that you do not need to be a web development expert to create a website. Similarly, there are dozens of DIY solutions that small businesses can leverage to create a digital footprint for themselves within minutes.
Nonetheless, you should expect to incur hidden costs irrespective of whether you intend to create a DIY site or use the services of web design experts. The following are some of the hidden costs that you will incur to keep your website up and running.
There are lots of domain generators that can help you create premium domain names for your business. You will need to either pay a monthly or yearly cost to register and host the domain name that you choose. If you are creating an e-commerce website, you will require an SSL certificate.
Templates, Updates, and Plugins
Typically, web developers offer affordable starter plans for templates and plugins. Nonetheless, these templates and plugins ought to be customised to reflect your business. You will incur subscription costs for customisable themes, updates, and plugins. Besides this, you have to bear the cost of backing up your data. Keep in mind that websites ought to get updated at least once every month.
Hidden Costs of Running e-Commerce Sites
Small businesses and individual brands are increasingly selling their services and products online. If you run an e-commerce site, you need to ensure the security of the site besides ensuring that your clients’ data is safeguarded. As your business grows, you will also need to integrate the website with other platforms including payment systems. This requires a significant outlay.
The hidden costs that will arise from running your e-commerce site may include maintaining the website as well as managing sales. Some web builders charge a certain percentage of sales. Others charge for site traffic. If your site reaches a specified amount of traffic, you will be charged to expand your hosting bandwidth.
How to Save Money on Web Design Services
Businesses in the digital age are increasingly finding it necessary to have functional websites that match consumer’s expectations and needs. On the other hand, the supply of developers does not meet the demand created by such businesses.
Consequently, the cost of hiring a good developer to work on business sites is high. Web design fees can quickly scale up to between $12,000 and 150,000 dollars for a standard website. What initially seemed like a no-brainer business expense may soon turn out to be a significant source of financial strain.
It is a necessity for businesses to scale back on unnecessary expenses to keep their costs low. This guide will help you figure out what expenses a business owner can cut back on to save money on web design services. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first recommended step would be to;
1. Conduct An Audit Of Your Current Website.
Conducting a site audit is a prerequisite to the redesign process. Often, a site review reveals aspects of your current site that can be removed, recycled, or reused. Content that is no longer relevant to the goals of the business should be removed. Aspects of the website that are still functional and useful can be reused.
Analyzing the performance of different content in your site will reveal the content to keep and eliminate. Since the number of website pages directly influences the cost of the project, removing obsolete content will bring down the project’s expenditure.
However, it is essential to salvage as much relevant content as possible. Not all outdated content is useless. Some content can be repurposed and reused.
2. Use an Existing Template
Developing a unique theme for your website can be a costly undertaking. Paying for freelance developers to work on your site’s look can quickly add up the cost of developing a website. Luckily, there is an alternative to hiring, and that is using a premade template.
There are a couple of free themes that you can choose. However, it would is not advisable to use the free themes for your business site. Most lack customization features that are important in the branding stage of a business.
Paid themes are the best alternative to developing one from the ground up. Not only are they cost-effective, but also customizable during business branding. They are also relatively simple to use, with most offering a drag and drop feature.
Utilizing the various premade themes from sites such as ThemeForest can cut back significant spending on development while still offering the business a professional-looking site.
3. Do Some Website Work In-House
As much as possible, try to utilize the resource already available. You can leverage the skillset of employees in your business to keep costs low. You will be surprised by the sheer amount of work that your employees can do. Not only will it save you money, but it also builds teamwork among the workers.
Personal skills such as photography and designing can be helpful in the overall design of the site. Content writing, which is mainly outsourced, can be passed on to one of the employees. Since outsourcing such tasks will add to your expenses, it is wiser to keep some work in-house.
Communicate with your employees and ask them if anyone would love to help out. This can encourage voluntary participation.
4. Use Free Stock Photography
Businesses usually prefer stock imagery since it is clean and professional. However, it is not the cheapest alternative. Purchasing right for stock imagery can be costly for a business, especially when undertaking an expensive activity such as redesigning the website.
Why not use free stock imagery? Websites such as Pexel and Unsplash offer royalty-free images and videos for your business needs. Switching to free stock photographs cuts your budget significantly, enabling you to repurpose the money for other purposes.
Using such sites also insulates you from legal troubles since it is free for commercial use too.
5. Using an Open-Source Content Management System
Developing a content management system from scratch is daunting, and few take this path. Not only is it expensive, but also time-consuming.
An open-source content management system is usually freely distributed. It also offers a lot of flexibility when tweaking your site to match your business branding. Task such as publishing and collaboration are also easily accomplished. Since a community of developers continually supports the open-source software, the security of your site is guaranteed while at the same time offering timely updates.
An example of a free content management system is WordPress. Opting for such is a good option considering its reliability- powering over 75% of all the world’s websites.
Implementing the tips offered above can help a business owner cut unnecessary expenses during a website development cycle.
Website development is a crucial step in building a presence in today’s digital world. However, it can be an expensive undertaking. Part of this is driven by the high cost of labour for acquiring a good developer. It follows that you should be proactive in finding ways to reduce the cost of setting up a website.
The steps outlined will give you a headstart. They are by no mean exhaustive hence you can always find more ways to cost-save
Plugins That Are Needed For the Site to Perform Well.
Maintaining a website can be an overwhelming task. You have to keep track of many variables, including SEO, security of the site, site loading speed, among others. Luckily there are tools available to us to ease this burden. These tools are plugins.
A plugin is software linked to your site that increases the functionality of a particular aspect of the site. The choice of the plugin used can make or break the functionality of your site. Therefore, it is essential to understand the various plugins, what they offer, and their alternatives.
Choosing the right plugin for your website will largely depend on how your website is currently performing, what functionality you want to add, and your personal preference.
Let’s explore five plugins essential plugins that every website owner should consider.
1. Yoast SEO
SEO is the backbone of a site’s growth and ranking. Keeping your site optimized for SEO is therefore essential. Yoast does just that, working to improve your ranking in Google. Yoast offers a variety of features necessary for search engine optimization. This plugin is also free.
(Photo credit: SKT Themes)
Notable features of the Yoast plugin include an on-page content analysis capability, the ability to create titles and meta-descriptions, and allowing site navigation.
2. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
WP Smush is a straightforward, easy-to-use plugin for image compression. It is available on WordPress with over a million installs so far. It is easily one of the most popular plugins on WordPress.
Wp Smush seamlessly and automatically compresses all your images automatically. It also works on photos on your website by compressing them into reasonable optimal sizes while still fine-tuning them for your website.
(Photo credit: themeisle.com)
3. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a plugin that enhances your site’s speed as well as the load time. It is another free plugin. Some of the outstanding features of this plugin include compatibility with all hosting environments, SSL support, and browser caching.
(Photo credit: wpastra.com)
Some of the notable features of this plugin include:
- Page, database, and Browser Caching
- Support for Object Caching
- Automatic CDN support
- Lazy loading of images and media
4. World Fence
WordPress is one of the most targeted sites by hackers, making it necessary to have a firewall and malware plugin installed. Wordfence is one of the most popular plugins for these purposes. It provides a powerful malware scanner built explicitly for WordPress. Word Fence uses Threat Defense Feed to give the latest firewall rules, malicious IP addresses, and malware signatures to ensure your website remains secure.
(Photo credit: wp-reviews.com)
Wordfence comes with some essential features that make it one of your WordPress site’s most comprehensive security solutions.
Some of the outstanding features of this plugin include;
- Two-factor authentication
- Leaked password protection
- Country blocking
- Advanced manual blocking
- Live traffic monitoring
(Photo credit: wpkube.com )
Updraft is a free backup tool for WordPress sites. This plugin offers you a means of accessing stored information and avoiding losing all your data. Notable features of this plugin include:
- Instant backup and restore options
- All data is stored in external cloud storage
- It can reduce the strain on your server and boost the speed of your website
- It offers backup for both files and databases
10 Standard Website Maintenance Procedures You Should Never Ignore
Already we have discussed the cost of website design and development in Singapore. Incorporating the fees in your budget will safeguard the financial stability of your brand. However, there is something that we missed, website maintenance.
Your business and website need to work in tandem, like a well-oiled engine, to continue attracting qualified leads and generating revenue. Here are ten crucial website maintenance procedures you should never ignore.
You worked hard and invested thousands of dollars in creating a website that is user-friendly and responsive. The customers take the desired action just as you envisioned it when designing the site and placing the CTA buttons.
However, how they interact with the web tends to change over time. Picture this, a website that felt and worked naturally and intuitively in 2017 may not be relevant to users right today.
Therefore, it is recommendable to carry out annual user testing to ensure that customers get the same great and delightful experience when browsing multiple devices and browsers. The usability test should not just focus on the current users but also on new customers you anticipate attracting in the future.
Invite people who are not related to your business to review the website features. The test should involve all browsers and as many devices as possible to get an accurate report. With the results acquired, come up with a maintenance schedule to make the necessary updates.
Confirm the Renewal Status of the Domain Name
This is another crucial annual website maintenance task that will cushion you from finding your website unavailable one day, yet it was working just fine the previous day. Confirm the specific date that the domain name is up for renewal will ensure that your site is always live and available to the target customers.
The worst-case scenario is the domain registrar offering information on how any willing buyer can purchase the domain without your knowledge. Woe onto you if someone moves with speed and buys it because you didn’t keep an eye on the domain expiry date.
It may sound unlikely, but thousands of businesses lose their websites and months of work for failing to keep tabs on the domain renewal date. If you have a busy schedule, this can easily slip through the cracks. One sure way of ensuring that doesn’t happen is by taking advantage of the auto-renewal option in your account.
Update Legal Policies, Header, and Footer
The header and footer are the most important yet overlooked parts of your website. They are displayed on all the pages and contain essential information about your brand, such as a physical address, contact information, and the hours you operate.
You don’t want customers shopping up to a previous address after you relocate to a new location. Make sure that the physical address is updated if you happen to move to a new location. The footer contains the date of copyright. Make sure that it is updated to paint a positive image to your website visitors.
It may seem inconsequential and a small detail nobody notices, but trust me, some customers check to see if the website is updated. If the copyright date is extended, they will move on to the next service provider, afraid that the company is no longer in business.
Savvy customers gravitate towards brands who take time to update their websites to match the market dynamics. While at it, confirm the links in the footer, such as links to service pages, are correct. Ideally, only high-value links should be added to this section of the website.
The same case applies to the legal policies. Contact your lawyer to check whether specific clauses should be deleted or revised to match the new laws and regulations.
Place test Purchases
The purchasing function is one of the most critical parts of any ecommerce website in Singapore. You will lose thousands of dollars if the checkout process stops working and you are unaware of it. Avoid this from happening by placing test purchases quarterly.
The test purchases will help you pinpoint any issues and fix them before they wreak havoc on your business. Note that most customers won’t bother to alert you; they will assume that you are aware of the problem and working to fix it. Besides, it’s the most critical section of your website.
Like usability tests, buy products or subscribe to a service using multiple browsers and devices to identify any friction points in the buying process. New payment options should also be put through the same tests to be sure they are working seamlessly. Updates should be done ASAP.
Confirm All Forms Are Functional
Virtually all websites have at least one form for purposes of collecting valuable information from customers. It is vital to make sure that they are fully functional to avoid losing customers to your competitors.
For example, if customers cannot place orders because the information forms are faulty, you will lose thousands of dollars in profits. Check how the fields appear on multiple browsers and devices to offer a consistent experience to all customers.
Once you are done with that, confirm that the data collected using the forms is relayed to the right person or department. The transfer of data should be in real-time to avoid any delays, especially customer inquiries.
Also, go the extra mile to try out new form formats to match the changes in the market. Check what your competitors are using to collect data and tweak the form to match your brand. Copying is not allowed as it will make your business look illegitimate. It will also be challenging to stand out if you use forms that your competitors are using.
Audit the Site for Broken Links
Google and website visitors hate broken links. Your site risks dropping from the current position in SERPs due to having too many broken links. Stop disappointing potential customers by ensuring that none of the links on your website redirect them to a 404 page.
Broken links or dead links make your business look unprofessional by leading qualified customers to the wrong pages. For instance, if you recently introduced a new product and created a dedicated landing page for it, make sure that the link to it is functional.
No website is immune to broken links, no matter how keen you are at creating content and linking to internal and external pages. Create a schedule to audit the entire website for these kinds of links every three months.
Remember that search engine bots rely on the links when crawling websites and determine site architecture. You can use many premium tools, but free ones such as Google Search Console can get the job done equally well.
Consider this your opportunity to enhance on-site SEO by linking to the most relevant or new pages. The SEO juice will flow from the old pages already crawled and enjoy a high ranking to newly created pages.
Check and Install Security Updates
Businesses lose millions of dollars to hackers who exploit loopholes in website security systems and protocols. Keeping hackers at bay should be one of your top priorities when creating a website. Even so, it is wise to check the site for vulnerabilities every month.
If you run an ecommerce website, you need to ensure that the customers’ information, such as credit card numbers, is encrypted. Third parties shouldn’t be able to access the data using any software or tool. If not, your reputation will go down the drain.
Some security updates could tamper with how the site functions and looks. Therefore, we recommend taking several minutes to confirm that all the site features are working correctly after the update. For instance, some WordPress security updates result in compatibility issues with pre-installed plugins.
The possibility of losing the entire functionality of certain sections of the website, such as the purchase function, is scary. Still, it should not deter you from doing this website maintenance step every month.
Lastly, don’t procrastinate or assume that everyone in your industry is talking about a security threat that cannot affect your website. Most of the threats are broad-spectrum, meaning they can affect a wide range of websites.
Backup Site Data Regularly
If you are anything like me, you have lost a project or two after working hundreds of hours on it. The mistake is failing to back up the data as you progress. The same case applies to websites; by now, the past experiences of losing data have made you an expert in keep computer backups. Do the same for your website to save time and money that would have been spent creating the site from scratch.
Can you imagine invested thousands of dollars on a new website and even more effort and resources on SEO to get back to the top of SERPs? By exploiting loopholes on your website, hackers can penetrate the system and wipe out all the data in seconds. If that happens, you can quickly recover if you had previously backed up the site.
CodeGuard is one of the best website backup systems out there. Check out its features to know if it suits your business needs and budget. More importantly, learn how it works to get maximum utility from it.
How Fast is Your Website?
Website visitors are impatient; only a fraction of them will stick around for more than 4 seconds, waiting for a page to load. Imagine all the effort you put into creating the site going down the drain because the site does not match the competitor’s website speed and users’ expectations.
One of the causes of a high bounce rate is slow to load time. Rest assured that Google will notice that customers leave your site after landing and lower your ranking. Here is an article we recently wrote on how to increase website speed.
We recommend checking how the website loads at least once every month. Don’t just limit your check to the homepage and the service pages, other pages such as the about us page also need to be maintained.
Google’s Page Speed Insights is one of the most reliable tools that you can use to determine your site’s performance across different devices, browsers, and networks. Apart from showing the slow pages, it provides recommendations of precisely what you should do to crank up the speed.
Keep an Eye on Key Metrics
Stop shooting in the dark and expecting to hit the target by monitoring the critical website performance metrics. They include;
- Conversion Rate
- Organic Traffic
- Bounce Rate
This list is far from complete, but it will give you an idea of the areas that you need to work on to get or stay ahead of the curve. For instance, if you notice one of the previously best-performing pages is dropping in rankings, spring into action to know what could be wrong. You can reverse the trend by updating the content with new stellar and concise content.
Google Analytics is one of the tools you can use to understand exactly how every section of your website is performing. Check how the various marketing campaigns are performing to know which ones you should invest more time and resources on and which ones should be revamped.
For new businesses, expect to see few details in the reports due to the low traffic, but the already established business should make it a habit to check the Google Analytics reports page frequently every week.
Web design and development doesn’t involve a one-off cost. Besides what you will initially pay to have a website created, you will also incur maintenance expenses and the cost of securing your site. The costs mentioned above vary because different web designers have different rates. Therefore, you should find a web designer who fits into your budget. Building and maintaining a site can be challenging. It takes time to learn the inner workings of a blog. The plugins reviewed here are by no means an exhaustive list of all needs. However, they cover the most critical aspects of a website such as speed, security, and backups.
Your investment in a responsive and user-friendly website is the first step in the right direction. You are on the right path to establishing a successful online business in Singapore. However, you need to go the extra mile and do the website maintenances to stay on top of your game.
Don’t let your busy schedule prevent you from realizing the full potential of your website. Contact us today for website design and maintenance services. We will do more than just maintaining it but also checking its SEO to ensure its ranking for the right keywords.