It’s true that you can tell the cost of a website through its visual appeal, but the case is not reliable. For example, a custom made site may appear less costly to the eyes in comparison to free templates from Wix.com. It means that it’s hard to make a sound judgment based on visual appeal.
Why don’t we take an example of Lamborghini Spyder car? The car is among the hottest you can buy in the market. It has a lot of fans, not because of its appearance but the sound it produces. The same case applies to websites. It’s not how they look on the screen that makes them costly but the qualities they feature. As a result, we recommend that you don’t judge a website by its cover.
In this article, we take care of all your worries while purchasing a website. We look at three strong points that’ll need you to pay attention. These include:
- what type of sites are worth your money and which ones are not,
- where to place more efforts and where not to, and
- which factors matters and which ones doesn’t
When developing a website, you’ll need help from experienced developers and designers. They will help you avoid all technical errors and financial shortages that might come your way. They will also help you choose the best solution for your budget and the period it will take to complete the project.
There is a variety of website pricing charts you can use to predict what you’re expected to pay for a website. However, to make it easy for you, we prepare a guide on how much you can expect to spend on your site.
First, in case you want to hire a designer for your website development, it’ll cost you approximately $6, 750 for a basic website. If you do not employ a designer, you can drag or drop a website builder such as the Weebly. Such will only cost you a monthly charge of $5 for a basic website. Web builders will offer other surfaces such as ecommerce. In this case, it’ll cost you approximately $17 a month. It also requires no trained personnel as it’s a DIY website.
Website builders will help you design your website without digging much into your pocket. Also, no skills are necessary in this case. Some good examples of such builders include WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. For Squarespace, they offer no free plans but have 14 days free trials to make sure you buy out of the experience. The following features are essential in a website builder;
- Free Adverts: check whether builder’s ads get to display on your website or not.
- Personal Domain: do you get to receive own site address
- Unlimited Bandwidth: such refers to the number of visitors your site can comfortably handle.
When determining the price, consider the following;
Are you asking the right question?
Asking how much a website should cost you is not the proper question. The question lacks to be specific. The same case as budgeting for other items, the cost of a website will vary regarding people’s opinions. We can take the example of a mom with three children who are all under ten years. For her, time is of more value than money. And this case applies to websites as well. In simple terms, the price for building a site can break into four resources. These include
- Technical knowledge or willingness to learn to code
- Design skills and desire to study designs
However, it needs you not to have all of the four aspects as a starter as one will compensate the other.
Therefore, when you go about estimating the cost of a website, your first question should be whether you hold all of these aspects.
Do you have all the Resources?
At most of the time, we think of money as the only resource in developing a website. However, of the four essential resources, capital stands as the most flexible of all. Take for example; you can possess the time, or you don’t have it at all. Also, you either know to code, or you don’t. And lastly, you either have interest in web designs, or you don’t have any passion. But this is not the case with money.
For the money, we all have some level of cash. The question remains how you can best use the money you have in your website development. Take an example of a person who pays $4.50 to buy a fancy Starbucks while he can make one at home for $0.1. We, therefore, can agree that it’s not about how much money you have but is it worth on your website. You, therefore, need to estimate the cost based on three other factors, that is, time, design skills and technical knowledge.
Your Website’s Cost based on Limited Resources
When we talk about building, operating or managing a website, it’ll involve five phases. These include;
- The Website set-up: this stage occurs before designing of the website content
- Learning how to maintain website builders
- Planning the layout,
- Creating the content
- Troubleshooting and further maintenance
In all phases, you must ensure to have adequate time, design and technical skills for each of them to be successful. In case you miss any of them, it’s necessary to rely on modern technology or experts to have the job done.
Each website builder is different from the other in different ways. Consider the following three strategies of soup making as a good illustration;
- Method A: you can make the soup by yourself. Here, you buy all the ingredients, mix them well to the end and make the soup.
- Method B: Using services such as BlueApron, you can receive packages of ingredients and the whole recipe which will fasten the speed of the process. Here, you save time for ingredient preparations and door-step delivery.
- Method C: You can also decide to order readymade soup from readymade food stores. You only need to make the booking and have the soup at your doorsteps.
In the same way as making soup, website builders will have different level services in the development process. Consider the following methods;
Method A: building the website from Scratch
In this case, you hire a group of experts who will not use website builders in developing your website. However, with instructions of site builders, building websites from scratch is diminishing daily.
Method B: Use Website Builders
With website builders such as WordPress, they give you all the ingredients and procedures you need to create a website. You can do it if you have the skills or you can hire an expert to do it on your behalf.
Method C: Using Drag & Drop Website Builders
Most of the website builders such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are automated. They handle all technical and design issues for you. Only minimum technical knowledge is necessary. Even though you have to build the website, you don’t need to be professional. However, with the diversity with their features, it calls you to spend time learning which builder works best for you. Each website builder will have different characteristics, a list of tools and web designs that will need you to spend the time to note the best. You can choose any of the above three methods to complete creating your website.
After looking at the two main ways of developing a website, let us now look into it regarding cash.
OPTION 1: Website Development Cost when You Hire a Professional
In this case, we shall look at WordPress as our profession. Currently, WordPress powers approximately 26% of all websites. As long as you possess all the expertise necessary, you can develop any site using WordPress. It is suitable for all individuals that have no technical knowledge about websites and those who never owned one before. It has a better learning curve and a minimal cost in comparison to the automated website builders. However, in case you have limited time, patience or money, make sure not to use WordPress.
Cost of Setting up WordPress Website
To set up a website means to find a hosting provider, Using FTP, link the hosting provider with your site software, and then connect the domain name to the website. Let’s define each of these terms;
The host is like a coat closet where you keep your coat, and whenever you need it, you must go to the closet and retrieve it. When you enter the address of your website to the browser, the browser retrieves it from the host. There are different categories of hosting providers which include;
- Shared hosting that costs $5 to $30
- VPS hosting that costs $50 to $250
- Dedicated hosting which works well for the large or enterprise websites.
The pricing for the hosting services depends on the number of visitors your website can handle. For starters, consider Bluehost as the best option you have.
FTP is necessary to managing files stored by your website host. Such records include web content, images, designs, and features among others. The hosting service providers offer instructions on how to use the FTP. It’ll take a few hours to get it running. You can also hire a designer or developer for direct support with charges ranging from $30 to $80 per hour. Using FTP will cost you from $0 to $50.
Installing WordPress to the Host and Connecting the Domain Name
The process will cost you from $0 to $50. Most of the hosts will have WordPress already installed. Also, instructions are available on how to connect the domain name to your website. If you’re new to sites, you can use beginners guide for the task. It, however, can take a few hours for the first timers to make the connection. You can also hire professionals to do the work for you at a price ranging from $30 to $80.
Website setup cost with WordPress can cost as low as $5.
Cost in Learning how to use WordPress
Learning how to use WordPress can take up to one month. You can decide to use the free tutorials online or can pay for high-quality learning services from Lynda.com. The charge per month here is $50.
The cost in Designing WordPress
With web-designs, you can spend as much money as you have. You have a variety of models to make a selection. These include;
- Pre-Made Designs: you can decide to use the underlying templates which cost between $35 and $50, or the premiums costing $80 to $200.
- Custom Built websites using pre-made templates: here, you can hire an expert to customise the pre-made templates to give you a unique site. Depending on how much work gets done, it can cost you from $300 to $1, 000.
- Custom Web Design: here, you’re sure to get unique websites. And depending on the country of origin of the developer, the service will cost from $5, 000 to $30000.
- Cost of Content Creation
The process of creating website content involves the framework of your website. These are the logos, slideshows, how the sidebar should look and function among other uses. It also includes images, texts, and blogs among others. These are what explains to your website visitors what your site and business entails.
The best way to make the content is to purchase the Pre-made templates at a price of $35 to $200, and then hire an expert to create the content for you. Charges per hour will range from $50 to $80, while charges per project range from $250 to $500. The branding can cost you from $100 to $1500 with an ongoing maintenance cost of $100 to $500 per year.
You can also use online guides and learn how to go through image editing and logo branding to minimise the cost.
- Troubleshooting and Maintaining the site
The maintenance and troubleshooting cost will range from $500 to $1000. It will involve taking care of the breakdown challenges that are more likely to come your way.
OPTION 2: Website Cost Using Drag and Drop Website Builder
Good examples of Drag and Drop Web Builders include Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. They are good for the following cases;
- In case it’s your first-time website
- Those with limited time to learn technical skills,
- Those who have limited money to invest in website building,
- You need full control over the site and
- In case you don’t need specific software on making your website.
- Set-up Cost Using Drag and Drop Builders
The costs incurred in setting up a site in any of the drag & drop web builders are $0. You have no worries with hosting, using FTP, installing software or how to link the domain name. Every set-up is automatic. You only need to sign-up for an account using your email. Before you can use paid plans, you can use free intends to test the reliability of the builder. At Wix.com and Weebly, they offer free ideas. It means that the hosting needs and usage of the website is free. You have no time limits to use the free plans as well.
- Cost of Learning how to Use drag &drop builders
It also costs $0 to learn how to use drag and drop builders. No lessons are necessary to master any technical knowledge with these types of builders. It only needs the understanding of how to drag things around your computer screen using a mouse. If you can correctly do this, you can comfortably use drag & drop web builders.
- Website Designing cost using Drag & Drop Builder
You can access free web design templates at free charges. Most of the models are perfect, but you lack access to the codes. At Wix.com, they offer over 510 professional template designs, while at Squarespace, they offer the best web design templates better than some custom design websites. At Weebly, they allow access to the codes to enable you to make changes where necessary.
- Cost of Creating Website Content Using Drag & Drop Builders
The cost of creating web content will range from $500 to $2, 000. You can consider hiring a designer to create the graphics, do branding and page content on your behalf. And since the overall cost of building a website is low with drag & drop web builders, you will find it easy to spend a few dollars for this task.
Hiring a designer for Drag & drop Web builders is more convenient than in the case of WordPress. The process is not cheap because the designers get less qualified. Instead, the drag & drop builders minimise possible technical barriers. In return, this reduces the amount of work a designer has to do making the service cheaper.
It means that you need no coding skills to qualify to be a designer in this field. And with its wide variety of available designers here, you will have a pool to make a perfect selection.
- Troubleshooting and Maintenance Using Drag and Drop Builders
It’ll also cost you $0 to manage and maintain your website while using the drop & drag builders. They have 24/7 support team that will cater for all your technical issues at free charges. The problem with website builders’ example of WordPress is the fact that you will have to pay for designers to correct the arising technical issue. Also, the payment may not appear as a big issue, but finding a trustworthy designer is always a challenge. And as for advice to individuals with no technical expertise, we recommend a fully managed web builder. It also applies to those individuals new to website designs. In doing this, you face minimal confusion, frustrations, and complications. And this gives you a chance to concentrate on building your website while the technical team deals with any arising issues.
We can say that how much to construct a website depends on the four resources you need to build a website. These are time, technical knowledge, design skills, and money. Therefore, understanding what you have and what you lack gives you an opportunity to know which path you should take. By doing this, you can quickly approximate the final cost of the website you aim to create. Also, the budget of your site should put the following to a consideration;
- The amount of time you consider employing into your project,
- The financial capital you’re prepared to apply to the hiring process for qualified professionals, and
- The opportunity cost for being able to use your time to a highly valued business and personal things.
Also, from the above discussion, consider to use website builders such as WordPress in developing your website if you possess the following properties:
- If it’s not a first time to develop a site and you have experiences in managing available WordPress website design templates,
- In case you have specific web design and software needs which you can only find in WordPress,
- When you have adequate time and money you can spend on learning, designing and operating WordPress Websites.
On the other hand, we recommend that you consider using Wix.com, Squarespace, and Weebly if you experience the following conditions;
- In case it’s your first time to create a website,
- If you need no custom design websites, or you have no specific software needs for your site,
- In case the time to spend on your website gets limited, meaning that you find no necessity in learning coding skills,
- When your financial situation is limited and has no cash to invest in your site development. As a result, you find it not necessary to hire professional developers or designers in the process, and also,
- When you want increased control of the website. With improved control, it means that you have not to pay developers or designers to make changes in the website content. It assumes that you prefer managing the account all by yourself.