How much does it cost to develop a website? What is the cost of running a website? How to set the budget? These are some of the questions that startups and entrepreneurs keep asking and discussing.
Your website is similar to tourism – “you get what you pay for.” Failing to budget a website properly may invite a series of issues.
The under-budgeting issues include;
- Expect an astonishingly higher cost of development
- Compromise with design & functionality
- Poor performance and control
- Doesn’t create a strong forthcoming impression
The points mentioned above suggest that either you have under-budgeted or haven’t set any budget at all. A website with an inadequate budget will lead to sparse traffic and engagement.
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What is Website Budgeting and How to Plan It?
A website involves more than just designing and development, and so does its costing. Most of the business owners consider the development of a website as the only significant expense. But, it involves plenty of additional costs like;
- Domain Name
- Website Hosting
- Website Maintenance
Website budgeting is an essential factor that ensures the success of your online business. It helps small firms plan for the site’s development and save money while deciding what tools to use and features to include.
In this article, we will explore all the essential factors you need to consider while creating a website budget.
Step One: Domain Registration
Whether you want to shift your offline business to the web or start a new online store, you need a domain. A domain name is an identification string that establishes your business’ autonomy and defines your administrative authority and control.
In simple terms, it’s like giving your website a name. Generally, businesses use their business name as a domain name to keep consistency in branding and gain maximum advantage.
You need to purchase the domain from a registered domain registrar. In some cases, hosting providers offer free domain names under various web hosting plans. The cost will depend on its popularity – anywhere between $15 to $50 or even more if it’s a premium domain.
To buy a domain name, you must first ensure that the name is available.
ALSO READ: How To Buy A Domain Name
Step Two: Web Hosting
A domain is like giving an identity to your business, and hosting is like giving it a home. In simpler terms, hosting is like renting office space on the web. It is your website’s actual physical location where all your files, media, and sensitive information will be stored.
The cost of buying a web hosting service will depend on the type of plan and server you choose. For example, the price of shared hosting will be lower than virtual hosting. It entirely depends upon your requirements, the web hosting company you choose, features & facilities.
However, hosting a website in the right environment will ensure the long term success of your business. It will result in higher uptime, increased loading speed, among others.
Step Three: Website Development
“How much does it cost to develop a website?” is the first question every business owner asks. The ubiquitous answer is, “it depends.” You need to be specific – conduct thorough research and have a detailed discussion on the following to decide the right budget;
- The type of website and its requirements
- The features, designs, contents, and functionality
- The time it takes to be developed
If you choose to outsource your project, the budget for creating a website may increase or decrease, but that will depend on;
- The website development company
- And, outsourcing region
When you choose to develop it yourself, you need to keep additional costs in mind. For example;
- Cost to Hire a developer and designer
- Infrastructure cost
- Risk management
Besides, if you choose a content management system (CMS), then themes and plugins can be another factor, though CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and others come equipped with lots of free themes and plugins. However, as you expand your business, you may need to buy premium themes and plugins.
Step Four: Website Maintenance
Once you have purchased a domain, signed up for web hosting, and got your website developed and deployed, ongoing maintenance becomes essential.
Although maintaining a website can cost you more, not doing it can prove to be even more expensive in the long run, which would defeat the very objective of building the website – to create awareness and generate revenue.
Here are some suggestions to have control over your website;
- Follow routine updates and backups
- Install security patches as soon as the service provider releases them
- Install and update themes, plugins, and modules
- Review analytics and assess traffic
- Keep updating your website content
- Take technical support whenever and wherever required
With a little planning and research, you can cut corners and take a strategic approach to your website development.
By implementing the suggestions to set a budget for your site, you are avoiding risks and preventing unpleasant surprises, and bringing yourself in a position to determine the value and real cost of your website. If you are creating a website budget and need assistance in hosting your website, we can help with our customized budget and set the right package.