Many small businesses just starting out have found that they can create a website with the various off the shelf systems and templates for a minimal cost. Many of them can be built and maintained for as little as $250 per year. However, do you want to rely on an off the shelf system to represent your company online? As many small businesses grow, it is imperative that their online presence reflects a more professional standard. Professional website builders can charge anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 for a website depending on what your business needs are. The best way to approach your needs towards a quality website is to budget for it accordingly. Draw up an itemized list and fit your budget within those limits. Here is a list of items that every business needs to budget for designing, building, and launching a quality website.
1. Domain Registration Website Budgeting
The cost for registering a domain name for your business that will have a .com (or .net) usually runs about $10 to $35 dollars a year depending on whom you register with.
2. Hosting Your Website in the Budget
Many small businesses have an outside company host their website. Hosting it yourself is a large investment in hardware equipment. The fees for hosting a website can vary widely. Depending on traffic anticipated and security, the costs start at about $8 for a shared host system, up to $125 to $1,000 a month for a dedicated server host.
3. Website Graphics and Content in the Budget
Graphics can be cheap when first starting out. Royalty-free stock art can be had for about $10 an image. However, if you don’t have a company logo you may need to hire a graphics artist to design one. Expect to pay them from $50 to $150 per hour. When starting up your small business, content writing usually will come from you. However, professional copywriters can make a site look polished and at $50 to $85 an hour they maybe worth the money.
4. Programming Website Needs in the Budget
A quality website will need to have content management systems and CRM tools added. CMS tools allow your site to be updated much easier. CRM tools are the programming your website will need for online forms, e-commerce, and other business items. Expect to pay $50 to $125 per hour to for professional programming assistance.
5. Testing and Analytics Website Needs in the Budget
A quality small business website is going to want to know who has visited, when they visited, how long they stayed, and what they looked at. All this is important to drive your small business in the right direction. Testing your website and having analytics installed will help you determine the answer to those questions. Usability testing will cost you about $50 per hour. Setting up Google Analytics is free to install however, more hearty systems will cost you $50 to $5,000 a month depending on your needs.
Getting good quality website support is important if your message to your customers online is important. Budget accordingly for the right size and complexity of your small business website.