One thing that almost every prospective client asks is, “How much will a new web site cost?”. That is a question that can not easily be answered without a bit of thought. There are a few variable and a few fixed costs that go into each project. I like to break down project costs for new clients like this:
1. Domain Name
A domain name is an annual fee and is something every web site needs. It is the address on the World Wide Web where your site is located. It’s also the name that ties your company to your web site.
Domain names are registered annually from an domain registrar from anywhere from one to ten years. As of this writing, a new domain can be registered for $17 to $22 per year, depending on which registrar you use.
I normally send people to GoDaddy for domain name registration. There are hundreds of registrars available. They all function, mostly, the same.
2. Web Hosting
Web hosting is a monthly fee. A host is a computer, hooked up to the Internet 24/7, that houses your web site files and serves them to your visitors. If your domain is the address of your site, the host is the building that houses it.
I offer web hosting packages to my clients starting at $15 / month, billed either quarterly or annually.
3. Web Design and Development
While the first two items on this list are fixed prices, the cost of web design and development varies greatly. The number of pages you need, the functionality of each section, and the complexity of the design all need to be taken into account when figuring out a project cost.
A small, five page, static brochure type site could start as low as $800. A large e-commerce platform could, easily, run up to $3500 or more. An organizational site showing members and events will be somewhere in between. Again, the final cost will depend on a number items that should be properly planned out and put in writing before the project begins.
This section of a project cost is always the largest, but it is also a one time fee.
Every web site project will have the three sections above. Depending on your needs, there are other fees that you may, or may not have. These things could be:
- License Fees – Depending on the various pieces of software used in the functionality of your site, some plugins are free while some require an annual license to run.
- Content Updates – Once your site is complete, it’s never actually finished. Some sites require annual updates, some monthly, some weekly or even daily. These updates need to be preformed by someone, either you or an administrator. A web site that never gets updated is a web site that fades away.
- Maintenance – Web site maintenance is something that happens in your site’s back-end, is very important, and is often overlooked (to everyone’s dismay when disaster strikes). Routine maintenance usually include things like; backing up the entire web site, updating plugins, checking analytics, and fine tuning security.