I want to design and develop a website – but how much does it cost?
More and more people are turning to the internet everyday for their shopping. As a merchant, you can take advantage of this trend to bring your products and services to more people easily. But in order to do that, you must have a dedicated website from where you can launch your business.
For large corporations with multimillion budgets for advertising and marketing, setting up their own websites is a no-brainer. But for small and medium enterprises, adding another outflow to their operation needs to be planned carefully to make sure that they will get their reward.
Cost of Web Design and Development
The first thing that you should consider as first time website owner is the cost of website’s design and development as it will eat up a large chunk of your budget.
How much you will pay for good quality website depends on its scope and features. Obviously, an e-commerce site complete with merchant accounts and payment options will cost you more than a few pages of static pages with few graphics and few articles.
For e-commerce sites, the best choice is a complete Content Management System integration. It may cost more, but it gives you worry-free operation once running. For instance, a money-generating e-commerce site running on WooComerce or Magento could cost you from £2,000 to £10,000. That is not all, you should also consider the cost of hiring a consultant, professional photographer, content writer, data encoder, and other professionals just in case you may need them in the course of development.
You can however, bring this cost significantly lower by opting for a free platform such as WordPress. Some out of the box WordPress websites cost as low as £1000, while the more complicated ones are available for £1800 and above. Also, aiding the development team such as taking your own pictures for the site will save you the photographer’s fee, and so is doing your own data encoding and content writing.
If you are really worried about cost, you can choose a basic website for as low as £500. Though not as grand or as fancy as a full-blown CMS site, it offers you a great place to tell your prospective customers about your products and services.
Recurring costs such as web hosting, domain name registration, and website maintenance may not be as large as the initial cost of development. However, it is important to take note of these things, as they are very important in the operation of your site.
Domain name registration costs from £8 to £40 a year, while proper web hosting will take you back anywhere from £10 to £50 per month. Some established website developers bundle this cost with their service so you don’t have to worry about them initially. But take note that once the initial registration expires, it is your obligation to pay for its continuation.
Cheap freelancers versus professional Web Development teams
The largest chunk of the budget for a website will be spent for payment to the developers. Which is why it is very important to pick the right developer, or team of developers, from the start to avoid problems during the development, or worse, during the life of the website.
A team of professional website designers give you better options than some cheap, part-time freelance artist. For one, you can expect better follow up support from an established company than from somebody from the other side of the globe you just meet online. This is not to say that there are no great freelance website designers, but when it comes to having problems, it is still better to deal with people with listed telephone numbers who you can call every time your site is experiencing problems.
One other element that tilts the scale in favour of established website developers is security. This aspect is often overlooked by small businesses, often thinking that hackers would not be interested in attacking their website, until they lost their entire database to a nosy teenager with a handful of hacking tools.
For first time website owners, I highly recommend going with established website development team who are available to guide you every step of the way. You might save a few hundred by outsourcing your work to developers abroad, but ask yourself if it is really worth the risk?
Great looking websites don’t come accidentally, they are the product of long experience of designers, probably having designed and uploaded hundreds of websites before.