Website costs vary depending on the number of pages, the complexity or special features and how much of the site you need to be able to update yourself. For this reason it is necessary to have a clear set of goals so that your website is cost-effective.
There are two major costs involved with a website: the initial development costs and the ongoing costs.
- Initial Development Costs
- Consultation & strategic planning
- Photography & copywriting
- Graphic design
- Programming and Specifications
- Development, testing & deployment
- Ongoing Costs
- Domain Names
- Updating your website
- Marketing & SEO
Initial Development Costs
Initial development covers things like graphic design, construction, copywriting, consultations, project management and programming. The cost of initial development, as with a house, always depends on what is involved. This is determined by:
- the number of pages,
- any special programs you require,
- the complexity of design
- how much of the website you need to update yourself
- any extra features that are needed, such as flash animation, content management systems, blogs, RSS feeds and other gadgets.
You should expect to invest at least $2000 for the initial development of a quality 10 page website.
Ongoing costs cover things like domains, hosting and maintenance, which often have to be renewed annually.
The domain name is your website address or URL. It tells computers looking for your website exactly where in the world it is located. It has to be set up to point to the exact location of your site.
The hosting is like your block of land – it is space on the computer where your website (your house) is actually stored. You will pay more if your house uses up a lot of land, or if you have a lot of people coming and going from your house. In extreme cases you might need a dedicated road to and from your house (but this is only if you are extremely popular!). You will also pay more if you need an electric fence around your house or a security guard patrolling the perimeter. In the same way, website hosting charges depend on the type and size of the website, the amount of traffic and the security required.
Maintenance is another ongoing cost which is a necessary part of a great website. Often you will need to update your contact details, change pictures or alter text on your site. If your website does not have an inbuilt Content Management System (your own toolshed), you will need an assistant with the correct tools to do it for you. We offer maintenance plans to make requesting changes cost-effective, and as simple as sending an email.
Marketing & SEO
Search engine optimisation is considered at the planning stage of your website but full implementation is a staged process involving various "white hat" SEO techniques. If your website has been developed as part of your business's overall marketing plan, driving traffic to your website can be helped by integrating it with the traditional forms of advertising you currently use. If your website is the first step in your marketing plan, it might be a good idea to consider promoting your website address on business cards and letterhead, by word-of-mouth and other traditional advertising methods as well as using the online promotional methods available to you. Search engine rankings can also be improved by updating your website regularly with useful content and high-quality inbound links. You may also need to set aside a budget for Google AdWords, if your business will benefit from this.