The Upfront Costs of a DIY website

With so many businesses these days using the web to get their business out there to the world usually one of the first questions most business owners ask is “How much is it going to cost me?” In a previous article called “Custom versus Pre-built Web Development” that I wrote on the subject I didn’t really talk much about the costs involved in developing a ready-made website so that is what I am going to cover in this article. When we talk about costs on a website a great place to start are the essentials, these are things that you will need to be successful in launching a website including a domain name, having some sort of website hosting and a template or theme for the look of your website.

Domain Names – If you are going to have a website then you will definitely need a domain name. Preferably a domain name should match or work with your business’ name or branding but this isn’t something that should concern you if you have another idea in mind for marketing your business online. Normally the cost of a domain name ranges from a few dollars to $12 per year but if you are interested in a domain name that someone already owns you can enlist the use of a domain buying service.

Website Hosting – It’s one of those fundamental things that anyone with a website needs because without it you cannot store the files for your website online in order for them to be available for people to see. Depending on how your website was coded you can usually choose from Windows based or Unix/Linux based web hosting plans. As for pricing, if you choose to purchase it on a recurring monthly basis or by a year’s web hosting all at once and this can normally save you 20% and up depending on the web hosting company you bought your web hosting plan from.

TIP: When buying domain names and web hosting plans for your website you can usually find a better deal buying both the domain name and web hosting plan together and it also makes it easier to connect your domain name to your web hosting when you bring your website live!

Template or Themes – If you aren’t into hiring a web development company or web developer then you’ll probably end up purchasing a theme or template to create your website. With so many content management systems on the market today like WordPress, Joomla, Expression Engine and others there are hundreds of vendors that have designed, built and tested website themes and templates for you to purchase. A few of the big selling points of doing this are that you are buying something that has been designed and tested to work in many of the major web browsers out there today including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Google Chrome. Another big selling point is the ability to a website fast because there is little to no development time needed. However, with that being said the big downside is that if you choose to customize the graphics and look of the website you may have problems doing it yourself and you might even need the help of a web developer. The costs associated with buying a pre-built theme or template this can range anywhere from $10 to a few thousand dollars depending on your needs and also what you like.

When it comes down to choice of building a pre-built website this can be done for relatively little cost however you should consider a few things before choosing this method of developing a website

  • How comfortable are you with web technologies? HTML coding? Server-side coding? CSS layout issues? etc.
  • How much time do you have to devote to learning about your website and coding versus running your business?

If the rewards outweigh the risks you may find it quite easy to use themes and templates to get your business online however if you don’t have the time or resources then this may not be the best way to go about getting a website for your business up and running.

Luc Arnold

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