How much does a website cost?
A website is a crucial part of a business. Setting up a website is not an easy task, often involving complex decisions. How much would you have to pay for costs ranging from choosing a name for the website to marketing? Let's find out.
Domain Name Registration
Your domain name is what people will type into the address bar to get to your site. Since that name will stick with you as long as you own that business, choose a name that is relevant, interesting and fairly unique. If your business is based in Australia, try to choose a name that has a .com.au extension. If you have an international presence, a domain such as .com, .net , or .org is more suitable. Prices of domain names start from around $10 and can go up to $80.
Choosing the right web hosting is slightly more straightforward than picking a good domain. If you choose a bad hosting provider, you can always switch without missing a beat. The only thing you should have in mind is how much traffic you expect and how big your site will be. For sites consisting of text and images, you'll need much less space than for sites with videos or streaming audio. The cheapest hosting starts from $36 per year, but beware: you will be on a crowded server shared with other websites, which will make the site slow. A dedicated server will ensure top performance for a price tag - from $200 per year. TIP: I don't recommend choosing cheapest web host but rather one that provides good service and one that is easily contactable should you have any problems.
Web Design and Development
When it comes to web design, the final appearance of your website will depend on how much money you have available and whether the job involves custom programming, multimedia content or ecommerce. If you're on a tight budget, you can get a very small passable web design for $500, but if you want a fresh, customised look with ecommerce applications, expect to pay thousands of dollars, depending on your requirements.
Website maintenance is another highly variable cost. If your site has a content management software set up, you can learn how to add and modify content yourself. If like most businesses, you'd rather concentrate on running your business and/or don't have time or the expertise to manage the updates, outsourcing can be a quick and easy way to keep your website fresh and up to date. Maintenance costs starts from $80-$200 an hour, but check to see if you're billed by the minute or your provider rounds the costs up.
Promoting the Website
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): The cheapest way to promote your website is by writing informative articles optimised for search engines and building connections with similar businesses. Use keywords relevant to your business and wait for natural traffic. SEO is a long term process that requires a consistent and ongoing approach to succeed. Paying a professional SEO expert can cost from $350 per month.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click): If you want traffic right away, use a system that uses Pay-Per-Click, such as Google Adwords. This way you choose relevant keywords and, whenever somebody searches for those keywords, they see your ad. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a dollar amount (chosen by you) from a few cents to $30 for the most competitive keywords.
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