Costs of developing a website or digital marketing campaign. It’s frustrating to ask Google “how much does a website cost”, when the results, most often, say little more than, “it depends”. However, it really does depend. It’s a tired analogy, I know, but “how long is a piece of string?”. “How much is a car?”, for example.
The costs of developing a website can range from next to nothing, to a whopping lot! I’ve tried my best to lay out some of the aspects to take in to account if you’re considering getting your business online. Every website is different, just as every business is different. Of course, if I’ve missed anything, or you’d like to talk about the services I can offer, I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on WhatsApp.
Costs of Web Development
Basic Hourly Rate: €55 per hour.
However, planned projects with clear objectives will often work out significantly less expensive.
Domain Name: To start, your domain, email and hosting. If you do not already own a domain name and hosting package, this is where we start. A domain name will cost around €10.00 per year, depending on the ‘TLD’, or Top Level Domain. The TLD is the “.com”, or “.ie”, or whatever you choose. “.com” domains generally cost around €10.00 per year. More ‘exotic’ domain extensions can be significantly more expensive. One client runs a website on a “.fm” domain. This domain costs them about €80 per year.
‘Normal’ Domain Name Cost: €10.00 per year (subject to the points above).
Hosting: There are many, many companies offering hosting services. I currently use just two, namecheap.com and siteground.com. NameCheap have some very appealing hosting prices, from as little as €40 per year, however these cheaper hosting generally means a less powerful website, more suited to low numbers of expect visitors. SiteGround can be eye-wateringly expensive (one client of mine spends almost €400 per year on hosting), but if you’re expecting over 1,000 visitors each day, their system will cope, NameCheap may not. Also, less expensive hosting services may restrict – and charge separately – for certain features, eg. more than one email address, or an SSL Certificate.
Hosting Package: Anything from €40.00 per year to €400.00 per year (depending on the points above).
If you are new to websites and do not already own a domain and hosting, this is where to start. Most hosting/domain companies do their very best to make buying and configuring these services as easy as possible, to attract those not familiar with such things. However, one person’s interpretation of “easy” isn’t always the same as the next person’s.
If you would like me to set up your domain and hosting, I will do so happily. I never buy hosting or domains in my name, or with my credit card. I insist these are always purchased and registered in the name of the client. This is better for you, it really is. If, heaven forbid, something were to happen to your web developer, you need to know that you own – and have 100% access to – both these services. This way, you can move to another developer easily. It keeps you in control.
Setup and Configuration of Domain & Hosting: €200.00. This will include configuration of email addresses, installation of SSL Certificate and creation of FTP account, if required.
That’s the basics out of the way, now on to some examples.
A ‘basic’ website (‘brochure-style’) might be a static (ie., does not change often, perhaps minor changes a couple of times per year) site of 6-12 pages. For a small company, a website consisting of roughly that number should be sufficient.
Minimum ‘Basic Website’ Cost: €1,200.00
If your budget is less than €1,200, I would recommend online services such as Wix, Weebly or SquareSpace. These three – and others – are good services, but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Some offer free services, but most are structured on the ‘SAAS’ (Software as a Service), ie., you pay a monthly fee, generally between €10.00 and €50.00 per month, depending on provider and services offered.
These services will expect you to do the work. To achieve a professional standard, you will need some experience of cropping/editing photographs (PhotoShop or something similar), good writing skills for the creation of copy (text) and to understand how ‘meta tags’ work, to build a reasonable functioning website. All this information can be found by searching Google, but does require some learning.
“I could pull this aching tooth with some string tied to a slammed door handle… or I could see a dentist.”
If your budget allows it and you feel you need a more professional service, tailored explicitly to you and your company, a personal, custom service will always be preferred.
Firstly, I think it’s important we meet. While ‘remote working’ will make up the majority of the project’s time, an initial meeting is, in my opinion, always necessary (putting aside any restrictions imposed by Covid, etc.). This could be a lengthy meeting about your web project, going in to various details, or could simply be a ‘nice to meet you’ hand shake. Personally, I always like the latter. It’s good to be able to look one and other in the eye.
Once you are happy with our meeting and what has been discussed or agreed, I will do my best to offer an initial start date and estimated time for the project. If you would like a more formal plan of the project, this can be produced, but in my experience, details during a project can often change – sometimes dramatically – as the project develops.
Information I Need to Get Started
From you (the client), I would expect to be given the company logo in digital format. If the logo needs redrawing, or designing, extra charges would apply (see below).
I will also need a fairly accurate outline of the structure of the site. This is based on the services/products offered by your company and what features you need the website to include. This structure will determine how many pages will be created and which non-standard add-ons will be needed. For example, you may need fairly simple things like one or more contact forms, or perhaps a calendar, right up to more involved things like booking forms, WhatsApp integration, etc.
I also need a very good idea of the text content to be used. I can produce original copy (‘original’, ie., ‘not used anywhere else’ is very important), but basic, factual data is essential. This might include the exact services or products offered, including descriptions and company information (address, phone number, etc.).
I will need some photos. In an ideal world, you will have a set of professionally taken photographs of you, your business, you services or products. If not, I can probably find something online that will suffice. Some of these pictures may be free, some will need to be bought. To be honest, using ‘stock’ photography is a little weak
Things can get considerably more complicated if you’re looking for an e-commerce website. E-commerce roughly describes a website who’s principle function is to sell products of services and take secure payments in the process.
Minimum, Base Cost of E-Commerce Website: €4,500.00. That price can rise significantly depending on many, many factors.
An e-commerce site
Using the WordPress and WooCommerce frameworks
Once your website is complete and live to visit, you have two basic options… a: to wait, hope and pray for organic growth and success over time, or b: to actively drive clients/customers to your newly created site through various means of website promotion. This can include use of the ubiquitous social media sites and simple paid advertising.
Website promotion options, in order of importance.
- Google My Business
It’s free and it makes a real difference – especially if your business has a real, geographical location and offers products or services to that location. You’ll be able to do this yourself, it’s quite easy, but I’m happy to help if you prefer.
- Google Ads
The oldest and biggest advertising network… ever! It’s likely that, as a casual internet user, you saw approximately XXX Google Ads yesterday.
It’s here, whether we like it or not. Generally considered to be good for brand/product/service awareness, not so much for direct sales.
€25 per 300 words
On-Going Maintenance & Promotion