How can I have a top quality website for my business that fits into my budget? You've asked an important question! Websites can be inexpensive, and they may also be very expensive.
An awful lot depends on what you need. If you do not care what the website looks like and just need a low-cost low-impact website then you can do this without cost by using a WordPress or Joomla template.
They will offer any amount of plug-ins and add-ons which will give a functional and quite nice looking site.
There are numerous web design companies on the market able to offer you a quick-fix option and a very low price indeed. Normally though they are just using the WordPress or Joomla templates, which with some time and patience you can use yourself.
However if you need something a little bit different, then it's going to require some investment.
To begin with you should consider just how much you are willing to invest to have an attention-grabbing online presence. To figure this out you'll want to budget for the next stages:
• Web Hosting and Domain Name (plus renewal costs)
• Creation of the Site
• Ongoing maintenance and additional content
• Search Engine Optimization
• Internet Marketing
Web Hosting and Domain Name Prices
This is the least expensive part of the process and if you were to get a good hosting company they would offer a domain name and hosting package together for as little as £ 7.00 – £ 12.00 per month.
Here is some advice on this. Although you can purchase your own domain name and use the services of a hosting company, allow the website design company of your choice do that for you, as they usually use their own preferred provider and the price should be included in the price usually for the first 12 months.
After 12 months you will expect to pay the £ 7.00 – £ 12.00 per month cost for so long as the website is on the internet.
Creation of the Site
Web Page Design Prices
This is where the real one-off cost comes in. Be certain to average anywhere between £ 80 to a £ 100 per page for a good website. This is a basic figure and can be dramatically increased if you require flash animation or image and video integration to your pages.
A gallery or portfolio page
Where lots of images are used will require some investment. A really good gallery or portfolio page can involve as much work for the designer as the rest of the pages combined, so as a rule, double the cost for the whole site based on just how much content is required in this section if you need this page.
This type of site is very much like the gallery page but with a lot more involvement. I suggest you budget a minimum of £ 2,500 to have a really good e-commerce site. Ensure you are informed about which checkout service provider the web design company use, as some are more efficient than others. Some can take up to two weeks to process one payment. I prefer to use Paypal because it is safe, quick and reliable, and has fast become a massive brand name.
A nice touch to your site is always to enable existing and potential customers to contact you. There're easy to use and can help you 'direct' the nature of your clients query so that you can answer more effectively. Add about £ 100 per form, depending on the complexity of form fields required.
Search Engine Optimization Prices
This is really important so that you become established on the main search engines like 'Google' and 'Yahoo!' when your site becomes live. If you have no idea how to tailor your content for this then add £ 100 per page to your budget for the website design company to undertake this. They will evaluate what content you need to have on the internet then beginning checking against optimal keywords used and the competition involved, and then replace key text so that potential customers will find your site when they are searching.
You can easily do this yourself by using 'Google's Keyword Search Tool' so once the website design company receive your content the only thing that should do is add relevant keywords and descriptions to the HTML code of the site. This is really easy for them to accomplish and should not cost you any extra.
If you need a real online presence then this will be an ongoing budget. You can expect to pay anything from £ 80 – £ 300 per month for a website design company to consistently get you on the 1st page of Google or other search engines.
One day you might be 1 on the 1st page of Google then all of a sudden several companies have done their work and overtaken you. Most companies employ people full-time to keep their website at the top of the ladder it is such a fluid and ever-changing process.
Internet Marketing Prices
Instead of trying to keep yourself at the top of 'Google' all the time, it is my advice that you spend your income 'driving' potential customers to your site.
This is done in a number of ways and is a lot more effective, and potentially provides you with excellent ranking points.
The process is very much like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but is customized more to discovering 'where' people are looking for the type of product you will be providing then flooding those places using your content. Search engines love this and you can manage this effectively by timing your campaigns and targeting niche markets.
Budgeting £ 200 – £ 300 per month would be a wise investment and could gain you a huge customer base.
It is advisable to note that on both SEO and Internet Marketing it is not instant success but an ongoing process, so think carefully about these options.
This then is the summary of what it's worth to budget:
Web Hosting and Domain Name: £ 100
Creation of the Site:
• Basic: £ 500 – £ 1000 or £ 80 – £ 100 per page
• Gallery Page: £ 500 – £ 1000
• E-Commerce: no less than £ 2,500
• Online Forms: £ 100 per form
Search Engine Optimization: £ 80 – £ 300 per month
Internet Marketing: £ 200 – £ 300 per month
I hope this information has been useful to you.