This is a question that comes up a lot. Okay, if you ask Google, maybe it’s not what’s on everyone’s mind. But for any small business owner embarking on a new or re-designed website, it is definitely top of mind. And the answer is, there’s no one answer. Frustrating, right? The reason is, websites vary greatly in what people want them to do and how much content is involved.
Let’s start with the basics. When I first discuss a new web project with a client, I usually like to explain that there’s really three major buckets to put the costs into. The first (and cheapest) is your domain name. This is your user-friendly address on the web. Ours, for example, is fetchmedia.ca. Each domain you register can generally cost anywhere from $8-$50/year and need to be renewed to keep ownership. The price range is because some domains are really cheap like a generic .com or .ca while other, more specialized ones can be more expensive, like a .design or .tech. Some companies decide to purchase a number of domains like yourcompany.com as well as yourcompany.ca for us Canucks. This protects you against having someone build a similar or competing site that may confuse your customers when they’re trying to find you.
The next part to think about is your actual website design and coding. This is more of a one-time cost and involves research, client meetings, initial mock-ups, graphic design and the actual website development. This is the area that can vary greatly from site to site. Is your website small-ish, usually 5-10 pages that describe you and your services with a contact form? Are you featuring a bunch of products and sub pages and categories? Or maybe something even more complex like an online shop? Depending on the complexity and amount of custom coding, website design and development can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $20,000 and up. Here at Fetch Media, we deal mostly with small and medium sized businesses so our sites generally range from $1,000 – $5,000. Some smaller micro sites can cost as little as $500.
The last thing to consider is hosting, maintenance and ongoing updates. Hosting is where you’re going to put your website so it is available to your customers on the web – You’re basically renting server space. It’s like paying a tiny rent to put a roof over your website’s head every month. And just like renting, you expect your landlord to pretty much look after the big things. You should expect security updates to be applied automatically for you and some protection from malicious attacks. If you host with your web developer, you can usually also get a number of basic website updates included in that price. Our hosting packages range depending on the size of your site and expected traffic as these things determine the amount of resources your site will need. It’s like getting a bachelor apartment versus a three bedroom house with a yard. All of our small business hosting packages are under $100/month and are usually half that or less. Let’s just say we specialize in one bedrooms.
So as you can see, there are a few moving parts to what seems like a simple question, “What does it cost for a website?” The answer is usually, “It depends.” The best way to find out is to talk to us about your business and the vision for your project. The best part is, talking to us about it is totally free! Contact Fetch Media if you’re a small business considering a new site. We are totally upfront about costs and send a guaranteed estimate before we start any work.
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