Thinking about creating a business website? Well, every business can benefit from a well-designed site regardless of who you are or who you sell to. Here’s a quick primer on the cost to have a website in 2019, 2020 and beyond.

For the sake of this article, we’re going to assume that our readers are business people – no matter how small or large their business might be – and not individuals looking for hobby sites.

The Cost to Have a Website in 2020, and Beyond

Business websites can be informational only, they can be e-commerce, they can be an account portal (such as for banks, credit unions, or rewards programs), they can be a gathering place for club or association members to chat via message boards, or they can be a mixture of all of these.

The features or functionalities that are wanted, the amount of site visitors expected, the types of content to be hosted on the site – videos take up a lot of room to store and a lot of memory to play, but can help engage prospective customers – all dictate how much a website will cost to build, to run, and to update.

Let’s talk about what’s needed and the budget for each:

Creating a website: What you pay for

Domain name (annual): Every business site needs its own domain name and its own domain. It’s possible to buy a domain name and then “point’ it to a free web hosting site where you have your drag-and-drop site. However, once visitors arrive at the site, the urls of every single page will have not only your domain name but also the name of the free hosting site in it. Visitors will notice.

Hosting (annual): By purchasing your own domain where your site is hosted, every single page will consist only of your domain name and the title of the webpage. For example, for an information page on why people should buy widgets, a free hosting site would have as the URL, whereas your own hosted domain would have

Paid hosting is typically divided into three categories – from least to most expensive. Each category is differentiated by how many features are offered.

Website Cost Efficiencies – The SITESTR Approach

For example, at SITESTR we offer:

Starter – custom website consisting of up to 5 static pages (meaning they rarely change) and a blog – which does change as you add content daily for SEO purposes, a mobile responsive design, managed server and site hosting, and 24/7 staff support.

Professional – our professional plan offers SSL encryption for e-commerce sites, a shopping cart, as well as a Google Search Console and Google My Business integration, and Analytics tracking to help you understand where and why customers are coming to your site.  This can be helpful when you plan advertising to maximize your return.

Advanced – Our advanced plan offers all starter and professional features plus custom CRM (customer relationship management) integration, customizable analytics tracking and full SEO service.

Designing the site (one-off charge): You can either design the site yourself using a drag-and-drop template, or via coding if you have that skill, or you can pay a professional firm to code the site for you. We cover the costs of this in another post (LINK)

Site content (one-off charge, as needed): Web designers don’t provide the content for the site they build. They build the skeleton, it’s up to you, the client to provide the content that goes onto that skeleton.  Many website designers offer content-writing services, if you don’t feel comfortable writing the content yourself.

Hosting a site: What you pay for

The different plan levels for web-hosting vary in cost because of the services that are offered. The more visitors you expect, the more “bandwidth”(Think of this like parking in front of a store, if your customers can’t find a spot, they’re not going to wait around) the site will take. The more features you have, such as for SSL encryption and custom analytics, is also reflected in the price.

Talk to one of our dedicated SITESTR team members today to learn which is the best hosting plan for you.