Whether you own a small business, you’re a freelancer or want somewhere to showcase a hobby, a website is a necessity. Smartphone usage is on the rise, and 78% of shoppers use the internet to either buy products or research future purchases. We will go through everything you need to know before you make the decision to have a website.
There are different types of websites, for different online needs. Read on to find out more about the different levels of web development you might need.
Simple brochure website
This is the most basic type of website, which actually suits the majority of businesses. It could include information about your business, contact details, team info, opening times (if you’re a physical shop) and a space to show off what you do. It’s basically like an online brochure that doesn’t change too much.
You might be tempted to ask for a full CMS (Content Management System) to go with your site but in reality, websites like this rarely need one! A CMS allows you to easily edit elements on your website without any developer know-how. In instances like this, they could be useful so you can update your latest news or add seasonal offers to your homepage. Be sure to ask your developer about whether a CMS could be right for you.
A bespoke website does what it says on the tin - it’s bespoke to your individual needs! That means whatever features you want - from a full content management system to the ability to log in - a bespoke website will include. As these types of website are more complicated, they may take a little longer to make, and therefore be more expensive. Bespoke websites are the perfect choice to compliment your unique business.
An e-commerce website allows your customers to purchase your products online. There are many tried and tested ways to do this, from using a platform like shopify to getting one built by your developer. E-commerce websites are a little more complicated than other types of website, as you need to be able to take payments securely from your customers. Your web developer will advise you on the best way to let your users shop on your site.
So how much will it cost?
The cost of a website can be broken down into many different components. Some of these are fixed cost, like how much your domain name is, and others are variable, such as how much your developer will charge. We’ve put together a list of the things you need to get online, and an estimate of what they will cost you. Take these prices with a pinch of salt, as some will vary depending on what country your web developer is based.
A domain name is the beginning part of your website URL, which appears for every page of your website. It’s how people recognise and find your website. Having a clear and snappy domain name is important if you want people to remember your site.
You can buy a domain from sites like GoDaddy or 123-Reg, though you should check with your developer as they might buy it on your behalf. Domains must be renewed every year. They are a recurring cost you need to factor in, and make sure that the payments continue to be paid otherwise your website will suddenly break!
A domain can cost anywhere from £2.99 - £100 ($4 - $130) per year. The more competitive the name, the more expensive it will be. Companies sometimes offer promotions, such as only pay 99p for your domain name for the first year.
Websites need to be hosted on a web server - this stores all the information needed so that other people can access your website online. Think of it like purchasing some space for your website to live online! While it’s good to be aware of the different hosting options available, it’s best to leave it to your developer to sort out whatever hosting solution they recommend for your needs.
Shared hosting (£3-£10 / $4-$13 a month)
Shared hosting is the cheapest option available. Like the name suggests, you share with other websites, which means you pay less. It also means that you may have to fight for bandwidth. This is a good option if your site is small, or new and won’t get too many visitors at first.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting (Up to £45 / $60 a month)
This is a good inbetween hosting solution. It’s one physical server, but it allocates multiple separate servers to its sites so you can get around the issues of shared hosting.
Cloud based web hosting (£10 - £350 / $13 - $500 a month)
This is when the server is virtual (as in not a physical server with a location). This is an extremely popular option for a few reasons. Firstly, cloud hosting can cope with sudden surges in traffic, so there’s no problem if your website suddenly takes off! Secondly, you can go onto a plan where you only pay for what you use.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option which is necessary for larger websites, or sites that require high levels of data security. They are also great for sites with high levels of traffic. You also have the plus point of not having to compete with other sites for bandwidth.
There are a few more possible costs to consider. One is content - it’s definitely cheaper to write your own content, but if you’d prefer someone else to create it for you, you might want to hire a freelance writer. You can easily find good freelancers online, starting from just £10 / $13 per hour. Getting professional photographs taken to populate your site could also be a good investment, and give your site a more polished look. Another possible add on is SEO services. To get our full run down on what SEO is and why you should use it click here. If making sure you come up high on google is important for your business, then hiring a SEO expert could be a wise investment.