What are the costs of running a website?

Your website is your online base of operations, your hub for all your online efforts. But what does it cost to keep a website on the net? Let’s have a look.

You are working hard to run your business. You also realise that to have your business found by your customers, you need to have a good online presence.

Time to invest in a website, but how much does that cost???

To build a website can cost you as little as your time. After all to build even a half decent website is not really difficult. However, if you don’t have the time to learn how to do so, let alone build it, it will cost you some dollars.

Depending on where you go a basic website can cost as little as $500 to as much as you are willing to spend. The reality is, the more time it takes to facilitate all the features you need in your website the more it will cost.

However it doesn’t stop there. You will still have to maintain and cover the ongoing running costs of keeping the website on the internet. Different functions and integrations have ongoing costs involved in them, other costs are necessary. Website hosting, domain name registration, etc. Let’s break it down.

Fixed costs needed to keep a website online.

Domain Name Registration:

Your website name is important and needs to be unique on the internet. Also, you need your web name to match or associate with your business so that it is easily remembered by your customers. Sometimes that means you need to abbreviate, hyphenate or even develop a meaning associated with your business.

Whatever you do, you need to register your name so that the registrar can point your website Domain Name to your website Host. Generally, domain registration is about $20 per year.

Hosting:

Website hosting is like your internet connected hard drive. This is where all the files associated with your website resides. When your Domain Registrar points to your Web Host, you are able to allow others to see your website.

There are many different types of web hosting, Shared, Dedicated, Cloud, Managed and Reseller. There are varying levels of benefits to each different type of hosting package and often different levels of capacities within each.

When deciding on a webs hosting plan it is important to look at the website’s end use. If you are developing an online information site with limited traffic for your local community a cheaper Shared hosting might fit the bill perfectly. For an e-commerce website with a potential global audience and driving a lot of paid traffic to it, a good quality cloud hosting service might give much better flexibility.

Just be aware. The “honeymoon“ rates advertised are only available on the initial purchase when you lock in a 2 or 3 year deal. When you come to renew your rates will seldom have the great enticing discounts.

The true budget pricing is usually between $7 and $20 per month if paid annually or biannually. More specialised hosting like VPN or, Dedicated or Reseller hosting accounts can be considerably more.

Security:

This is a big thing for anyone on the internet. If you don’t make your website secure, there are a number of things that will prevent your potential visitors from finding or seeing your website. From search engine ranking penalties to browser warnings. Keeping your website safe and healthy is very important.

SSL Certificate. The first step is to obtain an SSL Certificate. There are a few ways to go about obtaining one of these, with varying costs and functionality. You will need to know your website SSL Certificate need to obtain the right one for your website. The SSL Certificate provides peace of mind for your visitors, verifying that your website address is the real website they are viewing. SSL Certificates can cost up to $300 per year!!

Anti-hacking software. This one is a bit difficult. There are a number of plugins that can assist you to keep your website safe from hackers. Though nothing can truly prevent a hacker from getting in, these plugins will make it difficult and warn you of an attack so that you can prevent or limit damage to your website. Up to $20 per month. Some are FREE.

Backup Software. In the unlikely event, your website has been compromised, a good quality backup of your website files can greatly reduce the downtime of your website. This is much more a precautionary action, though I feel it important to include in the Security list. Backup plugins can cost up to $20 per month. Some are FREE.

A theme for your Website:

When building your website there are many tools you can use to make it faster to build yours. One of the most common pieces of the puzzle is the use of a theme. If you start with a theme that has all or even most of the components and blocks already built, developing your website will be much quicker.

There are many beautifully designed themes already built for you to fill in and make your own. Many of the features in these themes could be impossible for a novice to reproduce. The value of a theme could be in part your sanity. A good theme can cost as little as $15, many are available for under $70. Expect to pay more for specific or custom themes.

Website Maintenance:

As was mentioned in the Security section, keeping your website safe and secure is extremely important. Appart from updating your website regularly to keep your audience interested in news and information, keeping your website up to date is the most important part of maintaining your website.

Unfortunately, you are not able to post your website on the net and ignore it. If you fail to keep it up to date and fresh, your website will lose its functionality. There is no hard and fast rule as to how often a website needs to be attended to, I personally feel that if you don’t have time to work on it at least once a month, you might want to look at paying someone to do so.

Maintenance packages can start from $35 per month.

I hope this gives you a picture of the cost of keeping your website functioning online.

If you have any questions or need me to update, maintain or build your website, feel free to contact me.

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