How Much Is That Web Site In The Window?
The following page is due for review and update. While the general concepts present remain valid, many of the details continue to evolve.
he answer to this important and often-asked question comes in several parts. There are some fixed overheads, as well as variable costs. Consider the following cost areas associated with owning a commercial web site:
- Domain Name Registration - a fixed cost. Australian Domains (eg yourdomain.com.au) require renewal every 24 months while US domains (eg yourdomain.com) can be registered for anything from one to 5 years.
- Web Site Hosting - a fixed annual cost. Charged monthly by some providers.
- Web Site Design - this varies enormously (see discussion below) and is a product of a number of factors.
- Web Site Content Maintenance - possibly significant if content requires regular updating. A more sophisticated initial design may reduce the ongoing cost.
- Web Site Marketing - the cost of getting people to your site. This may vary from nothing to up to 90% of the total online investment.
The cost of Domain Registration varies somewhat depending on the type of domain and the number of years for which the registration covers. As an example, an Australian domain can be registered for 2 years for $55.
Also as a guide, web site Hosting ranges from $120 - $600 or more for commercial grade hosting, depending on which technical services are included, the level of recourses available (the amount of disk space used and the volume of data served each month) and the level of service reliability.
Some web developers bundle these costs into their design or site maintenance costs. See our article Hosting: more than price for more about web site hosting.
Using a "cookie cutter" approach can reduce the cost of some aspects of web site creation but almost invariably at the sacrifice of quality and effectiveness.
For a serious online investment, an on-going relationship between client and Web Designer(s) is essential - a factor which may prove much more significant than cost.
For many smaller Sites the need for content maintenance is minimal during the life of the site. Sites presenting catalogues of products or information may require on going updates - in some cases requiring the permanent commitment of staff. Therefore the ongoing cost ranges from zero to a considerable amount in some cases. This should be discussed in detail with your Web Designer.
Cost is but one of a number of important factors in formulating a Web Site proposal. Picking a figure 'out of the air' is of little benefit to either the client or the designer. The aim is to locate a web designer who can work well with you through the planning and development stages and remain readily available to work on the site for the years ahead.