So, you are wanting to create a website for your business? Business websites are more important today than they were in the past. People are connected to the internet at all times with their smartphones. When they are looking for an item, most people will go straight to the business’ website before making a purchase. However, before creating a website, it’s important to realize that there are several costs in maintaining a website that most people do not factor in. From domain registration to upkeep of technology, there are many different components you need to be aware of in order to make sure your budget will allow for it.
A Basic Business Website
According to Stephanie Travato and Cassie Botttorf in Forbes “Depending on the project’s scope, whether you require updates and need unique functionality, the costs of a website can vary widely”. Common cost factors in this category are domain, hosting, graphics, email marketing, and technical maintenance. These are just the basic features you need to get started. However, to keep a website running and create traffic, you want to think about add-ons such as testimonials, and newsletter subscriptions. You also need to look at what can you do yourself versus what you need to outsource.
Breaking down the cost can help us see exactly what we are looking at cost-wise. Keep in mind costs vary based on what you do in-house versus what you contract out. Obviously, if you choose to do any certain features on your own or within your company, the costs will be less than if you outsource it.
For a small business you can expect the following:
• Domain: The domain can run from $12 to $60 a year. Your Domain name is important as it is your attention grabber and gets your brand out there.
• Web Hosting and Email Server can run from $100 to $500 a year depending on traffic
• DIY Website Builder can run from $100 to $500 a year depending on your platform and plan chose. If you choose to outsource the job of course the cost will increase.
• Content: It is important to keep new content on your website. Depending on whether you create or hire a Content Manager, it can range from free to $3000 a month and up.
• Images and Designs: Just like a Content Manager, images and design can run you free up to a couple of thousand a month. This depends on whether you create your own designs, use a software program or hire a graphic designer.
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important if you are wanting your website to be one of the first sites to show up on a search engine. Unless you specialize in this, you will most likely need to hire a SEO specialist.
• Software and General updates can run you from free to $200 a month
• Tech Support can run you on average $120 a year.
• SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) service protection helps protect you and your visitors from unwanted cyberattacks and can run from free to $250 a year
• Tracking and Data Analytics: Google Analytics offers free tracking and data analytics
• Marketing: Depending on your Marketing strategies, marketing can run from free to around $10,000 a month.
What Happens When Website Maintenance is Neglected?
The costs of keeping a website up can creep up on you sometimes. So, what happens if you decide to put a website up and then let it hang out in the cyberworld? Updating not only content but technology is important when it comes to maintaining a website. Many people will create a website and then let it sit. However, when you neglect your website there are several things that can go wrong. For one, technology is always changing, if you do not maintain your website, you can end up with outdated technology. Outdated technology means you will not have the most updated and latest features your competitor's websites have. On top of that, it leaves your site open to security risks, hackers, and code breakers. Outdated technology can also lead to site outages and slow performance. This in turn can lead to faltering search engine optimization which in turn can push your site to another page.
Bottom line, you are competing against other businesses with websites. If you want to be able to compete with your competition then you need to keep your website well maintained and updated with the latest content, graphics, security, and more. Creating a website maintenance plan can help you While this can seem overwhelming, companies like Emily Journey & Associates have website developers and designers that can help you create and sustain a website maintenance plan.