We know we don’t have to hammer away at how vital a website is to your business and the overall success and performance of your company. The truth is in this day and age, it almost seems that if you don’t have a website it’s like you’re not even a real company. (This is a lot like the way the kids say that if you’re not on social media, you don’t even exist or clearly, most likely have something to hide. You know what we’re talking about.)
Anyway, there is no way around it. Having a website is integral to your business, the quintessential platform that communicates who you are, as well as presents your products or services to your audience. At the most basic level, a website is designed to convey what your company offers, provides information so that your audience and potential customers can learn about your products or services and provides your contact information so customers can easily reach you.
While everyone can agree what a website is at its core, and that every company should have one, not every company will need the same kind of website, or will need the same functionalities or features on its site. This also means that there can be great disparity in the cost of developing a website from one company to another as well as maintaining it, again based on the company’s complexity and its particular needs.
How vast are these differences in cost, you ask? For instance, one small company may be fine with a $200 website, while a large enterprise could pay upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars to build and maintain a website powerful and comprehensive enough to meet its needs.
We like to think of websites in terms of levels, as in some companies may suffice with more basic, simple sites while larger corporations and enterprises will need more heavy-duty ones. Today, we will explore these different levels of websites in more depth as well as discuss the range of costs and domain fees that different hosting sites typically charge.
Three Levels of Websites
You can think of a simple website as one that serves like a digital brochure for your business. No bells and whistles needed. We also like to think of websites in terms of candy bars. Why? Because it’s more fun. A simple website can be likened to a fun-sized piece of candy, you know like the candy bar minis you may buy for Halloween trick-or-treating. Anway, these fun-sized websites, if you will, may have just a homepage or one other web page with basic information about the company, its products or services, the company’s contact info and a space for questions or submissions. There isn’t much need beyond that for a larger volume of content or other advanced features and functionalities.
A simple website would be suitable for a small restaurant with one location, or a local store, or a company that provides a small-scale service such as a local contracting services company, or a club, team or organization. Simple websites are for the most part one and done, and relatively easy and hassle-free to manage. The idea is that once your website is up, you can leave it alone except for conducting some minor upkeep here and there. To manage the costs of a simple website, all a company would need to take care of is the upfront cost and some maintenance fees.
A step up from the simple, brochure-type websites we will call medium or standard. So now we’re upgrading from fun-sized to your regular-sized candy bar. A medium website will probably have a few more web pages on its site besides a homepage. In addition to the basics that present the company, its products and offerings and contact information, a medium may have a variety of different pages. They may have an ‘About’ page that goes into more depth to reflect the company’s brand ethos, mission and identity, as well as a ‘Services’ page that explores its range of products and offerings in more detail. Another page may serve as the company’s ecommerce platform to directly sell its offerings to its customers.
Companies with standard websites are usually also driven by the goal of optimizing their website to strengthen its SEO and rankings in the SERPs. Therefore, they may have a blog page that offers relevant, valuable content to address their audience’s pain points as well as incorporates strong keywords and SEO techniques to help their site and content rank higher in the SERPs.
Most companies will fall into the category of medium websites. Any company with a range of products or services is most likely going to need a website of medium complexity to be able to tell the full story of their offerings to their audience. Examples of companies in which a medium or standard website would be suitable are a restaurant with multiple locations, an online store/ marketplace, a SaaS company, etc.
In terms of management and upkeep of a medium or standard website, as you are implementing SEO techniques to optimize your website, as well as continuously updating content on your various web pages, blog, etc. you will most likely need to perform monthly upkeep. You may not need a developer to help you build a medium website, and can probably suffice with out-of-the box, turn-key website development and plug-ins, but you may also want to hire a developer to design some custom solutions for you. With more web pages and content, the cost of building and maintaining a medium website can be significantly higher than that of a simple website.
Ok, now we’re in the king-size Kit-Kat category. The big daddy of websites with everything but the kitchen sink. We like to call these larger, complex websites enterprise level websites, because they are suitable for companies that are themselves more intricate organizations at the enterprise-level. The main idea behind an enterprise-level website is that its functionalities and features are more complex that such a website needs to be custom designed by an expert UI Designer. The designer would design custom solutions for the company to help them realize their goals and needs for the website. Examples of custom solutions may be implementing specific code to display products or offerings in a specific way, creating custom graphics or automating emails to be sent out, etc.
Again, while most companies will suffice with a medium website, any company that won’t benefit from out-of the box website solutions and rather, needs custom-built solutions would require an enterprise-level website to help carry out their vision. Of course, as enterprise-level websites have custom features, functionalities and development, they will be the most expensive to build and maintain. You may also need your web developers themselves to manage the upkeep of the custom-built solutions they created for your website.
Hosting and Domain Fees
Before you can jump into building the perfect website for your company, you will need to understand the concept of hosting. A host is an entity in which the files of your website live. It is important that you don’t skimp on your hosting platform and find an effective hosting website provider to use to build your website. There’s different kinds of packages you can get for your website hosting that vary in price. We won’t go into much depth about these various levels of packages, but the takeaway you will want to keep in mind is that the more expensive a website’s hosting package is, the better it will typically perform. In other words, website’s with more involved hosting packages will usually load faster and have more amped up security,
Ok, so let’s break down these general prices to give you an idea of what it costs to build a website based on its complexity level.
Simple Website Build
If you’re building a simple or basic website, you will most likely only need a smaller hosting package and will spend less on hosting, images, etc. For example, think of website building platforms such as Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, or WordPress.org that are each all inclusive offering their own hosting services along with designing the actual website. Hosting packages for these simpler websites situations will typically cost between $500 to $2000.
Medium or Standard Website Build
For a medium or standard website, you may choose to do the research yourself to build your own website usually on a platform like WordPress, etc. However, most likely you will want to hire a webmaster or various web professionals to help you develop your site. The cost of this could be around $2000 to $20,000 to first get the website going, and then if you will be continuing to work with your web master down the line, you will have ongoing fees that will be added on as well.
At the enterprise-level, you will be hiring UI/ UX experts, web developers and graphic artists – essentially a whole team of people to help you fulfill your website’s goals and vision. These websites can range from $20,000 to $200,000 to build and typically take 3 to 6 months of development to design.
Okay – don’t be too overwhelmed. You can do it! But, if you do need help, partner with us at Firon Marketing. We will be happy to help.