Four Steps to Budgeting Your New Website

customer journey, Marketing & Advertising Technology, Other

April 3, 2018 by

Your online presence is an important factor in the success of your small business. It creates leads and conversions that ultimately determine whether or not your business thrives. Therefore, how you choose to go about this can amount to the difference between success and failure.

If you’re a small business owner or owner of a start-up, your budget is very important and will probably be the deciding factor for any decisions you take. When it’s time to establish your online presence, you’ll need to find out the costs associated with creating a website.

The good news is that determining the financial commitment required for you to create and launch a website might not be so difficult with the resources available on this subject matter. Finding enough information to give you the confidence to make this critical decision is important, as is learning what to budget for when you want to create a website.  This provides direction on budgeting for your website as a small business or start-up owner.

Before you begin

Every business needs a budget. Depending on the resources available, some run on tighter budgets than others. Whether you have limited resources or not, you should allocate what you have effectively if you want the best outcome, and that’s why it’s important to set a budget for creating and launching your website.

When you compile a budget, you reduce the tendency to waste and have a better focus on what tools and features are critical and which of them you can afford to do without. A budget will determine how much control you exercise during the process of building your website.

A budget also makes creating and launching a website more precise, because it forces you to devise a roadmap for the process, as well as make decisions pertaining to scalability and/or subscription for your web hosting.

When the aim is creating and launching a successful business website, there are several decisions to consider, such as the size of your website, colors and themes, and the resources you’ll use to create it.

In addition, there are several costs associated with this, but these four major ones are unavoidable. If you want to increase the likelihood that your website will be successful, then you should make these four costs a top priority:

  • The cost of a domain
  • The cost of web hosting
  • The cost of hiring a developer
  • The use of WordPress themes and plugins

Now, let’s find out what costs are associated with these four elements.

Domain costs

If you’re fortunate, choosing a domain will only involve adding a .com top level domain (TLD) or any other TLD that you prefer to your business name.  This is possible if you’re lucky enough that your business name is an available domain.

However, it’s also important to add the cost of purchasing multiple versions of your domains to your budget. There are several reasons why this is a good idea. For one, this will discourage domain squatters from taking advantage of your domain name. You can also use multiple versions of your domain to create region specific versions of your business website.

Doing this can also protect your potential web visitors from phishing scams, as the most common is to register a domain name with a different TLD. The cost of a domain is also highly dependent on the industry in which your business operates.  A company in the tech sector will pay more for a .io domain than an e-commerce business which wants to buy a .shop domain.

If possible, budget to buy a multiple year domain, as this often means you’ll get a reasonable discount that can add to your efforts at cutting costs in the long run. Sometimes, buying a domain might be more expensive, because someone has already netted your business name in the .com TLD.

You can decide whether you want to use one of the new TLDs or if you prefer to lay out the money involved in getting your business domain a .com name. The important thing to know in budgeting for the cost of a domain name, is that you’ll need to weigh up the cost of your chosen name against the potential benefits for your online presence and branding efforts.

Web hosting needs

Your choice of a web host is a significant contributing factor to the success of your website and you should be prepared to pay as much as possible. Cutting corners with web hosting can potentially affect the success of your website. A web-host determines how well your website performs in terms of speed, website downtime, and more. Your choice of website hosting should be based on your requirements in the following areas:

  • Whether or not managed hosting is best for your business model.
  • The expected traffic and how much growth in traffic you project.
  • How much bandwidth your website needs.
  • A content delivery network is becoming increasingly popular and you might want to consider that as well.
  • Degree of website functionality required in relation to content, security and so on.

Even when deciding what your web hosting requirements are, you need to remember the boundaries of your budget and make choices that fall within your limits. You can start by figuring out what you want and then narrowing your choices down, based on what is considered essential. You can also find ways to compromise on costs if needed.

Cost of hiring web developers

If you don’t have the capacity to build your website in-house, you’ll need to hire a developer. You can choose to use an agency or a designer. The important thing is to choose one that has a proven track record and obviously knows what they’re doing. If they get things wrong with your website, it’s akin to pouring money down the drain, especially taking into account the costs of getting it fixed.

The cost of hiring web developers varies widely, depending on the quality of the designer chosen, the functionality required for your website, and the sector in which your business belongs. The good news is that if you do your research properly, you can find a great web designer at a reasonable price. Try as much as possible to get value for your money.

WordPress themes and plugins

If your website uses a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, then the costs of themes and plugins need to be considered. It’s important that you know exactly what functionality is required of your website before you choose.  

Even though you can choose to use free themes, the premium theme shops are usually more suited to businesses. The essential plugins are often free to use, but the premium versions could be worth it for the extra functionality they offer.

When planning your website budget, cost is important. However, it should not be a deciding factor when choosing the type and functionality of your website. It’s better to decide what is essential for your website and then work from there towards creating a budget that includes everything your site needs.

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