You know you need a website but you’re not sure if you can design it yourself. What all is involved? Is it better to do it yourself or to pay professionals to do it for you? How much does it cost to have a website built?
Before electing to do it yourself or have it professionally done, there are some things you should be aware of. First, there is a difference between web development, web design, and search engine optimization. All are necessary for creating a successful website. Learn more about the differences between web development, web design, and search engine optimization.
Do it Yourself Website Options
If you opt to create your own website, there are a few good tools you can use, both free and paid. Before deciding which website builder to use, it is important to choose a domain name or URL for your business. It is important to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and is indicative of your business name and/or the goods and services you provide.
Much thought should go into the process of choosing a domain name and we’ll cover more on this in another article. For now, let’s assume you have already chosen your domain name and verified it is available.
There are a variety of domain registrars through which your domain can be purchased. They all offer varying prices but the average cost is around $15 per year. Registering your domain involves just that and nothing more. It registers the domain in your name and, if you set it up to do so, will auto renew each year.
Here are a few of the most popular domain registrars:
Registering your domain does not mean you can automatically build a website on that domain. In order to build a website, you must purchase website hosting services for that domain.
Website Hosting Services
In order to build a website on a domain, you must purchase hosting services through a website hosting company. When considering web hosting plans, it is important to consider website functionality and how much bandwidth may be required as most plans are defined by a certain amount of available bandwidth and priced accordingly.
Once you purchase a hosting plan, most host providers offer a limited-functionality WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor also known as a drag and drop editor. Though this isn’t recommended, as the templates are limited and allow very little customization, if you don’t have previous experience in building websites, this may be the best DIY option.
Content Management System
WordPress is the most common and most versatile content management system and can be pretty straightforward, especially if your hosting provider offers one-click installation. There are many plugins that can be installed on your WordPress site that will provide various functions and further customization. There are many free themes available through WordPress, as well as many paid custom-designed themes to create the look and feel you want for your website.
Though WordPress can be pretty easy and straightforward to use with no technical knowledge necessary, if you need any kind of customizations of functionality such as a storefront, an ordering or scheduling system, etc., you will likely need quite a bit of technical knowledge or hire somebody to do it for you.
Here are a few popular web hosting providers:
How Much Does a Professionally Designed Website Cost?
The answer to this question is that it really depends on what you are looking for and prices vary widely form $500 to the tens of thousands. There is more to creating a good website than just how it looks or even user functionality. In order for people to find your website through a Google (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) search, the website must be search engined optimized. Search engine optimization begins with knowing your audience- knowing what terms and phrases they will use to search for you.
Do I need a web designer, web developer, or a digital marketing specialist? Typically, these are separate job titles but you need elements from all three to have a successful website. It is uncommon for a web designer to do back-end functionality, uncommon for a web developer to make graphics, and uncommon for a digital marketing specialist to do either of these things. Paying separate people for each of these pieces can get quite expensive.
Carmik Design is like having a web designer, web developer, and digital marketing specialist all in one. Though we do not create graphics as a rule, we can help with some basic things like logos, etc., and design a responsive, intuitive website with necessary back-end functions and search engine optimization at prices that won’t break the bank.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there is no easy answer to the question “how much does a website cost?” but if you are unsure where to begin or what is involved, Carmik Design does offer free consultations.