Whether you’re going down the DIY route or hiring a designer for your website, there are a number of things you need to consider when budgeting for your website design. You need to consider the costs you’ll need to pay now, and any possible costs later on to maintain and grow your site. I talked about what website platforms are best for your business and the cost implications of each one in a previous blog, but there are other factors such as integrations, special features and the website designers experience which all will affect the cost of your website.
Here are some areas you need to consider when costing up a website:
- Platform – Deciding what platform you want to use for your website will have a big impact on how much your site is going to cost. Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace make building websites much easier and allows even the least tech savvy business owner able to create their own site without a need for a designer, however this does come with some limitations and a permanant monthly fee to keep your website. WordPress offers much more flexibility with its functionality and gives users complete control over their site, especially with it’s ongoing costs, however it does require some knowledge of how WordPress works (and potentially the theme you choose) so investing in a designer may be required if you don’t have the time or skillset to learn this which can vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands, depending on your requirements.
- Hosting – if you’re using Wix and Squarespace hosting is included in their annual subscription fee. With the other types of platforms, such as WordPress & Joomla, you will need to source your own hosting (learn more about website hosting here). It is worth checking with the website designer whether they also offer hosting and what this includes and what it will cost you annually. All my website designs come with one year’s free hosting, but you can purchase this separately if you wish. You can find out more about my website hosting packages here.
- Copywriting – most website designers will expect you to provide the copy for your site, so if you need help with writing make sure you ask for this in your quote, or you could find your own copywriter.
- Imagery – as with copy, this is another item usually supplied by you, although the majority of designers will make an allowance for stock imagery.
- Content upload – some designers will add in all of your copy and images so that the end result is a fully finished site, but this is worth checking as the job may fall to you!
- Domain name – it’s usually assumed you’ll have a domain name but if not make an allowance to purchase one, this can vary in price depending on the name you choose. If you ask your website designer to register a domain for you, ensure the domain is registered in YOUR name and you have full access to this. I have seen far too many business owners being held to ransom over a domain name they thought they owned, so please make sure that doesn’t happen to you! Also, if you’re using platform such as Wix or Squarespace, they generally charge extra to connect your domain to your website, however with WordPress this isn’t the case.
- Cutover – depending on whether this is your first site or you’re re-developing an old one, you may need help with ‘cutting the site over’ to your chosen domain. Raise with your website designer whether they’ll help with this and if there will be a charge.
- Training – your website designer should cover the basics of how to add and amend your content, but it is worth asking if they provide further training for more in-depth website edits.
- Ongoing support – a good website designer will make sure you are able to amend content that changes frequently yourself, keeping your ongoing costs low. However, do ask about ongoing support, as many designers will offer packages if you require more substantial changes or encounter any problems. Find out the cost of their aftercare, what’s included and whether it’s offered on a monthly or ad hoc basis. When using Wix, it’s worth looking at what’s included in your package and whether you will need to upgrade at later stage to get more features/storage etc. and whether this will be cost effective long term.
- SEO – I’ve left this to last as it is a multi-faceted beast! Many website designers do not provide SEO as standard, particularly the ongoing investment in content that is required for a good ranking. However, they may offer SEO support centred around the set-up of the site such as SSL certificate, title tags, meta tags, meta description and alt tags. It is also worth asking how they’ll incorporate your keywords and structure your content to give you a good base for search.
Whilst every business is different, in my opinion, WordPress websites are the most cost-effective way to create a website. The platform is free and you have complete ownership over your website, which you don’t have with website builders like Wix. There are also thousands of free plugins you can use, so you don’t have to worry about having to add to your monthly outgoings just to add a new feature to your website, and you have the flexibility to move your hosting should you wish to.
WordPress does require a bit more knowledge and practice compared to platforms like Wix and Squarespace, so you may look to hire a designer to help you which will add to your budget, however the investment is worth it in the long term.
If you’re considering a website for your business, whether it’s for a new business venture, or upgrading your current one, please get in touch to chat through which options may be best for your business.