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Your Website Start-up: The Costs

7 Mar, 2010 Phil Featured, Starting Up
Your Website Start-up: The Costs

Ok, so you’ve got an idea for a website.   How much is it going to cost to get up?  Have  you thought about a budget for building?

These are important decisions that need to be made in the planning of the project.    Without planning the whole aspect of starting a web-based business, spending too much on the build with no funds left for marketing will mean you’ll have a great site, but no-one will ever know about it.   Likewise, cutting corners on the build an design and ploughing most of the cash into advertising and other marketing might mean lots of people visiting your site, feel it lacks content or ease of use, and never return.

A good mixture of both will comprimise a good site and enough to launch the site and begin the awareness of it’s existance.

Whether your site is a blog, a shop or a self-perpetuating revenue-maker, funding that effectively is a priority to ensure the long-term success.   The costs of starting a web-based business is minimal if you compare it to a non-web-based business – you have no office or shop to rent, no staff (at first) and no utilities to pay eiether, but a good business and development plan is necessary for every web-based projects’ survival.  The most difficult part of starting a web-based business is the time and effort to build the business and continue growing the site.

Think of it like a snowball:

Imagine, you’re at the very peak of a snowy mountain.   You roll a snowball in your hands and place it on the floor.  It will take effort to begin rolling it down the hill as it weighs almost nothing and will take manual pushing to start building it up with more snow, always pushing it towards the slope.   After you’ve been pushing it a while and it has doubled in size, it becomes easier to then give it a tap and it begins to roll on it’s own for a short distance.  You may need a bit of energy to keep it going , guiding it down,  steering it slightly on track and constantly help it build and gain momentum.   Once that snowball is at an appropriate size, the weight accumulated then means that the snowball has it’s own weight to help momentum and begins rolling non-stop down the mountainside on it’s own accord.   As it rolls, it gets faster and faster – gaining more snow and growing in size as it plummets down the slope.  Before long, you couldn’t actually stopped it getting bigger if you tried.

The hardest part of getting your website going, is at the start…. the big push.   See a rough guideline below for simple purchases needing on any website:

Domain Name

Registering a domain name is necessary for any online business.  Once a business name is established, the domain name is registered at websites such as Dotster.com, Register.com and GoDaddy.com.   The cost of a domain name is dependent on the extension (the .com, .co.uk, .net etc).   For most business owners, a .com extension is beneficial because it is the most commonly known extension among people.   A one-year registration service for a .com domain name is around £7-9.   This service needs to be renewed every year.  Buying it for an extended period will save you money.

Hosting Service

Hosting services have a wide range of prices, and prices are determined by the platform the business uses. Programming a website in .NET is usually more expensive, whereas a PHP website can be hosted for as low as £5 to £10 a month.  Free hosting services are available, but free services require ads or popups, which is not professional for business purposes.  Be aware that you will get what you pay for.

Database

Database services are for websites that host dynamic content.  The most common databases for Internet websites are mySQL and SQL Server; the former is usually a free or minimally charged service from the host of the website, and the SQL Server costs slightly more and is used with .NET websites.   SQL Server costs can be as low as £10 per month.

Programming and Design

Unless you as a web-business owner have programming and design experience, it’s necessary to hire a professional programmer and designer to do it for you.  Most design agencies have both services in-house.  The programming and design can be accomplished using separate service providers.  The designer can provide a design that the programmer works with to create the web pages.  The cost of a programmer and a designer is dependent on experience and the complexity of the website.  Some professionals may charge as low as £20 per hour.   More advanced sites may need a highly skilled programmer and designer, which can cost £50 to £75 per hour.   Large, complex sites for this reason can take 100’s of man hours at the higher rates, so negotiate costs up-front.

PC Resources

Owning a web-based business means that you need a computer with high-speed online service.  These costs are also dependent on location and type of service.   High-speed Internet access is necessary for the business owner to communicate with clients, conduct research and upload new pages and images.  The cost for Internet connect can run from £30 to £100 per month.   If your site goes down, your business is down so invest in a decent service to ensure that you remain a happy business-owner.

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About Phil

Phil is creative director at PSM Digital but also freelances with web design and SEO in Manchester, UK. He researches and studies online business, along with the latest technological advances and development in design, SEO and social media.

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About The One Man Mission...

Hi I’m Phil. Welcome to my blog, where you’ll find useful information on web design, development and online business advice.  I’m a creative director for a digital agency in Manchester, UK and I also freelance web design also.  Currently setting up and developing a new online business, I am here...

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