How Much Does a Small Business Website Cost?
Here at Beyond Your Brand, we offer the 100 Club service which provides small businesses with access to a bespoke pay monthly website for just £100 per month, but what might your other options be if budget is no object or if you have more specific needs? In this article, we’ll explore the options available for creating (and maintaining) a website for your small business, identifying where the costs are and highlighting other extra considerations to make.
Why Is It Important to Have a Good Website for a Small Business?
In the modern world, having a website for your business gives you a large range of benefits, allowing you to be seen from anywhere around the globe. More and more businesses are investing in a website; according to a survey by Forbes Advisor, 78% of small business owners in the UK currently have a website, and 83.5% of those said that their website plays a big part in their business.
One big reason for the increase in website creation is because of the ability to grow a positive reputation within your local area and beyond, making more people aware of your business and what you have to offer. Having a website gives you a larger reach, giving your users access to your services from a wider network. Alongside this, using analytical tools can help you identify trends within your customers, as well as the pages and content on your website that are more visited than others. Thirdly, having a website gives your audience 24-hour access to what you do, 7 days a week, meaning that potential customers can access you whenever they want and take their time to learn about what you do.
However, to be successful with your website aims and goals, it needs to be well-managed since you’ll be competing with others offering similar services, goods and so on; this is why experts such as ourselves offer to create and manage websites for you. Many people also manage their own sites- read about what makes a bad website to know what to avoid.
Breaking Down Potential Costs
Creating and running a website can vary on the cost scale, depending on the size, complexity and design of the website, amongst other factors. A good website isn’t always a costly one, but like most things, investing more into something often brings a wider range of benefits and successes. The cost of running a website will be an ongoing expense as it needs to be hosted, maintained and updated over time, but it is a worthy investment in the long term. So, what are the typical costs of a website?
Setting Up the Site
The initial phase of creating a website involves some early costs that are important for web development success. One of these costs is a domain name; this is the web address that users type into their browsers to directly visit your site. Domain registration typically involves an annual fee which often ranges between £10-£15, but prices will often vary depending on the domain extension (such as .com, .net, and .org) and the popularity of the domain name. Domain names can be free, but this gives you limited functionality within your site, such as a lack of storage. Another typical early cost for setting up a website is the design and development of the site itself; depending on whether you’re using a web-building template or not will affect how much the design and development costs.
Ongoing and Running Costs
To maintain a good website, there are a number of ongoing costs that need to be considered. One of these costs is web hosting, essential for running a website; web hosting provides your site with a secure place to store online content. Web hosting can vary in pricing, ranging from £2-£12 a month for shared hosting (where server and maintenance costs are shared) and £60-£400 for dedicated hosting plans (leasing private server). If your website features the use of e-commerce, you may be subject to subscription costs or transaction fees whenever you make a sale. Any paid advertising for your website will need to be factored into your budget, depending on the type and length of advertising you choose.
Add-ons and Plug-ins
Many websites feature add-ons and plugins, such as contact forms, calls to action (CTA) and on-page testimonials. Add-ons and plug-ins can sometimes be free, but premium plug-ins (which are paid for) such as securely managed subscription forms offer professional benefits for your website. Premium social media plug-ins can offer more advanced integration options, such as the ability to display social feeds on the website, schedule posts, and track social media analytics. Social media plugins can sometimes be free, and some are offered as monthly subscriptions often costing between £5-£20. Premium plug-ins range largely in cost due to the various ways in which they operate; an e-commerce plugin may often cost between £50-£100 for basic functionalities, with the more advanced versions pricing up a lot higher. Premium SEO plugins may range from £20 to £100 or more, depending on the level of sophistication, the range of features, and the developer's reputation.
Unexpected costs do happen whilst creating a website, especially if you’re unaware of licensing fees, security measures and SSL certificates, for example. You need to keep these things in mind when planning your website budget, as they are all important for a safe, secure business site. SSL certificates typically range between £50-£60, but again, this can vary depending on their quality. Investing in security measures is a must for your website, regardless of the size of your business. Examples of security measures include firewall protection, malware scanning, and regular security audits, with some security tools and services involving subscription fees.
Ultimately, as your business grows, so will your website. To keep up with this, necessary costs will need to be made, especially through website updates. Adding more pages will require more storage, so this may be something which you will have to include in your budget; the best websites involve regular new content, but this will involve adding more pages. If you’re using a web-building service such as Wix, you may need to pay more to expand your site and spend a lot more time managing it. Regular reviews on SEO may be required as your business grows, perhaps requiring the services of SEO specialists to handle this.
Running Your Own Website vs Having Someone Build It for You
Having read this article so far, you may have come across new terminology and noticed the range in prices for each website essential. Don’t let this put you off, as the internet provides a large amount of reviews and information in order to make the right cost choices for building your own website. However, if this is still posing one too many questions in your mind on where to start, or you feel you require a little more guidance, you might want to consider using a web design agency, such as ourselves, to build a website for you- combining your ideas with professional expertise. Let’s explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of building your own site, compared to having someone build one for you;
Managing Your Own Website - Advantages
Running your own website does have its advantages, depending on how proficient you are and what knowledge you already have. One main advantage is that you can save costs where you want to since you’re in complete control. You can also be more flexible with your website when you manage it completely yourself, making changes when you see it as suitable to do so. If you’re looking to learn more about website development, trying your own website for your business could be a good way to do that, learning from your own experiences and research.
Managing Your Own Website - Disadvantages
Running and managing your own website has its limitations, most notably given the technical issues that you may experience. It can be time-consuming and sometimes costly to rectify these issues, which is frustrating when you’re operating your business as well as the website. The lack of assistance could result in your site not being secure, leading to potential security issues. Your website could also have limitations on quality, since you may not have the software capabilities that an expert may offer, and your site may not be seen by the right people if you’re unfamiliar with SEO.
Having a Website Built for You - Advantages
There are a whole host of benefits to having a website built and managed by professionals, such as the fact that expert knowledge is involved. Someone managing your website for you will know how to boost SEO to bring in more of the right audience for your small business, aiding digital footfall and eventual growth. Any technical issues will be resolved quickly, meaning you don’t have to worry about fixing these problems yourself. You will have flexible customisation for what you’d like on your website, providing you have good communication with your web developer. The quality of content and design of the site itself will be of a high level since you’ve paid for the professional standards expected, and this will be regularly updated and reviewed. This regular content could involve the use of blog posts or amends to existing content to tailor it to search intent - all managed by professionals, giving you audience-targeted new posts and relevant material to build up authority for your business.
Having a Website Built for You - Disadvantages
There are some disadvantages to having a website built and managed for you, although these won’t be an issue for everyone. As expected, having a professional website comes at a cost, since you could be paying for ongoing maintenance as well as the initial design too. Alternatively, any updates you require could be charged as an additional cost, which could either put you off making the updates at all or add to your overall costs significantly. You may find yourself feeling dependent on the web developer since the website management is out of your hands, meaning you can’t make immediate changes as and when you need to. If you have communication issues with the professional, or if there are no updates built into the package, changes could take a while to materialise.
Extra Considerations to Make When Building Your Own Website
When building a website for your own business, there are several more things you need to consider. These often relate to costs, but can relate to timings too; if we all had unlimited budgets and unlimited time, everyone would make the perfect website. Below are some of the other considerations you should consider:
- Be honest with your own skill level- do you feel confident enough to make your own site?
- Target your long-term aspirations and goals- where does the website benefit those? Are they clear for the user?
- Consider your budget- is it realistic?
- Know your terminology- how well do you understand SEO, etc?
- Understand potential timings involved- how much time can you dedicate?
Are You Looking for a Bespoke Website for Your Business?
At Beyond Your Brand, we’re passionate about building high-quality websites to suit your business needs. If you’re looking to start up a new website or replace your existing one, we’re here to help.
A quick reminder of what we do; our 100 Club is a pay-monthly website marketing service that requires no upfront costs or binding long-term contracts, so you can have your website designed, built, hosted and managed with regular updates for just £100 a month. Get in touch with our team today!