How Much Does It Cost To Start & Host a Business Website?

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Starting a business website can be more complex than you realize. From domain names and website design to web hosting and marketing – there are quite a few pieces that make up the website puzzle. Below, the experts at BionicWP evaluate the real cost of creating a business website to help you decide on the best path forward.

Starting a Business Website

Before you start to even consider a website design, you first need to make a few decisions.

  1.       What type of website are you trying to build? Will it be a blog? Alternatively, are you looking for more of an e-commerce website? The fact is that not all websites are created equal. A blog is much easier to design than an e-shop. Likewise, a website for a small business will have fewer pages than one for a billion dollar corporation.
  2.       Determine what type of server and domain experience you would like to pursue. Prices will vary depending on it you opt to self-host. Your domain registration will also affect your budget if you self-host.
  3.       Figure out what type of software you will use to build your website. More than 50% of websites currently utilize the content management system (CMS) known as WordPress. This CMS is free, user friendly, and optimized for the best experience possible on all types of web-browsing devices. (For the purpose of this article – and because it is truly the most popular choice – we will assume you opt for free and use WordPress.)
  4.       Evaluate how extensive your website design needs to be as well. This can include various plugins, apps, third party services, graphic designs, and layouts.
  5.       You also need to budget for maintenance. In order to stay relevant, functional, and secure – your website will need ongoing services to help. Maintenance, include marketing, should be factored into your final cost estimate.  

Hosting a Business Website

When it comes to hosting, you have two choices: self-host or hire a WordPress hosting company. For simplification purposes, we will evaluate the costs associated with these options.

Self-hosting a website does not mean “free”. It simply means you do the bulk of the work yourself. You will still need to rent space on a server in order to post your website. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) provides the following cost for self-hosting (estimates are per year):

  • Domain Name Registration: $10 – $15
  • SSL Certificate: $70 – $300
  • Web Hosting Rental Fee: $40 – $200
  • Self-Hosting Subtotal: $120 – $515

Hiring a web hosting company, on the other hand, is more expensive but provides much more than the basic necessities. A professional web hosting company actually steps in to take care of the technical aspects of your website. With BionicWP, for example, we provide 90-day off-site backups, unlimited 30-minute tasks, professional support, daily malware security scans, real-time monitoring, updates and more. With web hosting companies, you often have several packages to choose from to ensure you have the coverage you need.

  • Domain Name Registration: $0 – $15 (Often included or discounted)
  • SSL Certificate: $0 – $300 (Often included or discounted)
  • Web Hosting Package Fee: $180 – $3000
  • Professional Web Hosting Subtotal: $180 – $3,315

WordPress hosting companies also tend to offer another type of hosting. Known as managed WordPress hosting, these packages include even more features than basic hosting will. BionicWP includes various service durations, improved apps and dashboards, widget generators, live support, transparent pricing, Lorem ipsum, and more. Costs are more expensive, but provide you with more peace of mind.

  • Domain Name Registration: $0 – $15 (Often included or discounted)
  • SSL Certificate: $0 – $300 (Often included or discounted)
  • Managed Web Hosting Package Fee: $180 – $25,000 (Multiple site options increase price!)
  • Managed Web Hosting Subtotal: $180 – $25,315

Website Design

As with the above, let us look at the costs of website design based on two categories: self-designing and hiring a professional.

Self-designing your website is much more hands-on, time consuming and prone to issues and errors based on the lack of experience developing an operational website. (At BionicWP, we provide tons of free templates, themes, plugins and more with our hosting packages!) Per the NFIB estimates, startup costs look as follows:

  • Development Tools/Templates: $0 – $200
  • Design: $0 – $1,600 (Includes layouts and graphic designs)
  • Development Coding: $600 – $2,000 (Includes markups and scripting)
  • Self-Designing Subtotal: $600 – $3,800

Hiring a professional, depending on the scope of work you need, you can expect to spend $300 to over $30,000 to start your website.

Website Marketing

Maintenance and marketing are annual costs you can expect to pay each year.

Self-maintaining is free, unless your apps, widgets, plugins and payment processing systems charge fees – which they likely will!

  • Payment Processors: $0 – $250
  • Apps, Widgets & Plugins: $0 – $300
  • Marketing: $30 – $6,000 (Includes SEO, copywriting, ad posting, and other marketing services.)
  • Self-Maintaining Subtotal: $30 – $6,550

Want to hire a professional or WordPress hosting company?

  • Payment Processors: $0 – $250 (Sometimes included or discounted in package.)
  • Apps, Widgets & Plugins: $0 – $300 (Sometimes included or discounted in package.)
  • Marketing: $30 – $30,000 (Includes SEO, copywriting, ad posting, and other marketing services.)
  • Professional Maintaining Subtotal: $30 – $30,550

Your BionicWP Solution

As you can see, running a successful online website can be complicated and expensive. Hiring a professional WordPress hosting company, like BionicWP, can help you focus on building the parts of your business you know best. It helps decrease your burden, provides quality and reputable professional support, and gives you a competitive advantage. Learn more about our website solutions and contact BionicWP today!

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