What does a Website Cost? [Free vs. Professional]
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As a business owner, you should consider establishing a website in order to tap into the immense pool of online clientele.

However, before considering a website, you should be aware of the costs involved with creating and maintaining one.

Creating a website is relatively easy, but a professional touch improves its appearance and optimizes its functionality.

As business owner, you want to strike a balance between a low-cost website and maximum functionality or return on investment.

Before you consider creating a business website, you must look at the business it is intended to benefit.

At this juncture, several factors come into play. They include the costs of creation and maintenance, the complexity of the website in terms of operation and functionality, as well as its general appearance.

Some websites will definitely need to be created and maintained professionally, depending on the requirements of the business in which it represents.

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True Website Cost Factors to consider

There are several factors you should consider when starting a business website.

The first is the intended function relative to your business. Before deciding to start a business website, you should know how it will relate to the business itself.

Is it intended to offer a feedback platform?

Will it complement the business’s marketing function?

Will it be used to advertise new products and inform customers about offers?

These are some of the questions that you should ask as the business owner.

Another factor to consider before creating a business website is the cost involved. Some websites can be costly to create due to requirements such as functionality and domain costs.

These costs could render the entire exercise redundant or even compromise the growth of the venture.

Websites are supposed to complement the businesses they serve, meaning the costs should always remain relatively low.

Depending on the business venture you intend to embark upon, your business website could also require professional input.

Some websites are quite complex, making the investment in professional assistance a wise decision.

Sometimes the process involves custom web redesign to existing websites.

Therefore, as the business owner, you must decide whether it will be a DIY job, or if it should be done professionally.

A website’s audience is one of the most important factors to consider before creating it. The business owner must decide who their website is intended to address or benefit.

If they are existing customers seeking an avenue to give feedback, then a DIY approach could work.

However, if the website is intended to serve e-commerce functions, high quality professional assistance might be the best approach.

Pros/Cons Of A Professional Website

Professional business websites offer the business owner several advantages, based on the trained and experienced eye of their creators.

They offer a great first impression that attracts and retains users by employing innovative features and functionality.

They also have stunning images and video features that advertise or offer impressive infotainment features. Such features will complement the marketing aspect of the business.

Professional websites also sync perfectly with other digital platforms that assist in the marketing process of a business such as social media.

Finally, professionally developed websites almost always perform much better than DIY, resulting in lower maintenance costs, downtime, or bugs that could compromise the business processes.

While professional website designs accord the business owner many benefits, they have their own disadvantages as well.

One negative of such websites is the higher cost of set up.

Based on our experience, dependent on the nature of your business, or the type of website desired, the costs are generally between two thousand and five thousand dollars.

Also, some web design work comes with confidentiality issues as the business owner must furnish web designers with sensitive business information during creation and maintenance.

Professionally designed websites can be time-consuming as they involve a much wider range of requirements than DIY options.

Thinking about hiring a website design team? Be sure to take a look at our "Top 10 Questions To Ask A Web Designer"

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Pros/Cons of DIY Websites

If you decide to create your business website yourself, as opposed to seeking professional help, there are several things to consider.

The pros of a DIY business website include low set-up costs because there is no need to employ web designers.

Many online resources including guides and templates exist that should be helpful to a small business owner intent on creating their business website.

The ease of making changes is another advantage of DIY websites in the business environment. When a business owner decides to create their own web page, they have an intimate understanding of the resources and can adjust almost any parameter they wish.

They can engage in web redesign at any time based on this knowledge, and the availability of online web design tools. Another advantage of the DIY business website is that you work at your own pace.

You don’t have to rush the process. Therefore, you can make adjustments on a continuous basis until you are satisfied with the end result.

While DIY business websites may be cheap and relatively easy to create or run, they also have several disadvantages.

One negative is that they can be time-consuming for the business owner, especially when he or she is not tech-savvy.

You have to learn the basics of web design such as computer languages and HTML, which takes time away from your primary duties.

Unfortunately, like most DIY websites done by non-tech savvy creators, web design done by non-professionals may lack appeal. These websites usually lack the characteristics that attract viewers making them boring and potentially ineffective.

Most business owners who engage in DIY business website creation only manage the basic functions of the process, resulting in dull websites that resemble some that already exist and ultimately don’t represent your brand in a positive way.

Due to the lack of a professional’s touch, DIY business websites may contain glitches and bugs that prevent them from being efficient, or even working at all.

Some business owners engage in this technical process without having grasped the basics properly, which often results in faulty web design.

One thing is for certain...

Creating a business website offers the enterprise many benefits based on the increasing use of digital technology and the expansion of e-commerce among customers.

Such websites can either be DIY or professional, depending on various factors impacting the business owner.

DIY websites save money for the website owner while enabling them to customize their business website as often as they desire.

Unfortunately, these websites are usually boring and prone to glitches.

Professional sites look more attractive and offer increased functionality while suffering far fewer bugs.

However, professional websites can be expensive and time consuming due to the technical aspects involved.

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Andrew Bachman
Andrew Bachman is the Web & Graphic Design department head and has been in the industry for over 10 years. His passions are fitness, art and music and he really enjoys being able to help local businesses tell their story through their websites.
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