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Cost-effective biz website no more a dream

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To build a website, you can either reach out to a website builder or hire a professional designer

Starting a new business in the 21st century comes with certain must to do things from the owner’s side. Building an interactive, responsive website tops that list.

Having an operational website means you have to deal with technical things such as being search engine friendly and adopting the SEO model faster to have a strong organic reach to your existing and new customers. It requires a good knowledge of fronts such as servers and website development costs, etc. The good news is that you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a website development process and the cost. The even better news is that this article breaks them all down for you.

To build a website, you can either reach out to a website builder or hire a professional designer. However, some market studies have said that going for website builders can be a cost-effective one.

While you need a good website that can take care of your professional needs, it has to be cost-saving as well at the same point of time.

This article will discuss the nitty-gritty of how to achieve the above-mentioned goal.

Discover the financial aspect of developing a website

For any website, the basic components are the same, hosting platform, domain name, an interface and a good set of search tools to help your prospective customers to find it.

The first solution covers mostly the nascent businesses, with low budgets. Based on Zyro, Wix, and Squarespace, the average website building cost is USD 21 per month. In the case of e-commerce sites, it can be USD 26 per month. These businesses also need to shell out some USD 10 as a yearly fee for having a presence in search domains. It’s all about paying one yearly cost under your subscription plan and an annual domain fee.

While WordPress is a free and flexible one for building up a cost-effective business website, a CMS-based website can cost entrepreneurs from $10 to USD 100 per month. But in this case, you need to add professional developers to the picture, which in turn, will demand a bigger budget from your side. In that case, your budget will start from a few hundred and reach up to USD 10,000, including expenditures on areas such as security, maintenance, website hosting, and marketing.

Generally, the average yearly cost of starting a website remains around USD 200. The monthly maintenance cost in this case will be nearly USD 50. If a web developer comes on board, the particular business will have to spend some USD 7000, including upfront and yearly charges.

Creating marketing content is free with a web builder, but can become a USD 5,000 affair, if the web designer comes into the picture.

When it comes to taking the help of website builders, it is the cheapest option, as WordPress is a free platform. The cost factor, once again, comes into play, if you are taking help from a professional web developer, along with opting for website hosting, themes, and plugins. Although web designers are expensive for a lot of professionals to afford, they are the best ones, if businesses want to build customised websites with complex functionalities.

Taking the help of a website builder is not only the cheapest option, but is the best option if you either want to cut short your business launch time on the internet or want to personalise your website. Using a website builder is the cheapest way to build a website, and is best for. A website builder can be either free or can go to price ranges up to USD 500 per month.

You also need a paid plan, if you want a state-of-the-art professional website for your customers. Free plans, may sound tempting, but have drawbacks in form of limited storage and bandwidth allowances, along with no e-commerce features (which means you can’t sell your products online). Even the plan doesn’t offer you basic customer support. The most you can do here is create test sites and try out new ideas without spending your capital.

However, there are proven website-building platforms such as Zyro (It is known for its speed and artificial intelligence-enabled toolkit), Wix (It has 500 design templates and three price plans) and Squarespace (comes with a complex interface), which provide cost-effective solutions for the new businesses.

Let’s divulge into the website developing arena

So the principal questions here are how much will it cost to develop a website from the scratch and what are the cost-effective options?

For having a customised website or taking help from website builders, businesses need online hosting domains. With this option, they can store the website files on a server and pick from solutions such as shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting. While finding a candidate among the web hosting providers is not a difficult one, not all of them carry basics such as SSL Certificate and huge data storage.

If you are going for website builders, you won’t require hosts. In the case of a Content Management System like WordPress, a hosting provider needs to be sourced.

Next, you need to find a domain name for your website and get that registered with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)-an accredited domain register. Generally, domain names are rented ones, so cost becomes a key factor here. While the most preferred domain name is .com and comes with a premium-level subscription fee, .online has proved to be an affordable one for small businesses and personalised brand promotions. .shop is very popular among e-commerce platforms

Next comes website designing, which is a time-consuming process and design requirements perceived in this phase decide whether the user wants the help of a website builder or other options such as CMS. With website developers, it’s a cost-effective option, as the customers can access the already available templates and customize them further. In WordPress, you can choose from a wide variety of design themes, but they range from USD 13 to nearly USD 4000, as third-party platforms like ThemeForest provide those templates. For custom-coded websites, the customer will have to pay as much as USD 4000. You can add e-commerce plans like Facebook Shop, Tax Calculators, Inventory Management, Product Pages and Payment Gateways via a website builder programme. For custom-coded sites, the businesses need to pay a development cost starting from USD 10000.

Talking about the website building market, Wix and GoDaddy have free plans, while Squarespace gives a two-week free trial for its users. Among paid plans, GoDaddy is the cheapest one with a monthly package of USD 6.99 ($11.99 from the second month itself), followed by Wix and Squarespace (USD 16 each).

Marketing and SEO solutions matter as well

While sound knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key for a business owner to push up his/her website to the top of search rankings, it can only be achieved with an integrated toolkit. With a website builder, SEO essentials like page load speed and in-built tools like Google Tag Manager can be achieved. For pay-per-click advertisements, the user needs to pay. In WordPress mode, plugins like Yoast SEO and PPC ads can help businesses as well. On a custom-coded website, a different set of marketing and SEO mechanisms need to be installed.

Website builders also come up with search-optimised solutions such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Content Creation Tools.

Viability of a website made with CMS/WordPress

WordPress, which started in 2003 as a blogging platform, has become the most preferred Content Management System (CMS) over the period of 19 years. Then there are CMS solutions like Joomla, and Magnolia, which get picked by the businesses as well.

For using WordPress or any other CMS, the primary requirement is that of personalised website hosting provider. Some of the prominent solutions here are Hostinger (gives you dedicated WordPress website hosting with a free SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth and daily backups at a monthly cost of USD 15), Bluehost (offers similar features, along with access to customised themes at a rate of USD 12 per month) and HostGator (has a monthly subscription fee of USD 6).

However, CMS solutions can only work for users who have website developing experiences, despite those tools offering a massive amount of flexibility. Customers need to pay for registering a domain for their websites.

Most web hosting companies offer free WordPress installation, but it’s a manual job. With that in mind, CMS solutions are best for users with some website development experience.

Hosting aside, the user interface on platforms like WordPress takes some getting used to. You’ll get tons of flexibility, but an understanding of technical terms is recommended.

Just as with a website builder, you’ll need to pay for and register a domain for your site to make sure that the end user can find you. Proper selection of TLD or Top Level Domain to suit the operational budgets is another crucial function the businesses need to perform, to make it a cost-effective solution.

TLDs vary from .com (around USD 8.99 per year), .tech, .online (both come at USD 0.99 per year) to .live and .digital (these two cost some USD 3.50 on a yearly basis)

You can pick a TLD that suits your website needs as well as your budget – expect to pay:

Although WordPress is highly recommended for those aiming to create websites with customisation opportunities, it’s not cost-free at all. Be prepared to shell out money during the web designing stages, as you need to add themes, plugins and domain extensions.

A WordPress website contains built-in customised themes and editing interfaces. For choosing a suitable theme, either you have to pay an annual fee or in some cases, they come in the “Freemium” category (free to begin with).

Elaborating more on the cost factor, a premium third-party WordPress theme costs somewhere around USD 50 per license, but depending on your needs, you may have to pay up to USD 200. Even plugins’ cost becomes a factor. For making the site e-commerce viable, spend some more money on the SEO, security and analytics front. These plugins can be bought either from WordPress or via third-party websites. The yearly cost of paid-for WordPress plugins comes to around USD 13-USD 4000.

Another spending area is the marketing toolkit, for which you may need an expert team who can research the SEO plugins, and marketing aids and then come up with the best possible solution for you.

Building an interactive, customer-responsive website is not everyone’s cup of tea, but given the business needs of the 21st century, this function tops the to-do list of every upcoming entrepreneur. At the same point in time, the cost factor becomes important too. While this article has tried its best to suggest some budget-friendly state-of-the-art solutions to take businesses online, the readers must understand that technology is something that is always evolving. The more tech-savvy the business is, the more successful it will be in the long run.

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