Did you know there are nearly 2 billion websites online right now? That is a lot of websites.
Each website represents the hopes and dreams of its creator. Each website is hoping to attract more sets of eyes to like, follow, email, call, share, and interact.
How will your new website fare in this ever-expanding online ocean? Will it sink like the Titanic… or race to the finish like an Olympic champion?
As you are planning your website launch or re-launch, it won't take you long to notice how many "how much does it cost to create a website" blog posts and articles exist online today.
But how many of those resources tell you how much it will cost to create a successful website?
This one will. The information you are about to read comes straight from our CEO. It represents how we guide our clients from invisible to successful status in an online setting.
What Is Your Website, Really?
Imagine you want to start a new local business. You find a building. You throw up a sign. You step back to admire your handiwork. Then you smile with satisfaction and walk away, ready to start raking in the bucks.
What is wrong with this picture?
For starters, you didn't unlock the front door, hire employees, stock the shelves or do any marketing. You are basically cruising toward failure.
Now imagine instead of a local brick-and-mortar company, you decide to start a new online business.
You find a domain name and register it. You hire a hosting provider. You throw up your company name and logo on the home page. Then you smile with satisfaction and walk away, ready to start raking in the bucks.
The question to ask yourself is: What IS your website, really? Why even make a website? Just because your competitor has one? Because some marketing 101 course told you that you should have one?
Your website is you online, plain and simple. It is your company, your customer service, your products and/or services, your entire explanation of why potential customers should choose you instead of your competition. It could not be more important to the success of your company now and over the long term.
And here is the ultimate irony: it doesn't actually cost much, if anything more, to create a successful website than it does to create a useless website.
In other words, it is not necessarily the amount of money you have to spend on a website that matters. It is how you spend it that makes all the difference.
4 Key Costs to Build a Successful Website
These are the four basic costs involved in building any website, regardless of its future potential to help you succeed.
1. Choose and register your website's domain
This is the least expensive but often most challenging part of starting your website. You have to pick the name of your company online. It needs to be reasonably short, easy to spell, easy to remember and keyword-friendly.
That is why this step isn't for amateurs! The good news is, it isn't expensive (on average $15 to $35 per year).
2. Pick your hosting provider
Your website host is responsible for making sure your website is always live, visible, fast, working properly, and safe from hackers.
This is a tall order! Not all hosting providers can pull it off, and price isn't always an indication of who can or can't do what is needed.
Hosting packages are usually billed monthly or annually. Costs can range from $10 to $50 or more per month.
Basic hosting packages simply give your website an online home. More feature-rich packages will include options like company email, extra cloud storage, content management controls and editing ability.
3. Hire your web design team
In the vast majority of cases, most new company owners stop after step two. Why? Obviously, they think they are finished.
Many will spend the rest of their business life wondering why the heck everyone was so insistent they put up a website since their own never seems to do anything!
This is exactly why, just as you wouldn't do your own tooth extraction, you don't necessarily want to craft your own website content.
You want someone who knows how to speak "web" to do it for you. Your content needs to be rich in appropriate keywords to boost your search engine rankings (called SEO). It needs to be responsive (display perfectly on any size screen and in any browser).
Most of all, all of your website content needs to flow in such a way that new visitors are automatically guided toward contacting you to order products or services. A simple website may cost $200 to $300. A more complex site may cost $1,000 or more to design.
4. Craft your online marketing campaign
Not surprisingly, a successful online marketing campaign always flows out of a successful website.
And in truth, steps three and four must be treated as one single step, because the content your web design team creates is what will drive your online marketing for the foreseeable future.
A catchy and memorable domain name, consistent branding throughout, creative and keyword-rich content—all of these will contribute to your marketing success.
Most importantly, this type of website will deliver real-time reports so you know exactly how new prospects find you online, how they interact once on your site, what the major interest drivers are among your products/services, and so much more.
Happily, online advertising and marketing inventions like PPC (pay-per-click) are easily tailored to any size budget. This is especially the case with a well-designed website that does most of the work for you!
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