The digital world has made it much easier for entrepreneurs from virtually any industry to start building their own businesses online. However, one of the biggest mistakes that these business leaders make is assuming that creating a website is free, just because they don't have to pay to use a CMS system like WordPress.
There's a big difference between getting an account on WordPress and launching a successful website that you're proud to have representing your brand. If you want to develop a lucrative site that appeals to your target audience and improves your chances of conversions, then you need to be prepared for all the costs - including the hidden ones.
Here are just some of the costs associated with building a website.
1. Paying for a Web Designer
First, you need someone who can design an attractive site for you and your company. Web designers can cost anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds depending on what you need to accomplish with your site.
While it's easy to assume that you can simply build your own site with a theme on WordPress and a few coding skills, the truth is that if you want a stunning site, you're probably going to need to work with a professional. Even if you do decide to build your online presence yourself, you should still pay for a premium theme, so you can make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
2. Buying a Domain Name
Now that you have someone to design your website, you need a domain name. Your domain name is how people find your site, and it looks something like this: "yourcompany.com." It's important to choose a name that is:
- Easy to remember and spell
- Not too long
- Relevant to the type of business you're running
When you choose your domain name, you'll have to buy it. We recommend choosing a name with a .com suffix, but you can also consider purchasing other versions of your name too to protect them from competitors. Most domain names should be very inexpensive.
Your website isn't just a magic entity that exists online; it's a packet of data and files that needs to be held securely somewhere. This means that you'll need a hosting provider to keep your business site up and running once you're ready to launch it online.
There are many different types of hosting you can choose from. Most people on a basic website will be fine with a "shared hosting" package. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, because you share your disk space with various other companies. If your website is particularly complex or sees a lot of traffic, then you may need to upgrade to virtual hosting or private hosting instead.
4. Content Costs
Once your website is designed, and you have a domain name, you'll need to invest in content. This includes the content that's going to appear throughout your site on things like the "About Us" and product pages and the content you post every week on your blog to improve your search engine rankings. Content is crucial to gaining attention online and convincing your customers to buy from you. While some companies create their content themselves, others prefer to pay for a professional to help them.
There are content producers and copywriters all over the web who are willing to offer a range of services to support your content strategy. The price you pay will depend on the type and quality of content that you want.
5. Marketing your Website
Few people will waste time and money on building a website unless they want that site to be seen by others. Unfortunately, with millions of sites online today, the only way to get the right people to your content is to invest in a marketing strategy. There are a host of different marketing campaigns that you can try, depending on the type of audience you want to reach. Some people use pay-per-click advertising to give them an initial boost in the search rankings, then switch to a long-term SEO strategy.
You can also investigate methods that help you to build relationships with your target audience and create repeat customers, such as social media marketing and email marketing. The best thing you can do is track the performance of each of your marketing methods and find out which one gives you the best ROI (Return on investment).