HOW MUCH? is not as simple as it appears. This is a question which has been asked time and again by millions of users everyday. The question is complex because it depends on a lot of factors.
The real answer is: Well, It depends!
To reach a realistic figure of the website cost is not easy, but with some prudent calculations you can figure out an approximate cost of the website. The cost of a website varies a lot and it mostly depends on the choices you make. Hence, It requires a careful calculation of expectations of a customer who has made the request.
The cost of website includes the cost of design and development. The final cost of website design and development will then largely depend on the features the customer wants in his website.
The cost of website also depends on vendor you have chosen choose to build your website. Choosing a right website vendor
for your website is critical to the costing and success of your website.
When you plan to build a website, there are few things that cost monthly, few things cost yearly and some cost once. So making a website has two cost components: fixed cost and variable cost.
When you pursue with building a new website from scratch, You will have fixed, recurring and ad-hoc cost items:
WEBSITE COST BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE
In the next segment, you will get into the STEP BY STEP METHOD to build your website and also find breakup of costs involved in each of those steps. Either you build yourself, hire a freelancer or engage a web development agency, you will need answers to the following and its cost of each be determined:
#1. Domain Cost - Annual Renewal
Your journey to building your website starts with obtaining a domain name. For this step, you will need a domain registrar. You can pick from Google, GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost etc. You can also pick another registrar of your choice. Some domain registrars offer you integrated services where you get dashboard for managing DNS, hosting, email accounts and databases. This will cost you from INR 900-1200/year.
#2. Hosting Cost - Annual Renewal
The next step is to decide on the the selection of hosting provider. The provider will
your web application. They will provide you space on their web server that may costs you monthly / annually. The hosting charges depends on the package / services you opt from hosting provider. Website hosting cost you anywhere from INR 5000 to 10,000/-
on shared hosting environment. Sometimes, free or a good discount is offered by the host for the initial year on shared servers. If your site is professional website with business operations and is expected to yield major traffic or custom applications, you can host your web site on
which may cost from INR 40,000 to 100,000/-
per anum depending on the configuration and server platform. For more advanced and transactional web application with heavy traffic, you can host your web application on dedicated server and this can cost you from INR 150,000 to 400,000/-
again depending on the server configuration and hosting platform.
#3. Design Cost - Fixed
The next step is to select a design for your website. You can select from a catalog from the designer or ask for a new design for you exclusively. The cost of website design is the major website cost and it varies from design to design. Good professional design suitable for your work / business may cost you more. This is generally a one-time cost but modification or subsequent update to the design will cost you more within the same year or subsequent years. Some basic ready made designs come for free but with free designs come with lots of undisclosed limitations. Those designs are amateur designs not fit for serious businesses. They are generally like stray coded designs which are not maintainable and in the medium to long term. You will not find any support over those designs from anywhere. Good professional designs may cost you around INR 10,000 to 60,000/- with a single site shared license. For an exclusive design, you may need to cough up from INR 100,000 to 300,000/- or even more. You can also outsource your web design to a reputed web designer to have an exclusive design and it will cost your more than the price of available designs on the internet.
#4. Content Management System (CMS) - Optional
The next step is to choose youe content management system. The sites can be either static or dynamic. Static sites are the sites that does not change its content frequently. Static sites will not require a CMS, but dynamic sites will. Business environment changes by time and so is the content. If you decide to go with a CMS, then you must choose a quality content management system (CMS). To change content of a website or application without disturbing the structure, you need a CMS. There are many free Web CMS available in the market viz. Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WEC
etc. But, remember, these CMS solve simpler aspects of a website. When you have a specific / unique way of engaging your customers, then these CMS may not of any help. You will need to build a new CMS from scratch with the help of a web developer, a team of developers or web development agency. Building custom CMS
with a team of developers or outsourcing to build a custom CMS will cost you anywhere from INR 100,000 to 500,000/-
#5. Copyright Content - Ad-hoc
Will you write your own content or have a content writer?
The content is the lifeline of a website. Content engages and talk to your customers about your ideas. This conversation may finally cut through a business conversions. In a way, content is the life blood of your digital marketing campaign. Be it Images, documents, write-ups, videos or any other resources, all of these are content / business resources. The presentation, writing and linking of these resources help your business to get recognized and help build a perspective in the mind of your customers.
Web content is different than print content and have different objectives as well. Web Content focus on creating short attractive title, building better link profile, adding more and more keywords, engaging people, maintain inter-activeness and increase social media outreach. Web content writing is a specialized job and each copyright content or update cost you. On an average, you will have to spend INR 3000/page for a good and professional copyright content.
#6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Optional and critical
The next step is to draw internet users to your website for using search engine optimization
. SEO is a technique by which you allow search engines to index your websites with relevant keywords of your business so that search engine can send users to relevant websites. This will make your website appear before the customers when they search for businesses like yours. This is an optional but critical website cost and will occur every year anywhere between INR 20,000 to 45,000/-
. SEO services are offered in packages. These packages offer you a range of options including on-site SEO, off-site SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO or a mix. Choose an appropriate package but to realize the full effect of SEO, your business will need at least 6 months.
#7. Social Media setup - Optional
The social media is now one of the most influencing factor in digital marketing and outreach. Billions of people hang out on social media. It builds your social digital footprints (social bookmarks) and search engines give these high preference when it validates the site for correctness. There are many popular social media sites like facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram etc. and their cumulative traffic outnumbers all search engine marketing channels. Therefore, social media can not be ignored in a real business scenario. Social media setup is about setting up your account / pages and updating that regularly with your business updates. It also includes answering to people who is interested in your business or in some other ways. This work can be taken up by some of your employee who have used it before in good effect. Building social media influence also need a good social strategy. Outsourcing social media management may cost you anywhere from INR 5000 to 20,000/year.
#8. Setting up Email newsletter - Optional
Business need to send newsletter to their customers or need to advertise using newsletters. It is a kind of mailing list service. These services can be availed separately with the likes of mailchimp etc. Integrating newsletter application services into your website may cost you depending on the type of newsletter service you want. This will form your optional website cost. Newsletters can be used to target anonymous, subscribers or customers for business updates. You can utilize newsletter to build a community.
#9. Responsive Web Pages
Responsive website means a collection of web pages that opens seamlessly irrespective of the device and screen sizes. Google has recently announced that the responsive website is a ranking factor and mobile page speed is also a ranking factor. In this scenario, responsive websites is a must if your into a serious business and digital marketing is the next opportunity you are aiming at. Making such pages require more CSS and media queries or incorporation of CSS frameworks like bootstrap, flex etc. and hence it costs you more. In simple words, responsive website means a website that displays well on devices of various sizes like desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones. These websites cost you additional INR 3,000 to 5000/site for sites which have about 5-10 pages. For bigger websites, it could go even higher as the number of pages increase.
#10. Clean Navigation Structure
Clean and consistent navigation structure is the backbone of a good website design. It allows your visitors to predict where they would find certain information. Building such a clean navigator need careful understanding of the human behavior and adapt to such structuring. Building such customized navigation adds to website cost. For example, opting to have a smart collapsible menu will cost you more. If you include images and icons in the menu / navigation design, it costs you dear. Smart menu / unique navigation may cost you from INR 5,000 to 50,000/- depending on the simplicity and complexity of the navigation menu.
#11. Site Searches
Site search adds to the navigation capability of a website. It is like a virtual assistant for you when you are unable to locate certain iems / information. It eases the task of a visitor when he finds difficulty looking for some items you might have shifted to some other segments. Adding search pages and search index service to the website will add to your website cost. Advanced searches for further filtering down the results could cost even more. It could be free if you are building your site using popular free CMS or it may range from INR 10,000 to 30,000/-
per website and depends on what type of search capability is required.
#12. Custom Functionality
Apart from typical website functionality, any additional functionality to a website will cost you separately depending on the complexity of functionality and its integration with the mother website. For example, if you like to add a scheduled discussion forum or scheduled chat to your website where subject experts will answer to your customer's query, then you will have cough out more money for this feature on your website.
#13. Cost of eCommerce extension
Adding eCommerce extension to your website will cost you additional money. Website developer will need to develop the product catalog and add a shopping cart application to your website. You will then require opening a merchant account with payment gateways and integrate with your e commerce application. The product catalog and shopping cart implementation will cost additionally in the range of INR 10,000 to 30,000/-
and integration will cost additionally from INR 10,000 to 60,000/-
. You need to collect and organize product details of all your products. Setting up and testing of the e-commerce will take time as well as cost. Adding an e commerce to your site is tempting but is complicated and hence you shall read all myths in e-commerce
and stay updated.
#14. Cost of Training and User guide
In case, your business does not have any experience on using Content Management System, you will need to allocate resources for managing your website and train them on using your CMS. CMS provider generally provides training on usage of CMS and gives you a user manual. The cost of training will vary from vendor to vendor or it may be part and parcel of the overall development. It may be offered free by some vendors.
#15. Other Website Costs
Website costs that we have discussed so far is not the entire catalog. There are many more resources required for making stunning and engaging website applications. These other costs include:
- SSL Certificates - for additional layer of security to your website
- Professional Emails
- Custom Logo design
- Banner and Sliders
- Icons and GIF images
- Premium fonts
- Customized videos for youtube
- Annual maintenance cost (AMC)
The pricing of the activities and services mentioned above were to let you stay aware whenever you are dealing with different type of vendors.
Sources of Buying Website
There are many types of buying options available to you depending on your budget. You can buy from sources with the like of
- Freelance developer
- Free Website builders or Website Builder services
- Software development agency
- Custom Website Developer
Buying from freelance web developers
You can hire the services of freelance developers and designers from many online portals. The popular ones are:
- the creative group
The costs of websites built by these freelance developers are estimated by number of pages on website, search facility, SEO options and the CMS selection. The prices are very competitive and vary from anywhere between INR 5000-35000/-.
Buying from website builders
Website builders are the software that makes website building extremely easy. Any person can build their own website by using such tools. The most popular website builders are:
- Godaddy website builder
With Wix, Squarespace and Weebly, you can build and develop your site for free. Once your site is ready and you want to take it live they will charge hosting and other services.
NOTE: The site developed on these platforms are not portable and when you wish to exit, you will lose control and the site as well. You can only take backup as an HTML backup. You will not get backup as source files and databases.
In ecommerce space you will have the options:
Buying from software development company or a CMS development company
A software development company builds various types of software and are generally have high operating cost. Buying from software development company will cost you many times as compared to buying from freelancer or web designer options. If you are building a complex project on a tight timeline, then you shall buy from a software company. For simple websites and limited budget, this is not a good choice. The cost of development of such companies starts from INR 250,000/- and there is no upper limit.
Buying from a custom website developer
If you want to build a completely customized website then, you can find a custom website developer to build a website for you. This option is cheaper than the option of choosing to buy from a software development agency. The cost of building such site may range from INR 100,000-250,000/-. It will be better if you find such reliable developer from your own contact networks.
Cost of building self hosted websites
Self hosted website offer you control on every aspect your website. You can choose your domain, hosting provider, CMS, email services, type of security etc. For a technical person or a developer, this is the best suited option since it will be less expensive and you are in full control. For a non technical person you will incur design and maintenance cost to upgrade it from time to time.
In Document References:How to choose vendor to buy a websiteWEC: A Mobile friendly Website Design Framework on ASP.NETSmart Strategies To Get High Quality BacklinksSmart Ways To Earn Money From Website or A Blog10 important tips to boost your SEO page rankingMyths and realities of a successful eCommerce business