When it comes to creating a website, one of the big factors that can put you off from going for it, is the initial cost of setting up a website.
I’m sure you’ve heard on the grapevine that they may cost you £100’s if not £1000’s and as a small business owner that may have put you off from getting started. Preferring instead to stick to your Facebook and Instagram pages.
So, I thought I’d break it down for you, so you’re aware of the bare bones costs …
Now my personal preference to creating a website is using WordPress.com as the platform. I love WordPress because you can start off small and basic and with the use of themes to make your website look good and with plugins, which add functionality to your website much like apps do on your mobile phone, your WordPress website can grow as your business does.
According to David Rashty of Creative Minds, in August 2020 over 455 million websites use WordPress.com as their platform of choice – so not an insignificant amount of people – and I and my clients are part of those 455 million.
Now WordPress.com itself is free – hooray I hear you say! And the way I use it for my own websites and with my clients is to have a domain name (the www.??? bit) and your hosting with a website hosting provider. Siteground* is my host of choice, because they are fast and the customer service is good. Once you have purchased a domain name and hosting, you can then start to create your WordPress website using an Installation wizard built in to your Control Panel in Siteground.
Once WordPress is installed, you can then add a Theme to your website. A WordPress Theme is a series of templates and stylesheets that are used to determine the appearance and look of your website. There are 100’s of different themes to choose from, both paid and free.
Personally I love the Divi* theme by Elegant Themes and I install this on all my clients websites. The Divi theme is a paid for theme and costs $89 per year or $249 one off payment for Lifetime access however they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you’re not enjoying it, they will give you a refund.
The reason I love Divi is that it is easy to use, allows you to create professional looking websites and the big plus is it allows you to build your website visually, so you can see exactly how your website is going to look to your visitors. When you make a change to your website, you can see how it will look in real time and the settings are very intuitive to use. And you can design your website to look exactly the way you want it to, so as different and as unique as you are.
Your next step is to add in plugins to give your website functionality or add features to your website. Again some are free and some are paid for. There are thousands of free plugins that can be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory. A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that are written in PHP programming language and these can save you hours and hours of frustration of trying to learn “code” to get something to happen on your website.
Plugins can be used to integrate your website with your social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. You can add plugins that ensure your website is backed up. You can add plugins that will add a form to your website or a live chat button or that will install an online shop for you. As I said there are thousands of plugins available, so if you want your website to do something particular I’m sure there will be a plugin for it!
So let me summarise this for you so far, in terms of cost, just bear in mind these are approximate figures to give you an idea of the initial costs of starting a WordPress website …
WordPress.com – £0.00
Your domain (per year) – £15.00
Hosting (per year – Siteground currently offering £5.99 pm paid annually for 1st yr**) – £86.26
Divi Theme (but can use a free theme if preferred**) – £82.44
Plugins (can be free or premium/paid) – £0.00
So for less than £200 for the initial cost, you can get yourself up and running with a WordPress website using a premium theme. That’s not so bad is it!
Obviously you will need to learn how to use WordPress and your theme of choice but with time and patience you can definitely do that – I did, I started out knowing absolutely nothing about websites but learnt after having websites created for me that I wasn’t happy with.
Another option is to pay for a web designer like me, to actually design and create the website for you. Which could save you hours of your time and lots of frustration at having to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, your theme and your plugins.
Depending on how quickly you want your website to be up and live to the public, this may be a more cost effective choice for you. You can carry on doing what you’re great at and I can do what I’m great at, for you. My prices start from £599 for a Setup and Go website.
If you think this is the way you would prefer to go or just want to chat with me to see which is the best way for you, I’d be happy to chat it over, just get in touch by clicking the button below.
Now obviously a WordPress website isn’t for everyone and there are lots of other ways to create your website including GoDaddy, Squarespace and Wix and one of these could be the right match for you at this time. Just check that these have the capabilities to grow with your business and at what price these add-ons cost, think booking services, blogs, online shops etc as they quite often bump up the monthly price tags.
Once your basic foundation of a website is in place, you need to start to ask yourself exactly what you want your website to do for you. Are you looking for a simple “brochure” website, with information on what you offer and how to contact you? Or are you looking for a bit more than that such as an Online Shop or Ecommerce as its sometimes called. Are you looking to add in a booking system so people can easily book to see you or visit you? Are you looking to add in a blog so you can educate your visitors and keep them up-to-date with your news and events. So many different options but don’t get overwhelmed, you can start simply and grow your website with you.
In my opinion, your website shouldn’t be a “one and done” part of your marketing. It should constantly evolve as your business does, so don’t be too concerned about getting it absolutely perfect right off the bat.
Once you know exactly what you want your website to do for you, you can go ahead and get creating those features or tell your web designer what you want and they can get creating for you. Ahem – did I mention I could do that for you!!
Now depending on what you want your website to do for you and your business, you may incur extra costs for features like an online booking system, an online shop or creating an email list. There are many options available out there to you for each of the features you may want, so it’s a case of doing some research to make sure they can do exactly what you want them to do for you.
Some features are free, some will have a one off cost, some will have monthly or yearly costs. Again I’m happy to share with you the one’s I’ve used myself and for my clients and tell you the pro’s and con’s of each, along with the prices. Just get in touch for a chat, I promise no hard sell, just happy to share what I know.
And so that about wraps up the cost of starting a website up. I hope I haven’t scared you off or fried your brain with some of the more technical jargon. If you have any questions please get in touch or leave me a comment below
Until next time
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** includes VAT