If you are one of the people who have been or will have to make a site, you probably wonder how much would it cost to make one? What exactly are you paying for and how you can protect yourself from unnecessary costs. The best way to protect yourself from unnecessary costs is to hire a proffessional person or company who understands the job and will reduce the risk of unexpected costs to a minimum.
The development and maintenance of a professional site is a multi-stage procedure and each of these stages must be well-optimized to deliver the highest quality result at the lowest possible price.
“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”
― Paul Cookson
In this article, we’ll try to explain what the site development process is, and what is the difference between free, cheaper and expensive sites, and what benefits and disadvantages each of them has.
We will not get deeper into technical information and terms because it is not an educational article HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE, but rather an informative one that simply aims to introduce you to the stages of developing a successful site.
The VisiOne Design team has over 15 years of experience in web design, site support and optimization and the information you will read in this article is based on it.
Before proceeding to select a site, you need to have a clear idea of the capabilities and functionalities that you would like to have. Apart from the design, each of the options is a crucial factor for site pricing. Here are the different types of sites that can help you choose the one best suited to you, and help you organize your budget in the most appropriate way for your project.
If you were interested in the stages in which you could make your site by yourself quickly, cheaply and even for free, you may have come across such offers. Some of the sites that offer you free, quick and easy creation and management of your site are weebly.com, wix.com, yola.com and others. They offer you a simple system to create a template-only website with just a few clicks without having to pay extra services … like domain name, hosting, development, and so on.
OPPORTUNITIES OF FREE WEBSITES
Before you stop to this option for making your site, let me share what you can expect from it and why it is only suitable fo small, personal projects or temporary ones.
Typically, this type of service does not give you a domain but subdomain. That is, if you want your site to be called mysite.com, you will have to put up with a subdomain such as mysite.weebly.com or mysite.wix.com.
This may not be a problem for you at first and not impress you, but some visitors might not.Of course, the same companies can also offer you a personal domain for a regular fees.
In fact, the hosting space they offer is quite limited and enough for small, personal or business websites with several informative pages. If you want extra space or opportunities, you can get them for a fee.
Of course, the free capabilities of your site are also limited, and what you will actually be able to do is make several pages and change their photos and their design colors. You will be able to expand your site’s capabilities, but also for a fee.
As we can see, we can look at this type of free site only if you do not make big hopes for the development of your site. Ultimately, if you want to build your site to suit your needs and prefers, you will have to pay for the necessary options. And before you pay, you might be interested in how much it would cost you to build and maintain your own, self-hosted site. It may turn out to be cheaper.
ADVENTAGES OF FREE WEBSITES?
- They are free!
DISADVENTAGES OF FREE WEBSITES?
- They broadcast annoying ads on our site
- We are unable to broadcast our ads from which to make money if our site is visited
- We do not have any special optimization options on our site
- We do not have any special opportunities to add functionality to more specific needs, and so on.
- We should not overlook the fact that once we have paid neither for a domain nor for hosting, we have nothing and whatever happens to our site, we can not have any claims. For example, if one day disappears for some reason or is hacked.
SUMMARY ABOUT FREE WEBSITES?
We can only rely on free website services if we have no particular expectations about the possibilities and the future of our site. If you would like to expand the opportunities that you offer and pay for additional extras, I would advise you to inquire about how much you will spend on these extras versus the workmanship, support and capabilities of your personal or business website.
You want a free website? I’m sorry, but I can not help you. But I can offer you a further free consultation.
After going through the theme of free websites that we realized we do not really own them, we want to make it clear that from now on we start the theme of building websites on our servers and domains that we will control (at least while we’re paying them).
OPPORTUNITIES OF FREE WEBSITES
Anyone, even a beginner web designer … even if not a web designer could make you a cheap site. That’s why you can find very often site listings for $ 200- $ 300.
Here’s the process in 6 steps:
Processes for making a cheap site:
- Choose a suitable domain and buy it (if it is free).
- Choose a hosting company and pay for hosting.
- Download WordPress for free and spend a few hours asking yourself how to install it (If you have not already done so).
- Download a free theme and install it. There are now even free responsive themes (with mobile design).
- Take a few more hours to read how to set up your pages, site settings, post categories, and how to post.
- Download several plug-ins for first need, such as contact form and ready.
For a few days you can pick up your own site and you could only send around $100 for the necessary annual fees for domain and hosting.
This is of course in case you have at least design skills or have logos and banners ready to use for your site.
However, even if you do not have great expectations about the development of your site, I recommend that you place the task of building a site of a company or experienced person. A mistakenly constructed site can cause serious consequences for your image or financial condition.
Or, shortly, a beginner and a professional web designer can make you the same site with the same functionality for the same price, but the second one will do it without risk gaps. Before selecting a contractor for your job, look at the developer’s portfolio.
ADVENTAGES OF CHEAP SITES?
- They are cheap
- They give us unlimited opportunities to manage our content because they are located on a server we paid for and we have full access to the files in it.
- You have a personal domain.
DISADVENTAGES OF CHEAP SITES.
- Lack of professional SEO optimization
- Lack of personal design and branding
- Lack of extra functionality
- Limited site capabilities.
“Great web design without functionality is like a sports car with no engine.”
― Paul Cookson
SUMMARY FOR CHEAP SITES?
Cheap sites up to $200 – $300 are suitable for small, personal or business projects that do not place high hopes for rich site functionalities, personal design and branding, professional SEO optimization and other capabilities tailored to a pre-planned development plan according to the company’s needs or visitors to the site.
In the next section we will pay more attention to the processes that are overlooked when making cheap sites.
You looking for soimeone to make for you small business or personal web site?
EXPENSIVE WEB SITE
Unlike cheap sites that understandably offer us limited capabilities, we will focus on the process of creating a professional website with everything needed for the needs of our business.
OPPORTUNITIES OF FREE WEBSITES
Here is one of the processes and services you probably miss by paying for a cheap website.
1. SELECT A SUITABLE DOMAIN
At first glance, the choice of domain does not require much effort or technical requirements. You go to a domain checking site, choose a suitable one that’s free and you buy it. Nothing special.
Things are, however, not so simple if we decide to look for recommendations for domain selection. As I mentioned, this is not an online course and I will not go into technical details about domain selection. What I want to note is that the process of domain selection is closely related to the whole process of developing and optimization of your brand or site.
The domain is sometimes the main thing the audience sees before knows anything about you. It must be brief enough and well structured so that it can not only get into the audience’s mind but also seal it. It should be clearly associated with your business, and it is becoming more and more difficult over time when a nice, short, easy-to-remember domain is harder to find.
It is highly recommended to add an SSL certificate to your domain, which plays an important role both for the protection and optimization of your site.
2. CHOOSING A SUITABLE HOSTING.
Choosing hosting is not a very complex task. Just visit the website of a hosting company, choose an offer and pay for it. In fact, this is not quite the case. The hosting server plays a major role in the functioning of our site. It depends on whether and for how long our site will be online or offline.
If you are planning your site to bring you some revenue (such as an online store), it would mean that real time is money and in every minute your site is offline due to the fault of the hosting company, you lose money and it’s not because of your fault. In this case, a key role plays the technical support of that company, which should help you to fix your problem as quickly as possible.
The first thing to do before choosing a hosting company is to figure out what’s the ability to connect with the support and what the reviews about this company are.
The hosting server also has a key role in the site loading speed, which is important for the behavior of users after visiting our site and for search engine optimization (SEO), and it is good to do a thorough study of which company to trust hosting your site.
3. BUILDING A SITE
What is important here is what site would we like to have? An online store, a site that offers a service or just an image site. We will not go into detail and set an example with a standard site.
The process is not much different than the installation of a cheap site mentioned above, we download the WordPress installation archive, install it, set it up to work, and make it a few pages of information, photos and banners we install. Ready. What will be the future of this site, however, the story is silent and, if we want it to have a future, we better think about how to build it.
4. DESIGN / BRANDING
Hardly any web designer will offer you full branding and design to your full taste for the development of a cheap site. However, this is usually included as an extra service that increase the price. In this case everything in the design is done entirely according to the needs of your brand or if you do not have it, according to your needs. Above all, however, even the process of designing and branding itself needs to be reconciled with a professional designer.
Each color bears the association and emotion of each of your visitors, and you should take this into account when designing your site or brand. The design of your site will look good very hard if it is composed of just one color, so you have to consider what other color ,except the basic color, might be. In this regard I recommend you to read our article “Branding and Rebranding. How and why?”. Either way, any professional designer is probably aware of them and you just have to trust him.
5. DESIGN OF LOGO
The logo has one of the most crucial roles in building our brand. It will be the face of your business from now on, and you better pay special attention to it.
Like colors, each form bears its message and association. You can read more about Psychology Of Shapes
6. UI / UX DESIGN
UI – User Interface и UX – User are important stages in building the design and architecture of your site that will probably be omitted or at least neglected to a certain extent in the construction of a cheap site. The stage of their development is related to the experience and actions of users in your site.
To move on, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to offer on your site and what your target audience is. Based on this information, a necessary design is built that can maximize the interaction of users with the elements in your site and minimize the negative emotions and difficulties in working with your site.
These stages play a major role in sites offering services or products, because thankfully to every client who gives up due to a problem with your design or functionality, you are losing money.
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
– Milton Glaser
7. OPTIMIZATION OF THE SOURCE CODE
The process of optimization of the sourcing code involves several stages in itself, some of which are:
- Code optimization to improve site speed
- Optimization for easier search engine indexing (part of the on-page optimization process)
- Social sharing optimization (Open Graph etc …)
- Validation of code for broken tags, structure, etc.
There are plugins that do the job, but there is no real case in which we did not have to help with manual settings and optimization of the code. As you can see, things will get a little more complicated if you just rely on your knowledge of installing ready-made CMS systems like WordPress.
Here we can share that optimizing a site for easier indexing by search engines extends far beyond simply optimizing the site’s code and adding multiple keywords and descriptions.
In fact, the optimization of the site starts with its creation / installation with the creation of optimized images for its design. This process concentrates after the site was created, working on the optimization of the code we mentioned, and other on-page optimization techniques such as content structuring and optimization.
It is of course advisable to go ahead if you want your site to be indexed well by building link building and periodically adding and updating the content of your site that you may need even by a copywriter.
Search engines index sites, thanks to over 200 factors that change periodically and if you want to position yourself well, it is advisable to contact a specialist.
9. ADD EXTRA FUNCTIONALITY.
This is the process where your investment on your website can grow infinitely.
Assuming that a crafted site includes professional techniques like the above mentioned would cost between $ 500 and $ 1000, adding additional features to help you meet your visitors’ needs and turn them into customers, its cost could vary unlimited.
For example, if you want from a standard website that has multiple pages of information about you, you want to have an appropriate system for collecting and collecting custom email that you later use for email marketing.
One option is by offering products or services where you require registration. In this case, you need to add the functionality required to work on your site as an online store. Even if you use the appropriate platform, you will still need additional settings and additional functionality to organize the whole process of collecting and organizing emails.
If you do not offer a lot of products, but you still want to collect the emails of your visitors, you may need some functionality that will still allow you that …. such as organizing an appropriate game or contest in which they must enter their email to fit or, for example, unlock content on your page that is invisible before they enter your email. This is just a simple example of extra email collection functionality.
Here are some more examples of extra features
- Enhance the protection and block spam and hacker attacks on your site.
- Adding options for SEO analyze of your content.
- Add extras to your photo gallery, for example, that allow your visitors to buy or share each of them.
- Integrate a training system to your site to run online and offline courses.
- Functionality that scrap unused photos from your server and free space for new files.
- Add a calendar and booking system for your services.
- Options for organizing polls and surveys
And many other options that could make your site a standard image site in an interactive smart system from which to manage your visitors and turn them into customers.
Testing is a very important element that accompanies the processes of creating a professional site. Before putting it in the wide audience, you need to make sure everything works for its intended purpose. Each link is linked to the page, each picture is positioned wherever it is, each button works as intended, and the site looks normal across any devices and browsers.
Although testing does not require a lot of technical skills, it takes time and time is money. Accordingly, the bigger your project / site will be, the longer it will have to devote to testing it, and this stage should not be overlooked.
The successful start of a brand new (or updated) site depends on the development of an appropriate marketing strategy and the successful implementation. There is no business bigger than its advertising, and if you are in a different opinion, it’s a matter of time to convince yourself. And the longer you convince, the more you lose … and your competitors win.
Under marketing and advertising, I’m not just thinking about sharing Facebook posts and running sponsored ads.
There are much more successful ways to promote your site or online business, and with far less money than the chaotic spraying of money for ads in left and right so my advice is to spend no penny before you know exactly what you pay for.
ADVENTAGES OF PROFESSIONAL WEBSITES?
- They give us unlimited opportunities to manage our content because they are located on a server we paid for and have full access to the files in it.
- We have our own domain.
- The design is entirely made by our or our brand’s needs.
- The structure is tailored to the needs of our business and visitors.
- The code and content are optimized for fast, easy and convenient work with both visitors and search engines.
- Rich and professional functionalities that meet the needs of business and customers.
DISADVENTAGES OF WEBSITES?
- They are expensive!
SUMMARY ABOUT PROFESSIONAL WEBSITES?
Making an expensive site is suitable for people and businesses who have serious intentions about the development and operation of their site. When making such a site, everything is structured and tailored to the needs of business and visitors.
The risks of unpleasant and problematic experiences of site visitors are minimized, and site crawling processes are optimized to the maximum. The site is optimized for good search engine placement and sharing on social networks.
You need for proffesional web site?
Put in a few words, any improvement and added functionality to your site after its initial installation will make it more costly. To get a clearer idea of Sample Website Pricing, I can share this example formula:
TE (Time and Effort) + S (Skills needed) + EX (Expenses for proffesional tools and software for your project) = TP (Total Price)
So … we tried to be as brief as possible in the presentation of the information we wanted and not fall into unnecessary technical details. We hope you will not get bored of what you read and hopefully more and more people are aware of what they pay for and why they can not expect anyone to program Ebay or Facebook for $300.
May be you will be interested about our Pricing page where we give few examples nd price ranges.