By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur magazine|August 1, 2010
Off-the-shelf content management systems and design templates have made building and managing a website easy and affordable for small-business owners with modest needs. Not counting your sweat equity, you can build and maintain a small website for less than $250. But, honestly, do you really want to bank your company’s online presence and messaging on a low-cost website? Working with a full-service graphic design and web programming firm is a more savvy business decision.
Using a professional team, you can expect to pay from $1,000 for a very basic site to more than $50,000 for a larger site with custom graphics, programming and other options.
The cost of your website will be based on the size and complexity of the site required to meet your business-related needs. A five- to 10-page site introducing your business and the services you offer will cost considerably less to build than one that processes purchase orders, for example.
When budgeting for web programming and design, draw up an itemized list, including the following:
- Domain registration: Cost: $10 to $35 per year per domain.
- Hosting: Fees vary considerably based on the complexity of your website, estimated traffic and security requirements. Cost: Shared host, $8 to $50 per month; merchant plan, $25 to $250 per month; dedicated server, $125 to $1,000+ per month.
- Graphics: Unless you have existing graphics, including a company logo, you need to use stock art or pay a graphic artist. Cost: Royalty-free stock art, starting at about $10 per image; graphic artist, $50 to $150 per hour.
- Content development: Content development usually starts with you, but…
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