Cost of a business website

Many new business people fail to consider the cost of a website in their startup costs. They may also want to hold off on a website until other avenues are exhausted. The first rule of prospects and leads is to do business with people you know. Then ask them if they know anyone that could use your services. It’s all free!

But at some point you need to have a website. It is the new yellow pages. People need to find your phone number, and while they may remember your brand name, or your city and trade, we tend to misplace your business card and rely on looking up your phone number with google. That could suck for you.

To begin with, instead of wondering how much it will cost, set a budget of $ 750 for your first web-site. First you will have to register a domain, for at least five years, you have $ 700 left. Now you need a computer to store and provide your website to visitors, an annual service called hosting. There goes a hundred bucks a year. Your website should incorporate your logo. Don’t have one? There goes $ 150 to $ 500 for a digital branding package. That might leave you with from $ 100 to 500 to spend on the website design, and yes it can be done.

The most difficult part of the web design will not be the designers job, it will be talking about your business. You need 500 words about your business, philosophy, customers and market. You then need at least 500 words about your products and or services. Finally you need a contact page that contains your phone number, and if you have an office or mailing address, that should be included. There, we are done. That is a simple three page web-site.

If you have a business address, it is time to establish listings in Google Places and Bing Local Listings. These have become more important than the yellow and white pages. You can struggle through this yourself, or pay various professionals three to five hundred dollars to accomplish this somewhat technical task.

Been there done that, and ready to do it for real? Here is a guide to budgeting for a website upgrade, probably better suited for your second time through:

    Small Budget Big Budget
Number of Pages 6 to 10   $ 2,000   $ 3,000
Style and Design Simple yet attractive   $ 2,000   $ 3,000
Copywriting three to five pages   $ 1,000   $ 1,500
SEO major keywords and phrases    $ 2,000   $ 4,000
Graphical and Photography   Just Enough   $ 1,000   $ 2,000
Content Management System  Standard   $ 2,000   $ 4,000
  TOTAL BUDGET COSTS  $10,000  $15,500

Whoa, Nelly! Do I need all that? Probably not, but when you are ready to truly be found on search engines with an attractive web design, be prepared to budget three to five thousand. Need a professional photographer? Expect to spend from $ 300 to 1000 a session. Do you want to include products from your database, with current pricing or inventory levels? Expect to spend a couple thousand for the integration. Looking to sell things on-line? Expect to pay a consultant to help you with Amazon or Yahoo shopping to make an initial foray. If you want to run your own shopping site, the costs can be $ 10,000 quickly.