Even though the digital world seems to be more focused on social media right now, having a website for your business is still important. In fact, your website should really be the cornerstone of your business’s marketing efforts. It’s where you can put your business’s identity front and center and where the vast majority of your online transactions should take place. Unfortunately, business websites are so ubiquitous that people often forget how expensive they can be.
As of January 2019, there were over 1.5 billion websites in the world, and that number changes all the time. While at least some of these have probably been made with free template software, most of them do have a price tag attached to them. Depending on your needs, it can cost anywhere from $100-$500 if you build a basic website on your own, to upwards of $30,000 to create a professional feature-rich website. That may seem like a drop in the bucket for a large multinational corporation, but it’s a major expense for a small business that is just getting up and running. And yet, it’s clearly a necessary expense for those who want their businesses to thrive in the 21st Century. Let’s take a look at exactly why it can be so expensive to have a slick and professional-looking website.
Perhaps the biggest reason why websites have gotten so expensive is due to higher expectations. The Internet is more user-friendly than perhaps ever before, and sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Apple.com are easy for just about anyone to use. The designs of these sites seem incredibly simple, but that simplicity is deceptive. It may be easy for the average computer user to use all but the most advanced features of these sites after just a few minutes of browsing and clicking around, but it takes a lot of time to develop a good interface for a website or service. Not only do all of these features need to be expertly programmed, but they need to be tested to make sure that they work as they should. On top of that, websites need to be optimized for mobile devices now since so many people are more likely to browse the Internet on phones and tablets rather than computers. It’s probably not fair to say that users are spoiled by modern websites and the experiences they provide; the changes that we’ve seen over the years is just the evolution of technology. Still, the fact remains that people expect a certain level of sleek professionalism and usability from any site they visit, and maintaining that costs money.
Another factor that can cause the price of a website to skyrocket is when it has certain features. On top of simply having a pleasing and intuitive design, many modern websites have things like photo galleries, videos, and even interactive tours of stores, vehicles, or whatever the site is intended to promote. Even if you have a relatively bare-bones website with a few videos and some photos, someone still needs to take the photos and record and edit the videos. The photographers who take the photos need to be compensated and credited, as do those who record your videos. If you record and edit your videos in-house, you also need to pay for the equipment being used. The costs for all of that can add up quickly, and you can end up with a large price tag when all of these features have been implemented.
A website needs to be updated constantly if it is to survive and continue to be relevant, and while it technically doesn’t cost a thing to write a few hundred words for a blog, maintaining a regular schedule when it comes to your site’s content can be a hassle. You might be able to handle it on your own at first, but you will almost certainly need some outside help once your business grows and you take on more responsibilities. Anyone you hire to take care of this task will need to be compensated, which will add to the growing cost of maintaining your business’s site.
Finally, you may need to consider a commercial web hosting service for your business’s new website. While this is relatively inexpensive – you can find hosting services for under $10 a month – it’s still one more thing that you can add to the cost of maintaining a site. If you want to register your own domain name (which should be a must for any business website), you may need to pay a little more as well. These are relatively minor expenses, but they do need to be considered along with all the other factors that will add to the cost of your site. If you want something more inclusive, you can use an online website building software.
So yes, there are some very good reasons why websites can be so expensive even though it is technically easier than ever before to start a site. After you’ve found someone who can design a user-friendly site, implement all the features you will need to promote your business, hire someone who can update your site’s content, and find an affordable and reliable web hosting service, you can easily end up spending hundreds of dollars before your site is up and running. With this kind of price tag, it’s pretty clear that you will need to find a service that can make your investment worth what you will need to pay. Fortunately, Studio MFP is more than capable of getting a great website up and running for your business. We specialize in digital marketing of all kinds, and we will work closely with you and your team to ensure that you are satisfied with your business’s website, whether it is a relatively simple site or a sleek and attention-grabbing operation intended to compete with the best that the Internet has to offer. For more information about our services, contact Studio MFP today. Our staff will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have and help you find the ideal site for your business.