To design a small business website, you need many tools, but the first thing you need is the right mindset. Have you seen a bakery or small eatery in your hometown which refuses to go online? They say their sales are fine, and the technology isn’t their forte. This approach might seem to work for a small neighborhood, but even the smallest businesses cannot afford to lack when it comes to large cities and metropolitan areas.
A website is the storefront of your actual store; more than 50% of shoppers today approach your services via the internet (website and phones). Plenty of new businesses fail to understand the need for a website, let alone a good one, and they see their dreams fall under the burden of unmatched expectations from consumers.
To prevent that fate from passing, take this as a proverbial prophecy from the developers: invest in some professional website with quality UI/UX design.
What Determines the Cost of a Small Business Website?
When someone mentions “good” website design, it does not only mean fancy color schemes, nor does it have to be insanely expensive. A professional website for any business (especially small companies) can make or break it in profit returns and customer retention.
A little tip before proceeding: if you are not ready to pay to design a small business website, maybe you’re not prepared to do business.
Here are some of the factors which can influence an excellent small business website design:
Are we talking about website development and missing out on domain names? That can’t be possible. Website domains work as street names for your business in the internet world. Without that, no one will know how to look you up.
Without typing in “facebook.com,” you cannot have access to the behemoth social media platform. In the same way, you need to spend some cash to acquire a domain name for your small business. It can cost you anywhere between $1 to $15 per domain name. Some places you can go and find domains suitable for your small business are GoDaddy, DreamHost, HostGator, etc.
Since your website will have some files you want to secure at a physical location, the next step is to look for a convenient web hosting service. There are various mass-produced web hosting servers, even some local ones you can find around your location. Still, in the end, you need to settle on an affordable server that provides enough bandwidth and RAM and has preventive measures in case of theft and cyberattack.
Depending on the provider and sharing plan you choose, web hosting can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per month (subscription packages). You can get these services from BlueHost, Ionos, Hostinger, etc.
Another thing to consider here is that many web hosting services claim to be free, but their benefits have proven nothing short of security breaches and shortfalls. For your safety, avoid using free services for your website pages to be available to view 24 hours a day. Your small business website will thank you for it. Free services are for those who are not looking for business, simple.
Design is the most variable cost factor for small business website making because it largely depends on their budget. And the budget is directly correlated to the look the company is going with on their web pages. Is it going to be a cleaner, minimalist approach? Or is it going to be edgier and messy?
The design costs rely on the designer’s number of hours and whether or not you need multiple designs or pages(home page, contact us page, product page), so designing can set you back around $2,000 to $15,000. You will also have to pay an additional $1000 as a page per cost, which will increase based on your product pages.
Security is no joke these days: you have to invest in your website data protection. When you visit a site, you see a lock symbol next to the URL, and it is a surety that the data on the site and shared via the medium is protected. Although it used to be an optional factor in generating a credible website, now it is a must-have.
SSL certificates protect user data from hackers and serve as a trust factor between the service provider and the consumers. Here’s a catch: some web hosting companies provide free SSL certificates. Otherwise, you can purchase it, and it will cost you up to $1,500 per year in subscription fees.
Of course, when it comes to building a great business website, you need to be flashy to a certain degree. A CMS allows you to have all your text, images, and pages, by providing an excellent generation platform. Even though many CMSs are free, you would still have to pay your website designer to customize the designs according to the business vision and needs, costing anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500.
Small Business Website – DIY or Professionally Build?
Once you know how much to have to build a website for a small business from scratch, there are two ways of going about it.
Method 1: Do It With CMSs
You have a few good options for website builders out there. There is WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix among the best contenders.
With WordPress, you have a free CMS, which is open-source and can be the most affordable option. Over time, the tools have become more user-friendly, and all you need to do is know how to backup data and be creative on the home page, and the rest is done.
WordPress ecosystem is free, but there are some additional charges. Thes charges are for the themes and plugins you buy for your website. Premium themes are anywhere between $100 to $200 per year. Customization increases the price range to well above $1,000, but that is up to you. As a beginner on WordPress, rely on themes and plugins and invest in them if you want a fully-functional online store.
Both Squarespace and Wix are similar to WordPress in that all of them do not need extensive code lines to function. However, WordPress comes with certain advanced features, making it a little complicated for newbies. While using a platform other than WordPress, expect to pay another $50/month for the added features.
Method 2: Professional Website Making
You pay upfront, and a team of designers and developers start working on your website. Going this way will set you back about $2,000-$8,000. Depending on the number of products and pages, the prices can go up drastically, some even reaching $40,000 because of the nature of their ecommerce business site.
A pro tip for everyone: If you want to hire a professional to help you with your website but cannot afford one lump sum payment upfront, see if they offer finance. That way, you get an excellent website ASAP to help grow your business, but not at the expanse of your bank account.
Whichever design mode you choose, you will still have to cater to yearly maintenance costs, adding another $200 to $1,250 per year. Hiring an expert pays off in the long run, and it is always better to opt for this route, but if you are tight on cash, you can go for DIY options. Remember that generating leads for your small business via a functional website is more complicated than most think.