If you have been browsing the internet and gathering quotes for your website build then you have likely found a wide range of pricing. You can get a website built for anything between £500 (for a simple theme template out of the box – where you do everything yourself) to around £10,000 for a well designed and custom built website. But there’s something they’re not telling you…
…it’s going to cost you more; oftentimes a lot more!
The truth is – one-off website build pricing is never really “one-off”. Owning and running a website is not dis-similar to owning and running a physical shop. There are always recurring costs associated with owning a website, regardless of the size or type. Companies frequently leave this piece of information out of their discussions with you but it is where most web development companies earn the bulk of their income. The truth usually doesn’t come out until after your website is finished.
When you buy or rent a shop, you include a budget for extra expenses like insurance, taxes, utilities, maintenance, cleaning and the unexpected repairs. These costs can quickly add up and can even be higher than your monthly mortgage or rent payment. A website works the same way. If you don’t budget for running costs such as domain name registration, web hosting, themes, plug-ins, design updates, periodic technology updates, content changes, and unexpected bug fixes, you may be in for a surprise later on.
Just like a shop, it’s cheaper to constantly maintain your website rather than waiting for it to break. If you’re technically skilled, it’s possible to manage certain parts of the website on your own. However, your time is valuable and you can’t be certain things are done correctly 100% of the time.
If you own a website there are a number of recurring costs that you will experience. Here we list the 5 most common recurring costs. Approximate annual cost estimates are included for each cost type.
Domain names need to be renewed once a year or every 2 years. Depending on your domain name the costs vary but often it is about £10 per year. Nowadays it is also important to have an SSL security certificate for your website. Although this is technically optional, SSL provides security and is preferred among search engines like Google, enhancing your search results score.
Most web development companies and freelance web designers use WordPress software plugins for integrating certain pieces of functionality, improving performance or for making design simpler and quicker. These plugins are often made by third-parties and require annual subscription fees. Your “one-time” website build cost may include the first year of payment for these plugins and themes. After the first year, you’ll be hit with renewal bills from these third-party companies you may have never even known about. If you do not pay then your website can lose some of it’s functionality. If you are getting a one off website always make sure to ask your developer about this and to add the annual cost of these extras to your build and future maintenance.
Web hosting is necessary for visitors to connect to and load your website on the internet. There are a really wide range of options for website hosting – often starting at around £5 per month. However the lower price you pay, the more you’ll need to do on your own.
Additionally – the lower you pay the poorer performing your website may be. If you opt for £5 a month budget hosting, you’ll need to invest in a security plugin for advanced security measures and you’ll be on your own for software updates.
For advanced hosting, you’ll pay closer to £25 a month but it will include enhanced security and software updates, along with better support.
Just as shop owners re-dress their windows and change the way products are presented and laid out in the store, businesses also need to make sure that their websites have current and appealing designs and that all information is up to date.
A new website design may be good for a few years but after that you will start to notice newer trends in your industry and start to get envy over your competitors sites.
If you move location or employ new staff then you will need to update the website to communicate this.
The clients that we see have most success through their websites are the businesses that are constantly questioning and searching for ways to improve the communication of what they do.
Sometimes it can be tricky to see where improvements can be made in your marketing so it is necessary to get the advice of a marketing professional to help you develop a strategy and set up campaigns on the relevant platforms such as google Ads, Bing Ads, Twitter and Facebook.
Although our marketing services carry an additional cost we are always happy to include a review and strategy build for free as part of our small business website package.