How Much Does it Cost To Create a Website?
1) A domain name (anyname.com)
2) A web host (the company that stores your files and web pages)
Now, if you're looking for a free website, you're not going to find any recommendations here because that is quite honestly a bad move.
Don't you want full ownership and control of your site? Well, if you go with a free host you won't have that, and it's never good to rent a website from a company that can do whatever they want to with your site at any time.
Plus, as you'll see below, the costs of starting a website are way cheaper than starting a business offline. When you put things into perspective, you realize what a great opportunity this can be at a relatively low cost.
Domains and Hosting
When I started building websites in 1998, domain names (yoursite.com) were $35/yr and hosting was $25/month.
Today, you can get both of those for much less.
Domain names at my company Website Palace costs $13.99/yr and hosting starts at $6.99 per month.
You can always upgrade your hosting package later if you wish, but I will say that if you choose either of the two higher end packages, you can create an unlimited number of sites on one account.
With both domains and hosting, you save if you pay for years/months in advance. So that's something to consider if you plan to keep your site for a long time.
Also, if you buy your domain or hosting at Website Palace, you get my free WordPress ebook/guide. The download is on the confirmation/order page.
Do You Need Web Software?
I used to recommend buying various software to create a website. Now, I see no reason to use it.
Thanks to WordPress (which comes free with paid hosting), you don't need it. WordPress comes with templates and thousands of them are completely free.
You just search within WordPress for the design you want.
Logo Design Costs
Thinking of getting a professional logo? You may want to consider investing in a logo design. This could cost anywhere between $20 and $500 depending on the quality and who you hire.
Here's how it works...
You submit your ideas and designers from all over will submit entries for you to vote on.
When the contest is over, you pick the logo you want, pay the designer and they send you the image files in several different high-quality formats.
So you can use your logo on shirts, mugs, hats, and of course the web.
It's a pretty cool format because you get access to hundreds of designers from all over, and if you don't know exactly what you want, it's a great way to see many different renditions and ideas.
It may sound cool to get a $5 logo from Fiverr, but it will probably look like a $5 logo. :-)
Website Design Costs
Even though platforms like WordPress have revolutionized the methods of creating a website (because it comes with tons of free themes), you may still decide to have a professional theme created.
The benefit of doing this is you will get exactly what you want and not have to worry about tweaking someone else's work.
As cool as WordPress is, if you don't know CSS, PHP or have a theme that allows you to make the customizations you need, you may find yourself scratching your head when it comes to customizing your them.
That's why I typically use premium themes with WordPress because you get more customization options.
On my blog, I use The Daily Dish Theme and there are quite a few customization options to choose from. For example, I can choose if I want one menu or two, and I can switch up the color scheme right from the admin area.
If I did not have a theme that has those kinds of customizations, I'd have to go into the editor and literally figure out how to edit the programming code. Not a fun task for the average WordPress user.
Also, the theme is mobile responsive. So your site will automatically adjust to display optimally on phones and smaller devices.
Try viewing this site on your phone or drag the corner of your browser to shrink the window. Notice how the site adjusts as the window gets smaller.
That's the beauty of a responsive site and what the Prose Theme will give you out the box.
What About Free Themes?
When you install WordPress, there are tons of free themes to choose from, but here's a warning...
One problem is that there is no support for them. So when WordPress upgrades their software, you're left in the dark if your theme is not compatible.
That means your design could break and you will be left on your own to fix it.
So even if you do decide to use WordPress, consider getting a premium theme.
Ecommerce / Shopping Carts
There are a couple of routes you could take here.
Back in the day, you almost had to invest in a full ecommerce/shopping cart solution. They could be a royal pain to setup.
Clickbank costs $49 (one-time) for setup and they take 7% for every sale you make. eJunkie costs $5 per month and they do not take any commission on your sales.
So what about databases and other kinds of custom work you may want to done?
It's hard to say what this will cost because you'll likely have to get a quote from whomever will do the work.
For example, if you want a custom database created so you can store information and load it on your site in a special way then you could go to vWorker and get a quote.
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