How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?

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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website

Websites are getting more and more popular as people setup their own online.  As more individuals look into the possibility of starting their own, the question that always crops up is “How much does it cost to build a website?”  Well that’s what we will be looking at in this post.

Domain Name & Web Hosting

There are two vital things that you need in order to build a website.

  1. Domain Name (e.g. example.com)
  2. Web Hosting (where all your website files will be kept online)

Without these, you can’t build a website and get it online, so you need to invest in them.  Thankfully, these two necessary costs are a lot cheaper than you might think.

Domain names can be bought and registered for as little as $12.99/year from GoDaddy, and web hosting can start at as little as $3.96/month from HostGator.

That is just $60.51 for BOTH for a whole year!!!

You can actually save money the longer you register your domain/hosting for.  So if you are planning on building a website, that is something that you should look at.

The fact that you can build a website that earns money (via; advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products, etc.), you can easily earn that money back.  In fact you can build a whole business online nowadays, so this small cost is nothing compared to other business expenses.

Why You Should Avoid Free Hosting

Hang on Matt!  What about Free Hosting?  Can’t I just build a website on one of the many free hosts and save myself the money?

This is a question that I get asked a lot online and I always give the same answer:

“If that’s what you want to do, knock yourself out!  HOWEVER, I do believe that you would be MUCH better off spending a little bit of money.”  

If you want to go down the free hosting route, go ahead, only you can make that decision.  It is however, much better for your website’s long term future that you go with self-hosting (buying your own domain & hosting).  In fact, many website owners often say that they regret going down the free hosting route as it restricted them heavily.

You see, websites built on free hosts are actually owned by the host themselves – NOT by you!  They can choose to take down your site at any time and there isn’t much you can do to stop them.  Factor in that you have limited control of how your site will look (usually you can only build one using one of their pre-made templates) and that your domain will look something like ‘example.freehost.com’ and you begin to see the draw backs.

Free hosting sites are fine if you just want some online space to share stuff with friends or family, but if you are considering building a professional website, you are better off going down the self-hosting route.

For more information on this, check out our Free Hosting VS Self-Hosting post.

Web Design Costs

So far, we have talked about domain and hosting costs, but what other costs can we expect when building a website?

This is a good question and one that is extremely hard to answer.  A lot depends on what your website will be about, how you want it to look, whether you are going for a professional business site or something more light hearted.

The best place to start is WordPress, as that is a fantastic tool to use to help build and manage your website.  WordPress is totally free to use allows you to create truly professional looking websites.

The best feature of WordPress is that you can buy pre-made, professional looking themes that will transform the look of your site instantly.  There are free themes that you can use, though they don’t tend to get updated, so when the next version of WordPress comes out, your site could end up breaking.  At least with premium themes, they are undated regularly and offer 24hr support to help you.

I get all of my WordPress themes from StudioPress.  In fact, OnlineIncomeTeacher uses the Genesis News Theme (though I have customized it a bit), which cost me $79.95 – but for that, I get to use it on as many sites as I want, it is mobile responsive and I get unlimited updates.  I felt that it was well worth it as the site looks much better than it did before.

As for other things that you may need, programs like Dreamweaver and Photoshop are great tools to use for your site, if you can use them, but there are much cheaper (even free) alternatives that you can use.  Programs like GIMP, Paint.net and others are great for creating and editing images for your site.

If you want to create an email list for your site, then AWeber is something that you should look at.  At $19/month (first month only $1) you can add up to 500 subscribers to your list and send out unlimited emails from your account.  The price goes once you get more than 500 subscribers, but again, you can easily make that back by monetizing your email list (e.g. sending them offers, affiliate marketing, product discounts, etc.).

If you want any design work doing, you can always outsource the work to sites Freelancer, Fiverr or Elance.  That way, you free up your own time to spend doing other work.

The Cost To Build A Website

Hopefully this post has given you some idea of how much your site will cost.  Every site is different, so depending on what features you want to include, you could spend anywhere between $60-$350 to get your site up and running.  After that, monthly costs would be added onto that, though depending on how you purchased your features, that may not be added on till the following year.

Websites are pretty cheap when you consider other business expenses that you may have had to shell out for.  Of course the biggest cost will be your time, as it does require a lot of work to getting your site up and running.  That said, I find it incredibly rewarding and enjoyable.

How much did you spend on setting up your website?  What is your opinion on free/self-hosted sites?  Please let us know below by leaving a comment.

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the founder and editor of OnlineIncomeTeacher. He is a Professional Blogger, SEO Consultant & Web Developer, running a number of sites from the UK. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Erik Emanuelli

    Everyone with a job issue or seeking to make some extra, should try the way to build an online business.
    As you stated, Matt, the costs are really fair and acceptable.

    I should add a tip:
    when you register your domain name, for example on GoDaddy, if you spend a bit online finding a coupon, you can end up saving more than 10 dollars, paying for a domain name something like 1,99$.
    This is really the best price ever! :-)

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Erik,

      Good tip about coupons, should have remembered that really. Just shows that websites can be even MORE affordable for anybody to create. Plus, it is a great feeling to see something that you have built up yourself from nothing and that you enjoy doing, turn into something that you can turn into a business.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Matt, excellent dude! Stay away from free hosting, please! Really, seeing the quality of what you paid for – nothing of course – is quite frightening.

    If you want to be taken seriously online own your real estate. Pay for hosting. Self hosting that is. If you want to blog as a hobby then you can use free or shared hosting.

    Thanks Matt, great tips ;)

    Ryan

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Ryan,

      Great advice their. People should definitely stay away from free hosting/free sites unless they are just doing it as a hobby. To stand any chance of making it professionally and, as you say, be taken seriously, you must go for paid hosting.