Business owners and web designers alike struggle with this question because there are so many variables involved, including the fact that many site builder programs are “free.” Of course you and I know that free software does not equate to a free website, but what does it really take to build a website and why are the costs so variable? I have done significant research on this topic and the results are actually more consistent than I initially thought. Here are a few things I’ve discovered.
1. Simple site builders are available for the DIY crowd. These include Wix, Weebly and Square Space. And you can certainly do it yourself with these tools if you are looking for a simple site to get started. But you will likely be disappointed or frustrated as soon as your business starts to grow or you decide you want some special feature that these tools don’t offer. Even something as simple as adding a tracking code to your webpage for advertising purposes like Facebook or AdRoll ads will quickly show you the limitations of these platforms. The initial costs of these platforms are free, but hosting costs for an ad-free site is something you will have to pay for. If a web designer builds a site for you on one of these platforms, expect to pay $1000 to $2500 for the design and $120 per year for hosting. Website maintenance is covered in point #4 below.
2. Using a full blown content management system like Joomla, Drupal, or the internet’s most popular CMS, WordPress, will cost you more. WordPress currently runs almost one-third of the entire internet, so that is what I am going to concentrate on in this article.
Many of the world’s most-recognized companies use WordPress as the foundation for their website. Examples include Target, UPS, Walt Disney, Best Buy, Xerox, NASA, CNN, CBS, Time magazine, Vogue, People magazine, Samsung, Whitehouse.gov, Forbes, General Motors, NFL, Singer, AirStream, Macy’s Toyota, Alaska airlines, and many, many others. In fact, 54 out of the top 100 companies of Inc.5000 are running their website on WordPress! When you choose WordPress as the platform for your website, you are in good company. While popularity is nice, it is really the flexibility of WordPress why you would choose it as the foundation for a business website.
WordPress is “free,” but […]