Seven Steps to Your 2018 Website Design Budget

In 2018, if you don’t have a website designed to attract customers to your business, you will be left behind by all your competitors who do. Building a website sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right strategies, your business can quickly reach the top positions on a Google search engine results page.

It might also be time for an overhaul. Website design has changed rapidly over the past three years with the shift to mobile-friendly sites. So if you haven’t updated your website in a decade, it probably looks outdated by today’s standards. Headlines flashing across the screen, elemental colors, large walls of text, and lack of mobile integration won’t impress or inspire confidence in customers who visit your storefront.

Websites are important because they are often the first impression a customer will have of your business. A well-built website will help customers know that you are relevant in the industry.

Creating your website budget starts with deciding what kind of website you need.

Step 1: Determine the type of website you need

Types of websites include simple business storefronts, portfolios, e-commerce, and complex design.

Simplified showcase: A window is reserved for customers who go window shopping. It provides customers with information about your company, the team, and usually contains a regularly updated blog full of valuable information about your industry.

Wallet: If your business offers many products or services, you may need a portfolio website to showcase the type of work you do.

E-commerce: If you are looking to sell products online, you will need an e-commerce website.

Complex design: Some businesses need complex designs with login features for customers, user dashboards, additional levels of security and membership.

A simple storefront will be the cheapest website design, followed by portfolio and e-commerce. Complex designs will be the most expensive.

Step 2: Buy the domain name

Your domain is like the address of your property: it’s how people find you. Free domains are available on platforms such as WordPress and Weebly, but they often look less official. For example, instead of yourcompany.com, it is yourcompany.wordpress.com.

Consider your domain name carefully. If you choose one without considering its impact on your brand, such as choosing not to include your company name, you could confuse your potential customers. Some domains are easy to purchase because they include a unique name that has not been purchased by any other organization. If you’re trying to buy a common name like realtor.com or towing.com, it’s probably already taken or will be an expensive name.

You can find an available or cheaper domain by adding your name or a unique company name or by choosing .net or .org instead of .com. A domain name will cost between 99 cents and several thousand dollars. Most will range from $12 to around $50 and will need to be renewed every year.

Pro tip: Sometimes it’s best to search for available domains on ICANN WHOIS rather than on websites where you will buy it, like GoDaddy.

Step 3: Determine your hosting costs

If a domain name is like a physical address, your hosting platform is like the property where you will grow your business. You need to buy the address and the property. On average, expect to pay around $200-$500 per year to host your website.

Hosting can range from $16 per month on sites like square space, to several hundred per year on platforms like bluehost, WordPress, come on daddy Where DreamHost. Both WordPress and Squarespace have a large community, so you’ll be able to find answers to most of your questions online. They are also fairly easy to understand platforms for those who lack experience in website management.

Step 5: Choose a template

It is more expensive and expedient to build a website from scratch. Instead, most websites are created using a template. Luckily, there are plenty of free quality templates available., but sometimes you will get better design and functionality if you buy one. There are drastic differences in the prices of website templates. Some cost $49 and others $1,000 (or more). If you’re building a website with a complex design rather than a simple storefront, you’ll likely spend more on a template.

Step 6: Pay for regular maintenance and updates

Launching a website will cost a one-time fee with additional renewal fees like hosting and domain names. However, keeping a website relevant requires paying for maintenance and updates. You will either have to invest your time, delegate to a team member, hire an employee or outsource the work of maintaining a website’s relevance.

Some companies think that once the website is built, the job is done, which is often not the case. To have a successful website, you will need to maintain an up-to-date blog, ensure services stay relevant, and keep it updated with new information and media.

Figure out how much time you’re willing to spend on this task each month and compare at the cost of outsourcing or delegating work.

Step 7: Write the budget

First, figure out how much you can reasonably spend on design. If you have to spend less than $3,000, you should probably expect a simple display case. A wallet will typically cost between $3,000 and $6,000. An e-commerce website will be between $6,000 and $15,000, and complex custom-built websites will cost $15,000 or more.

Next, find your domain if you don’t already have one, and determine your annual or monthly accommodation costs. Decide if you will need to purchase a template or if a free template is effective enough. Finally, determine your monthly maintenance budget.

Your website will require an investment of time and money, but the modern consumer spends the majority of their time researching and buying online. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that eight in ten Americans are online shoppers. If you don’t have a well-built website, those customers will never find you.

Daniel L. Vasquez