The principal costs of operating a website are as follows:
Buying your domain name
This is the name of your website – the ‘address’ – which is bought from a website registrar. The costs depend on the type of domain – .com, .co.uk, .biz etc – and on what other services are provided.
In general, .co.uk names cost around £3 a year, and .com names around £10 a year.
Your website will be hosted on a server which is permanently connected to the internet. Hosting costs depend to some extent on how big and complex your website is, but for a small site the cost is rarely more than £100 a year.
Website design and development
This is the process of actually creating your website, and is likely to be the single most expensive element of having a website. The total cost will depend on variables such as:
- the number of pages
- the complexity of the design
- what content you provide, and what you have to buy in from subcontractors
- how many integrated features are needed, such as data feeds, animation or streaming video
- what kind of interactive facilities you need – eg a shopping cart / e-commerce system
- whether you have a content management system so you can update the website yourself ongoing
As a guide, many freelance web designers will produce a simple website, from copy/images provided, for under £300, although this can increase if the site becomes bigger and more complicated.
To create a more complex and dynamic site, you will probably use a full service website design company. You will benefit from their know-how and technical expertise, and they will also have all the skills and experience that you are unlikely to have in your business.
Costs are higher: a good agency will charge several hundred pounds a day, and for a very complex website the total cost will be upwards of several thousand pounds, into tens of thousands. However, it’s important to see this as an investment in the future success of your business.
Yell can design, build and maintain a website for your business, and we have a range of affordable packages to suit your specific needs and budget. Find out more here.
Maintaining the site
You’ll need to keep your site up to date, to take account of changes to your business, to technology, and to design styles. If you have a very complex site, the web design company is probably best placed to handle maintenance, although there are many independent website maintenance specialists. The cost of maintenance contracts will depend on how complicated the site is.