Why There Is No Such Thing As One-Off Website Pricing
You browse around Google for a company to build your business a website. You find a mind numbing amount of offers for a complete website for a ‘one-time cost’of anywhere between $500 and $5,000. But there’s something these companies are not telling you…
…there are more costs attached to owning a website i.e. it’s going to cost you more than that up-front cost; oftentimes a lot more!
The thing is – that one-time lump-sum cost is never really “one-off”. There are always recurring costs associated with owning a website, regardless of how big the website is or how often it needs updating. Companies like to leave this information out of their sales call. The truth usually doesn’t come out until after your website is finished, when you’re left wondering.. I’ve got a website built, what’s next?.
When you purchase a house, you set a budget for extra expenses like insurance, stamp duty, land rates, maintenance, and the unexpected repair. These costs can quickly add up! ‘Purchasing’ a website works the same way. If you don’t budget for the ongoing domain name registration, web hosting, themes/plug-ins, periodic updates, content changes (as your business changes), and unexpected bug fixes, you may be in for a pricey-surprise later on.
Just like a house, it’s cheaper & more cost effective to keep up with regular maintenance instead of waiting for your website to break. If you’re tech savvy and have the time, it is possible to manage certain parts of the website on your own. However, your time is valuable, which better spent working on your business, and you can’t be certain things are done correctly 100% of the time.
Through speaking to clients and market research, we’ve discovered the majority of small businesses are better served with a flat monthly rate. There are no big startup costs to break the bank, your monthly payment is set-in-stone, and affordable to be easily fit into your business’ marketing budget. You’ll also never have to worry about support. We build and manage everything for you, without any hidden costs! It is our incentive to stay here with you, helping you throughout the life of your website – and growing your business.
Below are the five typical recurring expense categories for website ownership. Annual cost estimate ranges are included for each category.
Your domain name (yourbusinessname.com.au) must be registered annually for a fee of around $20. It is vital to have an SSL security certificate for your website. Although technically optional, SSL provides additional security and is preferred by Google, enhancing your search results score.
Many companies and freelance web designers use WordPress plugins for advanced development functionality and themes to design your website. These are made by third-parties and require annual subscription fees to keep them updated and working. Your “one-time” rate may include the first year of payment for these plugins and themes. After the first year, you’ll be hit with renewal bills from these third-party companies you may have never even known about. Depending on the type of theme used and number of plugins, you could be in for some high bills.
Web hosting is essential for visitors to connect to, load and use your website. There are many different price options for web hosting, however the lower you pay, the more you’ll need to do on your own (and usually comes with less security and slower speeds). If you go with $6 a month budget hosting, you’ll want to invest in additional security plugins for advanced security measures and you’ll be on your own for software updates. For more advanced hosting, you’ll pay closer to $30-40 a month (sometimes more) but it will include top-quality security and software updates, along with better support.
During the time of owning your website there may be the need for adhoc updates and for you to change information. Did your business move, change hours, or update services? Do you want to be able to add seasonal specials? If you’re tech savvy, you may be able to update these things on your own without to much hassle. With actual design changes, you’ll almost always need the help of an expert (especially depending on how the website was built). Most companies bill out at a costly hourly rate for any updates made to your site, IF they even contact you back. Even if you don’t think you’ll need content or design changes, it is always good practice to be making regular software and content updates to your website. Visitors and search engines like seeing updated content. If you set it and forget it, you’re never going to get the best ROI.
There will always be a need to bring your business more leads and things that can be improved on your website. It’s best to consult with a marketing expert to find gaps and make improvements to get more leads in the door. By using analytics software and easy-to-read reports, data can be gathered about your visitors to help make informed decisions. Utilisation of analytics has a difficult learning curve and having a marketing expert by your side can make a large difference.