Finding the right solution to build a website can be a bit of a mine field when you’re starting out. Find out how to avoid the pitfalls here.
Today I have a question from Daniela who owns a nail bar in Halifax
How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
Putting a price on how much a website will cost you is like trying to figure out how much it will cost to build your own house. It’s way too vague.
So before you start checking website prices you must draw your own blue print and ask yourself a few questions.
The most important is: How much can I afford?
As a small business I know things can be tight and you don’t want to overspend on an all singing all dancing site unnecessarily. Having a specific budget will help you narrow down your options.
The second thing you want to figure out is what you want your website to do. I know it’s good to be ambitious but it is unlikely you will be as big as amazon.com or ebay anytime soon.
Your site will mainly showcase your business, so nothing ground-breaking which should save you a few pennies.
You’ll probably want to figure out what it will look like based on some examples you’ve seen across the web.
Start collecting a few examples of what site you like so the picture will become a little clearer.
Last but not least you must figure out what content you will want to publish.
At the very least you will have a home page, a contact us page, an about us page but also content on your products and services.
As a nail bar owner you may want to have a dedicated section for manicure, one for pedicure, maybe one for nail art, a price list page etc…
The structure of your site is important and should be like a pyramid with your homepage sitting at the top.
Take the time to draw it on a piece of paper or in a word document which you can modify at will.
In summary the more information you come up with the easier it will be to make a decision.
That was for the initial work which, by the way is all free.
Moving on to actual costs.
You will need to buy a domain name which, in layman’s terms is your website address such as danielanailbar.co.uk.
This is quite inexpensive these days and some of them start at £0.99 for 1 year.
Prices vary but generally speaking don’t expect to spend any more than £25 for 2 years.
The other thing you will need is what is known as hosting.
This is where your website files will live on the internet. It’s basically a computer where people can access the beautiful pages you will be creating.
This is also very inexpensive. Someone like godaddy.com for instance offers packages as low as £2.99 per month which even include a domain name.
So far so good. The next question you’ll need to ask yourself is how you are planning on building and publishing your site and maintaining it moving forward.
There are 3 main options available to you.
1. The drag and drop solution.
Perfect for beginners. This solution consists of choosing a pre made site (you can choose from many options) and simply load your content yourself.
This is perfect if you want to do everything yourself and are very limited in cash. You can Buy a domain name, host your site and build it with no coding knowledge for as little as around $10 a month.
Everything sits under one roof and you don’t need to do any coding. You’ll be able to add new pages whenever you want to.
The most popular services are https://www.squarespace.com, and http://www.wix.com/
2.The open source solution
Have you heard of something called WordPress?
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool. Originally developed for the creation of blogs it has morphed into one of the most powerful content management system used by thousands of people to create websites.
It is a lot more flexible than the drag and drop solution and offers many more options. The downside is that it is not as easy to use as the drag and drop solution.
You will likely need to get some help to set it up, customise it a little bit and maintain it moving forward.
It is a steep learning curve if you’ve never built a website before but well worth it.
You will likely need to buy a premium template along with some additional plugins.
All in all it is likely to cost you in the region of $200 to $500 per year.
You may hear about similar options such as Joomla or Drupal but I wouldn’t recommend them as they are trickier to use and less popular.
3.Your last option is a fully customised website.
With this option the sky is the limit really but so is the cost. You’ll need to find a developer, maybe a designer etc…
You can also use the WordPress platform solution and have that tailored from scratch but it’ still going to be expensive.
In terms of cost it’s hard to say as it will be on a case by case basis but don’t expect to spend any less than around $2000
Do your homework before committing to any solution it will help you save a lot of time and money. If you have to remember one piece of advice from this video it will be to start small.
There will always be room to improve later.
I hope this answers your question Daniela and I wish you the best of luck with your site.