How Much Should A Web Site Cost?

by Ed Tsunoda on August 24, 2008

One question people always ask is, “How much should a web site cost?” and the answer can vary – depending on what you want to do and how much you want to do yourself – from $0 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But for the average person just starting their own web site, here’s a look at what the real costs are and you may be surprised at how little it will take.

Assuming you’re just starting out, really you’re looking at roughly $100 a year to completely do it yourself, or $500-$1000 if you have a professional web design company setup your site for you. You have two costs – even most of those you could completely get around – that you’re probably going to want to incur, so that you have complete control of your own web property: Domain Name Registration and a hosting service fee.

Domain Name Registration means securing your own www.whatever.com. We recommend using godaddy.com and the cost for registering your own domain name is less than $10 a year. You can pay for multiple years at a time, or just a single year when you register.

Web Site Hosting services can range in price pretty drastically. At UMPS, we charge $20 a month for service provided thru our own dedicated server, with support services, but you can also find big companies with more generic services and less personalized support for somewhat less. We have used and recomend DotEasy.com. They offer a free hosting account, but you will probably prefer paying for their “Ultra” account, which is $7.95 a month and includes php/MySql programming/database service and will allow you to run your own blog/content management software very easily, e.g. WordPress.

That is really truly all you need and all you have to expect in terms of costs for setting up and running your own web site. The whole process of procurring those services and getting your site up and running can take less than 24 hours. If you feel intimidated by the signup or setup process and would just like to have “someone do the setup for you” there are many consultants that will provide those services cheaply. At UMPS, we’ll do the whole process for you and get you to “ready to start publishing on your own” for $499 including your domain registration fee and your first year of hosting, plus some base level of marketing and stats and metrics for measuring your sites success.

By owning your own domain and paying for your own server space, you take control of your Internet presence. You don’t need to pay designers or programmers to do anything. There are certainly times when you may want to or need more than a self publishing tool or require customized programming for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is that you can do it yourself in the vast majority of cases for $100, and you should be able to find a quality designer who will help you get up and running, all inclusive, for under $1,000.

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