What about if you already have a website but you want to redesign it? Maybe your website has just started looking a little obsolete or out of line with modern design and technology trends. So, in this case, you have a domain name, you have your emails working etc.
You might have hosting that could be decent enough for your new website to get hosted. However, the first thing that you then do is try to find a website design and development agency that can meet your expectations. When you look out for such agencies, you will mainly find three kinds of agencies – (1) big agencies, (2) small agencies, and (3) in-between or mid-level agencies. The pricing of each agency will depend on their hourly fees, and the number of hours needed for executing this project. The bigger the agency, the higher the price. Smaller agencies might be a little cost-effective. However you may have to compromise on quality.
So let’s look at what the critical items that are needed when developing all website – both of a new website, and an existing website that needs a redesign.
1. Domain Name
The first thing you need is a unique domain name for your website. A domain name is an address which people will type in their browser to visit your site. For example, your business name might be ‘Acme Enterprises,’ so you might ideally want to take the domain acmeenterprises.com. However, with the number of websites out there today, it’s tough to find the ideal name for your business. So you always have to be ready with some kind of substitute or alternative option available for you to choose in case your perfect choice is not available. The alternative might include using your country extension. For example, if you are in Austria, you could use acmeenterprises.at. If you are in Germany you can use acmeenterprises.de, etc.
There are several extensions and variations available that you can opt for. There are also some which are very generic like .eu or .net. Or you can also make certain combinations in the company name itself. If you insist that you want to go for a .com domain, a lot of companies try and add a hyphen in between. E.g., acme-enterprises.com, anything is acceptable as long as it easily conveys to the potential customer whom you’re trying to tell the domain name that he / she needs to visit your website. So, if you are on the phone and you’d be trying to tell someone acme-enterprises.com, sometimes people may find the dash confusing.
So it all depends upon what domain name you get, and what the choices are that are available to you. Just keep it as simple as possible so that it resonates with people and it’s easy to remember and pronounce.
Once you have your domain name you need to get a hosting service. Hosting is a place where your entire website will reside. The hosting can be divided into two different aspects. One is your website hosting, and the second is email hosting. Both can sit on the same server, however if you wish to use a more robust email service provider, you can go for Google (Gmail) or Zoho or Microsoft outlook, to name but a few.
If you want to keep your cost down, then there are a lot of other cost-effective solutions as well, which you can use in terms of your email hosting provider. If you are not a heavy user and want just one or two email addresses for your business that you rarely share, then you can have your emails set up in the same hosting space as your website. Here you can have a webmail where you can access your email quite frequently. It can give you space up to 1GB or something like that, which depends on your hosting package.
You can go for different kinds of hosting service providers. For example, if you’re going for a WordPress website, the ideal place for you to take hosting would be SiteGround or Bluehost. There are also a lot of cost-effective solutions available out there. But ensure that you’re getting a decent amount of disk space. Also make sure you’re getting a good bandwidth, and that the service providers are reliable in terms of support as well.
3. SSL Certificate
In fact, Google is now making it mandatory for a website to have SSL certificates on their website. So if you want to have a reputable website that your visitors can trust, it is important that you have an SSL certificate on your website.
4. Design and Development
Let’s now move into the design and development aspects of your website. You might be looking for a completely new website or a redesign. Whichever is the case, it is essential that you first start making a small list, where you note down the essential aspects of functionality you need on your website. Here are some examples:
- A contact form where you can collect all the leads coming to your site;
- You may want to have a newsletter subscription system on your website;
- Perhaps a specific inquiry form.
Apart from functionality, you may also want to do some research on content. The pages you wish to have on your website. A good way to start with this is by looking at some references from the same industry. Try to pick the ones, which have the best practices used on their website. So that can be a great starting point because it gives you a visual example or a functional example of how you can approach your website design.
It also helps when you share this with your website design agency. By looking at a reference website your web design agency can give you a more accurate estimate of the quote. A life example makes a lot of difference and coupled with a written brief it makes getting estimates from website agencies so much more accurate.
5. Choose WordPress for your business website (Bonus)
Once you have planned the design and functionality requirements, you would want to know what kind of technology it has to be built upon. Most of the time this determined based on your business or based on what exactly you’re going to do with your website. The development agency might tell you what development platform is the best based on your requirements.
For example, a WordPress platform is the best option if you want a CMS (Content Management System) friendly website. If you are looking for an eCommerce website, you could go for an option like WooCommerce because it can help you control the cost.
If you’re going for a booking system, you can integrate it on your WordPress website. There are a lot of functionalities that can be added to a WordPress website to make it look more robust and more functional. Your website development agency would be the best people to tell you which are the best and most reliable plugins you can integrate to develop your website. For small businesses we have yet to come across a scenario where WordPress is not the most logical choice. In fact 36% of all websites on the internet are developed on WordPress.
WordPress started as a blogging platform, but it has evolved over the years into a very robust solution on which a lot of web applications are being developed. A lot of reputable websites on the internet have built their websites on WordPress. So WordPress is a scalable option for your future website. It has loads of plugins and themes that can fit perfectly for every kind of business. Of equal importance, it’s cost-effective, and the best thing is that it is a very powerful CMS.
So what is a content management system? With a content management system, you can make changes to your website content very easily. This also makes it very easy to keep your customers updated with the most relevant information about your business. So it can be adding or removing services on your website or updating your address, or even updating your team members. There are loads of things that you can do when you want to keep your website updated.
This broadly constitutes the design and the development aspects of your website. The best thing is to start with the ideal examples and the best practices in your industry with companies having the best website. The next thing is finding a suitable platform.
Now let’s come at the cost factor because that’s what this blog is all about.
How much should a startup or small business spend on website development?
Now that we know all the components needed to bring a decent website live, let’s breakdown the cost. If you’re opting for a new domain name, it would cost you approximately between €15 to €20 a year. If you’re opting for a decent hosting, it wouldn’t cost you less than a €60 to €80 every year. A website design agency would cost you about between €800-€1,000 if you’re asking for a very basic website. And if you want to make a little more robust website with more pages the cost might vary anywhere between €3,000 to €5,000. This is the kind budget that you need to be ready with upfront.
Now let’s look at the maintenance. Some recurring costs are going to be involved for your website maintenance. For example, domain name, hosting, and an SSL certificate. If you’re not very tech-savvy, you would need to sign an AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) to ensure that your website is always working properly. An AMC just doesn’t include updating the front-end content of your website but also means keeping your backend software always updated. Also, all the necessary plugins or whatever software your website runs on should continually be updated. Under an AMC, the agency ensures that your website isn’t running into any kind of update conflicts or is not being hacked. In case of any such circumstances, there is a backup that is available that can quickly be restored to ensure that your business reputation is not damaged.
What is the cheapest way to build a professional website?
So in the last part of the blog, we’re going to introduce the TechforEU solution. TechforEU website is a cost-effective way of building and maintaining your website. It is a one-stop solution where everything related to your website can be managed at a very cost-effective price of EUR 190 a year. You can get your website designed, developed, and maintained.
- If you don’t have a domain name, we offer you a domain name free for the first year.
- We also provide you two email addresses. If you don’t happen to have email addresses for your company, we can set up email addresses too.
- All our websites are built on WordPress. So if there are any changes related to content to be done on your website, it can be done very easily.
- We also give you a free monthly updates to your website which is included in your subscription. So once a month, if you want to update any information on your website, we can do it free of cost for you.
- We manage all necessary backups of your website and ensure that all themes and plugin are updated throughout your subscription.
- We provide the hosting service
Your subscription costs is EUR 190 a year for everything that is needed to build and develop your website. And you can have your website as long as you want on the TechforEU website solution.
Most importantly we provide you a with an initial look for your homepage by creating a demo specifically for your business without any financial obligations on your part.
So this is the TechforEU website solution advantage. You can go for something which is very professional looking yet cost-effective with a team that is available to maintain your website. Visit our website, TechforEU.com, which is available in English and German, and you can have a look at what we have to offer. So next time you are planning to build your new website, or if you’re looking at redeveloping your website, select TechforEU. Share TechforEU with your friends and help them discover an entirely new way of building and maintaining websites at a very cost-effective price.