Continuing with my series on starting your business online, I will discuss about website development and building in part 2 of the series.
This article is part 2 of a 3-part series on Starting your Startup Online on a Budget, where I will talk about the important elements, but split across different parts as follows:
- Part 1- Domain Name and Branding
- Part 2- Website Development and Hosting
- Part 3- Social Media and Online Presence
Many a times people come with question on how much does building a website cost. My answer to this is- there is no fixed cost and completely depends on what you want. Honestly telling, a website can be built for free and even cost a fortune, but again, it completely depends on what you want to build. Once a domain has been purchased, there are 2 essential components for getting your website working, i.e., hosting and building. Let me touch both the aspects below.
1. Integrated Hosting and Building Solution- For beginners or for quick-turnaround
As I said above, one can even get a website up and running for free and this is possible with Integrated Website Hosting and Building platforms. Such solutions work great in case you don’t have any prior website development experience or you have knowledge about it, but want to have something ready in a matter of hours. Yes, you can have a basic website landing page live in a few hours.
Such providers offer you free tier where you can create websites, but with a downside that they don’t work under your domain name. To explain- you purchased a domain by the name rjdesignz.com, but when you build the website on such platforms, it would look something like rjdesignz.abc.com. But, there is always an option to pay some amount and make the website you created run under rjdesignz.com.
Some of the top providers in building and hosting your website online are: Wix, Squarespace and WebFlow. All these providers have ready-to-use templates available which one can use as basis and build their website or a web page on top of it.
That said, the templates provided by these providers are not just limited to simple websites, but are powerful enough to manage eCommerce stores, event management websites, dynamic forms etc.
Paid plans of these providers start at around $12 a month and provide you with a good set of features.
Approximate web hosting and building cost:
$150 per year.
2. Host and Build your Website yourself- For people with decent web development knowledge
Online website builder solutions can sometimes prove to be a bit on the costlier side and also lack on flexibility on what you can do with them in the long run. In such cases, if you have some web development knowledge or can hire someone, it is a great option to purchase a hosting service and build your website on it using a Content Management Solution or popularly known as a CMS.
2.1. Web Hosting- Domain purchase just gets you a website name, but web hosting gives you a space on the internet where you can put your website pages, content, images, videos etc. There is a wide range of web hosting providers, with popular names being- BlueHost, HostGator and GoDaddy. More or less all are at par with each other. Furthermore, you can always opt for some lesser-known yet cheap web hosting providers like WebHostFace that offer equally good services and and could be a great choice for your startup.
2.2. Website Development- As you already have some web development knowledge, I would highly recommend using WordPress for your website. The main advantage of using WordPress is that not only it is one of the most widely used CMS out there, but it also offers a whole lot of themes or templates that can suite almost any business type.
In case you plan to use WordPress, I recommend using cheap WordPress themes that are available on ThemeForest or ThemeFuse. Furthermore, you can also check for Divi WordPress theme, which I feel is one of the most comprehensive and powerful WordPress website builder solution.
Approximate web hosting and building cost:
$70 per year for hosting and $40 for a WordPress theme.
This brings an end to our part 2 of the series where we discussed about website hosting and building. In the final part of this series, I will highlight on how to increase your online presence and engagement.