If you’re looking to build a web site, there are many ways to go about getting it done, and the type of site you need will likely dictate which route will be best for you and your business. However, whatever site you want to create, keep in mind that there will be the additional need and expense of website hosting, which will be required to give your project a place on the web to live. You can read more about web hosting options in our help section on web hosting plans. The good news is that if you choose one of our website builder programs, these all include web hosting; however, maybe a website builder program is just not for you? Let’s first address the need to begin with.
By now, it’s fairly common knowledge that most businesses have web sites and that every business “should” to have its own website. However, believe it or not, there are still many businesses that lag behind in this critical component. According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Survey, just 64% of small business owners said they have a business website, and 81% of those surveyed claimed their site was “mobile friendly”, another very important factor. For all the rest that don’t yet have a site, they’re missing out on new customer acquisition while allowing themselves (and their emails) to appear less than professional. In today’s competitive landscape, there is simply no room for this error in judgement. Business owners must realize that today’s consumers are researching the businesses they’re interested in working with, and today’s Internet user, and especially the millennials, expect to see a website, and social media; that’s just the way it is today.
With that said, if you ask almost any average small business owner who does not yet have a website, why, they will likely all return the same answer; cost. Some believe they either don’t need to have one (and its associated expense) or they will simply come out and tell you they do not have the money for the added expense, and the last thing any business needs to acquire is added expenses, especially those which are on a consistent monthly basis. However, what these businesses fail to understand is that not having a website is costing them much more than they're saving, and having a social media page alone doesn’t fill the void.
So now that we’ve got the necessity out of the equation, what type of website do you need and what’s this website going to cost you – laymen’s terms? Let’s get into these issues at hand and pick it all apart for you, one by one.
Website Builder Programs (Simple)
A website builder program is very inexpensive, easy to use, and ideal for websites which will not require that much up-keep or functionality. They are perfect for businesses on a budget or those businesses that require an “information only” website. In other words, if a business needs only to have a website address (domain name) and website in place so that people can find them on the web and read common pages such as About Us, Contact, Services, etc., a website builder program will serve the business nicely and all of our Searchen Networks website builder programs include website hosting, so there is no added expense outside of the website builder subscription itself. Prices vary between just $6 - $15/month and will provide everything you need to create and/or build your website including pre-designed web templates, all of which are responsive and mobile friendly (important). They also include the ability to create a blog; all include technical support, while our advanced options also include online payment configurations and social media integration. At these prices, if your site requirements are to maintain a fairly simple site, there is no reason not to use one of these simple website builder programs to accomplish that. All of these options will allow you to build an amazing website, in most cases, in less than an hour.
Custom Website Design (Semi Complex)
Having a professional web designer build your website for you will obviously cost more, but it will eliminate you needing to do any of the work yourself, something many businesses owners prefer, as they do not have nor desire to get involved with and/or devote the time to doing it. In these cases a professionally designed website should bear your business an upfront cost of anywhere from roughly $2,500 to $4,500 and you’ll likely need to budget for both monthly web hosting and periodic updates and changes to be handled for you (webmaster service). Keep in mind with this option you did not use the website builder program so you will likely not have any way of updating or changing the website unless you’ve requested your site to be built with a content management system which will provide an interface for you or an employee to login and make changes, however, under this scenario you will still need to experience a learning curve by ascertaining some level of know-how in working within the content management system or CMS.
WordPress for instance is a very popular CMS system, widely used by over 75 million sites and would be the suggested CMS if you go this route. It shouldn’t cost more either since its free open source software, so if you’re looking to learn how to use, update and manage your own website after it has been custom designed, request it be designed with WordPress. WordPress sites also have the ability to use Plugins which provide the CMS system lots of different plug-and-play functionality such as event calendars, business directories, contact forms, and thousands of other common website features. If you're looking to install and build on WordPress yourse, check out our WordPress specific hosting plans. Still, even with WordPress, someone knowledgeable should be overseeing and managing the WordPress environment as with 75 million WordPress websites out there, hackers are always looking to break into them, so having someone watch over, continually update security patches, and maintain the WordPress website is a very good idea and could save you a tremendous headache down the road. This is precisely why some business owners prefer to focus on what they do best, their business, and let an experienced professional take care of their website needs. If you are interested in either a webmaster service or WordPress management service, both are also provided by Searchen Networks premium services.Custom Website Development (Complex)
Some companies will require a website with very specific functionality which you will not be able to ascertain without complex development by a computer programmer. This could be due to the need of creating a completely proprietary website service which does something extremely different or unique. Although there are many website scripts which are available, some companies choose to build the software themselves for either security reasons (such as a bank where someone else having a similar copy is out of the question) or other businesses that know exactly what they want and prefer to build it from scratch. These types of web builds can be expensive and will require a dedicated team to not only build the site, but also maintain it, as its code will be unique and if and when issues arise, the programmers who built it will be better equipment in fixing, updating or improving it.
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