The quick answer is as much as you want to spend. There are sites you can build for free in a day or just a few bucks per month to sites that need project managers thousands of dollars for several months. Why is there such a big difference? Because developing a web page is just like constructing a building; it will depend on the materials you use, how many stories, the real estate, the time frame, the web design, the number of resources dedicated to your project, etc.
When thinking how much you should spend on a web page, you should ask yourself what you need it for. It’s not enough saying you need a simple site; you need to find its purpose first. If you just need a cheap site and you don’t know the reason behind it, you might just stay without a site.
You need to find out what your business goals are, and then see what type of website should help you to meet your objectives. If you are planning to expand your business by selling your products online, you will need an eCommerce platform. This type of website does not come cheap as you will need to have a database developed and a system to process the transactions. The other major issue is; how are you planning to drive traffic to your website? Don’t expect a developer to give you that solution. You will need online marketing services which will be the fuel for your online sales.
If you have much simpler goals like just trying to display information to the public, then you just need an online brochure. Just like any other brochure, you will have to decide on the “fancy level” of this site. You can have flash animation, professional pictures taken and even some content development. The more you want on your website, the more you will have to pay.
The reality is this, when you want to determine how much a website should cost, you need to talk to several developers and tell all of them what you are trying to accomplish. Then, you can compare their proposals and see if they make sense.
Some developers will give you a really low price, but you might get a low service level and a lousy product. Try to align all the items on their proposals and compare them to each other. See if they are hearing to what you are saying or just giving you their usual price.
The most important thing about developing a website is to understand that just creating a website is not enough. Your website will get lost in the sea of search engine results and no one will visit your site, with the exception of yourself and your developer. From the development stages, your website should be search engine friendly so you can start getting some visits. Whether you decide to embark upon online or offline marketing campaigns to promote your site, it’s up to you and your pocket.
The mandatory expenses for a website are registering the domain name (which will be the URL or address of your site) and then purchasing a hosting plan. You can purchase them yourself to have full control of your site, or your developer can simply include it on your invoice if you are not up to the challenge.
Buying a domain is really simple, and cheap. Most domains cost around $10 dollars a year (don’t forget to check their expiration). We recommend buying a domain for as long you plan to have your website. Hosting is around 20 dollars a month and you can also buy annual plans.