In Part 1 of our guide to getting a website, we discussed what sort of website you might need. Now we can talk about the nitty gritty.
The cost of your website are in two categories – set up costs and ongoing costs. Your set up costs are the website itself. The ongoing costs are the hosting and the domain name.
Your hosting is where your site is actually kept (more about how hosting works). It’s often easier to host your site with the person who designs it, as this minimises complicated 3 way conversations between you, the designer and the hosting company. Have a look at our hosting prices here.
We’ve explained how domain names work before, so I won’t repeat myself, except to say that it is an important decision and so take some time to think about it. Expect to pay between £2 – £20 per year for a domain name depending on where you buy it from and whether it’s .co.uk .com .eu etc. Different providers are cheaper/more expensive for different domain suffixes.
The Website itself
Our website price guide will give you an idea of what sort of costs are involved with the actual website itself. Broadly speaking, the smaller, less complex, and less customised your website is, the cheaper it will be. After the last post, presumably you’ve made the big decisions about your website, like whether it’s going to be a shop or a brochure site, whether you want to update it etc.
Now it’s time to talk about some of the other features that you might want on your website, like…:
- Share buttons or links to your social media sites. These allow your users to either share your website page on twitter, facebook etc. or takes users to your facebook page, linkedin profile etc. (Look to the right of this page for ours). These allow your users to use social media to spread the word about your business easily.
- A gallery. To show off your pictures. This might be pictures of your products, or staff, or your premises, or even you!
- A contact form. We provide one of these by default.
- A blog or news feature. To keep your clients up to date on what you’re doing, and just as importantly, to feed the ever hungry google with good seo…. You will also want an RSS feed and perhaps an email feedburner feature to deliver your updates straight to your users where-ever they are.
- Login facility for your clients. This might be useful if you want your clients to be able to input or access information, for instance if you want them to register in order to gain access to information you don’t want publicly available (like trade prices).
- Booking system and calendar. For instance if you run a B&B, you may want your availability to be shown, and a way for clients to book.
All these features are important, but useless without any content. So at this point of the process you will want to start collecting content for your website. This needs to be:
- Company logos, icons and any other graphic design you might have or need.
- Photos. Nearly every page on your website needs an image to liven it up. Thinking about this early means that you will have some idea of what you would like. Not only that, you may be able to avoid spending money on stock photos, which can be expensive.
- Written content. Very few websites manage without good written content and even if your webdesigner writes the content, they will still need notes. Writing content early saves stress later.
Something else that needs to be considered is the design of your site. Your webdesigner will probably do all of this, but if you have a specific vision in mind you may want to consider:
- The colour scheme. If you already have a logo, then this may be pretty much sorted. For a website, you will need at least three colours – a main colour, a complementary colour and an accent. For instance, on our website, we have dark blue, mid blue and yellow.
- The layout of the website. This is mainly dictated by the content of the site, but can also be very subjective. Look at websites in your industry and think about what works and what doesn’t.
Now we’ve made decisions about the details, we’re ready to actually make the website. To see how that happens, see Part 3 of our guide, Making websites – what actually happens?