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How much does a website cost?

1.  The web site name (or domain name)
This is the most predictable and least expensive part of your website. You should expect to pay no more than $50 per annum for the registration of your domain name.
Many companies make a lot of noise about cheap (or free) domain names. All costs are of course important - but this is by far the least expensive component of your web site.
2.  Web pages (words, pictures, forms etc)
This is (arguably) the area of your website where you have the most scope for saving and spending money.
Your choice of style and appearance will impact the price. (However, there are reasons other than price that you should consider when choosing style and appearance. We discuss these later.)
We recommend that for your first exposure to the web, you start with a straight forward brochure style. That is, several pages highlighting the services you offer. For this type of site you can expect to spend over 50% of your initial budget on your web pages.
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3.  A place to put the pages (hosting services)
Web "hosting" costs are very much the same as costs that you may incur for a land based shop or office. Each month or year you can expect to pay a certain amount in rent. Also, depending on usage, you may pay more or less electricity, water rates etc.
As with land based establishments, "high street" locations cost more.
On the world wide web (www) you can expect to pay more for:
*   high availability / reliability; and
*   high speed.
The web can be a very unforgiving market place. If your web site takes too long to load, or is not available at the instant someone is looking for the services you offer, it is quite probable that you will never see that prospect again.
Attempting to save money in this area can prove a false economy. People need to find your site and have it load quickly.

Other optional costs:

4.  Promotion of your site
There are a number of ways to promote your website. These range in price dramatically from nothing  -  to thousands of dollars.
Some of the most effective ways to promote your web site, do not involve the internet (eg. you can include your web site name on your business card or in advertising material).
One of the keys to successful, free promotion on the internet is good web design. Pages must not only be attractive to the humans that read them, they must also be easily readible by the 'robots' that 'crawl' the internet as they build web directories. We discuss this in greater detail on the following page.
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