Calculating the Costs of Must-Have Elements for Your Website
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Calculating the Costs of Must-Have Elements for Your Website
Kate Gingold
/ Categories: DIY Sprocket Solutions

Calculating the Costs of Must-Have Elements for Your Website

Do the math!

Launching a brand-new website? Revamping an old one? You know there will be costs involved, but are you sure about the relative expense versus its importance to your business?

What your new site will look like usually gets the most attention, followed by the cool things your website will be able to do for you. The other nuts and bolts of establishing yourself on the internet are usually skimmed over, if not questioned regarding necessity and price. But you owe it to yourself and your business to think through the best way to support your nifty new website. Here are the options to consider:

Domain Name

Even though you have to pay annually, owning your own domain name is cheap. Just go ahead and buy it because sending clients to a URL like “cheapwebsites.com/yourbizname” is highly unprofessional. You don’t have to be a tech expert if you want to do it yourself, but most web developers will complete this task for you for a very nominal service fee. If there’s a surprisingly huge charge, you should question it. 

Hosting

When we first started building websites in the proverbial stone age, one prospective client thought they couldn’t have a website because they didn’t own a computer. Years later, we heard the opposite because folks figured that if their website was already on the internet, they didn’t need “hosting.”

While you own your web pages, you only rent the space which those pages inhabit and pay monthly or annually for the space. Like all real estate, prices vary according to the amenities. Factors that will affect your “rent” include the size of your site, the tool it was built with and the kind of service it requires. Before you sign up with a hosting provider, Google them to see how satisfied their other clients are. 

Email

When your email address is me@mysite.com, it seems obvious that email must be part of your website. But it’s actually a separate service, possibly bundled with other services for convenience. Your hosting company may supply email or your web developer might. We offer email services when we build a website for a client or you can set up your own email at our Sprocket Store.

Keep in mind that email has two sides:  yours and your correspondent’s. Most of the time, both of the programs work well together, but when a problem arises, you’ll need to troubleshoot from each end. That’s when an email provider with a good service record comes in especially handy. 

Updates and upgrades

Nothing lasts forever and how long new technology lasts is barely a blip. As website hacking increases, updated versions of website platforms are being launched more and more frequently to keep the “bad guys” at bay. As soon as a hacker exploits a vulnerability, programmers develop a fix for the code, but if you don’t update your website with the latest patch, you will stay vulnerable. 

To keep up with today’s faster pace of upgrades, many developers offer maintenance plans that proactively keep your site running with the latest version rather than reactively scrambling to save or reclaim your pages after they’ve been hacked. Emergency restoration can be pricey, not to mention the costs of lost sales and customer frustration, so a maintenance plan deserves careful consideration. 

Web Pages

There are web platforms that are quite inexpensive and they may be a great choice for your needs, but if you go the cheapest route and find your needs are not being met, it can be surprisingly pricey to upgrade to the next level. Or there may not be a next level. Plan ahead to be sure you won’t have to start from scratch when and need a bigger and better website. 

Your website needs continual care and feeding, but it is also providing continual service. Take care of this important business asset by considering which services are most important to you, what charges you should expect, and budgeting accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – we’re happy to talk with you.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This article is an update to “Website Shopper’s Guide” dated 7/21/2014.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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