How Much Does It Cost To Make A Website

This website was not free. There are costs to running a website. Of course, you can use a free host and free website creation software. But free it is not recommended. Spending a little money can save a lot of time and spending a little money can make the site look a lot better.

If you create the website yourself the biggest cost is the software necessary to create the site. You can either buy commercial software like CoffeeCup or DreamWeaver, or you can use free software. As with everything in life, with free there are hidden costs. For website creation software the paid software has more features and is easier to use than the free software. It cost money, but it is better – no surprise there.

The other costs are simply the domain name and hosting. The costs of the website design software should be considered as the capital investment of equipment, while the hosting and domain name are maintenance costs.

What is not included in the total cost of this website is the cost of labor. Because in this case the labor was 'free'. I am free; I created this website at no charge. The hope is that one day the website will pay me back, but it is not a certainty.

If the cost of labor was included then it would definitely be the largest piece of the cost pie. So if you are planning to hire somebody to create your website expect the cost of making the website to be your biggest expense.

As an estimate, I spent around 25 hours creating the initial website; which includes the initial pages, style, layout, and logo. If I paid $50 dollars per hour then an additional $1000 dollars would need to be added to initial costs.

Besides the labor costs of website creation and maintenance there is also labor costs of website promotion. This is also not included in the costs. Again, it is 'free' because I am doing the website promotion. To get an idea of how much time is spent on site promotion please see the hours worked on website page.

Below are the real costs incurred to run a website. Remember not included are my labor costs – I am free.

Website Costs

Website Costs Chart

Website Costs Details For MAR 07, 2013
DateDescriptionCosts% Total
Total753.22100%
12/5/2010 Proofreading Website $50.00 7%
6/3/2010 Website Hosting (till April 2012) $251.64 33%
12/2/2009 Domain Name Registration(till 2016) $71.33 9%
12/9/2008 Dreamweaver Software $380.25 50%
    NOTES:
  • The biggest cost I incurred at the beginning was Dreamweaver Website Design Software. But that was a personal choice. You do not need Dreamweaver to create a website. There are less expensive alternatives like CoffeCup which can do almost everything Dreamweaver does but costs only $49 dollars. For beginners CoffeeCup is usually all you need.  You can always buy Dreamweaver later. This summary of website creation software should help you decide what you really need.

The Cost of Website Hosting

At the beginning the major cost of running a website will be hosting. It’s a mandatory cost - you need your website to sit somewhere.

Of course your could setup up your own server. But this is rarely done because the cost of hosting services is low – usually around $10 a month. It is not worth it to build and maintain your own server. There is the cost of purchasing the machine, the software, installing software, maintaining and updating, backups, viruses. Save yourself a lot of headache by using a hosting plan. Not sure of the exact number, but saying that 99% of all webmasters use a hosting service is not an exaggeration.

Should You Purchase the 6 month or 1 Year Website Hosting Plan?

This website started with a 6 month plan. Since I did not know how serious and therefore how long I was going to keep it up, 6 months seemed like a long time.

You can gauge the confidence people have in their website by the length of their hosting plan.  After 6 months I was confident that I was going to continue so from then on I purchased the 1 year plan. When renewal time comes again I will purchase the 3 year plan.

At the beginning if you are really confident that you will be at it for more than 6 months then get the 1 year plan.

What Kind of Hosting Package Should You Get?

Because at the beginning this website was nothing fancy, 20 standard HTML pages and very little traffic, the ‘economy package’ was enough. The economy package was the cheapest package available.

As of this writing, it has been almost 3 years online, the economy package is still sufficient. Now this website has over 70 pages, a blog, graphics and over 200 visitors a day and is still nowhere near the limits of the economy package. So if you are planning a content based website similar to this one then save your money and buy the lowest package available.

And if by some miracle your website begins to grow at an unexpected rate you can upgrade your hosting package with a single email.

If you are looking for a hosting package I use and recommend WorldForWebsites. It's inexpensive, easy to use and they provides great support.

The Cost of Website Domain Name

The cost of a domain name is the only website cost that you cannot avoid.

You can have the website designed by your nephew. The content written by your daughter. And your neighbor will allow you to put your website on his server. But the domain name cannot be free. You can only have it by paying for it.

Fortunately domain names are not expensive. Usually they cost around $10 a year. The price varies based on the extension. A .net might be $6 a year and a .com might be $11 a year.

The reason they are inexpensive is that nobody owns them. They are among the few things in this world that are owned and shared by all. There is non-private organization that oversees the distribution of domain names.  Domain name ownership works on a first come, first serve basis. If nobody owns a name you can have it – all you pay is the servicing fee which is usually around $10 a year.

If you want a name that nobody else has taken then it will be inexpensive, but if you want a name that somebody already owns then open market rules apply – you must haggle for it. There are people that make money online simply by buying domain names and then selling them. They buy a name for $10, wait for somebody who really wants it, and then sell it for $50 dollars. Not a bad business if you can predict what names people will want to buy in the future.

For most cases you will not want to buy a domain name that somebody owns.

All you need is a domain name with keywords, is easy to remember, and sounds cool. The possibilities are endless. After a few tries you will find something that nobody else owns.

Do You Need Domain Names Bells and Whistles?

You probably do not need any of the additional services but only you know for sure.

For this website I just needed the domain name with no bells or whistles.

I purchased the .com extension and did not get the .net, .ca, .org etc. You might think it is a good idea to get the other extensions (and the company selling you the domain name wants you to think that too) but I do not think it is necessary. It's like buying the houses around your house to make sure that the mailman does not accidentally deliver your mail to your neighbors.

Obviously the more years you purchase the domain name for the less expensive each year is. So after the first year elapsed, and I was quite certain that this website was going to stick around, I purchased the domain name for the next 3 years. By paying up front for the next 3 years dollars were saved and paper work was minimized.

If you pay for 3 years in advance be careful to check your emails during renewal time so that you do not forget to renew. If you miss your renewal payment the domain name will go back to the public and somebody else can buy it.

How Much Does A Website Cost To Make?

How much does a website cost to make?  That depends. Are you going to make the website or are you going to hire somebody else to make it for you?

If you make it yourself then in money terms the cost is free. You save money but it will cost you time. And depending on how much you know about making websites, it can be a lot of time.

I did not have money but I had time - I made the website myself. I was always friendly with computers so I was not afraid to learn how to create a website.

The first 20 hours were spent learning the basics of making a website. With a spark of knowledge I began to make this website. It was slow - but with doing and redoing I was able to create something I was happy with.

Should you create you own website or have somebody do it for you? If you have no money the answer is simple - make your own website. If you earn $250 hour the answer is also simple - hire somebody for $50 an hour to build it for you. If you are somewhere in between then I do not know – you need to figure out what is best for you.

Are you comfortable with computers? Do you catch on quickly? Do you enjoy creating with mouse and keyboard? If this you then you should make your own website.

Being your website's maker provides you with godly powers. You will know everything about it, you will be able to mold and will it at your command. You will not be slave to the schedule of a high school kid and his busy nights at the movies. Make your own website and be in control.

You do not need to be a computer wizard. You do not even need to know HTML and CSS. By using a drag and drop website builder like Website Tonight you can avoid all the technical stuff and still be the creator of your website. Of course you will not have the total design freedom but atleast it will be a website that you make and control.

How much does a website cost to make? Depends on which one of these options is best suited for you:

  1. Get your own hosting service, domain name and website creation software.  Receive a free website template. Using the website template you just make a few changes and fill in the content.  This is the lowest cost option, gives you the most full control of the website, but some technical ability is required.
  2. Buy a Drag and Drop Website Builder. No technical knowledge necessary, all you need to do is write the content and make basic design decisions. A great option for people who want to concentrate on content and do not want to worry about the technicalities of building and running a website.  This costs a little more then option 1 but it is very easy and you can have your website up in a matter of hours.
  3. Hire a professional website design company to build your website, For a website design similar to this one (logo, layout, blog incorporation) expect to pay atleast $1000 dollars. The drawback with this approach is that you are not in full control of your website - if you want to make a change you will need to ask somebody to make the change and you will have to pay for it.
Cost To Make Your Website
  Initial Cost Cost/Month First Year Cost Advantages Disadvantages
Build Your Own Website From Scratch (or use a template) You need Website Design Software: CoffeeCup is $50. Hosting: $8
Domain name: $1
Hosting:$96
Domain: $12
Design Software: $50
Total: $158
You are in full control of your website because you create it.

Website design software is a one time cost - you can make as many websites as you want and you pay only once.
You need to know how to work with HTML, CSS.

Takes time and work to get your website started.
Drag and Drop Website Builder No initial cost $10 $120 No HTML, CSS and technical knowledge required.

Because you are provided with tempates and clipart a website can be complete within a couple hours.

No intial costs, just a monthly subscription cost.
Only 1 website per package. So if you want to have 2 websites you will need to pay $20/month.
Pay Somebody To Create Website For You $1000 Hosting: $8
Domain name: $1
$1108 Somebody does all the work for you. Expensive.

You are dependent on somebody else to make changes to your website. Everytime you need to make a change you will have to pay.

You have no control of your website because somebody does everything for you - if they say something can't be done all you can do is believe them.
    NOTES:
  • The above cost are all rounded and estimates. Click on the links to get the exact current costs.
  • For the advantages and disadvantages section it is assumed that you want to make a simple content based website like this one. So if you planning on making the next cnn.com then the above does not apply and you probably do not want to make the website yourself.

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If this website has helped you, or if you believe in Karma, or most importantly if you want me to feel good:

Thanks!

Roman

My name is Roman and I want to provide you with an honest account of what it takes to make money with a website.

When I started this website in January 2009, I thought I would be rich by May.  I was wrong - really wrong. 

At the beginning I did not know anything about websites, SEO, blogs, and how long it takes to make money with a website.

Since then I have learned a lot. By revealing my journey I hope this website will help prepare you for yours .

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments and visit my Google+ page.