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There are numerous ways of building a website these days. They can be built through a website builder (Wix, WordPress) or by hiring a professional web development team/agency. The route that will be chosen will affect the overall expense of creating the website.
Those going with the website builder must know that it will cost them around $6 per month, whereas using WordPress raises that monthly price to anywhere between $11 and $60. Hiring a website designer is an expensive option as the upfront price can go above $5,000.
And before we delve in deeper n to the topic, let us play a small game:
Out of the following websites, Which one is Expensive?
The answer is website A. The reason: it is a custom-made website which probably costs around $6,000. Whereas, the other two websites are made of free website templates from website builders like Wix and Squarespace. Using them costs at least $11 to $15 a month, especially for creating a website free of ads.
Honestly speaking, answering the question ‘how much does it cost to build a website’ is not easy. There is no right or wrong way to make one, nor is there any fixed estimate. Yet it is important to consider the variables involved and varying expenses before a website is to be built.
The Cost of Developing a Website
For those who are unsure of website development prices, they will now have a look at how much it costs to make a site, maintain it and promote it. You will need to take security measures, get link building software for better SEO, hire a specialist for design maintenance, etc. Yet, they should continue reading to find out the different kinds of expenses associated with web design and website maintenance.
Additionally, understanding the price differences between agencies, freelancers, and platforms (like WordPress and Wix) is also necessary).
Here are some things worth noting:
- Web design – around $2,000 to $150,000 per design.
- Website’s maintenance – around $400 to $60,000 annually.
- Marketing a website – costs between $2500 to $12,000 a month.
- Web design services (either through an agency, a freelance professional or a website builder) – Can cost nothing to approximately $100,000.
- Services for maintaining a website(either through an agency, a freelance professional or a website building platform) – Can cost anything to almost $5,500 per year.
It should be understood that prices for website builders vary from one vendor to another. They range from no cost at all to more than $500 per month, with annual maintenance costs of either no costs which can go up to $5,400 per year. How much a business pays for a website builder depends upon several factors. Here are some examples:
- Wix – costs between $23 to $500 per month.
- WordPress – costs between $5 to $59 per month.
- Squarespace – between $16 to $54 per month.
- Weebly – Free to $26 per month.
- Jimdo – Free to $39 per month.Here are some costs of using website building platforms (including the cost of custom website development):
- Website builder subscription – $0 to $500 per month.
- Plugins or apps – $0 to $200, either once or recurring.
- Themes – $100 to $200 per theme.
- Hosting – $24 to $10,000 annually.
- SSL Certificate – $0 to $1500 annually.
Marketing (SEO, PPC, Digital Marketing) – $50 to $10,000 per month.
How Long Does it Take To Build a Website?
When it comes to developing software, developers need a preliminary estimate of time so they can provide an accurate price quote. This helps them plan ahead and use their knowledge to create the best software.
When it comes to developing a website, It can take anywhere between three to four months to get a website made, especially when considering the help of a professional web design agency. Freelancers often say they can develop a full WordPress website within a few days.
There are those freelancers who offer to get a website done and dusted in just a matter of hours. This is indeed alarming. This is the reason why companies should hire best web development agency when it comes to creating a website.
Here is a typical timeline for a website explained briefly:
Planning and Discovery
This is the stage for the foundation of a project’s success. Designers and developers involved must understand the needs, goals and audience the client wishes to target, at all costs. At this stage the team can estimate time needed for developing a site accurately, based on the following factors:
- User stories should be assembled into a Prioritized Requirements List (PRL).
- Top-level wire frames that closely resemble the end design plus its flow.
- Performance requirements should be listed.
The scope of the Minimum Viable Product (milestones and timelines) is well-defined.
Unfortunately, Such is not always the case. Most of the time, the web design and development teams start with research and reviews of project requirements, technical specifications along with that of designs.
Clients might have to fill out briefs and answer questions which relate to their vision, mission, objectives, core design elements, preferences, the value proposition, the selling process and the like. This process can take more than 80 hours.
A successful website should have content which is appealing, captivating and practical at the same time. With the right content marketing strategy, you can create content that not only engages your audience but also provides valuable information or solutions. It should not be limited to just visuals, text, audio, video and other content which migrated over from other existing websites.
In the content, key messages, page titles, headings, keywords and calls to actions must be placed properly to optimize its performance on search engines.
For large projects, the procurement of content is time consuming. It often takes time to determine the right content and it can overlap with other stages of a website’s development. A worthwhile content plan often amplifies the speed of web development, which hence raises the website’s presence and usability.
This is why project teams should start writing content after the website’s planning and before (or maybe during) the design stage. This saves time and from other issues. Here are some things to consider:
- Designers plan the layout to fill it further with numerous elements.
- The team makes architecture, plans the size of the database, format of query and the like.
- Quality Assurance engineers make test cases based on efforts of the designers and project teams.
Over here, accuracy of content is quite vital as each omission will lead to overtime and budgetary concerns. This also can take more than 80 hours.
Designing The User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)
The UI and UX design stage is needed. It helps create an interface which is not only appealing in visual terms but is also user-friendly and helps website visitors understand and use the functionality with ease.
What designers and developers in this stage do is that they use the information obtained along with the wireframes and content provided from the previous stages to create the intended look and navigation of the website, in a perfect manner.
The mockups in this stage usually include the design of the landing & home page, internal pages, along with mobile views. Ranging from color pallets to fonts, the design should be able to match the company’s image along with its business needs. After being presented to clients, they are refined using the feedback obtained and hence approved after meeting all requirements.
This work can take at least 48 hours or even more!
Web Development and Website Coding
Front end development can begin, as soon as the web development team has received the needed designs and content. If the website needs complex queries, integration with third-party services, data processing tasks which are not standard and the like, the back-end development will take a lot of time. Testing throughout this phase ensures top-notch quality of the website.
The coding, validation and cross-platform browser testing take a large chunk of the web development timeline. Why does much of it depend on clients? Because they must communicate with the team, provide regular feedback and request any needed changes.
Depending on the work’s scope, the technology used, and fulfilling any changing requirements, coding and web development can take at least 16 hours.
Modification and Beta Testing
The website should go through testing. Here, the testing team must ensure the product matches the approved designs and specifications. They run it through a series of tests and review the web development code for any bugs and errors.
Typing errors, slow loading pages, and other non-loading elements are quite easy to detect. Users and investors can provide feedback to any shortcoming present in design, functionality or content, or even suggest improvements.
The team should be able to check the needed functioning across multiple web browsers, devices and screen sizes. They should also conduct search engine optimization if necessary. All stakeholders involved must give a final approval before the website is launched. The reason launches are delayed is due to incomplete content. This stage can take at least eight hours.
The Website’s Official Launch
Once all the needed parameters of beta testing are complete, it is now time to launch the website. This task takes a day or two unless and until it is complicated involving a wide array of apps, elements and components.
After the launch, the website might require some tweaks and revisions, until and unless it looks and works properly. This task requires at least eight hours, like the previous one. The total time needed to create, test, amend and launch a website takes at least 240 hours in total.
What are the Best Website Builders?
Based on recommendations of experts, here are some of the best website builders of 2022:
Best Free Website Builders of 2022
Here are the names of the best free website builders of 2022:
Let us now have a brief look at each of them:
In terms of free website builders, Wix makes it to the top. It has some of the best paid plans being a drag and drop website building tool. The paid plans start from as little as $8.50 per month especially for the combo plan (lasting over three years). Apart from giving 3GB of storage space with a free domain and a free SSL certificate, the ads from the site are removed too.
Zyro stands out from the crowd thanks to its user-friendly nature. The ‘try for free’ option helps provide users three easy options to create a website for free.
They are a designer made template (where text, features and images can be customized), Zyro’s AI making a website instantly as per users’ needs with the freedom to modify it, and the ability to import content and design of the existing site, and changes being easily made in Zyro’s editor.
Zyro’s free option is indeed good but it’s paid option is affordable and even better. It offers free email for three months, security via SSL, blogging tools and free web hosting services.
Weebly offers web enthusiasts two ways to make a website. The easiest option present is using the basic editor builder which guides users through a series of questions before automatically making one for them. Customization is allowed but its focus is on fast outcomes.
The standard editor offers a hands on approach with a lot of templates to choose from, with customization features using an impressive WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.
It is a cloud based editor and yet it gives users a wider degree of control over the website’s placement of page elements and overall features. Newsletters and live chats can be added, making Weebly a worthwhile website builder.
Squarespace offers website creation for eCommerce, clinics and other businesses. Its latest offer allows users to save 25 percent annually on the personal website builder plan including a free custom domain, bandwidth without limits, basic website metrics and round the clock customer support.
Known to be one of the best content management systems (CMS) present, WordPress is another website building tool which is not only popular (powering almost 40% of today’s internet) but also a comprehensive one too.
Apart from offering a complex version, it also offers a user-friendly version which is hosted by WordPress itself. Anything can be made, ranging from a blog or a simple photographic site, to a complete online store. It also offers a wide array of templates and an easy integration with Mailchimp.
Should Caution be Exercised When Choosing a Website Builder?
With so many website builders to choose from (both free and paid ones are available), choosing the right one can be a tricky task. The main thing to remember that the choice depends on the following:
- Features the company is looking for in a website maker.
- What are their non-negotiable things in terms of service offering?
- What kind of website is needed?
- What can be done using a free website building service.
Those who need a website must list their needs and wants first, and then highlight the key features needed from a website builder. From this point, clients will be able to match the features with the best website makers present in the market.
With numerous website builder services offering money back guarantee or free plans, trying them is easy before purchasing. As a matter of fact, some stick with the free plan provided it is more than enough to suit their website’s needs.
Designing and developing a website is responsible work, and each decision made in this matter has to be done responsibly. This is the reason why it is necessary to have each website builder evaluated carefully. Moreover, each step of the web design and development process be undertaken carefully to ensure the final product is of the highest quality and order.