Developing a website can be an enormous expense for a business of any size. Therefore, many small business owners in the UK choose website builders such as Wix or Squarespace to host a primary site that will perform the basics of the web. But what happens if you want a website design with more functionality and a website that stands out from the crowd? How much does a website like that cost?
In this article, we’ll break down the costs of running a website and how they may affect you as a business owner. The variation in cost can be enormous; thus, it’s good to know what you are getting yourself into before deciding which path you may want to take.
Before we proceed with development and design, let’s talk about the critical part of any website—the domain name. Of course, a domain name can massively increase trust, searchability and also authority within a niche or industry. Domain names can though vary in cost; therefore, it’s important to see what will suit your budget and needs best.
Premium Domain Names
Premium domains have an enormous appeal to many companies and individuals. Firstly, they tend to be one-word domain names, meaning if you own a trucking company and have the domain name trucking.co.uk suddenly you gain authority with the users of your niche without even building much within the website. They can also help you raise your profile and help with SEO if they are keyword specific domain names.
Nonetheless, while the positives of having a premium domain name are great, they can be a considerable expense for a small or startup business. From £200 to £50,000, the cost can be immense depending on your dream domain.
Standard Domain Names
Standard names can be just as good as premium domain names. Firstly, many great domain names haven’t been taken, and extensions such as .io or .uk are part of that reason. Standard domain names are relatively cheap and are available from domain broker websites and platforms such as GoDaddy or IONOS.
To find a great domain name, we’d suggest brainstorming some ideas for your perfect domain name and finding out what is available by using a domain search on one of the broker websites. Then, if you find it, snap it quick. But, be aware, make sure you can use it, and there is no trademark against using your domain name within your industry class.
If you’re looking for a great deal, many hosting platforms also offer free domain names if you buy one of their hosting packages, which can be as cheap as a cup of tea at your local cafe. Whilst this is great, we would avoid selecting a bad host to buy a domain name. Instead, do your research before seeing if any extra contracts or clauses could increase that initial hosting cost. For example, it may start at a £2 per month cost but suddenly jump to £15 per month after six months. To simply put it, read the terms and consider buying a domain name on its own rather than part of a package.
Securing Multiple Domain Names
Many companies don’t think about this, and it’s a little scary. Suppose you’re looking to own your name within the internet world. Owning variations of your domain is excellent. That includes various extensions but also various spellings of your company. The cost will be reflected depending on how many you choose to secure, but it’s always worth having more as you’ll secure a future that will hopefully be hassle-free of copycats.
Interestingly, hosting companies still consider SSL certificates a premium add-on, while there are free platforms such as Let’s Encrypt that offer free domain names. In fact, Kinsta, our very own hosting platform, includes SSL certificates as part of their hosting package.
So, if you’re wondering if you should buy an SSL Certificate, we’d personally pass on it, as most places should offer it for free, and if they don’t, you can always get one for free without much bother.
Renewing a Domain Name Costs
Depending on the platform, renewing a domain name can cost from £7 to £20 per year. So it’s noteworthy to have your domains up for an auto-renew and keep tabs on how many domains are being auto-renewed as buying them can be easy, but suddenly having a bill to renew 30 plus domains can become expensive, especially for a budget-tight business.
|Standard domain||£0 - 15 one-off|
|Premium domain||£200 - £500,000 one-off|
|Renewal costs||£15 per year|
Hosting a website can seem quite steep for many startup companies in the UK, especially those looking for a more premium plan that offers the support you may need. However, it’s not entirely true, as discussed in the section below.
Cheap Website Hosting
Without naming brand names, cheap hosting tends to cost a few pounds a month. Some packages can start from £2 per month and grow to £15 per month. We consider this range cheap, as it’s affordable to everyone and does the job it says.
The issue with cheap hosting is that it can be pretty unreliable. So, this can be a significant risk for rapidly scaling companies, especially if you’re looking to run an eCommerce business. Moreover, cheap hosting platforms tend to have a lot of add ons that come with Premium hosting platforms. These add ons include such things as backups and SSL certificates. And whilst this may not seem too important, the cost of having these two as add ons can suddenly push you into premium rates that will make your free hosting not worthwhile.
Premium Website Hosting
Premium hosting isn’t always the correct option, even though we recommend it. This reasoning mostly comes down to the simple reason of budget and website usage. For example, if you’re running a hobby website where you know you’ll produce next to zero in turnover in the first year, then choosing a premium host isn’t worth it. You’ll simply be wasting money, plus a solid budget-friendly host should do the job for you to run your website efficiently enough without causing trouble.
On the other hand, if you don’t fall into that category, premium hosting is the only way to go due to service and server quality. A premium host can cost from £50 a month to £500 for small companies. The cost will all depend on any add ons and extra costs such as storage space, daily or hourly backups and any additional support you may need to receive from the provider. You shouldn’t look to skimp out on a hosting platform, but always compare and make a calculated decision as it can become an expensive decision if done wrong.
Choosing the Correct Host
The choice is difficult. Hosts vary and can change over time, meaning a well-working server may become crowded, and suddenly it seems like you’re being pushed out of your current package without a real reason.
We recommend choosing a premium host at Talks if you’re looking to run a serious business. This decision will cost more but will give you a significant advantage in support and website speed. Premium hosts also have much less downtime, meaning you won’t freeze your visitors out and push them away to your competitors.
Now we’re getting to the fun part, website design. Designing a website can be done in many ways, from yourself designing it on a platform like Wix to hiring a freelancer or investing in an expert agency like Talks. The choice is vast. This section will break down the pros and cons of each option and what you need to consider when thinking about the platform you want your website made on.
Doing it yourself
Designing a website yourself is possible. There is no point in lying to anyone that you can’t do it. However, suppose you haven’t got any front-end or back-end development skills. In that case, there are a few disadvantages, even if you’re using a website builder such as Elementor, Wix or Squarespace. So, before diving in and designing a website yourself, look at platforms that offer free trials to create a website. The practice will help you understand if you can do it alone or need to hire a professional.
Hiring an agency
Hiring an agency is our favoured option — as an agency. There are many positives, but it isn’t always the go-to choice for micro-companies or individuals — due to cost. However, hiring a professional web agency is necessary if you’re looking for a serious website with all bells and whistles that will convert users into customers. Agencies like us have developers and designers at their fingertips, meaning any vision and goal you have can be accomplished. Moreover, agencies tend to have a more significant network of creatives and developers within their reach, meaning if there is something they can’t handle, someone can be brought in to assist.
|Website Design costs||Cost|
|Solo (DIY)||£250 - £5000 per full design|
|Professional Agency||£999 - £35,000 per full design|