While producing a well-functioning website is vital for any business in the 21st Century, it’s worth being aware of the cost involved in order to ensure a return on your investment. Better to approach this digital project with your eyes wide open. The web design cost isonly the start if you want your website to deliver to its full potential.
Domain name renewal – secure your online brand
Sadly, you don’t buy your web-domain name for life. There will be an annual fee payable to the domain registry firm you choose to use. This will ensure that you safeguard your domain name and retain control over your business name in the online space.
Securing your brand online is an important part of digital housekeeping
Don’t just concentrate on your website domain name however; make sure you also secure your brand identity and business name on social media. Many businesses forget about registering their brand names with social media channels (contact us if you need help with this) and realise too late that their favoured brand names or trading names are registered elsewhere.
Consider investing in similar domain names to the one you want to use
When you choose your domain name, you’ll be offered it in a variety of permutations: com, co.uk, wales, biz etc. It’s worth investing in all the main top-level domains to stop a competitor coming along and snaffling them up.
Website hosting – A place where your website is stored and kept live
Your website needs space on a server – and there’s a cost associated with this. How much you pay will depend on the quality of the hosting service you use, but it’s an ongoing website cost that you can’t avoid.
Choose the wrong type of hosting and you may start to experience problems with your website in terms of accessibility and your website’s performance. Often it’s a case of ‘Buy cheap buy twice! ‘
Understand the different types of hosting and know what you’re paying for
Not all hosting is the same. While cost will always be a consideration, check out the average server ‘uptime’ quoted by the hosting companies you are considering. One area many forget is the routes to communicate with the hosting service. Many have ‘ticket systems’ which have no guarantees on when they’ll get back to you.
WebAdept provide live support so you will always talk to a person who can help – or if they can’t, they’ll pass you on to someone who can!
Make sure you get an SSL on your website or it will be deemed as unsafe.
The importance of ‘uptime’
Uptime is the amount of time the server hosting your website is operational – and the amount of time your website is seen. You might think that an uptime rate of 99% is pretty good. But the flip side is the downtime is 1% – which, over 30 days is equivalent to 7 hrs and 12 minutes. Over 7 hours when your website could be offline.
Digital marketing – the cost of getting your website seen
In the world before Google, how did businesses advertise themselves? Newspaper adverts, flyers, brochures, Yellow Pages – all great marketing material and all needing distribution. Your website is no different. Once it’s built and hosted on the internet, you need to make sure it’s getting seen. Google will generally review your website every 28 days and if nothing changed in the site nothing will change in your ranking – except maybe going down!
Create an online marketing plan
Your website is only the start of your online presence. Remember that your website is competing with the websites of thousands of other businesses. To succeed, you need a structured online marketing plan that fits with your overall marketing strategy and your business objectives.
Budget for digital marketing
Again, be realistic. Digital marketing is cheaper than traditional forms of marketing, however you get what you pay for. While many of the digital tools available are ‘free’ in terms of financial cost, there is always a time cost associated with administering and utilising them.
In addition to organic search, including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing, you may also find paid online marketing through Google, Facebook or Bing is a worthwhile exercise to bring targeted traffic to your website.
Keep your website up to date – avoid damage to your business
An out of date website that has been left, unloved, on a server is a liability rather than an asset to your business. The costs of keeping your website up to date need not be excessive, but your website needs regular attention to keep it working properly.
Fresh content supports SEO
Content goes out of date really quickly. Obvious things include seasonal offers, or anything with a date on it. Equally, your services may have changed, so keep details up to date on your website. Adding fresh content on a regular basis supports your search engine ranking too. Blogging is a good way to overcome this.
Technical issues can threaten your online presence
It’s not just the ‘front end’ of your website that needs regular maintenance. Checking for technical issues and security updates should be part of your routine – whether you do this yourself or outsource it.
Content management systems such as WordPress regularly issue patches to fix threats. You can also make sure you take advantage of upgrades to the plug-ins and apps that make your website what it is.
Your website is the foundation of your online presence and leaving it untouched once it’s up and running is not an option. To obtain best return on investment in creating your website, factor in regular changes and maintenance costs to ensure it stays competitive in the online world.
We specialise in offering value for money website support including hosting and domain name management, website design/updates and digital marketing.
We take pride in doing the job well – but this sometimes takes time. We however, simply charge for the time taken to get it right, which in turns gives peace of mind. You can rest on our support mechanism that ensures your website is always working away as It should, in support of your business.