Creating a website means creating a huge product that can either make you freaky rich over night or it can turn you broke. Therefore there are a number of considerations before creating a website for yourself or your business. All the information or people you know about to day is due to the millions of websites with billions of pages spread across the web that are accessible to us through the major search engines. So you need to consider a number of factors before you go on to build your website. Depending on the factors that you choose, the cost of the website would also be determined and accordingly its valuation in the web would be calculated based on the number of users and customers it attracts. Let’s dive deeper to consider the numerous factors that come into play while creating a website and how you can manage these factors to reduce the resulting costs.
Things You Keep In Mind When You Plan A Website
Defining A Purpose
Without a purpose, a website is of no use to anyone. Every website that you see on the web I focused on solving a problem or focuses on some specific topic to provide information or services necessary for customers all around the world. Therefore, defining your purpose would help you identify your requirements better and thus would also help you design and configure your website accordingly. It will also help you analyze your potential audience and therefore you can easily calculate the impact you can have on those audience by the services, products or information that you provide on your website.
Every successful website like Facebook or amazon have a unique concept around them. They either provide services, sell products or provide information. Therefore these services, products and information are the most valuable attributes of these organizations. People from all over the world access their website and they have built a successful business model around it. If you have a business of your own and you think that it can be taken online then it’s time to figure out how your customers could access these services through your website. Once you have figured out how your customers are going to access information on your website, it’s time to craft a strong business plan around it.
Create user flow and define a target. You can find a number of tools on the web that can help you create your site plan or your business plan. This plan can be further leveraged to strengthen your presence on the web. Before you go any further, it’s always better to find any existing competitors already on the web. As the web is widespread among people, someone in some corner of the world must have created a similar website with similar services on it. Study those websites and figure out how they work and how they make money. In this way you can easily design a great business plan that can leverage all your business and trade knowledge to create a lasting website.
Analyze Your Target Market
Without a target market or potential customers to sell your product, your website would end up gathering dust and consuming resources. Therefore whatever type of business model you have created, it’s time to build an effective market around it. Find your potential customers and then target them with your products and services and show them how you are better than your competitors. Only then they would want to buy what you will be offering and therefore they would visit your website.
Once you have gathered some visitors for your website, you need to expand your market beyond your friends and acquaintances. If your product or service is good enough, people will flock to your website and if it is bad, you will come to know from their numerous reviews about you. Remember that he web is very open on all thing in it. Therefore in order to create an effective business you have to at par with the standard quality that is being offered by your competitors.
Once you have gained your market, you need to expand it to cover people from all over the world. The web is a gateway to the world. Therefore you need to find customers and build meaningful relationships with them for long term success. You can easily create a huge market base for your products and services by leveraging the major social networks that can be greatly helpful to market yourself among potential customers. But remember not to be pushy.
Prepare Your Product/Service/Information Stack
Before you build a website to display anything to the world, you need to have a strong enough product, service or information at first. Analyze your competitors to understand how they offer their services and learn from them. You can always copy their business model but in order to stand out you need to be able to do something differently that could attract people’s attention. Else getting recognized in the market would not be so easy when it comes to the web. Therefore dedicate some time to study the market and also develop necessary product specifications that the customers could see and browse through on the website. The more people understand and know about you, the better it is for your business and therefore your success. Building a successful product allows you to create a huge market advantage that your competitors will strive to keep up to and in the meantime you can focus on the numerous business advantages of being ahead of them.
Design Your Website
Once you have your service or product ready for your customers, you can now focus on designing the website. Without a good design it’s hard to impress people and attract their attention. You can see numerous websites that are designed greatly. If you are technically adept, you can create the designs yourself or you can hire a freelancer or company to design the website for you. There are numerous ways a website can be designed. Depending on your type of product and service you are offering, your website should be accordingly designed to express your sentiments and impress your audience. After complete design and verification you need to test your design for maximum impact on your target audience.
Develop Your Website
Design is essential but functionality is more important. Without great functionality and good load times, you will face a number of problems with your conversion rate. People who come to your website won’t be able to experience the product that you want to offer and therefore it would lead to an unsuccessful attempt at creating your service. To develop your website you can hire a good freelancer or a outsource it to one of the numerous organization in the world. Always remember to use a content management system without which you won’t be able to manage your content.
The web is full or powerful content management systems that help you manage all your site content and publish as and how you want. You can develop your website yourself or even make any minor changes without having to hire other people to do so if you have a good content management system. Some of the popular content management systems are wordpress, joomla, drupal, etc. Depending on the type of website you want, the content management system required can also be different but the control they provide should not hinder you from creating literally anything you want on your website.
Cost Analysis Of Different Kind Of Websites
As you can see there are numerous stages when it comes to building your website that could turn out to be a successful one in the near future. If you can build your business model and strategy aroud your service and product you can hire some of the best programmers on major freelance sites to build your website. Although some of them also help you strengthen your online business strategy, it is better to build your strategy before you approach them. Therefore to build your website you will incur primarily two types of costs. The first is the design cost and the second is the development cost. Often freelancers consider both the sections in one whole package. They will normally charge you for domain name, hosting your website, the bandwidth it consumes and the design and development costs. Often you get the services as a packaged deal and the cost may range from mere $200 to $3000 or more for a year depending on the complexity of your website the number of visitors it attracts.
However if you only want a simple website that can show of your products and services to your customers and at the same time help you publish your blog posts etc. you can get it done with around $300-$400 per year. To find out the exact cost of your website, you need to talk to a developer and explain your requirements. Once a sample pricing has been projected, you can add or remove extra features to suit the site to your budget. If you are starting out for the first time, you will also have to invest on online marketing and social media optimization. This cost of social media optimization and internet marketing depends on the number of customers you want in your website. Here the different types of websites and the development cost for each of them.
Basic websites do not have much functionalities but only focus on specific features. They are meant for a small user base and focus primarily on one aspect of a business or service. Creative individuals want portfolios to show off their talent and skills. Bloggers want a basic website to blog about their respective topics. Small businesses focus on displaying their talent and other offers to their potential client’s. These websites do not require complex content management systems and therefore cost consume much less resources as compared to advanced websites. Therefore these websites also cost less than advanced websites. Here are basic website types and their estimated costs.
Blogs are for bloggers who write about the topics they are mostly interested about. Therefore they contain a minimal content management system without much customizations or features necessary for maintaining the website. Depending on the type of features you require, you can get a basic blog at a price range of $300-$500. If you need advanced features, the cost can rise as per your requirements.
Corporate sites for small businesses that want to show off their skills, products and services. Most corporate sites are made of basic HTML templates that are modified to be used as per the client’s requirements. They can cost around $200-$500 depending on the type of features you require.
Portfolio websites are for artists and people specialized in a field who want to showcase their work. They are highly creative websites and are mostly made from HTML templates. They can be modified as per requirements and therefore have the benefit of customizability depending on your type of portfolio. They cost around $400-$800 depending on the amount on custom design work required to build the website.
Advanced websites are mostly ecommer websites that sell products and services to their target customers. They have most features embedded into them and therefore can cost a lot more than the basic websites. Often you can build a small ecommerce store at around $5000-$30000 a year.
Ecommerce stores have hundreds or sometimes thousands of products. Some of the popular ecommerce stores are Amazon and Ebay. Building such a website can cost you around $3000-$12000 or even more depending the amount of resources you consume and the number of visitors you get over time.
Advanced Corporate Websites
Advanced corporate websites are build for large organizations that control a lot of information on their websites. They can publish literally anything depending on the type of information they want their customers to know. They can also carry out complex customer relationship management functionalities to take their business to a whole new level. They mostly cost around $7000-$70000 depending the amount of features they embed into the website
Custom made web applications are highly optimized applications that are targeted towards a specific group or type of customers. They are built to start a whole new business around the website and most of them are mostly online services like Facebook or Youtube. Creating such a website may cost you around $7000-$50000 depending on the type of features you want on your application.