What’s the Cost of a Website?

What’s the cost? People are always asking the question, how much does a website cost? So let’s explore this in further detail.

Before I get into the cost details, let me tell you about our company and what we do. Oraco was first formed in 2003 by Danny Burt, Stephen Blignault and Luke Collins. I started building simple websites, selling domain names and web hosting packages in 2001 under the brand Future Paths Limited; I met Stephen at Plant Computers in Tokoroa in 2002. Luke Collins was a former director of Planet Computers. Of course, starting a company with two other people would have its challenges, and the name Oraco became the new company name. Or a Company, pronounced (O ra co)

We faced some tough times in the first 18 months of business, and then Stephen saw a perfect opportunity in Auckland. After a discussion, he decided that was the best move while still assisting with the odd project for Oraco. Stephen still works in the same industry. Luke also pursued other dreams; eventually, I was the remaining director.   Oraco went from a limited company to trading as Danny Burt in 2009. However, the business was still selling domain names, Webhosting packages and building websites for customers while working full-time for a company called Computer Aid Limited in Cambridge.  

In September 2017, Oraco Solutions Limited started back up full-time. It has been an exciting journey and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed with all its challenges, including Covid-19.    

So this brings me to “What’s the cost of a Website.”

Let’s start with the basics and the first place to start. Purchasing a domain name, in my opinion (once you have your brand established or know what your business is about), the domain name is one of the critical things to get right. You can also have more than one domain; some companies may have a separate domain for their website, including their business name or a keyword relating to their industry and a shorter domain name for their email. A domain name will typically cost you $25-$75 per year; generally, the lower the cost of the domain, the fewer DNS services available, meaning you may need to purchase those separately. For example, our domain pricing for an NZ TLD starts from $39.99 with complete DNS services.

Webhosting, what is this? It is where your website will live (its home). Web hosting packages are now only typically used for customised projects, static websites and WordPress sites. Many website page builders are available and hosted by companies with proprietary software rights (code). Some are free with limited features, and some have a subscription, but not all are equal. Some examples of these website builders are Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, Website Builder, SilverStripe, and Rocketspark. These CMS systems allow you to build your website – read “Leave it to the experts” to find out my thoughts on this. Web hosting pricing can start from $99 per year, depending on the requirements.

Some website content management systems offer a subscription-based model. Your subscription will be for the use of the software that you use to build your website. They can be priced from $25 to $45 per month. Some of these platforms have good benefits, while others have limited ones. For example, we offer a WordPress option with a subscription model with additional benefits. Contact us for more details.

Building and designing the website: What is this going to cost me? This is an excellent question and no short answer, but I will give my insight into what is fair and reasonable and what cautions should be. Before starting, it is essential to note that there is no one-size-fits-all model because each business is unique. However, our pricing is similar for different industry, retail, and startup types with similar features. We have a base design rate of $799 as a starting point for the build.

Let’s start with caution – if the price is low, you have to ask how long has this person been in business and will they still be here tomorrow. I have been in this industry for a long time and have seen so many startups fail within a couple of years, leaving businesses with no access to their website or domain name (read here about domain ownership). If the price is low, the chances are they can’t code, and all they are doing is using a website builder and the tools available to throw your content into it. A day’s work and you’re up and running. How does this benefit you? It helped your wallet, just not your online business, and your sole reason for having a website is to gain new business or leads.

There is more to a website than just the visuals: you want to hire someone who understands SEO and the importance of Google tools, and they can still code even if using a website builder. We use WordPress for a lot of projects. Why? Because you have full ownership of your website, you might not own the licenses we provide; however, you can purchase those if you choose to move your website; that’s right, it is transferrable! Most platforms don’t allow this, so if you aren’t happy with your website or want someone else to take your website to the next level, you might be looking at starting again; this could still happen if the previous build were not a good standard. We stand out because we can code and build customised hardcoded websites (the most expensive option but the best results). Customisation starts from $5999 for a medium-sized website.

CMS? Content Management Systems, like WordPress, are some of the most popular options on the internet. WordPress allows developers like us to do what we like with the code. A typical high-quality website will be between $3500-$7000. We don’t and won’t buy purchased themes to build your website. Why? Because this isn’t helping your business or your performance. (Speed) We will use some excellent tools so that you can make future edits yourself and see what is best. We design our websites so that you can make future edits and provide videos specific to your website as training.

Startups: I am a startup business. How much will it cost me? You are in luck. We started just like every other business, so we understand how daunting it can be and the expenses you are faced with. Therefore we do special deals for startup businesses based on their needs and the complexities required. So get in touch with us. You will be happy that you did.

Can anyone build a website: Well, the short answer is yes, using the available tools through CMS systems. We named a few of these when we talked about the hosting options. So my question is, can anyone build a house, a car, or a boat without the proper skills? If you said no, read my article about leaving it to the experts.

Why use a professional when I can do it myself: The same reason we hire a builder to build a house. They know what they are doing. They understand all the things you can’t see, and they are good at their craft. I don’t cut hair because it isn’t my craft, I can cut hair, but you wouldn’t be happy with the result. A professional always produces the most professional development for your budget, as it is their brand on the line. We work with you to deliver the best results.

Why are some website designers so expensive: The time and effort, including the skill level and the size of the project, will determine the project’s total cost. Most of these top-level website design companies are working on major projects or for large retail groups. For small to medium-sized businesses (depending on the requirements), you will be looking at a $3500-$15000 allocation for your online business—corporate and Government, $100k plus. If the cost is low, so might the quality, regardless of the CMS system used.

If the cost of building my website is cheap, will I get the same results? In my humble opinion, “No” because there is a reason why it is so cheap. Skill level, industry knowledge, code knowledge, Google knowledge and much more are all factors that are part of the website build.

Been there, done that

I remember when I first started building websites while trying to make my brand. I was doing some of the earlier jobs for $500, there weren’t any CMS systems back then, so they were all hard-coded. I remember factoring in my time once for one of the more complex projects and realised I had just done that project for 8 cents an hour. But, of course, this is the quickest way to go out of business. So let’s say I’ve learnt a lot over 20 years.

Oraco Solutions offers free advice to anyone looking to build a website with no obligations. Please send us your question, and we will happily answer you.

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