Besides the design of a website’s user interface and content, most site owners will have to pay for their domain and hosting space. Domains are the names under which a site is registered, and the address where a user will access your site. Registration typically costs $18.00-$30.00 per year and must be renewed to keep the address off the open market. Your domain name is an important marketing tool and should be heavily considered before you buy.
A hosting service is another tool you need to keep your website secure and visible to your target audience. In simple terms, a web host provides your site with space on a computer server that maintains a constant, fast, and secure connection to the internet, typically kept within a larger data center. There are countless hosting providers to choose from that will fit nearly any budget imaginable. Packages should be chosen based on your site’s size and average traffic. I do require that every client use a hosting service- your host will ensure that you always have a recent, off-site backup, access to your site files, better site security, and guaranteed uptime around the globe. If the unthinkable ever happens and you get hacked or your computer is destroyed, a hosting company is one of the three methods I use to maintain fail-safe measures of data preservation. The best web hosts will also provide 24/7/365 customer service, so you can reach a tech support representative anytime of day or night.
Maintenance is the third and final expense outside of the initial design. Costs will depend heavily on whether your site is static or dynamic. Dynamic sites update their content frequently, whether that’s changing artwork on the homepage, adding new landing pages, hosting an interactive contact form, publishing blogs, or connecting with social media, and usually need a bit more attention in terms of maintenance. Dynamic pages often encourage viewer involvement and are regularly crawled by search engine robots, so tighter security is also important. Static pages are usually very simple and act more as a searchable phone book entry than a true website. Because dynamic sites are ranked higher than static sites, I tend to recommend dynamic web development to most of my clients. However, static sites are still useful for businesses who don’t wish to participate in social media and only want to maintain a basic web presence.