The True Cost of a Website
WEBSITE COST BREAKDOWN
 
Development
  learn your needs
  design layout
  create content
  code pages
  arrange hosting
  test, test, test
  $ 600.00 - $ 25k
Marketing
  learn your industry
  learn keywords
  create/edit pages
  submit, submit, submit
  analyze log files
  stay focused
  $ 50.00 - $ 3,000
Maintainance
  host site
  code changes
  code new pages
  Re-vamps
  $ 50.00 - $ 500

Cost of Building a Website

Being in the Internet business, I am frequently asked, "What is the true cost of building, hosting, marketing, and maintaining a website?" I could not find many good articles on this topic so here is my best answer:

There are 3 different charges a business owner must concern himself with: Development, Marketing, and Maintainance

Development
This cost will vary dramatically. Your range could be from $500.00 to $100,000. There are basically two types of sites. Static and Dynamic. Static sites are straight HTML code. The pages are the same every time you look at them. A static site can be built and in 3 years, the content remains the same. A Dynamic site is generally built with a "backend" or databases. The content the pages display are generated "live" from a database. This is great for sites which want to post live inventory, prices, or any type of data.

Dynamic sites are more expensive, however they should save money in the long run (see maintainance section). The effort to keep the site's data current no longer rest with the developer ... it rest with a database administrator. Depending on the application, a developer may be able to let you update your database via a password protected interface on your website.

Marketing
There are two cost. Initial Marketing and On-Going. Range:Free to $200 a month

I can not stress this enough... "Build it and they may not come." Many businesses pay good money to build a site, then wonder why they have no traffic. Facts are, most traffic is generated from search engines and directories.

Although the Internet changes daily, here is a rule of thumb: A search engine is a website which diplays results for a search term entered by a visitor. These results are grouped by two catagories. "Pay for Listings" and "General Listings" Search Engines are google.com and altavista.com. A Directory is more like the Yellow Pages. It list website whose topics are related to your search term. Yahoo.com and dmoz.org are good examples. Lately, some search engines and directories mix their results on the same page.

There is an art to getting "found" on the Internet. Search Engine Optimization is the art of designing web pages and sites to list well on search engines and learning search engine algorithims. I have generated Millions of Dollars for clients using these techniques but one must keep up with the trends and industry to succeed.

Pay for Listing on Directories like Yahoo.com is a must. Writing the check yearly is not fun but it is needed. Also see overture.com

Paying someone to get you listed is a must. Paying someone to keep you listed, seperates you from the pack.

Maintainance
This is divided into two: Hosting $25.00 - $500 and Coding $50 - $??

All websites must be hosted. You are paying a company to display your site to the world and back up the data and protect the server from viruses.

The coding is paying someone to update your site. The more changes you need, the more it will cost. Once again a dynamic site will save money in the long run.