Actually, starting and hosting a website isn’t terribly expensive these days, depending on the goals you have for your project.
Let’s start with Domains: Head over to GoDaddy or NameCheap and buy yourself a domain (that’s the “www.whatever-you-want-to-call-yourself.com” address) for less than $15 per year.
Hosting: Then, you need a place to actually build and “store” your website; this is called the “host.” You can host your new domain right at GoDaddy or NameCheap if you wish, or at any other number of places such as HostGator, A2, Shopify, and on… Seriously, there are dozens of places vying for your business, and you won’t have any trouble finding something to fit your budget – even less than $100 for a year, depending on where you go. Typically, you will pay hosting in 1-year increments, and sometimes you can get a better deal if you sign up for more than a year.
Written Content: Once you’ve covered the cost of getting the domain and hosting, you need to actually populate your pages with content that’s relevant to your end users. Are you going to write all the content by yourself? Weigh the cost factor here. Time is money, and if you don’t have a lot of spare time to do all your own writing, you may want to factor in paying for a writer. At places such as TheContentAuthority.com or INeedArticles.com you can purchase the services of professional writers. At places like these, you get what you pay for.
Don’t necessarily go with the lowest cost per word, because you may wind up with poorly written content that will not only make you cringe, but will also make your potential readers cringe. To get exceptionally well written content from a place like The Content Authority’s pool of writers, you can expect to pay approximately $32.50 for 500 words (that is 6.5 cents per word at their highest quality tier at the time of this writing). There are individual writers there as well who charge less; however, you will need to test a few to ensure that the quality is what you are looking for.
Checking for Duplicate Content: There is also the chance that the content is not unique, and it is absolutely essential that you have 100% unique writing on your pages and posts. You can check any articles you write or have written for uniqueness by plugging the written article into a tool called Copyscape. This will instantly tell you whether or not the article shows up anywhere else on the web.
Copyscape is extremely inexpensive to use – actually, it only costs pennies to check your content, and these are pennies well spent.
Images: If you do not have your own photos and graphics to illustrate your website, you will need to locate a reliable source for this. Depending on your subject matter, you may be able to find suitable images in the public domain, which means you can use them without necessarily paying for them or giving attribution to the original photographer or artist. This is sometimes difficult to find, but a good place to start is Pixabay.com where you can search their vast library of images and either purchase the appropriate photo for a low cost, or use one of those that are specifically labeled as free to use.
Other stock photography options include iStockPhoto.com and CanStockPhoto.com offer bundles where you can pay a fee and get a number of photos for your use. Check around by searching “affordable stock photography” and you’ll find no shortage of image banks ready to sell you what you need!
Graphics: You may need to hire a graphic artist to design the header of your blog or storefront. Since most people these days use WordPress as the “template” in which you will build your website once it is hosted, there are many talented artists who can create a nice header for WordPress themes. The best source for this, if you don’t personally know someone who can do this for you, is Fiverr.com where artists from all over the world advertise their skills. The base price for any job – called a “gig” – is $5. But don’t expect to only pay $5 for a custom header. Each “gig” has its own set of “upsells” and it won’t take you long to familiarize yourself with them. Simply go to Fiverr.com and begin searching for “WordPress header” or similar term. You’ll see what I mean.
Hopefully this article has given you the basic costs involved in planning your very first website. Of course, there are also people and companies that will do this for you. It all depends on your overall purpose for building a site to begin with, and we haven’t touched on the costs for ongoing maintenance, marketing, etc. Nonetheless, these are the primary costs you can use as a starting point!