So you are ready to establish your online presence and get a website going but you have no idea what hosting provider to choose or where to purchase your domain name? Do not worry! I’ve got you covered! Choosing a reliable web host is crucial to your website performance, speed, reliability, uptime, support, etc. With tons of different hosting provider companies available it can be difficult to know the best option and who to trust. Through my experience of being a web developer, I have dealt with many different web host providers and there is only one in particular that stands out to me for the best overall experience, features, support, customer service, and so much more.
Ready for the BIG REVEAL?! The best WordPress web host provider is BLUEHOST!
Let’s dive into the reasons why…
If you are a newbie to all this website lingo, you will want to choose a web host that is user-friendly to enhance your experience and make things easier for you to manage. Bluehost offers a control panel that is very straightforward and easy to navigate. If you are a beginner, you do not have to worry with Bluehost. You will have access to all of the features and help that you need right at your fingertips.
Bluehost is known to have 99.99% uptime. What this means is Bluehost servers are reliable and will have your website up and running with 99.99% of the time. This is a very important factor when choosing the right hosting provider because downtime can significantly and negatively impact your website and lose trust in your site visitors. Although, there are times when your site will experience downtime you want to be sure it is not because you are using an unreliable provider. You will have site visitors from all over the world and at different times. Your web host needs to have a stable server and network connection. Bluehost has all of their servers in its very own dedicated data center. If you sign up with Bluehost you will not have to worry.
3. Loading Speed
An important thing to look at when choosing a web host is loading speed. If your website loads slow site visitors-meaning potential customers are going to abandon your website before your website even has a chance to show what you have to offer. Page speed is also a very important factor in your site ranking in search engines such as Google. Bluehost is known for its fast loading times. They also provide Cloudflare CDN services which give your site a speed boost and better overall performance. Also, if there is ever a situation that causes server downtime if you are using the Cloudflare CDN service your site will stay up and running as Cloudflare keeps a cached copy of your website online for your visitors or readers.
4. Customer Support
Great customer service should be key when purchasing any service. Especially, when it is a service that you may not be confident in using yet it has full control over your website. Another important factor to some people may be live chat support vs having to call and speak to customer support. I personally prefer to live chat. Ultimately, we want someone with an SOS button when we are in need. Bluehost offers 24/7 live chat support for your hosting/website needs so you don’t have to worry. They offer assistance for anything related to your account and they are very eager to help. I have personally had to deal with customer support countless times for my clients and have never had a bad experience. Trust me, if I had- you would not be reading this article of recommendation right now.
5. Money-Back Guarantee
I don’t know about you but this is something I love to see when I am shopping around for a service or product. It gives me a sense of trust in the company or product because they are so confident that it works that they offer you your money back if you aren’t satisfied. It makes setting the skepticism aside a little bit easier. Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee NO QUESTIONS ASKED!
With Bluehost, they want to set you and your website up for success. They offer tons of different features to enhance your website. Some are at an additional cost but the awesome part about signing up with them, they provide you with some very handy FREE features to enhance your experience. Here are some of the free features that you will get if you sign up with Bluehost.
- Free domain name (for 1 year as mentioned above)
- Free site builder if you plan to DIY your website
- One-click WordPress installation (no behind the scenes work)
- Over 1000 free templates and themes to choose from
- Ad credits towards Google Adwords and Bing
- Unlimited domains and hosting
- Significant disk space and bandwidth
- Email accounts
- FTP accounts
- SSL Certificates
- 24/7 live chat and customer support
If you have a WordPress website cPanel is an excellent feature to access the backend of your website without having to use a file transfer protocol (FTP) such as FileZilla and Cyberduck. With Bluehost, have access to the backend of your website right in your account dashboard. You can easily add/remove and edit files.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your website regularly backed up. Like on the daily! Computers crashing, equipment fails, malware, hackers, vulnerabilities, and mistakes are all significant factors that can put your website in jeopardy. Without a site backup if your site is compromised for any reason you are at risk of LOSING EVERYTHING. After all of the time, money, effort, and cost put into your websites the last thing you need is to lose it all. By having your website backed up daily this will save you in the event an unfortunate circumstance causes you to lose your site files. Bluehost does daily backups of your website and will restore your website for you if you run into troubles.
9. Full control over your website
If having full control over your website is important to you then you would definitely want to host your domains on your own web host. All of the reasons that I stated above are why you should choose Bluehost to maximize the control and management you have over your domains. Bluehost gives you full control with the 24/7 support to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Are you convinced yet?!
If you are reading this post, it is most likely because you are on the hunt for the best web host provider to sign up with. All of the reasons provided above are why there is no need for you to look any further. You get everything you need and more with Bluehost and best of all at an affordable cost that isn’t going to break the bank. So if you haven’t signed up yet, click here to sign up with Bluehost and get access to all of your free features!
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
What is the difference?!
Starting a blog can be a bit overwhelming at times because there is soo much information to learn. A common mistake that I see bloggers from all over make, is choosing the wrong platform. They start their blog on wordpress.COM rather than wordpress.ORG. Choosing the right platform is very important for your blog’s success. There are a ton of great benefits that you are missing out on if you are using the .COM platform and I would hate for you to lose out. So I wrote a helpful article for you to understand the difference between the two platforms. I want you to explode your blog potential!
Aren’t they the same? Which one is better? What is the difference? Do I have to pay? What are the benefits? Can I make money? Can I use ads? How do I switch?
All of your common questions will be answered below!
This is a free blogging platform. You do not need to be self-hosted because WordPress.COM takes care of the hosting for you. Therefore, you do not have your own .com domain address.
Why do people use it?
People who write as a hobby will generally use a free blogging platform. This is because they do not have the intention of expanding and monetizing (make money) their blog. They get to write and WordPress takes care of the hard and dirty work. So using a free hosted platform such as wordpress.COM us suitable for their needs.
- They do not know the difference between the two WordPress platforms
- It is free (up to 3GB of storage)
- They do not have to worry about paying a hosting provider
- They do not have to handle dirty work
- It is easy and straightforward
- They do not plan to monetize
Why shouldn’t you use it?
If you blogging with the intention of turning it into a career, it is not a smart choice for your blog success. You are extremely limited in what you can do on the .COM platform.
- You can only use default themes
- You are not able to customize themes
- You cannot download plugins
- Limited SEO control
- Limited analytics: You are not allowed to use 3rd parties such as Google Analytics
- You cannot use an e-commerce to sell products
- You can not monetize your blog
- Their own ads are displayed on your website
- You have to pay for more features (that you get free on .ORG)
- It is free for only up to 3GB of storage
- The pricing upgrades are ridiculous and still limit you
- Your entire blog content is owned by WordPress so you lack full control
- You will never be able to have your very own custom domain name
It is a content management system (CMS), meaning it can create and manage digital content. WordPress.ORG is a free open source platform that requires you to be self-hosted.
Why people prefer WordPress.ORG rather than WordPress.COM
This is the more suitable option for bloggers who are planning to turn their blog into a career and bring in income doing so. It is also a wonderful option for normal business websites. It allows business owners who do not have coding knowledge, the ability to easily manage their own website. Using WordPress.ORG gives you all the control and makes it easier to manage.
So what makes WordPress.ORG better than WordPress.COM?
- You have full control over your website
- You can have your own domain name of your choice
- Branding freedom
- Ability to fully customize themes
- You can upload themes from 3rd parties
- There is a plugin for pretty much everything and wordpress.ORG allows you to download them
- Control over your sites SEO
- You can monetize your blog
- You can use your own advertisements and make money from them
- You can set up an e-commerce shop to sell products
- You can allow users to sign up for memberships to your site
I’m currently using WordPress.COM…how do I switch to WordPress.ORG?
Before you can make the switch you need to choose a hosting provider and domain name. I recommend using Bluehost. It is the #1 recommended host provider for WordPress. You will also get a free domain name for a year when you sign up. Therefore, you will only have to pay for your hosting. There is a 30-day money back guarantee and the hosting plans start as low as $3.95!
*Related: How to start a blog today!
If you already have a domain that is okay. Bluehost will allow you to import the one that you currently have and you can choose to pick your free one at a later time.
Step 1: Log into your WordPress.com site
Go to your dashboard>tools>export.
Step 2: Export
You will be taken to a page where you will need to choose your exporting option. You do not need to pay to export your content. I know you may be a little nervous right now since you have no idea what you are doing but don’t worry! Follow this tutorial step-by-step and you will be okay! This will all be worth it in the end!
So anyway, choose the free export option.
Now, you will need to choose what content you want to transfer. I recommend all content.
Then click the orange download export file button. It is going to download as an XML file with all of your old site content. You will need to upload to your new site.
Step 3: Download WordPress onto your site
When you sign up with Bluehost this process is made extremely easy for you. It is a one-click install onto your new site and that is it! For a more in-depth tutorial on getting set up with Bluehost click here.
Once you have signed up with Bluehost and have WordPress installed, it is time to upload your XML file from your previous site.
Step 4: Import XML file to the self-hosted site
On your new site, make sure you are logged into your WordPress Dashboard.
Go back to the tools menu and then click Import.
The next screen will display import options.
You are going to scroll to the bottom where it says WordPress and click Install now.
It will install the WordPress importer and then you will need to click run importer.
The next screen will ask you to upload the XML file.
Click choose file>your file>then click the upload and import button.
*Note: Your file size may be larger than 2MB if you had a lot of content on your previous site. If that is the case you have two import options. The first one is to ask your web hosting company to increase that upload limit temporarily, so you can upload your current XML file. The second option would be to split your file by using a WXR file splitter.
Once your content is imported you will have the option to assign it all to a new user or keep your current one. You will also be asked if you would like to import your attachments. Make sure you check this box so your images are imported as well.
You have successfully imported your old content!
Step 4: Redirect Users
If you have been blogging for some time and already have the following base from your wordpress.COM site, you do not want to neglect those followers. Make sure you share with them that you have redirected your site by either using a redirection tool, announcing your new changes on a social media platform (with those readers), or personally contacting them via email.
WordPress.COM does not offer a free redirection tool. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for the upgrade service if that is the option that you choose.
I hope this was helpful to you! I am excited for your new blogging journey and the world of potential that you just unlocked for your blog!
Before we dive into Google Analytics you will need to be on a self-hosted website. This means if you are using WordPress for your blog, you will need to be using WordPress.ORG rather than WordPress.COM.
For more details on how to set up a self-hosted blog click here. I have created a step by step guide for you.
If you are running an online business you are most likely aware of search engine optimization (SEO). If you are unaware of SEO, it is the process of receiving organic traffic to your website from search results. This is everything for people running businesses online because you want your business to be found! Without traffic, your business will not be successful.
*Related: What is SEO and why is it so important?
So we spend all of this time and money investing in services to help boost our SEO but how do we really know if it is working?
That is where Google Analytics comes in the picture. In my opinion, it is the best analytic tool on the market to give you an in-depth look at how your website is performing.
What is Google Analytics?
It is a free service offered by Google. It allows business owners to track how users/viewers interact on their websites. You can learn how people use your site, what they do on it, and how they were referred. See what social media platforms are resulting in the most traffic to your site. Track the amount of time that people are spending on your site and what pages are getting the most attention. View your bounce rate.
The analytics dig into a deeper depth allowing you to see the type of devices people are using and where they are from when they are browsing your site. This gives you an idea of whether users/ visitors are viewing your website more on a phone, desktop, or tablet. Also, getting to know what countries you reach is awesome!
If you sell products or use advertisements, you can link those services to Google Analytics. This allows you to track how those methods of marketing are doing. View your sales, time of day, numbers, users, etc.
All of these tools are important in maintaining a good marketing strategy. Have more control over analyzing all of the hard work that you put into your business. Analytics puts your hard work into perspective and gives you a visual of the payoff or room for improvement.
How do I get Google Analytics?
You can set up your analytics account here. The link will take you to this screen. Once you are here, you are going to click the green sign up free button in the top right corner.
Next, log into your Gmail account that you use for your blog. If you do not already have one specifically for your blog I would advise you to make one. It will make life easier keeping your blog business separate from everything else. You can create a Gmail account here.
When you have your Gmail account ready, sign in. Once again, make sure that you sign in with the account that you want to track your website analytics on. But if you wish to change accounts later, you can.
After you have signed in to your Gmail account, you can sign up for Google Analytics. Click the gray icon that says sign up.
You will be directed to the setup screen that looks like the one pictured below. Follow the steps by filling in the particular information for your website.
Keep all of the recommended data share settings checked. Scroll to the bottom and click the blue button that says get tracking ID.
This tracking ID is important because it is how Google keeps track of the activity on your website. With your tracking ID you will also be assigned a code to place on your website. Copy and paste the code into the header of each page on your website that you want to be tracked. The code should be placed before the </head> tag.
Most likely your blog will be built on WordPress. Therefore, adding the code to your site is made a little easier for you. Download the plugin Insert Headers and Footers. When it is finished downloading activate it and navigate to the plugin. It can be found on the dashboard of your site > left-hand panel > hover over settings > then find and click Insert Headers and Footers. Paste the code into the top box that says the code will be placed before the </head> tag. Then save your changes.
Now, Google will begin monitoring the traffic on your site. You can view your analytic details from your Google Analytic account or by using the Google Analytics by Monster Insights WordPress plugin. You can read more about the plugin and how to download it here.
I personally utilize the plugin and my analytics account. I like looking at my analytics account because it gives me more in-depth information and I have more control. Both are great and truly beneficial to your blog.
Link your analytics account to Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that you can utilize to customize how your website appears in Google search results.
When you link your accounts together you have the ability to track how your website is doing in organic searches. You can set up your Google Search Console account by visiting this link www.google.com/webmasters/.
You will have to log in to your Gmail account that you used for your Google Analytics. When you login in you are going to see a screen with different options to verify your website. Follow the steps that work best for you to claim ownership of your site.
After you verify ownership of your blog it is a good idea to add an XML sitemap so Google will find your blog faster. But if you are using Yoast SEO plugin, it may conflict. So keep that in mind.
Be sure that you link your Google Analytics account to your search console. You can do so by logging into your analytics account and click on admin. Find property settings and click it. Then, you will see search console. Click it. Once you complete the steps to link your accounts together, you will gain access to even more details in your analytics dashboard.
Linking more accounts
If you have other accounts such as an e-commerce, you can link it to your Google Analytics account as well. There are lots of options to link with analytics to get access to detailed reports regarding how all of your marketing techniques are performing. But I am not going to go into depth of the individual accounts in this article.
Understanding Google Analytics
When you first install Google Analytics onto your website you will not be able to view data right away. The only thing you will be able to view is real-time visitors. The charts renew after midnight each day and will give you the entire previous day stats.
Below is a break down of each tab in the left panel.
This tab does exactly what it says. It displays real-time stats such as the visitors that are on your site at any given moment. It will tell you how many users are on your site at that point in time and it will tell you where they originated from. Referral examples are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, organic search results, etc. It will also tell you exactly what page they are on.
I use this feature after I share a new blog post to get an idea of real-time users who visit due to my post. I like to see what marketing methods are drawing in the most users.
The audience tab displays detailed information about your visitors such as gender and the country they are visiting from. As you can see in the left panel once you click on the audience tab a bunch of options is displayed to get in-depth details.
I utilize the overview tab most often because it gives me a summary of everything I need to know about my visitors in one tab. You can change the time frame in the upper right corner to an hourly, day, week, and month break down.
- Sessions: The number of visits to your website. If someone visits now and then revisits 10 minutes later that would be considered 2 sessions.
- Users: The number of individuals that visit your website.
- Page-Views: The total number of page views on your site. If someone views 5 different articles on your website that would be considered 5 page views.
- Average Session Duration: This is the overall average time that individuals are spending on your site during each session. The average is accumulated by all users.
- Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of users that are only visiting one page of your site and then leaving. The key is having a bounce rate under 40%. You want users spending time on your website.
- Demographics: This displays details of the country, language, and the city that your users are visiting from. You can click the demographics tab in the left panel to learn more about your users such as the percentage of males or females that are visiting your page. You can view the age group that you are attracting the most along with what your readers find interesting.
This tab gives you details of the various methods that are bringing traffic to your website. This is beneficial to check to get an idea of what marketing techniques and promotional methods are working to catch people’s attention.
- Direct: This is the percentage of users that visit your site by directly typing your domain name into the search bar.
- Social: The percentage of users that visit your website from social media such as a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram post.
- Referral: The percentage of users that were referred by other websites such as a fellow blogger.
- Organic Search: The percentage of users that discover your website/blog through keyword searches in major search engines such as Google.
You can also view details of more methods that bring users to your website through the different acquisition tabs.
This gives you more information about how the content on your website that is drawing in the most viewers. You can monitor the performance of your website such as site speed. You can view how long your website takes to load and get tips on ways to make it load faster.
This is a useful tab for people who are selling products on their website using e-commerce. You can set goals and track your sales. If you use e-commerce you will need to manually link accounts with Google Analytics to get tracking details.
Now, you’re ready to take control of your analytics!
The fact is most people do not click past the first page of results in any search engine unless they are looking for something specific or doing some sort of research. If you want your business website to be getting views being in the top search engine results is extremely important.
It takes work to be at the top just like any other aspect of life. Most people think that being at the top of search results is simply a matter of paying for a program. I hate to break it to you but it is not that simple. There are a lot of things that are factored into whether you appear in search engine results and where you fall in the ranking.
Common reasons your website may not appear
- Your website has not been indexed yet by the search engine (it is new)
- Your website is not optimized for search engines
- Your keywords and tags usage
- Your website has been removed by Google or any other major search engine
Let’s investigate further…
Your website has not been indexed yet
You may wondering what it means for a site to be indexed. Indexing a website is the process of adding each individual site to Google search. The reason your website may not have been indexed on Google is because it could be new. You may have recently published your site live and Google has not had time to send its spiders (in technical world) to crawl through your website. Google spiders crawl through you site to go through links, view content, and basically build a site map to be indexed on Google. All of this is a process, that could take a week or more. If it has been longer than a couple of weeks and your site is still not indexed on Google that is where we may have some other issues.
Your website is not optimized for search engines
The process of crawling is what determines whether your website is up to par with Google. Your content, tags, keywords, and other relevant information to your website are important when your website is being crawled through. You want your website page content to match up with relevant keywords and tags so it appears in search results. If your content does not match up with your keywords, descriptions, and tags Google will consider your page not optimized.
Your keywords and tag usage
Be sure that you are using keywords and tags relevant to your content. Keywords and tags are used to help your site be more discoverable. For example, you want to use a meta tag to write a brief summary or description of your business. This paragraph will appear in the Google summary under your website name. You do not want your description to be something random that has nothing to do with what your business is or has to offer.
Your website has been removed
If your site is not optimized for search engines such as Google. You will be removed from appearing in search results in general.
Having a website is not all about your business. Most importantly, it is about user experience. Your website should be user-friendly, responsive, mobile ready, and engaging. You want to make your potential customers intrigued by your website.
Here are 10 reasons why your website may be driving customers away…
Quality content is an extremely important factor to gain customer attention. You need to prove to your customer’s that you can offer what they want. You do not want to make it seem like you are just trying to promote your business. You want to show customer satisfaction is important to your business.
If you offer a product that could be useful to someone, display evidence to back your product up. For example, if you are selling a supplement talk about the benefits it can offer to someone and persuade them why it would be beneficial to them. Really engage your customers in the product.
If your website has poor navigation people will most likely just click out of your page. Navigating around your site should be simple and easy to get to. You can do this by displaying your navigation bar at the top of each page.
3. Load time
Slowly loading web pages can be frustrating to users. Most people do not want to spend time waiting for a page to load. They will most likely just click on to the next web page. Be sure that your web pages are loading up quickly to prevent losing customers.
You can speed up load time by…
- Reducing images and media size
- Clean and organized coding
- Reliable and well-known web hosting company
Poor web design will make visitors think that your business is not professional and up to date. Having a unique and modern web design will assure users that you value your user experience.
5. Information overload
Displaying too much information on your website and not enough pictures, media, appplications, etc. You will overwhelm your users. A lot of people will not take the time to read through a lot of information if it is not something that is of interest to them. Keeping information consise and straight to the point is most beneficial to users. It allows people to get their questions answered quickly.
6. Lack of information
Although, having too much information can be an aspect driving your customers away not having enough can be as well. Important information should be on your website such as contact details. Do not keep users questioning. Valuable information should be accessible to them on your website saving you and the customer time.
Most people nowadays have a smartphone. Therefore, they are more likely to visit your website from their mobile devices rather than a computer. It is extremely important that your website is responsive to different screen sizes and mobile friendly.
Grammatical errors will always stir people away from what you are trying to display. People will not take your business seriously and will think that you are not professional. Always be sure to proofread content on your web pages and make necessary changes before they are live.
9. Lack of reviews or testimonials
When people are looking for a new product or service they are most likely going to read reviews and testimonials. This gives them an idea of how good the product is that your selling or the service that you are offering. Without a rating people are more likely to choose a more reputable and trustworthy business who offers the same thing. When people use your products or services always request a review to display on your website.
10. Autoplaying music or ads
I am sure you get annoyed when you visit a webpage and there are annoying ads playing in the background. Your users do not like this either. When you add videos or ads to your site, have them click to play only. Doing so will improve your user experience.
I’m sure if you’re shopping around for a web developer or previously have, you have pondered why developers are expensive. Being a developer I will admit, we can be pricey but for the right developer, it will be worth it! I totally understand that it can often time be difficult to find a developer that fits in your price range. But it all comes down to you get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, in web development, there is not a “one size fits all.” Although, you can find some developers who charge a set price for a specific package it is not common. Every developer charges different and they determine their pricing on several factors. Think of it this way, when you are shopping around for a vehicle every dealership you visit is going to have a different price tag. Some of the factors that contribute to price are the type of vehicle, amenities, the location of purchase, color, etc. Shopping around for a Web Developer is along the same lines.
Typically, the cost of hiring a developer can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. Often times, when you ask a developer how much it will cost to build a website for your business you will get a response similar to, “it varies from project to project” This can be quite frustrating for the customer but the reality is, it truly does depend on numerous factors such as pages, e-commerce, time, information load, features, custom design, etc.
Here is some insight on key factors that developers use when determining a price for each project.
1. Amount of pages
Pages refer to the number of clickable pages on your website such as the home, about, and contact pages. The amount of pages needed varies for each project. Developers may charge by the page or give you a number of pages included in a particular package. If you get a certain amount of pages in a package and your project requires more the developer will usually charge you by the page for each extra one. It simply depends on your developer. As previously stated each individual developer determines their pricing differently.
*Personally, I do not offer packages. The reason for this is because I do not want my clients to feel limited on their site ability. By keeping the option open to my clients about what they want allows me to assist them in the best way possible while keeping the costs most affordable.
2. Amount of content
Content is basically all of the informative aspects that make up your website such as text copy, images, videos, etc. Some websites keep it simple and others have heavy content. This sort of falls in the previous category of the number of pages. Some developers may just charge you a set price per page regardless of how much content is on the page and others may charge you more. For example, a webpage that has basic information such as a header, 2-3 body paragraphs, a couple of images, and a standard footer would be standard. But if you were looking for a webpage that had all of the above stated, plus forms, integrations, calendars, lots of backlinks, etc. a developer may charge more as it requires more time and effort. Again, this varies from developer to developer.
*Typically I charge per page rather than by content. But if it is extensive my pricing is subject to change.
3. Custom Design
Custom design is basically a website customized to exactly how you want it. But there are different levels of customization that can affect the costs of your website. If you are hiring a developer to design your website on a builder platform such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. they may not charge as much because it is a drag and drop platform which significantly cuts down time spent working on the project.
But if your website is built on a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress and requires custom code or theme to accommodate your project needs a developer will charge more based on their time and skills needed to complete your project. This also leads into the final form of custom design which is a completely custom coded website from the ground up. This is the most expensive type of website as it requires an EXTENSIVE amount of time to custom code a website.
*My method of development is by using WordPress. The reason I use WordPress is that most of my clients have wanted the ability to manage their own websites and make minor changes/updates on their own. By building websites on WordPress it gives my clients the option to manage their own sites or hire developers for maintenance. I use premade themes that I FULLY CUSTOMIZE to my client liking and functionality through custom code that overrides the theme defaults. WordPress allows me to meet my client needs while keeping costs affordable.
For developers TIME IS MONEY. All of the factors involved in building a website require time and effort. Some developers charge hourly and others charge a fixed price with allowing for a fixed amount of time allowed for work on the project.
*I do not charge hourly for the initial development as it would cost my clients an outrageous amount of money. After consultation and a better understanding of their project requirements, I decide on an appropriate budget for the intial development. After the website has been completed, I charge hourly for maintenance/updates. This is to assure that you are not overpaying for services that are not used and rather than paying a monthly retainer for a few minor changes or inconsistent changes.
If you sell products you will want an e-commerce website. This allows users to visit your site, view your products, and checkout directly through your website. Price varies depending on how much inventory you have, time, content, and the features you want available for your customers. The cost will also vary if you are looking to simply sell products on your current website through a shop page or if you are wanting an entirely different website and design for your shop. There are tons of different features and integrations that you can add to your e-commerce stores that will often times come at an extra cost as well.
*E-commerce is included in my total cost of development if this feature is desired. Premium features/add-ons/plugins for your store will be at an additional cost.
6. Features/Plugins/ Integrations
There are countless features that you can have on your website to enhance user experience. An example of a feature on your website would be simple forms such as a contact form. On WordPress or the builder sites there are free options for site enhancements but if you are looking for more complex features such as paid memberships on your website that would be considered a premium app, feature, or plugin. Most of these options are an additional cost not based on the developer but simply the platform that is used to build your website. If a developer is building your website from scratch their price would be based on factors previously mentioned. An example of integration would be allowing users to request an uber directly from your website or business location. All of these factors are considered in development budgets.
*My pricing depends on the time and expertise used for particular features. Although, I try my best to provide you the most features for free or the cheapest if you need premium plugins or features for your website that is an additional cost.
7. Copywriting/ Content Creation
Some developers offer copywriting which is basically content creation. If you are a new business owner and unsure what content to put on your website your developer (who offers this) would come up with the content by doing research on your competitors and the content that they provide. Keep in mind not all developers offer this service. This is usually delegated to an individual who specializes in these services.
*Personally, I do not offer these services.
8. Graphic Design
Due to the fact that these services require extra software, expertise, and time to deliver quality results graphic design is calculated in web development costs if it is a service that the developer offers. Often times graphic design is not offered by developers and delegated to designers who specialize in this area.
*Personally, I do not offer these services.
9. Web Hosting
If you do not host your domain name on your own hosting provider your developer may offer to host it on theirs. Depending on the hosting plan chosen by you or your developer it is a reoccurring monthly/yearly cost. Therefore, if your developer is hosting your domain/s on their server they may charge you an additional cost as it is a reoccurring service they are responsible for paying.
*I highly recommend hosting your domains on your own server. This gives you full control over your website and protects you in the future from losing your entire website. Therefore, I do not offer to host on my server. I want to set my clients up for success from the beginning. My clients are required to host their own domains. I will walk you through the entire process if need be. There are lots of hosting providers to choose from and I know this can be intimidating when you do not know what to look for. I personally recommend Bluehost. I have partnered with them to provide my clients with cheaper rates and a free domain name for a year. If you do not already have a web host I highly recommend signing up with Bluehost by clicking here to get my discounted rate.
As you can see, the cost of a website varies on numerous factors. Every project is unique and every Web Developer charges differently based on their experience, services provided, the method of development, time spent, and features implemented on the website. Hopefully, now, you have a better understanding as to why web developers charge the prices that they do. Web development is not an easy task and requires a lot of skills, software, and time. If you want professional and quality results you have to be willing to pay.