Hackernoon logo💵 The Cost of a Bad Website by@dylanalbertazzi

💵 The Cost of a Bad Website

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@dylanalbertazziDylan Albertazzi

I'm Dylan, a Cloud Engineer. I use my background in tech to share technology that grows businesses.

There are over 2 billion websites in the world. By the time you read this, hundreds of new websites will be on the internet. With so much competition we're long past the days of putting up a website and getting automatic business. 

This article is a realistic overview of the importance of having a good website if you’re a small business. There is a cost, but it can be the most important investment you make in your business.

Hi, I’m Dylan and I’ve been building websites for small businesses for over six years.

🚗 Owning a website is like owning a car. You get what you pay for. Also, if you're like me and don't know much about cars, going to the shop is scary because I have no idea if I'm getting ripped off. When I was 16 I got in a car crash. We were all okay, by my car wasn’t. It was the most beautiful car I'd ever seen. A blue 2007 Subaru Forester, LL bean edition. I had been saving up for it ever since I got an allowance. 

Long story short, six months after I got it, I ran my engine right into the bed of my old baseball coach’s wife’s truck. Right, what are the odds? The worst part was that I had no idea what to expect to pay in repair costs. More stuff was broken than I even knew existed. 

🤔 When I think about it, a lot of people with small businesses probably feel in the dark about website costs like I do at an auto shop. If you’re in the dark you’re probably also frustrated your website isn’t performing better. So let's shed some light on what a successful website takes so you don’t feel like me going into an auto shop.

 There are three main categories.

  • Building Cost
  • Fixed Costs
  • And Momentum Costs

Building Cost 🛠

Building cost is the price of building your website before it launches. This is probably the only cost you’re anticipating. This is the design, writing on the pages, the flow of the site, and sometimes photography. Thanks to companies like SquareSpace and Wix you can do this by yourself. 

If you’re going to go for it on your own, I highly recommend checking out my other article about how to convert traffic into customers. If you know what you’re doing, this is probably the best option for you because it’s free

If you haven’t built websites in the past, I’d recommend hiring someone who knows how to turn the traffic on your website into customers. ‼️

❗️Building a great website is an investment into your company and hiring someone who knows what they’re doing can lead to far more business than it cost you. As an example, I re-did a website about a year ago that had been plateauing for years. About a year after the re-design, they reported a 57% increase in the customers they’ve received from the website. The momentum of their business has well exceeded the cost of me redoing their site. 

So how much does it cost? Building costs are free if you do it yourself. You can hire someone on fiverr.com for $15 an hour but you are taking a bit of a gamble on quality. Hiring an experienced professional will be in the thousands of dollars range depending on the project. The importance is to find someone who has a proven track record of success.

Fixed Costs 🔓

These are the smallest costs and the only ones that are required. The three fixed costs are your domain, hosting, and SSL certificate. Your domain name like “youtube.com” or “dylanalbertazzi.com” costs about $15 annually. Next are hosting costs. If you think about it, someone has to store your website and connect it to the internet. That is what hosting is and you pay for it by the month, usually around $15 if you’re using Wix or Squarespace. Lastly, SSL adds security to your website, shows the lock in the url bar, and is about $10 per year.

Momentum Costs 🚀

Lastly are momentum costs. This is a focus on driving more people to your website. Building momentum is optional and many websites don’t invest in it. Like I said in the beginning, there have been hundreds of websites added to the internet since you started this article. 

Even worse than that, ranking on Google is a winner take all game. The research shows that over 75% of people click on the first three websites Google shows. That means if you’re not one of the top three, you’re competing for scraps. 

Momentum costs go into ranking at the top of Google search results. If you want to show up at the top of Google when someone searches for what you offer, you need to put in the work to be at the top. In my experience as a web developer, this is the sorest point for many clients. 

They don’t know how to rank high on Google themselves, and many people will rip you off promising they know how to. 

If you don’t want to hire anyone right now I’d suggest keeping it simple and focused by making a large effort to get lots of five-star Google reviews for your business. 

If you want to take it to the next level, find someone you trust with past experience growing websites. If they can’t show you proof of delivering in the past, they’re probably not going to do it for you. Also, make sure they provide analytics of the momentum of your site on an ongoing basis to make sure you’re getting a return on your investment.

Momentum Hiring Checklist

✅ Proven Track Record of Experience

✅ They Provide Monthly Analytics Of Your Site

What about the cost? Like the first option, you need to find someone with a track record of success you can trust. For a high-quality SEO you can expect to pay several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars per month depending on your business. Once again this can more than pay for itself. Remember 75% of people click on the first three websites. You need to put in the work if you don’t want the scraps.

🥳 And that’s it. If you get down those three areas, you’re going to be rocking it! You we’re probably looking for an exact dollar number, but no one can give that to you without knowing your exact situation. Like a car, there’s not one price and you get what you pay for. Hopefully, you feel less like me in an auto shop and can start the process knowing what costs to expect, and the jobs to be done if you want a successful website. 

Feel free to ask specific questions in the comments or through email and I’ll quickly get back to you. 🚀

Have a great day, we’ll see you next time!

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