How much does it cost to build a website and can you do it for free?
With the advancement in technology, building a website is easier than ever. You don’t necessarily need to hire a web developer to create one. In addition to the ease of building websites, it is also possible to keep all costs down and do it for free.
But, what exactly can you do? What are the different options you can choose to start a website? And how much would it cost you?
This article will discuss the potential costs of building a website, as well as some free website building options.
Things to keep in mind when building a website
There are a few things you should know before starting a website:
If you need a custom domain, you need to purchase it from a domain registrar
You need a server to host your website and files. Free accommodation options are available but come with caveats.
Choosing a web platform to create a website is essential. It depends on what kind of website you want to build, for example, e-commerce, portfolio, documentations, etc.
When hiring a web developer, it’s a good idea to ask for all the details.
It should be noted that the cost of hiring a developer, paying for a web service, purchasing a website domain name, and hosting varies depending on your country. Therefore, you might want to keep an eye on sales / discounts to keep costs down.
So it’s often a mad rush if you don’t know where to start. We recommend that you clarify the whole process of building a website, what tools you need and why you need them depending on the type of website you want to build.
Free options to build a website
While it is possible to build a website for free, there are some tips to keep in mind when finding a service that offers free web hosting:
Website load time may not be up to the mark
There will be several restrictions on functionality
Using your domain may not be possible
Security risks may be involved
Hence, we recommend that you use some of the trustworthy platforms which allow you to build websites for free. And they are:
Blogger is a platform built by Google that allows you to blog for free. You can create multiple posts, customize the design, apply predefined themes, get visitor information, add monetization, and more.
With Blogger, you don’t have to worry about hosting. It is completely free with no bandwidth limit. So you can have a website xyz.blogpost.com Where xyz.com (custom domain) accessible to millions of people without paying a dime.
WordPress.com is similar to Blogger but comes with a storage limit in the free plan, unlike Blogger.
WordPress offers the basic functionality as well as additional functionality for a premium price. For example, you can enable payments and do a lot more with a WordPress website if you upgrade.
So if you want to start with a free website and have the option to unlock more features soon, WordPress may be your choice. Compared to Blogger, you also have a huge library of designs to apply (free and paid).
Usually, developers use GitHub pages to promote their projects using a free website. However, anyone can use GitHub Pages to build and host a website for free.
GitHub Pages can be an option with a learning curve. It might not be worth everyone’s time, but if you don’t mind giving it a try, GitHub Pages can help you build a basic website for free.
Paid options for building a website
Depending on the level of complexity and manageability, you can make different choices if you want to build a variety of websites (including blogs). With the paid options, you have access to several features that you may or may not need.
Use a web host
When choosing a web host and building a website, you will need to invest at least $ 3 / month for decent shared web hosting. Before the web host, you need a domain, which costs around $ 10 to $ 15 for .com. If you go for .bz, .games or whatever, the cost will vary widely.
You can choose to install WordPress, OpenCart or any other content management system (CMS) as needed and configure the back end of the website. If you don’t want to design the website yourself, you can purchase a theme / design from the range of $ 15 to $ 65, depending on the quality and support you want.
And that’s all! You can start building a website for as little as $ 30-40, including the first monthly hosting fee. You can opt for annual (or longer) plans to keep costs down in the long run.
However, if you don’t want to handle the back-end yourself, you can go for a managed website hosting solution like Cloudways which starts out. $ 10 / month but has many different levels.
In addition to all this, additional costs may be added if you purchase premium add-ons / plugins, CDN service, security scanning solution, etc. So, $ 100 per year is a safe but low number for building and maintaining a website. However, if you want ease of use and features, you might end up paying more than $ 500 per year.
Use a website builder
If you don’t want to get rid of the hassle of choosing a web hosting provider and setting up the back end, you can go for website builders like:
Wix.com begins to $ 14 / month, while WordPress.com may be cheaper, at $ 4 / month. You can explore other website builders or their functionality.
Note that you don’t get much control with website builders, but this is the way to go if you want convenience.
Hire a developer
Whether you choose a web host or a website builder, website building just got a whole lot easier. However, if you don’t have the time to learn how to do all of these things and want to customize your website, you can hire a professional to build your website.
Hiring a developer will cost you more than the above two methods. A decent web developer will charge more than $ 30-40 per hour. So it is difficult to make an estimate, as it varies according to different requirements.
For safety, you can assume $ 500 like the cost of the first year when hiring a developer. From year two onwards, you don’t have to pay the developer, but if you want someone to handle the back-end of your site, you’ll have to pay them the same way the developers charge.
So how much does it cost to build a website?
It all depends on your requirements. If you want to build the simplest website without hiring a developer, $ 100 per year should do. And, if you’re going to add a variety of premium services and plugins, the sky’s the limit!
Either way, hiring a developer eliminates the need to invest time yourself. If you are still not sure, you can always try the free methods to build your website and find out how it all works.
Want to make your WordPress site look amazing but can’t afford a developer? Try these WordPress page builders instead.
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