Creating a Web site doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
The costs vary depending on the level of complexity and can range in price from $200 to the upper hundreds of thousands.
The nuts and bolts of developing a Web site include four basic steps.
The first is choosing a domain name. This can be the company's name, or another word or phrase that customers (or people you want to reach) will remember. Investigate potential trademark or domain name conflicts with other companies or individuals. Registering the name generally costs $35 per year, depending on the service used. Be sure the domain is registered in your name as owner, the tech part can be your web provider.
Actual site development is next, and it requires the most planning.
You should begin by determining what it is you want to accomplish with the site and who will use it. This will help you to decide whether to develop the site yourself or to hire a designer.
For a simple site that will have little interaction and require minimum updating, you might decide to be in charge of development and maintenance.
Associations and groups offer online courses for site development. For a more complicated site with multiple pages, hiring an outside professional would be more cost-effective.
Since the industry is relatively young, prices for Web-site development vary greatly between designers and firms.
Once you have determined the objectives, you can use these objectives as a basis to
request proposals from designers.
You also should ask who specifically will be working with you. Will it be a single person, a freelancer or a team that includes a graphic designer, software specialist, marketing professional, etc.?
As for budget, you should keep in mind that prices rise with complexity. On average, a company spends between $3,000 and $15,000 to develop a site. A individual may spend $200 to $350 for a simple personal site.
Another thing to consider when choosing a designer is how he or she turns over the maintenance of the site to the customer and what support he or she will provide after the initial design.
The third step is to find a company to host the domain name.
Fees for this service are based on
bandwidth. The median amount is about $29 per month. ($49.95 up for e-commerce) There are many choices and you should compare prices with what you get in return. i.e., MB of Storage Space; number of email accounts;
control panel for your use; counter availability; your own cgi bin; e-commerce usage; and more.
The last step is getting the word out
about the site by "optimizing all pages" (separate service), placing it in search engines and web
directories, a relatively inexpensive service.
You should also incorporate the Web address into your advertising, business cards, letterheads and envelopes.