Your basic website expenses will vary depending on what your goals are. Having said that there two components that every website must have. You have to have a domain name ( your sites name) and a web host ( the company that stores your files).
Domain names are purchased on a yearly basis and they are very affordable. You can find domain names as cheap as $6.95 and most registrars run specials from time to time when you can purchase them even cheaper.
Think of your domain name as an advertisement for your business so you want to make sure to choose a name that speaks to your audience, contains your sites main keyword/site concept, and is easy to remember.
One way of keeping your basic website expenses to a minimum is to have your registrar also host your site but its not totally necessary. When you do order your perfect domain for your business you'll first need to check to see if its available and you'll have choices between .com., .net, .org., and other options.
Some people who aren't concerned with the basic website expenses will purchase all three of the classic endings and even different formats of their domain name. By formats I'm referring to yoursite.com, your-site.com, and your_site_.com. Then they set up a 404 redirect page so if the wrong domain was typed into the browser they won't loose visitors.
For this sites domain name I used www.GoDaddy.com . Since they aren't hosting the site I set up domain masking so when my site is shown in the web browser it shows my business name and page name as opposed to the hosts name included in the URL. Its much more professional looking and you should do this too.
As mentioned earlier your web host is the company that stores your files. They also enable you to have e-mail accounts, scripts, publish your files to the web, and more functions. Most web hosts charge on a monthly basis but there are some that are yearly subscriptions.
Depending on what your plans are for your site you can keep your basic website expenses low by choosing a plan with limited space. I don't recommend it though; but the nice thing is you can always upgrade when you need more space.
One of my other sites is hosted by BlueHost.com which doesn't offer a monthly payment option but I chose them because they answered my two main questions. Extended packages, and no limits on the data base. I knew when preparing my website that a forum would serve my niche well and BlueHost provided me with everything I needed and then some.
BlueHost costs $107.40/yr. Or the equivalent to $8.95/mo. which is very reasonable. HostGator has a similar plan and they charge $12.95/mo. But they are an excellent hosting company too. For me the final decision came down to customer support. The live chat with BlueHost is fast and, in my experience, they solved my problem efficiently.
One final note on hosting. So far your basic website expenses are quite affordable. If your looking to build your website on a shoestring budget there are free hosting companies out there. The problem is you don't own your domain, your a limited on what you can do with your site, and more importantly they are unprofessional looking.
You've probably seen some of these sites with drop down banners, tons of ads, and if you ever looked in the browser you can see the URL advertises the host company and not you. Your trying to build a business online one that you can make a living with; so free hosting should not even be a consideration
Now we're getting into some non basic website expenses but its worth mentioning because outsourcing is an option if you have a project or idea that is out of your realm. I was never good at graphics and design when I first started a business online and it was frustrating.
But like most people just starting out I was working on a limited budget and gave it a shot on my own. When I look back on it now I realize how much valuable time I wasted trying to solve my problem on my own. Time that would have been better served writing more content.
If you plan on outsourcing be sure to research your programmer or author if its content. Look into their resume if they have one, go to forums and hear what others have to say about them. If you know people who have outsourced ask for referrals. Word of mouth is always best.
Some programmers will take advantage of your naivety and charge you for items that normally are free or even charge higher rates. The bottom line is do your research before you make any decisions on outsourcing.
If you find yourself in need of help RentaCoder.com. is worth a look. What I like about this site is it puts you in control over your projects. The way it works is you submit your project ( bid request) to the site and coders from all over the world will respond with a bid. There are no registration fees and your coder doesn't get paid until you are satisfied with the project.
Its not unusual to have up to 20 bids in less than a day and you can check your coders profile/resume before accepting them to do your project. I've seen projects from less than $100.00 to as much as $50,000.00 so there is no limit on what you can submit.
So if you need help with design, an Ebook, power point presentations, or more advanced coding RentaCoder.com is a great option.
If you have little knowledge of coding it would be wise to invest in a good web editor such as Dreamweaver which is the most popular. Many site builders and content management systems, thanks to web 2.0, have built in editors but you are limited on what you can accomplish. You should always try to learn some of the coding on your own this way you know how all this works but it can get complicated.
There are some free web editors available on line too but just like anything else free you will be limited on what they offer. But you can build a site using them. I've showed you some basic website expenses and some non basic website expenses that you will find useful as your online business develops.
Keep moving forward and before you know it you'll start making decent money online.
Return to Preparing Your Website page from Basic Website Expenses
Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it. Sam Ewing