As a business owner, chances are you already understand the importance of having a quality website that is engaging for your consumers. However, you might nonetheless have difficulty understanding all of the technical jargon that goes along with running a website.
Costs are important to every business owner, and you want to make sure that you are getting what you pay for when it comes to your website and other technology costs. However, if you do not speak the language, how can you possibly evaluate the cost of building and maintaining a website?
There are several factors that will impact the quality and the cost of creating and maintaining a website. Here we will discuss some of the technical terms that you should know when trying to understand website and technology costs. While you do not need to go into a deep understanding of code, deployment scripting, or network protocols, there are some basics that should be understood so that you do not end up with a website and software combination that do not function well together.
What is Being Built?
You have likely heard the term UX design but may not know exactly what it is. Essentially, this will be the blueprint to the website. Just like a blueprint for a house will include plumbing and electricity, the blueprint for a website will include code and server configuration as well as a content management system.
The backend of the website is all of the things that no one sees when visiting the website. The front end of the website is what is seen when visitors go to your site. How the backend is organized will affect how the front end looks and operates, which is why it is important to make sure to spend time creating a well designed and functional backend. It is important to note that oftentimes a change on the backend can drive up the costs of development.
Choice of CMS
The choice of one content management system over another plays a large role in not only cost, but also in the time and effort that it will take to build the website. In addition, the choice of CMS also impacts your company’s operations.
For example, there is a large difference in a standard CMS and what is available through third party modules. In addition, the choice of CMS affects the people that are going to be using it each day. A CMS that is difficult to work with is a drain on productivity and costs and can become a burden on your site administrators.
For most of our clients, the CMS that makes the most sense is WordPress. While it began as a simple blogging platform, it has evolved into a robust CMS that now powers about a quarter of the internet. WordPress is incredibly user-friendly. It’s also much more adaptable than any other CMS, because of the hundreds of thousands of plugins that can add off-the-shelf functionality.
Another cost to consider is where your website will live, or rather where it is hosted. There are many hosting options from which to choose. For most websites, a shared hosting plan or a cloud based solution will be the best option as this will leave the maintenance and administration up to the host provider and all you will have to worry about is the CMS and website.
While most web designers and marketing firms who build websites bill their clients—sometimes at exorbitant rates—for hosting, we choose to do things differently. Every website we build comes with free hosting for the first year, after which we only charge what it costs us. There’s no markup. Learn more about the Hub & Spoke difference.
How to Learn More
The above covers the basic costs of running a website. While web technology can be a bit confusing, you do not have to become a technologist in order to make good decisions when it comes to running your website. If you currently have a technology expert on your team that can bridge the gaps, that is great.
However, if you do not it is important to learn the basics and contact an outside source in order to come up with a technology plan that will work best for your company.
Looking for help understanding it all? We’re here to be your St. Louis marketing agency, helping you chart the best course for growth online and offline.