In this article we’ll explore a bit further the actual costs both real and seemingly hidden, well not so much hidden but often not considered, forgotten or perhaps deliberately ignored. If you’re reading this and hoping you’ll find out how much a Creospace website costs you’ll be disappointed, the answer is still very much project specific or ‘how long is a piece of string?’.
Having said that the previous article made it clear it’s not a cheap process. You can get a ‘website’ for next to nothing (or free if you DIY) but whether it will do anything for you is doubtful. So here’s a brief list of what you should be budgeting for in your business plan.
Branding: This article kind of assumes you’ve got this in hand already but just a gentle reminder if not, you’d be surprised to know that many don’t.
Planning: There’s possibly no monetary cost to this (unless you hire someone to help) but there’s certainly a time one. You’ll need to set some solid blocks of time set aside to plan and get your thoughts down on paper. A marketing plan is a good start and then look at writing a brief for your shortlist of chosen agencies. You may want to start to plan your site and its sections/pages and start to write the content for it.
Deposit: Expect to pay a large deposit, up to 50% of the total cost up front.
Content: Content comes first and if you’re not writing the textual content yourself you’ll need to hire a copywriter to do this for you. Bear in mind they are unlikely to be able to book you immediately so plan ahead. A copywriter might charge between £80 and £150 per a4 page of text. Obviously if you write it yourself then you can just get it proof read and jiggled about a bit. We always recommend the use of a copywriter regardless.
Then there’s photography. Do you have products that need photographing? You need them to look their best! What about yourself, a nice head and shoulders, also other team members? People like to see real people and so photos of yourself and your team are vital. Product shots can be £20-£30 each or a day’s shoot can be £350-£500 (or actually a lot more there’s a few variables to consider). Don’t forget if they need a lot of post processing that’s on top.
You may also need some general shots from stock photography, budget £10-£30 per photo for those depending on your needs.
What about video? If you’re selling a service or a product that has a experiential aspect to it then video is essential to let the website visitor see more than just a flat photo. Maybe you have instructions or product demonstrations that would be better seen as video. Maybe you want to give your customers bonus content once they’ve purchased from you. pricing here is tricky but you should be allowing around £1000 – £1500 per 3 minute video.
Hosting: You’ll need hosting to put the website on. Depending on your project will depend on what type you need and indeed how much. For a simple marketing site then £35-£50 per annum will be fine but if you need something a bit more beefy then the options vary from £50-150 pcm for a virtual server or £400 upwards pcm for a dedicated server.
The Balance Don’t forget that you’ll need to pay the balance before the website goes live. People do actually forget to budget that or spend the money beforehand!
Post Launch Marketing This is the biggie that many seem to forget. Once your website is launched and ready for its first visitors how are you going to tell people it exists? There are of course many methods and we’re not going to detail them all here but only to say you need to consider at least one of them and ideally a selection of them.
Pay Per Click – Google adwords etc. There’s a monthly management fee if you hire someone to do it and then your actual advertising spend
Social Media – Costs might involve getting some professional graphics done and then of course your time.
SEO Getting your website higher in the search engine rankings. This depends on your product and how competitive the search term is but again you’re looking at a initial fee and then an ongoing management fee.
Traditional advertising:- Magazines, Press, Radio, TV
Other marketing materials: Leaflets etc
So there you go, lots to budget for! We hope you found this useful and of course if you think of anything else or indeed have any comments please do leave them below we’d love to hear from you.
NB: We realise that third party services can cost a lot more and indeed you may know of someone offering it for a lot less. It’s just a guide.