Investing in your website can be a little confusing and intimidating at first. It is like buying a car.

We have been building websites for several years, and for every first discovery call, we like to explain all the steps, options, and costs of building a new WordPress website. In this article, I would like to share what you can expect when creating a new website with Monterey Premier.

Website Building Processes Vary Depending on the Agency

Agencies provide a wide variety of options and plans, and not all processes are alike. Some developers only build the website but leave it up to you to deal with hosting and maintenance. Others require you to sign up for their monthly maintenance and hosting plan as part of the build. The list of variety goes on and on.

I hope to explain the benefits of what & why we do what we do in this article. While I am not claiming our process is the best, after years of working with various clients and agency partners, we have found these processes & services to be the most practical for everyone involved. These are the steps we will cover…

 

Domain Name Registration

The first thing you will want to do is register your domain name. The domain name is the address of your website that people will type in the browser URL bar to get to your website. There are many options like .net, .co, .org, .tv, .info, .io, and more. However, we always recommend using the .com domain extension if possible.

Depending on the extension, prices range from $4.99 to $50.00 per year. Depending on the domain registration company, the .com extension is usually around $12.99 – $15.99 per year. Some hosting companies offer domain name registration with their hosting services, which we will discuss next.

I keep all my different domain names registered on a separate service like Hover.com, making it easier if you ever have to move hosting companies.

Hosting Services

Another cost you will have to factor in is the cost of hosting. A web hosting service provider is a business that provides the software and hardware services needed for the website to be viewed on the internet. Websites are hosted or stored on special computers called servers running 24/7.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a proper hosting provider, and there are plenty of providers to choose from. We usually recommend starting somewhere in the middle with companies like Siteground and Flywheel. Prices range from $12.00 to $35.00 per month, depending on your needs. If you start with a 4-10 page website, you could probably start with one of the smaller plans.

To better serve our clients, we partnered with Flywheel to provide our custom-managed hosting solutions that work best for WordPress and the Divi theme. Our Fully Managed Divi Hosting plans start at $55.00 per month and include the following.

  • High Performance Hosting Optimized for WordPress
  • PHP 7+
  • Fully Configured Caching
  • Custom WAF protection
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Free Staging Site
  • Hacker-free Security
  • Daily Offsite Backups

The benefit to hosting with us is that your website will be in the hands of someone who knows your website best. Most hosting companies provide limited support and often require you to hire someone like us to help resolve website-related issues that can be mistaken for hosting-related problems and vice versa. This way, you won’t have to be the one to deal with getting the runaround when something goes wrong. You will have only one point of contact for all website-related issues.

Website Building Costs

There are two general categories that our website projects usually fall into. Template Packages or Custom Designs & Builds.

Template Package

We came come up with a solution that is affordable, easy to understand, and produces a beautiful new website in less than two weeks. This option has become a popular choice for smaller businesses and organizations with a smaller budget. We have a variety of templates available to choose from.

With a template package we take the images and text content you provide and put it all together for you in the template of your choosing. Prices range from $500 – $2000 depending on the number of pages. You can read more about that service here.

Custom Design & Build

Often times, the client has custom requirements that won’t work with a premade template. We can work with you to get a good understanding of the website project requirement. From there we put together an estimate for the project based on our hourly rate of $165.00 per hour. The average hours spent on a small custom build start at around 30-40 hours.

On a custom website design, we spend most of our time working on the home page, which usually ends up being around 20-25 hours. From there, the subpages would typically require about an 1-5 hours each depending on how much content is going to be on each page. The final piece is making it responsive, or mobile friendly, and that is normally about 4-5 hours on a small 5-10 page website.

Here are a few additional factors to consider when requesting an estimate.

  • Are any special functional requirements that require custom development?
  • Will copy be provided by the client or do we need to add that to the estimate?
  • Will images be provided by the client or will we be using stock images?
  • Is this a new build from scratch or are we updating an old site with lots of content and special function?

So before you start calling around, it is good to have a budget in mind. Most basic custom WordPress brochure-type websites start at around $3500-$4000 and go up from there.

There are lower-cost alternatives to WordPress such as Wix and Squarespace, but we only specialize in custom WordPress website builds. If you are interested in learning more about why we choose to use WordPress, check out this article from WP Beginner: 6 Most Important Reasons to Use WordPress in 2022

Monthly Maintenance

WordPress and Divi sites need frequent updates for basic infrastructure, theme, plugins, and a solid hosting platform to help with speed and security. By keeping everything up to date and implementing a few extra security measures, we can help reduce the risk of your website being compromised.

Outdated or unsupported plugins can also significantly hinder your website’s performance, potentially reducing your search engine rankings and losing customers. The WordPress + Divi framework will continue to focus on improving and updating its essential products. Still, knowing what to expect with every monthly Divi update is more critical than ever.

As your monthly maintenance provider, we regularly look at the latest security best practices and ensure they are being applied to your website. Our prices start at $55 per month for hosting and up to $275 for our pro plans. You can learn more about our Monthly Maintenance and Hosting Plans here.

Some of our clients prefer to learn how to maintain their website in-house. So, you can find some essential tips for those who are also interested in maintaining their WordPress site here.

In Closing

There are several other items and costs to consider such as premium plugins, newsletter services & optins, social media sharing, event calendars and more. But hopefully this gets you pointed in the right direction and helps you understand how you need to budget for your new website.

Have any other tips, questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

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Geno is the Owner/Creative Director at Monterey Premier based in Monterey, Ca.. He has been designing websites since 1996 and enjoys all things design, traveling, hanging out with friends, encouraging other believers, and experimenting with new technologies. When not doing any of the above, you can find Geno blogging here, or writing Divi customization tutorials over on Quiroz.co.

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