If you are looking to start a new website, this will probably cost more to develop than if you are looking to develop an existing one. This is not always the case because if you are looking to make fundamental changes to an already complicated structure, this can sometimes end up costing more than if you are starting from scratch. This is often why when you or your web design company come up with the initial specification and development plan for your new website, you really must make sure you are 100% happy with it, because if you try to start changing things half way through, this can cause major issues.
When it comes to website development, the clue is really in the word development. You are really just making something from scratch or making something better, something all webmasters should strive to do once they take control of their website.
You might end up spending money of developing the website in terms of:
Look And Feel – From time to time all websites can benefit from a new look or a fresher image, something that really just shows that you are continuing to improve your website periodically. With the rapid development of technology, new coding skills and increased designer styles, the website you put live a year ago is probably in danger of beginning to look out of date.
Database Expansion – With any website running on a database, you might find that you want to gather extra information or that you may want your database to be able to handle more information or do more for you. Developing a database structure can be incredibly difficult once you have begun using one, so try to make sure your database is future proof, as much as is possible, from day one.
Content Management System – A lot of our work at the moment is giving webmasters, business owners and site managers the chance to control their own website, by converting their static website into a CMS. This gives the user greater control and means they are no longer waiting for their web design to make changes or update pages, like once was the only way of working a website.
Content Writing – Developing your website means taking time to either write more and more content or pay someone else to do it. Your website needs to develop in terms of content and usability, so it is important you do set aside either time or money to develop the content for your site.
Search Engine Optimization – A decent SEO campaign is well worth the money, whether you spend the money on getting a specialist SEO company to do it for you, or you decide to do it yourself. Developing your website is not always about what you do on the website, it is also about what you do off of it, things like link building, social bookmarking, social media and article / press release submission.
Advertising – One of the other website development costs that are sometimes overlooked is advertising. Developing your website means not only improving how it looks, works and feels, but also about driving more people to your website and improving its profitability and success. Advertising costs should be taken into account from day one, in terms of how you are going to spend your money, cost per click, offline advertising etc.
Although it is nearly impossible to know how much your site is going to cost you in terms of development for the next five years, it is really important you have some idea about how much money you are going to set aside to make sure your site is continually being developed, even if it is only minor changes that make the site more stable or effective.
The moment a site goes live is not the end of the development process, it is only the beginning.