In the days of selling products off your Instagram page, flagship courses in a Facebook group, or a paid newsletter on Substack, is creating a website really necessary in this day and age?

The short answer is yes, 100%! Read on to find out why! <!–more–>

Starting a business from social media is a popular way to get started because it does something really important for a business – finding customers and creating demand for your services and/or products. Without these things, you don’t have a business! We get it!

But, do you want to rent or own your website?

Once you start to rely on your income, it’s poor business practise because you can’t rely on someone else’s platform. Your account can get shut down, or your audience can disappear if you don’t have control over it. We had a client who had a facebook group with 20,000 targeted customers and leads when the group got shut down without any advance notice or consideration. She had no way to contact anyone. She had built her business on Facebook, and when Facebook changed it’s policies and decided she wasn’t following them properly, they shut her down. She had no contact addresses. No email database. No website to send them to. And guess what else? She found it very hard to even get a response from Facebook. There was no one to speak to about it or reasons why.

Building your website on someone else’s platform is similar to renting a house. Your landlord can decide to sell and you are out on the street with no roof over your head. At least with a landlord they are legally required to give you notice. With online business we haven’t caught up yet. We think it’s a shaky foundation at best for your business and livelihood.

Even on other platforms like Squarespace, Wix and Shopify you lack control over the features and the architecture of the platform. For example it’s very hard to customise a Shopify site and it can cost a business thousands to do so because it requires hand-coding to modify it. Though it’s cheap to start a store on Shopify, it’s one of the most expensive platforms to hire custom development for. Squarespace requires advanced styling knowledge to get a custom designed site and charges more for eCommerce and then you might be waiting for features to be developed, Wix is notoriously slow to develop new features.

Choose a website platform that you have control over

While WordPress isn’t perfect either since there is so much variation in what you can build, if you are serious about your business, it is still the best platform for creating your website because you own it. Just bare in mind, that with ownership comes responsibility. And that means instead of another company looking after the technical aspects, you’ll need to set funds aside to ensure its technically sound and up to date. But having this under your own control means you have the ability to more easily grow your site into anything you want. Add on eCommerce, online courses, sales pages, funnels, email opt-ins and newsletters, its all possible. or

First off, let’s be clear. We are talking about – the software that builds websites, not which is the business that provides wordpress blog for free. This isn’t business website software. It’s like You want your own version of WordPress, which you can get from a host provider such as us or another company like Flywheel or Kinsta (both host providers we recommend). *Note: only helps you create a free website with no plugins. uses plugins to create endless capabilities and features you may need, but they require maintainance by someone with technical knowledge. That’s why we offer to manage your website for you – we look after the all technical updates so you don’t have to. We take on the responsiblity of ensuring your site is online 24/7 so you don’t have a client telling you your website is down, or you brought your own site down with a plugin conflict. You’ll also get a real person at the other end of the line to support you with your site, not a 1-800 number.

We are upfront about this because we want customers to know from the beginning what it costs to run and maintain their website, just like you’d want to know what it will cost to run your car before you buy it. You put gas and oil and air in your car to keep it running smoothly, and your website needs attention as well to perform it’s best.

Websites are not a one and done thing like a brochure.

They are an ongoing cost, but also an ongoing opportunity to change and grow right along with your business.

Having a plan in place to keep it up to date is where our clients see the most success! And guess what, we are right there with you to help you care for it and grow it as well.

What is the cost of running a website in 2023?

We recommend budgeting at least $50-$100 per month to keep your site running smoothly to protect your investment, plus $59 per year to license Elementor Pro, as well as keeping your domain name up to date each year (and possibly your business email too). All up If that’s too expensive then you might want to consider another platform while you build more revenue in your business. Once you are set on that baseline, you can grow it from there and start focusing on bringing traffic to your site to raise awareness and make more sales.

An example of your website startup costs – under $500:

$299 a premium, professionally designed wordpress template with Elementor Pro
$69 managed website hosting, maintenance and support
$59 Elementor Pro License (an annual cost)
$25 Domain Name (a typical annual cost with most domain registrar’s like GoDaddy or Namecheap or Google)
$5 a professional business email from Google workspace
$19 Legal policies (use our policy provider or contact your lawyer)

Under $500

An example of monthly website costs – under $125:

$69 managed website hosting, maintenance and support (based on our level 1 tier)
$5 a professional business email from Google workspace
$29 email marketing software (which we feel is also a must to keep in contact with clients/customers)
$19 Legal policies (a monthly fee that keeps your policies up to date regardless of legal changes (US, Canada only)

Under $125 per month

We are pretty sure you spend more per month running your car, or maintaining your house. A website is another ongoing cost you need to consider.

These figures above are the minimum costs based on our recommended software and plugins. Many designers and developers won’t mention these at the outset, which we’ve found most people want to know the true cost of running a legitimate website. It definitely can go up from there, but these prices will get you started online with a professional setup. If you compare this to a brick and mortar business with rent, insurance and payment terminals, this is one of the most affordable ways to start a business. But, this is also why so many people are doing it but then they get disillusioned with the true cost. They end up realising you can’t start up a business for free, no matter the marketing and hype of domain name companies and web building platforms might suggest!

Our agency has been designing websites since 2002. Surprisingly, these costs above haven’t changed in 20 years. Considering how much revenue you can make online, and how much of your business relies on your website, we think this is a very safe investment for your business. Many of our customers end up investing much more because it makes good business sense to outsource to an expert. But we want you to know it’s not impossible with lower funds too!

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