Because many people do ask. And those who don't, keep on wondering until they ask. So here is the beginners' guide to different costs associated with having and running a website for small business successfully.

Approximate costs and important considerations

Task/Phase Description Approximate cost range Important considerations
Domain name The address a visitor types in his browser to reach your website e.g. Rs 500-Rs 800 per annum Cost depends on domain registrar and type of domain booked. For example .com cost around Rs. 600 p.a. while .co may cost Rs. 1500 p.a.
Email accounts To have mail IDs for your domain like Generally email accounts that come with hosting package would suffice if there is no higher/specific requirements. Google Apps provides 10 free mail accounts for individuals and small businesses. Storage capacity per mail account, reliablity since email is one of the most important business tools today, data safety, POP/SMTP support, mobile support etc.
Hosting To store files of your website on a web server so people can access them 24x7x365 Highly subjective as cost depends on many parameters. For a small website, Rs. 800 to Rs. 1500 per annum is considered reasonable. Server reliability and security, total storage space, monthly data transfer, server side scripting and database support etc.
Design and development Website design and web apps development as per your requirements Highly subjective though around Rs. 15000-20000 for a 10-15 pages professional quality website can be considered reasonable Quality of the website, process of design and development, features, tools and technologies used are the key factors
Promotion Making the website popular on Internet and to attract more qualified visitors Costly exercise which depends on many parameters Type of product, media selection (free or paid), budget allocation, strategic or tactical approach, innovation infused etc.
Website performance measurement (Analytics) How your website is performing against the set goals Cost is subjective though Rs. 2000 per month for a 10-15 pages website can be considered reasonable The most important factor is whether the website is created with clear goal oriented link structure
Website optimization Enhancing the website from technical and psychological point of view to maximize goal attainment Cost is subjective though Rs. 2000-3000 per month for a 15 pages website can be considered reasonable Many types of optimization possible - loading speed, user experience, contents, conversion etc.

Hope this article will help you make well-informed decisions.

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