In order to calculate the profits from your small business, you have to know two things. You have to know your revenue and you have to know your costs. By subtracting the costs of running your business from the money you bring in, you get your profits.
Since successful small businesses have a website, I thought I would go over some of the cost of a website. I've also tried to provide some explanations along the way.
The first thing your website will need is a name. A Domain Name - also called website address, and URL. An example of a domain name is: MyCompanySite.com.
A domain name isn't something you can actually buy and own. It's something you rent. You pay for the right to use it until the end of your lease. If you don't renew it, someone else may use it later. Costs: start at around $12 per year and go up from there.
Hosting - also called web hosting. The host, is a computer server where all of the electronic files that make up your website live. It's the job of the hosting services to make your website visible to people whenever they want to visit your website. Hosting companies rent out space on a server.
There are a number of choices available when it comes to hosting and a few things you will want to keep in mind when choosing your hosting company.
The first is, does the hosting company use the Linux operating system? Most hosting companies will give you the option between Linux and Windows, and for the most part, you will want to choose Linux. There are some websites that have to run on Windows but WordPress works on Linux.
Second, how much data do you plan on transferring and how much storage will you need? Some hosting companies will give you unlimited storage, but some like to limit how much space you get.
Third, how many websites can you have on your hosting account? This is important if you have any plans of having more than one website for your business.
Lastly, do you need dedicated hosting or can you get by with shared hosting. I guess it would be a good idea to explain the differences between the two. Shared hosting is where a lot of websites share the same resources on one server. By resources, I mean the memory, the processor speed, the bandwidth, and the total webspace. Whereas, dedicated server means you have all the resources to yourself. Of course, having a dedicated server comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
Hosting Costs: $4 - $50 per month for shared hosting. Dedicated hosting typically runs $100 - $200 per month.
Maintenance - a website should be treated like a living, breathing thing. You may be thinking that I have lost my marbles but I am one of those people that name their car. I like to treat the things that make my life easier like they matter to me. Just like a car needs maintenance from time to time in order to run optimally, so does your website.
Your website is a window into your business and can have an impact on how you are perceived. Making changes to your content, adding articles, and keeping your website fresh will go a long way towards engaging your audience. However, content isn't the only thing you should maintain.
If you are using WordPress, maintenance is even more important. Because WordPress is so popular, criminals work at hacking into them. One of the ways WordPress helps keep your website secure is by updating the platform and addressing the known vulnerabilities and bugs that criminals can use to get into your system. If you aren't running the latest version of WordPress then you run a greater risk of having security issues.
Website Maintenance Costs: $0 if you do it yourself to around $80 per month to have someone do it for you.
Okay, those are the main website services you have to pay for when you own a website. Once your business gets rolling and you find yourself having less time to add fresh relevant content or you decide to add features to your website like a shopping cart, an event calendar, a scheduling system, or any number of things that are available today, you may find yourself outsourcing tasks to others.
Prices will vary depending on what you are doing and who you are using to do it. Just remember, you usually get what you pay for.