What are the most common operating expenses of an online business?

business owners expenses of an online business

Whether you’re taking your business to the next level by building a website, or making your first steps onto the e-commerce world, it’s important to get the foundations of building a website right. Considering that, by 2040, it’s been estimated that 90% of purchases will be through e-commerce, it’s key that you have a smoothly running website, with a beautiful website design. 

If there are cracks in your website – maybe it takes too long to load, or maybe the website design is slightly off – then people are less likely to stay on your website, meaning a lower number of users are going to purchase your products or services. To prevent this from happening you’ll need to make sure your e-commerce business is set up correctly – but how can you do this, and how costly is it all?

SEO strategy 

SEO – search engine optimisation – is paramount if you want your online business to be visible on the internet. The benefits of SEO are fairly simple: the higher Google ranks you on its search engine, the more likely it is that you will see a higher flow of traffic to your site. In fact, Moz has calculated that the top ranking site alone will receive 30% – 40% of traffic. 

What is slightly confusing about SEO is the strategy behind it. Some people will therefore employ SEO specialists to help boost their rankings, but this is a very expensive option. However, you don’t need to spend thousands a month to increase your SEO rating. High quality content and link building are one of the key things that Google looks for when indexing sites: by writing blogs which answer popular queries, containing keywords that are commonly searched for, you’re telling Google that your content is relevant and therefore should be listed highly on its search engine. 

SSL certificate 

An SSL certificate is a must when building an e-commerce website, as it shows the site user that your website is protected, and therefore the visitor’s personal information is safe. For e-commerce purposes, this is incredibly important: no one will want to hand over their card details if they think hackers can infiltrate the site and steal their details. 

From an SEO perspective, having an SSL certificate is also essential: Google won’t want to index a site which isn’t secure and therefore poses a risk to its users. It will sometimes even block visitors from accessing your site, meaning it is almost impossible to have a steady flow of traffic to your site. 

Although it is essential to have an SSL certificate for your online business to be visible, it can be expensive. If you’re coding your website from scratch then you will have to purchase one through a third party, and most website builders charge an extra fee for an SSL certificate, on top of site builder costs. However, at Go Sitebuilder we include this within our package completely free of charge!

Website design fees 

Of course, you will want a stunning website design to not only advertise your services or e-commerce section, but also to advertise your brand. A professional site design means site users are much more likely to view your online store as one that can be trusted. If you don’t have any knowledge of  website design, then you may consider hiring a graphic designer. 

However, this is a pricey option – the typical website design prices range from £2,000 – £6,000. Using a website builder that offers ready to go site designs can be a much more economical option: not only does it give a high-quality finish, but you can also customise your design, making your website personal to you. 

E-commerce section 

Undoubtedly, you need an e-commerce section for your online store: if you want to sell your products online, then you need a safe and secure checkout for people to easily access. The software service prices of having an e-commerce platform can vary from £20 a month to thousands of pounds. Most website builders also charge you extra on top of your standard monthly fee if you need an e-commerce platform, eating into your budget for your online store further. However, Go Sitebuilder offers this all as part of your package, meaning there are no hidden costs anywhere!

Building your website takes a lot of time and knowledge, and can be very expensive. Our website builder takes away the stress, and the potentially extortionate costs of starting a website by yourself, making us one of the best cheap website builders, without compromising on quality. Our free 14-day trial lets you test this for yourself – give it a go today!

How much does it cost to pay someone to build a website?

Two female entrepreneurs sitting side by side. One is holding a mobile phone and on is writing on a notepad. Both are looking at the notepad with a laptop in front of them

When looking to create your own website, one of the options is to pay a web developer to design it for you. This will require minimal technical input from you and will result in a website that is tailor-made to you and your company’s needs, but it comes at a cost. 

Paying a web developer to create a custom-designed website starts at around £5000, but can turn into tens of thousands for a high-quality product. If you don’t have coding experience, be aware that you will have to pay the developer for any and all maintenance on the site, which could be costly and time-consuming. You’ll also have to pay for your own domain and web host, which costs a minimum of £70 with a shared host.

It’s also worth noting that the basic overall design may not look that different from a website builder either, as many of the pre-loaded themes are based on high-quality designs. 

What are the benefits of getting a custom-designed website?

If you already have a detailed vision of how you want your website to look and function, and you’re not willing to compromise, then a custom-built website may be the only way for you to get the precise design you’re after. In this way, you’ll be able to liaise with the developer to make sure it’s exactly what you want.

A developer also does a lot more work behind the scenes than just creating a pretty design. An experienced designer will help you avoid potential technical and financial potholes, as well as tailoring their work according to your budget level, coding experience, and time restrictions. 

If you’re just a small company with a limited budget, however, the price difference between a custom-built website and a website builder is vast. If you don’t have the financial resources to fund and maintain a tailor-made website, it might be worth going for a website builder that handles the domain name, web host and design for you. 

Why not try it for yourself? For 14 days, you can register for a free trial at Go SiteBuilder, which allows you to create your own website from beautiful preloaded themes, with a domain and five email addresses to get your company’s website up and running in no time!

How much does it cost to build a website?

A male and female coffee shop owners sat in their shop at a table adding up their monthly costs

It’s impossible to answer the question of how much a website will cost without first working out what you need from your website. There’s no point in shelling out thousands of pounds for a custom-made website if you’re just going to be uploading blogs, but equally, you won’t be able to rely on a free website-builder if you need online shopping capability. Let’s have a look at the basics that you’ll need to think about, and how much they’ll cost. 

What’s essential?

Domain name: The annual cost of a domain name can vary considerably, but the average price is between £8-10.

Web hosting: This is the server that allows users to visit your site, and affects the speed and reliability of your website. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, which costs around £5 a month, but there is also Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, which offers better reliability, security and performance than a shared server, but can cost between £18-80 per month.

How are you going to build your site?

This section will be strongly influenced by your budget, your technical skills, and your time. Getting a custom-built website costs thousands of pounds, whereas coding your own site is cheap but takes time and needs technical ability, and could end up looking unprofessional if you’re not an experienced developer. We recommend using a semi-automated website creator. 

Website builders make it easy to create high-quality websites with ready-made and customisable themes, and their monthly prices often include the domain name and web hosting already. Many of these offer free plans or free trial periods, offering paid premium features for a monthly fee between £5 and £15. If your site needs to function as an online shop, then expect to pay an extra fee for this. 

When you make your decision, it’s important to budget realistically. You may have the money this quarter for a premium website, but remember that this will be an ongoing cost year after year. It’s best to start small and then add premium features as and when you need them. Write down a list of all the features you want on your website, then prioritise them accordingly – what is necessary right now? What can wait until the website is more established?

If you want to try out a website creator that gives you a domain, web hosting and five free email addresses, then Go Sitebuilder offers a 14-day free trial, and costs just £9.99 a month after that. Why not register today?

How much does it cost to launch a brand?

Young, female florist writing out the costs of launching her new brand in her flower shop alongside her laptop. She is wearing a black and white striped top.

One of the main starting points of any new business or new product or service launch is to create a ‘brand’. This will form the foundation of the website you use to attract and retain customers, and any other sales and marketing tools you use. You’ll use your branding as a fun way to stand out from the crowd. But, how much does it cost to launch and promote your brand? This can depend on how much you’re willing to take the ‘Do It Yourself’ approach!

Firstly, let’s explore what is meant by brand.

Creating a brand identity

Some people think that “brand” and “logo” are interchangeable words. This is not the case! Your brand is the complete identity of your company, product or service. For example, what are your Unique Selling Points (USPs) and where does your business stand in the marketplace? This will end up revolving around the benefits you offer your customers. Is it the cheapest? easiest to use? most reliable? or perhaps the most innovative? The answers to these questions will help you start developing your brand.

When you have worked up a detailed brand profile, you then translate that into a brand identity. This includes the fonts and colours you can use to best illustrate and express yourself. For example, deep blues are often associated with reliable financial and professional firms, whereas yellows and oranges often portray tech and futuristic companies. All of that being said, you can use whatever colour resonates with who your company truly is.

So now you’ve covered the nitty-gritty, the “who am I” stage. The next step is to find a logo that sums up your brand identity. Many include a tag line to reinforce USPs (for example, ‘Just Do It’ – Nike or ‘Because You’re Worth it’ – L’Oréal).

Using your brand in your website design

Now that you’ve worked up a brand identity and clear statements about your company or product, you’re ready to create your own website. You can use your chosen colour palette as the basis of page design, varying shades and intensities to draw attention to calls to action and other important features.

It’s highly recommended that you keep your brand consistent across your website. This includes avoiding reversed logos as web design features or introducing colours that aren’t in your chosen palette. This will help solidify the look and feel and stop your site from confusing or distracting its users.

What budget is needed?

Creating and launching a brand can cost a massive amount of money – IF you’re a big company with deep pockets and global ambitions from day one. However, it can also be done on a shoestring if your goals are more manageable!

You could create your brand identity and statements yourself, perhaps using a local graphic artist to build a high impact logo for you. Though there are free online tools for DIY logo creation. Once you have your logo and all its support information, you can use Go Sitebuilder to create a professional website that dovetails brilliantly with your fabulous new brand!

If you haven’t started building your website yet or you’re still looking for the right tool for you, check out our free trial of Go Sitebuilder. You won’t need any previous technical knowledge as Go Sitebuilder has been created with busy small business owners in mind – you can even build it right from your mobile phone!