HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE?

Most consumers are looking online for information that will help them make smarter purchasing decisions. This buying behavior trend emphasizes the importance of a website for today’s businesses. Before building a website for your e-commerce business, it is important to know the costs involved. This will ensure you budget adequately for the project. Some business owners think building a website is a one-off thing. You just build it and you go to sleep. However, there are fixed costs and recurrent costs involved in building a business website. So, in order to know the cost, we need to understand the elements that make up a website and attach costs to each of them, thereby achieving the total cost of developing a website.

1. Cost of Web Hosting and Domain Name: First of all, to develop a website for personal or business use, you need to decide the domain name. A Domain name is the name which is entered in a URL for people to be able to access your website. E.g. if your business name is Toplife then your domain name should be www.toplife.com. Presently, the cost of registering a domain name in Nigeria ranges from N1,500-N13,000. After you have decided on the domain name, you can get FREE domain name registration when you pay for a hosting service. For most people securing the services of a web hosting company is the only way to go as it is more cost effective. Payment is billed monthly but you can also pay every six months or annually. In simple terms, a Hosting Service is used to publish your website on the internet. The cheapest plan amongst them starts at N2,000/year for shared hosting and goes up to N100,000/year.

2. Cost of Content Creation: Before the actual design of the website, you need to think long and hard about why you want to build the website. This will enable you determine what you want to share with the world. Do not expect the web designer to tell your story for you. You know your business better than anyone else. So, you should be somehow involved in the process. In Nigeria, you could get a copy written for 500 Naira to 50,000 Naira per page, depending on what you want and the level of skills required. 

3. Cost of The Design Work:  If you do not know how to design a website then you can engage a website designer. Website page designs can start from N2,000 and higher, depending on the complexity. Also graphic works can increase the cost. The homepage which is the main page of a website can start from N5,000, which can be higher or lower, depending on the complexity, features and graphics. In order for an expert Website Designer to work on your website, he/she will need to develop an html template. This is an average of N20,000 and could be more depending on the functionalities and features of the site. Setting up a website entails installing the template/theme, functions and features of the website. This can start at N5,000 and can go up to N100,000 and more, depending on the kind of website.

4. Cost of Website Promotion: This one is ignored by most businesses. Some businesses think that once they design a website, the millions of people on the internet will just start trooping in. You need to allocate some budget for website promotion. You can use search marketing to promote your new website on search engines (like Google Adwords). You can also use social media marketing to promote your website on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp. You can pay an SEO and/or SMM consultants to help with these. Offline promotions are not out of place. You should also allocate money to update your business cards and other printed materials to include your new website. This simply depends on your budget. You can decide to ignore it completely, but it could be a big mistake. We recommend allocating at least N36,000 Naira per month to this cost component.

5. Cost of Website Management and Maintenance: This is another cost component ignored by some businesses. Building a website is not a one-off thing; you need to allocate money for its management and maintenance. You need to connect your offline business to your website. So, any change in your business like new products, price updates, job vacancies, business expansion, etc should be reflected on your website. A website at some point will need to be redesigned or upgraded. For example, you can start with a static website, but with plans to upgrade to a more versatile website with CMS in some months or years. You may just want to change the layout or structure to reflect your new brand status. 

There are other cost implications like Shipping and delivery,Credit card merchant account, and product outsourcing.

However, it is recommended that if you are planning to build an E-commerce website, you should allocate at least ₦75,000 for initial design work and ₦50,000 annual maintenance cost. Note that these are the rock bottom prices for the most basic of websites. The actual cost will depend on the type of hosting your website requires and the skill level of the professionals you wish to engage in the project. These cost components are not meant to scare you. You do not have to spend in all of them. If your business is still small, you can handle some of the tasks yourself. Just don’t ignore them entirely. But with Commissions.ng, with as low as N3,500, you can get a website up and running in no time. Simply visit www.commissions.ng to find out how.


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