How much does it cost to run a website is a bit of a how long is a piece of string question. However, in this post I’m going to give you the run down of what you can expect to pay for the different services you will need to ensure you have a successful website or blog.
The truth is that you can start a blog or website for free and continue to run one for free as long as your expectations for its performance and money making capabilities are limited.
Many people start with a free website on WordPress.com not realising that they cannot monetise their site as affiliate marketing is banned and opening a shop of any sort is not possible either. They also do not realise that they do not own their website. It remains in the control of WordPress.com and they can withdraw services at ant time.
There have been many cases of people losing all of their work in a blink of an eye. I would be devastated. It is also very difficult to move your work over to a better (paid) platform once you realise the limitations. I used to have a free site and moving it was harder than to start again. Thankfully I learned my lesson early.
There are other free operating platforms like blogger.com but these do require more technical skills to operate and I suggest the only platform to use is WordPress.org Confusing I know but WordPress Is an operating system used by many hosting companies as well as running its own free hosting company.
Another option you might want to look at if the free option is your only option right now is the siterubix platform within Wealthy Affiliate. Totally Free and with step by step lessons in setting it up and how to monetise it. Yes you can make money with this platform as affiliate marketing is allowed, in fact it is encouraged.
All this being said you are better off going for a paid WordPress platform and hosting and also owning your own domain.
The cost of a .com website is relatively cheap unless you are desperate to own a name that is already owned by someone and just parked ready for the right buyer who is prepared to pay a premium price. The cost should be around $14 for a year. Please remember to have it on auto renew though. Many have lost their site because they simply forgot to renew. Chances are you will get it back but it can be a pain with some Hosting companies who have a short “oops I forgot” window.
Owning a domain name is not enough, you need somewhere to host your site. When looking for hosting you want something that gives you the most for your money. Not all hosting is equal. You can pay as little as $4 a month which is okay but realise that to gain more features you will need to upgrade, maybe several times. To get the best service will cost you around $15. But you may need some add ons which can take the price closer to $30 a month Take a read of my post on the Best Hosting platforms.
Now this is one thing that everyone forgets about or don’t even know they need. Many bloggers and website owners, just call their blogpost something they like or sounds cool. Then they wonder why they aren’t getting organic traffic. That’s because no one is searching for “Karen’s Beauty tips of the week” and why would they? Now I might get indexed for beauty tips but that is so competitive, I will end up on page 149 on Google.
Google has a free keyword search tool but it is limited. Some hosting companies have their own limited tools too. However, to be at the top of the game you need to be buying the best. In my opinion the best is Jaaxy which will cost you $49 a month unless you are hosting with Wealthy Affiliate where a free version comes with your hosting plan which is $49 a month or $29 if you pay yearly.
This is also a requirement if you want to monetise your website or blog in any way. “The money is in the list”
Many autoresponders will give you a free service up to a 1000 subscribers and then it becomes paid and the amount varies dependent on the size of your list. If you are serious about growing your list then you will quickly run out of your free service so it is best to go for the one you are most comfortable with.
The pricing is very similar and you can check these out on my post The Best autoresponders but expect to be paying around $49 a month when you have around 5000 subscribers.
Landing ( sales pages )
This is something that should come with your email responder. There is no need to buy a separate service for this unless you have some specific need.
There is no way that you can get the type of exposure you need on social media without using a scheduler of some description. We all have our favourite social media platform and there are different schedulers for all of them.
An all round scheduler you might want to look at is Crowdfire as it covers all of the Social media platforms. Their basic plan is $9.99 a month, $4.99 if you pay annually.
If you are more into Pinterest and Instagram then Tailwind and or Boardbooster are the best on the market and allow you to use the leverage of tribes to boost you Pins. Tailwind is the only scheduler that Instagram allows to post on your behalf.
Both have a free trial and then the basic for Tailwind is $15 a month and Boardbooster is $5 a month. I warn you now that you will want to upgrade your plan with Tailwind to $29.97 a month but if you can afford to pay yearly all the better because you get 4 months free and get unlimited pins. If you use any of my links for Tailwind then you get your first month free after your free trial. Can you tell I’m a fan? Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest and then Organic traffic because of my Keywords.
You can own and run a website for free but you will be limited in terms of building a business.
If you can pay yearly then the cost for everything would work out a lot cheaper but you are looking at $158 a month if you don’t have the up front fees plus the one off yearly domain cost of $14.
Now don’t get despondent if this is too much to pay out each month. Remember that you can have a free autoresponder until you get at least 1000 people on your list ( And If You Have a list of a 1000 that you are servicing well then you will be earning money ) so you can reduce this to $109
Personally I use Wealthy Affiliate for my hosting and also my Keyword tool. This reduces the price by another $49 as I don’t need to pay for Jaaxy and I pay yearly so my subscription is only $29 a month. This brings my total to $103 but my email list pays for itself in terms of earnings and the training I have had and continue to get with Wealthy Affiliate means I will continue to earn from this site, way into the future.
I hope this post has helped you to make some sensible decisions on how to build your website or blog. My best advice: Go with your instinct, it talks louder and more sensibly than your rational, thought through, process making voice. Trust me, I went for free and lost a lot of time.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
There are some affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and then make a purchase I will make a small commission but it won’t cost you any more.