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View Full Version : How much does a website cost now?



wierdscience
12-10-2010, 09:09 AM
How much would a simple website cost that featured a few buttons and an online checkout system to handle Paypal or other?

I have no clue how to actually build one or manage one so idiot simple suggestions are what I'm after here:o :)

daveo
12-10-2010, 09:28 AM
Domain names are 10 or 20 a year, but having it hosted costs me 110 a year, unlimited bandwidth, 20 or so gigs and a bunch of email adress

Richard-TX
12-10-2010, 09:41 AM
I have an online e-store. Other than my time and the hardware it costs me exactly $0.00

Of course there is the domain registration fees, and other miscellaneous expenses and pay pal sucks up 3% but other than that it just runs.

My advice? Unless you are technically aware and have had experience with reverse proxies, firewalls, web servers, and more, just find an e-store hosting service.

One of the more popular e-store software packages is oscommerce. It is free and can likely handle everything you need.

skunkworks
12-10-2010, 09:59 AM
I would maybe look at something other than oscommerce. This is an email I recieved recently from my hosting service.


Good Afternoon,

UPDATE: This email pertains to clients on Shared/Reseller servers who are currently using osCommerce.

We have seen a dramatic increase in attacks against osCommerce installations in recent months. There are several severe unpatched vulnerabilities for osCommerce. There has not been a stable release of osCommerce since January of 2008. The osCommerce project appears to be dead and it is reasonable to assume that the blaring security vulnerabilities in this software will not be patched by its developers. All versions of osCommerce have been confirmed to be vulnerable.

We have created mod_security rules to help mitigate these vulnerabilities for our shared and reseller accounts. This may protect your account for the time being, but these mitigations should not be relied on as a long term solution.

The only long term solution to ensure the safety of your site is to switch to another ecommerce CMS solution. An actively developed CMS ecommerce solution that you may want to consider is Magento:
http://www.magentocommerce.com/

Magento supports similar functionality to osCommerce and is being actively developed and supported by it's developers. The Magento Community Edition is free to download and is developed through an open source community.

Other solutions include Zencart which you can still install through your Fantastico interface. Zencart contains much of the same functionality of osCommerce, but it is still in active development.

For those absolutely unable to migrate to a different CMS, we recommend that you at least enable cPanel's folder protection system for your osCommerce admin/ directory. You can access this feature through your cPanel interface at: cPanel → Security → “Password Protect Directories”. You can simply select your “admin” directory and specify a username and password. This will protect you from the security bypass vulnerabilities present in the osCommerce software.

Beginning December 1, 2010 we are removing support for installing the osCommerce CMS through Fantastico on all of our shared/reseller servers. This will not affect clients who currently have osCommerce installed.

Thank you very much for your consideration and if you have any other questions and/or concerns, please feel free to let us know.

EDIT: I pay about $50 a year for basic web hosting - I mainly use it for online storage of my project pictures.

sam

dp
12-10-2010, 10:42 AM
How much would a simple website cost that featured a few buttons and an online checkout system to handle Paypal or other?

I have no clue how to actually build one or manage one so idiot simple suggestions are what I'm after here:o :)

I charge $20/month for commercial accounts. Some sites do it for free. I'd want to know the business plan that lets me have a free website isn't making money in unknown ways. For serious web commerce it's a good idea to go with a vendor that will deal with system security and system maintenance. I mention that because a lot of people rent time on virtual machines that for all the world appear to be stand-alone systems but which are running on over-committed hardware where you are the web master, system admin, security expert, and anti-spam guru. On top of that you're the store owner, so you don't necessarily have time for other things like working in the shop.

Adding a PayPal button to a page is a trivial operation involving pasting in some code PayPal will give you. Just about nothing else is trivial which is why it is hired out so much of the time. There are a stunning number of wrong ways to do this and in many situations non-experts won't know until they've been hacked that they've done it wrong. The "I've done it for years and never had a problem" testimonials generally reflect clueless good luck.

RB211
12-10-2010, 01:00 PM
I have hostpapa, Cheap for 3 years. Unlimited everything.

squirrel
12-10-2010, 03:00 PM
Ask what their connection is, at mininmum an OC-3, ask about the hardware and hope for a straight answer. Many of the wanna-be internet millionaires have a static IP and DSL at their house and an old Dell server running Linux. Its easy to look like a big dog on the internet

AllThumbz
12-10-2010, 03:04 PM
It cost me about $11 for the domain name "hobby-machinist.com" and about $100 to host the site, which includes the use of the SMF forum software, Wordpress if I desire, unlimited storage and domain capabilities.

Unless you use Wordpress, you will need an HTML editor, such as coffee cup or komposer.

The rest is pure sweat, effort, and a lot of promotion to get it going.

Best,


Nelson

squirrel
12-10-2010, 03:06 PM
I forgot the most important part, if they do not have a phone number or physical address stay away. Call the number to verify someone that is alive actually answers.

garagemark
12-10-2010, 04:49 PM
My ISP provides a server for web sites as part of their service. They host my site and call it something like "www.marksplace.xyzinternet.com" . They do not provide a web builder, but I had an old builder program anyway. I built the site over a few weeks, and simply uploaded it by FTP to their server. My site is nothing fancy, but big time picture rich of stuff I do. I don't really put it out there. Mostly just family and friends keep up with me through it.

I find it fun to tinker with off and on, and it keeps me busy during those 5 degree evenings when the shop is just kind of unbearable.

Doc Nickel
12-10-2010, 06:00 PM
[cracks knuckles]

Okay, first off, the cost of the domain name and hosting is trivial. It's literally pocket change. Most places like GoDaddy or 1&1 will register your name for about $10 or $20, and give you some pretty decent hosting services for another $10 a month or so, give or take depending on packages.

That's the easy part.

The website itself is somewhat more difficult. A basic static-HTML page can be put together in a few evenings with a "for dummies" book or some online tutorials, and no specialty software apart from Notepad and a FTP application.

A "dynamic" or database-driven site, however, is considerably more complex. At this point, if you don't know things like PHP or CSS or similar languages, it's easier and better to hire somebody to write the page for you.

The problem here is that even for an expert, writing a good- or even just tolerable- page is time consuming, and unless you can find a talented high-school kid who'll do it for class credit or something, will cost you.

Tacking an actual store/merchant account on top of that adds yet another layer of complexity. I can easily vouch for the OSCommerce warning above, since we made the mistake of using it for my new store (http://www.docsshop.com/) this past year. We've had a few issues with hacks or hacking attempts (though even if they get in they can't do anything) and so we're working on a new store with different software.

But even with quality software, there's issues with integrating PayPal, generating invoices, getting the pages to display right, you name it.

Again, unless you're already a CSS expert, this kind of thing is best left to a pro.

Now, the question is, what do you want to do? If you only have, let's say, two items you want to sell, you can fairly easily put together a simple static HTML page and use PayPal's integrated cart buttons. (Go to PayPal, click "merchant services", then look for something that says "shopping cart" or "buttons". Follow the instructions.)

This is an easy and relatively simple setup (I used it for years to sell books and T-shirts) but very limited. You won't be able to offer many options (for example, different shirt sizes) and it's pretty limited in shipping (basically you can only use a fixed shipping cost, which causes problems for mailing overseas or to Canada, etc.)

What kind of page and/or store did you have in mind? What sort of product?

Doc.

Your Old Dog
12-10-2010, 06:08 PM
check out nomonthlyfees.com . I have two there for $100 each per year and more space/bandwidth then I need. They also have some other perks. BTW, this includes the Domain name.

wierdscience
12-10-2010, 09:30 PM
Doc and Dennis,expect a PM shortly.

Everybody else,thank you so far,there is alot to this now that I am looking at it,I'll keep you posted,might be something good coming up.

bborr01
12-10-2010, 09:50 PM
I have also been thinking about/planning a website based on the shop made tools thread.

When I started researching how time consuming it can be to make your own site and/or how costly it can be to have a pro put a site together, I called a time out.

As much as I would like to take 900+ posts and organize them into something usable, I would rather make chips than learn web development.

I did meet someone who works for a local tech college that told me she could probably get a student to create a site and also teach me how to maintain it for around $100. I am thinking that is probably the route I will take.

No sales or shopping carts. Just information we all could use.

Stay tuned.

Brian

dp
12-10-2010, 11:12 PM
This is a pre-apology to George Bulliss. Just for the record, because it was brought to my attention - I responded to this thread not to drum up business for my hosting activities but to provide a first-person data point for the OP. This site has a no-for sale posts policy and it would be inappropriate for me or anyone to subvert that and as mentioned, that is not my intention.

Because I gave up my retirement plans and went back to work when the economy went gunnysack I don't have the time to grow my hosting business at the rate I'd planned, anyway, as I'm slaving away in somebody else's data center and that somebody else has deeper pockets than I :)

However - as a topic and in this economy, and with so many boomers approaching retirement, this idea of generating a supplemental revenue stream by way of on-line hobby craft for-sale listings and auctions is becoming a hot topic and it's an industry and technology I happen to know quite a bit about. It isn't lucrative enough to get stinking rich, but there's been a rebound in hobbyist metal and wood working activities and interest much like that of the 1950s and it's going to be serviced by somebody willing to work at thin margins.

That said - there are a number of people who frequent this BBS that can and do provide web hosting and if someone is determined to get a site on the web then keeping it in the family can be a good way to start off.

dp
12-10-2010, 11:23 PM
I have also been thinking about/planning a website based on the shop made tools thread.

I did meet someone who works for a local tech college that told me she could probably get a student to create a site and also teach me how to maintain it for around $100. I am thinking that is probably the route I will take.

Unless you have low expectations or the student is exceptionally talented and willing to work for nearly nothing, don't expect to get much for $100. Not to say it never happens, but it is rare.

I have one customer that gets more than $5000 worth of work out of me gratis year after year because I like him, but his web site, which was probably originally done for about $100, needs constant attention - well, it needs replacing, but the old gent really likes the 1990s look and feel. I like him and and the service his web site does, so I keep the cranky old code running.

I have another site I'm going to plug because I like them so much and I don't charge them a dime yet it's a big effort to keep the site up to date, do the videos, audio mixing, graphics work, and to push the SEO aspect. Meet the Lake Washington Singers at http://LakeWashingtonSingers.org/ and visit their YouTube site, too. They're wonderful ladies who own my heart.

oldtiffie
12-10-2010, 11:37 PM
The title of the OP is:
"How much does a website cost now?"

From what I've seen here, it costs a lot more than cash/money as it seems that it can (should/will?) cost a lot of heart-ache, soul-searching and frustration in not only getting it right but also in keeping it right.

If it were me - unless I had it created and serviced professionally - I'd have no trouble getting into a lot of trouble that would only be exceeded by the time, effort, cost and "drama" of rescuing me/myself from by own ignorance, stupidity and ineptitude.

But in the unlikely event that I'd ever even consider getting one, I'd take some serious professional advice as to the pros and cons of the time, effort and money required to get and keep getting my stated required outcome in terms of real and intangible benefits.

dp
12-10-2010, 11:41 PM
The title of the OP is:
"How much does a website cost now?"

From what I've seen here, it costs a lot more than cash/money as it seems that it can (should/will?) cost a lot of heart-ache, soul-searching and frustration in not only getting it right but also in keeping it right.

Yes - I personally think the reward for this is often, like so many family businesses, the dreams you had going into it.

oldtiffie
12-10-2010, 11:49 PM
Thanks Dennis.

Good point.

There is all too often not a very thick line between aspirational illusional and delusional - and reality.

tumutbound
12-11-2010, 12:01 AM
As others have said, it's pretty cheap and the basics are not too hard.

As far as more advanced software goes, check if your hosting company supports a range of free or open-source applications for content management such as Joomla, Mambo, Wordpress etc. Less technical skills are required to manage a website using these applications.
If you want to get creative and stray from the standard offerings of, say, Wordpress , then you'll be looking for a PHP programmer and some serious money.

mickeyf
12-11-2010, 12:11 AM
As has been mentioned, registering a domain name paying for a hosting service is pretty cheap - as little as $5-$10/ month. (I use ICDsoft for a couple of sites I look after that don't have on-line sales.) Bulletin board software is free, blogging software is free, shopping cart software itself is free.... BUT

As soon as you are accepting PayPal or credit cards you have a great deal to lose, and it's a whole other ball game.

I have been developing software professionally for decades, but internet security has not been my specialty, and for that reason I would probably hire an expert rather than try to roll my own if I were setting up a site to do on-line sales.

If you have less computer expertise than someone like myself, I would certainly advise you to do careful research and hire qualified expertise before putting your business and your customers' privacy at risk.