Home Forums Selling online Building a Website…..whats the cost?

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  • #1177567
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Eastern Connection, post: 208073 wrote:
    I think that’s clear. But the review also lists what’s there and what’s not, it is very easy to read between the lines. And if someone does want to sign up, there is a coupon.

    Anyway, anyone can Google and find more reviews, but my question still stands…would love to hear from anyone who has used it!

    I have been using Squarespace intermittently for a few years (started on version 4 I think … they’re now at version 7).

    Never had a problem, no maintenance or patches … only down time proved to be an issue with crappy GoDaddy DNS, not down to them at all.

    I haven’t used it for ecommerce so I can’t comment on how good their process is.

    Whether it’s for you or not would depend on your use case. If you have a client that just needs a CMS (and you don’t want to maintain it for them :) ) it fits the bill easily.

    The templates can just be a starting point form which you can write your own code not just drag and drop. You can actually build pretty much what you need, even start from scratch in a developer “sandbox”, especially if you want to get your head around their templating language and can write JavaScript.

    You can export the site to WordPress too, if you want to.

    I’m a huge fan of managed platforms (hosting et al) regardless of what you use as the framework/CMS. Having used both shared hosting and run a VPS … servers are a pain, best left to experts with the time, expertise and economy of scale to do it properly.

    Cheers

    #1177568
    Eastern Connection
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Thanks all, so there are users. I am really torn now, whether to use WP or a managed solution like Squarespace.

    Shopify has put me off with transaction fees. The whole point of the web is that you can do your own thing online, provided you have paid for software and hosting, without paying the ongoing dues to the landlord. It is not like they provide the benefit of a marketplace like Amazon. You are basically on your own with Shopify, you pay for hosting, you build your site yourself…and yet they think you owe them transaction fees? Wrong.

    I will have a think between Squarespace and WordPress. I need something soon.

    I am having a real trouble negotiating with suppliers before I have an actual online shop. I am dealing with designers and small studios overseas. One major player has come to the table, but others are holding up. Translation is costing me a fortune! Only to receive a NO at the end of the correspondence. I need to get online ASAP, start selling things from the only supplier I could get at this point, and have something to show.

    I will only be taking Paypal payments at this stage, and doing everything myself (no money), bar some small jobs on Airtasker. I already run a semi successful blog on a niche (food and beverage) area which brings a lot of leads. I held two sold-out training events last year that were profitable, so I have some experience in online marketing and commerce. I should be OK with either of these two options, I think :)

    Thanks all!! And the first poster who replied, after my desperate call, if you want chocolates, PM me:)

    Edit: oops..I thought I was replying in my own thread…I seem to have taken over this one…huge apologies, OP! Hope the replies about Square space were useful for you too.

    #1177569
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464

    Hi Eastern Connection,

    My natural health marketing website is on SquareSpace, and I love it – I was partly encouraged to go down that path after reading Greg (estim8’s) reviews of the ease of use of the platform here on Flying Solo. (Thanks Greg! :) )

    However I don’t need e-commerce at this point in time, so I can’t comment on that functionality, except to say that I think (could be wrong) there are limited payment options available.

    Good luck with your decision making,
    Jayne

    #1177570
    Eastern Connection
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    FS Concierge, post: 208153 wrote:
    Hi Eastern Connection,

    My natural health marketing website is on SquareSpace, and I love it – I was partly encouraged to go down that path after reading Greg (estim8’s) reviews of the ease of use of the platform here on Flying Solo. (Thanks Greg! :) )

    However I don’t need e-commerce at this point in time, so I can’t comment on that functionality, except to say that I think (could be wrong) there are limited payment options available.

    Good luck with your decision making,
    Jayne

    Your site looks REALLY good. I love the 3D magazine pictures.

    #1177571
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464

    Thanks Eastern Connection :D

    All design by the forum’s very own Blue Penguin, whose services I can’t rate highly enough :D

    Cheers,
    Jayne

    #1177572
    MikeDav
    Member
    • Total posts: 163
    BrisVegasGhost, post: 206785 wrote:
    I am in the process of getting quotes to have a website built.
    I will require to have credit card payments, paypal and shipping costs available to the seller.
    I will be updating stock and information on a regular basis.

    I have quotes ranging from $12,000 to $25,000. One company advised me to spent an extra $5,000 per month for online marketing.

    Has anyone had any experience in doing your own website? Some people have suggested the likes of elance, 99 designs, weebly and wix.

    All my quotes have been Australian companies and all correspondence has been done via email. Has anyone here outsourced to have a website built or have built it yourself?
    Cheers

    As others have said, price can vary depending on functionality. In saying that, $12k-25k still seems on the high side.

    Don’t underestimate your online marketing cost, whether it be SEO, PPC or whatever. Having a really slick website will do nothing for you if you don’t have customers visiting the site.

    #1177573
    Eastern Connection
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Just from last night’s networking event I attended, this guy seemed interesting:

    Colourweaver.com.au

    His package costs $5,500.

    #1177574
    ThexArm
    Member
    • Total posts: 253

    If the OP has a budget to spend high dollars then the best use of that money is on marketing the business. As many people rightly said even if you have the best site if you don’t have visitors then no use. I haven’t seen anyone promising high traffic and high conversion after building a beautiful site. In a marketing strategy of a business, website is but one channel. It can’t be the only channel. You can use it as POS but need to acquire customers in many different ways.

    #1177575
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    ThexArm, post: 208192 wrote:
    I haven’t seen anyone promising high traffic and high conversion after building a beautiful site. In a marketing strategy of a business, website is but one channel. It can’t be the only channel. You can use it as POS but need to acquire customers in many different ways.If you plan a site right, you should be able to get decent conversions, and if you structure the site right and have good content ( and done the research around this), you should have a good base to build on regards traffic.

    In the end, if a businesses builds site for $20,000 and people buy them, then that is the price of a website. It’s about perception. A mid level Lexus is no better than a higher level Ford, but there is still a market for them

    So many people getting antsy on this thread. I’ve seen it before on other groups full of micro businesses that struggle to understand why someone would quote $20,000 when they think they could build it themselves.

    One example: A client was quoted about $25,000 for a website and branding. She posted this on a FB group and micro business owners (and desperate website designers) told her she was being ripped off, that the company that quoted that was worse than Hitler. It was embarrassing.

    We got in touch and worked out that we could use some pre built solutions and quoted her about $10,000 and the branding was about $3,000 which saved her good money.

    Another example: I have a product that I don’t spruik here because people get shocked at the cost. However, my target marketing is businesses making $400,000 + pa, (or people looking for high performance) which my costs are a tiny drop in a larger bucket. They don’t think twice to paying more for peace of mind.

    However, I make the mistake of posting that product on a micro business forum, suggesting that people might be interested. People shot me down “I can get that same product for $5 p/m if I am willing to do 50% of the work myself. Why would anyone be stupid enough pay that!!’

    So cost is relative.

    #1177576
    ThexArm
    Member
    • Total posts: 253

    Matthew, I do understand your point that cost is relative and there are services that costs a lot as in your example of Lexus and Ford. I have seen in larger companies where the social media budget is in high thousands which includes keeping website up to date with the market.

    Although cost is relative the most important metric is ROI.

    #1177577
    Hatching_It
    Member
    • Total posts: 414
    Kumar, post: 0 wrote:
    No Its very expensive,
    Now a days cms platforms are best for businding any website as well as online marketing.
    for eCommerce i would prefer magento . check this magento eCommerce site as a reference http://www.helpmetea.com and feel free to ask more questions

    Do you realise that the home page is over 4mb and takes a good 10+ seconds to load? Goodbye half your traffic before it loads!

    Speak to some people about putting that site on a diet!

    #1177578
    Craig.Smith
    Member
    • Total posts: 167

    Use the website as a reference of what not to do.

    #1177579
    ThexArm
    Member
    • Total posts: 253

    Wow that website is indeed very slow…. it took forever to load!

    #1177580
    Khai The Kit Source
    Member
    • Total posts: 24
    BrisVegasGhost, post: 206785 wrote:
    I am in the process of getting quotes to have a website built.
    I will require to have credit card payments, paypal and shipping costs available to the seller.
    I will be updating stock and information on a regular basis.

    I have quotes ranging from $12,000 to $25,000. One company advised me to spent an extra $5,000 per month for online marketing.

    Has anyone had any experience in doing your own website? Some people have suggested the likes of elance, 99 designs, weebly and wix.

    All my quotes have been Australian companies and all correspondence has been done via email. Has anyone here outsourced to have a website built or have built it yourself?
    Cheers

    Interesting thread! The people who said the price is relative to what you want is correct. Therefore, I’m only going to shed light on my experience and maybe that insight can help you. Have you decided if you’re going ahead with the website?

    We started our business in July 2014 and spent the first 6 – 8 weeks editing our website. After much thought, we decided to go with Shopify because we are bootstrapping and Shopify was both affordable for what we needed and offered more than enough functionality for the type of site we had in mind. We wanted a simple, clean website that offered a simple shopping experience.

    Yes, I hate that I have to pay monthly fees but that is the cost for using their shopping cart plus I love their forums! We started with the $14USD a month to acclimatise to the platform and realised after a few weeks we’d have to jump to the basic plan of $29USD per month to get everything we needed.

    Although, we only have three “collections” with about 20 products, there isn’t a product limit with Shopify. We have two blogs and all the other stock standard pages. Editing the site is pretty easy because the CMS is set up for people who don’t have a web design background. If you do need some more technical stuff done, the theme designers often provide guides or you can find the answer on the forums.

    It’s now been 8 months since we’ve had the site and the cost hasn’t been exorbitant. We initially paid $140 USD for the current theme and did the set up ourselves. For a payment gateway, we went with SecurePay which took about 1-2 weeks to set up and cost us $275 for the year (you need to set up a merchant account – we did it through Securepay who help us set up with NAB). They also get a % for a processing fee but is the expected cost of business. As a result, we take payments from paypal, mastercard and visa (which should cover the majority of customers).

    If I had to add up the cost so far it would look something like this (sucks that AUD is going down!):
    Shopify monthly fees – $29 USD per month x 7 months = $203 + initial $14.
    TOTAL $217 USD
    Shopify transaction fee – 2%
    Shopify theme – $140 USD per design
    Securepay – $275 annual fee
    Securepay transaction fee – 11c per transaction + 2.4% fee
    99designs for logo – $299USD

    I know this may seem odd but we haven’t spent that much on setting up our website. We spent our own time editing every single page and got advice from forums and articles about SEO etc. We’re still new and learning every day but this is how we wanted to do it. As a result, we’ve been able to spend money on different things like stock, equipment for the business, SEM and other “marketing” tactics which have largely been experiments. Also, we take all of our own photos and write our own copy. My Wife and I really wanted to build the business from the ground up and get a good understanding of these new areas that we’re not familiar with.

    With regards to apps on Shopify, we’ve actually been using the free ones and most of them are awesome. As someone mentioned earlier, there are a lot of apps on Shopify that cost money and you don’t actually need them. The ones we use are:
    – Klaviyo for email marketing (free for first 250 emails)
    – product reviews – from shopify so it’s free
    – Shopify for Facebook store
    – Social autopilot for automatic posting on Facebook and Twitter
    – Shopify order printer
    That’s pretty much all we use for now. We’ve experimented with others but because we’re still small, we haven’t had the need for other apps (yet)

    In the coming weeks, we’ll actually be updating our theme again ($140USD) to get the look and feel of the brand as of today. Obviously since starting, we’ve honed in our market and refined ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’. If you check out our Online Party Store in two weeks, you’ll see what we mean.

    Pretty long post but I hope it was informative. Feel free to ask anything else about our experience with Shopify. Basically, we happy with what we have and it’s what we need for the stage we’re in. I’ve read on so many places that you shouldn’t spend $10k + on a website when you don’t know how your customers will use it. It’s better to adapt and adjust based on customer usage and expectation.

    Cheers,

    #1177581
    Eastern Connection
    Member
    • Total posts: 20
    Khai The Kit Source, post: 208679 wrote:
    Interesting thread! The people who said the price is relative to what you want is correct. Therefore, I’m only going to shed light on my experience and maybe that insight can help you. Have you decided if you’re going ahead with the website?

    We started our business in July 2014 and spent the first 6 – 8 weeks editing our website. After much thought, we decided to go with Shopify because we are bootstrapping and Shopify was both affordable for what we needed and offered more than enough functionality for the type of site we had in mind. We wanted a simple, clean website that offered a simple shopping experience.

    Yes, I hate that I have to pay monthly fees but that is the cost for using their shopping cart plus I love their forums! We started with the $14USD a month to acclimatise to the platform and realised after a few weeks we’d have to jump to the basic plan of $29USD per month to get everything we needed.

    Although, we only have three “collections” with about 20 products, there isn’t a product limit with Shopify. We have two blogs and all the other stock standard pages. Editing the site is pretty easy because the CMS is set up for people who don’t have a web design background. If you do need some more technical stuff done, the theme designers often provide guides or you can find the answer on the forums.

    It’s now been 8 months since we’ve had the site and the cost hasn’t been exorbitant. We initially paid $140 USD for the current theme and did the set up ourselves. For a payment gateway, we went with SecurePay which took about 1-2 weeks to set up and cost us $275 for the year (you need to set up a merchant account – we did it through Securepay who help us set up with NAB). They also get a % for a processing fee but is the expected cost of business. As a result, we take payments from paypal, mastercard and visa (which should cover the majority of customers).

    If I had to add up the cost so far it would look something like this (sucks that AUD is going down!):
    Shopify monthly fees – $29 USD per month x 7 months = $203 + initial $14.
    TOTAL $217 USD
    Shopify transaction fee – 2%
    Shopify theme – $140 USD per design
    Securepay – $275 annual fee
    Securepay transaction fee – 11c per transaction + 2.4% fee
    99designs for logo – $299USD

    I know this may seem odd but we haven’t spent that much on setting up our website. We spent our own time editing every single page and got advice from forums and articles about SEO etc. We’re still new and learning every day but this is how we wanted to do it. As a result, we’ve been able to spend money on different things like stock, equipment for the business, SEM and other “marketing” tactics which have largely been experiments. Also, we take all of our own photos and write our own copy. My Wife and I really wanted to build the business from the ground up and get a good understanding of these new areas that we’re not familiar with.

    With regards to apps on Shopify, we’ve actually been using the free ones and most of them are awesome. As someone mentioned earlier, there are a lot of apps on Shopify that cost money and you don’t actually need them. The ones we use are:
    – Klaviyo for email marketing (free for first 250 emails)
    – product reviews – from shopify so it’s free
    – Shopify for Facebook store
    – Social autopilot for automatic posting on Facebook and Twitter
    – Shopify order printer
    That’s pretty much all we use for now. We’ve experimented with others but because we’re still small, we haven’t had the need for other apps (yet)

    In the coming weeks, we’ll actually be updating our theme again ($140USD) to get the look and feel of the brand as of today. Obviously since starting, we’ve honed in our market and refined ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’. If you check out our Online Party Store in two weeks, you’ll see what we mean.

    Pretty long post but I hope it was informative. Feel free to ask anything else about our experience with Shopify. Basically, we happy with what we have and it’s what we need for the stage we’re in. I’ve read on so many places that you shouldn’t spend $10k + on a website when you don’t know how your customers will use it. It’s better to adapt and adjust based on customer usage and expectation.

    Cheers,

    Awesome post Khai I am in about the same place as you were back in July. I am an extreme bootstrapper and don’t see why not. Modern technology has been developed so that web design can be automated. Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress….these are just freedom-givers. Everyone can have a go now. If you are online, you can create!

    If you don’t mind, I might ask you a few questions about how you did certain things….My shop will be in interior design, so totally unrelated, but I love the whole approach of your website.

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