The costs of starting a web-based business is minimal, but a good business and development plan is necessary for its survival. The most difficult part of starting a web-based business is the time and effort to build the business and continue growing the site.
Registering a domain name is necessary for an online business. Once a business name is established, the domain name is registered at websites such as Dotster.com, Register.com and GoDaddy.com. The cost of a domain name is dependent on the extension. For most business owners, a .com extension is beneficial because it is the most commonly known extension among people. A one-year registration service for a .com domain name is around $15. This service needs to be renewed every year.
Hosting services have a wide range of prices, and prices are determined by the platform the business uses. Programming a website in .NET is usually more expensive, whereas a PHP website can be hosted for as low as $5 to $10 a month. Free services are available, but free services require ads or popups, which is not professional for business purposes.
Database service is for websites that host dynamic content. The most common databases for Internet websites are mySQL and SQL Server; the former is usually a free or minimally charged service from the host of the website, and the SQL Server costs slightly more and is used with .NET websites. SQL Server costs can be as low as $10 per month.
Programming and Design
Unless the business owners have programming and design experience, it's necessary to hire a professional programmer and designer. Some shops have both services in-house. The programming and design can be accomplished using separate service providers. The designer can provide a design that the programmer works with to create the web pages. The cost of a programmer and a designer is dependent on experience and the complexity of the website. Some professionals may charge as low as $20 per hour. More advanced sites may need a highly skilled programmer and designer, which can cost $50 to $75 per hour.
Owning a web-based business means that you need a computer with high-speed online service. These costs are also dependent on location and type of service. High-speed Internet access is necessary for the business owner to communicate with clients, conduct research and upload new pages and images. The cost for Internet connect can run from $30 to $100 per month.
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