Are you paying too much for your Web site?

Pat Velte, my Web guru from Whitewing Design, and I have been horrified at the soaking some artists are getting from their Web hosting “services.” (I put services in quotes because it often sounds like lousy service to me!)

Make sure you are not being overcharged.

Pat says you should expect to pay: 

No more than $10/year for domain name registration, no more than $100/year for “all purpose” web hosting. I don’t charge clients for setting up domain and hosting accounts but they should expect to pay a small fee for having a web developer handle this for them.

That’s SMALL fee. It should take them less than 5 minutes to get a domain set up for you, so beware if they’re charging you for a half-hour or longer.

Late addition: My Web hosts, AAces, will throw in your domain (for free!) when you host with them. Now THAT’s service!

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10 comments to Are you paying too much for your Web site?

  • Thanks for this post. I use oneandone.com as my website host and pay $2.95/month. Registering my domain name was free with the purchase of this package.

  • Interesting info … I know people who are getting ripped LOL!

  • 100 dollars for a year?? But what does that include??I pay about 24 dollars a month, with Clint at Fine Arts Studio Online, ( see http://www.deborahridgley.com) and that includes the domaine charge. He has awesome web designs that I can change and update daily AND provides a Data Plan that tracks who is looking at the site. I think it all depends what meets your needs.

  • I work for a small ISP in Cheyenne, and folks, the profit margins are RAZOR thin…we charge $12 a year to register a domain and that includes suggesting names, calling to ask if you want your name renewed, and registering. (and agonizing over the name)..We have to maintain servers, an office and highly technical staff. We charge $20 a month for a regular web site with statistics and technical support (some folks need a LOT). Do not pay anyone to ‘optimize’ your site. If you have a professional site, good content, pictures load easily, good compositon, you will get good rankings. It takes a bit of time. Also, link to bigger sites (Crafts Report, Surface Design) that kind of thing. A lot of $5 a month folks give no technical support and sometimes if you wat to move your site, they say, Oh, well, the domain belongs to us and you pay through the nose to get YOUR NAME back. It has happened to a few of our clients–not nice, not ethical.

  • I realize I’m not paying for tech. support at $2.95/ month. $20.00 to $25.00/month seems fair when you add that to the mix (plus you’re supporting local business, which is always good). It’s good to know there are a variety of options out there–some more budget friendly and some more personal and user-friendly. I put off building my website because I was daunted by the prices many artists told me they paid for their sites. Then I read a magazine article about how easy and inexpensive it can be to build a website. It encouraged me to get to it and I’m glad I did.

  • I have been working with Pat and she’s great! Thanks for the referral Al. Francesca

  • Greetings! I have two different web sites; one is for my art business and the other for a non-profit organization. I use Host Save and Inexpensive Domains(respectively) as hosts for these. Annual fees are $90-something. (Certainly under $100.) My Host Save package comes with a very decent stats program. I DO have a question, though: When my Hummingbird Studios web site was created and uploaded YEARS ago, it was designed to be viewed by people with 13-inch terminals (which is about all there was, back then). However, in viewing my web site from a 17-inch screen, there’s ALL this BLANK space on the right hand side. What’s the consensus? Should I have it fixed to accomodate the 17-inch screens, or leave it so that everybody can view my web site, irrespective of their screen size? Thanks for your input! Phyllis

  • My webhost is olm.net, and I pay $8.95 per month. They have 24 hour live tech support by phone or online which is one reason I chose them. My site is rarely down, and I’ve been very happy with them. I just learned that they now have a cheaper plan with more “stuff” so I’m going to switch. I took an online class in web design and html several years ago and built my own website. There is plenty of free advice online about optimizing websites for the search engines, so there really isn’t any need to pay for these services. It isn’t brain surgery and can be its own form of creativity.

  • Got to jump in here. I’m a graphic designer and after 20 years in print have found myself THROWN into the world of web design. (Oh, you’re a designer? Do you do web sites? …Umm, yeah…) Some of the more ‘techie’ side is still on the learning curve but it’s coming. Good design is good design, no matter the medium. That’s where I put my focus while I build the technical knowledge. Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the prices you folks are using are US $$. Just for the information for any of my Canadian pals blogging here, we can expect to pay approximately $25 CDN for domain registration. A good full-service ISP can be found for about $160 CDN per year. Yes, price is important, particularly when you’re on a budget. But the bigger picture is, what are you getting for your money? As already noted, $2.95 doesn’t get much. Even as a designer, I like to know that I’ve got a solid support network and help desk at my disposal should I run into problems. Also, are you getting web stats, a functional and scaleable database, SSL or SLQ support… all the things that make a web site more than “just another pretty picture”? Be clear about what you want from your web site. And if you’re looking for help from a designer or ISP service, get as many estimates as you can, and compare apples to apples. As for Phyllis’ question about the 13-inch monitor to larger screen – yes, fix it. Few people have 13″ monitors these days. Besides, if the site is designed well, it should be scalable to fit any size of monitor. Sounds like yours was set up to be pixel-based rather than percentage-based. My two cents (CDN!) worth. :o)

  • Just to add my two cents to the screen size comments. Patricia is right, it is best to design your site to be scalable since it will fit any monitor size or any size a person might make their browser. If you do not make your website scalable you need to consider a number of characteristics that of the visitors to your site: – What screen size do they have? This is more than just a desktop monitor. Some people use laptops which vary in size. – Do they typically maximize their browser or keep it smaller than the fullsize of their screen? Not everyone maximizes their windows, so if you design for a size larger than their browser, they may miss parts of your site. – What screen resolution do they use? Even if a person has a larger monitor, they may be using at a lower screen resolution which will make everything on their screen appear bigger. People do this for a variety of reasons, some of them for taste/preference, some of them for visual impairments. I would suggest that if you need to design for a specific size, designing your site for a smaller screen than a larger one would be better. If you design for a larger one, you could end up forcing some of your visitors to do a lot of horizontal scrolling which turns many people off returning to a website.