Total cost of website ownership
- Sep. 4, 2003
So the editorial department was brainstorming ideas the other day for new informational articles and an interesting idea popped up: What is the total cost of ownership for a website? We started researching and decided this would make a good topic for a series of articles. In this part we discuss what to do before you actually have the website.
Here is our sample scenario: You've decided you can build a better widget and the best way to sell it is on the web. What do you do? We're going to assume that, like many people, you don't know what to do to get yourself on the web. Before you even consider designs, and how the website is going to function, you should look such things as what are your hosting options as they could ultimately affect your site's performance. You also need to think long and hard about a domain name.
So let's start there. Before you can have a website, you need to have a place to put it. A domain name gives people an easy way to remember your site, rather than having to type in an IP address every time. Your domain name should reflect what your site is about. Ideally you'd like to have a high priority keyword in the domain name as well. Be careful however, as there are many people who make a business out of registering hundreds of domains and selling them to you at a premium. If you feel this is the best way to do this (that is buy a previously registered domain) please make sure that in the end, you are the legal owner and the primary contact in the whois database. There have been cases reported where an unscrupulous vendor has sold a domain name many times.
If you decide to think up your own domain name, consider the above points -that is it reflects what the site is about, and hopefully can contain some primary keywords. If your site is about widgets, but you name it your company name (such as ABCProducts.com) then the domain name doesn't have anything to do with widgets. However, if widgets are only part of your focus, then perhaps the company name is the ideal domain name.
So let's say its just widgets you want to do. A search for widgets.com shows that, as I explained above, someone else has registered the domain and will probably sell it for a premium. So let's think of something else.
Let's say your widgets are unique - they are right handed widgets. You could register righthandedwidgets.com for anywhere from US$9 to US$20 per year, depending on which registrar you wish to go through. You can register a domain without a website; therefore you can "park" the domain with the registrar temporarily until you have decided on a hosting package, and have a website to point to.
Tomorrow we will look at what's next - web hosting.
Additional resource articles:
Search Engine Positioning