The question of “How much does it cost to build a website?” has been on the lips of internet marketers for years. The answer varies depending on who you ask. Word press, a CMS, or any number of free e-books on web design are popular answers but do they all accurately represent how much you will pay for web design?

If you’re an SEO pro or a copywriter, you’ve probably cringed at the cost of hiring designers and copywriters. The truth is, you may not have spent as much as you thought. In fact, most SEO experts agree that the majority of their clients spend far more on SEO than on website development, copywriting, or design. Part of this discrepancy is due to SEO’s wide appeal and long life. But SEO is just one part of the picture.

The real question should be, “How much does it cost to NOT have a website?” If you’re an SEO specialist or copywriter, you know how much it costs to get high ranking pages. SEO can take weeks, months, or even years to bring a page up in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Once in those rankings, it can take many years for a new website to break into those results again. This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and is absolutely essential to any small business website.

You also may have realized that website builders cost significantly less than SEO. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the price of hosting providers. Some hosting providers offer web hosting for as little as $20 per month, but these are generally low quality solutions that will not be customized to your individual needs. Many businesses, especially small businesses, cannot afford this type of low cost solution. Therefore, you may be asking, “How much does it cost to build a website that will get decent search engine positioning, without SEO?”

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Here’s another question: How much does it cost to rent or lease a large office building, and then buy one, even though the average cost of building a large e-commerce store may not exceed several million dollars? Again, most of us are in business for ourselves, and we don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in a building before knowing what the final price will be. This is why the average cost of building a website may be higher. This is also why the price range often varies for website builders from one provider to the next.

A word of caution: if you do decide to hire a SEO and content management provider, make sure they provide guaranteed results within a specific time frame, with no exceptions. Guaranteed results usually means they offer a free website builder and support for up to three months after the initial installation. For anyone with serious inquiries about how much does it cost to build a website, there are literally hundreds of thousands of ready-made websites on the Internet for their use. While many of them are available for download free, the best way to find out how much it costs to have a custom-made website created by a qualified SEO and content management company is to visit their online website. It’s their job to answer all your questions.

Last but certainly not least, one of the biggest unknowns when it comes to website development costs is pay-per-click advertising. How much does it cost to have Google AdWords and other pay-per-click advertising campaigns on your website? Many webmasters may be surprised to find out that it actually costs more to have PPC campaigns placed on their sites than it does to simply have SEO articles written, submitted, and hosted on their site. Keep in mind that any time a potential customer searches for keywords associated with your business through search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo, you are also potentially paying for those clicks through pay-per-click advertising.

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A good way to save money on website development cost is to have an easy-to-use website admin panel that allows the webmaster to quickly identify and manage all of his or her web pages. The right admin panel will include everything that a webmaster needs to create, maintain, and update landing pages, blogs, and RSS feeds. A good example of such a webhosting product is Webroot, which has been in the business of developing, hosting, and providing software for over 30 years. Webroot products are consistently ranked among the best sellers in the industry, so you know that you can trust them!