What to budget for when starting an Online Business

Making the decision to build a website for an online business  or online version of your current business is unquestionably one of the most significant ventures you’re going to undertake. The amount of capital available to new business owners is always limited and so it is crucial to plan for all the financial obligations you will have to help get your website up and running. On the onset, you will be allocating resources to help furnish and build your website. But what do those costs look like?

The cost of setting up your business website may vary depending on the quality of and calibre of resources you decide to employ in the process. There are so many options available to you that it may be overwhelming. No worries. We’ve got you covered.

In this post, we will outline the exact financial elements you need to budget for when deciding to build and launch your website.

Why You Need to Set a Budget for your Online Business

With any new business venture, it is important to set and stick to a budget and your website is not an exception to the rule. Taking the time to outline and determine your initial costs helps you to plan effectively for the future of your website’s development and scalability. If done effectively, in the long run, this will save you a lot of money. Budgets help you to focus your resources and decision making about the various tools and website features you want to include.

However, before you pull out the ledger and begin cranking the numbers, you may want to do some pre-website planning for added control on the creative process which would eventually lend to the financial budget.

This means formulating a roadmap for future expansion, considering how scalability could affect your budget for the long haul, and deciding how heavily you’ll want to rely on SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions.

4 Financial Factors to Consider at the Onset

Let us go a little deeper and have a look at these key points:

  1. Your Domain
  2. Your Hosting Provider
  3. Hiring a Web Developer
  4. WordPress Themes and Plugins

1. Your Domain

Choosing your domain name is not something that should be done frivolously. While just adding your company’s name to a .com is the easy way out a lot of thought should go into picking a domain name that speaks to your brand, is memorable and engaging.

Though choosing a domain name is only one hurdle to jump, when purchasing your TLD you might want to consider buying multiple TLD extensions. This helps to keep domain squatters away and allows you to purchase country or area specific domains to let your local audience know you’re homegrown.

If you want to also purchase industry-specific domains known as new gTLDs (generic top level domains) like .shop, .biz, .team, .app or the like then you must factor in the costs associated with them. Depending on the industry the domain can be a little bit more on the pricey end.

Our advice is to weigh the costs of purchasing multiple TLD extensions of your domain. Multi-year options and discounts may help to scale down the costs.

Choosing a domain hosts is just as important as our next financial element, the website hosting provider.

2. Web Hosting: Choosing your Hosting Provider

This is equally one of the most important decisions you will make. Your Web Hosting Solution should offer the ultimate in scalability. This means that your hosting provider should have a myriad of hosting solutions that will grow with your business. The calibre of your host will determine the functionality and performance of your website. When considering a hosting provider and the costs associated thing of:

  • Shared hosting with room to grow beyond.
  • Your site’s potential traffic and the numbers of page views per month
  • The amount of bandwidth you may need

If in future you wish to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) you must factor in the costs associated with that as well.

Be sure you consider all the components you require for your website from your hosting provider when setting your budget. Allot for special add-ons like SSL Certificates and Backup Solutions to help your site’s security.

3. The Cost Associated with Hiring a Developer

As the visionary of your business your talents may lie more on the creative side of things and thus the technical skills required to build a website may not lay within your arsenal of skills. As a result, you may plan to outsource the tasks of building your website to a professional developer. Thus adding another item in that ledger.

Picking the right developer or development agency is another crucial decision you will have to make. Not only do you have to factor in the cost of labour but also the quality and skill level of the developer. Choosing someone who has industry clout, experience, and skill is crucial to your website’s success because if they don’t deliver then that can cost you more money in the long run.

Developers’ rates are based on a myriad of factions. If you do choose to outsource the work of building your site by one them then these are a few things to consider:

  • The quality of the designer’s work and the demand associated with it.
  • The industry or niche your website falls into.
  • The type of website, its functionality and the other deliverables you require from the designer.

When allocating your resources for a web designer you will need to take time to carefully consider the budget you set initially, and ensure you receive the most value possible for your hard earned dollars. Your money should work for your website!

When it comes to your website’s design, functionality and optimisation for mobile use, you do not want to skimp in any way possible. Do your homework and choose someone that matches your requirements, skill level and budget.

4. The theme and plugins you use on WordPress

If you have a bit of tech prowess and make the decision to use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you will need to allow for theme and plugin costs. Choosing the right WordPress theme that speaks to your brand, has the functionality you require, is scalable, and optimised for mobile is tantamount and again you don’t want to skim on the expense if you choose this route.

Above all when choosing a theme, functionality is king. So be sure to know how much you need before choosing a theme design.

Themes can be purchased from various outlets online. WordPress also has its own Theme Directory with themes you can choose from that are free and paid.

Free themes can help give you a little wiggle room in that budget but if you really want to stand out and ensure your website meets all of the requirements you need, purchasing a custom theme may be your best option.

Plugins are necessary for running any site on WordPress. While a lot of them are free for download, consider purchasing the premium versions to get more features.


The costs associated in setting up your website varies. And while this should not be a major element in how you choose to build your website, the more resources you have allocated for your website’s initial budget plays a pivotal role in your website’s success. We’ve discussed the 4 major financial elements you need to budget for when beginning your small business website:

  • Choose a domain and allot space in the budget to purchase multiple domain name variants of the original.
  • Select a website hosting solution that has a myriad of hosting options that are scalable and will grow with your website.
  • Decide if choosing a web developer is right for you or if you’d rather do it yourself.
  • Use a content management service to design your site and select the theme and plugins you need to use.

Now that you’re better equipped and understand what is needed to start your website begin budgeting and planning to build a website that engages your audience and converts!