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If you have a basic understanding of web technology and you’re fine doing the work yourself, you can totally create or build your own website.
These are the raw materials you need:
The cost to host your website ranges from about GH₵600/year for basic hosting from companies like BlueHost or HostGator to GH₵6000+/year for more robust hosting from companies like WPengine or SiteGround — which really isn’t needed until your site starts getting a lot of traffic (i.e. more than 100,000 visitors/month), at which time you could upgrade to a web server with more horsepower.
Even if you don’t plan to sell things directly from your site, you’ll still want to secure your site with HTTPS protocol. You can get an SSL certificate for as little as GH₵60/year or as much as GH₵1500/year. Shop around, but don’t buy more than you actually need.
UPDATE: Some web hosting companies now offer a free SSL certificate as an incentive to host your site with them.
Premium themes range from GH₵400 to GH₵900. There are hundreds, if not thousands of themes to choose from. Some free, some paid. I urge you to invest in buying a premium (paid) theme. You’ll thank me later. We’ve experimented with many website themes over the years and the ones we now use exclusively, both for our own site as well as our clients’ sites are from ThemeForest and StudioPress — great designs + solid coding.
Premium plugins cost between GH₵180 to GH₵600. As with website themes, you usually get what you pay for. Do yourself a favor and invest a few cedis to get quality plugins. For example, two premium plugins we use on nearly every site we build are Elementor and Yoast SEO. Yes, there are lots of free plugins and many of them are very good. But there are also lots of bad plugins that don’t work as advertised and will waste a bunch of your time. So be careful.
If you’re a good photographer or you already have high-quality images for your site, then you’re all set. But chances are you’ll need to purchase some images to dress up your site a bit. The two places we recommend are BigStockPhoto.com and iStockPhoto.com. They have lots of high-quality, royalty-free images at reasonable prices. In most cases, you can probably get all that you need, at least initially, for GH₵300. After that, you just buy what you need as your website evolves.
IMPORTANT: Never, ever, ever just copy/paste images from other sources onto your site, unless you’re 1000% certain you have permission. Otherwise you can get sued. Play it safe and just purchase your images — it’s way less expensive than a lawsuit — and you’ll have your peace of mind.
Unless you work on websites every day, you’re probably going to have to buy a few books or take an online course to learn WordPress, HTML/CSS coding language, Photoshop, etc. to get yourself up to speed in one or more areas of website design and development. Taking an online course or buying a good book may cost between GH₵150 ton GH₵1800.
In total, you’re realistically looking at about GH₵1850-GH₵3600 in expenses to get up and running.
Obviously, the main cost with the DIY option (building your own website) is your time.
Even for a “simple” site, don’t be surprised if it takes you 20-40 hours to produce something of decent quality you can be proud of. And that’s assuming you’re already somewhat familiar with how to build a website. If you’re totally new to this, multiply that time estimate by 2x or 3x. I’m not exaggerating.
Building a modern, well-engineered website is way more time-consuming than most people realize. But if you have more time than money right now and you don’t get overwhelmed by web technology, the DIY approach is a perfectly viable option.
If you’re super busy running your business and/or web technology just isn’t your thing, then we can be of help. Click and check out our web design and development packages.