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For most small businesses a platform such as Wix can allow you to have a beautiful website published in a matter of hours. Shopify is a good platform for E-Commerce as well. With their free trials there is no reason to spend more than you need to build an online presence. Now getting people to actually find your website (and therefore your offerings) is the real challenge.
There are approximately 1.2 Billion websites worldwide with a pouplation of 7.4 billion people. The number of websites is doubling every 4 years. The $20,000 budget should be sufficient for many websites. Without knowing your business, functionality requirements, features etc the $20,000 may or may not be enough to build your site. A website requires visitors to monetize. Is the $20,000 yout total funds or just the budget for the site. Typical conversion rates are about 1%. You need a 100 visitors to sell a product, but the product you have will effect even that average rate. How will you get the word out? Everything costs money. PPC, SEO,Social Media,offline marketing. Also you state you have a chaotic work schedule. You don’t build a site and your done. The site is a starting point. You need to devote time not jjust to build a site but to market the site. Once you get some people to the site you need to support those people in the sales, customer service, returns and refunds, not to mention occasional technological issues including servers going down, site hacking and slow sites. Nothing is easy and nothing is quick. Having a business online by creating a website is step one. Depending on your product or service you may need contracts that protect you and a myriad of issues. If you don’t have time because work is chaotic you wont get more time after your site is built and in rare circumstances you wont be making dollars for a while. If your site does start making money you will need to hire people. The people you hire and the way you manage those people will either increase or decrease your success. Good luck
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Excellent question. The answer depends on the complication of the site on day one, year one and year five. There are excellent small, medium and large shops available in the states…and that’s where I’d stay. Going international bring up two major issues. First an in my mind themes important is communication. Everyone I’ve know who gone overseas had had a major communications issue. When English is not the fist language it’s tuff. Plus the American culture is very different and you need a person/company who can think like you culturally.
A site depending on your needs can be as little as $1,000 for a basic information site. to $100,000 fir a very complex e-commerce site with many variations in between based on the functionality that you need.
You need to think about what CMS (content management system) the site is built on too. A CMS allows you to update and change information, photos and even functionality to a degree on your own. The top three CMSs used today are; Drupal used for more complex site, Joomla used for complex and simpler sites and WordPress which is used by many smaller sites. Any of these can be used for easy to complex sites as long as you developers are good.
When you start planning you want to think startup through year five so that you choose the platform that we allow your site to grow without having to throw away what you done in the earlier years.
I’ve attached a questionnaire we use in determining the needs of a potential client. It asks basic question as to best determine what type of site and functionality will be needed. Based on these questions and other that arise from the answers, we put an estimate together.
To use there are two parts to a website. The marketing/creative direction and the development needs. From my experience, Your $20K, depending on your creative and functionality needs should be more than you need. With that said, if you have unusually functionality that requires a lot of custom programming…the cost could easily go higher. But if you need are more on the normal side, most of the functionality is available in the CMS platforms I mentioned and just need to be customized to your needs.
If you need more detail, please feel free to ask me…I hope this helps you to get started.