This is a question I always get asked, and the answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem…
The size and complexity of a website project for your travel business will always determine the final costs, but there are extra charges that you should also be aware of before you invest in your new website.
This article should help you when budgeting for your travel website project to not run into any hidden fees or additional expenses!
For those of you who haven’t got the time to read this post, here’s a ballpark breakdown:
Website Project Costs:
- Domain Name Registration – £15-25 per year
- Hosting – £10 -15 per month
- Template Websites – typically £500-£1,000
- Custom Website Design & Development – One-off fee (typically £2,000 – £6,000+)
- Ongoing website maintenance, security & updates – £50 a month
- E-commerce websites – £6,000+
Cost No.1 – Registering Your Domain:
Domain names are the address of your website. They’re typically purchased for an annual fee and last a year; you renew them on time, which is usually every year or two years depending upon if they expire at any point in that period.
Domain name registration fees vary widely from provider to provider, you need to find a good one and not go for the cheapest. If you’re looking to register your travel website and not seeking professional advice, then consider all the options, do your research and stay away from the cheap providers…they are cheap for a reason!
The domain name registration fee is usually around £15-25 per year. It’s a cost that you’ll have to pay before the website goes live, and there is usually an irresistible offer for your first year. The annual renewal of this service will be due on the anniversary of your domain name registration.
We recommend you purchase your domain here for fast propagation, reliable support, and generally an overall quality service.
Cost No.2 – Hosting Your Domain on a Server
The hosting fee is typically charged monthly, around £10-15 a month for an average-sized WordPress travel website. It works out cheaper if paid annually (and I like not to have the monthly charges and just pay a year upfront).
Again, the same goes for the domain. The first year will typically be a cheaper fee. You’ll have to pay for hosting for as long as you plan to have your website active, or until you decide not to renew with them anymore and cancel service with this provider…which can be done at any time without penalty if you so happened to change your mind.
If you are looking for a more extensive hosting plan with more server space for hosting multiple websites, the average annual price will vary depending upon how much server space is required.
Most hosting providers offer unlimited websites and unlimited databases within reason. This typically ranges from £30-£100 per month if paid annually in advance.
The cost includes hosting, branded email addresses with a customised mail server setup to send emails from your company’s address, and an SSL certificate required by law when collecting personal data online such as IDs, credit card details or passwords, etc.
Cost No.3 – Website Design and Development
The cost of custom design and development will vary depending on the complexity, size or scope of the project…
If all you are looking for is a template website and don’t care much about customising everything, you just need a professional presence online. You can get a website built and live in less than a month for under £1,000.
If you require a more significant level site that requires complex integration, custom coding, more content, webpages and work, then this would take more like 6-8 weeks for completion and could cost anything from around £3,000 – £6,000+… the more complex the project, the more it will require of time and resources from designers/developers which is of course reflected by higher costs.
Design and development is a crucial part of the project. Any web design company charging less than £1,000 would usually indicate a lack of experience resulting in a poor quality product.
Most commonly, if you pay less than £1,000, the company will sacrifice quality. They are likely not to deliver what is required to reach your business goals and waste your time by providing a template site, no marketing techniques, user experience and conversion-based design. No ongoing extra support to help you get the most from your site.
A business owner should always get detailed quotes in writing before committing to any contract/agreement. The full scope of the project should be determined and laid out clearly before any work takes place.
A key thing to remember is that your travel website should be designed to help you achieve your goals and objectives as a business owner. The design of a site is not just about how it looks but designed to generate more revenue, convert visitors into customers, and have professionally written content on each page so you as an individual or company can get the maximum benefit from your investment.
Cost No.4 – Ongoing website maintenance and updates
A website maintenance plan is crucial to the success of your travel website because it helps you keep your site updated with the latest content and information, which is essential for search engine optimisation and for keeping your visitors excited to come back to your fresh, up to date website.
A website maintenance plan should provide a variety of tasks, including:
– Content Management: the process of adding new content to your site, updating old pages and deleting outdated information. You must keep up with this so as not to have a stale website which will be detrimental for SEO purposes.
– General Site Updates & Maintenance Tasks: consisting of checking for broken links, deleting spam comments and fixing any other errors that spammers may have introduced to the site.
– Site Security: an integral part of your website maintenance plan because it helps protect you against hackers who want access to private information on your company’s database or steal personal data from customers’ accounts. It also covers sensitive customer details like credit card numbers (if you have an e-commerce site) which could be compromised if not properly secured with robust encryption software.
– Web Analytics & Reporting: helping you see how your marketing efforts are performing by providing you with insights about what content visitors found most engaging so you can make adjustments accordingly in order provide better service online.
– Daily/Weekly website backups: this is important to have done regularly because it protects against data loss if something happens to your site. It’s also helpful in restoring websites after they have been hacked or if you want backup copies from periods before anything went wrong.
A website maintenance plan costs around £50-£100 a month, and it’s well worth the investment!
What exactly is a Website Maintenance Plan?
In summary, this is an agreement between you (the business owner) to pay someone else for ongoing website maintenance services in exchange for them monitoring your site 24/hrs per day so that they can detect any issues before there are significant consequences such as data loss or downtime.
Cost No.5 – Marketing Your Travel Website
Here are 5 of our favourite ways to market your travel website once it has gone live:
– Get the word out on social media: post links to your travel website and blog posts. Share interesting content with followers or friends in a group that would be interested (e.g., if you’re marketing a website for a luxury holiday, let’s then post it into groups of tourists, travel enthusiasts and people who appreciate your locality).
-Create email newsletters: that can include updates about new products/services and articles from other sources of relevant information explicitly related to what is being marketed by your company’s site; these emails should go straight through their inbox, so they don’t have any chance at missing them! This also helps because people will know when changes are happening within your website without searching for it online time and time again. Email marketing is about staying top of mind with your customers and keeping them coming back to your website to do business with you.
-Create a blog with great content for your customers to read: You should see your blog as an extension of your website. It’s where you can post interesting facts and stories about your travel business, inspire your visitors and educate them about things relevant to your product or service. Get to know your customers and post something interesting for them to read, help them solve their problems and use your blog to provide severe value and show you care.
-Search Engine Optimisation: SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and it’s free to do organically if you have the time. You can do this by optimising your blog content for search engines and getting backlinks from other websites linking to you (this is called “link building”). Another way to build upon your travel website SEO is to use social media to get your content in front of as many people on the internet. The most effective SEO strategy is to create quality content and research keywords around that content. Again you need good, relevant and exciting information that resonates with your readers. You should also be posting frequently enough, so customers know there’ll always be something new coming up from time to time (ideally once every week). This tells Google your site is worth coming back to. It doesn’t have to be massive posts either; just one post can do wonders if it’s well written and informative “Quality over Quantity”.
-Pay per click advertising: a great way to boost your website traffic if done right. You pay a certain amount of money to Google or Facebook for every click on your website. This can be a considerable cost and should only be considered doing if you have some professionals helping you craft the ads to generate the leads.
Cost No.6 – E-commerce projects
The cost of an e-commerce ready travel website is a little different than the other types of websites because it has to be integrated with payment gateways, booking management systems and customer relationship managers. You should expect to be paying anywhere from between £6,000-£20,000+ depending on your needs.
This will also mean that you have additional costs such as hosting fees for your online store or monthly subscription charges from software providers, such as Supercontrol for booking and channel management. These are just some examples; there may also include marketing campaigns to get people through your doors at first, too.
In the travel and tourism industry, WordPress websites may require plugins such as WooCommerce for online stores and Booking.com or Agoda to enable customers the ability to book their hotel rooms through your website, too – these are just a few examples of what you might need to run an e-commerce site successfully. Still, there may be more depending on how much functionality each business owner requires. All costs should be detailed in the original quote and the scope of work considered. I re-iterate…this will save a lot of confusion and an unexpected disappointment. Working with a freelancer over an agency can result in disaster because the freelancer will not have the same level of experience and knowledge. The cost to build a travel website is often underestimated.
A freelancer often will be desperate to acquire a job, so will undercharge, which will result in a messy project and usually a rush to not lose out.
Top tip: If you are planning on budgeting for an online shop with lots of products, or extra functionality you will need to budget for a payment gateway, which is not included in the website design cost.
In conclusion, I hope that I have been able to help you understand the costs of a website for your travel business and what is included in those prices. It’s crucial for you if you are about to invest in your online presence to know precisely how much you need to budget before going ahead with any project not to be disappointed by an unexpected cost at some point down on the road, which usually results from poor planning upfront or a lack of clarity on how much things cost.
Are you considering investing in a travel website for your business?
If you are looking to invest in a valuable asset for your travel business that could generate 10X more online bookings and give your brand a complete refresh we will be more than happy to consider working with you to reach your goals and becoming your go-to for all your travel website marketing in the future.