Are you planning to put your business on the web by creating and launching a website or you already have a website but don’t know meaning of most of the terms or steps involved in creating and managing your website? This article is for you; it highlights all you need to know about a website.
1. Domain Name
Domain names are like house addresses but for the web. They serve as an identifier for your website on the web. Instead of using IP addresses to locate (hence the name, Uniform Resource Locator, URL) your site on the web, you use words that describe your business and are easy to remember. Domain names come in this format: www.yourbusiness.com. Cost ranges between ₦4,000 to ₦13,000 per year for domain names that are not taken.
2. Hosting Server
a. Shared Server
In shared servers, the host company takes, for example, a Computer with a 500 GB hard disk space and creates 500 1 GB partitions and sells each partition to customers to use in hosting their websites. In this type of server, all 500 partitions (or websites) shares, equally the resources (Hard Disk Drive, RAM, CPU, Bandwidth, IP Address, etc.) the hosting computer has. A website hosted on a shared server cannot use beyond the resources allocated to it, to do this the server configuration has to be upgraded. What this means is that, for example, a website hosted on a shared server that has a bandwidth which supports 1,000 users accessing it at the same time, will stop responding when the number of users accessing it increases to 1,001.
Cost of shared servers ranges between ₦4,000 to ₦35,000 per year depending on the server configurations, specifications, and features.
b. Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are upgraded versions of shared servers, the difference here is that the hosting plan comes with resources allocated to it. In VPS hosting, the hosting company allocates a specific amount of the Computer’s Hard Disk Space, CPU processing power, RAM, Bandwidth to your website. Resources allocated to the hosting plan is not shared with another website hosted on the server. Some VPS plans even come with a dedicated IP address.
Cost of virtual private servers ranges between ₦40,000 to ₦90,000 per year depending on the server configurations, specifications, and features.
c. Dedicated Servers
In a dedicated server hosting plan, the computer and all its resources are dedicated to one hosting plan or website, you can use the server to its maximum capacity
Cost of dedicated servers ranges between ₦100,000 to ₦2,000,000 per year depending on the server configurations, specifications, and features.
d. Cloud Servers
Cloud servers take advantage of a network of physical servers (Computers) and draw computing resources from all of them. What this means is that computing resources like RAM, Hard Disk Space, CPU Processing power, Bandwidth, etc dedicated to the hosting plan comes from multiple computers.
Cost of cloud servers depends on the number of resources used during the billing cycles, just like your utility bill; you pay as you use.
3. Email Hosting
Emails are a virtual post office and they are very essential business and communication tools. Most hosting packages come with a free email hosting plan called webmail. There are other paid email hosting services that come with additional features (that are lacking in Webmail). Depending on your business and budget you can choose from a variety of email hosting services from Google's G Suite, Microsoft Outlook 365, Zoho, Namecheap Private Email, etc.
Cost of email hosting services ranges from free (if you are using the default email hosting service that comes with your hosting plan) to as high as ₦40,000 /year/user
4. SSL Certificate
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate provides assurance to your website visitors that your website is safe to use. The secure site is an important factor in search engine ranking as well as websites that store user’s information like emails, phone numbers, and credit card details.
Cost of SSL certificates ranges from ₦4,000 to ₦80,000 per year
5. Web Design
Web design is about creating a visually appealing layout of the website that makes it easy for your website visitors or target audience to easily access the information they are looking for and also guide them on what action to take when they find that information.
In analogy, the web design phase Is likened to the architectural design phase of a building. During the design phase, the objectives and goals of the website, content types to be used, target audience, user personas and use case scenarios are determined. Information gathered from this will guide the web designer on how to visually present information for the target audience in such a manner that it is easy to access, navigate and visually appealing.
Web Design cost between ₦50,000 to ₦3,000,000 and depends on the complexity of the website and the web designer or web design agency.
6. Web Development
The web design is often time presented visually as images (screens) or PSDs (Photoshop Designs) and it is during the development phase that these designs are implemented to produce the website that is displayed on the browser. Web development involves representing these designs in a language a web browser can understand. Web developers use Markup languages (HTML5) to represent text, images, videos on a browser, CSS to layout pages, menus, buttons and provide the overall look and feel of a website.
There are different web development approaches you may want to consider when building a website:
a. Custom Web Development
b. Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)
There are a number of free CMS online that provides all the features a website will require. The web developer builds a website on top these content management systems by creating or modifying the pages that come with these open source CMS. The advantage here is that websites can be created very fast (sometimes in minutes) and easily using CMS.