You'd like a website for you business, but are unsure of what is involved and the pricing.  Here are the typical components and pricing that can factor into your decision.

E-commerce (on-line ordering) considerations

Listed below find a table of approximate costs for features discussed:

  Setup Cost Monthly Cost Annual Cost
Domain Name Registration $9.99 - Varies   $9.99- Varies
Website Development Varies Varies  
Website Hosting (ISP)   $20.00 to $199.00  

E-commerce (on-line ordering) Considerations

Virtual Shopping Cart Software Free to $795.00    
Site Certificate $349.00/$125.00 - or some ISP offer secure server options*   $249.00/$125.00
On-line Payment Processing $300.00 to $1,000 A monthly service access fee of $40 to $80, and/or $0.20 to $0.60 per transaction fees  
* Statistics show that 15% of Internet aware shoppers will NOT continue with a purchase when they have be 'redirected' using a shared ISP server certificate.
Domain Name Registration
Initial registration of a brand new domain name will reserve your domain name ( for a an annual period. The price you pay depends on the accredited registrar you register your domain name with.

After the year you will be required to renew your domain name ( for an annual renewal fee .

Click here if you are interested in learning More on DNS.


Website Development
Costs will vary anywhere from ‘do it yourself; ‘FREE’ (you get what you pay for – be careful); Website ‘packages’ ; $30-$250 per hour. The time it takes to develop your website will vary depending on your content - but as a rule should not take longer than 3 months.  Use the following cost comparisons of 'packages' and development fees to verify how cost effective Affluency Webs packages are. Always check references, longevity and websites developed by individual development companies and ensure you have been provided an accurate estimate and a binding contract before starting any development.  
Click on Link Below to View More About Each Company Pricing Basic Website Business Website E-Commerce Development Hourly Rate
Affluency Webs $399.95 $1,599.95 100 Product store averages $2,500 $60.00
Verio / Hiway $1,495 $ 9,995 $1,695  for over 10 items, store ONLY no additional web pages Not Mentioned
Rocky Mountain Internet $5,000 and up $5,000 and up $5,000 and up $ 140.00
Qwest       $ 210.00
Website Hosting - Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
Costs will vary anywhere from  ‘FREE’ (you get what you pay for – be careful) to $150.00 per month depending on which platform (Microsoft NT or Unix) you choose, what kind of functionality (FrontPage Server Extensions, Cold Fusion, CGI & Java scripts, forms) you need with your website.   Your developer will help you determine which functions should be implemented to ensure compatibility with your chosen Internet Service Provider.  ISPs also distinguish 'web hosting' packages by how much disk space you will need and bandwidth considerations.

Check out our reliable service, simple options and great service on Web Hosting

E-Commerce (on-line ordering) Considerations

Virtual Shopping Cart Software
If you are offering several products for on-line ordering a Virtual Shopping Cart software can provide you with Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language (DHTML) templates for displaying products.  A lot of the Virtual Cart Shopping software applications also allow you to manage your inventory levels, adjust tax rates, adjust shipping rates and provide a wide variety of management and design tools.  

Costs vary for the Virtual Shopping Cart Software. Some ISPs may provide this feature as a free or value added cost.  If you purchase the software directly from Able Commerce you can pay as much as $795.00 per store.

The trend is to offer e-commerce solutions through ISPs.   Remember that most of this server side vitual shopping carts is exactly that - server side.  If you decide to change ISPs you will need to 'recreate' your store.   Able Commerce provides more portability than some of the vendors we have researched (Soft Cart, Inex, Icat).

If you are not offering a variety of products a simple HTML page written as a https page may work for your needs.

Site Certificate
One of the biggest fears and reasons potential customers are not ordering on-line is the risk of divulging their payment information. If I am going to order on-line and I don't see my Browser software (Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Netscape) go into a secure mode when it's time to input my credit card - I won't order. Using a site certificate tied to your domain name provides credibility to your website and helps ensure that payment information will be transmitted securely. Research shows that 15% of web savvy visitors will not enter their credit card information using a 'shared' site certificate.  If you enter a 'secure' area and you see the addressing 'redirecting' to another domain name and not yours - that is the indication that a shared site certificate is being used.

A site certificate provides a digital certificate (AKA- key pair) to provide secure data transmission when customers input their payment information to your website. The data is transmitted through an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to your website. There are several companies providing site certificates, but Verisign and Thawte, Entrust.

The process required to apply for and receive a site certificate are:

  • Purchase and apply to Certificate Authority for a key.
  • Certificate Authority reviews your company information to ensure you are a legitimate business. Once your company information is verified, and matches your domain name registration information, and payment is received.
  • They will send key information to your ISP to install the certificate on the web server. The information in your original request must match exactly to the information passed to your ISP or the key will not install on your website.

Charges between Certificate Authorities vary from $150 - $350 per year.

On-line Payment Processing
The new buzzword of the day is 'Merchant Account'.   Some ISPs are bundling the Merchant Account with the website setup - but this is one area you can definitely save money by shopping around.  Merchant accounts typically require a setup cost, per transaction percentage and monthly fees from card processing institutions and/or your bank.  You may find it easier to go to your current financial institution and ask them about setting up a merchant account.

On-line Payment processing can be enabled to automatically process the payment request and transmit the payment to your financial institution.  A Cybercash or Authorize net account is setup through a financial institution and fees are paid to them for the services. Typically there is a setup fee that can run anywhere from $300 - $1,000. In addition they may charge a monthly service fee from $40-$80 per month  and/or a per transaction fee ( $0.20 to $0.60 per transaction). Smart consumers will shop around for a card service processing institution that will give them the best rates.

Your ISP or website developer would install an interface software to transmit data from your website to the Financial computers (servers).  A site certificate is required in order to transmit data to the Financial institutions. 

Recommendations are to wait until you are receiving at least ten (10) orders a day in your on-line store prior to setting up a on-line payment processing method.

What’s Next?
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