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The “hidden” costs associated with web design & branding

Let me start by saying the word ‘hidden’ isn’t as shady as it sounds in the title. These costs aren’t actually hidden but rather most business owners just aren’t aware that there are extra costs in addition to the quote of their web design/branding project.

These costs are necessary to the work being done so don’t worry they’re not scams to get more money out of you, and go towards assets that are used to complete your project or services that will help bolster your business.

With that, let me breakdown what these costs are and what they are related to…

Brand Development

Font License(s): This one has to do with your logo. Most logos use text in its design and this text, or font, requires a license giving you the right to use it in your logo, on your website, in your social media posts, and more. However, some designers create logos completely by hand in which case you wouldn’t need a font license.

The price of a font license can vary from $30 to $300

Web Design

Domain(s): Now this may seem like a no-brainer, but there are some people who confuse their hosting with their domain. Where your website lives, or is hosted, is separate from the URL, or domain, used to get there. While you can purchase your domain through the host you use it’s good practice to purchase your domain elsewhere incase you ever leave that host.

The price of a domain can vary from $10 to $20 per year

Hosting/Platform Plan: Regardless of if you go with Squarespace, WordPress, or something else you have to pay for a plan to use that platform. This may seem obvious but I have met some people who are surprised to learn this, especially with WordPress since WordPress isn’t a platform but a software you need hosting for. It can be a bit confusing but the concept is still the same, you’re paying monthly to use it.

The price of hosting or a platform plan can vary from $12 to $29+ per month

Visual Builder: To quickly explain what a visual builder is, this is a drag-and-drop tool used to design websites. Examples include Elementor for WordPress or Shogun for Shopify. While there are some designers that include a free license for these when you book a project, there are plenty of designers that require their clients to purchase their own license.

The price of a visual builder can vary from $49 to $89 per year or $39 per month in the case of Shogun

Legal Policies: This is your Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and any additional Disclaimers. While you can make these for free using an online generator you have to remember what you get will be pretty generic to fit the wide range of businesses using it. Luckily there are services created by lawyers who sell these policies and also update them as the laws change so you can be more protected.

The price of legal policies can vary from $10 to $20 per month

Email Marketing

Business Email(s): A business email is a professional email that uses your business’s domain, for example hello@yourdomain.com. While these aren’t necessary (especially if you’re a new business) there are some email marketing services that require you to have a business email to use said service. Plus, they do add a professional flair when you give people your business card.

The price of a business email can vary from $5 to $20 per month

Email Marketing Service: There are countless articles, blogs, and videos listing the benefits to having an email list for your business. To send your subscribers emails you need an email marketing service, a.k.a. MailChimp, Flodesk, Converkit, etc. While a lot of these services offer free plans, as your list grows, or if you need additional features, you’ll need to pay for a monthly plan.

The price of email marketing can vary from FREE to $300 per month (depending on the size of your subscriber list)
Wrapping Up

And those are the “hidden”, or rather extra, costs related to design and business in general.

Now, some of these you may not have to worry about at all during your project, while others, like the domain & hosting, are pretty non-negotiable. However, as your business grows you’ll encounter all of these at some point in time so it’s always good to be aware of extra business expenses like these.

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Owner of Brown Sugar Branding, a designer dedicated to distinctive & goal-orientated design.

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