Need a website? Here’s what to expect and think about

desktop with oversized graphic of a web design ux/ui

What to think about for your very first website

Never had a website before? Start here.

Let’s first address who this entire article is for.  I’m not talking to people who’ve had websites in the past or run a massive corporation.  I’m talking to people that are just getting started with a small business, in independent contracting, or even as a job seeker.

I’m pretty sure if someone like my dad was starting up his own business, he’d be asking for help with everything from logo design to website help. Which got me thinking.  People don’t necessarily know what to ask for or where to start if they’re just starting up their own small business or for contracting or looking for a job. 

In fact, based on past calls I received, they don’t know how web designers may charge them for help with website development.  Having knowledge on where to get started, is important when you’re figuring out how much money you’ll need to have in your cost analysis for the business plan and understanding your initial budget.


Website Domains & Hosting

First off, what’s in your wallet? 

Anytime you look for tech to help you with a problem, you’ll have to create a budget.  This isn’t a willy-nilly process since there are realistic costs upfront to even having a website to begin with.  Best thing to do, is to start with a list of basic costs and create a realistic understanding of how to create your initial budget. This means you’re looking at initial costs of (at a minimum) of $154USD just to have a website plan that works online. 




IP Address


annual – base minimum



personal – per month

WordPress Business


business – per month



base plan – per month



personal – per month



personal – per month

Investigate the costs further, what I didn’t mention is that the IP address can cost up to a few thousand dollars depending on what you’re looking for.  The ballpark is around $10 to $20 dollars per year.  Finding a domain and purchasing one can be done in a number of places (here are a few of your options). 

If you’re a job seeker (or a contractor) you can use a personal plan without a hitch for the basic price of about $154 per year.  They’re simple to set up on your own, or with a professional’s help.  Most places offer guided instructions to help you, so you can do this without spending extra cash. 

For business owners, a basic business plan is a great way to get started.  In this case, you’re looking at around a base of $310USD (minimum) per year to have a domain and website hosting.  You’ll need the extra options as a business for integrations and themes that you’ll want to have.


Content is a mixed bag of items.  Typically, when you hear or read the word “content” you should be thinking about, text, graphics, photography, and video.  It’s what’s contained in a website and on the web.  So, it should go without saying that you’ll either be handing over your content to a having it created for you, giving it to a web designer, or posting it yourself. 


If you need content written or edited by a professional, there’s going to be a charge for it.  Rates for good writing will vary, but there’s a typical range you will see that’s asked for in the industry.  And there are a couple of ways a writer will charge you for their work, either per word or by the hour.  Both usually work out to about roughly the same price.  If you aren’t writing your own content, you’ll need to budget on a copywriter.



Copywriter Rates



Per Word



Per Hour



Graphic Art

Art is important as part of the content of your brand, and it isn’t free.  This can include your logo, typography, and digital art.  The things that make up your brand should be included, even on a bare-bones website.  A digital graphic artist can range from $50-$150 per hour based on their skills sets. 


Professional photography makes a significant difference in content & sales.  If you’re business or personal website needs either you or products to look good, you’ll probably want to consider a photographer.  Photographers my offer a package for their work, but the standard rate is around $100-$125 per hour.

Web Designer

Depending on the type of website you’re in need of, your price range for a web developer will range from $100-$180USD.  I’ll point out here, the more complex the work, the more expensive it becomes.  A UI/UX designer might charge a little less than a back-end software developer, but overall, you’ll still need to consider that you’ll spend on average $125 per individual per hour. 

Ready to get your website up & running?

It’s pen and paper time. 

When you call your friendly web designer (you can read this as: me), we’re going to ask you some basic questions.  When I get calls it’s always “How much do you charge?”  Well, that answer, as you probably guessed by now, varies.  There’s a better way to get started to save yourself some time and energy when you make that call.

In fact, here’s a list of questions you’ll need to be able to answer for any web designer:

  1. What is your website for?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. Can you show me 3 to 5 websites that you like from your competitors?
  4. Can you provide examples on those websites of things you do not like?
  5. What features do you want to include on your website?
  6. What is the timeline to start and when would you like to launch?
  7. What’s the overall style of your website that you are imagining?

Therefore, you’re first question should not be “How much do you charge?”  It should be, “Can we discuss the different types of websites you create?”  This will get you pointed in the right direction of getting help you need to create a website that works on your budget. 


Need more help?  I’m available and can give you direction or help you with a new website.  Give me a shout at with some deets about what you’re looking to create.


Anna Pilette

Anna Pilette

Owner & Project Director, Atomic Dumpling LLC.

About a million years ago, I was in the Navy. After, I worked for a bunch of companies and eventually realized that their business practices left a lot to be desired. Today, I’m helping small businesses and freelancers avoid mistakes and build their own brands.  You can follow me on TikTok or where.  You can also reach out for help

Everyone isn’t a writer, but writers are a business requirement

Typed page in typewriter that says "Bestest English for gooder grammar."

Writing Requires Work & Then Some

Not everyone is a good writer. Yes, I said it out loud. You know what? It’s perfectly fine if that’s not your skill set. But writing is a requirement for business. It’s time to understand why writing is important. It will help you make better business decisions and improve communication.

Forms Of Written Communication & Their Importance

Writing is communication, plain and simple. What isn’t as simple as identifying the various forms of writing and their purposes that can help your business. We also need to establish why good written communication is essential for business.

All forms of writing require skill, thought, and most importantly, the realization you are a mere mortal. Writing for any purpose outside of a wedding invitation requires an incredible amount of work. To undertake a piece of writing will take you through several emotions, at least one life-changing moment, and several stressful situations.

Outside of that, it’s a piece of cake.

Ok, I lied. It’s not as glamorous as cake. In fact, let’s just forget I talked about cake. Let’s talk about writing and why it’s a business requirement.

Day-to-Day Writing

We can start simple and think about the different ways we use writing in our business dealings. Just thinking about day-to-day communications from emails to reports, we’re using our skills to communicate with clients and coworkers. Digging deeper into it, businesses and freelancers need to have good writing skills to create everyday items. The shortlist of daily writing would be emails, memos, reports, meeting notes, and agendas.  

Arguably, good writing is the most important skill set you have for your work, whatever it is. It allows you to lay out a logical path for others to follow. Providing comprehensive and informative written information creates structure and clarity for people.

Copywriting is Motivational

I love reading good copy and so do you. Copywriting inspires confidence and curiosity about a brand’s products and services. It’s motivational and persuasive, which is why it’s used for marketing, websites, social media, and newsletters. It’s also the reason we love it. Copywriting pieces are communication, just on a different level. It taps into the parts of our psyche that wants to be wowed by something cool.

It is essential to appreciate a great writer who can get you thinking about a product or service. 

The power of persuasion is almost everything for text content in marketing (we’ll get back to this point in a minute.)  

Complex Communications Through Technical Writing

On the tech side, technical writing is in three distinct areas, instruction, argumentative, and communication. 

Of course, all three are still communication, but let’s talk about the specific role of technical writing.

The goal of technical writing is to always provide complex ideas to readers in a way they can understand even if they are not experts in a particular field. This means that a technical writer must take the information and create text explanations for any reader to understand. In business, the role of a technical writer is expansive covering everything from training to safety to production.  

Good Writing Is Critical

For your business, you probably use a mix of both copywriting and technical writing. Understanding your business’s deficiencies in communication is critical in improving your brand. Your business should be constantly communicating to the public your work. 

This can happen in several ways that include client or employee training, social media, your website, newsletters, or reports. Any business’s amazing story can be told through writing. It’s up to you how you tell it, and no matter the routes you take, you’ll need great writers to do it.  


If you need some good writers, contact me at and I’ll help you get started telling your story.



Anna Pilette

Anna Pilette

Owner & Project Director, Atomic Dumpling LLC.

About a million years ago, I was in the Navy. After, I worked for a bunch of companies and eventually realized that their business practices left a lot to be desired. Today, I’m helping small businesses and freelancers avoid mistakes and build their own brands.  You can follow me on TikTok or where.  You can also reach out for help