As Shakespeare said: “Ay, there’s the rub.” Although he was talking about something more profound the question definitely applies to buying and continuing to pay for a website. So let’s stay with the A, B and C idea:
A… You will have to buy your domain name, not usually more than a tenner for your first two years. But you will also have to stump up for what is called an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer if you must ask) licence. This is a security feature, relatively new, which whilst not mandatory does pay Google to find your site. If you do not have an SSL licence and someone seeks to visit your site Google throws up a warning message. “Do not visit this site. It might endanger you.” And guess what – no one does. That’s £30 for a year, and you really have to have it.
B… Then there is the design cost for your site. If you want a five page site say, if you’ve more or less written each page, if you have the images you want to use then that’s all good. My work will be reduced and I would guess at taking less than a day to get your site published. My charging model is £60 an hour, so if I came in under five hours that’s £300.
Sometimes though (well, quite often) people need a bit more work. I have to write stuff, source some pictures, meet some sort of special request – constructing an e-commerce page for example – and that takes time. But I will assess upfront what extra requests might involve and once I’ve named my price I won’t change it. So you know where you stand.
C… And last you have to host the site. I charge £10 per month for basic hosting. I use Fasthosts and have been with them from the start, which is good because I trust them and their technical support people. In the long run if you want me to manage and update your site you can – as some clients do – retain me for a monthly fixed price (typically an hour a month and I will turn any edits/amends around, usually within 24 hours). Alternatively I do what lawyers do, start a stopwatch and charge for the time it takes to make your edits. Or I can teach you some basic editing skills and you can look after your own site. Up to you.