I can help you.
There are a few things to consider before you make a final decision about having your own website. What it looks like is important but being able to manage your own content is a top level priority. I use Word Press for all my websites. It is a powerful, free platform that can accommodate all your CMS needs and can also be set up as an e-commerce site so you can sell what you show. Once the site is set up you will be able to manage things yourself after just a little training to learn the ropes.
The package I am recommending includes everything listed below.
First you need a domain. The ideal domain is your name followed by your focus.
Example: johnsmithphotgraphy.com or something like that. Your domain will cost $12.00 per year for two years minimum. That’s $24.00 for two years. The registration of your domain will include your name as registrar and mine as tech support.
Second you need a server to store and “serve” up your website. If you decide to work with me I will set that all up on Site5. The server fees can range from $5.00 per month to $40.00 per month for a two year minimum. Unless you want to build something extraordinary I would think the $5.00 per month fee would be fine. That’s $120.00 for two years.
Third you need to pick a WordPress Theme. The themes are usually free or less than $50.00. Once we pick the theme we will set everything up. The theme’s code is designed to plug in to the WordPress system and will have a design “look and feel” that can be customized to a degree. More on this later.
Fourth you will need to decide what your Main Navigation will be. Probably five or six Main Navigation areas should do the trick. Most sites include an ABOUT or CONTACT tab, as well as tabs for your main categories. Keeping it simple and high level usually works best.
Fifth you will need to decide what your Sub-navigation will be. These can be used for categories under the Main Nav. These will grow and expand over time as your site takes on a life of its own.
These two decisions can be simple or complex depending on what your goals and plans are for your website. The thing to remember is; nothing is carved in stone on the web.
Sixth you will need to decide whether or not you want to sell things on your website.
The fixed costs are the $24.00 for the domain registration for two years (that will continue at that rate as long as you maintain ownership of your domain), and the $120.00 for the basic server for two years.
That total is $144.00.
Let’s assume that the theme is a flat $30.00, so your fixed costs in this example are $174.00.
The next line item in the budget is the installation of WordPress and the chosen theme on the server. The installation includes the set up of the theme, any Main and Sub Navigation, any content (text, images, etc.) that we have pre-determined will be part of the install.
The minimum fee for a basic install would be $300.00. This would include installing Wordpress, the chosen theme, and up to five (5) Main Navigation tabs and up to two Sub-navigation tabs per Main tab (10 sub nav tabs). The theme has a navigation look and feel built in so what it will look like has already been determined when you pick your theme. All content is supplied by the client in a final form.
More complicated installs with custom code work and e-commerce can run anywhere from $800.00 to $ 10,000.00, depending on the variables. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complex secure website is common in the business world.
Your basic site would need a budget of $500.00 to $1,000.00 complete.
I hope this has been helpful.