Cost to build a website
February 27, 2011 5:39 PM   Subscribe

I am planning a website for a not for profit. We will be linking high school and college students from all over the US. At most we will have 10,000 connections on the site. How much will this cost to build and maintain?
posted by ao680 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Build? Maintain? Do you have any idea what the site is going to do?
You aren't being specific enough for any meaningful help to be offered.
Here's a lower bound: ten bucks a month will buy hosting for a thousand pageviews a day, easy.
posted by the Real Dan at 5:50 PM on February 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

This completely depends on the features you want. Asking how much does it cost to build a website is very similar to how much does it cost to build a house.
posted by pyro979 at 5:51 PM on February 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

You're asking how long a piece of string might be. There isn't nearly enough of a specification here to begin to answer. You could catalogue 10,000 students tomorrow using WordPress, categories and tags; or you could build a custom site using Drupal nodes and spend six months developing it; or you could use one of many, many open-source directory applications to install and customise this in a few weeks.

All I can tell you is that the database shouldn't care if you have 10 records or 10,000 records and neither should your developer. In other words, total record number should not impact price.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:53 PM on February 27, 2011

You've just asked the web equivalent of "I'm planning a building for up to 10 people to live in. How much will it cost to build and maintain?"

I also wanted to bring your attention to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. It involves strict rules prohibiting what data you can collect from those under 13 in the US. I know you're aiming to reach an older age group, but you'll need to jump through some hoops to legally protect yourself from younger people who may want to use your service.

So add legal counsel as part of your building costs.
posted by nadise at 6:00 PM on February 27, 2011

This seems odd that you are the one doing the planning for something in an area with which you are clearly very unfamiliar. I can't help but wonder if another person should be responsible for the planning...?
posted by kmennie at 8:54 PM on February 27, 2011

At most we will have 10,000 connections on the site.
What sort of "connections"?
Static user profiles with comments?
Active video chats?

There's a world of difference in maintenance needs between those two extremes.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:33 AM on February 28, 2011

As much as I hate car metaphors, you've essentially said "I'm planning to buy a vehicle. It will be driven places. As most I will drive 10,000 miles the first year. How much does this vehicle cost to build and maintain?"

If you are going to have 10,000 simultaneous users and have some sort of dynamic site (as opposed to static HTML pages), then you're going to spend at least $100/mo in hosting. As for the building, there may be a web app out there that is open source that does what you need. All you need to do is figure out how to install it. Who knows if there is actually something out there for you since you haven't actually said what you need.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:43 AM on February 28, 2011


Nthing what previous commenters have said - the server costs are greatly variable, as are the costs to create the content / service to begin with. Could you be more specific with what you want this website to do?
posted by chrisinseoul at 8:27 AM on February 28, 2011

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