Development Can Be Cost Prohibitive


As the title of this post implies, I think some types of web development projects can be cost prohibitive. Although there are plenty of lower cost solutions for building an informational website (like, things begin to get expensive when a database driven directory is needed. Oftentimes, I find myself looking to sell domain names that should be built into a directory website rather than undertaking the task of building, as the price is expensive.
The first cost you need to consider is for the programmer’s time. While I won’t even delve into the actual hourly fees since they vary so greatly depending on the skill level and location of the developer, I know the cost to be expensive. Even if you are able to secure fair rates for the work, it still takes time (at this hourly rate) to properly convey exactly what it is that you want. If there is a difference in language, you should add some hours in the back of your head since there will probably be some issues that get lost in translation.
In addition to the programmer’s time, you may also need to buy software or coding like phpMyDirectory or eDirectory. The prices on these programs are different, and they may also vary depending on how many licenses you purchase. Customization of the software is what gets to be expensive, as most people have something in mind when they buy a website, and the out of box solution won’t work. If you don’t go with a pre-built solution, you might run into problems as custom software is time consuming to build and can be more expensive to maintain, as you may need to rely on the people that built it rather than a fully staffed company like the folks at eDirectory.
Finally, as I’ve heard many times in many places, you shouldn’t count on your programmer/developer to be able to design your website for you. Most of the time, programmers are good with coding, but not as good with design, and visa versa. Sure, there are jacks of all trades, but if you choose to use one, it is likely that you are sacrificing talent somewhere. In my opinion, the coding is more critical than the design of the site, so if you need to sacrifice talent, it’s probably better to do it on the design side of house.
With all of these elements comes considerable expense. For a directory-based website, I’ve seen quotes of anywhere from $2,000 (not much customization) to much, much more depending on the concept and deliverables.   If you spend $8,000 for a great looking directory website, you need to keep in mind that you are going to have to earn this back – in addition to what you paid for the domain name – just to break even. The problem is that if you expect to earn just a few hundred dollars a month, you may never earn back your investment.
If you have a great domain name, at least your project will help appreciate the value of your domain name, as the content will presumably drive traffic, add links, and generate added revenue. Since you will probably be reliant on direct to advertiser sales, you can leverage your domain name to get business. Try getting the ear of a business owner with a poor domain name – good luck. If you call, email, or write with a category defining domain name (or a top geodomain), I think you will have a much better chance of making a sale. This is all very important if you just spent thousands of dollars building a directory website and need to start generating revenue.
With all the criticism to domain owners for parking their great domain names, criticizers need to realize that development can be cost prohibitive. In the end, it might be worth more to a domain owner to simply park or sell a domain name for a profit than to undertake an expensive and time consuming development project. As I said a few days ago, for those who do criticize, I recommend them ponying up to buy the parked domain name. If their idea is so good, they are the fools for not leveraging their personal assets to acquire the domain name.


  1. Directory can be very useful for a good premium domain. How about getting a directory site fully installed under $100 sound? I got my directory installed, up and running for less than $100. It has all good features you can think of. Here is my directory site:
    People at Esyndicat are very professional and they installed my directory site (included in the purchase price of $75.00)
    They even have $499 price for unlimited domains.
    I am no way affiliated with Esyndicat.

  2. Hi Elliot,
    Enjoying reading your articles about the development of websites. It is very true that it can be costly and time consuming but the rewards is what gives you the enthusiasm to put the work into it. My partner and I have been very fortuate to be able to build our own sites. We have built a directory The site has been on the internet for a year and it is getting great response.
    I do have some premium domain names I would like to develop in the future and your articles have been inspirational and helpful.

  3. Sara (#3),
    I have been thinking about this possility for a site I have in mind.
    At the very least, I can test the waters on hosting that I already have. If it works out, I could always move to the next level.

  4. Hi Elliot,

    Great post. Have you used PHPMyDirectory or eDirectory for one of your sites? Were you impressed with any particular one?


    I haven’t used either yet. I’ve heard good things about eDirectory though.

  5. I think we are about to install PHPMyDirectory for a client. Heard good things about it and my customer is an ad company that wants clients to be able to put ads on their site. It has a good demo area of the website if you want to see how PHPMyDirectory works. I’ll follow up once it is installed to discuss pros/cons of installation etc.

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