expense tracking online business

7 Essential Expenses You Need to Track When Starting a Successful Online Business

Are you an entrepreneur starting a business online? If so, tracking your expenses is essential to keep your business organized and on budget.

This article lists seven categories of expenses you need to track when starting an online business, so you can stay on top of your finances and make intelligent decisions for your company’s future.

1. Domain Registration Fees

If you’re starting a new website, one of the first things you need to do is register a domain name. A domain name is the web address people will use to find your site, and it’s unique to your business. For example, Google’s domain name is google.com.

Domain registration fees are the charges you pay to have a domain name. The fee is usually paid annually, covering the costs of maintaining your domain name and making sure it’s available for people. 

Different Types of Domains

You can usually find discounts on domain registration fees if you register for multiple years at once or if you use a coupon code. Some registrars also offer free domain names with certain hosting plans.

There are different types of domains you can register. The most popular domain type is the .com domain, which is short for “commercial.” 

.com domains are the most common type of domain used by businesses. They’re easy to remember, and they convey a sense of professionalism and credibility. 

If you’re starting a new business, a .com domain is a good choice. Depending on your business, you have other options as well, such as a .net domain (for network-related businesses) or a .org domain (for nonprofits), a .app domain (for app-based businesses), or a .store domain (for e-commerce businesses). 

Average Domain Registration Fees

Domain registration fees vary depending on your chosen domain name and the registrar you use. On average, you can expect to pay around $10-15 per year for a .com domain. 

Some registrars charge more for certain types of domains, such as .app domains or country-specific domains like .us or .ca. You may also find discounts on domain registration fees if you register for multiple years at once or if you use a coupon code. 

2. Web Hosting Fees

Once you’ve registered your domain, you’ll need to set up web hosting, which is typically done through a third-party provider such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, or WP Engine.

Many entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of web hosting fees when starting their businesses. A common misconception is that web hosting is a one-time cost. However, web hosting fees are recurring and often increase over time. 

Shared Hosting Fees

Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting. With shared hosting, your website shares a server with other websites. Shared hosting is typically less expensive than other types of web hosting, such as dedicated hosting. However, shared hosting also has some disadvantages. For example, your website might load more slowly if the server is overloaded with requests from other websites.

Dedicated Hosting Fees

Dedicated hosting is a type of web hosting in which your website has its own server. Dedicated servers are more expensive than shared servers but offer several advantages, such as improved performance and security. Because dedicated servers are not shared with other websites, there is less risk that traffic spikes will impact your website on other websites. 

VPS Hosting Fees 

VPS (virtual private server) hosting is a type of web hosting that offers many of the same features as dedicated servers at a lower price point. VPS servers are virtual machines that are located on a physical server. Each VPS has its own operating system, bandwidth, and disk space allocation. One disadvantage of VPS hosting is that it does not offer the same level of performance as dedicated servers. 

SSL Certificate Fees

You’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate if you’re running an eCommerce website. SSL certificates encrypt data transmitted between your website and your customers’ browsers, which helps to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers. SSL certificates also increase trust in your website, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

Web Hosting Fees – How Much Should You Expect To Pay

Web hosting fees are an important part of your business budget. The type of web hosting you choose will impact your costs. The average cost of web hosting varies depending on the type of hosting. Shared hosting plans can start as low as $5 per month, while dedicated servers can cost $100 or more per month. VPS hosting plans typically fall in the $20-50 per month range. SSL certificates usually cost around $50 per year. When choosing a web host, consider your budget and needs to find the best option for your business.

3. Design and Development Fees

If you’re not a web designer or developer, you’ll need to hire someone to create and build your website. This can be a significant expense, especially if you’re looking for a custom-designed website. However, there are also many inexpensive (or even free) website builders, and you can use paid templates to create a professional-looking website on a tight budget.

Custom Website

The cost of hiring a web designer or developer to create a custom-designed website can be high. However, there are many inexpensive (or even free) website builders and templates that you can use to create a professional-looking website on a tight budget.

Cost For A Custom Website

Most web designers and developers charge by the hour, ranging from $50 to $250 per hour. In most cases, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for a simple website with five to ten pages. If you need a more complex website with e-commerce capabilities or a unique design, you may pay $20,000 or more.

Website Builders

Website builders such as WordPress or Wix offer templates and tools that can be used to create a professional-looking website without any coding or design experience. Most website builders offer free plans to create a basic website. However, if you want to use advanced features such as e-commerce or custom designs, you need to sign up for a paid plan.

Cost For A Website Using A Website Builder

Website builders typically charge a monthly fee ranging from $5 to $50. In most cases, you can expect to pay between $60 and $120 per year for a basic website. If you need a more complex website with e-commerce capabilities or a unique design, you may pay $200 or more per year.

4. Email Marketing Fees

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and promote new products or services. However, it can also be a significant expense, especially if you use a paid service such as Sendinblue or MailChimp. These services charge a monthly fee based on the number of email addresses on your list, and they also take a percentage of any sales generated through the emails. In addition, you may need to pay for design and development services to create attractive email templates. As a result, email marketing can be a costly endeavor. However, it can also effectively reach out to your customers and build brand loyalty.

Cost For Email Marketing

There are a few free email marketing providers, such as HubSpot Email Marketing and MailChimp. However, these free plans usually have limitations, such as the number of email addresses on your list or the number of emails you can send per month. If you need more features, you need to sign up for a paid plan. The cost of paid email marketing plans varies depending on the provider and the volume of emails you need to send. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $100 per month for email marketing services.

5. Other Software Fees

While some software programs may seem like a small expense, the fees can add up quickly when you factor in the cost of multiple programs. When budgeting for your new online business, include the cost of any accounting, project management, graphic design, or other software programs you may need.

While finding free or low-cost versions of some software programs is possible, they may not have all the features you need or be compatible with other programs you are using.

As a result, it is often worth paying a little extra for a program that meets all your needs and works well with other software you are using. By including all potential software fees in your budget from the start, you can avoid any unexpected expenses down the road.

6. Advertising and Marketing Expenses

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re always looking for ways to cut costs and improve your bottom line. However, it’s important to remember that some expenses are worth the investment. Advertising and marketing expenses fall into this category. While these costs can vary widely depending on your budget and marketing strategy, they are essential for getting your business off the ground—and keeping it running strong.

What Are Advertising and Marketing Expenses?

Advertising and marketing expenses include anything you spend to promote or market your business. This can include online ads, print materials (e.g., business cards, flyers), and event sponsorships. Suppose it’s something you’re spending money on to raise awareness of your business or get people to buy your product or service. In that case, it counts as an advertising or marketing expense. 

Why Are Advertising and Marketing Expenses Important?

Advertising and marketing expenses are important because they help you get—and keep—customers. Without a steady stream of customers, your business will quickly go under. And while there are many ways to get customers (e.g., word-of-mouth, referral programs), advertising and marketing are still some of the most effective means of reaching new audiences and generating leads. 

How to Factor Advertising and Marketing Expenses Into Your Budget

The first step is to determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on advertising and marketing each month/year. This will vary depending on the size of your business and its overall profitability. Once you have a number in mind, you can start allocating funds to specific activities (e.g., online ads, print materials, and event sponsorships). 

It’s also important to keep track of your return on investment (ROI) for each activity. This will help you determine which activities are worth the money and which don’t provide enough bang for your buck.

For example, if you’re spending $500 on online ads but only seeing a few hundred dollars in additional revenue, as a result, it might be time to cut back on that particular expense. 

By carefully monitoring your advertising and marketing expenses, you can ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck—and keeping your business afloat for years to come. 

7. Payment Processing Fees

As a digital entrepreneur, it’s important to be aware of all the fees associated with starting and running your business. One type of fee that’s often overlooked is payment processing fees. These are the fees charged by credit card companies and other payment processors for the privilege of accepting electronic payments. 

Transaction Fees

Payment processing fees can vary depending on the type of processor you use and the terms of your agreement. However, they typically range from 2-3% of the total transaction amount. So, if you’re selling a product for $100, you can expect to pay $2-3 in processing fees.  

Account Fees

In addition to transaction fees, some payment processors also charge account fees. These monthly or annual charges are assessed regardless of how many transactions you process. Account fees vary depending on the processor, but they typically range from $5 to $ 30 per month. 

Why It’s Important To Track Payment Processing Fees

While payment processing fees may seem like a small expense, they can add up quickly—especially if you’re making a lot of sales. That’s why it’s important to factor them into your budget from the start. By including payment processing fees in your budget, you can avoid any nasty surprises down the road.


Starting an online business can be a great way to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. However, it’s important to remember that there are some essential expenses you need to track in order to stay on budget and keep your business running smoothly.

These include domain hosting fees, costs for web design and development, advertising and marketing expenses, payment processing fees, and software costs. By carefully monitoring all of your expenses, you can ensure that your business stays on track—and remains profitable for years to come. 

Similar Posts