Is a business website affordable?
You have your business idea worked out, some sort of logo and business card’s printed out. You know you need a website but you also know websites can cost thousands of dollars.
As a new business owner just starting out, you probably don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a website. But is there such thing as an affordable website?
Will your website give you a return on the money you spend on it?
Like any other business decision requiring a financial outlay, you need to work out if the expense will give you a return on that investment.
While it is true in many cases, and especially in website design that you do get what you pay for, spending lots of money on a premium website may not be the best financial decision especially when first starting out.
Let me explain why.
In order to get the most of your new expensive website, you really need to understand your business, its customers, your products and services, and your message. You need to have clear goals, directions, and expectations.
Many small businesses owners when just starting out haven’t refined any of these key variables. Often you have a product or services offering and are experimenting with different ideas, messages, and offerings.
You haven’t yet worked out or nailed your brand personality or niche.
If you were to build a house, you need a block of land, some idea of how many rooms, the style of the house, you need to know you can afford it and do you still want to have some money left over to landscape or go on holidays afterward.
If you just go in blind you will end up missing things when designing your house. Maybe you wish you added an extra bathroom, or you realized having two stories isn’t so great after all as now your elderly parents can’t easily access the second floor.
Of course, you can renovate your house afterward, but that is expensive, time-consuming, and a big hassle.
It’s better if you take the time to plan out exactly what you need.
With a brand new business, the same things apply to your website. It can be very tempting to go all out and create a big beautiful website with all the bells and whistles but I guarantee that in a year or two you will be spending lots of money changing things.
You are better of spending the money with a business coach or spending the time to really plan, test, and work out your messaging and business goals.
Do you even need a website?
In the meantime do you need a website – YES – I believe you do. A website shows you are serious about your business, it helps people make purchasing decisions about you, increases your credibility and trustworthiness, saving you time convincing people of the sale and helping you be considered for the sale.
How can you get a website that is affordable
If you want a website but don’t want to invest a lot of money at the outset then what are your options. Your really looking for an in-between option – an affordable or budget website.
There are many ways to achieve this:
Do it yourself
There are many ways to build a website yourself. This is almost free and a great idea for someone just launching and wanting a real quick and real cheap launch. This option is ideal if you have a side hustle or hobby that you aren’t too serious about just yet. There are a number of website platforms you can choose from
Website Design For Free
Some website designers offer websites for free, The website designer makes money by working with you over time. As your business grows you will need changes made to the website and they will charge you to do make those changes as time goes on. You may also decide to engage them for a more premium website at a later stage.
Pay by the month websites
This is zero upfront fees, with the fee is split over a few months. This gives you the chance to get online fast and gives you a bit of breathing space to increase your sales and cash flow. Some higher end designers will let you design a website with all the bells and whistles on a payment plan giving you a bit more freedom and time to generate the cash flow to pay for it.
Find a budget website designer
Some website designers focus on start-ups or small businesses. They are looking to build long-term relationships with their clients and then be able to offer other services as needed later on. This is how I operate my business with most of my clients starting with my “starter website” package which is under $1000. This is a quick no-frills website that is designed to launch the digital presence of your business. The beauty of these websites is they are quick to put together and then as your business grows we build upon those good foundations and keeping refining the message and goals.
Other budget website design agencies are like a production / manufacturing company – they have a set template and may outsource the work to overseas nations where labor rates are cheaper. Often these websites are around the $250 – $500 range and will get you online fast and cheaply. These are a good starting point for those on very tight budgets and with limited time or who want to create their own website. But be warned, as soon as your business grows, and you need to make changes, there is often limited ability to do so. The customer service may be lacking and the website most likely won’t be optimized for google or the customer experience. They will build what you ask and you won’t always be given any extra advice, suggestions, or enhancements. Here are some tips on how to find the right website designer for your business.
Quality Affordable Business Website Options Do Exist
They do exist for each stage of your business. I always recommend getting online fast, to spend a little extra if you can afford it to get those foundations right, such as building on a platform like WordPress which has many options as your business grows, to add a blog, booking systems, online store, etc and not to spend too much money on that first website.
It is, for this reason, I’m always supportive of budget or starter websites. Choose your website and marketing partners wisely and as your business grows you can work with your website designer and marketing team on continually improving your online presence. In time the right website designer will be able to offer additional services, such as hosting, website maintenance, ongoing marketing and data analysis. They will also have a good network of partners such as copywriters, solicitors, ad and SEO experts, photographers, and more.
If you are looking for a starter website, you can see my website design packages here. I own and manage Plinkit on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and offer website design and marketing for small business owners. I am a one-woman university degree qualified freelancer in marketing, business, and website design. I have an extensive portfolio in very varied industries and plenty of 5-star reviews on Google, Facebook and Linkedin and appreciate any opportunities to work with you on your business.