So, you’ve decided you need a website for your business. And maybe you’ve even reached out for a few quotes. Just like many business owners before you, the response can be quite shocking. We’ve seen web design quotes upwards of $20,000, and we’ve seen them as low as $500. Heck, some places even promise to get you a website for $20 a month or less. Why is there such a large price discrepancy from one developer to the next? How can I tell what services I actually need and which ones I don’t? If you’ve ever asked these questions, this article is for you. First, we’ll help you understand what goes into a web design project. After, we’ll give you three simple tips that will help you slash your web design costs.
What You’re Paying For:
Every business owner knows they need a website in today’s modern economy. But not everyone knows why. A good web design agency will ask you what your goals are. Websites need to be built to serve a purpose. If your goal is to bring in more clients, then that site needs to be built to show up when your prospective clients are searching for the products or services you offer. If your website is being provided to existing leads, then it needs to be designed to both inform them about your services as well as entice them to move forward through the sale process. The website itself is not the expensive part. What will really cost you is the time it takes for the web design and marketing team to figure out how to build a website that meets your specific goals. So with that in mind, here are three ways you can cut these costs to find web design services that you can afford.
Step 1: Identify Your Goals
If you needed a car to grab groceries and pick the kids up from school, you wouldn’t let the dealer sell you a Ferrari. Yeah, it would get the job done. But it’s overkill for your needs. So the first step is to know your goals. Tell the developer what you want the website to do for you. Identify the types of people you want to use the website, and detail the information it needs to present. You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of web development, but when you establish your goals then your web developer is responsible for explaining how each feature is essential for helping you meet those goals. This will keep costs low by ensuring that you don’t spend any more than you need to on features you don’t need. If you don’t know where to start, look up your most successful competitors online and see how their website is structured. This can be used as a reference point.
Step 2: Do Some Legwork
If you do a little research upfront, you can save yourself a lot of money. For starters, check out different web developers’ portfolios as well as sites like ThemeForest to see if there are any templates that you like. Often modifying a pre-made template is cheaper than a custom design. For most small businesses purchasing a license to use a pre-made template is significantly cheaper than a custom design. That alone can save you about 75% if you take the template as is, and still be 50% cheaper than custom work even with heavy modification. It’s a good idea to pick a few different designs and see what the price difference is for each one. Web designers that have their own templates are often the cheapest, as they’ll be built on a platform that they are familiar with working on. You can also save a few bucks by purchasing your domain and web hosting yourself, as these are common upsells. Although we do recommend talking to your developer about this first, as there are many situations where a $3/mo web host just won’t cut it compared to a $15/mo plan.
Step 3: Look for Low Hanging Fruit
Most business owners want their website to help bring in more sales and leads. And this means marketing. Marketing is generally split into two categories: PPC and SEO. In the long run, SEO is the most cost-effective way to bring in new business. If you can rank #1 for all of your terms, you can capture 20% or more of all the business in your area. For some industries this can mean upwards of $20k per month in revenue or more. And while trying to dominate your industry is very tempting, it’s just not a cost-effective way to start out. This is because these big-money terms tend to cost more to target than smaller ones, and SEO generally takes 6 months or more to get the full potential. Instead, look for affordable marketing strategies that can bring in small amounts of profit. Perhaps a $500 / month PPC campaign can make you $2500 / mo in revenue within 2 months. Reinvest some of these profits and make your website pay for itself, instead of immediately going for the big-money and having to eat that cost up front.