Are you looking for a website for your business or organization, but you have a limited budget? Here are some tips for getting an affordable website. I’m going to talk about what we do at Build Your Website, but the same principle applies to any web design company.
|$300 basic website package||$500 custom website package|
Don’t feel like reading? Jump to the simple steps to creating an affordable website.
Time is money
It’s a very simple principle, the more time we have to spend on your website, the more we’ll want to charge you to recover our costs. What takes time? Copywriting… having to research and think up sentences to describe your business that we probably know nothing about takes a lot of time. Another thing that takes time is nitpicking about small issues like the exact location of a button or the shading of a background image. Truth is that your customers probably won’t notice those little things and will be more interested in the content, the products or services you have to offer. So rather focus on adding value to your customers and how to ensure that your website lands infront of prospective customers than the exact location of a button. And the final common time consumer is images. Having to find images that fit with your business and that we are allowed to use on the internet takes time and costs money as we often have to pay for those images.
You know your business, we know websites
Between the two of us, my wife and I have more than 25 years experience in software development and around 10 years specifically in website development. So we know something about websites and as far as all the technical bits are concerned, we can get your website up and running in no time. What we probably don’t know much about is your business and what specifically you have to offer to prospective customers. That is the content that’s required on your website. Your website needs to tell your customers this is what we do, this is why you should buy from us or use our services and this is the next step you need to take to get the ball rolling. If you can give us that information at the outset, then you’re saving us time and then we’d like to save you money by charging you less.
An affordable website
- Choose a structure
Decide what pages you want on your website. The best idea is to have a look at a website that you like and think about how to create something similar for your business.
A common structure for a small business is to have the follow pages
Home page – the first page that anyone sees when they arrive at your site
About Us – A breakdown of your company, how long you’ve been in business and what experience your senior staff have or the most useful skills in your company.
What we do – If you provide a service, then you would have a “what we do” page with a breakdown of your most common services.
Products – If you sell specific products, list your products here.
Contact Us – your contact information, a Google Map and possibly a Contact form for people to send you a message.
- Create the content
Now that you know what pages you want on your website, take each page and write the text that you want to see on that page. The more you write, the better. We can filter some of it out and suggest a shorter version, but in general the problem is that we don’t have enough content, not that we have too much.
In Microsoft Word write down the name of each page and then write the content that you want to see on that page down.
- Get some photos
As the say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Get some photos of yourself and your staff and get some photos of what you do. Get some photos of some of your previous jobs, your products, photos of your office, workshop equipment… anything that will contect your business with what a prospective customer might be looking for.
For example, if you’re a builder that does home renovations but you also happen to build swimming pools, provide a photo of a swimming pool. when people browse your website the first time, they’re trying to decide whether this is the company they want to deal with. they don’t want to read every word you’ve written, they first want a sense whether you even do what they’re looking for. Once they see the photo of the swimming pool they may read further and see that you actually do build pools. But if they don’t see a picture of a pool, they may never stop to read.
- Optional extra information
Two other items that make our lives easier is an example website and possible keywords.
Give an example of a website that is similar to what you’re looking for, even if it’s in a completely different industry to your business, just giving us an idea of the style of site you’re looking for helps a great deal.
Also try to think of key phrases that you think people may use to search for your business and the more specific the phrase, the better. So if you’re a plumber you may think you want people to find you for the keyword plumber. But really, if you’re a plumber in Manukau, New Zealand, you probably don’t care about someone in New York searching for a plumber. So a better keyphrase may be “Auckland plumber” or “Manukau plumber”. Or if you fix cars, then “Ford service Manukau” may be a lot more useful than “mechanic”, which may find someone looking for a submarine machanic in Moscow.
These two are optional, but always the more information you provide to us, the easier it is for us to give you something useful from it.
Where to from here
Where to from here will depend on what you’ve done with the information I’ve given to you above:
I basically know what I want and I’ve created a word document with some possible content to use on my new website
If you have all the content ready for your website, even if it’s not perfect and needs some editing, then most website design companies will love to work with you. Send that word document and images to the design company and explain that you’ve done your homework and just need someone to do the technical bits for you. Of course we would love to do that work for you. If you’ve gotten this far and have your content ready, you qualify for our $300 basic website package
I have no idea where to start or what to write
If you’re not sure what to put on your website or if you do want some more of our time for specific details, then maybe consider our custom website package
With that package we will take some more time to help you discover what to put on your site, we’ll find some images for your site and work with you to get the site up and running.