A professional website is a key element to any business’s approach to marketing themselves. A search engine is usually the first place where potential customers will search for you. If a business has an outdated website or no website at all then it will be missing out on a lot of potential sales.
It’s surprising how many businesses will make do with an inadequate web presence. The reason for this is generally related to the cost of creating or refurbishing a website. It’s possible for a new website to end up costing in the tens of thousands of pounds. This is due to the amount of time it takes to design, write content for, test and optimise sites.
So how would you get a website designed without the huge costs involved? If you need a new or redesigned website, there are ways to cut the costs without sacrificing quality.
1. Use a pre-made template
Thousands of templates have been created to suit the needs of almost any business. WordPress alone has a colossal number of themes that business owners can use.
Using a premade theme removes a lot of the design work involved with setting up a new site. There’s a plethora of online marketplaces where you can buy a ready made theme. Some sites to consider are, Elegant Themes, Template Monster and Themify.me.
2. Use free images
Making unique photographs for your website can be time consuming and expensive. If you have existing pictures or photographs, it would makes sense to use them. You just need to ensure they are of high quality and are appropriate for the page you will use it for.
If you need an image and you don’t have one available, there are a range of websites that offer free pictures. Providing the photographer with credit and in some cases a link back is all that’s required to use them.
Stock photography sites offer a wide range of different images for you to choose from. You can either buy to access or via a subscription to the service.
Free stock photography sites like Negative Space have a more limited selection of images. This can often make it worth paying a small amount of money to use a less ubiquitous image.
3. Cut down the number of pages on the website
Even the simplest of pages need written content and images. All this takes time, which adds to the cost of the website.
If you have pages in your brief that isn’t necessary or urgent to have, you should consider dropping it. You can always add these later via a web maintenance package. An example of a page that can be added at a later time is a company history/timeline. The reason for this is because it doesn’t produce sales which is what your website should be doing.
Keep the content simple
Modern websites can contain many different forms of content. Video, animation, graphics and tools are used to add interest to your site for visitors. The rub is that by including a range of complicated content, it all adds to the costs.
Complicating a site with sophisticated content can often be counter productive. By including only the most important features you’ll end up with a site that’s cost you less. Also more focused and effective at persuading visitors to take the next step.
Reuse content from your old website
A lot of companies want everything to be brand new when they order a new website. Often, this isn’t necessary. If your old website content is still relevant then go ahead and use it again.
It makes sense to go through your existing website to see if there is anything that you would like to keep. I’m willing to bet you would find a lot. Sometimes new content for website pages can affect your search engine placements as well. So it’s best to phase in new content.
Take on some of the work yourself
This might seem strange or a little daunting but design aside much of the work is straightforward. Writing the copy for the pages is something that can be undertaken by a wide range of different people.
Even finding appropriate images is something that anyone can do. Many are even capable of taking professional looking photographs.
Finally, testing the website is an activity that can be undertaken by anyone who can use a computer. This saves the development team a lot of time. It also gives you reassurance that your website is error free when it’s launched.
There’s no reason for using an outdated design that doesn’t conform to today’s standards. You should ensure your website reflects the kind of image you want to portray for your business.
By using some or all the approaches above, you are able to cut down the cost of a new website for your business.
Have you found other ways to reduce your web design costs? Let us know in the comments below.