Professional web design should be affordable
Are you a small business owner and looking for ways to save money on professional web design services? Then this article is just for you!
Today, you know that your brick and mortar store is competing with other small businesses offering similar products and services and if you don't already have a website, then chances of growing your business and increase sales are very slim!
Unless you can find a web design company that can help you save money on professional web design services and help you put your small business on the Internet and get a piece the money pie, and hopefully, a large one!
But before we talk about ways to save money on professional web design, let us discus how a professional website can help your small business get noticed and grow, for Less (With the help of good hosting company, of course)?
A Professional web design will help your business gain credibility!
- Gain credibility - Having a professional website will help your business gain credibility and tell potential customers, including your competitors, that you mean business! Once your small brick and mortar store is on the world wide web, your competition will have one more thing to worry about - You!
- Cheap, or Free advertising - Also, professional web design will help you advertise your services, or products not just to local consumers and businesses, but also customers throughout the U.S. (worldwide if you can ship your product or offer your services to overseas businesses).
So how do you start your journey to a professional website and be successful? By starting right in the first place!
Your professional website will need a good home - Choose the right host
- Choose the right web hosting company - Before you even think of designing a website for your business, the first thing you should be thinking about is where to host your website! Unfortunately, this is where a lot of small business make their first mistake.
- Some businesses will cut corners to get what they need and this include looking for the cheapest hosting company they can find, and right away sign up for 3 or 5 years of hosting services in order to drive their hosting cost even lower!
So before signing up for that $1/month hosting service, you need to know what that low monthly hosting price will get you!
- Cheap hosting price - You might be paying $1/month today, but that $1 per month price will turn into $1000's/month of lost revenue due to poor website performance. Poor site performance means high bounce rate which will result in potential customers leaving your website and going to your competitor's instead.
- Cheap hardware - Many hosting companies are still using mechanical hard drives instead of solid state drives (SSDs) to store and cache websites files. With a good hosting company, you might be paying more for hosting but in the long run, you will be saving even more while increase your revenue (this will depend on the quality of the web design) to offset the hosting cost. With a professional hosting company, your business website will be hosted on more powerful servers with fewer users and include premium security.
- 1000s of websites on 1 server - Cheap hosting means that your website will be housed with 1000s of other sites and your website page load will tremendously increase, leaving you with increase customer abandonment and bounce rates. This is not what you want for your business because if one prospect leaves today, he/she might never come back because of the previous bad experience!
- Hosting your website with adult sites - Another problem that may arise is when your website resides the same server adults websites, or spammer sites are hosted on! So always look for a hosting company that guarantees to never host adult website! If you existing one does, we recommend that you look to host your website somewhere else!
So remember the old saying, that still holds true today - 'You get what you pay for!'
Save money on professional web design using the right tool
The best way of saving money on professional web design services is by taking the dive and develop the website yourself! Will you need prior programming skills? No you won't but having some knowledge of HTML and CSS will help you tremendously!
Now let's talk about some tools you can use to design your professional website
- Proprietary web design tools - Proprietary web design software are not open source! Proprietary web design software, unlike open-source software, have their source code closed and not available for changes or modifications. Note that most of the proprietary design software will come with additional cost (recurring fees) if you want to continue using the software. Also, what would happen if you decide to move to a hosting company? Good luck with that! So save yourself a lot of hassle, and money and go with an Open Source web design platform!
- Using your hosting own website builder tools - Many hosting company offers their own flavor of a web design builders nowadays! Using site builders might be very tempting, especially if you have no web design experience, but a lot of site builder tools have limitation in customizing the look and layout of your website by adding a custom CSS, or are not actually optimized for search engines even though they might claim to offer SEO friendly design. Professional web design and SEO (search engine optimization) need to go hand in hand if you want your website to achieve high ranking, and your business to be successful. There is more to SEO than just making the website responsive, adding meta tags and adding create content. You need to also have the ability to use FTP to access and modify your .htaccess and robots.txt file for increased SEO and better performance. With a site builder, you don't have total control, which is something you really need!
- Content Management Systems (CMSs) - Using a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla or WordPress is a great way to same money! Joomla or WordPress can help you design a professional website easily (well, you'll need to learn your chosen CMS) and eliminate a lot of cost associated with professional web design.
Using a CMS (Content management system) will eliminate costly recurring fees of using and updating your website (after you've learn the platform of course). Do you need a component, module, plugins, widget to add features to your CMS based website?, no worries! Both of the above mentioned CMSs (plus many more) offer hundreds of free/paid extensions you can download and install on your website to add a feature or two, such as Chat, Newsletter, and so on.
Do you need help with your chosen platform, no problem! Joomla and WordPress have a large community and support where you can post your problem and have someone post a solution, for free!
Also, with a CMS, you can move your professional website from one host to another if you didn't like the first one for any reasons.
Other ways to save money on professional website design
You should know by now that the best way of saving money on professional website design services is by using a CMS! Know that you can lower your website design cost even further if you do some of the leg work yourself by creating pages, writing content (article copies), uploading and adding images to your article, and maintaining your website!
But if you don't have the skills nor the time to learn about the CMS platform you want to use to design your website, a professional website design company can start you off by installing the platform, setup your desired layout and color scheme, create some pages (maybe the home page and 'contact us' form) and assign them to their respective menus, then let you take over the website maintenance and adding new content when needed!
At SimplerWebs, once the website is complete and before it goes LIVE, our client will receive free training (up to 3 hours depending on the platform) on how to create a new page, new menu, add an image to a page, or article, and keep your website up to date!
Save money on professional web design by hiring the right company
If you don't have the time to learn a CMS, you can still save money on professional web design services by hiring the right company to at least get you started with the foundation, and then you can take over adding the content and features you, yourself!
Now that you know you need to outsource your web design needs to an outside professional web design company, you have one more decision to make and it is whether you should hire a professional website agency in your local area, or go overseas in the hopes of saving even more money.
To help you choose, let's talk a little bit about both options
Hiring an offshore web development company - The Hidden Cost
Getting a professional website for your small business designed by an offshore web development company, or a freelancer, might give you the feeling that you are getting professional services at very cheap prices at first, but in the long run, that professional website might end up costing you even more than you though! Why? Let's find out!
- Language problem - Some overseas web design companies have a person with good English verbal communication skills, while others have many problems such as the inability to hear the words you are saying, but they are not hearing you. Meaning you say something, and they understand something else.
- Plus, other web design companies overseas tend to offer you a web design proposal with a long list with features that you no longer needs, such as submitting your websites to 1000's search engines and directories, and the use of terms that only they would understand.
- Time difference problems - This is simple! When you are asleep, they are awake, and when you are awake, they are asleep! So how and when do you communicate with the overseas web design company? Via email but is that the only option you want?
- Legal problems - We understand that you enter into a business relationship on the basis of trust but what happens when that trust has been broken by the web design company? What recourse do you have dealing with the overseas web design company? In the U.S., when there is a dispute and the amount is small, you can go to small claim court!
Hiring a local professional web design agency
- Communication - When you hire a local professional web design agency, there are no language barriers that cause misunderstanding when the spoken language is different than yours
- Time Zone - Because the professional website design agency is in your local area, then the time zone difference is non-existent! Even if the agency is in another state thousands of miles away from you, the hours different are not that big of a deal.
- Legal recourse - The web design company is located in the same country, therefore, if by any chance the website design company breaks the contract or doesn't implement a feature you paid for, then you can take some legal action in a small claim court! But we don't believe a professional web design company will ever cheat you!
We are not saying you can't hire an overseas web design agency to develop a professional website for your small business! Just research the company you plan to hire, ask for the phone number of their existing client and call them! Just make sure that their client you are calling is local, in your state, or within the U.S.
Don't have a website yet? Find out why your small business needs a website?
Let's Recap on how you can save money on professional web design!
You can save a lot of money on professional web design by
- Choosing the right hosting - Remember, you get what you pay for! So choose a hosting company for its server hardware make up, features, support and not for its cheap price!
- Choosing the right web design platform - A CMS (Content Management System) is what we recommend because it's free and you can maintain the website yourself once it has been completed and Online!
- Choosing the right web design company - If you choose to outsource your web design needs, choose a local web design company because you can meet with them (if they are located in your city), they will understand you and you will understand them better, and they are awake when you are awake!
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