Every business today needs a web presence.
Obtaining affordable web design is a new challenge for business owners. Whilst a $400 website can be created by your neighbour’s teenager to start your new business web presence, just as it is cheap, does not mean it is value for money or affordable web design. Spending $400 instead of $2000 may be just a way of flushing $400 away and getting nothing in return. If it doesn’t work, such as engaging visitors and converting them to sales, then it is like having an old mower in the garage, just because you have one, doesn’t mean its useful.
There are several important questions to ask of yourself and potential providers to find affordable web design that is value for money for your business.
What to ask yourself about affordable web design:
- Do you have a marketing strategy and how does an online presence fit in with that strategy
- what sort of budget do you want to follow
- what do you have in mind as the outcomes of creating a web presence (is it as a shopping cart, information provision, link to gather customer data to create a CRM database etc)
- how much of the work can you take on yourself, will you maintain the web site after creation, or do you need someone to manage it for you down the track
What to ask a potential Web Designer:
- Once complete, will I be able to edit and add information to my site or will I have to put everything through you?
- What platform do you recommend for the web design and why? Is it WordPress or Joomla etc and thus does it have a Content Management System (CMS) built into the total web design.
- Can I speak to previous clients, those that will give you a good testimonial as well as one who may not have been happy with the result
- How scalable is your design? As my business grows, can the site grow with me?
If your new website brings $10000 in sales per week, then even if it cost $10000 to set up initially, it is affordable and value for money as it is achieving a goal. Don’t be mistaken that ‘cheap’ equals good value or even affordable web design.
The pitfalls to be aware of include:
- Web design should include search engine optimisation (SEO) in it’s initial structure, it is much easier to make your site Google friendly from the beginning than reverse engineering it later. Even if your initial site is on a budget, ensure it is created following good SEO principles as this allows it to be scaled up as your business grows and funds become available to increase your web presence.
- The site must not include any ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. It should be above reproach for integrity, what good would a web site be if it was not able to be found in Google as it had been blacklisted?
- Open to viruses, some web designs are more vulnerable to virus attack than others, and just because it is ‘affordable’ does not mean your web design should be risky. A well formed, safe site will keep your customers safe as well.
A good affordable web design will not only be engaging for your visitors, it will also convert their visit to an action such as a sale. Websites are merely business tools and if they are not achieving your desired outcomes, they are not cost effective no matter how ‘cheap’ you were able to have had the web design created for you.