If you are a new company that is just getting started, once of the investments you will need to make early on is a website. How much you should budget for that website is a tricky thing, however. Depending on your needs, a website can cost anywhere from free to millions of dollars.
While you probably cannot afford that million dollar website as a new business (nor are you likely to need that site anyway), the free or almost free website is unlikely to be much use to your new business either. Like most things in business, and in life, what you put into something is what you will get out of it. If you go with a cookie-cutter, template driven system that you spend little to nothing on, then you are probably going to get little to nothing back from that site in terms of business results.
Like the many investments you will need to make as you get your company up and running, a quality website that will work for your business will cost some money, but there are ways that you can get more value out of your project and, if you are on a tight budget, cut website costs without sacrificing quality. In this article, we will explore some of the ways you may be able to do this for your new company’s website.
The Design Phase
Simply put, more designs for you to consider for your website means more work for the designers creating those concepts – and more work for the designers means more cost on the project’s bottom line. One of the ways you can reduce the overall price of a project is to look at the design phase of the engagement.
There is definite value in seeing multiple concepts at the early stages of a website project. Being able to consider different layouts and visual treatments may allow you to come to a design solution that you would not have considered otherwise. Yes, there is value in seeing multiple designs, but that value comes with a price.
Sometimes, your best course of action is to reduce the number of designs you will be presented with, thereby reducing the work and cost associated with that work. You can still get a great new website design that fits your needs, even if you go with only 1 strong design as part of the initial design phase. That lone design may be safer and less exploratory than what you would get out of a multiple design process, but if you need to reduce costs and still get great work, this is one area to look at.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Traditionally, website designs, once approved, had to be hand coded by a web developer to turn that design concept into a working website. This can be a time consuming, and therefore costly, endeavor. Another way you can reduce a project’s overall cost is by breaking free from this traditional web creation process and work smarter instead of harder by turning to a platform like Webydo.
Webydo is a cloud based website design platform that allows designers to create a website’s look and feel directly in a web browser. The software then writes the code needed to develop that site, essentially eliminating the need for a web developer and hand coding. While not every website could be easily created in the Webydo system, it does include many complex and modern features, like a Pixel Perfect Responsive Editor and a Parallax Scrolling Animator. It also allows designers to easily add options like Ecommerce and CMS capabilities to a website, making Webydo a strong solution for many small to medium companies and their website needs.
By working smarter, instead of harder, and turning to a platform that can do much of the heavy lifting on a project’s development phase, you can cut additional time and cost from that project’s budget with still getting all the features your new website will need to succeed.
The website you need today is likely different from the site you will need in the future as your business grows. While it is tempting to build your site with all those future needs in mind, that can also get expensive, especially if your current needs are very basic and straightforward. By starting small on your first site, and building just what you need today (and acknowledging that you will need to reinvest in the site in the future as the business does grow), you can reduce the cost of that first site because you are significantly reducing the scope of work for that initial site.
If you can afford to build for tomorrow, do so – but if the budget is tight, concentrate on what you need today and start small and focused in terms of project scope.
Consider a Phased Approach to Features
On a similar note to the “start small” concept, you should consider the features your site will have and whether they are critical and need to be added now, or if they are simply “nice to have” features that can be added at a later date. By making a checklist of all your desired features and assigning them importance levels, you can begin to establish a phased approach to your site’s development. Phase 1 will have those mission critical features, but nice to have additions will be pushed off until a later date. This process will not reduce the money you spend on the site (in truth, it may be more expensive, in the long run, to break the process up this way), but you will absolutely reduce the up front cost of the site. For a new business just starting out where cash flow is a concern, this phased approach can really help ensure you get the site you need (and can afford) today, but still have a plan for growth in the future.
Lend a Hand
There are a number of different stages in the creation of a website. Some of the work, like designing the site and building the pages, are unlikely to be tasks that you can help with. Other tasks, like populating content on the site, are absolutely areas where your team can jump in and lend a hand.
Content population can be a lengthy and often tedious process. If you are paying a web professional to do that work, you are likely paying a premium for what amounts to very basic work. If you need to reduce a project’s cost, ask your web team where you may be able to assist and take some work off their hands. Yes, it will mean more work for your company, but it will also allow your team of web professionals to focus, instead, on the more technical aspects of the project and lower your overall costs.
Ask About Financing
Few small web agencies or designers will be able to extend financing terms to your company, but it never hurts to ask! If the upfront cost and cash flow concerns are what is keeping your from making the necessary investment in your site, than financing that project with fixed monthly costs may be perfect for your needs – and a web firm may be willing to split the project’s cost into installments. Even if a nominal financing fee is added to the cost in light of this arrangement, the end result could be terms that make a project feasible for your organization and allows you to get started sooner rather than later.
Going with the cheapest, do-it-yourself website option is never the right move for your business, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay top dollar to get great work. By smartly considering the different aspects of a website, you can make decisions that will allow you to work with a great team, and get a great website, at a price your new company can afford.