Let’s face it. Everyone is looking for the best product for the least amount of money when it comes to website design. Cheap website design is available across the internet from just about any country in the world. There are places right now that will design a website for you starting at $5, but they all beg this same question.
If you’re anything like most business owners, you want to know how little you can pay for a website. How much should you spend to get a site that drives traffic and generates leads?
In order for a website to be any good for your business, it has to easily accomplish the tasks below. If your website can’t do these tasks, it’s time to look into an upgrade. You may have an online brochure, not a functioning business website.
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Your cheap website design must be mobile friendly. If your design isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out. Many added benefits from the search engines are only given to mobile friendly websites.
If you want to get found online, your website must be “responsive.” What is a responsive website? Great question. A responsive website is any website that is designed to reformat itself based on the size of the screen it’s viewed on.
If you’re on a smartphone, the website will look amazing. Viewing it on a desktop, awesome. Reading on a tablet, stunning. The same content will be there, but it will resize itself to fit your device.
Everyone knows that their business needs a website, but what for exactly? What does your website do for your business?
If your answer isn’t the first or second option, cheap website design isn’t working for you.
Most website design companies will do what it takes to get a website up for your business. There is a question you should ask them before you sign on the dotted line though. “What will this website do for me once it’s up and running?”
You need a website that will generate sales for your business. To generate sales, your website must be designed to do so.
Websites don’t just “get found” and “generate leads.” It takes intentional planning to write a website that will have a sales funnel built in. If you haven’t told the web developer to include a sales funnel, you will be getting an online billboard.
Once your website is online, how do you plan on your potential customers finding the site? Will anyone find your website if they don’t type your URL in directly?
To make sure your website is easily found online, be sure your designer is optimizing for SEO. Did you know that every page on your website has the opportunity to rank for a keyword or phrase? Each page should be optimized for strategic keywords.
Which keywords exactly could be an entire other post. Generally, keywords that will bring prospective buyers to your site are the best. It takes comprehensive research, strategy and planning to make your pages rank. Be certain you’ve found a website designer that knows how to make more than pretty pages.
Does your website match your company brand? Does your website enhance your brand? These are important questions when you’re establishing an online presence for your company.
It might be time to call a designer and give your website a face-lift. Many website platforms make it simple to refresh the look and feel of your website homepage. Depending on how you built your website, it may not cost much for an overhaul.
When it comes to your company brand, consistency is key. If you’re a premium brand in your competitive space, everything should look premium. It doesn’t do you any good to have gold leaf business cards and a budget website design.
If your company brand is value, then all your materials should be value driven. It doesn’t do your company any good to promote value to your clients and then hand out gold leaf business cards.
Be certain that your cheap website design matches your brand. If your brand is inconsistent throughout your marketing, customers will sense that something’s off.
You’re putting amazing content out there on your website, right? Be sure you’re making it easy for your readers to share it with others. If a prospective client is reading your blog and likes an article, is there a button they can click to share?
Social sharing is a wonderful way to expand your audience. When you post on your social media channels, you have a chance to engage your audience. When your readers share your content on their social media channels, that’s magic. You now gain the ability to engage each of their followers in addition to your regular followers.
To make social sharing easy, consider using plugins like SumoMe for your WordPress website. SumoMe has both a paid and free version that allows for easy sharing of your blog content. The app will place a floating bar on your blog that makes it a 1 click step for your readers to share with their audience.
A word of caution. Don’t just settle for the default social sharing options that built into WordPress. While they are easy to work with, they are rarely as effective as a plugin like SumoMe. Would 10x the social shares be worth learning a new plugin for your website?
When it comes to website effectiveness, there are many important factors to consider. One of the most important is the strategic call to action. What do you want people to do when they visit your website?
When a visitor drops by to read an article, what was the point of that article? Is there a strategic call to action that you can associate with that topic? If there is a call to action with your article, have you made it easy for people to take advantage of it?
In order for your website to be effective, three important factors have to come together.
The first mistake that many business owners make daily is failing to tell their visitors what to do. Most business owners wish that people would subscribe to their email list. When you look at their website though, there’s only 1 place to subscribe and it’s hard to find. Let your visitors and customers know how to get the resources you have available.
What do you think goes through a visitors heads when they look at your website?
Great website design and user experience go hand in hand. The more clear you can be on who you create your website for, the better it can be. Clarity will enable simplicity during the design process.
To get an amazing design, you don’t have to break the bank. Spend the time narrowing down your perfect customer or client. Take that information to your website designer and give them the tools they need to design your site.
If you have an up to date copy of your business plan, you most likely already have the information they will need. A good website designer will want to know the audience for the website they’re making for you. If your cheap website design agency doesn’t ask about your audience, you’ve got the wrong one.
When you’re looking at cheap website design, do you ever ask them what it will take to update anything on the site? You don’t want to have to call someone every time you want to change a paragraph of text. What will it cost when you want to add a new web page to your site?
Do they offer training as a part of their website design package? Will they train you how to write blog posts in your new software, or is that an additional charge? Will you be able to log-in to the back end of your website and make textual changes?
If you’re working with a platform like WordPress, updates can be easy to make. It all comes down to your level of comfort with web language and how a website works. WordPress can be set up as a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) as well as straight code. Depending on the theme that your designer is using, you could have the ability to edit entire elements.
Put yourself in the shoes of your website designer for a minute. Let’s assume you’re working with a small business to design your website. They have a staff of employees, and nobody is out driving around in their new Ferrari from high profits.
The customer wants to get the absolute lowest price possible. You want to provide great service and give them a site they will be proud to show their friends. (as well as make payroll.) If they like their site, they’ll show it off and potentially gain you new business. You want the customer to be able to make updates to the site without breaking something.
Having an easy to update website depends on the technical and design ability of the new website owner. Your website design can help make it easy, but at the end of the day you have to want to learn how to do it.
There are all kinds of hosting platforms available across the internet. If you’re not familiar with hosting, let’s begin with the basics. Website hosting is the actual physical computer where your website files are stored.
In order for your website to be available on the internet, it has to be accessible 24/7. This means that you need a computer that is on 24 hours a day and 7 days a week without needing to restart or go offline.
The computer where these files are located also has to have rock solid internet access. If the internet goes down to the computer where your website is hosted, your website will go offline.
Most businesses don’t want to deal with the hassle. Many also don’t have an internet connection that is always on. To get that level of internet service usually means that there is quite a bit of added cost.
Almost every business I’ve worked with in the past 15 years has chosen to let a hosting company do this for them. It’s a minimal cost, the good ones have 99.9% uptime, and it’s set it and forget it.
If you’re finding that your website is down occasionally, it’s time to look into why. If your hosting isn’t stable, neither is your website.
Your marketing plan should be active and guiding you through your daily marketing activities. A company website plays a major part of this plan.
If you find yourself attempting your marketing without a plan, it’s time for a change. It’s difficult to know which marketing channels are effective. It’s especially difficult if you’re not consistent in your marketing activities.
Your website should be the hub of your marketing efforts. Everything you hand out, send out and discuss should point to your website. The job of your website is to convert visitors into qualified leads.
If your website isn’t a lead generating machine, something’s wrong.
When you have a question, do you get a call center or the person who helped you build your website? Customer support in the realm of website design is as varied as the stars in the sky. Your website design company should be accessible, available and ready to help.
If you’re wanting to add a page to your website, do you get to talk to the same designer who made your site? When you want to change around the elements of a particular page, is it as easy as a phone call? The level of customer support from your cheap website design company shouldn’t feel cheap.
You want a company that is available to help you when you have a need. Someone who will answer the phone or at least call you back the same day. If you call your website design company and get an overseas call center, does that work for you?
Look for a company that is excited to bring your vision to life. There are small businesses out there who exist to create your company website. Most of them do a stellar job in finding a good balance of economy, service and effectiveness.
Cheap website design doesn’t have to mean bad web design. The price that you pay for a website doesn’t necessarily guarantee it’s quality. Check your preferred designer against the list above, and you too can find web design that doesn't break the bank.
David Gafford is the CEO of Fusion Creative, a company that provides world-class website design and SEO services. He spends most of his day coaching business owners in marketing strategy and specializes in Digital Marketing.