Relatively few small business owners evaluate the real pricing tag before jump into web building. According to Inc.com the cost of ordinary vCard site is between $2000 to $25000 in USA in 2015. It includes design, hosting, maintenance, copywriting, content management and SEO. Since site is such an expensive investment, you would expect high ROI. Unfortunately, web development often turns into financial catastrophe.
Photo Software & Design Blog together with professional design studio – Neuethemes want help you to save your budget. Let’s list typical web building mistakes that boost your expenses and learn our 10 simple tips for cutting off web design costs for small business site in 2015.
5 Dead-end Ways to Make a Site
There are 5 common pitfalls of all small business sites. Let’s numerate them:
I’ve made my site in 1999. I just need to update it a bit. About 10 developers added some pieces of code each year. So I need to hire a freelance-developer to fine-tune it.
Full stop. In most cases, websites of 1990-s are garbage. Technology has evolved since the last century. Don’t waste your money on updating. Throw it to trash and get a new site from scratch.
I can get a free site.
Seriously? Yes, you can save money on free WordPress CMS or professional content. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely, that you can manage all web dev routine yourself. If you’re a web developer, you can do it. If your business belongs to real world, outsource all work to freelancers. Fortunately, there are many places where you can find a reputable part-time employee: Elance, Evanto Studio, oDesk (UpWork).
I need to make an e-commerce site. I have an offline shop.
Even if you run a store, it does not mean that you must get into e-commerce web sphere. Online shops requires certain technical knowledge and desire to devote a lot of time to online business estate. Neuethemes recommends getting a simple vCard site like Gridly that facilitates finding your offline point.
Who needs a mobile site? My site is for business purposes.
It’s XXI century. Current mobile devices are as productive as desktop PCs. So many your potential clients will use them. Obviously, you do not want to miss a sale due to lack of a suitable web page.
If my site is useful, no one cares about design or navigation.
If customers don’t have a choice and you’re the only seller on the Earth, they will continue to come to your web property even it has ugly design and the worst navigation ever. But if there are 2 or 3 other more user-friendly companies that offer similar service, you’ll face sales drop. No one desires to dig through web forest to buy a product. Users want to achieve their goal quickly and feel great about their decision.
To sum it up, use the listed 5 “bad” solutions as a check list before getting modern small business site. Make sure you don’t see yourself in one of these categories. Now let grab tips on how to make great website design with minimum efforts and expenses.
10 Tips for Designing an Affordable Small Business Site in 2015
1. Don’t over customize your site. Use default. For example, use open-source WordPress CMS instead of pricey custom CMS.
2. Go minimalistic in design and keep it clean. Minimalistic design helps to focus customer’s attention on key call-to-actions with fonts and color use.
3. Get a responsive website template. It’s 2015. Half of searches comes from mobile devices (phones, tablets). In March Google has announced that “Mobile” is key success factor, so get a flexible site that shrinks and zooms up to gadget dimensions. Thus, you’ll save money on 2 sites support: desktop and mobile versions.
4. Use couple of web-optimized Google fonts. They are free and copy-left.
5. Select a popular web framework like Bootsrap. It’s tested by others, so save on QA work. Plus, your site will look cool and professional on all hardware.
6. Get free vector icons from Fontawesome set. They are easy to scale and all CSS effects can be applied to them. Such approach will cut off Flash animation costs.
7. Don’t play too much with animation. It’s hard to maintain and great animation requires too much money. Instead, try to use free patterns (for instance, http://subtlepatterns.com/).
8. Buy free stock images. Probably, it sounds weird but most of free photos has certain copyright restrictions for commercial sites. So it’s better to spend $5 on Shutterstock account and buy images that won’t cause any legal issues for your business.
9. Don’t install too many plugins at once. There may be conflict between and they might slow down your site performance.
10. Put Google Analytics code on your site and tracks its results. Don’t be afraid to tweak your site and experiment!
Helpful Resources for Small Business Sites