Looking for a cheap website?
I see it all of time! Business owners or start ups spend a fortune on their set up, products, packaging and signage - yet they save one of the most important things until last - their website!
And by the time they get to their website they have a serious problem - they have very little money budgeted toward the project.
Here is a plain and honest question: "Why on earth would you be ultra-cheap when it comes to the primary tool that gets sales or leads in the door?"
Whether you want a cheap website (there is a difference between a cheap website and an affordable website) or are willing to pay for something a little better, you need to know that a successful website requires a few vital elements to make it work. These elements all cost money. Here is a short run down of the more common of those elements:
A Strong Codebase
What in the world does that mean?
Well, there are many systems which you can use to create a website these days; choosing the right one is very important if you want a functioning website that does not crash. Your webmaster (the guy who looks after the health of your website) will need to be an expert in what ever system you choose, so our suggestion is simple - choose the code base and then look for an expert in that codebase.
What code bases are there?
We use Joomla CMS or Wordpress (Joomlas baby brother), we use it because it has a robust foundation that provides a lot of room for site growth. It also has a lot of open source developers - which means there are lots of little add-ons which you can pay small amounts of money for. These add-ons will increase the functionality of your website.
There is much talk out there of ‘Wordpress’ - this authors suggestion is to be warned.
Wordpress is like the anaemic baby brother of Joomla. It is a little less secure against hackers and, in my personal opinion, a little bit harder to wrap your mind around its function - due to it actually being released to be just a blogging platform. There are many people out there calling themselves web designers who just install Wordpress and click a few buttons to make you a website - $100-$500 worth of work and no more in my opinion. Wordpress is often the choice of system for a cheap website - but the end result is just that - a cheap website.
Content is King
Once you have your codebase you need to work out your content. We suggest at this point that you look to someone who understands “Search Engine Optimisation” in order to work out the terms that you could be on page 1 of Google for. This way you start with the end in mind.
Choose which pages you want on your website and what they will be called. Then write about 400 words of interesting content for each page. Make sure this content will benefit the website visitor who is looking for your product or service.
Whether you get a cheap website or pay for a better website, either write your own content or work with a copywriter who will write your copy (content) with you.
A graphic designer is not just someone who knows how to use Photoshop or Illustrator; a graphic designer is a person who has been to design school and knows how to make you stand out from the rest. A designer won’t be cheap - the minimum you'll find a quality designer for is $65 per hour - if they charge less then you should be worried - if they are busy then you KNOW you have found someone worth dealing with. If the designer you are looking at using is struggling to keep their business afloat - run. You need to find a designer who you can partner with you for the life of your business - or until you outgrow them.
When it comes to getting an affordable website, there is another type of 'graphic designer' you can use, someone who knows hwo to use the programs to create simple graphics for your site - however you will be missing the wow-factor completely!
It is often the graphic designer's role in a website which takes it from being a cheap website to a more expensive (but better looking and more effective) website.
A Traffic Generation Specialist
Yes, I know, it sounds like someone who stands at a roadwork scene, but it isn't. A Traffic Generation Specialist is someone who knows how to get people viewing your website.
Lets face it, if people don't see your website, what's the point. It is VERY important?
The person you use can take you through various different strategies. Their job is to think outside the box and come up with the ideas that work for you; they may even have unique ideas that have not been tried in your industry. They will be an innovator.
A real Traffic Generation Specialist will always tell you that you should be running a blog on your site - not an offsite blog hosted elsewhere.
Traffic Generation Specialists may also suggest these or other pathways:
- Facebook page fan page building
- Facebook Pay-Per-Click advertising
- Linked In
- Offsite Google SEO Strategies
- Google Adwords
- and more.
This is a good run-down of the different elements which a website needs, if you have any questions do not hesitate in getting in touch with us for more information - its what we do!