Did you know that about 36% of small businesses don't even have a website?
If this sounds like you, then you may be a small business owner looking for an affordable way to design your website. If so, you are not alone.
Developing an effective website is a shared challenge. Another challenge is to do it in an affordable way.
Read on to find out how to move forward with an affordable website design for your small business.
Small Businesses and the Importance of Websites
According to the Small Business Association (SBA), only about 64% of small businesses have a website, never mind a good one. Many small business owners do not know how to begin to build one or find it too expensive.
This is not an area to neglect. Websites are valuable for small businesses for a number of reasons. They can drive both online and offline purchases.
Websites also help consumers locate a product or service they need. A major benefit of websites is how they help with discovery. It is estimated that 85% of consumers use the Internet to find, or discover, local businesses.
More recently, small businesses have also seen the increased value of using their website to interact with their customers.
Whether it means establishing your business or maintaining relationships with customers, a properly designed website is crucial.
Website Design Trends
Before diving into how to build an affordable website, let's briefly review some website design trends that will establish parameters for a website for small businesses.
Most small business owners aim to make their websites both user and mobile-friendly. This means you should start with the goal of making the site accessible and easy to use for the customer, both on a computer and phone.
Plan to keep it simple. Website designs that are clean looking and reflect a brand, product, or service clearly work best. You will want to pay attention to font and color use for these aspects of the website.
Keep the content straightforward. Get to the point with what you wish to express to your customer. And, use drop-down menus to allow people to scroll through the site easily.
Capture your company's story and convey it in an interesting way. Sounds easy, but this is quite tricky. For example, you don't want to overload your consumer with information.
Start with these end goals in mind, then move to how to actually build your website.
Guidelines for Setting Up an Affordable Website
Before starting with a website program or working with a website design company, take some time to set up some guidelines for your small business website.
First, acquire a recognizable, fitting website address, otherwise known as a domain name. This is important for company recognition and for search engine optimization (SEO).
Next, secure a hosting service that will enable you to launch your website. This necessary technological connection ranges in price. One of the more affordable options is known as a virtual private server.
A virtual private server is a hosting plan that costs about $20 to $50 each month. This is a cheaper option than what's known as a dedicated server, which can cost anywhere from $100 to $2,000 per month.
Then, you will want to also secure a content management system. As the name implies, this software will manage the content on your website.
Content management systems also range in price and are sometimes provided by website design companies (see next subtopic).
WordPress is an affordable content management system. It is also free and the most popular option. The downside is there are reports about security issues.
Squarespace is a second affordable content management system. This system has monthly or yearly memberships. It offers a good range of web development tools.
Last, you will want to plan out the copy for your website and make it customer-oriented. Some helpful questions to ask yourself with this step are:
If I were a customer visiting this site, what information would be most helpful to me? What aspects of my product or service would need to be explained further? What would I want to know about this company?
If writing is not a strength of your company, then hiring a copywriter may be a good option.
Affordable Website Design Options
Now that you have thought about website design trends and guidelines, let's turn to building that site.
There are many options out there for affordable website design, but the choices can become overwhelming.
If you decide to take the do-it-yourself approach, there are a variety of options to get your website up and running quickly, but there are drawbacks.
Namely, it takes time and energy to develop a website. Most small businesses cannot divert resources and time to such a project. Also, small businesses usually do not have the knowledge base to construct a compelling site.
These do-it-yourself websites tend to be generic and not customized. This goes against a main goal outlined above.
If you decide that you need more breadth, flexibility, and affordability, you can explore a range of website design options with Optuno. Optuno provides an affordable, customized, and easy solution for small businesses.
Businesses that range from seafood to shoes have used this platform. Optuno customers have commented on the quality of these website designs. Optuno can edit and update your websites and help ensure website security. If you are looking for a partner to help with website design, this would be the best option for your company.
Customers have also expressed gratitude for the communication about the web design process and how the company has helped fulfill its website vision.
Website Design Options that Work For You
Do some research to help better understand which affordable website design option may work best for you. You could start by reading blogs or articles about website design.
You will quickly get a sense of why you need a website or what needs to be improved about your existing one. You can also get an indication of what is currently working best for other companies.
You can also contact us to help with a consultation with a web design professional. Taking these steps will go a long way toward building the success of your small business.