We hear it frequently, “We are looking for a great website for our business.” and this typically gets the heart racing a bit. Excitement starts flowing, and we start brainstorming about all the great things that our team at Niteowl Creative can offer, and then it hits. The new perspective client says “So, we have a limited budget for this. What do you think this website is going to cost us?”
This is typically when the project planning seems to take a turn. When the large 15-20 page website with a great deal of functionality for a ecommerce solution, photo gallery, and even several forms for all sorts of purposes comes with a hopeful budget of $900.00 (oh, and can that be cash?).
$900? WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM?
Well, here’s the thing. A website could be the single most important point of contact you could make with your audience. Aside from perhaps your branding, your website is even more so now than previously a first point of contact for most of your audience. You have only a few seconds to ‘wow‘ a visitor and give them a reason to stick around and explore. If you’re putting a mediocre budget on the Taj Mahal of websites, you’re guaranteed to get more of a storage shed. Sure it holds all your tools and has a place for everything, but does it really make a lasting impression or reflect you and your business the best way possible?
If you’re a business owner, and you do not value your business enough to put a reasonable investment behind the marketing, you can be certain that you are missing out on a whole wealth of possibilities.
WHAT DOES A GOOD WEBSITE COST?
This is a tricky question. I often revert to my comparison to the cost of building a house. No, you won’t necessarily be looking to spend $100k+ on a starter website (starter home) for your business, but when you’re building a website, it’s quite similar. How many rooms would you like your new house to have? Would you like a large functional kitchen with fittings for a dish washer, sliding door for the patio? How many restrooms would you like, and how many pieces per restroom? If you cheap out on a house and hire a builder who may not have the experience needed to provide you with a quality home, you’re left spending more money on repairs and your house will slowly fall apart.
Building a website is similar. How many pages would you like? Would you like a content management system to allow you to edit your own content and give you control? Galleries, slideshows, professional photography, copywriting, search engine optimization, forms, payment gateways, etc. There are many aspects that go into a website. But $5000 – $10,000 for a well built, custom designed website to represent your business is not unreasonable. The ROI will be worth it. I have been lucky enough to have a wide spectrum of websites I have been involved in from $1200 to $50-80,000 and you can certainly tell the difference. I’m not saying you need to go spend $80k on a website, but certainly weigh your options and do the research required. You’re better to spend a few extra dollars and get a quality website that won’t require the maintenance that a website which was thrown together with little thought would require.
Make the investment.
It is worth it.
HOW DO I KNOW A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE WILL HELP MY BUSINESS?
Businesses are hard work. As a business owner, you must know that everything doesn’t just happen when you want it to. You need to work at it. A website isn’t just simply a fix for a struggling business, it’s not just going to cause visitors to flood your store, purchase your items online, read your articles. You need to market your website. You need to market your business. A website is a point of contact with your audience to give them a reason to fall in love with your product or the information you’re offering them, to make them want to come back or to make them intrigued enough to inquire.
A few points to make sure to consider when planning for a new website, to ensure that it WILL in-fact help your business rather than harm it:
- A responsive website: Make sure your website works on all platforms, and all devices. You could be losing visitors based on your website not working on their iPad or iPhone. Google now also prefers mobile friendly sites over non-responsive sites when considering their value for ranking.
- Content Management: Some content management systems can be hard to learn and use. Keep in mind that you’re going to want to make changes as simply as possible, without having to practically get a college degree to edit your pricing tables or schedule online. Most times, custom content management systems can be quite beneficial.
- Photography and Content Development: Having supporting imagery and content can make a great deal of difference with your website. Having properly written content can largely affect your search engine optimization, and having photographs that relate to your content is a very big factor when considering user experience.
- Design: The flow of the website should lead your eye to the most important information and a great user experience.
A website is not going to make or break your business. It simply is a tool that is used as a point of contact between you and your audience. This point of contact should be visually appealing, strongly developed and represent you and the value of your business effectively.
Present your business proudly.
Show it off!
My inspiration for this article – http://socialtriggers.com/new-web-design-25000/
This brilliant entrepreneur has spent years learning the ups and downs of business, the values in proper web marketing and how it can affect your business in both good and bad ways. He has learnt that a website is an investment, and reflects greatly on his business.
Derek Halpern took the time to interview web designers, and put together a team to get the best possible outcome. He hired a designer (firm) and made sure to have professional photography to work well with his website. He trusted professionals to guide him and the outcome was fantastic.
Don’t hire Niteowl Creative to build your website. Hire Niteowl Creative to give you the best possible online personality for your business.
~ Niteowl Creative