How much should I pay for a small business website? How much do you have? This is a question I get all the time because there’s so much different information out there ranging from do-it-yourself sites, where you can log on and click a few boxes around for $1 a month, all the way through 10 or 15 thousand dollars for a custom CMS. The issue is, is think about, before you worry about money, what kind of website do you need? You need a website that’s fast, secure, easy to manage, low cost to maintain and operate, flexible, meaning you can do what you want and you can add content and remove content and images, that kind of thing. That’s WordPress in my opinion. It’s the best small business CMS or content management system out there.
So before you look at the general question of how much you should pay for a website, think about what you want first. You can pay anything from a few dollars for an available theme, and a small amount for hosting per month, or you can get a sophisticated web programmer and designer to do basically anything you want. But the beauty of WordPress is there’s such an open source community of plugins and themes out there, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Some of the biggest companies in the world use WordPress. That’s why I recommend it.
So what should you pay for a good WordPress website? Let’s talk about that for a minute. First you have to understand the web development process. It starts with designs, so you have to come up with what you want in the first place. Then you have to go through programming, which is taking your design and converting it to a functional WordPress site. Then there’s set-up and maintenance involved. So whether there’s plugins that need to happen or getting your initial content up, and then ongoing hosting or maintenance.
So let me give you a couple tips to point you in the right direction of getting the most out of your money when it comes to your small business website. Number one is know what you want. A lot of people just ask somebody to design them a website and let the web designer determine what they’re doing. Well you’re not painting an impressionistic or abstract painting here. You need to really think about it because this website should be the engine for driving online business. So you want a website that attracts all three phases of the online marketing funnel. It’s got to reach your target audience, so it’s got to be SEO friendly and the content that you write has to be compatible and be in a good environment for a search engine optimization, so that’s reach in front of your audience.
It’s got to engage your audience, so the design has to have things in place like trust icons, and testimonials. Trust icons are just emblems or badges. So if you’re part of the Better Business Bureau or the American Bar, AV rated and those badges of trust, you have to have a psychological factors like testimonials and social proofs showing that you have a social media presence and that kind of thing. By the way, if this stuff is all new to you go to GetMyFreeCourse.com for our online marketing crash course that will go over the 11 steps of web design, in terms of psychology.
Anyway, so the second phase has to be engaging. Your website has to be set up for conversion, so when people actually get to your site because you’ve reached them and then they’re engaged by your design and your content, but they have to have calls to action and every piece of content and the sidebar and really a reason for them to take the next step, whether that’s call you and come to your physical business or to opt-in for a download, you have to have that conversion aspect to your website.
The next step is you want to really use a reputable contractor or agency. So if you go somewhere like Odesk or Elance.com or Guru.com or rent-acoder.com, you want to really use a contractor that has an approved contract record with a lot of hours, good amount of reviews on his site, and someone that’s trusted. The next thing you want to do is get that contractor going on a very small task. Have them just do the Home page or have them customizing an existing site you have if that’s an option. So don’t just give them $5,000 and walk away. You want to ensure that the site has little or no monthly maintenance fees. So especially lawyers. A lot of professionals really get suckered by companies that say we’ll design your website for $700 a month, when it only took $700 to design your site and hosting costs about $2 a month. So you really want to think about that. Make sure there’s not going to be any monthly maintenance or ongoing fees, these blind fees.
Another reason they use WordPress, by the way, is because you can manage with a very little amount of training and getting up to speed. With no technical knowledge you can manage and update your own website and you won’t have to pay somebody to go and do that. You don’t want to pay a designer or a company to make a small change to your site. Take ownership. It’s your equity. It’s a whole center of your marketing hub when it comes to the online world. So don’t pay somebody some maintenance fees and use some weird websites that you can’t even access. So use WordPress, bottom line, and expect to pay from $500 to $3000 or more if you’re really going to go high end and do a lot of custom functionality, but load WordPress, pick a existing theme. Go to studiopress.com or thesisthemes.com and pick an existing nice theme. Customize that. Pay a designer on Odesk or Elance to do some light customization and you can get a really awesome small business website for under $1000. I hope this helps.
If you have other small business online marketing questions please go to geekfree.net forward slash answers and we’ll see you there. Thanks.
Do you have a burning online marketing question that needs answerin’ somethin’ fierce? CLICK HERE to ask an online marketing question. We might even feature your business on Geek-Free Answers! And, of course, please share the love and share this article on your favorite social media sites. Pay it forward.