One of the most important parts of running a business is having a website. Many people now use the Internet instead of physical stores, so any company not using a website is missing out.
However, setting up and running a website can be costly, and for small businesses this can sometimes be seen as an unnecessary element. There are ways that you can set up and run a website on a budget. Let us take a look at how to budget when building a new website.
Using a Developer or Creating a Website Yourself?
There can be a big difference between hiring someone to design a website for you, and doing it yourself. The upfront cost can be as high as £5,000 for a professionally built site, and around £300 if you do it yourself. However, it depends on what results you want and the skills you have.
This could be the best time to think about your organisation’s all-round budget and financial management. You can find CFO services perfect for your business if you don’t think you can deal with the finances yourself.
You can also expect ongoing fees each year to pay for your domain name, website updates and hosting of the website.
Which Platform to Choose?
There are a number of platforms out there where you can set up and run your website. These platforms will have their own unique ways of working and user interface. If you are running the site yourself, choose one that you can manage and that is easy for you to use.
A platform like WordPress is a great CMS for SEO results. This is an important element that will help get your website to the top of search results. It also has many themes that you can choose from if you don’t want to create one from scratch.
What Functionality Will Your Website Have?
Many of the hosting platforms will offer some services for free, or as part of the package you sign up to. However, there are other elements that you will need to pay extra for.
As an example, if you are looking to add ecommerce functionality to your website, then this may be an additional cost. If you have designed the website yourself, then the web building platform will often have an ecommerce template already set up. There is usually a cost to add this to your website, or you can get a developer to create one which can cost more. The final decision depends on whether the template has all of the features you require. If it doesn’t, then you may need to have a bespoke one created.
One of the best ways to start showing up in search results is to use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Along with other ways to optimise, adding relevant content that includes keywords and phrases that people are searching for is a great way to be found.
Many business websites are now including a blog where they discuss topics relevant to the products and services they sell. Creating this content can be time consuming, so companies will often outsource this to others such as freelance writers.
Outsourcing will be an additional cost to your website, but it is important to weigh this against the potential revenue that these articles will attract from customers.
Marketing and Advertising
Although SEO is a great way to get your website promoted to the top of search results, this can take a little time. Some companies want to speed up this process by buying ad space on Google and other platforms.
Platforms such as Google will charge a certain fee for every person that sees your ad. The amount you spend is determined by you. When you reach that limit, the platform will stop showing your ads, but you can still be discovered by search.
Running ads can help you get in front of the right people, as they will have demographic information that you need to select. For platforms such as social media, it will select only those that meet the demographic criteria. Although this makes for a more focused customer reach, it will add to your marketing budget.
Alternatively, you can start your own social media accounts and post regularly on topics that relate to your products and services. While this will take a little longer, it will cost nothing which might be a better way to go if you are on a tight budget.
There are many alternatives to spending a lot of money building your website. You need to select the factors that you need, and omit those that won’t be worth the expense at this time.