Every business that is operational today needs a website. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small corner store in a country town that has a population of 2,500 or a mega corporation that does billions of dollars in business every year.
A website is one of the most powerful tools a business has these days. But now people have their own websites, whether it’s to blog about a topic they enjoy or to host a professional resume during a job hunt.
Websites are in high demand and if you don’t know how to look for a deal you might get taken advantage of. There are a lot of website design agencies that mark up the work they have done overseas or they slightly modify a template and over charge the client.
If you are in the market for a website make sure you read the advice below. it will help you save a lot of money when it’s all said and done.
Look at Pre-Built Themes
Back in the early days of the internet there were really no DIY options available. You needed to know how to write code, design, and then convert it all into a working website. Thankfully that isn’t the case these days.
There are a lot of pre-made solutions, from entire CRM platforms as well as themes that you can install in a matter of minutes and then customize for your specific needs and requirements.
For example, you can use WordPress as your platform and then select a free theme from their directory. WordPress is probably the most user friendly option and there are plenty of free resources, guides and video tutorials available on YouTube to walk you through everything from start to finish.
If you really want to save money, start with WordPress and do everything yourself. You will also learn some valuable skills along the way. The other great thing about WordPress is their plugin directory. You don’t have to know how to code – if you need a function, look for a plugin that supports your need and instantly install and activate it within your dashboard.
Consider Outsourcing the Project
Some situations call for a totally custom website with a lot of custom features. If this is the case you should consider outsourcing the project. There are a lot of benefits.
You can save a lot of money when you outsource development overseas. There are a lot of great companies in India and in the Philippines. There are some 500+ team member agencies over there that do amazing work at a small fraction of the cost you would pay a U.S. based agency.
Truth be told, most of the agencies in the U.S. are outsourcing some, if not all, of their work to these same large outfits. They then mark it up 10X+. Bypass all of that and just go to the source. Always look at a portfolio and make sure they understand your needs and wants fully.
Know What You Need for Features
You can’t just say, “I need a website.”
You have to say, “I need a website that does this, that, this, and also this.”
Knowing exactly what you need will help you determine what platforms are a good option and then from there you can narrow everything down based on these feature requests.
For example, if you just need a blog, then WordPress is the way to go. If you are launching an e-commerce website then Shopify might be your best option. If you need a totally custom project built out then a Magento-based website might be best.
Have a very solid idea of what exactly it is you need before you start looking for available options.
Stan is a freelance consumer review expert and has been published on Forbes and USA Today, as well as being featured on NBC Chicago multiple times as an in-studio guest.