Most times a starting out solopreneur or small team will not have tens of thousands of dollars to invest in a website. However, they still need an internet presence to build an audience, connect with potential customers and gather leads to follow up with and turn into sales. Here are three ways you can reduce website costs and still end up with a functional and professional looking website.
1) Use a Content Management System.
A Content Management System (abbreviated CMS) is a script that can be installed on your hosting plan that will allow you to make edits to the information on your website and to add new pages. A Content Management System reduces website costs by empowering you to update your content instead of being dependent on someone else to make those changes.
Many times the price of a web project increases dramatically when many additional pages of content needed to be added by the developer. Using a CMS will enable you to easily add new content both while you’re getting up and running and as your online presence grows over time.
A Content Management System will allow you to make your own edits should information about your business change and need to be updated on the website. Should your business address or phone number change, instead of paying someone else an hourly rate you would be able to log in to make the changes. This will also save time in communicating with your vendor and waiting for time to open in up their schedule.
2) Choose a Content Management System that is already coded and widely supported.
Hiring a developer to create a custom Content Management System is not cheap. Even with basic functionality, the hours that go into a custom CMS would end up totaling several thousand dollars or more. Thankfully you can reduce website costs by choosing a Content Management System that is already coded and that is widely supported.
There are many popular packages out there to pick from. Several, such as the popular WordPress script are “Open Source” and have been coded by a community of volunteer programmers all working together to pool their time and talent. Other paid solutions are put together by teams of programmers looking to create a product to take to market. In either case you are leveraging time that has already been spent on coding a solution, and the cost to you stays down.
Picking a packing that is popular and widely supported will help you reduce website costs should something go wrong. It is easier to find someone to service your website, add extra functionality later on or fix technical issues if they already are familiar with the script.
Many popular Content Management Systems will also have Plug-Ins available that can add extra features to your website, reducing coding time and the associated costs.
3) Base the look and feel of your site off a premium theme
Using a premium theme is a great way to reduce website costs and still end up with a professional and polished looking site. Many of the popular Content Management Systems support themes, which are files that control the layout, some functionality and basic design of the site. Designers and Coders work together to create themes that are available for purchase at a fraction of the cost of a custom design.
Many premium themes come with a wealth of customization options. Look for one that will fit your needs. The Image Slider is a popular feature that will enable you to create a slide show of images for a more graphically interesting look. If getting a particular color scheme is important, many offer a color picker option. If your audience browses the internet from mobile devices looks for a theme that has built in responsive features that optimize your site for the various mobile devices. Choosing a theme with these built in features reduces website costs by saving you from having to hire someone to custom code them later on.
With these things in mind you will be able to reduce website costs and develop an online presence for your business that is functional, professional looking, and that can serve as the backbone of your online marketing efforts.