We’re often asked, “how to build a website on a low budget”? This might be relevant to a new start-up business or a business going through some changes that need to be actioned quickly and the marketing budget has already been spent for the year. Having a larger budget usually means that you’re going to have a much more polished website with a higher spec in functionality, it is possible to do something with a lower budget.
In the years I have worked on designing and building websites, we’ve found ways that can help reduce the budget for a client. The following ways are how you can build a website on a lower budget. It must be said that a “low budget” for one business might not be low for another.
1. Build it yourself (not recommended if you’re busy, running your business)
This might seem like the “cheapest” way to do it and that’s to build it yourself. It’s totally possible, but if you’re busy running your business the time it will take you to learn WordPress or Wix and build a site yourself, you’re likely to have wasted much more of your time and earning capacity building the site than if you’d hired a professional to do it for you.
2. Save money on the domain
Buying the domain can be expensive. If you’re looking to make savings, getting a cheaper domain would help you with your initial investment but also on the ongoing costs. Domain extensions like .com or .co.uk or .org usually carry more of a premium than .tech or .xyz. The cheaper domains don’t have the same prestige but you may be more likely to get something that hasn’t already been registered.
3. Keep the design simple.
If you’re planning to get your website on a lower budget, you’ll need to lower your expectations on what you need with the design. If you’re hiring an agency, agencies usually price on time spent and the more complex the design the more time they will spend to achieve the design for you. One way you can keep the design simple is to choose a pre-designed WordPress or Wix template that either matches your branding or is a pre-designed template for your industry sector. Whilst this isn’t ideal as someone is likely to have this one. It could be a competitor and might cause confusion.
If you’re speaking to an agency, having an idea of what you like already can help keep the cost of your website down as it means that they’ll spend less time researching and coming up with design variations for you.
You can save costs in the development of your website as well. There are a few ways to do this. The first would be to limit the number of pages.
If you’re thinking of other ways to reduce the budget of your web development, I would recommend keeping the number of complex functionalities to a minimum. This might mean leaving out e-commerce or a booking engine from the site. Or this could be just keeping the movement and animation on the site to a lower end because this is where additional HTML or CSS development can add to your budget.
It’s worth caveating here that a website should deliver for your business as a tool to either drive leads, or save you time by having functionality that moves your business forwards. If you’re stripping functionality and pages out to such an extent that it is a carcass of a site – you may be better to save some money to do the job properly as you’ll probably waste money in the longer term by having to re-do the whole thing again.
Hosting for your website is important. A slow site can hamper your SEO as Google does count site speed as a ranking factor. Cheaper hosting can mean slower, but there are plenty of budget hosts that you can use for a few pounds a month that will be ample fast enough until you need a larger plan. At Trident, we host on Amazon AWS – this is because it’s scalable and provides a seriously reliable hosting service – it hosts the main Amazon site for a start, plus other big brands such as Netflix, BBC, so we figured if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us and our clients.
If you’re embarking on a lower-budget website – just plan what you really need and then start at that point. Remember: your time may be better spent running your business than learning a new platform like WordPress.
If you need help planning out your new website and some professional expertise, at Trident, we are more than happy to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.