In today’s world, we are steadily seeing an increase in the number of consumers who want to shop locally, and more people every day would rather support a small business than shop at major retailers. Website Design plays a huge role in this movement towards shopping locally and hiring family-owned and operated service companies is because the internet makes it easier for us to easily find these companies. We all know that first impressions matter, especially in the world of business.
If you own a small business, it is highly likely that you will have a presence online. If a customer is doing a web search of your company, you want to convey your business in the best conceivable way. Like many other small businesses, this may seem as though you are entering the unknown when it comes to a website that looks great, functions properly and easily, and has a high ranking on Google.
Whether you have a website already that is outdated and does not get many conversions, or if you are building your site for the first time, it is more than likely you will not have an expert website designer at your beck and call. Additionally, if you have a budget in mind that you need to stay within the parameters of, it can be nerve-racking to find out what route to take so that you do not go over budget or waste money on a website that does not make your brand stand out against other competitors.
If you are ready to begin your website design project, but are not exactly sure where to start, this article will teach you the things you need to know before diving headfirst into the world of website design for small businesses.
Website Design, How Important is it to Your Business?
Surprisingly, this is a question that is asked more often than one might think. We live in a result-driven world where information is at our fingertips. Anytime a consumer has a question that needs to be answered or a problem that needs to be fixed, they turn to the internet. Any small business that wants a competitive edge on its brand needs to have a well-designed, informative site so potential customers can easily access the information about your company, how to get ahold of you, what store hours are, and the list goes on and on. A good initial impression is never a terrible thing!
In the event your business cannot be found by a simple Google search, you will not be able to reach the millions of buyers who search for products and services daily. According to HubSpot, 72% of consumers that did a local search for a business ended up visiting a store within 5 miles. And 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours! So, it matters more than you think!
What If I Already Have a Website Design I Like?
If your business already has a basic page on a third-party site, that might be a suitable place to start. However, when a user visits your site, you have little influence over what they experience. That is because those third-party websites only offer a few basic options. On top of the limited design, most if not all third-party sites require weekly/monthly fees and users must abide by their rules and restrictions if they were to upload products. With a solid design and great user experience, a personal website can offer endless benefits to your business. You have the freedom to design a site that represents your brand accurately and customize it in a way that is the most beneficial to your business.
So, You Want a Website For Your Business. Where Do You Start?
When it comes to building a website, there are loads of options out there. After doing plenty of research what you will likely find as an option is building the website yourself using a site builder (Wix, Square Space, Weebly, etc.) or you can enlist in a website design professional/company to help you design and build a website.
Since “free” site builders have low prices and an easy interface, they may seem appealing to small business owners who are on a budget. Yes, a “free” site builder will allow you to build a basic site quickly and very inexpensively. However, remember that you get what you pay for. If you want a website that brings in results and grows your business, it’s not likely you will achieve it with a simple site builder. When using these site builders, you’re likely to encounter hidden fees for things like custom domain names or using tools like Google Analytics. Most of these builders won’t allow you to migrate your website off their platform either.
So What To Do?
If you believe you have the time and potential to design and build your own website using a builder such as WordPress or CMS, you can most certainly do that and just pay for a company to host your site. Remember that creating a well-designed and ranked website can take a lot of time and effort. Another thing to think about when using a DIY site builder, it won’t provide you with the SEO expertise you need to enhance the performance of your website.
With all of that in mind, if you want a website to truly capture your vision and represent your brand or company in all aspects of design, SEO, and user experience, hiring a website design agency is something you should seriously consider. An expert design team can give you the edge you need to target the right audience and take your ideas and message to create a unique, well-ranking site. It takes the stress away from having to run a business and try and learn how to design a site that is equal to or better than competitors, brings in leads, and functions correctly considering the internet is a vast, ever-changing place. A good website design company will do weekly or monthly maintenance to maintain an updated, fast website, upload new content, and make changes based on what your needs as a small business are.
How Much Will The Design of My Small Business Website Cost?
This is a great question, and unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. If you decide to hire a website design agency, a project can cost anywhere from 1,000$ to more than 50,000$. This is all dependent on what your wants and needs are. If you only need a very simple site with limited functionality it isn’t going to be as expensive as a huge website with tons of content, pages, and very detailed customization.
If you do your research, get a general idea of what you’re wanting in mind, perhaps with a few examples of other websites you like for some reference, and make calls to a few different agencies this will help you get an idea of what converting your ideas to a custom website would cost. Different agencies have different pricing options, and all bring unique skills and styles to the table. Speaking with a few designers will help you find the one that can build your site with confidence. A few things that can affect the cost of a website design project are the size of the site, SEO services, the style of the site whether that be a pre-built template or a custom design, and CMS (content management system) for ongoing site maintenance.
Website design is something that is essential to small businesses and takes time and consideration. We hope this article was helpful to you on your website design journey!