Affordable Web Design
Tips to keep the costs of your website down

The best way to keep your website affordable is to do some homework and some thinking.

How many times have you, or someone you know, walked into a computer store to buy that advertised greal deal at $799, only to leave the store with a $2500 fully-loaded computer system?

How did it happen?

Chances are you were not clear on what you wanted or needed. You may have allowed a salesperson to confuse you with technical jargon and scare tactics. Had you been more prepared, you would not have fallen for the sales pitch.

A website is no different. If youre not absolutely clear on what you want and need, your affordable website will quickly become a money pit, loaded with bells and whistles.

To keep it affordable – plan, plan, and plan

You simply cant plan enough when it comes to your own website. Take some time to visit your competitors sites to see what theyre doing. Spend a couple of hours at a site like Coolhomepages.com to get some design, feature, and content ideas. Make notes and bookmark the sites so you can refer your web designer to them later.

Once youve finished touring, do yourself a favour and download our Website Planning Worksheet. Its a free document that will help guide you through the planning stages. And once completed, youll have a comprehensive outline that you can give to your web designer so they know exactly what you do and dont want – right down to what colours you like.

Prioritize your wish list

Prioritize the features that youd like on your site. That way, if the estimate gets too high, cutting to keep your website affordable will be easier.

Case Study: A client was considering an online inventory system for the thousands of parts his company sold. By the time he arrived at our door, he was frustrated: Two quotes thousands of dollars apart.

It became clear that he wasnt sure this online inventory system was feasible, or that his customers would even would use it.

We recommended that he launch a simpler – and affordable – web presence that showcased who he was and what he had to offer.

By being flexible and prioritizing his websites features, he was able to bring the cost into a range that made him – and his accountant – more comfortable.

Affordable web design is simple web design

The more features and interactivity on your website, the more money its going to cost.

Problems with your site will increase with the amount of technology used. These issues will need to be resolved before launch, and its going to take time. And time is money.

For each feature on your wish list, ask yourself: Is this crucial? or is it just nice-to-have? Is this essential, or is it feeding your ego?

Dont buy the hype

Not only do extra features increase the costs of your website, they cost more to maintain. Many web hosting companies have tiered service plans: as you increase the number of features requiring special technology, you increase the cost of web hosting.

Domain registration companies may try to convince you that yourcompanyname.com isnt enough, that you need a .biz, .org, or .net domain name as well. We even ran across one company that was suggesting customers would be more patriotic and show their disdain for the events of 9/11 if they registered a .us domain name.

Other companies use scare tactics: by not registering multiple domain names, youll lose business or charltons will steal business from you.

Its all hype. It all contributes to keeping your website un-affordable.

Dont be afraid to say NO!

People spend more money when theyre feeling pressured, when theyre made to feel that theyre missing out, or that a horrible calamity will befall them. Dont be afraid to take time to consider your options. The Internet will still be here next week.

Lets face it, if this is your companys first website, theres a lot to learn about. We think its better to grow into your website. Indeed, test the waters to see if anyone online even wants what you have to offer.

If you start out with a fully loaded website, youre also going to have to hire people to maintain it, writers to write the content, people to answer the e-mail, couriers to ship the orders, customer service representatives to answer the complaints, marketing people to sell it, and advertising people to bring in the traffic.

Whew! Thats great if your websites bringing in the money, but if it isnt, youll be left scratching your head: Why didnt I just say no? Take it slowly.

Download your free copy of the Website Planning Worksheet. Check out our full range of web design services. Or call us at 416-960-8931 or e-mail us. Well help you make sense of it all.



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