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A Quick and Easy Guide to Affordable Websites for Small Businesses

A Quick and Easy Guide to Affordable Websites for Small Businesses

Web design
May 6, 2022
9 minutes

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If you’ve been stuck in a loop of Googling for builders of affordable websites for small businesses, then look no further. Check out our suggestions for free and affordable plans that will improve the online presence of your small business.

In today’s internet-led era, a website can either make or break your small business. An intuitive and affordable website is the way to go if your small business has just taken off.

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You want to show the world how great your small business is, but have absolutely no experience in web design. This is where we step in. We will provide you with a guide on beginner website design and various options that deliver affordable websites for small businesses.

What makes a ‘good’ website?

You want to have an attention-grabbing website, for all the good reasons. To get those juices flowing, we did the research on the common characteristics of good websites, according to web designers and software companies.

A good website must include:

If you want to stand out online, an attention-grabbing website is a must. According to web designers and software companies, here are some common characteristics of good websites.

A good website must include:

  1. Easy and convenient usage
  2. Optimization for Mobile Devices
  3. Fresh and Quality Content
  4. Readily Accessible Contact and Location
  5. Clear Calls to Action
  6. A Clean and Validated Code

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With a lack of web design experience, it is safer to strive for a simple and concise website design. Since we’ve established the characteristics of a good website, we may move on to how to create a website free of cost, the most popular and best free business website, and other platforms that provide affordable websites for small businesses.

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How can I create a website?

Nowadays, you have the opportunity to become an expert in website design or have professionals take the matter into their hands.

Here are five options that enable you to do any of the two:

1. Website builders

If you decide on the former, the process doesn’t require any HTML, CSS, and PHP knowledge, nor any designing and coding skills. This answers the “how can I create a website” question literally, as you will be building a website by yourself, using one of the many website builders.

A report by W3 Techs presents the market share trends for affordable websites for small businesses starting from April 2021. The data shows that WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular website building platform among users, with an average 65% of usage. It’s followed by Shopify and Wix as second and third, and Squarespace in fourth place.

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Although they are beginner website design-friendly, these platforms offer very few unique website themes and templates that are free or affordable. Simple customization of these templates is allowed, and usually involves alterations of the color scheme or adding/removing some sections.

Your small business is unique through its products and vision, and deserves a unique internet presence. Website builders offer only selected and uniform templates for a bargain, resulting in many affordable websites for small businesses looking similar.

Despite their marketing presentation that you can build free website design, website builders require you to purchase a domain and web hosting. So, the costs towards your website could start from $100, and go up to more than three thousand dollars annually.

2. In-house Web Designers

Unlike the former, this option won’t provide you with a manual on how to create a website free of cost, or at least an affordable website, but you’ll have a long-term employee and member of your small family. Hiring a full-time website designer means that professional work and continuous support will be put into your website.

No matter if your goal is to create a website to sell products or just a simple web portfolio of your business’s accomplishments and goals, the full-time professional will deliver a unique website shaped to your taste. Also, your deadlines will always be met, since you’ve hired a full-time employee. However, let’s talk about costs.

According to a report by ZipRecruiter, as of April 14, 2022, the average annual salary of a web designer in the United States is $60,202. To little surprise, the top 1% of web designers can earn up to $114,000/year. While justified by the designer’s design software skills, as well as knowledge of multiple programming languages and online marketing, these thousands of dollars can be a financial burden for your up-and-coming small business.

If your website is a one-time thing that occasionally needs some tweaks, paying such large amounts, as well as additional money for a full-time web designer’s health insurance, is a waste of resources.

3. Freelance Web Designers

Luckily, hiring a full-time web designer isn’t the only way you can obtain a professional website for your small business. Freelance website designers are a much better fit for affordable websites for small businesses because of their lower hourly wages and non-full-time status within your company.

One of the largest freelancing platforms, UpWork, has estimated that a freelance web designer’s average hourly wage ranges from $15 to $30. However, after some quick scrolling through UpWork, you can spot that the higher-quality web designers demand up to $80/hr.

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There certainly are other risks when working with freelancers. Since they’re not your full-time employee, a freelancer won’t provide you with continuous professional support, nor are they bound to deliver their best work in the quickest time frame.

If web design and aesthetics aren’t your strong suit, a freelancer might not be a good option since they won’t provide you with a scope of ideas and advice.

4. Web Design Agencies

Although a lesser-known option, web design agencies provide you with an array of quality services, including web and application development, digital marketing, strategy and insights, security, and much more.

You’ll be sure to receive punctual and high-quality work done by professionals, due to the nature of your legal contract with the agency. Also, their digital marketing skills and strategies are perfect if you’re trying to create a website to sell products.

Naturally, we’ll break down the question “how much does it cost to create a website with a web agency?” for you.

As to recent statistics presented by Impact Plus, the costs for a simple custom website design suitable for a small business can range from $15,000 to $30,000 in the U.S. If you’re in for a treat, bigger and more complicated websites cost between $40,000 to $75,000 or more.

More research states that these prices are growing every day, due to supply and demand. If you can afford them, a web design agency’s extensive services are the right choice when building a unique website for your small business.

Despite that, these thousands of dollars can present a financial strain to your growing small business. If that’s the case, these advanced extensive services are not essential to you, as our mantra is: “Start simple and convenient first.”

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5. Unlimited Design Services

Last but not least, we have an option that might catch your eye. If the previous ones haven’t already.

With an unlimited design services platform, you’ll receive - you guessed it - unlimited design services. However, the services span across more complex skills and opportunities than just limitlessness.

Namely, ManyPixels offers three business plans, all of which cover unlimited requests, revisions, brands, at least 1 daily output, and more. Our costs start from $549/mo for the Advanced package and go up to $1,199/mo for the popular Dedicated Designer package.

We recommend the Advanced package, with a monthly cost of $549, or the Business package for $899, for building a website, as these additionally offer web design, gifs, branding, and other professional support.

If this sparks interest, check out some of the websites created by our designers.

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How much does it cost to create a website?

Finally, it is safe to wonder - “how much does it cost to create a website with these affordable websites for small businesses?” Don’t give up just yet, because we have more advice coming your way!

While the cores of both WordPress and Wix and Shopify’s two-week trial are free, the cost of a website depends on your budget and goals. Depending on the platform, monthly plans, and domain and web hosting services you choose, a website can cost from $100 to thousands of dollars annually.

If you’re not looking for ways how to create a website free of cost but free of additional costs long term, give web agencies some thought. Although their prices range between $3000 to $10,000 annually, these professionals exhibit advanced web design skills and offer continuous support.

Similarly, an in-house web designer offers extensive skills and punctual delivery, for an average of $60,202/year. In-house designers are great if you’re looking for a long-term solution and a new member of your team!

On the other hand, freelancers are fitting to short-term solutions. If your goal is to create a single website that will occasionally require some updates, head to UpWork or Designhill for some recommendations. The hourly wages for freelance web designers start at $15 and go up to $80.

Unlimited design services platforms like ManyPixels will provide you with unlimited design, branding, web design, logos, and more. For monthly prices ranging from $599 to $899, you will be provided with fast delivery, expertise, and support.

At last…

Today, you have the choice to practice your web design skills or leave it up to the professionals. In an era where most people are used to getting the facts in a few clicks, your small business deserves to have a captivating online presence.

These options have something for everyone, not depending on if your goal is to create a website to sell products or a distinctive “Welcome!” website. Remember - an easy-to-use, mobile-optimized, and frequently updated website is better than a non-functional big design mess.

Don’t rush into it. Make smart decisions that fit your budget and benefit your small business long-term.

Good luck!

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Guest Writer: Ivana Budjarovska

May 6, 2022

A 20-year-old, curious, friendly, The New Yorker-addicted aspiring investigative journalist. Particular areas of interest include media studies and Eastern European affairs. Quote to live by: “I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” - Zora Neale Hurston