If you are looking for an affordable strategy to create a website, check out some of these ideas best suited for small businesses.
A small business website is incredibly important for reaching potential customers, especially now with most industries having to be transferred fully online.
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in helping clients discover small businesses, so an intuitive and easy-to-navigate web design is a good idea if you want your online presence to make a difference for your business.
Assuming that as a small business owner you don’t know where to start from when designing your website, we wrote this guide to help you and give you a few different approaches, ranging from affordable to more expensive.
What does website design include?
The most important thing you need to know is that web design is not the same as the actual development of the website. It just includes the look and user experience design that the website will have. So, it is a blueprint of how it should look like. The coding and software development, as well as hosting, are different portions of the production process.
Website design includes:
- Page layout
- Call to actions
- Forms and graphs
- How responsive registration forms look like
- Placement of products and services on the site
- Social media widgets, etc.
All of these things need to be designed in back-end as well, so that they are functional and responsive.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that the web design you choose also should be responsive and scalable for mobile devices. A large portion of audiences shop and surf on the internet using their smartphones, so their user experience is of big importance.
Finally, when you have a web design and a responsive website, you will also need to purchase a domain and hosting from a hosting company.
Now that we’ve cleared up what web design entails, let us get into detail in where, how and for which price you can get good web design.
Web design agency
A web design agency will take care of your design needs, and can scale up and down based on the complexity of your design.
Web design agencies usually include way more services than just the design, such as SEO copywriting, responsive design, ecommerce features, custom themes and style, domain names, content management systems, etc.
The cost of hiring a web design agency can be anywhere between 3.000 to 100,000 dollars on average for the US market. For the smallest price, you can expect to get just the look and layout of the website.
It comes at a heftier price, but a higher level of professionalism and larger scope of services are to be expected.
Practically, what it comes down to is that if you can afford it, a web design agency is absolutely the easiest choice that will lead to a good website.
However, since for a small business, a website doesn’t have to be mind-blowingly unique and extensive, you should probably focus on a more affordable and effective option.
Freelance website designer
Outsourcing freelancers is an affordable and flexible opportunity for almost any type of one-time project. From web designers to narrators, you can find any kind of freelancer on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
Web design is no exception, and there are plenty of freelancers who offer their services of Fiverr, Upwork, Twine and other platforms.
You can hire freelancers to take on the full website building process, or just the design portion of it, and discuss the details, time management and scope of work with them.
But, the risk of working with freelancers is the time of delivery, lack of quality assurance and the possibility of a lot of back-and-forth without effective communication.
Essentially, if you can handle managing an outsourced freelance worker, you can have a good web design project in your hands. However, if you don’t quite understand what you need, it’s better to go for an option that includes management of output and scope of work too.
A limited, but extremely resourceful and DIY way to have your own website, is a website builder. Platforms such as Wix, Shopify, Instapage, Squarespace and others (most of which support WordPress websites), are popular for a reason: for a small price, you get a large library of design templates and many integrations you can use in your website.
However, after doing some research you can easily see that plenty of companies use website builders, and the wow factor will not be achieved with them.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate, so if functionality is your primary goal, as a small business, a website builder is perfect for your needs and budget. You can read more about some of the most popular website builders in our comparison guide on Wix and Shopify, as well as the guide to Elementor and guide to Instapage.
Unlimited design services
An unlimited graphic design platform instead of a web design agency or company? It might sound unusual, but it is an extremely effective and affordable option, if you don’t necessarily want the same company to deal with the development and hosting of your website.
For example, ManyPixels in its scope of work in the Advanced and Business plans (549 and 899 dollars respectively) covers UI design, as well as all the other graphic design needs in the Essential plan.
That means that for a flat rate of 549 or 899 dollars a month you can get both a website design and other graphic design projects like custom illustrations, social media posts, digital ads, print design, landing pages, etc.
The most important thing when purchasing an unlimited design service is that it is truly unlimited. There is no maximum number of design projects you can request, and the turnaround time is around 1-2 working days, depending on the complexity of the project.
You would also have a designated designer working with your company, that is chosen and vetted based on their expertise. So, for a website design, you would have an experienced UI designer.
If you are still not sure about the quality of our web design, check out some of the websites designed by our team.
In-house web designer
The IT industry’s services are the most outsourced ones and for a good reason. If you are not a startup, chances are you will not have the need to tweak and update your website all the time or change the services as you grow.
That means that, for a small business, hiring an in-house web designer is a waste of resources, as you would only need them for one big project, and then they wouldn’t have much work on their hands.
The average salary for a web designer in the USA is more than 56.000 dollars a year, based on Glassdoor’s data. In reality, you would only need a website designer for a month or two for your small business website, so there is no need to strain your budget this much.
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For a small business, the design of your website should be easy to navigate and intuitive, rather than creative and uniquely designed. Furthermore, you can go for a design that is optimized but not necessarily updated for the latest trends.
That means that if you want affordability, unlimited design service or freelancer is the best option if you want someone else to create your design.
If you want to test the waters yourself and create a website with a drag and drop builder, go for a website builder. It is easy to work in, affordable and covers way more than just design.
If you don’t mind paying some extra bucks, hire a design agency or in-house designer, that will take care of your website design every step of the way.