Basic websites have limitations, but still have their uses. If you’re new to business, or established but new to online marketing, investing in a full professional site may seem like a big risk. In fact, professional design is actually an investment that reduces risk and provides a much better marketing toolkit. Trying to cut costs too much can undermine profitability and cripple or even destroy a project. That’s why experienced entrepreneurs seek grants and loans to finance their site if necessary.
Still, sometimes a basic website is all you need, right? For instance, when:
- Budget is very limited and finance isn’t an option
- It’s a personal website rather than a business one, so budget is more important than performance
- You just need a website to list on offline advertising, like print and broadcast media or vehicles
- You’re experimenting, with a plan to invest in a better website if your idea takes off
For these situations, I offer:
Non-editable, or “static” websites don’t do well in search engines, but can still be worthwhile in some industries. Offline advertising, links from online directories and paid ads on the search engines can make up for poor search engine positioning. Static sites can then act as effective contact points, presenting a professional image and vital information to your potential customers. They also require less maintenance than editable sites, being simpler and less prone to hacking. Also, tiny mistakes can have a lasting impact online, so if you aren’t confident about creating content, it can be wise to get professional help with updates. I build static websites on my Basic Hosting package.
“Brochure” websites are what most people mean by “simple websites” or “basic websites”. They present several pages of information about a business – like a company brochure – with the added benefit of a contact form to gather leads and feedback. Whilst it’s possible to manage with just three pages – the home page, contact page and an “about us” page – the more content you have, the better. If that sounds like a bit of a chore, here’s what you need to consider…
Successful websites are built for their target audience. Your customers will see your site as you reaching out to them. They will require your site to be easy to find, easy to navigate, and to contain the information they’re looking for – or at least enough information for them to consider contacting you. Otherwise they’ll just move on to your competitors.
There’s more to it than that, though. You may be able to do all that in just a few pages, but if you do, it risks looking like your site – and helping your customers – is just an afterthought. You don’t want to give prospective customers that impression, do you?
Quite simply, the more effort you put into deliver value to your target audience on your website, the more they’ll feel appreciated. The more they feel appreciated, the more likely they are to trust you, and to buy from you.
Most basic brochure websites have at least five pages, so anything less is unlikely to be cost-effective. On the other hand, if you’re planning more than about a dozen pages, you may be better off with a Pro Site. Brochure sites start at just £600 for a 5-page site.
Special Cases: One-Page Sites & Landing Pages
One-Page Sites have a navigation menu that scrolls down to display screens of content instead of loading new pages. They present a limited amount of information, typically ending with a simple contact form. As these are really just small brochure sites presented in a novel way, they are priced as for brochure websites.
Landing Pages are highly-focused one-page sites with no navigation menu. They present the absolute essentials about what you offer, with a single, clear “Call To Action”. Many landing pages offer freebies (“lead magnets”) in return for newsletter sign-ups. I build landing pages from just £300.
Editable Basic Websites
Search engines promote frequently-updated sites, so even if you only want a basic website with a limited number of webpages, being able to do those updates yourself offers a big advantage. Such websites do require more maintenance, however – so I build these on my Managed Hosting package. Editable basic websites start at just £900.