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What Is Affordable Website Design?

Cost-effective website design makes small business websites affordableEvery small business wants affordable website design. The trouble is that “affordable” can mean:

  • As cheap as possible
  • Less than your current dis­posable cash and/or short-term savings
  • Whatever it takes to create some­thing that will pay for itself, min­imise risks and max­imize profits, even if that needs finance.

The first of those defin­i­tions doesn’t really help at all. The hidden costs of cheap web­sites gen­erally make them more expensive than pro­fes­sional ones.

There is hardly any­thing in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who con­sider price alone are that per­son’s lawful prey. … When you pay too little, you some­times lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The Common Law of Business Balance pro­hibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. — attr. John Ruskin

Meanwhile, many small startups prefer to be self-fin­anced (aka “boot­strapped”). So whilst the third defin­ition is actually the most sensible approach, some feel it stretches the concept of “affordable”.

Cost-Effective Beats Cheap

Still, the point is that truly affordable website design pays for itself. Business web design is an investment, not a cost.

Beyond that, the more you invest in it, the more can be done to increase the rate of return. Even better, that return is ongoing, growing over time.

On the other hand, under­in­vesting increases the risk of failure. That turns a potential investment into a pure cost. Investing slightly too little just max­imizes that waste. That’s all too easy to do acci­dentally if you treat an investment as a cost.

So focusing on cost is the wrong approach. You need to focus on cost-effect­iveness.

In other words, you need the best solution you can afford. Whether that includes external finance is still up to you, but you do need to invest enough to min­imise the risk of failure.

So What Is Cost-Effective Website Design?

Cost-effective small business web design focuses on performanceUltimately, website sales depend on how many vis­itors it gets, and how many of those convert into cus­tomers. The quality of design can affect both of those.

Traffic is either paid or unpaid (aka “organic”). So the more free traffic your site earns, the more cost-effective it can be. This aspect of site quality has very little to do with how your site looks, but without it, the pret­tiest visuals are a waste of money. Unfortunately, it’s easier to sell pretty visuals, so site quality and per­formance often get over­looked in low-cost web design.

Still, once you have vis­itors, effective design can improve con­version rates. Again, user exper­ience design goes beyond visual ele­ments. However, con­version rates also depend on your offer and audience tar­geting, so there’s no silver bullet.

Both these design tasks involve applying guidelines, best prac­tices and exper­ience, watching website stats and testing. The more of that you can afford, the more effective your site will be.

In short then, cost-effective web design pri­or­itises per­formance over “pretty”, but neg­lects neither.

Choosing Cost-Effective Web Design

That’s all very well, but how does that help if fin­ances are tight? How can you identify truly cost-effective website design?

Look at what the designer is talking about. If they focus on looks and don’t talk much about per­formance, beware. You may well learn the hard way that “pretty” is pretty useless at the bottom of Google.

If they focus on per­formance first, they’re con­sid­ering what you really need instead of just trying to make a sale. That’s more likely to be cost-effective in the long run.

Of course, you don’t have to look far. My Simple Site packages are designed to provide cost-effective web design for small busi­nesses.

Need to get your small business online cost-effectively?

Get a Simple Site!