Basic websites consist of a fixed number of pages that – normally – are not editable without help from a web designer. We can work around that limitation (see below), but if you’re serious about editing your own site, a Pro Site will be a far better investment.
Still, basic sites can be very useful when:
- You just need a website to list on offline advertising, like print and broadcast media or vehicles
- You’re too busy to edit your own site, or just not keen to do so. Tiny mistakes in marketing copy can have lasting impacts, so it can be wise to have help with this
- You’re experimenting, with a plan to invest in a better website later
- It’s a personal website rather than a business one, so budget is more important than performance
For these situations, I offer:
Non-editable, or “static” websites struggle to compete with Pro Sites in search engines, but can still work for some industries. Offline advertising, directory links 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. Being simpler than editable sites, static sites are less prone to hacking and so require less maintenance than editable sites. I build static websites on my Basic Hosting Plus package.
“Brochure” websites are what most people mean by “simple websites” or “basic websites”. They provide several pages of information – like a company brochure – and a contact form to gather leads and feedback. Some manage with just three pages – the home page, contact page and an “about us” page. However, the more content you have, the better. Why?
Well, successful websites are built for their target audience. Your customers see your site as you reaching out to them. They require it to be easy to find, easy to navigate, and to contain the information they’re looking for – or at least enough to persuade them to contact you. Otherwise they’ll just move on to your competitors.
You may be able to achieve that in just a few pages, but that risks looking like your site – and helping your customers – is an afterthought. You don’t want to give prospective customers that impression, do you?
Basically, the more effort you put into delivering 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 sites have at least five pages – anything less is rarely 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.
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 a specific offer with a single, clear “Call To Action”. Most offer freebies as “lead magnets”, in return for newsletter sign-ups.
Editable Basic Websites
Search engines promote frequently-updated sites. So, even on a basic website with a limited number of pages, being able to do those updates yourself offers a big advantage. Such websites do require more maintenance, however – so I build these on my Pro Hosting Plus package.