Small businesses often ask for a “simple website” or “basic website”. That’s fine, but what are simple websites? Are they simple to build? Simple to run? Affordable? Those are subjective too. So here’s a more helpful definition:
A simple website is a templated website with a fixed number of pages.
So, no bespoke design (though simple sites can still look great), and no complex features like blogging, e‑commerce catalogues or membership systems. Check out my Pro sites and e‑commerce websites for those. Those features can still be affordable, as they are investments that typically pay for themselves by boosting your profits — they just need to be built differently.
How Can Simple Sites Help?
Blogging helps sites perform better in search engines, so without that, simple websites often need paid ads or offline advertising to drive traffic to them. Still, they can be good for:
- A basic web presence to boost sales by increasing business credibility
- Informing and educating visitors
- Showcasing your work as a simple gallery or “brochure site”
- Generating leads, or even online sales for a small number of items
The simplest sites, called “static” sites, aren’t editable, but even those normally include a contact form. We can add editable sections and basic payment buttons fairly easily, too. Just not things like calculating tax and shipping, managing catalogues or the option to add pages without my help. Those features need sites to be built and hosted in a different way, with more ongoing maintenance. Simple sites are faster and more secure than more advanced, editable ones.
Building Simple Websites
Pre-built templates keep design time for simple sites to a minimum, and the process simple. Here’s how it works:
- You tell me what you need, we agree on a simple site solution, and you pay me to get started
- Whilst I get the hosting and domain set up, you provide the content — text, images, logos and your brand colours
- We select a suitable template and I add your content to it
- You review the result and request any small changes needed
- We make the site live, on my Basic Hosting Plus package
Content is usually the trickiest bit of the website building process. Whilst good design builds trust and boost sales, poor writing or images can easily undermine that. “Content is king”, as they say. Still, I can help with that.
Editing Simple Websites
Sections of static sites can be made editable, to let you keep the info on your site up to date. It can also increase your site’s traffic, as search engines prefer sites with fresh content.
In fact, one of the fastest ways to build a simple website is to make it editable and launch it with filler content, hidden behind a “Coming Soon” masking page. Then you can edit the content in place, and we’ll remove the masking page when it’s ready. Whilst it’s better for bespoke design to gather content first, this approach lets you fit the content to the template.
This does involve adding an extra interface that I wouldn’t need to do edits for you on a support contract. Still, it’s a good option if you don’t feel you’ll need much support.
Simple Website Examples
Apart from not having features like a blog, signup options or a product catalogue, there isn’t necessarily much visible difference between a “simple” website and a more advanced one. Still, if you want to see some examples of what a simple website can do, check out my demo site. The main menu includes links to different homepage examples, but they’re all still built from simple website templates.