How to Build a Website on a Budget?

Often, you hear people say: you get what you pay for. Sadly, this applies to acquiring services from web design in the Philippines providers or from elsewhere in the planet. Is it possible to have a quality website with a shoestring budget? You bet it is.

A professional-looking website lends credibility to your business operation. Your target audience need not know that you have it developed on a limited budget. If you scrimp on your website design and development, it will show on the end-product.

Business owners have two options: DIYing or outsourcing the website.

Building your own website from scratch

Doing-it-yourself (DIY) has its perks, but there are some upshots too. The obvious perquisite is the minimal costs involved when you build your own website. Good thing, there are several web-based tools to help you with this undertaking–from WordPress to Wix.

DIY is mostly advisable for small businesses who can do with the features available on hosted website builders. All they need to pay for is the domain name and web hosting that comes with enough storage and free design templates. This would only cost about $80 and below every year. All the money you may save creating your own website can be allocated to other more critical aspects of the business.

DIY web designing requires technical abilities that you may not possess at this point. That would mean taking up a crash course in basic website development. YouTube tutorials can help, but watching videos too may take up your time.

Remember that in business, time is money. Every minute you spent away from your business is a dollar lost in revenue. While at it, you need to ensure that there would be no compromises in quality whatsoever. This is the promise of experts in web development.

Don’t DIY if:

  • You are not a creative person. Branding may suffer. A website that looks visually appealing for you may not be true for other people.
  • You are not a technical person. Templates also need a tweak or two to make it yours branding-wise. Otherwise, the website will drown into the pool templated sites.
  • You plan on scaling your website in the future. Expect business growth. This applies to requiring more website features soon.

Hiring a professional web developer

Web designers and developers work hand-in-hand toward the completion of any website development project that is true to the specifications of the brand. Business owners pay for both the work hours devoted to the project and the technicalities of the website.

These are costly. Not to mention the ancillary costs associated with taking the time out of your own schedule to meet up and discuss with the technical team what you want for your website.

After the website has been developed, it would be wise to load up on how you can edit the pages yourself. Anyhow, most web design packages include training with simple how-to’s.

Don’t hire a web developer if:

  • You don’t have any idea on how the website should contribute to the success of the business. If there’s no business case for having it built in the first place, delay the development first until you have a solid need for it.
  • You cannot determine how building the website may result in a digital return on investment (RODI). The website should impact the bottom-line, or the investment is not worth it at all.
  • You cannot set a manageable budget for website development. The development cannot start unless you are financially capable and ready. Otherwise, there is the possibility of halting the development midway if the funds are limited.

With this said, there are several steps to take to minimize the expected costs of building a website.

1) Decide on the primary purpose of your website.

Understanding what the website is for is paramount in setting a budget for this purpose. If the site is an information-rich website that doesn’t require payment gateways or chatbots, the DIY route will suffice.

On the other hand, if the website will be used for leads generation and other profit-driven activities, it would be wise to hire a web design company to do the site. The experts have the technical know-how that your website would require.

2) List down all the required functions and features of the website.

In website development, more features would command higher prices. Jotting down your non-negotiables against your can-do-withouts is also necessary, so you only have to pay for the features that your site needs.

While at it, if you can find a service provider that can customize a package for you, the better. Compare the packages once you have at least three in terms of inclusions and prices.

3) Set up a working website development budget.

This can be the trickiest part because, again, this will depend on your needs and the features you want your site to have. The most realistic budget for a feature-rich, custom-built website is between $3,000 and $10,000. It would also depend on the type of the website wherein e-commerce sites may need up to $55,000.

Website development firms make use of at least four resources, namely technical knowledge, design skills, and of course, time and money. It would require from two to fourteen weeks to finish the website (promotion and launch not included). And we are not talking about annual maintenance costs yet.

What to do next

The decision to have a website is only the first step. There are many other decisions you will meet throughout your journey of building a website that does its intended purpose, and with a limited budget.

It is important to determine what you need now and what would you need later so that you can set the most realistic budget. Know that you cannot have everything when your online business can be profitable with up to three main features such as shopping cart, contact form, and payment method.

Then again, while you are on the hunt for the most affordable web design service provider, always think of your website as an investment. A website is not just about online presence, but may also mean the success of your business. A website that is not appealing enough is losing potential customers to rivals faster than learning to code yourself.

You get what you pay for, remember?

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