How to Design an Awesome Website on a Tight Budget
The majority of the Internet users nowadays trusts and judge a website based on its design and functionalities. So, if your site looks as if everything has just been dumped into it like it was built in the year ‘90s, chances are, nobody will trust you. Let’s dive and see how to design a website on a limited budget.
In the professional realm, you have the option to hire a web designer and a web developer, who will create your website hand-in-hand, to ensure it looks great and meets the demands and needs of your visitors. Then again, if you consider practicality, you know there is a budget limitation to take into account.
Well, long ago, it could have been a problem. But today, you have a lot of options available that will allow you to build a website on a tight budget.
Initial Website Design Preparations
Before anything else, you have to take time to think and plan out what you want your website can offer. The whole process will be easier and more successful if you only make initial preparations.
1. Define your website design goals.
What do you want your site to accomplish with your site? Do you intend to sell some items? Do you want to offer certain services? Do you wish to provide information to your readers? Once you have an answer to these questions, find design inspirations you can use.
For instance, if your website is intended to represent a real business, it should bring awareness about it. You can do that by putting your store hours and physical location. But if your website is just a personal blog, you can think of ways to attract visitors, such as putting up features that invite readers to initiate a conversation.
Every website has different goals. Thus, its design should match what you want to achieve. By defining your goals clearly at the very beginning, you will have an idea where you’re headed to.
2. Work within a budget.
Prior to starting with the entire building process, be sure you have set an amount you are willing to spend. Your budget will have an impact on what you want to happen. Also, your budget will be used to guide you on setting realistic plans.
When working within a budget, you will have to invest in certain things. But always remember that a web hosting and a domain name are the two most important things you have to take care of first.
The Options Available for You
At this point, you are all set to design your website. For this, you have three primary options available. That includes:
1. How to Design and build with easy-to-use tools.
In this option, you are required to have some basic knowledge and an ample amount of time. Don’t worry. Using the available site builders and ready-to-use templates, you can quickly design a website by yourself.
Given your limited budget, you can definitely use a free website builder, but if you want to design a site with better features, you might want to invest a bit. However, whether or not you decide to work using the free ones, you have to learn basic UX design, as well as SEO. That way, you can implement the appropriate practices that will make your site stand out among your competitors.
2. Get help from interns and students.
Even if you already have all the tools, designing a website can be a difficult thing to do as it requires knowledge about a lot of things. Although getting help from interns or students costs a bit than doing the whole designing yourself, it will definitely save you time and may help yield a neat and professional result.
Well, if you want to consider this option, you might want to begin your search by checking the local colleges in the vicinity that offer web design courses. And then, reach out to the teachers or professors and seek recommendations. While some students will offer to work for free to build their portfolio, you may still consider paying them. A little amount will encourage and motivate them to work better.
Now, if your budget permits, consider hiring a professional web designer, who is willing to work with you and within your budget. Among the three options, this is the easiest and will most likely result in a satisfactory design.
Just make sure you are upfront about your budget. By doing so, the web designer can figure out or suggest ways to build your site within the range you are willing to spend.
Once your design is there and your website is already live, there are still things you have to do. But you can somehow rejoice because you’ve passed the most difficult part.
The real work begins once the website is launched. If you just let it fall out of date, you will end up working against your goals, or worst, waste all your hard-earned cash.
So, what do you have to do to keep your site up and running?
1. Check for software and plugin updates.
If your website is powered by a content management system like WordPress, you might need to get the software updated. Every now and then, software and plugin updates will be rolled out, so you have to install them to prevent site failures and security breaches.
2. See traffic reports.
Who are your site’s visitors? Where do they come from? Do they use desktop or mobile devices? To maintain your site, you have to know who your visitors are and where they are coming from. To do this, you can install traffic monitoring platforms like Kiss Metrics and Google Analytics.