A business website is a smart and viable marketing tool, but when it isn’t doing the job of drawing traffic, retaining visitors, and making sales, you’ll need to consider a redesign facelift. Redesigning a website may seem like an overwhelming and costly task, and it can be if you don’t plan ahead. Even if keeping a low expense for your redesign is a priority, there are plenty of web developers who can design exactly what you’re looking for at an affordable cost. Here’s how to get started.
Know What You Want
Designing a website is all about having a clear vision for your business, and being able to share that vision for your potential customers on each of the website’s pages. Since you’ve already invested in the original website, now it’s time to take it to another level while keeping the cost within reason. This is where a properly outlined budget comes into play. Consider these three areas to start the planning process:
· Design – This is your vision as well as your marketing and selling platform, so the design needs to be visually appealing and informative. Stick to a standard theme with basic information if that’s all you really need, because it’s much more affordable than having a web developer create a complex website with lots of customizations that may be unnecessary for your particular product or service. Some specialties, such as graphics and images, may look good but if it’s something you can live without, there’s no need to incur the expense right away—you can always upgrade your site in the future.
· Content – These are the pages of information about your company, products and services. After the initial setup of a home page, about us page, contact page, and services/pricing page, informative blogs and articles are the heart of the content. Determine how many pages you estimate for content to be published daily, weekly or monthly and then find out if the platform you’re using for your website has enough space and bandwidth or if you’ll need to upgrade, which will cost more money. Unless you plan to write the content yourself, you’ll need to budget the cost of outsourcing the work to a freelance writer or a content writing agency. This can make a significant impact on your budget, so plan accordingly.
· Functionality – Determine just how much interaction you want or need on your website. What do you want your website to offer? Do you need a shopping cart, online payment options for ecommerce, tracking tools for SEO purposes, site traffic volume, or download options for forms or contracts? Each of these tools can add a level of functionality for visitors and for your business but may put you over budget.
. Website Provider — Seek out the services from at least 3 to 4 web development agencies for estimates based on the above criteria. You already have a website and know what’s not working. Based on your input, each web designer can then redesign according to what you’ve provided—design ideas, content, page information tags, images, photos, etc—while offering advice and suggestions for creating a successful website.
It’s important to remember that unexpected situations can arise. When you’ve received estimates from potential web developers, here are a few things to keep in mind that can impact your budget.
· Your design and content will most likely play a role in cost, since prices for both new and redesigned websites is based on a set charge by the hour.
· Once the web developer begins the redesign, be prepared for changes in cost. While you may think the amount you’ve budgeted for is sufficient, allow for some unexpected upgrades.
· The web designer may also tell you the design features you’ve chosen are not as Internet friendly as they should be in order to draw traffic and/or rank well in the search engines. Be open to dropping ideas that aren’t going to produce results—this will save you money in the long run.
· The developer may suggest tools and options based on your business needs that you aren’t aware of. These will help if your original design vision needs to be trimmed down to keep aligned with your budget.
· While the web developer may make every attempt to stay within budget, it may not be possible if your initial ideas cost more in time and money than you anticipated.
At the end of the day, your business website is a reflection of what you have to offer potential customers. Use these tips to budget for a redesign that gives you an attractive, helpful, and informative website without breaking the bank.