Websites are really important, but not every business has $100,000 to throw at all the latest and greatest features. Last week we talked about how to figure out which features to include. Here are some ways to keep costs down without sacrificing your visitor experience.
1. Choose Classic Features.
Flash sites were really cool when they first came out. They were also really expensive, took forever to load, weren't SEO-friendly, and are no longer widely used. Before you copy something a competitor is doing, ask yourself these questions:
- Will this make my site more complicated to use?
- Will this cause my site to load more slowly?
- Will this affect a visitor's ability to use the site on a mobile device?
- Will this require a visitor to download a plugin or other software?
- Do I just want to add this because it's cool and new and everyone else is doing it?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, skip adding the feature. Unless, of course, you have the dough to design a mobile-specific site. Even then, it's much more of a headache than a design that looks good on all browsers and devices.
2. Incorporate Pre-Existing Software.
Why build something from scratch when a number of companies offer thoroughly-tested programs with 24/7 support? There are so many wonderful options for storefront software, payment systems, and email software that are reasonably-priced. These things should almost never be hand-built unless you have extreme needs. Just be sure to choose an option that has the features you need in the near future so it will allow you to grow.
3. Make Your Own Edits.
You don't have to know how to code in order to edit your site. Most websites can be built using a content management system like WordPress. The design can be completely customized so it no longer looks like a blog, but you retain the functionality. You can add and edit pages, write blog posts, and upload images without contacting a designer. Just don't be afraid to shell out a couple extra dollars to make sure big changes like updating your logo and editing navigation are done according to the latest design standards.
Let us know if you have any more money-saving tips. Happy designing!