What do you choose, a cheap website or a free website as a new business? When pennies are tight, getting a cheap website set up is appealing.
Startup companies are in a bit of a dilemma; startup meaning no funds whatsoever and building the business from personal savings.
As a new company do you get a free website designed yourself (there are a few resources on the internet where very basic websites can be built) or do you invest in the future and go to a designer?
Technology has moved on quickly, so a free website does not necessarily look free any more, they can look very professional and not ‘off the shelf’.
A designer will charge for a basic website, this could be £100 or could be £1000 depending on the designer.
Different budget web designers offer ‘startup packages’ that are low priced – but how do you select a web designer?
Lets look at the options available:
Obviously it is free, and using a free site program you have nothing to loose. As a brand new company all you really need is a presence on the internet, not a all singing and dancing website (yet). But as things grow and your business develops, then you can build up.
The downsides? OK, for something free you are taking the risk that the ‘look’ is not professional and your brand is starting off not good at all. Cheap website design is not always professional.
Balance this up with needs and means. All design agencies will encourage you to ‘invest’ in a site of-course because they want your money. But like building a house, you do need to do it one step at a time, overspend on the foundations and you cannot complete the house.
Some of the companies that offer free website design would be:
These companies are just some of the many that offer free website design. However there are costs involved or ‘add ons’ for small companies, one man bands or startups.
Website hosting is never free, it can be very low (for 50p per month for example) but this is normally a lure to get you to sign up with additional costs kicking in 6-12 months down the line.
The positives are that you are getting a more professional looking website (hopefully) and a second set of eyes to guide you.
The downside? Well, website are expensive and £1000 (even though it is a lot of money for a company that has nothing) is not a lot for a designer. So you will not get very far in real terms.
Also, there are designers and designers, choose the wrong one and you may as well wave farewell to £1000.
Even if you are a new company, investing in your website is important.
Cheap websites are not easy to get ranked online (referred to as SEO, being found by your target visitors).
The reason is to do with the coding.
Using programs WordPress is wise, not necessarily expensive, but if you want to get people to your website, using an established web development program is best.
On reflection, advice would be to use a free resource to get something set up to start with, as and when funds are available you can then build things up from the bottom up.
If a website is not your main business tool (like an on-line shop) then a presence is just fine (if you are an accountant for example).
Website design prices do vary from agency to agency. If funds are tight, a cheap website may be best in the short term. Bur remember that your website is your shop window and needs to reflect your brand.