August 29, 2015 Jonny
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Yes, you can get a website for £200, and here’s how…

I’ve been a designer for over ten years now and in that time I’ve seen business owners pay £200 and others pay £10,000 for websites I’ve worked on. I’m going to explain why you should go for the £200 website, trust me, you’ll thank me later.

picture of planning on a whiteboard

Planning

Nope. You don’t need it. Why would you want an individual or team to spend time and resources in planning the future of your business online? Why waste time on working out what your users want and how they’ll be using the website? Do you really need a website that could help your workforce reduce administration tasks? That’s what you’re paying them for!

All your users need to find is a phone number right? Maybe an address? So, you may lose out on some pages or content you didn’t think about at the start, so what? Let’s be honest, there’s loads of great people on fiverr.com who can hack a website apart later on with wicked skills.

Pay a kid $5 – Yes please.

Papers and a tablet

Content

You already have great text written about your services on your pamphlets from 1992 right? Just change a few words and use that. Bring it to life by using modern terms such as ‘Innovative’. Can you hear the pennies being saved?

Who really cares about your content? Why would you even consider business objectives or market research when thinking about your site. You don’t want to pay someone to work out what content people are searching for within your industry, let alone potential customers.

Just give potential customers a business card… They’ll find you.

Don’t even get me started on terms like content strategy, conversion rate optimisation or key personas. Who cares? You’re just a small business, how could that help you anyway? Could you even handle more business? Probably not. Best to play it safe and let Janine in administration cold call random people when you need more business. Phone calls are a cheap, leaflets are cheap, and Janine has a winning smile.

Would you rather pay for something unknown or carry on paying Janine the same amount and just give her a few more tasks… Exactly.

Keep the wallet closed and concentrate on important things. Buying a water cooler for the office is not only going to make you the cool boss, but also, water’s cheap. Water is very cheap.

someone designing on a computer

Design

You may not have thought about design, and the truth is, why would you? It’s a web page. As long as your logo (here’s a link to exporting your logo from powerpoint if you’re not sure how) and phone number are massive, then you’re ok.

You can keep the cost down by getting Janine, or yourself, to mock something up in Word. Your web designer will love you for it and not charge you for design.

User experience (the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application) is a term banded about for no great reason. Again, don’t waste money on getting someone to think about this. What’s there to think about? All your user has to do is load your website and click contact. Simple right?

Don’t waste time thinking about how using your website should be an easy and straight forward task. You don’t care about their experience, what you care about is the bottom line! All they need to do is call Janine. Geeeezz!

Homepage with logo and your phone number. That’s your User Experience.

If you do grow your business and you really need some design that you just can’t do in Word. Just ask your children or a friends child. They all use the internet and their Facebook profiles always look great.

Don’t thank me yet, I still have some more money saving tips coming up.

code on a computer

Development

This is one of my biggest bug bears. I’ve seen first hand the pointlessness of developers. Why would you pay for someone to write code properly. Who cares if they’ve honed a pointless skill for a decade? Your customers can’t even see the code so it doesn’t really matter right!? Exactly!

Let’s start with optimised code and website speed. Pointless. We’ve all got broadband now, everything’s fast.

Works well on mobile devices. Doesn’t matter, if you didn’t know already, you can pinch to zoom on an iPhone. Your customers can do that too, they’re probably use to it.

Accessibility? Sorry what? You can’t even use a website if you’re blind. No brainer. Drop it.

Content management system? Erm, no thanks. You’re not running an airport. Just pay another Vietnamese kid (using the same one could save even more cash) on Fiverr to update the site with news every few months or so. You’re customers aren’t there for news, so, in truth you could probably just leave it as it is from the start.

Just remember, coding is not cool. Neither is paying for it.

facebook on a smartphone

Marketing

Haha, what a waste of time. Janine is your marketing, your company rock to build foundations on. Get her to give out business cards at every opportunity she can. If you put down a phone number and email address on the card your potential customers don’t even need to go on your website anyway!

Content marketing. Nope. We covered that above.

Social media. We can’t deny that lots of people use social media, we have to give this some thought. Some thought, but not any money.

Consider giving it to Janine. Empower her with a new responsibility. Make sure you get in some friendly photos of you using your computer or eating lunch doing a thumbs up. People love that stuff and they always share it. Maybe chuck in a picture of a cat. The internet loves cats.

Don’t even consider your website when thinking about social media. Why would you? If someone’s liked your Facebook Page then they’re pretty much a customer already right?

Think about how having a business page on Facebook will make you seem professional. You don’t even have to pay someone to do that. It’s free. What would you be paying someone for if they looked after it?

handshaking losing a deal

Closing the deal

You now have lots of great reasons to not spend more than £200 on a website. I mean, let’s play devils advocate for a second; if you did want all of the above for £200, imagine how much time your chosen web designer would spend on each thing? Imagine how much planning, design, development and thought they would put into it for a whopping £200? Even if they had a rent free office and zero overheads and only payed themselves minimum wage (£6.50), that would only give them 3 days and a third to do it all. It probably wouldn’t be that good anyway.

That’s why you may as well follow my tips and advice and pay low.

Cut out all the unnecessary elements I’ve been over and lend a hand with the design (remember, use Word).

I’m sure a good web designer will happily take £200 off you to complete your website if you cut out the chaff we’ve been over.

Final Tips

Negotiate and prove your knowledge. Using the tips above, you now have plenty of firepower at your finger tips for your first meeting with a web designer (don’t worry, meetings are free too!).

Don’t worry about upsetting someone who has control of your website, passwords and most likely, your email accounts. – You can always change those later on.

You can’t change over spending in the first place.

You can follow our co-founder and creative director Jonny on Twitter for more ramblings and tips about business and design here. @jonnypathan

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