If you’re launching a new business (as many people are right now) budgets are tight and costs need to be kept low. You look at the basic requirements a business needs and invest in the must-haves, the nice to haves are agonised over and probably end up on a list of planned purchases that can be worked through as the money comes in from your very first clients. New business owners come to us regularly to create logos and business cards of course, and in those conversations, we find that there’s a 50-50 split between the next question being either ‘Do you do websites?’ Or ‘Do I really need a website?’.
The answer is, from my perspective, a simple yes!
Why does a new business need a website?
- Your website can be your online brochure or shopfront.
- If you’re serious about business, having a website will help create your brand and communicate clearly what you do, how you do it and who you’re here to help.
- You have ownership of your website. (Or, at least you should have ownership of it!)
- Google will index your website and, as you add more content to your site, it will help your performance in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages)
But I’ve seen articles that say I don’t need a website?
There are some articles that suggest that a website is unnecessary, however, if you read what is actually being communicated it’s more a case of INVESTING in a website isn’t necessary with the suggestion of you using a tool to build landing pages that will represent your brands. (A landing page is essentially a one-page website in this scenario – or rather a series of them!) So what are the reasons these sites are telling me I don’t need a website?
- Creating a landing page that sells your stuff rather than a full website is a quick and dirty approach to creating an initial presence on the web (I probably shouldn’t say quick and dirty – that’s me trying to persuade you to align with my way of thinking!)
- Creating a professional website takes time. If you attempt to do it yourself there’s usually a learning curve. If you work with a web designer or web developer it will still take months rather than days in most cases to get to the end result.
- These articles are usually promoting the software that you need to produce a landing page, there will be affiliate links to these solutions within the articles. (Meaning there’s a potential for the article author to earn money should you go ahead and sign up with the software provider via their link)
- If you intend to build out a sales funnel that is heavily reliant on promotion via paid social advertising, landing pages can give some relief to your website from some of the negative SEO aspects of using multiple landing pages in a workflow. So the need for a website in this scenario could be argued as being less of a necessity. (That’s a bit of a technical point so if that’s gone over your head let me know!)
As you can see, there’s an argument for both – and depending on which side of the fence a marketing pro you ask resides, they’ll probably either be involved with building websites or building funnels! I recognise I’m biased – we build websites after all!
What’s the cost of building a website?
We’re Web Designers, that means we’re at the lower end of the spectrum cost-wise. You might need a web developer, depending on what your requirements actually are. And of course, yes, we’re always going to advise you accordingly if we think that’s the case. The cost of a website really is on a sliding scale, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The first iteration of your website could simply be a 3-5 page site. Costs on this would be pretty limited and your website can grow as your business grows. You don’t need to start with a massive ‘all singing, all dancing’ website. You just need to start with a solid web presence!
If you choose to build your initial website yourself, your costs are minimal in terms of the payments leaving your bank account. But also remember to consider the cost of your time working things out and getting creative elements together (even searching for the right images on sites like Pexels takes time). It’s also been suggested that people should consider the opportunity cost when they don’t outsource in favour of a DIY solution. I’m not sure I always agree with this but it might be worth considering. The hours you spend working out how to use WordPress or Wix, etc. – how could you use that time to create business and get money in the bank?
If I think about the starter websites we’ve created over the last 12 months there have been sites from as little as £400. The average cost of any website, whether it’s for a first website or an upgrade from a site someone has created themselves, probably sits at around £800 – £1200.
I’m a fan of the phrase ‘stay in your lane’. Focus on doing the stuff you do best, the stuff you’re a pro at. The other things, which might include building a website, is the kind of thing many people need to outsource.