Every business wants a really cool website, but many realize this is easier said than done. Too often entrepreneurs get involved in website design thinking it’s easy, but quickly realize that the term “web designer” actually means something. You may have the vision, but you will likely need someone to put it into action. So what’s the trouble? The budget.
The budget is always getting in the way of cool new business ideas. Regardless, it is still extremely important to have a quality website. You can do a great job driving traffic to that website or getting people interested through traditional marketing, but it doesn’t mean much if people look at your website and run the other way. After all, a quality company always has a quality website—at least that’s the mentality.
If you’re on a budget but still want to have a great website, consider a few of the things that you can cut out and a few of the things that are an absolute necessity:
5 Tips to Web Design on a Budget
1. Sharing Buttons
Yes. These are definitely worth having on a website because they have so much power. Social media is only growing in popularity, so people will soon be trained to look for these buttons. It can create a domino effect for your company—this person tweets your article to that person, who shares it to this person, and so on. The benefits are endless, so this is certainly something to budget for.
2. 3D Graphics
No. Although this is going to be bit in 2012, it’s not completely necessary for the company on a web design budget. The most important thing is that you have a functional, clear website. The fancy graphics should come later. Images and graphics are typically used to enhance a reader’s experience, but they aren’t necessary. Visitors will realize this, and won’t leave your website just because your graphics are 2D.
3. Responsive Web Design
Yes. This is an absolute must for your website. Although you may need to hire a web designer to set up responsive web design, this will be well worth the money. People are constantly surfing the web on their cell phones and tablets, so it’s important that your website looks right on these different sized screens. After all, you don’t want a huge half of a picture showing up on a mobile phone. Few will take the time to wait for the graphic to load and then scroll down.
4. A Blog Option
Depends. A blog is a great way to engage readers and get some great content onto a website, but it isn’t completely necessary. There are many websites out there that have been very successful without a blog, and for many this was the right choice. If you’re still new to the business world and don’t have a real handle on owning a website just yet, a blog may be too much to manage. It’s better to bring the blog into the equation later as opposed to right away when it can’t be managed.
5. Headers and Footers
Yes. This makes a huge difference when it comes to organization. People like to see a clean layout that has separation. You will want to have links that take readers to your contact page or “about us” page, and a header is a great place to make this happen. It’s also a good place to display a logo so that no matter what page a reader may be reading, your logo is visible. Footers are also great because they remind readers where they can go to learn more (without having to scroll to the top of the page).
It is sometimes difficult for a business owner to say no to “cool” things that can happen on a website, but it’s important to remember that they will come in time. Few websites started out with the best graphics or the most interesting blog. Once you get a feel for how a website works and can drive a lot of traffic, spending the money on 3D graphics will be no problem.