Building a Business Website Without Breaking the Bank

November 15th, 2016 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe

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It’s common knowledge by now that if you’re not online, you’re missing out on business. But actually getting your business online without breaking the bank can seem like a daunting task. Here’s our tips for building the best business website within your budget, and some of the pitfalls to avoid on your digital adventure.

Use free tools

Domain registration is only going to cost a few dollars a year. Hosting, well that’s a little bit more.

Besides that though, there are any number of free platforms out there for you to use. WordPress is great, offering low barrier of entry for those fresh to the web, but with enough customisation to make future development possible. Growing your digital domain alongside your business can be a rewarding prospect for any commercial operator.

Other services like Squarespace and Wix offer easy website design with lots of platform integration for small monthly cost. Most have free trials, so try them out and see which suits you best.

Make the most of images

When it comes to images there are a few options. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Stock images (free)

Sites like Pixabay and Pexels are great places to find free for commercial use stock images. Libraries can be limited on certain topics, and often there will be another business website out there using the same image/s.

Fortunately these images are usually in extremely high resolution; certainly much higher than what you will need on the web. Using a free image-editing app like Pixlr, you can drastically alter the appearance of stock images through cropping and filters, giving the appearance of something unique.

Stock imagery (paid)

The main advantage of paid stock imagery is that you’re more likely to find a less used or unique image compared to free images libraries. Some might say the quality overall is better, as well. While this is true to a certain extent, paid stock image sites can also house less than adequate images – you just need time to filter through them to find your perfect match.

Take your own photos

If you’ve got a decent to high-end smartphone, it’s perfectly possible that you could take photos yourself. Obviously you’ll need a keen eye for what makes a great, eye-catching photo. But you only have to peruse Instagram for a few minutes get inspired by what’s capable today with a modern phone camera.

Pay for professionalism

It’s amazing what’s possible with a small budget these days. Hiring a professional photographer to take unique photos for your website won’t only look great, but add an element of trustworthiness and authenticity. While your competitors might be using stock imagery in their ‘meet the team’, your website will shine with individual character and approachability.

Don’t pay for things you don’t need

Seems like a no brainer, but with all the different services, platforms and packages out there, it can be difficult to separate what you need from what you’re paying for.

Here’s a quick example. If you host your business on an ecommerce platform that also hosts your site, like Shopify, then you don’t need to pay for an external host. Just register your domain and point it to your ecommerce platform, which provides the hosting as part of their package.

There’s plenty of little tricks out there to save you money while building a great business website. If you’re not sure, ask yourself – what does this service do, and is there something else I’m already paying for that does it?

Do you actually need a website?

With the prevalence of mobile apps and the dominance of a few companies across the web, there’s a chance you might not even need your own unique site. A recent interview with FaceBook’s director of product design, Jon Lax, highlighted the design trends that create a more uniform experience across platforms. While Lax might have a conflict of interest, it’s certainly possible to run certain types of business online through social media without technically having a website.

This might be something to consider for the future.

Digital diligence

Ready to embark on some digital DIY, or shave off a few unnecessary items? Like all good business practice, focus on your outcomes and don’t give in to the whims and trends of technology. Building a successful website for your business doesn’t have to break the bank as long as you follow some shrewd advice. And remember, Aussie Broadband is always here to help, so talk to us today to see how we can help you.

About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Aussie Broadband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.