Post contributed by Victoria Greene
Are you working on a tight budget, but need to redesign your website? Thinking of redesigning your site, but are worried about the costs? When it comes to redesigning a website on a budget, there are several ways that you can lower the costs. A lot of people think that they need to spend a lot of money to get a new website.
As the central hub and vital component of any business, a company website requires extensive attention, planning, and resources to create and maintain. Unfortunately, this can put a strain on small businesses. As a result of the neglect, many small business websites become outdated and non-functional.
One of the main culprits of poorly managed sites is a lack of funds small businesses can allocate for regular maintenance and upkeep. If a website doesn’t attract traffic or generates new leads, business owners simply give up and instead invest their money elsewhere.
So you might be wondering, how much does it cost to redo a website that’s been outdated or poorly maintained. Obviously, there are many factors that might affect the total cost. We here at bigapplemedia.com offer a number of web design packages to accommodate businesses of every size. However, for some businesses, this amount might be still out of their reach.
If you’re a small business owner with limited funds, you might still be able to improve your website on a small budget.
Below are 5 strategies you can try if you want to improve your website without spending a fortune on your website revamp.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
If you have a small budget, you need to be smart on how to spend it for maximum effect. To ensure you don’t waste time and effort, you need to set goals for your website.
To help you find the right goals, you need to answer the following questions:
- What am I trying to achieve with my website?
- What are the most important pages that can help me achieve this goal?
When you’re redesigning a website, you need to prioritize and make hard decisions about what pages need to be redesigned,
In most cases, you’ll identify a number of essential pages every website must have, including homepage, blog, about us, services, and contact pages. If you have a shopping site, you will need to include product pages and other pages associated with online stores.
Think about the purpose of the site and how each page will play a role in helping visitors find what they’re looking for. If you’re building trust, you will need to include a testimonials page. If you want people to fill out the form, make sure they can easily find this page.
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Once you’re able to understand and establish your small business website goals, you’ll know what pages you will need so you can focus on designing and updating these pages rather than wasting time on other less important ones.
Improve Your Content
Content is king. If you want to get traffic to your website, you need to have high-quality content that search engines will love. If your content is outdated or poorly written, it needs to be updated. However, you might not need to spend a crazy amount of time creating new content. Simply reviewing and updating your old content can be sufficient.
Instead of wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch, it’s usually better to tweak and rework the content that you already have. You can do the following content updates:
· Fix formatting (break up enormous paragraphs into smaller digestible sections
· Use headings and sub-headings to provide reading cues to make content easier to scan
· Fix typos. This is a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many people forget to spellcheck.
· Change font color & sizing to make text is easy to read
· Add white space. Even the most text-heavy page can look good if you add white space.
Bonus: If you’re looking to update content yourself, there are now advanced AI writing assistant tools that can be extremely affordable. Some start as little as $10 a month.
Stock Images Are Better Than No Images
A common issue with poorly designed websites is too much text and a lack of accommodating visual elements
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune hiring professional photographers or buy expensive equipment to create graphics for your website. You can simply add stock images.
Yes it’s true that using stock images is not ideal, and they can make your website look rather generic, but if you have a small budget, stock images might be a good alternative when it comes to improving your website look.
The internet is full of stock image resources. Some premium shops like istock.com and shutterstock.com offer photos for a very reasonable fee. There are also online libraries like pixabay.com, unsplash.com, and pexels.com that offer photos absolutely free. They only ask you to put a link on your website or tip the photographer as a thank you if you can afford it.
Finding images on any of these sites should be extremely easy and fast. They all offer filters to help you sift through thousands of photos to find exactly what you’re looking for.
And it’s true that it’s always better to use personalized high-quality images, using stock photos is a common practice used by many top companies. As long as the photos are appropriate and reflect the topic of the pages and the website, you’re better off using them than nothing at all.
Switch to WordPress
If your website is static and was build using only HTML, you might want to consider switching to a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular CMS powers 39.6% of the internet. (Source: Creative Minds. The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Statistics)
Moving your website doesn’t have to be a costly process. There are many benefits to gain, including the website that you can easily update and manage on your own. WordPress websites can also be easily scaled, are seo-friendly, and offer many themes and plugins.
Select a Professional Looking WordPress Theme
A premium WordPress theme is a pre-made custom layout that has been created by a professional web designer. It’s easy to use, loaded with features, and comes with different kinds of visual appearance templates. You can use it for your blog, business website, or even your own startup company.
There are tons of free or affordable themes and templates to help you create a beautiful website in no time. You can also find some excellent premium themes and templates that are sure to give your site exactly the look you want.
You only pay a one-time fee for many premium themes. In return, you get unlimited updates with regular security and bug fixes.
Most theme depositories that offer premium themes have a strict approval process to ensure the themes they sell are well coded and error-free.
Finally, most premium themes come with a generous six months of technical support. If you’re not sure how to make changes or have theme-related questions, you can quickly get them answered by theme developers.
Use Plugins To Extend Website Functionality
If your website runs on WordPress or any other popular CMS, you can easily install necessary plugins that add new features and functionality to your website without hiring developers.
WordPress, for instance, has a variety of free plugins to accomplish a broad range of objectives. And Shopify, a popular e-commerce framework, has numerous free apps that are simple to install and manage.
Would you like to add a live chat option? Provide an unobtrusive newsletter signup bar at the bottom of the screen? Create a beautiful contact form? All this can be done with a click of a button.
Plugins, apps, and add-ons, are a great way to avoid expensive development bills and make your website function exactly how you want it without spending tons of cash.
So if you’re a small business trying to update your website on a small budget, first you need to figure out what is your main goal. Everything you do must be geared towards accomplishing this goal. Then you need to figure out what pages you need to focus on. Decide if your current website can be updated and improved, or if you need to start from scratch. Updating images and text are a few basic changes you can implement that can go a long way in improving your website.
Finally, consider switching your website to WordPress. WordPress allows you to manage and update your website easily, as well as will allow you to scale it up later if you need it.
This article on redesigning your website on a budget is for the small business owners who are looking to do a website revamp without spending a fortune. By following a few tried and true strategies, they can easily overhaul and redesign their small business website while not bowing their budget.
Victoria Greene is an e-commerce marketing expert and freelance writer who likes to find frugal solutions to online problems. You can read more of her work on her blog Victoria Ecommerce.
If you want to learn more small business website design tips, check out the infographic below.