How to save money on your Web Design

Write your own content & start straight away

If you’re trying to save money on website design start by making an outline of your website and writing content for each page. This is one of the things that takes time, but nobody really knows it better than you, it’s your company.

Believe it or not, web design agencies are not overly keen to write content on your behalf as they also understand that you’re the best person to write the content.

We recommend that you have it rewritten by a professional content writer. It’s best to hire an external freelancer so that you don’t get charged the “agency rate”.

Tips on how to write your content:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223752

Find your own images, with a little guidance

Another way to save a little cash and make your website more affordable is to do some research and purchase your own images. This is one of those things that takes a web design company a considerable amount of time. It’s not a quick process to research and purchase images that complement your content.

If you’re using an affordable web design company, then you can be sure that the images will be free stock images and that can seriously damage the quality of your website.

Search for images on sites like Istockphoto.com and find an image that fits. Most of the time you only need a small sized image, 72 dpi and 500 x 500 and dimensions.

Be a Freebie Finder

Freebies are the greatest thing about the Internet, aside from cat videos perhaps! Elements like pictures, UI kits, templates and fonts can be found all over the web, and you can choose the best from them.

Imagine how much money you would save if you went to a web design company with a template, image and fonts already chosen.  Well, this is possible with a little research beforehand.

Here’s a list of some of the web design freebies available:

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/category/freebies/

http://freebiesbug.com/

Choose a responsive website on a reliable template

A responsive website is one that can fit any screen size (tablet, mobile, desktop).

Spending money to develop one fully responsive website rather than a separate desktop website and a mobile specific one will cut down the overall development cost significantly. Make this a priority.

However, as more and more customers are using mobile, it’s incredibly important to pick a reliable template that has this functionality. Also, make sure it can be easily amended to include unique mobile elements with little additional coding.

Many people assume that buying a template means that you’re buying the design, but that isn’t the case.  Most templates can be easily changed to look unique. The major benefit of buying a template is that the complicated coding elements have been checked and optimised, leaving very few potential coding issues to deal with in the future.

The top themes to buy are as follows:

Top Themes (static websites) Type of theme Price
http://www.salienttheme.com/ WordPress £50
https://theme.co/x/ WordPress £50
http://www.kriesi.at/ (otherwise known as Enfold) WordPress £50
https://betheme.me/ WordPress £50
http://kaliumtheme.com/ WordPress £50
http://flatsome.uxthemes.com/ Woocommerce £50
http://shopkeeper.getbowtied.com/ Woocommerce £50
http://demo.xtemos.com/basel/ Woocommerce £50
http://themes-pixeden.com/wordpress/demos/?theme=Molly Woocommerce £50
https://themeforest.net/item/mega-shop-woocommerce-responsive-theme/7488456 Woocommerce £50

Consider why you need a website

A website can save you money in numerous different ways. For example, if you’re selling products online, you may not need a physical shop front at all!

If you have rooms available to hire, getting customers to hire online can reduce marketing and administration costs.

If you run events, getting customers to book online can reduce administration costs.

These are just some of the ways in which a website can save you money. Considering the rapid growth of the digital world and the increasing demand of modern customers to have everything at their fingertips, you can’t afford to be left behind.

Design initial visual layout on easy to use wireframe software

Some companies don’t understand the benefits of wireframing. Using wireframe software will save you money. It makes it easy to spot and fix issues that would otherwise go unnoticed and would be expensive to fix further down the road.

Use easy-to-understand wireframe software like balsamiq.com which allows you to create pages on your website easily. Then import the image into www.invisionapp.com so that you can create internal linking on your pages to see how your customers will navigate throughout your website (before making it).

In most cases, you will be flabbergasted how long this process takes once you are in “design by committee”. Understanding how to make changes to the design (with a little guidance from your web design agency) will save you hundreds in design costs.

Go through the design steps and see which ones you could improve through efficiency

By going through the design steps, you will see areas such as mood boards, wireframe, branding documents, etc.  You may think to yourself.  I just want a website!

However, by learning these steps a little better and understanding the reasoning behind them, you can cut down on revisions, saving you lots of cash.

Information to read:

Try creating your own mood board by signing up to invisionapp and use their mood board software.

Make sure to read this article first: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/make-a-mood-board/

Try and participate as much as you can in the process

If you want your project to go smoothly and for your website designer to get your site up as quickly as possible, cooperate fully during all phases and in every aspect of its development.

Many websites are delayed because the client isn’t cooperating. A good web designer strives to put your site up in the most reasonable time possible.

Your website is a priority for web designers – it needs to be a priority for you, too. If they don’t get your best cooperation, please don’t ask “when will it be done?” or say, “but I need it done now!”. How can you expect them to complete your site if you’re not doing your part to help make it happen?

Create a most important task list (MIT)

Where do you want to take your business now? Where do you want it to be in the next five years? What are your goals? To gain a wider client base? To increase repeat business? Tap new markets?

By knowing this in advance and sharing this information with your designer, they can keep this in mind when working on the creative.

A great way of getting everything you want from your website is to create a list of things that you want your online business to do and then work backwards. This saves money by ignoring the things that you don’t need.

For example, if you want to use your website to advertise on Facebook in the future, you need to tell your web designer to include certain functionality to make this possible. These things cost less at the design stage. It can help the designer as they’ll know to create cost effective banners ads or ways of adding “lead magnets” to your website, for instance.

Lead magnet ideas and examples:  http://www.digitalmarketer.com/lead-magnet-ideas-funnel/

Create a priority budget

By determining what you need now and what can wait until later, you can budget properly for the work and avoid last minute rush jobs.

The problem with web design is that it always costs around 30% more than you originally intended because it’s impossible, or at least very difficult, to know everything you want at the beginning of the build.

By creating a priority budget, you can understand the elements that you might want to add later on, keeping your budget within the parameters and letting the designer know what future changes there may be.

An example of this would be if you ever want email automation, you can ask your designer to create a contact form in MailChimp (for the same price) and use it later if you choose.

Know your brand before you speak to a designer

Easier said than done, but this is the main difference between a good web design and a bad one.

By brand, we don’t mean logo or slogan; we mean the unique personality of the business. Why customers buy from you. What special advantage you have over the competition in terms of marketing.

Think beyond the design of the website. Think about what you want your business to be known for when you decide to market it online.

With this information, web design and digital marketing companies create marketing initiatives that attract your ideal customer, counter the effects of competitors and allow you to hit the ground running once the website is built.

Don’t be afraid to share your marketing goals

If you have friends telling you the art of negotiating with a design or marketing agency is to treat them like mushrooms (keep them in the dark), then they are very wrong.

You need to share your plan and strategic goals.  Tell them how many more customers you wish to have by the end of the year.  Who are the customers that are likely to bring you the highest return on every sale?  What is your plan for reaching those people?

By keeping your design company in the loop you will allow them to get their creative juices flowing and incorporate some of that strategy into the design.

Tell us your budget

It’s a very common misconception that by revealing your budget, you’re giving the game away.  Like you’re on an episode of four rooms and you’ve let the cat out the bag.

The problem with that mentality is that the opposite is true.  If you tell your agency what you can spend, they can prioritise where to use the money so that it provides the most impact.

Most agencies have different price ranges available but need to know where to start. Let them know your budget so they can get the right package for you.

How will this save you money?

Because if you are open and honest in the beginning, you can choose the best agency and package based on the actual budget you have.

Always incorporate an inbound marketing strategy

Information is the new currency in online selling, and if you’re an SME, it pays to become a “thought leader” in your field and write relevant content on your website.

Inbound marketing isn’t expensive as most of the content can be written by your team, but make sure that you tell your web design agency that you want to include it in your strategy.

What is inbound marketing?  http://wizerdigital.co.uk/digital-agency/inbound-marketing-agency-advice/

Use Zapier.com to connect with CRM’S

Unless you are using CRM companies like infusionsoft, Hubspot or Salesforce, you can be forgiven for thinking your website can’t connect to some form of sales or email automation software. However, that is simply not the case.

Using Zapier.com you can integrate any leads you have into your own sales system (for example www.pipedrive.com) so that every web design build has its own CRM system.

If this is something you want set up then talk to your designer first and they’ll probably recommend a WordPress framework to keep set up costs at a minimum.

Test your call to actions throughout the design

Unless you’re considering having a website built to act simply as a portfolio and don’t wish to advertise it online, then you must take the next step and create some marketing pages with clear calls to action.

These pages should be built separately to your website via software tools such as www.unbounce.com

Why? Because these pages require extra functionality and other software companies can do this a lot more cheaply.

With unbounce.com you can pick an already designed landing page and ask your designer to change the colours and images to match your branding.  They can very easily add it to your website by adding a small piece of code, and you can test your messaging, call to action and lead magnets throughout the design to see which one works best.