Websites have established themselves as a critical tool in the world of business. Today, a huge proportion of consumers make purchases online, so if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on the action.
If however, you don’t have e-commerce experience, then web development can be quite a daunting prospect. So, let’s break things down to establish the basics…
Before you set out on your digital journey, take some time to assess the main aim of a website and the functions you might require your website to have. For example – if you run a nail spa or an automobile repair shop, you will need your website to list services, offers, price lists, etc. You will also want customers to be able to make reservations, leave comments or testimonials, as well as make a complaint, or leave feedback. Additionally, you need to define the criteria with which to measure the performance of your site.
Each business has its own unique requirements. Defining the functionality of your website gives you, the business owner, a clear idea of what your goal is. This eliminates the chance of mistakenly paying for services or features that are not needed. Your website could be used to:
- Display information and images only
- Market services or products
- Allow the purchase of products
- Book appointments or provide schedules
The list of features and potential functionality is almost limitless. So once you’ve clearly defined the purpose and function of your website, the web development process can be very clear.
Another key factor to consider is the type of website you want. There are, in essence, 3 main forms of the website:
In simple terms, a brochure website is an online version of a printed brochure. It uses the simpler aspects of web design. Brochures have a singular purpose, to display the services that your company provides. It neither allows users to make a purchase nor retains any marketing capabilities.
Brochure websites are usually visually engaging and often structure content to encourage search engine optimisation. Their function is limited, but brochure sites are usually responsive and quick to load.
Using a platform like wix.com, you can create your brochure site for under £20 a month. However, bear in mind, you will be limited in what you can achieve.
Template websites use predesigned resources such as templates and plugins to create a website based essentially on an existing framework. There are a huge variety of templates available which can often be tweaked and altered in ways that best suit your business. These require an intermediate level of web design aptitude so customisations may be made easily.
Template websites are a short-term solution for companies who want to get up and running very quickly. These sites can be given much more functionality than a brochure website cam, and it can also be optimised for performance. Templated websites can be enhanced with SEO and marketing, lead generation, sales capabilities, and more.
A well-reputed web development agency or web developer can charge you anywhere from £1500 upwards for a template website that’s built to drive business and provides comprehensive functionality.
Also Read: Top Freelance Websites to look for talent
A custom site, as the name suggests, is a tailor-made long-term solution for businesses that expect, anticipate, or project growth in the future. Custom sites are definitive and provide businesses with the specific functionality and requirements they need to ensure profitability.
Web design agencies conduct competitive research, before moving on to consumer-centric design and content creation, focusing on user experience and iteration, as well as rigorous prototyping and testing to ensure high quality throughout.
An analogy could be that of a computer. You can walk into a high street store and purchase a computer off-the-shelf that will likely be able to do what you want it to at home. If however, you run a robotics factory and need a computer to control robots on an assembly line, you’re going to want a computer that’s been built from the ground up for that specific task.
If a custom site is what your business needs, then you can expect to pay upwards of £7000.
We’ll conclude with this thought – the cost of a product can be justified by the value it delivers. The same concept applies to web development. My recommendation would be for firms to work with design agencies like Web Choice UK. They are experienced, renowned, and an award-winning agency. Working with professionals not only results in a higher quality product, but can also be cost-effective.
About the author:
Sam Dunning is the Sales Director and Co-Owner at WEB CHOICE, UK. He hosts the weekly podcast “Business Growth Show” with business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs from across the globe.
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