Your website is the most important part of your digital marketing efforts. It’s what many prospective customers see first. It’s what everything you publish and print links back to.
Understandably, it can be a point of some stress for many small business owners, especially when the time comes to build a new one.
Where do you start? And more importantly, who do you hire?
Sure, you can save a bit of money hiring a local contractor or a friend or family member, but before you do, it’s important to understand all of the potential costs, roadblocks, and issues that come up during a website build.
By knowing what you need to plan for, you can prepare a budget that will result in a high-quality website that works to engage prospects and capture new leads.
The Expertise Needed to Build Your New Website That Gets Results
A website requires a team of experts to produce. It’s not just about design or coding, but several different items, all of which require a certain level of expertise. Unfortunately, many small business owners fall into the trap of assuming their “website designer” can do it all. In reality, if you hire someone to build a website, they likely have a background in the technical side of things (actually building and coding your website) or the design side of things (creating the visual elements). They will look to you to hire vendors who can support with the rest.
Some of the areas in which you’ll need support include:
- Copywriting – The content on your website needs to be catered for your target audience, professionally written, and conversion oriented. A copywriter with experience writing for small businesses, and MSPs in particular, is a must.
- Layout and Graphic Design – The structure and layout of your website should be designed to match your brand and highlight your value proposition. UX design and graphic design to make sure everything looks as good as possible is highly recommended.
- Front-End Development – Once materials are designed, the next step is to build it. Taking the specific vision of your designer and coding the website that visitors will interact with can be an involved process.
- Search Engine Optimization – Your website should be structured in a way that meets best practices for search engine optimization. This involves content writing, placement of graphics, navigation structure, tags for search engine display and much more.
- Advertising – Finally, your website needs to be optimized and tagged for any advertising campaigns you run once it is launched. Not only should you factor in time for this optimization, but the budget of your ad campaigns to drive new traffic once you launch.
There are a lot of factors here, making it difficult to manage this yourself, all while running a small business. Imagine coordinating with five different vendors over the course of several months.
Pronto’s platform is designed to offload all but one point of contact and streamline this service, overseeing the content development, design, coding, and optimization steps needed to launch a quality website.
The Hidden Costs of Managing a Website
A common issue faced by small business owners is what comes next. After your website is built, it’s not done. Updating and maintaining a website takes an average of 17 hours a month – this includes making changes to copy and images on the site, making security updates and ensuring the site runs smoothly and meets all current web industry standards.
When you budget for a website, you need to not only consider the cost of the vendors involved, but the maintenance and management costs you’ll incur over the course of the next three years – the average time for which a website is used by most small businesses.
The Risks of Going the DIY Route
Why not make the relatively larger upfront investment and then manage the rest in-house? Unless you or a member of your team are developers, there are several issues with the DIY approach.
To start, it’s easy to make changes that break or don’t match the original, professional design of your website. Graphics that don’t fit the layout or color scheme, copy that isn’t fully optimized for search engines, broken links that influence the user experience, or larger, potentially more devastating issues that make your site unusable.
The cost of one-time fixes or updates can be much greater than the relatively low, ongoing cost of maintenance services from the developer that built your site.
What Your Budget Should Look Like
The cost of developing an entire new website from the ground up can range from $5,000-$25,000, depending on the developer and the scope of your new site. And that doesn’t include ongoing maintenance and support.
Pronto offers a better, small-business-friendly pricing model designed to keep costs down. Using Pronto’s Managed WordPress platform and ongoing services, you can save both time and money, relying on our team of experts to handle content, design, development, SEO and advertising.
By having a team of online specialists all under one roof, you won’t need to juggle vendors or coordinate with a website development company for months.
Pronto offers flexible and affordable WordPress website management services that deliver a professional quality website, designed to build your business online presence.