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BUILDING A WEBSITE on a budget Powered By Docstoc
on a budget
In economic downturns most businesses spend less money, but it is still important to continue
your marketing efforts and ensure that you're positioning your business to reap the rewards as
things improve. The good news is a website can be built successfully even if you are on a budget.
Here are some tips to get you started, as Sophie Wegat explains.

WHEN BUILDING a website on a budget           • To receive advertising revenue?; or             need to looks at all the costs involved
it's important that you spend time                                                              including:
                                              • To reduce printing and mail out costs?
researching your requirements and                                                               1. Website design
                                                  Everything about your website should
planning your website. This will help give
                                              be geared towards achieving these goals.          2. Content creation
both you and your web designer a clear
                                              When deciding on the goals, keep in mind          3. Website hosting; and
idea of what you are after and what steps
                                              that not all goals need to be achieved at
to take to ensure a successful online         once. It's often a good idea to prioritize        4. Website Promotion.
presence.                                     your goals to ensure they are achievable
                                              within your budget. For example, you want         Site design
Defining your goals                           to sell women's fashion on line but your          The design of your website can include logo
The first step in building your website is    budget will not initially cover a whole e-        design, graphic creation and photography,
defining your online goals. What do you       commerce store. Consider starting with a          such as product photography. Take a look
want your website to do for your business?    site that provides reviews of your latest         at your current marketing materials and
Is your goal to sell online, collect leads,   fashions, a newsletter for people to sign up      determine what can be used on your
                                              to, contact details and directions to your        website and what will need to be created
inform people or to promote your brand?
                                              offline store. As your site grows in              from scratch. It's important to keep in mind
You may have more than one goal for your
                                              popularity you can add additional features.       that your online image should reflect your
                                              A really good web designer will have              offline brand. This can be achieved by using
So what are the goals of your website?        insights into how you can build a website         the same logo and colour schemes as well
                                              that can scale and support your long term         as utilising other elements used in your
• To sell online?
                                              goals. Defining your goais is the first step in   existing marketing materials.
• To collect targeted leads?                  realising a successful website. The clearer
• To provide information about your
                                              you are about goals, the better the               Content creation
                                              strategy that you will develop, and the           Content creation simply refers to the text
  products and services?
                                              easier it is to measure your online success.      on your website. This text includes
• To brand yourself?                                                                            information about your business and the
• To provide customer support?
                                              Setting your budget                               products and/or services you offer. Are you
                                              Once your website's goals have been               able to write this text yourself or will you
• To entertain?                                                                                 require someone to do it for you? The text
                                              defined, it's time to start looking at your
• To build a community?                       budget. When building your website you'll         on your website will also have an impact ~

72 I August 09
                                                                      MY BUSINESS ONLlNE                                                              III
on your search engine rankings.
Incorporating keyword phrases that
people would use to search for your
                                                  The text on your website will also have an impact on
products and services should be included
within your text. This is part of what is         your search engine rankings. Incorporating keyword
known as Search Engine Optimisation               phrases that people would use to search for your
(SEO). It's worthwhile discussing this with       products and services should be included within your
your web designer. Many web designers
offer this service or if not should be able to    text. This is part of what is known as Search Engine
recommend a specialist firm. If you have          Optimisation (SEO).
the time you could also read up and have
a go at doing this yourself. At the end of
this article are some resources to get you

Website hosting                                   to spend in the first 12 months as opposed       your wavelength. As long as your budget is
                                                  to just budgeting the initial development of     reasonable a professional web designer
Your next consideration 'is choosing a
                                                  your website. By having a budget for the         should be able to work with you to develop
website hosting provider. There are
                                                  first 12 months you and your web designer        a successful solution. You and your web
hundreds of thousands of website hosting
                                                  can look at the best way to allocate your        designer should be a team working toward
providers which can make choosing the
                                                  money. It may be that you spend 60 per           the mutual goal of building a successful
right one a daunting task. When
                                                  cent building and hosting your website and       website within your budget. The more you
researching your available options keep in
                                                  the remaining 40 per cent to promote it.         work as a team, the more likely that your
mind the following:
                                                                                                   end product will be a success.
1. Reliability                                    Choosing your web designer                          Tough economic times don't mean you
2. Speed                                          Once you have defined your website's             have to put your website design or re-
                                                  goals and set a budget, it's time to start       design efforts on hold. With some careful
3. Storage Space
                                                  talking to potential web designers.              planning and a realistic budget you'll be in
4. Scalability; and                                                                                the perfect position to choose the right
                                                     Don't be afraid to let the web designers
5. Support.                                                                                        web designer who can help you realise
                                                  you're talking to know what your budget is.
                                                                                                   your vision and help you build a successful
   Once again your web designer should            Even a ball park figure is better than
be able to help you choose a website              keeping them in the dark. Any professional
hosting provider to suit your budget and          web designer will work with you to ensure
requirements.                                     that you get the maximum bang for your
                                                  buck. By keeping your budget quiet they
Website promotion                                 have no way to ensure they are giving you
The final consideration in developing your        their    best      possible      advice     or
budget is the promotion of your website. A        recommendations. Consider the analogy
common mistake is the assumption that if          of buying a car. If you're in the market for a
you build it they will come. Not so. The          new car you need to give the salesperson
internet is huge, and growing every day. If       an idea of what you are prepared to spend
you want people to visit your site you need       and what you want in car so they can
to promote it, just like you would an offline     make the best recommendations. It's the
business. Website promotion can include           same when building a website.
a multitude activities including:                    When talking to potential clients I
• Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)                always say when choosing a web designer
                                                  don't just go with the cheapest designer.
• Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising                 Go with the one you can relate to. The one
• Link Building                                   who makes sense and seems to be on
• Newsletter Creation
• Blogs                                            RESOURCES                                        Sophie Wegat is an internet marketing and
• Promotions; and                                                                                   website design specialist She is also a founder
                                                   For a list of resources including                of ThlnkProspect, a Melbourne-based web
• Forums.
                                                   books, courses and tools visit:                  design and marketing firm. You can contact
  When it comes to setting your online'                                                             her or read more of her articles at
budget I often find it's better to look at your
budget in terms of what you are prepared

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