BUILDING A WEBSITE
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
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
August 09 I 73