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Deciding to build a website for your business, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a designer to do it for you, can be daunting. A website is an investment, so naturally, you want to make sure you get it right.

A price of a website can vary from £99 to in excess of £100K, and everything in between, and some of the pricing will come down to the platform your website is built on. Many people aren’t aware of the different groups of platforms that are used to create websites and how each one offers different benefits to your business. Cost is one factor to consider, but things such as ongoing maintenance, SEO capabilities, opportunities to expand and develop your site and ownership all need to considered when making a decision.

I have given an overview of the available website platforms to help you have a better understanding of how each one could benefit your business and where you should invest.

 

  • Website builder platforms e.g. Wix, Squarespace – Often offering a free version with monthly fees up for £500, these platforms have been made for those with little website design experience to build a site quickly and easily. This allows businesses to design their own website, and not rely on a designer, however if you wanted someone to do it for you, you could find a designer relatively easily and cheaply. However, every site designed on these platforms are owned by the overarching company and work on a ‘rental basis. If you’re hiring a designer you will have their design fees, plus you will need pay a monthly subscription fee for Wix/Sqaurespace etc. which you will need to keep paying indefinitely if you want to keep your website. You may also find that should you wish to develop your site further and add certain features, your monthly fee will increase. Although these sites offer convenience and are relatively user friendly. they can be limited on functionality and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and not the ideal investment long term for businesses online presence.
  • Templated Content Management Systems e.g. WordPress.org – WordPress.org  is free to use, and you just need to pay for your domain and website hosting each year. (Be sure to use wordpress.org and NOT wordpress.com!) There are free templates available on WordPress.org too, however you may wish to purchase a premium theme which costs from around £50. Whilst WordPress websites usually require a slightly higher investment from you initially if you’re hiring a website designer, the ongoing costs are minimal and completely controlled by you. Plus, you actually own your own website and have greater capabilities to customise your site in line with your brand and business objectives. WordPress sites are typically easy to manage yourself, especially with the vast number of tutorials available online. However, should you need some support with making changes, you can usually find an experienced designer to help with ongoing development and website maintenance at a reasonable cost.
  • Custom Coded  – This type of site is built without using any theme or website builder and as such, and provides the greatest flexibility with regards to design, functionality and SEO. However, this does come at a cost, both for the initial build and typically for ongoing enhancement of the site. Also depending on the code used you could find that you struggle to find a replacement developer should you ever need to, and you may a premium when you do. Whilst these types of websites are the best way to achieve a truly bespoke website, if you’re not well versed in coding, you may struggle to keep your website maintained to its full potential. An alternative may be to look at a WordPress website that can be fully customised to your business requirements, either through CSS or JavaScript.

My personal recommendation is always a WordPress website design. It offers the best of both worlds of flexibility and control of development and ownership, whilst still being user friendly and cost effective.

If you are considering a new website for your business and have any questions about which platform may be best for you, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.

You can also find out more information about my website design services here. Don’t forget to check out my other blogs to learn more about website design and marketing your business online.

 

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