First, right from the start, I want to clear up some confusion around the word "cheap". We're not talking about junk, garbage, or a poorly designed website. Rather, the word "cheap" simply means the price is very low - so low that many website developers will not even consider the project. To be clear, a cheap website can be a high-quality website built for a very affordable price.
What is a basic website?
There is a whole category of websites that are little more than informational flyers posted on the internet. These are the basic websites which include less than 10 pages of information with a few images and simple contact details. Their goal is simple, inform readers about a business, organization, or event.
A basic website does not include complicated marketing strategies, ecommerce, or advanced applications. They are the most simple version of a website, but those requirements have changed over time.
Some of the features of a basic website today would have been considered advanced in years past. For example, even the most basic website today needs to be mobile responsive. This means the site looks great on your phone or your computer. However, a mobile responsive website in 2014 would have been an expensive upgrade.
Today, a basic website includes:
- Fewer than 10 pages of information
- Mobile-first responsive design
- Image optimization
- Page speed optimization
- Basic search engine optimization
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Pixel
- Google Search Console
- Bing Webmaster Tools
What does a basic website do for your business?
Your business needs a basic website to be considered a "real" business in today's marketplace. When a customer turns to Google to lookup your company, they need to find something there. At the core, your basic website will tell your customers about your products and services, hours of operation, address, and phone number.
Beyond the core information, you may want to include details about your special offers, events, and reason for operating your business. Knowing a little about the company or organization can help people feel more connected to your brand or see the connection you have with your community.
What makes a website complicated, or more expensive?
The first thing that increases the cost of a website is the time spent on the project. When a developer has to wait for updated text, new images, or approved revisions the cost begins to climb.
With a basic website, you can keep the costs down by having the images and text ready for the site before beginning the project. Additionally, it's best to keep revision review processes down to 24 - 48 hours. This keeps the project moving forward and ensures timely completion of a basic website.
Another thing that can greatly impact the cost of a website is something called "scope creep". That is, when a project begins to add features and functionality that were not originally discussed. A common form of this is when a basic site that is planned to have 5 pages of content keeps adding "just one more" until there are dozens of pages.
The best way to avoid scope creep is to set clear guidelines for what needs to be done before the website can be launched. Once that project is complete, additional features can be added to the site as upgrades over time. However, the basic structure of the website must be completed first.
Why do some businesses only need a basic cheap website?
Many developers don't view basic websites as something valuable to a business, or worth their time to create. However, there are some significant advantages to having a simple website for many businesses. Let's look at a couple of examples.
Tree Services Website
A tree service does not need to spend a lot of money and time building out an ecommerce site or an app for providing online quotes. At the core, the job of the website is to make the phone ring so someone can go to the job site and talk with the customer.
There are several things that help make this basic site valuable to the business and help them stand out against the competition. First, most people search Google when looking for a service provider and not the local phone book. Therefore, having a website will help the tree service business show up in local search results. Better still, a mobile-responsive website makes it easy for customers to find the business contact info and click one button to call the company.
Advocacy Information Website
When the goal of the site is to educate and inform people, there is not need to develop a robust content marketing plan at first. Sure, this may be something you want to build later when funding becomes available, but it's not required on day-one.
From the beginning, an information website needs to have an easy way to publish new information and a strong foundation in search engine optimization. The content needs to be easy to find through search and easy to read on any device. Once that is in place, the site can begin to build an audience and awareness for the cause it serves.
How much does a basic website cost?
That's a great question!
If your budget is under $5,000 and you need a simple website for your business, this is one solution you should consider. First, review the information about who this option is for - and why you should not build a basic website with this service. If you're still interested in creating a simple website for your business, contact us.
OptSus has come up with a unique way to approach the problem of quoting basic website projects. We're making it very simple to start building your website today and have your new site online in as little as one week.
Since we like to be upfront about our offers, here's the fine print on that "simple website in one week" deal. You'll see that it's designed for anyone that truly has a basic website they want built cheap - by someone that has been building high-quality websites since 1999.
How to get your website done in just one week?
- Your site requires 5 pages of content, or less.
- You have all the text and images ready to be published on these pages.
- There are 3 - 5 example websites you can show us for design ideas.
- When we provide a draft of your new website, you will have it reviewed within 24 hours.
- After looking through our portfolio of past projects, you like our work and feel confident you will not require more than one set of revisions.
This service is priced by the week and includes up to 5 hours of development work per week. For a basic website, this is ample time to build the site and complete the project.
If the project extends beyond one week due to any delay in receiving copy, images, draft approval, revision requests, or other information from the client - the cost will increase by the weekly rate. This makes it easy to build a slightly larger or more complicated site by adding on another week of development time as needed.