So let’s say you’re looking at getting a new website for your business. You find a company that you like, but then ask to see a quote. They quote around 10x what you had in mind, and there’s no way you’ll be able to pay that. A good web design company can often be far too expensive for any small business. From here, there are two options: hire a less expensive option, or do it yourself. I’ll show you a few tips to make a not-so-horrible website for your business at no cost.
Keep the site simple
When someone is looking at your website, they want information and they want it quickly. If they don’t get the gist of what the website is about right away, they won’t care to look at the rest. As a result, the bounce rate will increase by quite a bit – you can read more about that on our other blog post on bounce rate. That first look at your website is the first impression; be sure to make it a good one. On that first screen of your website, it’ll need to be perfectly obvious as to what exactly you’ll do for them. At this point, if they’re interested, they’ll keep scrolling. That’s what you want. Be concise in the rest of your website as well. It needs just the main points – nothing more, nothing less.
Organize your website
Organizing content for your website is almost as important as making it simple. It allows people to find exactly what they want, and it allows people to access the information they need. It’s as simple as that. A website must be functional. A website gives people valuable information. You have to make your content easily accessible everyone.
Use a WordPress template
Although these may be a little more difficult to learn compared to Wix or Squarespace, they’re much more scalable. With an inexpensive site builder like Wix, the content is non-transferrable. In the future, if you ever decide to get a professional website done for your business, then the web development team will have to start from scratch. As much as I’d love to talk all about this topic, there’s a fantastic blog post on this.
There are quite a few templates that you can choose from, and the customizability and learning curve can differ from template to template. If you know very little about WordPress, I would personally use the Divi to start out. It’s very simple and easy to get started, so it’s a great choice if you’re not an expert. Although there are higher costs, it’s more than worth it in the long term.
Use an appealing color scheme
If you have a logo and set color scheme for that logo, use it. Don’t use anything else – other than a shade of grey. However, if you have the freedom to mix it up a little, then don’t blow it. I personally use Paletton to find good color palettes that I can use with new businesses. Although it may be a little confusing at first, it helps me to find colors that work well with each other. Trust me – it’s important.
Space everything out – a lot
If your website is cluttered, you’ll give the impression that your business is also disorganized. Adding spacing between each section of information is an easy way to make everything look much cleaner. It will also make everything seem much more organized. Obviously, there is such a thing as too much spacing on a website, so just try not to overdo it.
Look for inspiration
In order to make the best possible website, you’ll probably need to see a few other websites that have done really well. Not only will this give you ideas, but it will also put everything I’ve said into context. Take a look at Awwwards – they nominate websites from around the world for site of the day, site of the month and website of the year. They only award the best websites, and it is a great source of inspiration. Look at how the content is laid out. Look at what colors they use. Look at how much spacing there is. Look at how you navigate the website. All of this will give you the information you need to start building your own scalable website for much less than a really good web designer.
Test your website
User testing is critical in building a great website. Other people will be able to find flaws in your website that would have otherwise been missed. We’re not perfect, and sometimes we even miss things. That’s why user testing is quite important in our process – and it shouldn’t be any different for yours. However, be sure to ask for what you want. Something like, “What would you change about the navigation?”, “would you change the layout of the web page?”. These specific questions will help get the answers you’ll want. Criticue is a website that helps people get good feedback on their website for free (as long as you give feedback to other people). If you don’t want to spend time reviewing other people’s websites, then you can also pay for reviews. Nevertheless, the website is absolutely fantastic and helpful.
Although these steps are not completely foolproof in getting a fantastic, award-winning website, it can sure help getting you on the right track. If you ever want to take your business to the next step and not have to worry about all that, we’re here to help with all your web and graphic design needs. Until then, build a beautiful website.