Before you look for cheap website design, make sure you know what you’re really asking for. As a small business, your reputation online can make or break your success. Massive brands like Amazon or Coca-Cola can handle a PR disaster, pay huge data breach fines without much consequence, and even make megabucks when their website crashes during a sale (often, spinning it into a positive). But as a small business, do you have the same buffer if things go wrong?

Your website needs to be secure. It needs to work well and look good doing it. It needs to be easy to use. And it needs to serve its purpose: to support and grow your business. A cheap website that risks security breaches, doesn’t work on mobile, looks outdated, takes too long to load, is awkward to update, and doesn’t show up on Google, sounds like it’ll cost a lot more in the long run. 

What a Website Costs

So how much does a website cost? Like most online services, the details affect the price. A lot. A website for an international bank that needs several languages, the highest possible security, AND a great design, is a lot more complicated than a one-page informational website for a local ‘mom and pop’ bakery. 

The word ‘design’ in web design can be a little misleading, too. Cheap website design doesn’t always mean you’ll have an ugly website. So on the surface, it looks great. But what about the infrastructure design? The security design? Website design applies to much more than just appearances.

A big question many businesses don’t ask until it’s too late is, “Can you update the site easily?” If you can’t update the website yourself, then you’ll have to keep paying someone to do it. It’s an ongoing cost that’ll add up.

But most of all, cheap website design makes it a poorer experience for your visitors. If the website is difficult to update, they won’t get the latest information. If it’s hard to use, they won’t browse long. And if it’s buggy or has poor security, their data might be compromised. 

And all of those poor experiences directly impact your business’ reputation.

Even Free Comes at a Cost

As it turns out, a free website design will cost you too. It costs:

  • Time, which could’ve been spent on your core skills and services. Things only YOU could do within your business.
  • Some money, which isn’t avoidable. You still have to buy a domain name, SSL hosting, and will probably want to use premium features to make it “easier” to DIY your website.
  • And, in a worst-case scenario, your reputation.

Here’s some more specific insight into how to start a blog for free, exploring the reality of DIYing your online presence.

Cheap Website Design for Small Business Isn’t Worth It

Ready-made websites do exist. To a point. For micro-businesses on a shoestring, you can get started using an established platform like Etsy or even just networking on social media. But to grow your business online, your website should be your hub. It’s your online real estate, away from the whims of social media algorithms, and you’ll be in complete control. Ask yourself this: Would you still be in business if the platforms you’re on, decided to shut down? 

But even with a ready-made theme on a platform like WordPress.com, you’ll still need beautiful graphics and content. Also, copywriting matters more than ever

So of all the things you invest in for your business, your website brings them all together. If you’re only looking for a cheap website design, take a good look at your marketing plan and your business development. Your website, like all your content marketing costs, should be an investment. Likewise, the cost will have a return. And, in your plan, your website should be part of your goals for growth. That means goals like showing up on Google for local business searches, getting more client leads, selling X amount of products. Meaning, these goals should make your business more money and have more of an impact.

Are you going to keep using your social media and email and other platforms just to send people to other websites? Or are you going to send them to your own? 

At Social INK, we don’t do cheap website design. We don’t just make websites that look good. We make websites that help you grow your business. Have a look at our professional web design portfolio.

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Anna Simmonds
Anna Simmonds

Anna, Head of Social, knows her beans when it comes to social media. She keeps her finger on the social pulse, funnelling her knowledge and experience into creating engaging social media campaigns. She’s also pretty decent with a camera and Photoshop.