The Globe and Mail published a business-oriented article today called “No Website Means It’s Time to Get to Work.” The gist: if your business, no matter how small, doesn’t have a web presence, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
In this day and age, when the first place people turn when searching for services of all kinds is the Internet, there’s no good excuse not to have a website. You may think your business is “too local” or too “real world” for it to matter — but, in fact, with the rise of Google Local, these aspects make it even more crucial that you get your web presence set up with all appropriate search engine optimization for your market in your region.
But what should a website cost? Article author Mark Evans says:
A small but solid website with a good design should cost about $5,000 . . .
And this does jibe with my own findings. If you want “good design”, you will need to spend at least $2500 on it. You’ll spend another $500 or so finding the right designer for your brand. And then another $2000 or so on the expertise to turn that pretty custom design into a working website.
But what if you aren’t concerned with having a “good design”, and simply want a decent-looking website that’s easy to update? And, more importantly, noticed by search engine users?
This is where WordPress really shines. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of gorgeous professionally created WordPress themes out there costing no more than $150. Find one you like, and you’re halfway there. Then pair yourself up with a WordPress consultant who will take the time to understand how best to customize the template for your business, and you will come in far under that $5000 website estimate.
It’s important to note that the Globe and Mail’s $5000 “good design” website isn’t going to cover any sort of SEO (search engine optimization) to attract traffic to your website. If a website is indexed by Google but nobody sees it, is it really on the internet?
And if $5000 is a costly outlay for you in these tight times, you’ll find yourself choosing between “pretty” and “visible on search engines”.
Fortunately, getting noticed by search engine users looking for niche market and local businesses doesn’t have to cost nearly as much as a “good design” — and will reap you much better returns.