Expert Answers to Biz Questions
Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.
Budget Site Building: What Platform is Best for Brick and Mortar Startups?
When you are just starting up, there are a lot of expenses. While you do not want to cut corners, you do need to think about your budget. Your business needs a website, but you need to think about how much money you are going to put into the website and how much return on investment you are going to get. In this article, we are going to talk to you about budget site building and help you understand what the best platform for your brick and mortar startup is.
What Is Your Budget?
Before you get started on your project, you need to have a real budget. You can’t go into this project thinking, “I want the cheapest website available”. You have to put down real numbers that you are willing to put out to get your website up and running.
Depending on whether you are going to be doing it yourself or using a web developer, you are going to find two very different price points. If you are doing it yourself, obviously it is going to take more of your time and effort, but if you hire a web developer, you are going to have to make sure that your budget is high enough to afford them.
One of the benefits of having a web developer is that you can rely on them to help you through any snags with your website, but the average web developer can cost anywhere between $100 and $5,000 or more. It depends on the complexity of the project, the volume of work that needs to be done and what the developer wants to charge. The area that you live and where the web developer is located also has a lot to do with the price.
Many businesses that are bootstrapping decide they will do their websites on their own.
What Features Do You Need?
When you are deciding on the features that you need, you have to figure out what you will be doing with your website.
Will you be selling products online? Is your site primarily to inform your customers of events and updates? Will you have a blog?
Before you choose a platform, knowing what you are going to be using it for is important. If you want something that is very simple, there are many platforms that will work for your site right now. What you do need to think about is what your site is going to need as it grows.
If you think about your site’s growth now, you won’t have to make a pricey and tedious transfer of your site at a later date.
Being a brick and mortar business, there are things that you need to think about that digital businesses don’t. You need to have your map location and hours in place. You could put your address on the site in text, but giving your users the ability to click on your address and easily get directions will make things easier on your customers and make sure that you don’t miss out on any business.
You should also think about whether you want to sell and ship your products to customers that are outside of your area. If you want to do this, you are going to need an ecommerce site.
Using WordPress to Build Your Website
Almost 75 million websites trust WordPress to be their CMS. There is no question that this platform is the most popular platform to build websites, but is it right for you and your business.
There are many benefits to using WordPress, but not all WordPress is created equally. You should know that the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a free to use (very limited at this level) site where you do not own your content, you have to have ads hosted on your site and you are not able to add as many customizations as you might like.
When you look at WordPress.org there are limitless ways to customize your site’s look and function. You will be able to go into the theme store and find a new theme for a whole new site look within a matter of minutes or you can buy and upload a custom theme. If you use WordPress.com, you will only have access to their themes but will not be able to upload themes that you buy.
Will I Need Outside Help?
If you do decide that you want to work on the WordPress.org platform, you may be revisiting the idea of having a web developer to work with you. While some people do find this helpful for peace of mind or for getting the job done faster, there are plenty of options that will allow you to take care of the job on your own.
If you don’t know any coding, that won’t be a problem. You can use page builders like Beaver Builders to create a stunning website with plenty of function for your visitors. There are many options that you can look into with this page builder, but the biggest benefit is how user friendly it is since it is a plugin that you upload and activate on your site. There is very little to figure out on your own when you go through and use the onboarding process of the plugin.
Armed with the above information, you are ready to go out and build your site. Your business will be able to proudly display your domain name on business cards and marketing material.
Copyright 1995-2019, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.
DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages. TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.