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How to build an amazing looking website for clients on a budget

With rising costs and a recession looming, it’s no wonder many businesses are now having to tighten their belts. This will have a knock on impact on how much they’re able to invest in key areas of the business such as their website build and upkeep. Yet research suggests that design has a 75% influence on a websites credibility and 88% of online customers won’t return to a website after a bad experience caused by interactivity[1].

This highlights the importance of having a good website and working with a web pro who can build a high-quality, fully-functioning site on a tight budget.

Here, Justin Bateman, Product Manager at Fasthosts, explains how web pros can build great sites for their clients on a budget, without compromising on aesthetics or functionality.

 

There’s long been a misconception that it’s impossible to build an amazing looking website for clients on a budget. This stems from the fact that, traditionally, clients have always expected to pay large sums of money for a fully bespoke service, whether that’s getting a new website designed, or a redesign of their current site.

Of course, these days every business needs a website but not all have the resources, time, skills or budget to build one. While the number of clients requiring a web presence has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, more often than not a website doesn’t need to be an expensive, all singing and dancing one – it needs to be simple, effective and attractive for customers. What’s important is that the website represents their business clearly and helps them grow.

In today’s climate, web pros have a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the budget end of the market, and will get more bang for their buck by working on these smaller, fast-to-build websites. So how can web pros drive efficiencies without compromising on aesthetics and functionality? Here are my top tips:

 

Manage expectations:

There’s nothing worse than starting off a web build and then finding out that a client’s expectations are worlds apart from what you can deliver. This can be frustrating for both sides. For example, if they move to another small provider, they may find it challenging if they’ve been locked into a certain CMS that their previous web pro used, or if they need various passwords.

Expectations should be managed from the outset – understand the client’s objectives to ensure there’s a natural fit with your own offering and ability. Web pros should get under the skin of the business and know which direction it’s going in to avoid any misunderstandings down the line. In turn, they should clearly communicate their own offering, capabilities and limitations.

 

Create templates:

Creating templates is all about driving economy of scale to ensure you can be truly efficient. In a similar guise to the DIY website builders out there, web pros should build their own templates to drive efficiency and reduce costs for clients.

A great starting point is to build templates for every niche that you can think of. This way you’re only building that site once and can easily make the specific content changes depending on the client request and business’ need.

You can then create a network to help you manage all of these templates in one place. Creating a multi-site network means that you can share all the installation files, plugins and themes, allowing you to manage all of those sites really quickly and easily. Not only does this drive efficiencies, meaning you can charge less money, but importantly the service still seems bespoke to some degree.

 

Automation:

Each of the templates and sites within that network should be easily updatable. Again, to be efficient, web pros should remove themselves from the process as much as possible as this is what keeps the cost down. There are several great solutions available, such as WP Ultimo, that can help automate multi-site services by managing the backend of the network.

 

Bulk buy:

Hosting websites needn’t be expensive if you bulk buy. When you buy in bulk, you can stock up on package deals such as 10 hosted sites for one price. This will help you reduce your overheads significantly and can be a great way to provide support to lower budget clients.

 

Client support:

When it comes to providing technical client support, web pros can struggle to find balance. It’s easy to get caught somewhere between offering a bespoke service where clients expect a response to queries, and a DIY service where the client ends up speaking to a chat bot or reading online knowledge banks.

You’ll naturally want to support your clients, but the key is finding easy and cost-efficient ways to achieve this. Setting up a support portal alongside a customer portal is a great solution. You can automate your customer support system to manage common client queries. It should be thorough, easily accessible, and regularly updated. What’s more, it doesn’t need to be time intensive; there are loads of off the shelf solutions out there such as Freshdesk, Help Scout and Keeping.

Web pros should take advantage of the various software tools that allow them to manage it all online, and approach it like a ticketing or a messaging app that they can respond to in their own time. This also means that on those occasions when they get a totally new customer query, the response can be published to the support site to avoid them being asked again in the future –killing two birds with one stone.

 

There’s clearly a huge opportunity right now and taking this kind of planned approach can be a great investment for web pros and software houses looking to spend time on creating an efficient service to meet budgets and build demand.

[1] *https://techjury.net/blog/website-design-industry-statistics/#gref