DAY EIGHT – Low-cost options to getting online

(reading time 3 minutes)

This might seem slightly controversial – offering my advice on alternatives to using the services we provide, although I have my reasons.

Back in December, I assisted in a Q&A at WIB (Women into Business) where the topic of conversation was ‘How to get online’. My advice to the women in the room was to try and build their own site using some of the online website builder platforms in the list further down the post.

I attended this event with one of the clients we were building a website for, she has a lot of experience in business and has been part of the web design process with a designer, she echoed what I said.

When you start a web design project, there’s actually a lot of work required from you, the client. We can work wonders with design and style based on your content but without bringing in a content writer who understands your industry and your brand voice then it’s another job to add to you to-do list. As I said to one of my clients “If you give me the paint without the tools, I’ll get it on the wall but it won’t look good and will most likely need to be re-done. However, if I have the paint and the tools, it’ll be a job well done on the first attempt”. With that in mind, what is the best way to understand, what your content should look like? This is where we create online questionnaires that prompt you and the opportunity for content workshops to give you that hands-on support in generating your content. If you’re working on a lower budget then I’d suggest playing with the following before considering hiring a web developer, this will help you identify what you want and assist in generating your content.

I’ve used all three and each one has its own individual benefits:

  1. Wix

Wix has designs and industry-specific tools that cover all niche markets. This platform is by far the most innovative website builder amongst its competitors and very easy to use for non-developers out there.

  1. Squarespace

Squarespace is a good match for you if your website or business is very design oriented and you want to produce a modern design and feel of your website without looking amateur.

The analytics on Squarespace are really good and it’s a very affordable option.

  1. Big Cartel

This is my suggestion for anyone looking for an e-commerce site. There are other options like Etsy but for me, I found Big Cartel to be really easy to use, the back of house inventory was really easy to use and this is very reasonably priced for an e-commerce solution. There are some downsides if your product has multiple variations or personalization but I’d still recommend this to someone just starting out and trying to learn how their business should look and act online.

To summarize, educate yourself to get the best value for every pound you spend with a web developer, the more direction you give, the more time and money you save.

Lots of love,