The cost of website ownership can be significant, not only in dollars directly invested, but in terms of the time commitment of a business owner and staff. Should a website not support a business adequately, lost sales or leads may represent a huge cost, notwithstanding the general headaches and distraction of a website that doesn't quite work the way it should.
Put a dollar value against time spent and missed opportunities and tally it all up and one might see that the cost of owning a website is quite a bit more significant than first thought.
Below we discuss several ways you can lower the cost of website ownership, spend less money but increase efficiency and opportunity.
Learn about the Web
Learning about the Web will save money. Learning about the Web will mean fewer costly mistakes and oversights and more insightful decisions. Conversations with designers will take less time, make more sense, and bring better results, faster. You’ll more easily realize when you or someone else doesn’t fully understand something - potentially avoiding a bad outcome or maybe even disaster. And your confidence and ability to do more yourself will increase.
Start by googling "web terms" and reading up on the vocabulary that describes the Web. Join an online resource such as lynda.com and watch video tutorials on any number of web related topics. Read articles about “web design best practices”. Learn enough HTML to understand what it is and how to read it. Reading a book or two about the Web is also helpful. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum is informative, as well as helpful in inspiring a deeper interest in the Web.
Do It Yourself
Doing it yourself doesn’t necessarily mean working directly on your website. But as you learn about the web, you may realize that managing certain aspects of your website is fairly easy and decide to do them yourself. Doing it yourself might include researching an issue you want solved or providing a developer details about solving an issue, instead of just presenting the issue itself. Draw a rough wireframe (or a not so rough one.)
Reassess your human resources
Unless you have the acumen to design, develop and manage a website by yourself, the biggest cost of owning a website will probably be the people who do it for you. Reassessing your human resources in regards to your website can have a big impact on the cost of website ownership. Review the various tasks required to design, develop, and maintain a website. Which tasks could you, at least partially, complete in-house? Who in your organization might have the interest or skill to work on your website. Maybe your next hire should be web savvy enough to dedicate part of their time to managing all aspects of your website.
Conversely, focusing on your business and leaving your website entirely in the hands of professionals may cost more in terms of direct dollar investments, but significantly less in terms of time commitment or lost leads and sales.
Also take a look at the web platforms you are using. Do they suit your business and are they also easy to use? For example, does your developer have the expertise to successfully work with your website? You may need to upgrade to a more experienced developer. Or, depending on your needs, you may decide to invest in porting your website over to a simpler development platform and keep the developer instead.
Improve the quality of your website
A poorly designed website can come at a great price, both in terms of managing a website as well as lost sales and leads. If you want a website that costs your business less, improving its quality should be one of your top priorities.
You can consider redesigning your homepage. Some simple navigation changes or improved CTAs might do the trick. Or you may also decide you need to completely redesign and rebuild your website.
Improving the quality of your website may require significant investment, but it can pay for itself by generating more business and reducing management costs.
Work with people similar to you
A great website doesn’t need to be the most beautiful website, it just needs to work - very well - for you and your audience. To work well, your website needs to be designed for you specifically and with your audience always in mind. Consider who is going to be in the best position to accomplish this.
Probably someone kind of like you. A similar sized business, located in the same or a nearby area as your business and with a similar track record and business values. While in some cases, it may make sense to work with a web designer remotely or one who has values and vision different from your own, in most cases, web design is difficult and risky enough without adding distance and unfamiliarity to the equation.
You may pay more upfront working with a local business similar to your own, but receiving a website that works for you will reduce the cost of ownership in the long run.
Avatar New York is an innovating, award-winning New York web design firm dedicated to providing clients with responsive websites that help grow brands and convert visitors to customers. With an expertise in web development, branding, cloud hosting, mobile app development, and CMS and e-commerce solutions, Avatar New York's top tier designers have the ability to create intelligent websites for any type of business.