Welcome shoppers! We’ve got big web design savings coming your way, sure do, or my name’s not Nathan Arizona. That’s the hitch though, isn’t it? My name is not Nathan Arizona and saving money on web design doesn’t happen with coupons or cut-rate designers.

You might say it doesn’t happen at all without careful thought and thoughtful choices. First, you must put your mind to choosing the right approach for your web design budget and needs.

1. Choose the Right Approach

You may have the opportunity now to patch and repair your current site for another year or two of service. It could be that you really need to go nuclear on your old website and replace it with an all-new model. Or your needs may not require full service web design. Maybe you need some training and consulting to take your DIY efforts to the next level.

For small budgets, you could choose a WordPress website with a customized theme. That’s like walking into Unpainted Arizona, picking out your table and chairs and taking it home to stain, paint, or bedazzle in your own way. The web design is done for you, so it may look like thousands of other websites and could have limited functions. But most WordPress themes are made to be customized so you just fill in your words and pictures to make it work.

Are you willing to invest in success and pay a premium for fully custom web design? Custom WordPress themes often use a starter framework, but no pre-made design features. The web designer will have full freedom to achieve your dreams. But you will pay a premium for their time and for additional services like photography and graphic design that really put the shine on a custom project.

To help you select the right web design approach, ask for a website audit to identify your current website’s strengths and weaknesses.

2. Spend Wisely

A website audit will not only help you select the right approach for your web design project, it will also identify the urgent issues you need to spend on before anything else can move forward. Chances are, you’ll find you need to prioritize website security and stability as you take your next steps.

Just like your home computer and mobile devices, your website is susceptible to malware and hacking attempts. The best way to harden your website security and reduce your vulnerability is to keep your website’s operating system (like WordPress) up to date as well as any themes or plugins. Will you manage that on your own or will you pay someone else to do it? And if all else fails and you do get hacked, you need to have backups to restore from. The administration and storage of backups is often its own monthly expense.

Before you spend on a web design, spend wisely on priority foundational items that set you up for success.

3. Select Upgrades

Now we get to some fun stuff! I love telling people about upgrades and add-ons to their web design projects. These are the things that enhance the visitor experience and truly add to the production quality of each project. Save money here by choosing worthwhile upgrades.

Find a photographer and videographer you plan to work with long term. This isn’t really an upgrade, it’s a necessity. But having decent, authentic photos will certainly upgrade your site if you’ve been leaning on stock photos so far. Highly polished web designs use custom photography and even video wallpapers to wow their visitors. Your relationship with a photographer is also valuable for effective social media and online advertising. These activities require impressive visual content as well to stand out from all the tired memes and clip art.

4. Anticipate Expenses

This might come as a shock to you. But you can’t redo your web design without redoing other things. Replacing all the appliances in your kitchen does no good if you leave them next to faded, crusty counter tops and cabinets made for a different set. Do them all at once for the best effect. Have you anticipated these extra expenses?

Time is money. Extra meetings and phone calls take time. Schedule your web design project to avoid disrupting other marketing and business activities.

There’s always a bug. Brand new web designs often require troubleshooting after the website launch. Is troubleshooting included in your contract?

Plan for staff retraining. You and staff will need to learn new passwords and new process to manage your new website.

Accept new subscription fees. All new web designs today include components that work on software licenses and subscriptions you have to pay monthly or annually to keep running. These new fees are in addition to regular website hosting and domain name registrations.

5. Save Time

The top expense in web design is time, as you read above. So don’t cause a delay! Your web designer should have a process they’ve worked out to ensure the project is done in a timely fashion. Delays might be caused by extenuating circumstances you can blame on your web designer, but most start with the client. Sorry! If your plan to save money is to write all the web pages on your own, then very little of the project will get done without your personal commitment to turning in pages on time.

Tips for Delaying Anything for Months

  • Keep records exclusively on old envelopes and sticky notes.
  • Shake hands instead of signing a contract
  • Ignore calendar invites, schedules, budgets, or plans.
  • Ask your mom for a last-minute second opinion.
  • Tie overall business success to publishing a website.
  • Tell no-one about your website and utterly fail to advertise it.
  • Sweat the small stuff.
  • Shrug at the big stuff.

If you truly want to save time and money on your website, just find someone you trust who knows something about marketing. Trust them to tell you what you’re missing. But stay curious! Make sure to ask your web designer about their pricing, options, and everything that’s included in your contract before you sign the dotted line.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about web design and marketing budgeting. We’re on Twitter @roundpeg and you can find us on LinkedIn. Or leave us a message in the comment section and we’ll comment right back!