One of the most powerful marketing tools available to a business is its website. Not only can a strategically designed website be used to help implement many of your marketing strategies, it also establishes your credibility as a professional, trustworthy business that provides useful information, products and services. Website design and development can range from a simple site that describes your services to a complex site in which your customers can subscribe to customized services, order products and read blogs. So, you might be asking, exactly how much does a website cost?
To answer that question, we have provided costs for five types of sites. Using a fictitious building products company as an example, we’re examining the features each provides and why you would need them. In this Part II installment, we describe the pros and cons of using a freelance professional to design and write your website.
Freelance Website Professional
Budget: Under $5,000
As background, when Brandon Carlyle assumed leadership of The Carlyle Building Products Company which his father founded in the 1980s, he knew the company needed to have a presence on the Internet rather than rely on the printed product brochure his sales team had been using for the past 15 years. The company didn’t have an in-house designer or marketing budget set aside, so initially, he took a DIY approach to designing the company’s first website.
Now, as the company added more product and service capabilities, Brandon wanted to add more sections to his site. Further, he wanted to incorporate some special design features to start building brand identity. He still didn’t have a real marketing budget set aside, so he asked one of his customer sales representatives to use a WordPress template to create the site. He also hired a graphic designer.
Related: When Do DIY Websites Make Sense?
The sales rep and graphic designer created a website with standard tabs describing the company, its products and contact information. There was no ability for interactive customer capabilities and little attention paid to keywords that would enhance search results. As time went on, Brandon wanted to add new elements to the website, but the freelance designer was busy with other projects. And while the business was growing, he was concerned that his company was not coming up in the first 10 search results for building product supplies in his area.
What to expect using a freelance web professional:
- Lower cost compared to an agency
- May be built on pre-existing WordPress template not customized to your business
- Limited expertise beyond design or development (copywriting, SEO, paid search, etc.) if you only deal with one freelancer
- Limited to stock or DIY images if you’re not using a professional photographer as part of the process
- Ongoing support may be limited if the freelancer has limited time/availability once the site is launched
- Dedicated point of contact for freelancer
- Full website copywriting in some cases
- Knowledge of SEO in some cases
- Ability to work in a content management system to make ongoing site updates
- May need a web support “backup” if freelancer is unavailable or has taken a full-time position
Representative companies: Startups; small- to medium-sized businesses with limited budgets, companies creating their first website
Want to find out more about website costs? Read our full e-book on Website Costs. To find out more about website development, SEO and other online marketing services, contact Bob Goricki, Senior Online Marketing Manager at 440-449-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.