More bang for your bucks

Post by 
Phil
Last Updated: 
June 18, 2024
C

reating a stunning and functional website or web application doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you're a small business owner, a startup, or an individual looking to establish an online presence, there are ways to make your website design budget go further. At Sandlebridge, we’ve been providing our clients with helpful advice for years and we’re ready to share this with you.

1. Define Your Goals Clearly

Before diving into the design process, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your website’s purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want my website to achieve?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are the essential features I need?

By investing time in this process at the outset you can avoid frustration and disappointment down the line. By defining your goals, you can avoid unnecessary features and focus on what truly matters, saving both time and money.

2. Plan Your Content Ahead of Time

Content is king, and having your content ready before starting the design process can significantly streamline the project. We always recommend having full content available before you start the design process. This has so many advantages:

  • It informs the menu structures
  • You involve stakeholders from different departments
  • You establish your message, tone of voice and sales propositions
  • It helps you think through functionality requirements, such as forms, logic and other aspects
  • It saves you time down to line and reduces friction in the design and build processes

Content includes text, images, videos, and any other media you plan to include. When designers have all the content upfront, they can create a cohesive design that aligns with your vision, reducing the need for revisions.

3. Use Low-Code and No-Code Tools

One of the most effective ways Sandlebridge reduces website design and development costs is by using modern, low-code and no-code technologies. These tools allow us to create functionally-rich websites without extensive hand-coding. At Sandlebridge we leverage the following tools to deliver more bang for your buck.

  • Bubble.io: Ideal for building complex web applications with minimal coding.
  • Webflow: Great for creating visually appealing websites quickly.
  • Make: Perfect for integrating different third party services with your websit

On top of this, Sandlebridge has also developed a range of specially designed Membership website templates and a Membership CRM product which is ideal for charities, associations, trusts and other third-sector businesses that need a cost-effective web solution.

4. Choose a Simple Design

Simplicity is not only elegant but also cost-effective. Opt for a clean and straightforward design that focuses on usability. A minimalistic approach reduces design time and often results in a better user experience.

5. Template Customisation

Using one of our pre-made templates is a cost-effective way to achieve a professional look without the high costs associated with custom designs. Check out the twelve custom membership templates that we have created. These can be quickly modified to meet the branding and content requirements of your business.

6. Prioritise Features

Identify the must-have features and prioritise them. It's tempting to include every possible feature, but this can quickly inflate your budget. Focus on the core functionalities that will deliver the most value to your users and consider adding additional features later as your budget allows.

7. Find the ‘sweet spot’ in the market and hire carefully

Instead of engaging a large, expensive agency or suffering the limitations and uncertainties of a ‘one man band’, consider hiring a small team that has the capacity and skills to cope with more complex projects. At Sandlebridge we are a close knit team of 8 with complementary skill sets and a local, poin-of-presence.

8. Do Some DIY

If you have the time and willingness to learn, doing some of the work yourself can save a lot of money. For instance, you can:

  • Write your content (or at least draft it, for revision by an experienced writer)
  • Source images for your website
  • Invest in the upfront effort for planning content and feature requirements
  • Research your market and online competitors and have a clear idea of how you expect to be found for important keywords in Google search
  • Assemble the right internal team at the outset and provide time within their schedule to give your web project the time it deserves

9. Invest in SEO Early On*

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should not be an afterthought. Investing in SEO from the beginning ensures that your website is designed to attract and convert visitors, which can save you money on marketing in the long run.

10. Reduce Revisions with Clear Communication

Clear and consistent communication with your web designer is key to minimising costly revisions. Provide detailed feedback and be specific about what you like and dislike. The more precise you are, the fewer revisions will be needed, saving both time and money.

11. Leverage Free Resources

There are countless free resources available online that can help you save money on your website design. Some useful resources include:

Unsplash

https://unsplash.com

Unsplash offers a vast collection of high-quality, royalty-free images that can be used for websites, blogs, social media, and more. The images are contributed by photographers from around the world and cover a wide range of categories.

Canva

https://www.canva.com

Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that allows you to create stunning visuals for your website, social media, and marketing materials. It offers a wide array of templates, icons, and design elements, even on the free plan.

Google Fonts

https://fonts.google.com

Google Fonts provides a large library of free, open-source fonts that can be easily integrated into your website. With a variety of styles and designs, it helps you enhance the typography of your web content.

Pixabay

https://pixabay.com

Pixabay is another excellent source for free images, videos, and music. All content is released under Creative Commons, meaning you can use it freely for both personal and commercial projects without attribution.

Grammarly

https://www.grammarly.com

Grammarly is a free writing assistant that helps you correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. It also offers suggestions for improving your writing style, making your content more polished and professional.

Pexels

https://www.pexels.com

Pexels provides a large collection of free stock photos and videos that can be used for any purpose. The high-resolution images and videos are great for enhancing the visual appeal of your web content.

These resources can significantly enhance the quality of your web content while keeping your costs low.

12. Use Analytics to Make Data-Driven Decisions

Once your website is live, use analytics tools like Google Analytics to monitor its performance. This data can provide insights into what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to make informed decisions about future updates and improvements without unnecessary spending.

Conclusion

By implementing these strategies, you can create a beautiful, functional website without blowing your budget. Remember, the key is to plan carefully, prioritise essential features, and make use of the many affordable tools and resources available. With a bit of creativity and strategic thinking, you can make your website design budget go much further than you ever thought possible.

If this article has been helpful and you’d like to arrange a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your project or ask further questions we’d be delighted to hear from you. No pressure and no obligations - just help!

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