7 Tips for Great Web Design on a Budget in 2019
Web design is about as cheap as it can get these days.
From free platforms to site builders, anyone can develop a site an afternoon. Of course, whether it's good depends on how much you budget.
This piece aims to find a perfect balance in development and expenses. By its end, you'll have everything needed to develop a site without spending too much.
Keep reading for some essential elements of budget web design.
The 7 Essentials of Budget Web Design
Gone are the days when websites cost thousands of dollars. Today, you can DIY one for less than $50 and often, you can create one that is completely free. Add a developer and costs go up, but you can still save a great deal of money following these tips.
1. Learn a Bit of Web Design
You don't have to go overboard and become an expert...
...but learning web design basics can and will improve the site creation.
The basics help you understand:
The development process
Design best practices
In learning, you'll have a better grasp of design when handing it to a professional. Or, if you want to make an attempt at the site creation.
It goes deeper -- helping you understand:
Search Engine Optimization
User Experience and Usability
The site and content structure
So, hop onto YouTube for a basic web design course. Take notes and build an appreciation for the process (more on that in #3).
2. Start with the Planning
Most design firms charge per page outside of the core site creation. This means your project can quickly spiral out of control and budget the more you add.
There are always the basic pages:
Start with the basics but bake template pages into the site design. This allows you to create new pages at a later date without the high upfront charge.
Planning the site structure also retains the site (and business) focus. Look at examples like this website for its simplicity. It isn't bogged by endless sub-menus, it sticks to the essential pages to serve its purpose.
Other items you should plan include:
Get everything together in a folder used as the design basis. This keeps the project from creeping and going off budget.
3. Stick to the Plan
Speaking of planning... going off the direction introduces scope creep .
Scope creep tends to happen when wants trump needs. Each new page means more work for the dev -- and with it a higher development cost.
Tip: Trust in your developer.
You hired the developer for their expertise and industry knowledge . They have your best interests in mind while following best practices. Let them work unhindered and you'll receive a completed, on-time project.
You can always go back and add to the website. Withholding the launch for vanity features mean people aren't discovering it. In effect, you're losing money because it isn't live!
4. Build Using Great Examples
You need to create a swipe file.
A swipe file is a collection of best examples -- like great:
...and basically anything you could draw inspiration.
Creating a swipe file is easy:
1. Create a folder
2. Screenshot or photo examples
3. Jot notes why you like the item
This now becomes the basis for your site design. You can collage the best items to create a wireframe of the website. From here, you can begin work in-house or pass it along to a developer.
5. Fit the Build to the Budget
There are several ways to go about building the site. The cheapest solution is taking the project on yourself. Next is paying for a development tool. Finally, you could use professional developers.
After getting your domain name and website hosting you can install WordPress onto the web hosting and add a site theme. You'll then configure the WP installation by adding its core pages.
You'll also configure: