There are a number of companies out there currently advertising this kind of service, or something very similar. The specific offers might change, but the basics of the arrangement are something like this: You log onto their website, choose a template that somewhat fits your business, and then “fill in the blanks” with your own text and images. The whole thing is supposed to take just a few minutes, and cost you only a very small fraction of what a custom-built small business website would.

Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

It can be, so long as you don’t mind trading a few dollars now for profitability later. That’s because a “build your own” type of website is virtually useless in terms of online marketing. It doesn’t give potential customers much insight into what kind of business you’re running or make any kind of positive impression about your company at all. In other words, you tend to get what you’re paying for – which in this case is almost nothing at all.

Of course, it’s understandable that many entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals, and others are facing tighter budgets than they might like. Still, is getting a website that doesn’t set you apart from the competition in any way – or even makes you look worse – really the best answer?

Here are a few better ways to save money on your next business website, without resorting to useless templates:

Start with a smaller business website. Lots of marketers mistakenly assume that they need dozens of pages to show off their various products, services, staff bios, etc. The reality is that slimming down your site isn’t usually just less expensive, but also makes it more user-friendly for the potential customers who view your pages. See if you can boil your business, and your new website, down to a few key ideas and then build pages around those. If you need more in the future, you can always expand later.

Use a good content management system. A quality CMS is the backbone of your business website, allowing you to grow, refocus, or change your site structure and content as you choose, and without any help from your business web design team. Brew City Marketing utilizes WordPress for many of our websites. In addition, most will have advanced marketing and analytics features that make your site more functional and valuable from the date it’s launched. You might spend a few extra dollars upfront for a quality CMS, but it’s an investment that will pay you back time and time again as you change and update your site for free.

Get your money back faster. As in many parts of business, the best way to save money on a business website is to actually spend a bit more and make a wise investment. That’s because a quality design won’t just last you years longer than a template will (meaning that you won’t have to pay for a new site), but it can also help you grow your business. How many new sales or clients would you need for a quality business website to pay for itself? What would it be worth to have your business growing every month?

It’s easy to understand why so many people are tempted to use “build your own” style services for business web design. Unfortunately, they hardly ever turn out to be the kind of value you’re looking for.

Brew City Marketing understands the challenges that start-ups face. Give us a call today and we’ll provide product or payment options to make it easier for you to have a professional website and internet marketing strategy that will bring you new business.

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