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Your first website? Keep things simple.

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BY Tess O'Callaghan

{Project Manager, Designer, Developer}

13 June 2017

At Digital Noir, you’ll hear us talk about our high-quality custom websites. We love getting deep into the marketing side of web development, taking the time to make the design unique and beautiful and planning out content strategy. If you’re just starting out, maybe that’s a little overwhelming, not to mention expensive!

At the end of the day, you just need to get started!

If your budget is low, or even if the ‘whole package’ is a little too much to think about, start small. If this is you, you could start with the following:

  • WordPress.com / Weebly / Squarespace – Free or on a plan depending on your needs. I don’t see these as long-term options, but if you’re just starting out, these are an excellent place to get your name out there with minimal investment. While they’re not all that flexible, you can do quite a bit with their templates and layout builders. You can get a basic website up and build upon it from there. Eventually get your branding done, update your template and go custom once you outgrow the template.
  • Shopify – $29-$299
    If you want to sell online, this is a great option to start out. Just take note of transaction fees and credit card rates. As with other templated options, there is a fair bit of room to move with the way your site looks.
  • WordPress themes (WordPress.org) – $0-$1000
    These take a little longer to set up and some people find they need to employ a developer, but if you do your research, there are some cheap and easy options. There are a lot to choose from and many have layout builders built in. Once set up, they give a lot of flexibility.
    Check out https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress
  • Just get a simple single page website done $500-$3000
    This can be the equivalent of a business card. Just get your service or product offering on there with some imagery, logo and a bit of personality. This might be $500-$3000 through an agency or you could consider using a template for $0-100 and some time spent by you.

If you go down these roads, just expect to pay for hosting and domain names in most cases. Check hidden costs. Many of these will have options where they purchase domain names for you, but just ensure you can move it over later if you decide to have a custom website done.

Free options are usually hosted with the company, rather than on your own domain name, so you may find their logo somewhere on your website and/or a domain name like this: tesswebsite.wix.com

So yes, you’ll hear us go on and on about quality, premium, handmade websites, but at the end of the day, don’t rush it! Don’t put thousands of dollars in until you feel ready to invest the time and money. Refine your business plan and brand while using a simple, cheap option that works for you at the time.

If you need some advice along the way or are ready to leap into the custom website world, let us know.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tess O'Callaghan

Tess is passionate about creating a unique, straightforward user experience tailored to each business and subject matter. Add to that a very organised and thoughtful approach to projects, plus great communication skills, and you’ve got a brilliant project manager for all of our web projects.

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