If you're in the process of starting your first ecommerce business, you know that every penny counts. In fact, saving money in one area – like your website design – could mean the difference between fully stocking your store at its launch or flying by the seat of your pants and hoping that no one orders those few items you haven't yet been able to purchase.
As you're planning ahead for your business launch expenses, you might be surprised to find out just how much a custom ecommerce website will cost to have built. If you're looking to cut costs without skimping on the features you need for your site to be successful, check out Homestead Websites.
Here's how this innovative program can save you money:
Reason #1 – No Learning Curve
Upon seeing the cost of traditional ecommerce websites, many first-time business owners react by saying, “At these rates, I'd be better off just learning how to design websites myself!”
At the end of this process, not only do they not have a working website – they've also lost the weeks or months of profits they could have generated if they'd started off with a site-building program like Homestead Websites.
The beauty of Homestead Websites is that there's no learning curve. The “drag-and-drop” interface is so simple to use that you could have a professional-looking, fully-functional website up and running in just a few minutes. Even though you'll pay more upfront than you will building a site on your own, you'll more than recoup the money you've invested when you're able to start generating profits sooner.
Reason #2 – Hundreds of Professional Designs at Your Fingertips
But suppose you're smarter than these newbies. You know that there are better uses of your time than struggling to learn website design – including building up more inventory, making contacts in your industry and developing an advertising strategy that will bring in the buyers you need to keep your business afloat. So instead of wasting your time pouring over coding tutorials, you outsource your website design needs to an overseas tech firm that promises the cheapest graphics on the internet.
Now you're really getting the best value for your money, right?! Well, maybe not...
Outsourcing your web design certainly makes sense when compared to learning how to code a website yourself, but there's one key weakness you need to be aware of. And that's that most outsourced web design contracts include provisions for a set number of concepts and revisions – say, three concepts to choose from and up to four rounds of revisions until you're satisfied with the final design.
The obvious problem is – what if, after all these concepts and revisions, you still aren't able to come up with a design that you love? Your design agency will have fulfilled its obligations to you, but not only will you be out the money you invested in the project, you still won't have a website design that works for your business!
Another major advantage of the Homestead Websites program is that you're able to choose from the hundreds of professional designs that come included with the system. If you don't like the first design you experiment with, simply try out the next option. You'll automatically save money over paying for extra concepts or revisions with your design agency – or, worse yet, having to start the project over if your first designer fails.
Reason #3 – Built-In Software Integrations
Even if, despite this obvious weakness, you still decide to go the private design route, another thing you'll find is that the more bells and whistles you want to add to your website, the more expensive it's going to be.
And this makes sense, when you compare a provider like Homestead Websites to a small design agency. Because Homestead Websites specializes in providing small business websites on a large scale, we're able to customize our program to include the software integrations that most customers will need. For example, because Homestead knows that a large chunk of our website customers are beginning ecommerce site owners, we're able to provide the tools to make shopping cart integration and inventory management as easy as possible.
A small design agency isn't able to offer integrations on this level, simply because it doesn't do enough of the same types of websites to be able to apply the integrations created for one site to other similar projects. The agency might draft a site for a local library one day and a mega shopping site the next – but because it never focuses exclusively on one type of website, it must code each of these integrations from scratch as new customers require them. This is a costly, time-consuming process which is likely to result in extra expenses on your end when compared with working with Homestead Websites.
Reason #4 – Complete Support
Finally, good website support might sound like one of those last-minute add-ons that's thrown in to encourage buyers to purchase (sort of like that extended warranty plan your local electronics store tries to get you to buy at the checkout counter), but when your site goes down and sales aren't coming in, you'll see that support isn't just some flippant feature – it's a vital part of your site's profitability.
If you had your site built privately and encounter issues down the road, guess what? That design agency that you relied on so heavily throughout your site's creation might tell you that you're out of luck – that ongoing support simply isn't what they do. If you find yourself in this position, know that hiring a web developer to help sort out your issues is pricey, often to the tune of $100/hour or more.
But when you work with Homestead Websites, support isn't just included – it's a major focus of our site design process and community. As you go through the website creation process, you'll work closely with a Website Advisor who ensures that your website isn't just running correctly, but that it's working for you and your business. As long as you remain a customer, you'll have access to these professionals, who can fix any glitches that occur throughout your site's life, as well as the vibrant support community, which enables you to find quick solutions to your problems.
So when analyzing the cost of different website creation approaches, be sure to consider all of the factors involved before making a decision based on price alone. If you aren't confident that an independent design agency will be able to develop a comprehensive look and feel for your site on the first go, integrate the software you'll need in an efficient and cost-effective manner or provide the ongoing support you'll need to make your site a success, do yourself a favor and check out Homestead Websites.