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What Should Be in a Basic Website and How Much Does One Cost?

in this video we try to answer two questions: What should be in a basic website? and How much does one cost?

 

What should be in a basic website and how much does one cost?

At minimum a website should be a replacement for the old school Yellow Pages ad. It lets your business get found by potential clients. These days, consumers first look for products and services online.

All modern websites should be mobile-friendly, since over half of all searches originate from mobile devices. We have a separate video on that topic.

Information-only websites are that don’t change often are often termed “brochureware”.

A common form of these starter websites is what’s known in the industry as a five-page website. We’ll go through what these five pages typically contain.

The first page is of course, the homepage. This is the “front page” of the site. It states who you are and what you do. You’ve got about 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention and make them want to learn more. Attractive photos and simple, compelling text are the keys here. I’ve been to a number of home pages where I couldn’t tell what the company did. They lost me. Keep it very simple.

Second page: should be a contact us page so that people can ask you questions and interact with you. It should have your mailing address, email address, phone number, social media links, and if you want, a form people can fill out to request more information. If you do have one of these forms, it’s important to test it quarterly to make sure the form submissions are getting to the person they’re supposed to.

The third page: If you have a physical location or storefront you should have a map or set of directions. Google Maps is really good for this because the user can click on it and get directions from whereever they are. Your hours of operation need to be clearly listed. Your phone number probably needs to go here as well as your contact us page. Some people their phone number at the top or bottom of every page.

Fourth page: Your products and services. Photos and clear descriptions are what you’re after here. If you have any doubts as to what this should look like, visit Amazon.com and see how they do it.

Fifth page: fielder’s choice. It could be testimonials page showing that you have actual happy, satisfied customers. It may be a photo gallery of your work. It could be a page of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to educate your prospects about your specialty. You could have an about us page telling your history and what makes you different and why we should care.

At WebsiteOwnersGuidebook.com we talk about web presence, web identity and web business. Your website is the cornerstone of your web identity. See our site for more details.

How much does such a website cost? It’s like asking “how much does a car cost?” It depends. Our starting quote for such a five-page website is $495. This is based on freely available Open Source software that runs tens of thousands of websites worldwide, our time and effort in organizing content, getting graphics in place, photographs, etc. You’ll have to provide photos of your people and products, and the text that says what you want to say to your prospects. We can edit the photos and punch up the text a bit, but you’re the Subject Matter Expert on what you do and how you do it. Nobody can speak about this better than you.

You can, of course, build it yourself with some of the point-and-click, drag-and-drop build-your-own website packages you see and hear advertised these days. I don’t recommend them, because 1) they’re proprietary software that locks you in to their service. Once you build your website with one of these services, it’s next to impossible to move it somewhere else if you need to 2) these sites tend to look cookie-cutter 3) will the canned design really match your logo or type or color scheme? It’s almost never a match. 4) you have to figure out the software yourself. You’ve got better things to do, like run your company. You should let a web designer do your website for the same reason you let a bookkeeper or accountant do your books: they’re better at it than you are.

Thanks for your time, see our other videos and articles at WebsiteOwnersGuidebook.com.

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