Help! I need a website STAT. Now what?

Nov 6 2010

If you are a small business owner, you’ve likely considered getting a website or upgrading your online presence. With the Internet fast replacing the phone book as the place to find information on local businesses, NOT having a website is no longer an option. But what may be even worse than no website, is a BAD website. A well designed and executed website gives your prospective customers and clients confidence in you and your business, while a poorly designed or malfunctioning website could leave your potential customer with a bad impression of your businesses and professionalism.

Ok, so you need a website. Now what? What follows will help you understand the next steps and how BKB Design Group can help you create or improve your online presence.

How much will it cost?

One of the most common questions we hear is “How much do you charge for web design?” We understand that as a small business on a budget, this may be the first question that comes to mind. It’s such a deceptively simple question, with a very involved answer! The first step is to help potential clients understand what kind of website they need. Although the website features that you need will depend on the unique requirements of your business, you will likely be able to find yourself in one of the following categories.

Business Card Website: As you might expect, a “business card” site is a simple, single page design that displays basic information, contact details and links through to other social profiles, and is used much like a traditional business card is used.

Brochure Website: Again, like the name implies, a “brochure” site is intended to function as an online version of your company’s printed brochure. Brochure sites typically contain 3-5 pages. If you have the type of business that will not constantly be changing, then a well-designed brochure website can be a really effective and inexpensive tool for promoting your business on the web.

Lead Generation Website: Websites can provide an effective means of collecting prospective customer data. A lead generating website attempts to acquire information about a prospective client, typically by offering something for “free,” such as a free assessment or white paper. Prospects will share their information if they feel that the offer is of value to them. The information collected can then be used for target marketing to individuals who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer.

Blog: “Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog usually features short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically –  like a what’s new page or journal. Although blogs a few years ago were largely personal web diaries and commentaries, business blogs are now sweeping the business community. A business blog, like the one you’re reading now, is a corporate tool for sharing knowledge and expertise, building additional web traffic, and connecting with potential customers. (We typically use WordPress as our preferred blogging platform.)

Content Management System: A “content management system” site is one that runs on a back end database, and allows you to update your site on the fly via any web browser. Content management systems (CMS) are most useful and valuable for a company that expects to update its website frequently and wants the flexibility to do so without the assistance  or expense of a web designer or other third party. Having a CMS-enabled website enables a site editor with no web design or HTML knowledge to add, edit and remove text, image content and pages. With a few simple clicks you can create a new page on your site, add text content (as easy as writing a word document) and import and edit images in just a few clicks. (We typically use WordPress as our preferred CMS platform.)

e-Commerce Website: An e-commerce is a retail online storefront that allows you display a catalog of products and accept payments online. Depending on the platform, e-commerce sites can also allow you to maintain a customer database, manage inventory, and offer discounts, coupons, and gift certificates.

So, now you know what kind of site you want. Now what? Submit a quote request, and provide us with as much detail as possible about what you want/need/expect from your website, and we’ll get back to you asap with a quote. If you’d like to talk through it with us on the telephone, please first fill out the quote request form, and one of us will get back to you to schedule a suitable time to talk!

How long will it take?

The timeline of a website project depends on a number of factors, including our current project load, the complexity of the job, how well we “click,” how efficiently we communicate, and more. But, to give you a rough estimate of what you can expect:

  • Business Card Website: 2-3 weeks
  • Brochure Website: 3-4 weeks
  • Lead Generation Website: 3-4 weeks
  • Blog: 3-4 weeks
  • CMS: 4-5 weeks
  • e-Commerce Website: 2-3 months

Still have questions?

Please let us know if you have additional questions. We’ll do our best to address any questions or concerns that you might have about making the leap onto the world wide web!

Filed under: Web Design

One Response to “Help! I need a website STAT. Now what?”

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