When I started my first business nearly ten years ago I had one requirement for my website: As an online retail store I didn’t want the site to look like I had built it in my bedroom. Unfortunately WordPress wasn’t what it is today, and I had no time or knowledge to build an HTML site. In the end, I paid $1500 (that I didn’t have) to get a professional site designed. When Dave and I started Sutton Creative Studios spending $1500 was no where close to being an option. Luckily, low budget websites are now in the cards for small business owners.
I have to tell you – My first instinct/action WAS to go to the guy who had built my first website and ask what it would cost to build another for me. His answer shocked me.
“$20,000 and you’ll be added to my wait list. You’re looking at about 2-3 months.”
TWO to THREE MONTHS?! WHAT!?!?? We couldn’t wait that long! Forget having $20,000! THAT was never going to happen, at least for our site!
So I jumped into WordPress.
[Tweet “(Extremely) low budget websites are now an option for anybody and everybody.”]
(Extremely) low budget websites are now an option for anybody and everybody. Aside from the URL registration and hosting costs which will cost anywhere between $50-100/year with a service like GoDaddy, WordPress sites can be FREE. Our first website to Sutton Creative Studios used one of the included free themes which came with the WordPress download.
About a year into the business I felt our site needed a Facelift. Sure, we were told our site looked “nice”, but who wants to hear “nice” about anything? I wanted to hear, “Your website is freaking awesome!” And still limited to a budget, I had to be able to do it at a low cost.
Enter Themeforest.net. I don’t even remember who told me about Themeforest. I believe it was somebody I met through networking on Facebook or LinkedIn, and if it was you, THANK YOU! To say I’ve spent hours perusing the site would be an understatement. And not only have I spent hours, so have my clients!
Ranging from about $45-$60 per theme, Themeforest allows users to purchase a professionally made WordPress theme, often with documentation and demo files, to make their own site. Or, in our case, our clients purchase a theme to drastically cut down on the time and money spent to build their site. Could we build a custom site for them? Sure! However the time Themeforest saves us is AT LEAST 15-20 hours in billable time.
Together with Lynda.com, Themeforest allowed me to rebuild our website in the matter of about 5 days. I worked on it after business hours, and can not deny that I was about to pull my hair out a time or two. Shortcodes are not always as easy as they should be, and documentation doesn’t always encompass all it should. But if you have $75 and 20ish hours to spend, you CAN make your own low budget websites.
Do you NO time but a little more money available for your website? Sutton Creative Studios can make your professional looking website a reality! Contact us today to discuss the options we have for website build-outs.
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.