A new survey from web design firm Serif found that 40 percent of self-employed professionals spent over $1,500 on hiring someone or buying software to make a website for their business. Only eight paid under $155. These prices come as a shock, especially since there’s tone of do-it-yourself web design programs that make it incredibly easy for small businesses and independent professionals to get a professional website done on a dime.
This survey of 400 small businesses and independent professionals revealed that one in four small businesses are unaware of any web design software, with the largest majority (45%) paying a substantial amount of money to pay for a web designer or agency. Furthermore, 32% admitted to spending an additional $150 or more per year on web hosting (the average was around $185), and 15% spent money on an SEO specialist.
“These figures suggest that cost may be one of the main reasons why over two-thirds (69%) of the sole traders questioned do not have a website or still want to improve the one they have,” says Gary Bates, Managing Director at Serif. “Small businesses are looking at ways to cut costs in this current economic climate, so taking web design into their own hands can be a really cost-effective solution.”
This is incredibly key, as a DIY solution, such as Serif, Squarespace, WordPress, and Weebly, are not only easy and inexpensive to use, but it puts control of the website into the hands of the small business or freelancer, not the web designer. That way, if you’d like to add a new page for whatever reason, you can just go ahead and do it. No need to call the web designer, and no need to pay extra for his or her time. Often with these services, you may only need to pay for a domain name, and/or a monthly/yearly fee to have access to additional features.
This is one of the barriers as to why over 60 percent of small businesses still don’t have websites. The traditional way of doing websites (as if websites are traditional) was to have a professional do it and to go to them for every little thing. Because of that, putting a website together often took time and money, an attitude that’s still around today. Most businesses surveyed (74%) felt they would need help making a website, or don’t have the time or skills to attempt it. Half of those surveyed (50%) thought a 5-page brochure website (including media, a form, and a map) would take a week or more to design. It is these barriers that could be running up those web developments costs.
“Even the busiest of people can get online. If there are existing text, images and other media readily available, we know this kind of site could be designed and published quickly,” said Bates. “If you can use a word processor to mix text and graphics (85% described themselves as ‘power users’, or able to mix text and graphics), it’s easy to make a website… This means it will be even faster and easier than commissioning a designer or agency to create one.”