I want to start out by saying that this post is not sponsored. I get no kickbacks from what I’m about to share – I’m sharing it because I wish someone had told me about this budget-friendly web design trick when I was launching my businesses!
Small business owners – PAY ATTENTION!
If I had a nickel for every domain I’ve purchased and site I’ve designed… I’d have a lot of nickels. In truth, I’ve SPENT a lot of nickels trying to launch the perfect, intuitive, aesthetically pleasing site for each of my businesses.
My rationale made sense: without a brick and mortar store, my website was my entire business. It was the first impression people would have of me, and it HAD to be good. And if it was going to be good, it needed to cost money – right? After all, I didn’t want to skimp.
I have spent thousands in web design over the years, only to be left disappointed. Here’s why: I was trying to imitate websites from existing businesses who were much further along in their business life cycle than I was. This means they had way more revenue and a way bigger budget for web design – and the trial and error that comes with it.
I tried to recreate the features I saw on websites like Love Your Melon and from experts like Jenna Kutcher. I was told over and over again that these sites were custom built, and to create something similar would take an investment.
I know nothing about web design, so I figured I had no other choice but to stretch my budget a bit to pay for custom designs. After all – my website had to be perfect to compete, right?
I spent hundreds of dollars on half-finished “custom” sites because I tried to build a Porsche website on a Honda budget. You can only have half of a Porsche for the price of a Honda. If the Honda is in your budget, wouldn’t you rather have an entire mid-priced car than half of an expensive one?
if you think you need to spend thousands to create a beautiful, custom-looking website, stop right now.
Most recently, I hired someone to help me relaunch this blog. As I mentioned above, Jenna Kutcher was major inspiration for me (me and the rest of the world, am I right? Go Jenna!). Because of that, we decided on a custom build. The result was months of issues, a growing invoice, and many a prolonged launch date. It was extremely discouraging.
Finally, after spending way more than I wanted and running into more issues than I knew how to handle, I decided to purchase a theme from Sheilla at SheShoppesCo on Etsy. Roughly 36 hours later, we came up with the site you’re looking at now.
I need to reiterate that Sheilla isn’t paying me to share this – I genuinely loved working with her, and I think it’s important to support other small businesses, all the while saving you money while you get yours off the ground.
Sheilla started as a custom web designer and developer. She found that she had to spend approximately a month for each project and that’s what made it costly. She wanted to find a way to reach out to more businesses – especially small businesses – and so that’s how her theme shop came about. So you’re getting custom-designed templates at a fraction of the price.
ready for some serious transparency?
Over the course of the 7-8 months I spent trying to launch a custom site, I spent roughly $975.
After purchasing this theme and paying Sheilla a bit extra to transfer over a few pages that were a bit structurally different than the theme, I spent $65.
And I’m so happy with it.
you guys – premium, premade themes are the budget-friendly upgrade small businesses need to know about.
There is a happy medium between free, standard WordPress themes and expensive, custom designs. And you can find them on Etsy. Do your business account a favor, and save the custom designs for later.
By the way, if you’re just getting your small business off the ground, I created this Small Biz Checklist to help you stay organized! Drop your email below, and I’ll send it to ya!