Your content is important. Very important. But your site design is almost as important. Here’s why.
Have you ever picked up a book in a store just because you liked the cover? It’s like that with web design. A good design will draw visitors into your site to explore your content.
On the other hand, if users are put off by your site design, they won’t stick around to find out how great your content is.
Two Ways of Getting a Top-Notch Site Design
Basically, you can either hire a designer or agency whose work you like, or you go the DIY route, where you use a popular publishing system (like WordPress) and then buy a premium theme – a professionally designed template with customizable options.
Let’s compare costs.
A decent freelance web designer is likely to charge you anything from $1000 – $5000. A web agency will be more in the $5000 – $15,000+ range. For that, clients will get a number of initial mockup designs which will be distilled down to a winning design, which will then be refined.
The Other Option
Web design agency prices are more than most startups and solopreneurs would want to spend on just the design. It’s also a bad use of your money unless unless you have 5 or 6 figure funding.
Prices for premium WordPress themes vary a little but are usually in the $25 – $90 range. No, I haven’t forgotten to add the zeros, you really can get an excellent theme for less than $100.
Why so cheap? The designer must be crap, right?Actually, the reverse is true. Many talented designers have turned to developing themes because they love creating but don’t like dealing with the sometimes lengthy client / supplier process.
This means you can effectively get your site designed by a designer you wouldn’t normally have the budget for.
Where to Find Premium Themes for WordPressThere are some truly talented design teams working on premium themes, among them Theme Forest, Genesis and Thesis Theme.
All these themes come with options to customize colors, images and easily add dynamic elements like mailing list signup forms, so can refine your site design to suit.
What If I’m Really, Really Not Technical. At All.Still no excuse!
Take a look at GoDaddy’s Website Tonight service – $5 dollars a month for design and hosting combined.
Need something a little more swish?
Try Wix where you can design yourself a great looking Flash or HTML 5 website in around 20 minutes.
Do I Need a Logo?
That depends on your budget and taste. It’s definitely not essential.
Take a look at the screenshots above. Notice how although they’re creative designs, only one (Wix) actually has a logo. The others use a stylized font, technically known as a logotype.
You can find good logos on a budget from Logo Mojo.