What You Need to Know About Small Business Website Design

A Guide for Creating a Successful Website

In This Article

Thinking of redesigning your small business website? Well, we’ve got the ultimate guide to make your website thebomb.com. As a business owner, you know a stellar online presence is non-negotiable. Your website isn’t just a digital storefront; it’s the heart of your brand’s online identity. In this guide, we’ll navigate the crucial aspects of website design that often get overlooked, ensuring your website not only looks fantastic but also performs exceptionally well.

Let’s Talk Numbers

Undertaking a significant project like website design requires careful planning, especially when it comes to your budget. A clear budget is the foundation of any successful project. Your budget provides the framework for creativity and strategic decision-making in your marketing efforts. But the topic of money is always a precarious subject.

As someone deeply involved in both client and supplier roles for projects of various scopes, I understand the hesitation around discussing budgets. It’s like the Voldemort of project discussions—we avoid it until we can’t. Why? Fear of the unknown and a desire not to appear vulnerable. But, let’s be clear: asking about budgets is about understanding where we begin, not about exploiting vulnerability. Just like a home renovation, we need a starting point to deliver your vision effectively.

Addressing Budget Concerns:

When it comes to discussing pricing, the questions start pouring in. How much should a website cost? What should I budget? How do I know if my designer is qualified?

The truth is, it depends. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. A variety of factors will influence the price including, the platform, designer experience, and functionality. An e-commerce site differs from a corporate one, and animations cost more than static designs. On average, a five-page website with a blog could start at a minimum of $5,000 for design and build. This doesn’t include some critical brand assets that you should consider.

Critical Items to Include in Your Budget

Building a website is like constructing a house; the foundation matters. Unfortunately, many businesses forget to budget for essential elements that can elevate their site from mediocre to outstanding. Here are five key components that often get overlooked:


Did you know that we process images 60,000 times faster than text? That’s pretty significant. When it comes to your website, visual appeal is everything. Brand photography is one area that small businesses overlook or try to bypass most frequently. 

I get it, they’re not a small investment. And when you’re already dropping serious coin on a website, they might seem a bit exorbitant. But trust me, brand photos are a worthwhile investment for a consistent and trustworthy brand experience. 

Here are some stats for you to consider. While stock photos may be budget-friendly, they lack uniqueness and may harm your brand’s identity. In fact, studies have found that real images convert 35% more than stock images. 

Additionally, 67% of consumers consider photography to be very important in purchasing decisions. That’s a pretty big chunk of your consumer base. While you’re wondering if you can afford brand photos, you might want to ask yourself if you can afford to skip them.


Website copy is critical to the success of your website. But don’t assume website copy is included in your design. More often than not it isn’t, so budget for a professional copywriter. 

Expertly crafted content sounds professional and optimizes for search engines, increasing your chances of turning visitors into customers. A great copywriter can articulate your business’s strengths and connect with your audience effectively. Trust me, it’s money well spent.

Content Creation

Once your site is up and running, you want people to visit. Fresh content is the best way to get your website ranking for your keywords on search engines like Google. Designing a great website is like building a racecar and content is the gas.

Fuel your website with fresh content to boost search engine rankings and engage visitors. Whether through blogs, podcasts, or videos, regular content creation establishes your website’s authority, demonstrating your understanding of customer problems and building a brand that serves your audience.

Work with a content creator to regularly push out killer content that your customers want to know about. If a content creator isn’t in your regular marketing budget, or you’re a good writer who needs a bit of direction, consider working with a strategist to help you create a format and schedule that will keep your website popping.

Additional Functionality

Are you looking for something special on your website? Discuss special features with your designer from the start—animations, payment gateways, scheduling features, integrations, and lead magnets. Clear communication ensures a seamless customer journey, providing the best user experience from the get-go.


Time is money, and underestimating the time a website design takes can be costly. The amount of time it will take to design your website will vary based on the size of your site, the purpose, amount of content and the size of the team you’re working with. 

Plan for at least three months from start to finish, but it can take up to six months or longer if you need additional changes beyond your initial scope. Knowing the timeline upfront avoids frustrations down the road.


Certain elements are non-negotiable for a successful website design project:


You need a brand before a website. Include a logo, brand colors, and fonts, ideally with detailed brand guidelines. Without a brand, creating a website is virtually impossible.

Responsive Design

Responsive design is a must; your website should work seamlessly across devices. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly pages, so design with mobile in mind.

Technical SEO

Choose a designer skilled in SEO for a top-performing website. Loading speed, optimized images, secure domains, and well-structured titles are critical components, not optional features.


Test your website rigorously before going live. Run it on different devices and browsers to catch any issues. While your developer will do this, your thorough testing is crucial to ensure a flawless user experience.

Final Thoughts

Designing your website is an exciting journey, and with careful budgeting and attention to often overlooked elements, your website is more than a project—it’s a strategic investment in your brand’s online success.

At Cedar Creative, we understand the intricate dance of budgeting, the importance of often-overlooked elements, and the non-negotiables for a modern website. Our expertise lies in translating your vision into a digital masterpiece that not only looks fantastic but also resonates with your dream clients.

From captivating brand photography to persuasive copywriting, seamless content creation, and the integration of additional functionalities, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Want to get started on building your dream site? Let’s chat! We’d love to work with you to bringy our brand to life.

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