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A stunning yet functional website is crucial for any small business to succeed online today.

However, many small business owners balk at the high website design and development costs quoted by web design agencies and freelancers.

Does having a budget of $50 per month or less for a professional website seem impossible?

Fret not! With the right approach, small businesses can get affordable, high-quality website design and ongoing maintenance within tight budgets.

Cheap Website Design Doesn’t Have to Look Cheap

The most common concern small business owners have about affordability is that it often comes at the cost of design aesthetic and functionality. Many assume that low website costs mean sacrificing on quality. However, the landscape of web design has changed dramatically over the last decade.

Today, small businesses have ample cheap website design options ranging from Do-It-Yourself website builders to freelancers that allow creating stunning, functional websites on a shoestring budget. You just need to know where to look.

The trick is finding reputed low cost website design companies or individual cheap website designers that provide excellent service and products at reasonable prices. Avoid inexperienced designers who promise impossibly low rates resulting in poor website quality.

Know Your Website Design Budget

Determine how much you can realistically spend on your small business website before exploring options. Factors like hosting, domain registration, maintenance and future upgrades will impact costs over time. So focus both on low upfront cost as well as long-term value when budgeting.

If you’re just starting out, aim for the $50 per month or less range. As your business grows, so can your website investment.

Affordable Website Design Options for Small Businesses

Here are some of the best low-cost website design options perfectly suited for small business budgets:

1. DIY Website Builders

Popular DIY website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Shopify allow anyone to build a website easily without coding. Most offer attractive pre-made templates covering various niches like portfolio, retail, restaurant, portfolio etc. along with convenient drag-and-drop editors.

Pricing starts from as low as $12 per month for a basic plan. While convenient, customization options may be limited compared to custom-built sites. Basic Shopify plans at $29/month are great for cheap ecommerce websites. Compare features like storage space, bandwidth, number of pages, integration options and scalability before choosing the right DIY website builder for your business needs and budget.

2. Shared Web Hosting

Hosting costs alone can add up quickly for small business websites. Opting for budget web hosting plans is an easy way to reduce expenses. Entry-level shared hosting typically starts at around $3 – $10 per month based on features. It’s perfect for new websites with low traffic and basic needs.

Popular picks like HostGator, Bluehost and DreamHost offer affordable packages for small businesses along with free tools like drag-and-drop website builders to easily create sites on your hosting account. As your traffic and needs grow over time, you can upgrade to more robust VPS or dedicated server hosting plans.

3. Website Design Subscriptions

This innovative web design model lets you pay a monthly fee like a SaaS for a fully managed, maintained and hosted website. Prices typically range from $29 – $150 per month. The subscription covers hosting, content updates, support, maintenance, backups and security.

Some examples are Webflow, Duda and Strikingly. This pay-as-you-go model allows small businesses to get online quickly with a professional site on a predictable, affordable monthly budget.

4. Freelance Web Designers

Hiring a freelance web designer rather than a traditional agency is a much more affordable option for small businesses. Freelance website designers charge average hourly rates ranging from $30 – $100 based on skills, experience and location.

Search online freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiverr or 99Designs to find experienced freelance website designers that suit your budget.

Check portfolios and reviews thoroughly to handpick designers with expertise in small business websites. Clear communication is key to get the desired outcomes cost-effectively.

5. Student Designers

Tap into design schools and local colleges to find student web designers eager to build their portfolios. They charge much lower rates compared to professionals. Define the project scope clearly and be prepared to provide guidance given their inexperience.

6. DIY Site Builders

If you have some website design know-how, use free or low-cost tools like WordPress, Weebly and Wix to build a basic website yourself. While convenient, this works best for relatively simple, brochure-style websites.

Invest time researching how to optimize your site for visitors and search engines through quality content, SEO best practices, lead generation etc. Consider hiring a consultant to refine your website further.

7. Website Design Contests

Websites like 99Designs allow businesses to crowdsource their website design by launching contests where designers pitch concepts meeting the project brief. You offer a prize amount, review submissions and only pay for the chosen design.

This can help find affordable design talent, but may not suit complex multi-page websites. Quality can vary vastly so carefully screen designers.

Focus on Long-Term Value, Not Just Low Upfront Cost

The most expensive website design option doesn’t necessarily provide the best long-term ROI. Similarly, the cheapest website rarely supports your goals beyond mere online presence.

As a small business owner, you need to find the right balance between an affordable initial investment and a website that sustains and grows with your business in the long run.

Here are some factors to evaluate this:

Analytics Integration

Your website should seamlessly integrate with analytics platforms like Google Analytics to track meaningful metrics. This allows identifying underperforming areas like high bounce rates, exit pages etc. for optimization.

SEO Optimization

On-page and technical SEO optimization are musts for discovering your website’s full potential. Optimized content, page speed, user experience and suitable backlinks impact search rankings and traffic.

Conversion Rate Optimization

An effective website meets your goals, whether building brand awareness or generating leads and sales. Use A/B testing and data to continuously tweak and improve website conversion rates.

Site Performance

Page speed impacts user experience and search rankings. Test site performance regularly and optimize images, code, plugins, web hosting etc. for faster load times.


Regular security updates, backups, HTTPS, firewalls etc. are essentials for preventing website crashes, hacks and attacks.

Mobile Responsiveness

With growing mobile usage, responsive mobile-friendly design is vital for usability and SEO. Avoid outdated frameworks that are difficult to make mobile-ready.

Content Strategy

Well-researched, SEO-optimized website content that engages visitors is what really differentiates your brand. Set aside budget for creating high-quality blogs, videos, guides etc.


Your website should easily scale with your evolving business needs. If built on outdated systems like Adobe Flash, replace with flexible, future-ready ones.

Periodically reviewing your website against competitors gives objective insights for identifying improvement areas. While revamping a website completely may seem wasteful, outdated design and technology can negatively impact conversions and customer retention over time.

The key is finding the right balance for your small business between an affordable initial website design investment that meets current needs and allows cost-effective upgrades as you grow.

Takeaway Tips for Affordable Website Design

  • Clearly determine your budget based on business stage, goals and growth plans
  • Prioritize user experience, conversions and ROI over just low cost
  • Hire designers focused on adding value, not just low rates
  • Choose scalable solutions that support future upgrades
  • Invest in long-term website optimization and maintenance
  • Analyze metrics regularly to identify areas needing improvement
  • Don’t compromise on quality and security despite budget constraints

With the right strategies, small businesses can enjoy all the benefits of a stellar website that grows with their brand without breaking the bank. Don’t let budget limitations hold your business back from establishing a professional online presence and unlocking the power of the digital world.