Every business – large or small, startup or established – benefits from a solid web presence. But when you’re just starting out (with bigger expenses and lower revenue), how in the world are you supposed to create an impactful web presence without breaking the bank?
Try asking Google about this. Their search results will convince you that there are only two or three options for getting your small business website built:
DIY! It’s Easy!
Except it’s not. You’ll spend countless hours figuring it out, and that’s before you get to the part you feared (actually building).
Hire a Pro!
Hire an experienced small business website pro & you’ll get great results. But terrible timing for your brand new, nearly empty bank account.
Go Low Budget!
Even if you don’t quite understand why they’re cheaper, what could be missing, or if the $$$ a not-completely-terrible person charges is too much right now.
The thing is, most every link that comes up in a Google search is from a site that’s trying to sell you something. Web hosting. Site builders. Website templates. Web design or development. What you need is information to decide your next steps. Not products or services that ought to be two or three steps down the line, if they are right for you at all.
But you don’t know what you don’t know, so like any normal human would, you ask the best question you can. Like “What kind of website is best for my business?” Or “How do I start a website for my small business?” Except all those terms have been sold to the highest bidder, and the answers are half truths, or at best not what most new small businesses need.
A simpler way to a professional small business website
I think the answer lies in choosing a simpler way to start: a one-page website. When professionally created and managed, a one-page site helps establish a credible web presence for your small business – at a much lower price point than the typical multi-page site. And, when properly built, it is extensible as your business changes and your needs evolve.
I believe in this concept so strongly that I created a service around it: AFV One.
I’m one of the experienced web pros I mentioned above. The ones that charge businesses several thousand dollars for multi-page websites. My prices reflect work that takes 2-3 months to complete, and the 20+ years of experience that allows me to help devise elegant, efficient solutions for my clients. Those sites are right when a business is down the road a bit. When you’re just starting, though, they are overkill.
Below I’ll go into more detail about one-page websites, so you’ll be able to decide if it’s something you ought to explore. But first I want to explain what it is about AFV One that makes a one-page site even more compelling for small businesses.
AFV One sites are designed to sell
The basic outline and flow of an AFV One site is intentionally designed to speak to your business’s ideal customer. It works with copy (aka text) that sells your services or products to people who will be your best customers, using the hero’s journey. If you’re not familiar, the StoryBrand framework is a popular example. An AFV One site comes with prompts for every bit of copy in the page. It tells you visually and with words exactly what needs to go in every spot.
For the best results, we recommend you work with a professional copywriter. There are a few reasons this is actually doable, even for brand new small businesses. First, the guidance and prompts we provide tell a copywriter exactly what we need from them. So there’s no time-wasting back and forth. Next, it’s far less copy than would be required for a multi-page site, meaning that even the best pro copywriters won’t charge an arm and a leg.
Finally, AFV One’s price and payment plan preserve your budget (more on that below) so you can afford the professional copywriting your business needs.
AFV One sites include everything you need
We design, build and maintain your site. We host it on quality servers, in a secure environment designed especially for the software that powers the sites we create (WordPress). We back up your site and monitor it for security breaches. We update the software it uses all throughout the week. These are things no one ever tells you that you need, leaving you to find out the hard way when your site breaks or is infected by malware.
We’ll also update the text or images on your site as needed – just shoot us an e-mail and we’ll take care of it.
The only thing you need that’s not included is your domain name, because we believe business owners should always own their domains. But we’re happy to help if you still need to get your domain name – just let us know.
AFV One is professional and affordable
An AFV One site is less than ¼ the cost of our multi-page sites. No large up-front deposit is required. A $149 setup charge is all it takes to get started. We’ll spread the cost of your site creation over the course of a year (currently $149/mo). After that year, you’ll no longer be paying for your initial site creation – just hosting and maintenance (currently $39/mo).
Instead of design + hosting + premium plugins (software) + site maintenance + backups + tech support, one payment covers everything you’re likely to need and more.
If you have more questions about how AFV One works, check out the AFV One FAQ and ask us about anything else on your mind. If you want more info and answers about one-page websites in general, read on!
Everything you ever wanted to know about one-page websites
In the sections above, I covered some of the features and benefits of our particular one-page website offering – AFV One. One-page sites in general can offer several advantages over multi-page sites…if they are well designed.
By definition, a one-page website is a website that uses a single HTML page. When you click on links within the site, instead of navigating to different pages, you’ll scroll down to different sections of the same page. For small businesses, these websites can offer a cost-effective and manageable solution to establish a web presence.
Here are the basics we’ll cover further down the page:
- Why a One-Page Website?
- Key Features of One-Page Websites
- How a One-Page Website Can Benefit Your Small Business
- The Easiest Way to Your First Website
- Seriously Low Maintenance
- Growth and Expansion
Alright – let’s get to it.
Why a One-Page Website?
If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably faced the dilemma of wanting to have a professional online presence but being deterred by the cost and effort required to create and maintain a website. This is where one-page websites come in handy.
A one-page website is a cost-effective solution that offers a high return on investment. It eliminates the stress and time commitment associated with traditional websites, allowing you to focus on your core business activities. And it provides a solid foundation for your business, everything you need for a professional web presence.
Key Features of One-Page Websites
One-page websites are not just about being affordable. They offer several features that make them a viable option for small businesses.
- Simplicity: One-page websites are easy to navigate and user-friendly.
- Focused Content: With limited space, you are forced to only include the most important information. This leads to content that is concise and to the point.
- Ease of Maintenance: With only one page to worry about, website maintenance becomes easier and less costly.
- Responsive Design: One-page websites often (always, with AFV One) come with responsive design, making them easily accessible on mobile devices.
How a One-Page Website Benefits Your Small Business
The right one-page website offers numerous benefits for small businesses.
- Cost-Effective: Creating a one-page website requires a smaller investment compared to a multi-page website, making it an affordable option for small businesses.
- Time-Saving: Even when we’re doing the work, a full website project requires a time investment from our clients. You’ll need to get us content, review our work, request changes, etc. On average, expect to spend about 1.5-2 hours per week until the site is completed. A one-page website, on the other hand, requires only a fraction of that time — especially if you’re working with a copywriting pro.
- User-Friendly: A well-designed one-page website offers a clear, compelling user experience, delivering all info without forcing visitors to hunt through a larger site.
The Easiest Way to Your First Website
Creating your first website is often a source of major overwhelm. With an AFV One site, you can have a professional website up and running in as little as two or three weeks. Expect to invest 1-2 hours in the process — we’ll take care of the rest. Here’s how it goes:
- Step 1: Reach out for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your business needs and how a one-page website can meet them.
- Step 2: Share your business information and preferences. This will help in customizing the website to suit your business.
- Step 3: We’ll create and customize your site, and add your writer’s copy. Within 2 weeks of receiving your preferences and copy, your new site will be live!
Seriously Low Maintenance
With AFV One, there’s no maintenance hassles — it’s included. Software updates, website backups, security monitoring and even text edits or photo swaps are all included.
Growth and Expansion
A one-page website that’s built on WordPress (like AFV One) offers a solid foundation for growth. When you’re ready to expand, your website will be too. Whether that means adding more pages or sections to your website or upgrading to a more robust platform, your one-page website can support your growth.
If you’d like to see an example of how this works, check out the Flourish Writing website. Owner Sarah needed a way to showcase her writing work, so we created a portfolio section that also highlights recent projects on her home page. It’s technically no longer a one-pager, but it still shares big-time ease of use. Anyone looking to hire Sarah has all the info they need, without clicking around. Or, they can do a deep dive and check out all her work in the portfolio section.
The Bottom Line
A one-page website can offer a solid foundation for your small business. It’s a cost-effective and time-saving solution that provides a professional web presence. With expert guidance and a focus on your business needs, a one-page website can be a game-changer for your small business.
For more information or to get started on creating your one-page website, talk to us. We’re here to help you every step of the way.