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Heads up: This post is from 2016.
We launched the first version of the CoachPony.com website last week, and honestly – it’s always tough launching a new website, even a simple one.
Tech problems, design questions, and just checking all the details…not to mention the cost!
As I look back on what I spent on this (versus The Revolutionary Club website), I had to laugh … because I’ve finally come full circle.
Years ago when I first started in my life coaching business, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a website (I had tons of doubts about if I could even do this whole coaching thing! I’m sure you’ve been there yourself).
My first coaching website
So, I got a logo off of www.logotournament.com, and I hired a friend of a friend to do the design and development work on a simple WordPress site for me. When we were done, the website looked mostly like this:
And here’s what I spent on my website:
1. Logo: $199
2. Design and development $450
3. Hosting and URL: $20 initial fees
Very quickly my website started to make me sad, because I didn’t really feel professional or great about my branding when I looked at it. I *also* thought that I wouldn’t succeed unless I had an awesome website (totally not true), and I needed to add things to it in order to build my business (this was true).
My first website had nothing on it that would help me collect emails or connect with people, because I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn’t amazing in terms of design, experience or branding, but it was not absolutely terrible either. It was just below-average :).
I did, however, need to upgrade it a bit to help collect emails and encourage people to join my community. But WOW – that idea of figuring it all out in terms of design stressed me out! Seriously – I hate tech stuff.
My second coaching website
So, a friend of mine owned a branding company and agreed to do a little spit and polish on my website…but after talking to her (and feeling so much anxiety and pain around it), I just asked her to make the whole thing better.
Seriously: My brief was “This is terrible – fix it.”
We had a little back and forth where I suggested ideas, and she’d show me options, and nothing really looked right.
So she sat me down and said this: “Here’s the thing: Your ideas are kind of terrible. If you really want me to fix this, let me try something completely different.”
And that’s when she showed me this.
I LOOOOOOOOVED IT. It felt totally right for the type of career business I wanted to be (bright, interesting, non-corporate), and it stood out compared to all of the other terrible career coaching websites out there. (Side note: Career coaches have terrible websites. I’m not sure why we as a community are so boring, but…*sigh*).
So, that became the new Revolutionary Club website, but with a small hitch.
I left WordPress and moved my site to Pico (if you just said: “What?” you aren’t alone – no one knows Pico). My friend had told me (rightly so) that it was easier to work with than WordPress for the technology inept, and that seemed awesome to me! (I hate technology).
And it was for a bit…but not for long.
Because so many free and easy plugins and awesome things are available for WordPress, not to mention every developer in the world works on it, if you want to build any kind of online business I highly recommend you stick with WordPress.
I had to pay an expensive developer to make any small changes, and whole options weren’t available to me without major platform intervention because I had no access to said free and easy plugins.
But, because I hate technology (and I also hate change! I’m fun that way :)), I stuck it out for three years with the site, doing small band-aid fixes and letting a lot of stuff slide.
What I spent:
$3800 (logo redesign, new branding and colors, new 5 page website, website move from WordPress to Pico). Note: She gave me a discount – the site *probably* should have cost around $5,000.
My current website (RevClub)
So, late last year I launched the new Revolutionary Club website – which, if you haven’t seen it before looks like this:
It took me some time to fall in love with it, and a LOT of design changes to get it to where we are now (I used the design same firm as before, but they are no longer in the website design business now).
I was much harder to work this this time around, because I knew a lot more about me, my business, and also the technology I needed to have to continue to grow.
It took about 7 months from design to launch – and it was crazy stressful the whole time.
I struggled with my designer, trying to articulate a new vision. Then I struggled with my developer trying to get certain things working right.
Then I just struggled with the flow, the navigation, and if we had entirely too much pink!
Unlike my last website, this one was sort of beaten into me until I said: “Whatever. Let’s go with this and get it done.”
But, now that it is launched I’m happy with it. It’s so much easier to navigate, I have more buckets of helpful career intel compiled for people to find and use, and it is back on WordPress (thank goodness!).
What I spent:
That last number seems like a lot, doesn’t it? But I’ll be honest – it’s not a lot when you are trying to build a really awesomely designed website. In fact, great websites start at 10K and only go up from there. I’d expect to spend anywhere from 10K – 20K on design, branding, and development for something truly amazing.
However, don’t be scared! You don’t need to spend that kind of money when you are first starting out. In fact – you ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t.
The main reason for this is because that new businesses change quickly! Especially new coaching businesses. And when you start, you usually don’t really know what you are getting into :). Which means that what you *think* you want, might be very different from what you want to focus on three months from now.
So I recommend spending a *little* bit of money to get going, and then upgrading once you’ve found your niche and have started to have more success – regardless of your starting budget.
Now, let’s talk about THIS website. Keep reading for more!
So…that brings me to Coach Pony (and what to spend on YOUR website).
I wanted to model for you what it costs to start from scratch with a low budget – I could have spent $10,000 on this website, but that’s not where new coaches start, so I donned my “let’s pretend I have a tight budget” hat and went to town!
This is a WordPress theme (not custom, like the RevClub), that’s been adapted for my style. And here’s what I spent to get it here:
1. Design: $0 (I did all the design work myself in canva :)).
2. Development: $200
3. Leadpages (the homepage of this site is currently a leadpage, for reasons I’ll explain another time): $297 – but given that it’s the same leadpages account I already had for the Revolutionary Club…let’s call it $50.
4. Graphic designer for THIS awesome free guide on how to start your business from scratch: $275.
5. URL + hosting: $20 (hosting is free on the plan I already have for all of my other websites).
Total website costs: $270
Total start up costs: $545
Note: We updated the Coach Pony site in 2022, so what you see here is no longer what I listed above!
And…that brings me full circle!
So, if you are just starting out, don’t panic! For a few hundred dollars you can get something up and running (and then maintain it yourself). If you have a clear design eye, you can make banners and designs yourself in picmonkey or in canva, and then hire a developer to implement them.
Or, if you are less designer-y, you can get a logo created for you from a site like 99designs or logotournament, and start to build your website that way through bluehost or siteground.
There are many ways to skin this beast, so don’t worry!
Take a deep breath – you’ve got this!
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