A website is important for every home staging business. However, the process of how to get a website sometime poses a challenge. The first option to consider is whether to build your own website or to buy one.
Don’t worry home stagers, businesses in every industry have to make this decision at some point. Unlike you, they don’t have a resource, like Stager Sidekick, to help them through the decision process.
There are two primary resources that home stagers should consider when getting a new website: your time and your money. The endgame is how effective that website will be for your business. So those are the three major points that we will highlight.
Making Your Own Home Staging Website
We’re not going to sugar coat it – making your own home staging website can be a difficult undertaking. You hear terms like hosting, domain name, WordPress, GoDaddy, Wix, SquareSpace, and on and on. Sometimes it hard just to figure out where to start.
But if you are up for the challenge, then let’s go.
Easiest Way to Build Your Home Staging Website
The absolute easiest way to make your own website is to use a service like Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, or GoCentral. These are bundled services that provide you with a domain name, hosting, some different themes to choose from, and a content management system (CMS). The cost of these services can range from $0 to $30 per month, depending on the service and the type of features that you want.
The best part of these services is that they are relatively easy to use. They are designed with the beginner in mind. They do, however, have limitations in terms of functionality, utility, and search engine optimization (SEO). The cheaper the service that you pay for, the more limitations you get.
- Price: Inexpensive at $0 to $30 per month. Each service generally has multiple price tiers to choose from.
- Time: Good. All websites take time, but these services are the easiest and most intuitive to use.
- Effectiveness: OK. They provide templates, but how good the final product looks is up to how good you are at design. The SEO isn’t as good as other options, but it’s not bad.
Build Your Home Staging Website from Scratch with the Best End Result
If you are up for the challenge and have the time, then it might be worthwhile to do your website right. We recommend using the following services:
- CMS: WordPress (free)
- Hosting: WPEngine ($35/month)
- Domain Name: Namecheap (~$14/year) (note: this is an affiliate link)
- Theme: Divi from Elegant Themes ($89/year)
There is a significant learning curve with these tools. The benefit is that with these tools, you will be able to design a beautiful website for your home staging business with great SEO. If, in the future, you decide to have a professional take over the management or redesign of your website, then you will already be on the platforms that they know.
Approximately a third of all websites in the world are built using WordPress. There is a reason for that, and most of those reasons are too technical for this article. But just be comfortable knowing that WordPress is the most used CMS because it is the best, especially for home staging websites.
WPEngine is fast hosting service. That means that people who visit your website won’t have to wait long for it to load. Speed becomes more important as you add more pictures, which you likely will do as a stager who wants to show off your portfolio on your website. Google also likes websites that load fast, which will help your SEO.
- Price: Not too expensive at $523/year, which equates to $43.58/month
- Time: Bad. You will spend time learning the tools and building your website
- Effectiveness: Excellent. How good the final product looks is up to how good you are at design. The SEO can be great.
Buying Your Home Staging Website
Having someone else make your website is a great option if you aren’t very technical, you would rather spend time on your business than building a website, or you just want to make sure your website is done right.
Unfortunately, figuring out how to buy a website can seem just as overwhelming as making a website. Where do you start to look for someone who can make one for you? Go to a website designer? Maybe your staging trainer can make it for you? Are there companies that specialize in websites for home stagers?
Every business you talk to will give a different answer for the type of service they provide and why theirs is the best. Some will host your website, and some will require you to get hosting on your own. Some will design it for you, and some will give you the tools to design it yourself. Some will use WordPress, and some will use one of those bundled services we talked about earlier. Some will have you buy your domain name, and some will use a subdomain. Some will charge you monthly, and some will charge you only once.
That’s already a lot to think about! So we’ll try to break it down for you. There are two types of developers to consider when buying a website:
Buying a Website from a Website Designer or Agency
These companies make websites for businesses in any industry. Some agencies provide just website development, while others provide a wide range of marketing services.
The benefit to these agencies is that they design beautiful websites. The drawback is that they are almost always the most expensive way to get a website. They also don’t typically specialize in working with home stagers, because they have clients in almost any industry.
In general, agencies charge a one time fee that can range from $2,000 (usually not the best website) to as much as $10,000 (way more than you probably need). Every website they make is unique, so there likely won’t be another one looks like your website anywhere in the country. You can expect your website to take up to a month to be completed and delivered to you.
- Price: Expensive, from $2,000 up to $10,000 and more.
- Time: Great. Once you provide the agency some information, they design and build your website. They will likely be in communication with you along the way, but in most cases it won’t be time consuming on your end.
- Effectiveness: Poor to excellent. You usually get what you pay for. It’s up to you to make sure they make a great home staging website.
Buying a Website from a Company that Specializes in Websites for Home Stagers
These companies make websites only for home stagers. These companies know the needs of home stagers. They will also provide a detailed explanation of everything that you will get with your website, unlike working with an agency where you would have to tell them everything you want in your website.
Specialty companies may charge a one time fee, a monthly fee, or a combination of both. You should expect your website to take approximately one week to be completed and delivered to you.
Although these companies may sound similar, they deliver significantly different levels of service, provide different products, the costs can vary, and the effectiveness of the final product will depend on how well they build your website. There are some questions that you should ask:
- Do you host my website, or require me to get hosting?
- If you host my website, which hosting service do you use?
- How much do you charge per month for hosting?
- Will my website be built on WordPress?
- What pages are included with the package?
- How much does it cost for extra pages?
- What type of support do you provide if I have questions?
- Is my website turnkey?
- What work, if any, will I have to do to my website when you deliver it to me?
- What training do you provide for me to change text, add testimonials, load photos, add projects to my portfolio, etc.?
- Who will update plugins when new updates are released for security and improvements?
- Bottom line, what does the website cost?
- Would there be any reason for there to be additional charges?
- Can I cancel at any time, or am I locked into a contract?
- Is there any content that will be on my website that you use on other websites? (An answer of “yes” is bad! Google may punish your website, depending on how much content is duplicate.)
A website from Stager Sidekick falls under this category. We offer semi-custom and fully-custom websites for home staging businesses. Click the following link to learn more about our custom website service.
- Price: Reasonable (significantly less than the website designer or agency described earlier).
- Time: Great. Once you provide the company some information, they design and build your website. The company will likely be in communication with you along the way, but it won’t be time consuming on your end.
- Effectiveness: Good to excellent. Each company requires a different amount of work on your end, and they each provide different levels of SEO effectiveness.
Getting a website for your home staging business is important. Websites are a way for potential clients to find you, and for you to showcase yourself and your work.
Figuring out how to get a website can be difficult. Do you make your website or buy one? If you make it yourself, then what tools do you need, and how do you actually make it? If you buy one, how do you decide which company to use?
We understand that process can be difficult. We want to make getting a website easy and cost effective. If you have any questions about how to get a website, please contact us and we can help you through the process. If you want to talk to Stager Sidekick about making a website for your business, then contact us, and we would love to work with you!