Your Website is more than just a reflection of your company; it’s the anchor that holds your entire online presence together. It’s the face, but also the heart and brain, of your brand identity.

It takes a visitor fewer than ten seconds on a site to subconsciously decide whether it is trustworthy. Since each visitor is a potential visitor-turned-customer, it’s natural for business owners to want to “get it right” online. That’s often associated with huge costs, but the processes and knowledge required to build and optimize a site are far less intimidating than they seem.

You need Website design and functionality that can attract customers but won’t wreck your cost structure. Googling “Should I make my own Website?” instantaneously pulls up articles with titles such as “5 Reasons You Should Not Build Your Own Website” and other scaremongering headlines, most written from the perspective of the elite Web-design agencies that publish them. But smaller companies can build their own Websites for a reasonable cost by leveraging the expertise of others.

Use a Website Template

Once upon a time, professional Website-building made the Rosetta Stone seem simple. The mention of HTML5 v. Flash can still clear half the room of even the most forward-thinking attendees at a digital conference.

But it’s a lingering, unfortunate misconception that business owners need to have a deep grasp on programming and coding in order to make the most of building and updating a site. The sweet spot lies in the ability to fold your company’s mission and purpose into a user-friendly Website blueprint.

“’The first thing you should pay attention to while choosing a Web builder is the ability to edit and customize Website-templates,’” writes tech guru Ashley Wren Collins in the Huffington Post, quoting Web Builders Guide. Collins continues: “Your needs will vary depending on your industry, so it’s worth it to do a little research to determine which platform will best help you meet your goals and, more importantly, continue to grow.”

Do Your Homework

Charles Best, founder of the successful non-profit DonorsChoose.org (currently used by more than 60 percent of teachers in the country), experienced this first-hand. He admittedly didn’t have a clue how to code or program when he set out to change the world with his big idea.

He merely did some rudimentary research and figured out a simple, user-friendly flow. Now, publications such as Fast Company use him as a case study, remarking that “it has never been easier to launch a startup without a technical background.”

Best knows that with a good concept and the right site research, businesses can develop multimillion-dollar ideas with attractive, helpful sites. Website builder articles and comparisons offer structural “dos and don’ts” and can help you plan a layout as well as a wireframe that can rival that of any Fortune 500 company.

Don’t Skimp on Design

One widely cited study suggests that 94 percent of a user’s impression of a Website are related to design. It seems daunting, as if the wrong font or color, or a misplaced logo, could lead to lost sales, but the color scheme and overall look of your site really can be a “make or break” for potential customers. There is no single magical formula to create a “one-size-fits-all” aesthetic for every Website, but paying attention to detail can help.

While online trends come and go, there are some constants that can help you cultivate a simple, effective design. Aspired is an invaluable source that helps outline the ABCs of content and layout once you’ve chosen a blueprint selected a site builder. Colors, fonts, graphics, clarity and consistency make a much bigger difference than many people realize, and it’s important to explore the fundamentals before updating a site or taking it live.

Do-It-Yourself Sites Produce Results on a Budget

Building a useful, alluring site doesn’t happen overnight, but it also doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Many small businesses are fearful of venturing into site-building territory on their own, primarily because of the stigma surrounding coding and programming. However, by investing a few hours in organization and exploration, you can build a great site yourself and save up to $40,000 in the process.

Nik Donovic is a business-minded individual with an entrepreneurial spirit. After receiving his degree in business management in 2010, he’s worked with startups to large businesses and has created an impact in each one. These days he focuses his efforts in online marketing.