We often come across awesome businesses with terrible websites—terrible to use and terrible to look at. We share links with each other and always comment on how just a little bit of work from someone who knows what they’re doing could have made all the difference.
Yes, there are many DIY options out there. Tons of WordPress themes, tempting Wix and Weebly ads, and the always on fleek marketing of Squarespace. And there are plenty of people who can use these tools to whip up something nice and simple that works. But what if that isn’t you?
All the design tools in the world can’t help you if you don’t have a knack for design, and all the easy DIY website builders can’t help you if you don’t understand how to make a website intuitive and easy to use.
When you need help, you turn to someone who knows how to solve the exact problem you have. And when you’re just starting out or don’t have a large budget, this can be a huge leap. The problem is, there are designers and developers that exist who do shoddy work and then charge you for every single change. They seduce you with a cheap up-front price tag and then keep you trapped, squeezing more and more money out of you. This drives us even more insane than terrible websites—new businesses don’t deserve this experience.
We’ve wrestled with this issue since the day we started Wanderoak.
We always want to help small businesses, tiny businesses, freelancers, and dreamers starting out slowly on the side. We always want our clients to walk away with a beautiful, easy to use, and easy to maintain website. We also always want to make enough money to support ourselves. So how could we do this?
As a solution, some agencies offer to set up—and slightly customize—a pre-made theme for you. But well-made themes are not as common as awfully-made themes (themes that are a nightmare to customize and tear-inducing to maintain) and you usually can’t know how well a particular theme is made until you’ve bought it. Cue unanticipated problems for everyone. We tried this route early on in our business and the result was never very good.
We tabled the problem for a couple years. It was constantly on our mind but no solution seemed to work.
Then one day, one of our friends approached us, needing a fresh new website ASAP. We got the website up and running in under a week—design, branding, development, everything. It was a rush. It was also very apparent that you don’t need a lot to make a beautiful, custom, branded, and easy to use small website.
That got us thinking.
What if we did semi-custom websites?
There would still be branding, custom design, and custom development, but with an adapted format. Instead of the features of the website being completely open to whatever needs doing, there were features to select from, and you could choose only a certain amount of features. It would allow us to build a quality website faster, but still offer a customized outcome and experience—at a much lower price than a fully custom build.
A mini website.
Not everyone needs a large complex website. Sometimes you just need a small one that showcases what your business is about and the few important things people need to see. You shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for something like that, but you should still be able to get something beautiful and easy to use—something you can be proud of.
So that’s what we decided to offer:
A mini website that goes from zero to launch in 3 days.
We’re currently beta testing it, so it’s extra cheap right now. If you run a small business, if you’re a freelancer, if you have an event coming up that could do with it’s own little solo website, if you have a wedding coming up, or you just want a small website for yourself, the mini website was built just for you.
You can learn more about it here.