Affordable Websites Using Turnkey Platforms

A Quick Introduction

Get in touch by calling Greg Paulhus at 306-934-7443 or click to email Greg

  • Average Price Range: $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Good for small and mid-size businesses that don't need custom web apps.
  • Also useful for quick and inexpensive microsites for one off campaigns, events, contests (microsites can be less than $2,000).

The phrase "turnkey platform" refers to web products and services that use templates or themes to create websites quickly (Squarespace, Shopify, Picatic, and more). These types of platforms provide a lot of built in functionality and the template design or theme is layered on top of that functionality.

A turnkey platform is a good way to get a lot of bang for your buck.

You normally get a content management system, responsive design, and additional features such as photo galleries, video, blogs, ecommerce, and more.

Lower Costs and Lots of Choice


Development costs are lower with turnkey platforms because much of the coding and design work is done before you even start a project. You select a template and customize it to best suit your needs. All turnkey platforms are not the same of course.

Depending on the needs of the project one platform may be a better choice than another.

We recommend Squarespace for most small and mid-size business websites, it offers a good combination of features, security, customization, and ease of use. If ecommerce is the primary need we recommend Shopify, which specializes in online stores. If you're focused on promoting events and selling tickets then a platform like Picatic or Eventbrite makes more sense.

Other turnkey platforms include Wix, Weebly, The Grid, and more. There are also specialized turnkey platforms such as MailChimp for email newsletters, Slack or Basecamp for team collaboration, Ustream or GoToMeeting for live video and conferencing, and many more.

Often a project can make use of more than one turnkey platform, combining the features of two or three as required. We help our clients figure out what will best meet their needs.

We continually evaluate turnkey platforms and use what works best for a specific project. If a turnkey platform isn't going to deliver what you need we'll tell you, and we can build something custom for you. Learn about our custom website work here.

A few examples of recent turnkey platform work


This new Arxus website you're on right now is a turnkey platform, designed and developed using Squarespace. If you think a turnkey platform website might work for you, get in touch and we'll talk about it (306-934-7443 or click to email Greg Paulhus).

Why you should not DIY


It is important to note that turnkey platforms often promote themselves as DIY services. While this is technically true, if you're going to create a successful website you need to know how to do that. Simply clicking a few buttons and choosing a template is only a small part of the necessary work. To create a successful website you'll need to:

  • Create a plan with clear objectives and a defined audience.
  • Create an information architecture as part of the planning process.
  • Plan how social media will (or won't) be used as part of your online presence.
  • Create quality content (text and images), consider landing pages and calls to action.
  • Customize the design and layout (based on the information architecture, objectives, audience, and content).
  • Choose typography that works with the design and content, and consider readability on a range of screen sizes.
  • Create the necessary sections and pages, add and format all content properly.
  • Configure various site features such as photo galleries, embedded video, blogs, and more.
  • Configure technical aspects such as domain names, email, social media, SEO, website analytics, and more.

There's also an opportunity cost that comes with building a DIY website. The people in your company already have full time jobs.

Having a non-expert in your company attempt to build a website won't actually save you money. And the resulting website won't be as good as it could have been which means the return on investment will be lower. Worse, a poorly constructed website could cause negative user experiences and damage your company's brand.

Our rates are fair for the value we deliver, and we'll take care of everything for you. A typical turnkey platform website will cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the project, how much content work there is, and how much customization is required.

All good websites pay for themselves, usually in the first year. Look at your website as an investment, not a cost.