Chances are, you’ve had lots of people tell you how important it is to have a website. Many of them have probably even explained it in great detail, laying out each potential benefit as it pertains to your website. That doesn’t mean you can afford to pay thousands for a custom website for your small business, though.
Luckily, there are ways to get a solid website without spending an arm and a leg. As long as you’re particular about your website’s needs and willing to make some cost-effective choices, you can have a website and some money in your pocket.
Make It Yourself
One way to build a website on a budget is to make your own website. Although this isn’t necessarily preferable because most people don’t have the skills and knowledge, it can work. You have two options when it comes to building your own website.
Your other option is to use a website builder to create your site. While this is significantly easier than learning the basics of coding, it doesn’t offer nearly as much customization. However, there are tons of different options for website builders, each with its own benefits and templates. If you compare your options—and if your website needs aren’t overly complex—you should be able to find a website builder that works for you.
Hire a Beginner
You can also start a website on a budget by hiring a budding web designer or design firm. Many people are willing to work for free or at a significantly discounted rate for their first few clients as a way of getting a foot in the door. While this won’t always provide the best results, it’s not a terrible option, either. Ultimately, you’re at the mercy of the designer you choose to hire, so your website will turn out good as long as they’re talented. Whether you are using WordPress or an easy website builder, it’s not hard to customize a site to fit your needs or audience. It just might take some time for you to get familiar with the platform or CMS you are using.
This is an especially good option if you have a small local business or non-profit organization. Many new web designers seek to build a name for themselves locally by doing free or cheap work for these types of organizations since it also shows a willingness to volunteer to help the community.
Wait for a Hosting or Design Special
In addition to the two methods mentioned above where you can simply create a website yourself or hire a professional to get the work done, the option is also there to wait around or look for a combo offer to come around. In such cases, you might be able to find a web hosting company or a designer who will provide their services for free or at a discount, should you sign up for a web hosting plan at the same time.
This is something we commonly see with some of the top web hosting companies on the internet today. While they might not offer a complete complimentary site design service, many of them will offer huge discounts or even provide new customers with a free domain name.
No matter what option you are looking for, just be sure to take the time to look around and see what’s currently being offered out there.
Prioritize Your Needs
If you need a pretty complex website, or if you’re just not willing to compromise on quality, the easiest way to save money is to prioritize your needs. Many people opt for flashy designs with cool animated elements and rich graphics. The truth is, there are tons of small businesses out there that don’t need these things.
Before you approach a design firm with your project, you should take plenty of time to figure out what your website really needs. The answer is usually pretty simple: a logo, a few different pages, a blog, and a contact form. You may also need some sort of storefront or payment processing. By determining these needs and clearly communicating them, you can build your website around what you actually need and avoid spending money on flashy design.
Building a website, like most parts of starting a business, is a significant investment. However, if you follow some of these simple tips, you can start a website for your small business without spending too much.